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Greg L's Trading Journal - Full Transparency 2019 Live

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March 5th (Live)

P&L After Commissions:  -$114

Trades: 15

Super disappointed with how I traded today.  I had such a hard time writing this journal in my own journal that I keep. I didn't want to think about this day. I couldn't control myself. There is just a pain when thinking about this day and even writing this now (the day after). 

My trades themselves were ok, I didn't trade too terribly, up until I lost control at the end. I had one bad trade that put me in a whole but I did get back to near break even. It was when i wanted to get back to green, I forced trades and made some of the most impulsive emotional moves I've made in a while. As you can see there is one big loss. The trade was bad, but I could recover and did. It was the last 3 trades and most importantly NFLX that really disgusts me when I think of this day. 

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$HUYA - Thought this was going to be a VWAP break. Broke VWAP broke 50SMA. The only thing was the resistance on the 5 min. For that reason alone, I should have stayed out of the trade, but I went in and it dropped down pretty hard on me. I had multiple opportunities to get out, but I was trying to get a good limit order instead of just exiting the trade. The spread was fairly large on a stock of this size, I believe it was between 6 - 8 cents. I was trying to not have to market order, and the stock just kept dropping on me. Then it got down to $25 and I was hoping for a bounce there, it didnt come and I exited when it broke $25 with a market order. This was maybe 3 times the loss I want to take on a trade. 

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I was able to mostly come back from this trade. Nothing special. Just 3 decent trades to make back the losses. 

 

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At this point, I checked my P&L ( I know I'm not supposed to), and I was down $11 before commissions. I figured I could just get one more trade, and get even for the day. I went for a KSS trade 3 times and got chopped up but kept losses small. After that I couldn't find a trade. Nothing was really moving As you can see I waited about 30 minutes without taking an entry until I took a small trade on AAPL. Basically tried to make a move happen. 

I have DAS shut me out at Noon, so I was trying to find a trade or 2 before I was officially locked out for the day. To keep it short and get to the point. I took a trade on CTRP, which I am ok with. Never short super strong stocks, but I am ok with the entry and exit on the trade. TGT, was just a bad trade and I took it in the wrong direction. 

The big trade to look at is NFLX. I was getting close to my share limit so I looked for something that can move. I need to stop thinking like this because it doesn't work out and has probably cost me close to $500. It was 11:59 and I was scrolling through stocks looking for something to trade. I checked FB, AAPL, TSLA, NVDA, SQ, CGC, BABA, almost all of the usual suspects. I settled on NFLX just because it was something that I could justify entering. Seemed to be breaking and holding below VWAP.

The trade itself was bad, it broke my stop loss and I didn't exit when it came back to break even. The really disgusting part of it all was that I forced this trade. I wanted this trade so bad. Not because I thought it was a good trade, but just to get some of my losses back for the day. I put a limit order in  11:59:53. I didn't love the trade, but I just wanted it. I knew I had to put the order in before noon or otherwise Das wouldn't allow it, so I did just that. I knew the rules and I abused a loophole. My trading today was one thing but this still hurts me even the day after to realize what I did. I am very ashamed with how I acted today. 

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March 6th (Live)

P&L After Commissions:  -$47

Trades: 9

Better, but not there yet. I did a great job with my patience in the morning and I traded with focus and control today. That was really important to me today because of the NFLX trade from yesterday. There were a lot of similarities with how I traded compared to yesterday but I happy to have ended green. 

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$SE - I traded SE three times. Took it short each time at ~$32.20. This wasn't intentionally, just felt they were good shorts at that point. Last one was the one that paid off. Happy with my patience and ability to exit after taking profit and exiting the middle trade at B/E when it wasn't looking great. I was almost ready to end the day here after 3 trades and about $80, but I didnt. My goal is $100-$120 and I felt that $80 just wasn't close enough. 

