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Greg L's Trading Journal - Full Transparency 2019 Live

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Greg, I'm happy that you have realized what you need and decided to go back to sim. I really think you could work on your impulsiveness, as you seem to be repeating the same mistakes over and over again while at the same time knowing you are making them. That might be from the lack of quality sleep (with your baby), so I think you might want to focus on things that are beyond trading, to actually improve it. I think everyone can attest that the lack of sleep can really hinder our control of our emotional brain. So whenever I fail to sleep well, in the morning I have more fear of the markets and trade extra cautiously.

Looking at your February P&L, although it's mostly reds, but at least you didn't go hulk and sustained a few hundred dollar loss on a single day, so I think that's a win in itself.

Also, you seem to be attached to FB, AAPL, NFLX...even when they are not in play. I know you decrease your sizes, but since they are so expensive, their stops need to be wider, and that might not be worth the risk if they are not in play. If you feel you like to play a stock with good momentum, I feel SQ is nice when you can catch it, and it's not as expensive as those $100+ stocks.

Good luck!

Edited by TommyK667
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Sim Life

Going back to sim starting tomorrow, 2/15. My account is getting close to PDT, but I can still trade. I am actively deciding to go back to sim. I am planning to stay in sim for at least the rest of the month. 

What I want to accomplish in SIM: 

Controlling FOMO

FOMO is my biggest problem and has been probably from the beginning. There are days where I can trade rationally with no FOMO, but most days I do not. I believe the biggest factor for me, is that I'm not actually watching my watchlist stocks that I create in the morning. I can watch 5 stocks at the open. 2 on each of my extra monitors, and 1 on my laptop which is my main screen with my watch list and all other account information. What usually ends up happening is that by 9:45 or so, I have removed half of my watchlist stocks and replaced them with "The usual suspects". I then start to trade these stocks instead of the ones in play. The watchlist I create in the morning becomes secondary to me. 

One way that I plan to combat FOMO is to stick with my watchlist in the morning. I am adjusting my watchlist to remove the usual stocks that I trade. I plan to remove the temptation from trading AAPL and FB everyday. What I have been doing was using my laptop monitor to flip through everything on this watchlist here, and I was looking for trades to take. I would be constantly clicking and cycling through every stock on my list. I believe the more I click around and the more I am looking, the more FOMO I will experience and the more likely I will take something outside of my edge

Sim Goal: Stick to my 5 stocks that I pick in the morning. 

257964069_2019-02-1416_52_47-DASTraderPro.png.8a68efed4d8efc5827bf6eec9bf68c46.png

 

Stick to my Trading Setups

This is a huge problem in addition to my FOMO and I think they go hand in hand. I think that if I can stick to my watchlist, I can wait for the right setups. A lot of the time now when I trade, I take a trade because it looks weak or looks strong and this is absolutely what I should no be doing. I need to stick to my strategies, this is where I have my edge and where I will be making my money. Our strategies work best with stocks in play, so I'm not sure why I have been trying to use them everyday on AAPL, MU, etc.. Sure they will work and those stocks will move more than most other ones, but I need to stick to what I know and use it where I need to use it. 

I have about 5 or 6 trading setups that I feel work for my style and give me the best advantage. I will go over these in another post. 

Sim Goal: Stick to my trading edge. Utilize my trade setups and only my trade setups. 

Learn to set hard stops quickly and effectively 

One issue that I have at times is that I don't want to lose. I dont mind taking a small loss, but when something breaks past my set stop loss, I have a hard time getting out. It should be an instant exit, but instead I let it keep going, and I try to find a spot for a suitable exit. I need to keep my losses small and manageable. I think having a hard stop will also allow me to feel more comfortable in a trade as well. It puts it in my head that the trade will cost me $X if it goes against me, and give me piece of mind. I am hoping to remove my habit of chickening out of trades. 

The one issue will be where I do feel I should be exiting a trade before it hits my stop loss. I will be experimenting with that in sim. 

Sim Goal: Learn how to set up hard stops and set them on most trades. ( I have an exception for 2 or 3 of my setups) 

Learn to win again

I am averaging somewhere around a 20% win percentage now. I dont take winners anymore. I am not winning anymore like I used to. I need to learn to win again, whether that means letting winners run or knowing when a winner is done and exiting before I get past B/E. Let my winners win. 

Sim Goal: Increase win % to at least 50%. 

 

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16 minutes ago, TommyK667 said:

Greg, I'm happy that you have realized what you need and decided to go back to sim. I really think you could work on your impulsiveness, as you seem to be repeating the same mistakes over and over again while at the same time knowing you are making them. That might be from the lack of quality sleep (with your baby), so I think you might want to focus on things that are beyond trading, to actually improve it. I think everyone can attest that the lack of sleep can really hinder our control of our emotional brain. So whenever I fail to sleep well, in the morning I have more fear of the markets and trade extra cautiously.

Looking at your February P&L, although it's mostly reds, but at least you didn't go hulk and sustained a few hundred dollar loss on a single day, so I think that's a win in itself.

Also, you seem to be attached to FB, AAPL, NFLX...even when they are not in play. I know you decrease your sizes, but since they are so expensive, their stops need to be wider, and that might not be worth the risk if they are not in play. If you feel you like to play a stock with good momentum, I feel SQ is nice when you can catch it, and it's not as expensive as those $100+ stocks.

Good luck!

Tommy thanks for the feedback! I definitely agree with you. I just posted my goals for this sim session and I think they align with what you are saying. The biggest thing will be FOMO and not trading the stocks that aren't in play. I'm hoping thats an easy enough fix. 

The sleep issue is very interesting as well. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. About 2 hours, and about 7 hours in the last two days. I was trying to make the switch to staying up all night and sleeping during the day. This morning I wasn't tired per se, but I do think it could have played apart in how quickly I fell apart emotionally.  

As far as not suffering a multi hundred dollar day loss, I do have to thank DAS risk controls for that. They have stopped me out for the day a few times, not sure where I would be if it weren't for that feature. 

Thanks again for the input! 

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Feb 18th (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  $16

Trades: 10

What a day. I didn't trade particularly well, but I feel so so much better. A made a few key changes for today, the big one being that I'm going to watch my watchlist all day. I used to watch my watchlist for as little as 5 minutes before switching to one of MU, AAPL, FB. For this past Friday, I made it my goal to only watch  those that were on my list and to only trade those that were on my list.. It made such a huge difference in how I felt and how my mindset was. Normally I would have moved away from a few of the stocks on my watchlist and by doing so I would be looking for trading opportunities or at least possible entries for me to take. By watching only my watchlist, instead of looking for an entry, I was waiting for an entry, and it made a giant difference in how I actually felt while trading. 

My trades were ok-good and I did lose some discipline near the end of the day, but I feel so much better about how the overall day went than compared to previously. I'm hoping this will be a big step forward with my progress. 

As you can see, I waited about 50 minutes before hopping into a trade. After that, I was a little more aggressive with my trading and I was forcing opportunities, but I am really proud of how long I waited for the first entry. 

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$NVDA - The one that got away. I chickened out on this one. I went for the reversal and it was a little earlier than I take them. I took some profit and it came back against me. NVDA was really weak on the day and I was scared it could easily go back down, so I decided to exit for a loss on my remaining shares. I gotta be stronger on these and hold. 1 minute isn't enough to exit a trade. 

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$EA - I actually stayed in this reversal. Didn't really go against me. I again went in a little early, but when at a significant level (PDC). Target on these is VWAP and with the 200SMA basically at VWAP, I should have sold most of my shares there. I didn't and took a minor gain on the remaining shares. 

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$CRON - I took 3 tries at CRON. I first went in when it broke below all support and the 50SMA on the 5 min. I thought it was a pretty good entry. Got out at VWAP. Tried again a second time and stopped out right away. Finally got the move on the third try but didn't take enough profit. I thought it would go back to $21. Maybe could have been a little better with profit taking on the last trade. I also shouldn't be trading a stock 3 times. 

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$NVDA - Tried two more times on NVDA. First one was a VWAP break and break under support. Never really made a big move down and I'm proud of my quick exit when it popped up. Sometimes in the past I would have exited here. Happy with this exit. Took it again for a VWAP break under all support. Immediately made the move I wanted. I didn't mean to sell all when I did, it was a hotkey error, but I also didn't regret it. Happy with the second trade. 

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Overall the day was much better. My mindset was better and I felt I traded more patiently. Definitely progress being made. I still over traded, but that will be the next thing to work on. I seem to have that issue where I "break the seal". I can sit and not trade for a long time, but once I take that first trade, I loosen up and start to trade more frequently. Not the worst problem if I am taking setups, but I do want to cut the number of trades down and know when to walk away. 

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Feb 19th (Sim)

P&L After Commissions: ~ $65

Trades: 14

Overtraded quite a bit today, but overall I am much happier with how I've been trading. Its one of the earliest lessons, but watching the stocks in play have been a game changer for me. The strategies are working more often now and my win% has increased. I went 6 for 14 (42%) but was significantly green. I kept my losses small. I made quite a few mistakes, but overall quite happy with the day. I want to keep building off of what I am doing here. 