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$MU - I got chopped up on MU. This is very simliar to me getting chopped up on KSS yesterrday, this time the losses were greater than yesterday. At this point my $80 day is getting closer to a $30 day after commissions. 1067816313_2019-03-0611_19_08-2019-03-0611_15_14-DASTraderPro.png-Photos.png.3186efb5c7c14968e202441329def1a1.png

$ANF - Again like yesterday, I decided to short a super strong stock that is up for the day. The difference is yesterday I took it after crossing the 50SMA which is usually safer, but today I saw the weakness and it topping off at $26. I got a great entry, just didn't do the best on profit taking. Like yesterday ANF broke under the 50SMA but didn't do much after came back to test it and broke above. This might be something that super strong stocks do. Need to remember this. But because I had a entry above the 50SMA I was able to get decent profits and stop out my remaining shares for a small profit. 

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Today was a better day than yesterday, but there were some similarities which I do no like. I have lowered my share count from 4000 to 3000. Nothing good ever comes after 3000 shares. I'm usually not upset with the trades that I take during the day, its just the emotional and psychological state that I get in that needs work. I 'm not the best technical trader but it isn't what is keeping from being consistently profitable. 

 

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March 7th 

P&L After Commissions:  -$57

Trades: 9

I had a tough day today. There wasn't a lot of on my watchlist that i liked. I had two stocks and since I don't have access to the chat anymore, I resorted trading the usual suspects. This is a mistake and will more than likely be a mistake. I took a decent trade on AAPL that I didn't manage properly and other than that I traded like how I used to trade when I was trading the stocks that weren't necessarily in play. I haven't been consistently green, but I have been trading much better when I trade the stocks in play vs trading FB, AAPL, MU etc.. 

There wasn't a lot for me to watch today and I went fishing for trades. All of my losses today came from when I took a gamble or wanted something to happen with a stock. I took entries, not based on setups, or confirmations, but on what I felt would happen or what I would like to see happen. And I was wrong everytime! I am almost glad that I wasn't right anytime on these trades because I didn't deserve to be right. I need to wait for confirmation! 

This should have been a 1 trade or even a 0 trade day. I dont need to take a trade everyday. I need to learn that. 

One other interesting thing to point out is that I couldn't even last a minute in the majority of my trades today. That is a sign to me that I didn't take good setups and I gambled. 

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$AAPL - I found a great entry on this trade, but I didn't manage it as well as I should have. I took 100 shares and I covered 35 shares between the first two covers for about a 10-12 cent gain. I did slightly better on the later covers. I am ok with the 3rd profit taking. The 4th profit taking is something I do often where I after a pullback I take profit again at the point it couldn't break the first time. Sometimes it bounces, but more often than not, it bowls right there like it did here. I took more profit and held 25 shares left for another break down. The reason I exited the trade where I did instead of actually waiting for the breakdown was because I traded MU poorly and wanted to lock in profits. I should only be in one trade at a time and I certainly shouldn't be  letting another trade affect my current trade.  Disappointed with how I covered the final share here. 

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$SPY - The only other trade where I waited for some confirmation today. I went with the momentum and took it short. I took 150 shares and only covered 20 shares where I did. The rest was a slight loss to get me to B/E on the trade. I maybe should have taken more profits, but I thought SPY looked really weak and was going to break down further. I later realized that the 200SMA on the daily chart is at $274.80 which it broke but couldn't hold.

Peter in the chat and I once took the same trade, we both held without taking any profits and exited at B/E. I asked himhis thoughts on the trade and if he regretted not taking profits. He said he didn't because the trade didn't cost him anything. That is the same approach I'm going to take here. I knew the risks of holding and I don't regret anything because this trade didn't cost me anything. 

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The rest of my trades will be posted together. I made the same mistake on all of them. I didn't wait for any confirmation and instead just took entries on what I wanted to be pullbacks. Each one wasn't a pullback and went right through my entry causing me to exit almost immediately. I took them all at a level of resistance/support, but I they were gambles. I need to wait for the right entries and the right setup instead of trying to make something happen. 

First trade was a hotkey error that I exited from for tiny profit. 

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Every single one of these was a gamble on a pullback and they weren't even great gambles. I need to wait for setups and confirmation. 

 

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Hi Greg, you can improve your trades with one simple rule. do not long on red and do not short on green candles. try it and you will see! you seem to be trying to anticipate instead of reading the real trend.

and don't be shy to exit on break even if the trade does not work.