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$WMT - Went short on WMT after it broke under the 200SMA on the 1min. This was a bad trade. I put a limit in at the 200 hoping it would just bounce off of it and continue downward. It didn't do that and I exited for a loss. I'm fortunate to have loss only $18 at one point it was a $42 loss. I would have stopped it if broke above the PDC. 

It then did break above the PDC and looked like a long to me. I was saw the pullback and decided to enter there. It popped and I sold most of my shares. Got rid of the rest when it was coming down. 

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$CGC - Got messed up on CGC. Luckily today was one of the days where CGC wasn't moving super fast. I went long on the break of the 200sma and it seemed to hold that level. I exited when it broke under VWAP. I then swapped my position because I thought it was a short. I didn't like the price action so I exited for a small loss. I could have waited for a better exit, but I was ok getting out of the trade that I wasn't comfortable with for the loss. 

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$MU Took MU short when the price action looked weak and it broke the 200SMA and VWAP. I meant to sell partial shares on the first exit, but I made a hotkey error and sold all plus bought some. Immediately got out of the shares I bought. Looked for a reentry but couldn't find one.

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$ROKU - Went a little early on the reversal for ROKU, not really a great setup or a great entry. It was risky and wasn't the perfect setup that I was looking for. I gambled on the first entry. I decided to exit when it broke down immediately. 

The second trade is what I consider a perfect entry for the reversal. Breaking the 50SMA and retesting and holding. I'm very happy with that entry. My issue was the trade is that I took too many shares. I wasn't 100% sure if I was just confident or if I took more shares because it was sim. I decided to exit partially at B/E to get to a more realistic share size. That was the first cover. I wouldn't have covered if I had the right share size. Covered the rest on the way down to VWAP and got all out when it couldn't get to VWAP for the 3rd time. 

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$XPO - Seems to be the pattern of the day. I take a bad first trade on a stock and take a small loss. Then I take the real trade correctly. I took this one when it pushed off VWAP and broke above the 50SMA. I could have waited for a slightly better entry, but when it comes to just a few pennies, I decided to market order where I did. At this point the market was moving super slow and volume really dried up on this stock. Took partials and finally decided to exit fully just to be out of this slow moving trade.

 

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Overall not the worst day not the best. Made a few hotkey errors and overtraded slightly. Again, I'm doing better with win% and how I feel just by watching the stocks in play. 

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Feb 20th (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  ~25

Trades: 18

Sloppy day today. I took too many trades and jumped into things too quickly. Patience still needs work. 42% win rate and a green day overall, but I am not happy with how I traded. 

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I went 8 for 18 with the majority of the losses coming from trading DVN. I went a little crazy and revenge traded it after it got me for a big loss. Its night and day how I traded DVN vs everything else.

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$CVS - Broke under the 200 and I went short on the retest of the 200. I probably should have sold more when it dropped down, I held about 40% that I sold near break even. 

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$DVN - This one faked me out and I made a lot of mistakes afterwards with this stock. 

I thought it was a VWAP break long. My biggest mistake was taking too large of a share size. This stock moved more quickly than I expected it to. I took some profits when it hit $32ish, but I went very small with the profit taking. I need to reevaluate my R/R and profit taking. It dropped on me and I made the mistake of letting it drop on me for multiple minutes before I got out. I should have gotten out at B/E then it made another big drop so I waited to see what it would do there and I'm lucky to get out before it made the 3rd big drop. In about 3 minutes it moved from $32 to touching $31.10. Not a move I felt comfortable with. I do realize that when something makes a huge move against me, if I don't stop out quickly enough, then I hold too long. I can stop out usually just fine when something is a reasonable move that hits my stop. Its when the stock really goes against me that I won't accept the bigger loss right away and I will take the wait and see approach, that is something that needs to be fixed. From there I went short and long and got chopped up 4 more times. Taking $111 loss on the stock on 5 trades. I knew when I was in it that I was revenge trading it, but I just didn't stop. 

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$CVS - Went back long on CVS after it bounced off VWAP and broke above the 50sma. That was my cue to enter and I took it with no hesitations. It looked strong in addition to giving me the right setup. I did try to add on to my position in a pullback, but it didn't really work out and I exited shortly after. I went with 1/3 of my normal size on the pullback. No regrets with the move. 

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$GRMN - This was a very sloppy trade. Everyday I keep a spot open in my notebook for reversals, I had GRMN on there so I guess I was looking for a reversal. I felt it was coming and took a small share size at $82. I added when it broke the 50 even though all the indicators were not there. I wanted the moving averages to cross as well, that is the setup I am looking for. I took it anyway. I was bad here because it clearly went against me and I should have stopped out, but I held. I think it was because it was sim and it wasn't real money and partially because it was not a full size. It started to come back down and I shorted again. Finally giving myself a full size. Sold all at break even. 

For the second trade I immediately went back in, hoping to catch the reversal. It was premature. I took a full size right away. I knew it wasn't ready, but I didn't want to miss the move. FOMO kicked in.  I got in at $82.10, I held through a small pullback and when it broke down the second time, that is when I knew it was the right time and thats when I should have entered. I took a symbolic 1 share to signify that I would have and should have entered here. It was the same price at $82.10 but the setup was what I was looking for in addition to the weak price action. It broke down immediately with no problems. I covered along the way, I saved the majority of my shares for VWAP which was my final target but had to stop out when it was looking stronger. 

I tried multiple times on GRMN to catch a reversal, but it was the final time where it was just so obvious to me. That is where I should be entering this stock and in all my trades I need to just take what is obvious. Don't reach for anything. If you miss it, you miss it. Often times my best trades are the most obvious ones. I need to have the patience to wait for those. 

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$LUV - This trade was similiar to GRMN for the reason being that the second time I entered, it was just so obvious that this was the trade to take. The first time, I wasn't confident, but I figured it could reverse to VWAP and I didn't want to miss it. It was also on my reversal list. It dropped down right away and I did a terrible job stopping out and took a partial stop out. Very bad first trade. 

The second trade was the obvious reversal that I was waiting for. I saw it and had no hesitation that this was the right move to take. Went in and sold on the way to VWAP. 

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$AAPL - Again went for the reversal 50SMA break on AAPL. AAPL wasn't on my original watchlist, I replaced DVN with APPL. I decided on AAPL because it was fairly strong in the morning and I thought it would be a good reversal candidate. I was watching solely for the reversal. I took it when it broke the 50SMA instead of waiting for it to retest because it looked extra weak and it was. I didn't take any profits because the goal was VWAP. It cameback to the 50 and bounced off of it. I then decided to take profits since it wasn't going to be as easy of a move as I wanted it to. Tested the 50SMA one more time and I decided that it was time to get rid of the shares and I sold on the way down and when it came back up to the 50 for the 4th time which it broke. 

Could have been a little more aggressive with the profit taking, but I'm trying to find the balance between quick profit taking and longer term holding. 

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A couple of key takeaways for me today. I need to keep working on my patience. A stock may be looking like its going to make a certain move and maybe it eventually will, but I need to wait for the right entry and the right confirmation. When everything is right, I will see it and it will be obvious. I should only be taking trades when I have the feeling that a certain move is obvious. That means I see it and so does everyone else. A few times today, I entered too early, because I wanted to maximize the entry, when it increased the risk more than I wanted. 

Second major takeaway, I have to know when I am breaking my rules and stop it. I knew I was revenge trading today. I knew it, I told myself to stop trading. I even deleted DVN off my watchlist. I did end up typing it back into the montage and trading it one more time for my 5th loss. My emotions are hard to control at times, so its best to do everything I can to help mitigate them. I need to walk away when I am revenge trading or if i I lose control emotionally in any way. 

One other thing that I did not do well today, was I was in 4 trades at the same time at the end of the day. I entered them at different times and I held them for a while, but I shouldn't be in 4 trades at the same time. That is just way to much. It all worked out and I was profitable on all of them, but it isn't the trading style that I want to create. 

And one more, I went long 7 of 18 trades today. This is much higher than I have been doing before. I attribute this to trading the watchlist and taking what the market is giving vs constantly clicking around and trying to look for and force trades. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Greg
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Feb 21st (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  ~50

Trades: 3

Today was a tough day to trade. Not a lot of moves and everything was moving fairly slowly in the mid morning. I ended up going 2 for 3 with about $50 in profits after commissions. Face value looks pretty good, but the first trade HTZ I took wasn't pretty. 

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$HTZ - It looked like it was going to be a false breakout to me, even though it was a little early in the day. I took it short when it came back to VWAP. My stop was right above VWAP, but the trade moved so quickly when it popped up that I hesitated on the exit. At that point, I was down about $50 unrealized which was more than I wanted to risk on the trade. It did seem to hold about the $18.70 level and didn't look very strong. It started to come back to VWAP and I'm not sure why, but I added a small size to my position. I originally took 150 shares and added 50 more. This was a dumb add and I shouldn't have done it. The stock popped up one more time and I got out when it came back down to VWAP. I exited at the point where I added to my shares. While my loss wasn't big on this trade, it was not managed well at all. 