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1 hour ago, peterB said:

Hi Greg, you can improve your trades with one simple rule. do not long on red and do not short on green candles. try it and you will see! you seem to be trying to anticipate instead of reading the real trend.

and don't be shy to exit on break even if the trade does not work.

Peter, I'm going to have to try that. Clearly looking at my charts today and from the past few days, it would work. 

You are 100% right though that I am trying to anticipate instead of waiting for the stock to reveal what it will do. I do slightly better with this problem when I have stocks in play that I like, but yea, it hurt me today

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29 minutes ago, ktw said:

Hi Greg, thanks for posting your trades. I just joined BBT but before joining I watched the live pre-market show on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfO2yCpx6_XU-xovhpJuaYw/featured. You can watch Carlos build his watch list so you have some stocks in play instead of the usual suspects. 

KTW, 

 I do watch the moring pre-show, thats where I build my morning watchlist from. I just wasn't a fan of anything today and resorted to the main stocks. 

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On 3/4/2019 at 11:30 PM, trader_JK said:

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

 

 

Johnny, 

Awesome post man. I definiltely have Trading in the zone on my to reread list. Struggled with it the first time, but ready to give it another go. I agree with every point your making. I do come to the market to fight. My latest post shows me taking entries based on what I want the market to do. I need to go with the flow. The A1 Setups/Winning trades are so obvious when you see them. I need to wait for the obvious trades, that is going to be my key to success. If they aren't there for that particular day, then I need to learn to walk away. I don't need to go and try and extract money from the market if its not there. I will not win, and the market will eat me up like it has been. Its ok to have a day without trading and its ok to have a red day. 

I have seen some progress just by working on my bad habits. A month or so ago, I would let my losers break stop loss and let them run in hopes of coming back and also doubling down on my losers. I had a hard time with that for a while and I couldn't really keep it under control by myself. I implemented DAS risk controls to stop me out if my trade ever gets to $90. This was a number I knew I never should be hitting unless a stock really goes against me and I let it. It took me a few days, but I stopped doubling down on losers and stopped letting my losers run as well since there was no point. The most likely outcome when letting my losers run will be to be stopped out with a $90 loss and it would be totally out of my control. I still have the risk controls in place, but I exit trades properaly and usually at around $15-$20 and I no longer have the urge to double down at all. When something goes against me, I don't take the wait and see approach and maybe add to my position, I exit. 

As far as me being addicted to action, that is one of the harder things for me to deal with. I think I do a fairly good job on most days, being patient and waiting for a good trade for the first trade of the day. It is after that point when I can lose control. I will take chop and I will take bad entries across the board. I am working on walking away after my first 2 trades for 5 min and then coming back to reread my premarket journal entry before I trade again. I need to almost take a full reset to make sure that I am in a good state of mind to continue trading. And this happens whether the first trade is good or bad. Its going to be daily thing for me. Fixing this will be the next stop to me trading consistently well. 

 

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Posted (edited)

i think you are too much believing in the risk controls. i see a big problem with those. if you set a $90 max loss then if that should be a realistic move of 0.5% of a stock this would work only on a stock with price 35 and you have to have 500 shares only so this woudl correspond ok to the MU trade you took but on the AAPL you took to big size which makes you a much greater loss when you get only a 0.5% move of the stock. please see the attached table i made so you better understand it.

so your problem is the proper position sizing i think. If you realize that you can not take 200 shares of FB with your account size and risk acceptance then you are half way won.

as you can see on the picture below and the usual stock moves , the position sizing is crucial. We do not seek a 0.5% stock moves. We look for 1% and more because your max stop loss is 1% of your account so from your MU picture above from 37.75 to below 37.35

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The FB move from 170 to 169.15 seems nice on the graph but is is poor 0.5% so even if you catch it which is nearly impossible to catch it perfectly, you wont earn enough to cover your next loss of your set of $90 because you earn just $85. That is the key. Proper position size and proper exit/stop loss strategy based on the size you take, not the number you just make up in your mind because it is "big enough" or "too much or acceptable for me". It always have should be risking less than potentional profit.