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$CVS - Entered short after it bounced off VWAP. Couldn't break the 20EMA on the 1 min and came under the 5 min VWAP. Felt it was a good entry. Took a few minutes in the reverse ABCD and then dropped. I did a pretty good job of waiting for first profit and even holding some in case it continued downward. 

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$FB - I took it short when the price action was weak and it was holding trend lines. Timed the entry very well, but I only covered about half my shares for profit, the rest at slightly past B/E. 

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Can't complain about a green day, but I can complain about not trading as well as I want. The HTZ trade had very poor risk management, it just didn't kill me on the trade which is fortunate. 

It was a very slow day in the market while I was watching so I only ended up with 3 trades. I am very happy with that and happy that I remained patient even when there was nothing to trade. That is what I am most proud of today. 

 

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Feb 26th (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  ~$15

Trades: 15

 

Took way too many trades today. I wasn't as selective as I want to be. I did a great job of being patient at the open. Didn't trade for the first 20 minutes, but after that, the floodgates opened. I took 14 trades in the next hour and a half. Thats one trade every 6 and a half minutes. Not good! 

My plan going forward - My plan was to sim this week on Mon, Tue, Wed, and Friday. The baby has been waking up around 30 min before open which kept me occupied during trading hours on Friday and yesterday. The wife took her today so I was able to trade. I plan to sim one more day tomorrow and then go live on Thursday and then back to sim on Friday. If I feel everything goes well, I will go live again and hopefully stay live on March 4th. 

 

After my trading today, i did some reevaluting on my profit taking and R/R. It seems that I feel comfortable with a $15-$20 loss per trade. I've noticed this from today and previous days of trading. That means I need to be making between $30-$40 per winner if I am looking for a 2/1 R/R. I did that 3 times today with one 2/1 one 2.5/1 and one 3/1. I also had two 1/1 winners. I had about 6 losers today and 1 double loss where I broke my stop loss. I had my mentality wrong on profit taking before. I was always trying to hit a homerun and I was trying to get something like $80-$100 per trade. That would be great, but I can't count on that regularly. That would be 5/1! I will get those occasionally, but its not going to be an every trade thing.

I need to adjust my mindset on what I currently consider midsize winners. With my currrent share size,making $40-$50 on a trade is a good win and I need to be proud of it. If I took 100 shares of a stock, my current thinking would be "Oh no, your stop loss is broken and you are down 15 cents you need to get out" I also think "Ok I'm up 15 cents, but I'm not here to trade for 15 cents, I'll take a tiny profit at 40 cent gain and more at 75 cents and then some finally for a $1 move". In this case I wouldn't' even take profits until 2/1 and then I'm really shooting for 5/1. I'm trading technical levels, but I'm always looking for the big move and a far technical level as profit. I need to be happy with 40-50 cents and the rest is just extra. 

 

 

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$ROKU - I'm making a rule for myself to never ever short ROKU, it doesn't work out for me. When its strong, its strong. I also didn't trade it will. I took a PDC bounce, but there was no real reason to be in this trade. This was a gamble. I need to wait for confirmation that it will actually bounce off the PDC this time. I can't just take it because it bounced off previous times, which is what I did here. It didn't even stop at PDC and pushed right past it. I should have stopped right away, but I held a little too long and then got out when it pulled back. This was a terrible first trade of the day. 

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$ETSY - Price action looked weak and I though the bottom would fall out at any minute. I took it short and stopped out and then short again and stopped out. Second time, I did much better at least and minimized my losses to $1.50. Shortly after I exited, it did break under the 20ema, but I hesitated on the trade. I need to go with the flow. I wanted to take the trade where I did, because it kept the stop loss small but was risky. I didn't enter when it broke under the 20ema because the $ risk was greater but the % of success was also greater. I didn't want to risk the $$ even though it had a higher chance of success. Instead I chose the riskier trade that cost me less if i loss.

I also have a way of thinking where I say that I missed my entry and I don't enter which is not always a bad thing. But in this case, I couldn't justify reentering. 

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$CAT and HD - Broke my stop loss on both of these trades after taking winners. They weren't great trades to begin with, but I did take 1/1 profit on CAT, and 2/1 profit on HD, but I let both of them turn into losers. I stopped out very poorly on both and especially HD. I broke stop loss and I ended up letting winners turn into $16 losers each. I need to work on moving my stop loss when I take my first profit. 

Both also had crossing SMAS and both broke up higher afterwards, if that means anything. 

 

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$M - Best trade of the day, really proud of this one. Took it short and stopped out the first time, reentered when it still looked short. I almost added more to my position before it started to drop, but I couldn't find the right entry. I covered some when it came down and added a small size to my position. Sold at levels. Felt great with this trade. 

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$HD - Took 3 more trades on HD. First was an intended scalp. I previously traded HD and saw that it couldn't break $185 and it seemed to hold here as well, so I entered with a small size. Almost just a fun trade to see what happens. I was more interested in the 50SMA bounce which I then entered after exiting the scalp. I didn't hold the 50 and I exited and then took it long when it held above the 50SMA. Sold all at HOD at the time. I am a big fan of taking when price action and EMAs cross the 50SMA. 

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$BABA - Very similar to $HD. They were trading around the same time as well. I took it short when it broke the 50 and went back to test it. It did break the 50SMA but I took it regardless with a tight stop above $182. It came right down and I did an ok job at taking profits not the best. Got all out and then was interested in taking the 50SMA bounce again. Again it didn't work and I stopped out. I then missed my opportunity to take it long when it did cross above the 50. 

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Not the best day of trading. I need to work on being selective and cutting out the losers. Hoping to work on my R/R going forward. Be happy with a 2/1 win! 

 

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Edited by Greg
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Feb 27th (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  ~$65

Trades: 8

Had a fairly good today. Losses were very small and there was one big winner. I didn't trade super well though, but I am improving. Since changing to watching only stocks in play, my win % has doubled. I'm nearing 50% win percentage in sim. Much better than the 25% I had when live and trading whatever I felt like. 

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$CRON - Not a lot to talk about with CRON. I had 3 different trades. First trade was holding the 200SMA on the 5 min so I went long. I didnt like the price action and I got out. Very happy with that exit. Then I took it long as a VWAP break. Took about 10% off for profit and added back into my position. It broke under and I got out then I quickly swapped my position to the short side. I realized this isn't how I should be trading and I exited this trade. Even though the stock broke downwards, I am still happy that I exited because It wasn't a trade that I was supposed to take. 

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$TNDM - My best trade of the day, I wanted to enter closer to $64 but couldn't find the entry. Took it as a VWAP break. I was hoping for the break of the 50SMA so I held about half my shares on the first trade when I got stopped out. Retook it when it still looked weak. It wasn't a perfect entry yet because it still had to break the 50SMA. A little risky on the entry. When it did, it dropped. Sold my shares and got out of the trade a little quickly and a little early. Still happy with the trade. As soon as I got out of the trade I saw that someone else had took the trade better than I did and held longer than I did in the BBT chat. I keep the  chat on mute and I thought it was Andrew in the trade, but I didn't see it on the recap. I was hoping to get additional insight on the trade. 

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Kept it short and sweet today. Depending how my sleep schedule goes this morning, I plan to trade live tomorrow. 

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Feb 28th (Live)

P&L After Commissions:  $101

Trades: 7

Today was a good day. I traded very well and I'm happy with the moves that I made. I got out of my losers quickly and I did a good job of letting my winners run. These are the days that I need  to replicate. Good first day back live. 

Going back to sim tomorrow, but will be going live again March 4th. 

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$SQ - 3 trades on SQ. I went long first since it seemed to be holding the 200SMA on the 5 min chart. I didn't like the price action at all and got out quickly. It was then a short to me, so I went short. I meant to sell half but hotkey error'd into selling all. Disapointed about that exit, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't get back in the trade unless a good opportunity presented itself, so I let it go.

Went in long for the 3rd time for a VWAP break, but I absolutely hated the fill that I got. It was maybe 8 cents more than I wanted, so I exited with a small loss because I did not want to deal with the additional risk. I was ok if the stock did move long, knowing I did what was best to protect my account.

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$BMY - Went for the VWAP break down on BMY. Took too few shares. I normally take about 200 shares for a stock that moves like this. I wanted to add 100 shares and add another 100 later on, but missed the entry on the second 100. Took profits on the way down to the 200SMA on the 5 min. On my last exit, you can see I covered the partial and the rest. I was about 5 cents off the target and with the few shares I had left, I felt it would be better to just get all profits and exit the trade. 

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$CELG - I had this one my reversal watch since the morning. I saw it making its way up to a reversal and holding a ABCD pattern. I usually dont take things before they cross the 50 on a reversal like this. I liked the price action and the way it was holding so I entered in. I almost chickened out of this one even though it never really went against me. I knew I just had to make it to the 50SMA to feel comfortable and from there it would go. My target is usually the VWAP in these reversals, but instead I decided to put the target at the 200SMA that was basically horizontal. I figured that would be just as tough to break as VWAP. I sold on the way up to the 200SMA and left 25% for the break of VWAP and beyond. It couldn't break VWAP and I sold on the way down. 

I should have sold some at VWAP since that is the usual target, but I am happy with the trade overall. 

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Overall much better trading today and recently. The biggest change for me was watching my watchlist that I make in the morning. It has helped reduce my FOMO significantly and I am waiting for trades now instead of searching for them. My win% has gone up and the % of long trades I take has gone up as well. 

Edited by Greg
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March 1st (Sim)

P&L After Commissions:  ~$113(SIM)

Trades: 7

I went back to sim for today as planned. Again I traded very well. I kept my losers small and let my winners go. 

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$ZS - I'm really proud of this trade. I took this as VWAP trade. I missed the entry on the minute before and didn't think I would get an  opportunity. I was fortunate for it to come back down to VWAP so I entered. I really liked the entry because it above all moving averages on the 1 min and 5 min and was a bullish engulfing crack. I felt this a very safe entry. I still went smaller share size regardless and took profits as it moved up. I was managing the baby at the time as well (which is something I shouldn't be doing) so I decided to exit fairly quickly with profits. 

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$GPS - I had an immense feeling of regret as I entered GPS the second time. I first took it short for a VWAP break, but since I was trying to be really protective of profits, I exited out of that trade right away. I knew I got scared out of it and as it was coming back down I reentered. I did not get an entry I liked and I was worried that I would have the issue where I got out of a stock for a loss and reentered the same trade to take another loss and in this case since I had a poor entry it would be a bigger loss. I couldn't stop thinking for the first minutes of this trade. I almost considered exiting at B/E, but decided to stay in. It never broke my original entry point on the first trade, so I didn't exit. I sold on the way down hoping for the break of low of day, but eventually had to stop out on the way back up. 

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$SQ - Tried 3 times on this trade. I could have been done for the day after GPS. I first took it short and exited within the same minute. Then swapped my position to long and got out at B/E. I then stepped away from the computer for a few minutes to take a break. I am not happy about my decision making and impulse control but as soon as I got back to the computer this looked like an obvious short to me so I had to take it. I was planning to have been done, but I took it regardless. Worked out, and made almost $50 on the trade.

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Overall a great sim day and I am very happy that I've been trading much better since I got to sim. I will be going live again on Monday and staying live. I need to bring this patience to my live trading. 

I'm not sure if I will be continuing my journal here. My yearly membership is expiring next week and I wasn't ready for the expenses of a lifetime membership. I was expecting to renew on a yearly basis. Still debating on what I plan to do moving forward. Just a heads up if you don't see me post anymore. 

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I hope you stay.  Just reading through all this for the first time, i found very interesting and helpful to see how others trade.  i use Tradervue as well.  I hope you stay, you're a good trader.  how long have you been trading?

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March 4th (Live)

P&L After Commissions:  -$132

Trades: 13

My BBT subscription expires today and I received the email saying its expired, but it looks like I can still post here. 

I didnt have the trading day that I wanted today. Mentally, emotionally, psychologically, I didn't have it. I definitely over traded and didn't trade well. I dont think I even need to post my trades today, but instead will just post my overview and discuss my mental state. I color coded my chart and it looks a little messy but I hope it will work 

 

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Green - Started off the day fine. Went long on KHC, it couldn't hold VWAP and I took it short. It was a much clearer short than it was a long. 

Purple - This right here is the trade of the day. I went for a quick scalp on BABA and it cost me. It was a bigger loss than I wanted and it wiped out my gains. I did learn a lot from this trade and reflecting on it. I took it as a scalp, I wanted a quick $30 and I risked a $30 to get it. So the risk/reward on this trade was a 1/1. Money wise that is a bad trade, but I knew the risk when I took it. I didn't have a real reason to short it there, just thought it was going to keep going down.

The big takeaway from this trade here is that I realized there is an emotional risk/reward attached to each trade. In this case the money risk/reward was 1/1 but the emotional risk/reward was not 1/1. On this scalp, if it went my way, my good feeling and state of mind would have stayed the same. There was very little to gain emotionally. When it didn't go my way I broke down. I gave away my profits and that added to my emotional stress levels and I knew it was a dumb trade right away. I was on tilt. I risked probably closer to 3 or 4 emotional capital for 0-1 emotional gain. That is a bad R/R 

Put simply, winning this trade doesn't make me feel any more secure or feel like a better trader, but losing this trade takes a toll mentally and hurts my confidence. 

Avoid the bad Emotional R/R trades. 

Orange - I let two different winners turn into losers after taking profits. I saw them and let them go right past my B/E. I was hoping they would continue in the direction that I wanted. When I start to hope, its time to exit! 

Yellow - I was really scared at this point and exited as soon as the trade went against me. My confidence was gone and i was very skittish. 

Red - The worst trade of the day. I traded EA and then traded and exited SQ. At that point I ran out of shares to trade. I tried to enter another trade and saw that I was near my max. (40 shares away from 4000, which explains my 40 share AAPL trade) I was down $80 after commissions at that point and I wanted to get it back. I was going to hold EA until it gave me what I wanted. I was blind to the fact that when I was trading it, I was hoping for it to break VWAP but it was clearly holding. Eventually it went against me and I had to get out. If I was trading properly, I would have exited this trade at B/E or even a small profit. Instead I was blind to the price action and instead was just watching and waiting for my P&L. 

 

Overall I overtraded. The biggest thing is that I didn't wait for the obvious setups and entry. The setups I should be taking are so obvious when I see them. I was impatient in waiting for it and took crap after crap. There were many many clear moves later on in the day, but I was out of trades. I am very grateful for the 4000 share limit, it limits my overtrading when I am trading poorly, and it forces me to learn by missing out on easier and clearer trades that happened later in the day. 

Getting better one day at a time. 

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Greg,

I know exactly how you are going thru. I was in SIM for over a year before going live, yet I lost $8K in the first week. Went back to SIM after a month, came back lost $10K more. This is called "addicted to action". My suggestion to you is to read and put to practise Mark Douglas principle in "Trading in the zone"if you haven't read it yet. It is not completely a discipline problem because I considered myself to be very disciplined person. I played very advance electric guitar and bass. I trained many year in free style kick boxing. The kind that your couch pushed the sand bag at your face until your nose broken. You just wiped the blood and continued. I could lock myself up in a room for 4 hours straight to read technical books like Cisco or Juniper. Those books are like eating cardboard. Those skills take serious discipline. But you can see that I am not better than you when it comes to trading because of the instant gratification. However, I realized that trading is psychological in nature. How we trade is a reflection of who we are. If you're frustrated, the stock will creates event that caused you more frustrated. I am stable now for a few months. This morning I trades 2 stocks only and made $800. Most of the time, I trade just one stock and make average $500. Here my suggestions to you.

1. Don't come to the market to try to get something or to fight. Come to the market to look for opportunity. Tell yourself, I don't have to trade today if nothing good.

2. Plan your own trade by join Carlos in pre-market. FYI: Talking about lack of sleep. I left work and got home at 1am PST every day just to wake up at 5:15 to plan my trade and go back to sleep around 9:30am and again wake up at noon to go to work. So I am with you regarding lack of sleep. I've done this 1 1/2 year now.

3. Before market open, do deep breathing exercise by closing your eyes and visualize something fun and happy while taking multiple long deep breath. I ALWAYS nervous before market open. So this will help me relax and not too jumpy or anxious (FOMO). Remember, how we feel will attract the same result to us.

4. I choose "CONSISTENT" over making money. The moment I got my first win, even if it's $50, I shut DAS and my PC down and go to sleep. I don't care how many good stocks are in play. This will reinforce your inner strength because you do what you said you're going to do. It's not easy. But after 2 weeks, it becomes natural. We make habits then habits make us who we are. Be strict with your rule but flexible with you outcome.

Everything else you seem to get them in control there. Hope these help. I will add more when I can recall what I did back then to stop this kind of compulsive aka addicted to action. I can tell you this, when your mind is calm and you don't try or struggle to win, the setup will come to you. For me the winning trades are obvious and easy. I see what I need to see and get in right on the money and ride it all the way. In the past I would flip my position 10 times on the same stock without even knowing that it's consilating or being choppy. I just know one thing "I got to win". That's how bad or stupid it was. Looking back I can only laugh at my dump behaviors. I wanted to win at all cost. The market thought otherwise. To me because I did so well in the SIM and when it comes to live trade it did not work, I could not let that happen. I am no where near perfect yet but I am on my way. I wish you the best !!!

Johnny

 

 

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