Or if i say it differently. If you take 1000 shares of MU for $35000 then you expect at least $350 profit out of that trade but a $90 max loss means that you need to exit after a 9cent move against you which is just 0.25%. And these small moves happen all the time so you got chopped out very easily like that.

So if you set your max stop loss on a trade for $90 you need to adapt the position sizing to it with the respect to the stock price. Otherwise your hard stop of $90 will make you more harm than good.

So from the example table i did

if you take 500 shares of MU you are "protected" with your $90 rule just for a 0.5% move but if you take just 250 shares you are "protected" for a 1% move so you are more confident and you can always exit sooner when you are conviced that the trade will not go in your favor anymore.

 

Hopefully you understand what i am trying to say.

 

Edited by peterB
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Posted (edited)

and looking at your trades taken

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it is just crazy. You can not invest $35000 for a $32 profit. a 10-12 cent "gain" as you describe is just way off what you should expect. A 10 cent move on a $175 stock is not a move, it is just the spread of bids and asks.

You need to reset your position sizing and expectations to something what makes sense. You need to think in %

You can have a $32 profit easily with a $5000 investment if you pick your trades more properly.

Edited by peterB
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Peter, 

I want to make sure we are on the same page here. 

First the max loss DAS stop out is a number I should never ever hit at my current risk levels. I should never have a $90 loss on one single trade. The only way that should happen is if I let something go significantly past my stop loss and/or if I double down onto my losing position and the trade continues to go against me. As you can see, I generally lose $25 or less. The $90 is just a number that I know I should never be hitting and if I do then I did something drastically wrong where I couldn't stop myself and I have to rely on DAS. It is my safety net. 

For the amount of shares I take, I actually take half of what is shown in the volume chart of my trade log. The volume column contains both the entry and the exit. So the 500 shares of MU is actually only 250 shares bought and 250 shares sold. That is how tradervue compiles the chart. Your point still stands that 250 shares for $25 is a 10 cent move on MU which happens regularly. Sometimes its all you need to know you need to exit the trade and sometimes you get chopped up with 10 cents. 

I don't trade with the risk/reward as a % of my buying power. I trade with a fixed risk style. So with that APPL trade, I entered at $174.18. I would have stopped out above the 200SMA, lets say $174.38. I took 100 shares on the trade so I risked $20. My first two profit taking points were early, I took 14 cents and 13 cents. I sometimes take profit at 1/1 and sometimes I dont. This particular time, I took it less than 1/1 and I wasn't happy with the exits.  My next profit taking was $173.84 and then 173.83 which is a little short of 2/1. The final profit taking was at $173.64 which is near 3/1. The final exit at $173.71 was me chickening out of the trade. I ended with a 1.5/1 R/R on this trade. It wasn't the best trade by any means, but I want to give some clarification for why I took the trade and the risk that I am taking.

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As of now, I'm not focused on % of buying power. It maybe an issue down the line when I am taking larger share sizes because AAPL may be less attractive to me since I will be capped at around 500 shares for 100k buying power. And in that case this trade would have been $100 risk and $150 reward, but for now I am ok with the fixed risk method. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I took 100 shares on the trade so I risked $20.

Meaning you invested 17500 with a risk of 20. or you invested into a $175 stock with risking its max move to $174.80 or percentage wise 0.11%

That is just not realistic. If you want to risk only 20 you need to take only 11-20 shares. Otherwise you will always hit the stop just on the spread. Which is exactly what is happening to you. The chance you hit the trade and it goes only in your direction from the point you entered is just much much lower.

 

with 20 shares if it moves 1% from 175 to 173.25 you earn your $20

Edited by peterB
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March 7th 

P&L After Commissions:  $40

Trades: 4

Much better trading today. I switched my DAS layout so I only watch 3 stocks at a time vs 5 stocks that I used to be able to watch. I want to really focus on the stocks that I am watching vs getting overwhelmed trying to keep an eye on everything. The goal was to stick with just the 3 stocks that I picked out in the morning for at least 30 minutes. 

Overall I'm happy with the entries that I took, I just didn't do a great job capitalizing on the moves and taking enough profit. Every trade had a much higher MFE than actual P&L. All 4 trades I had to stop out at B/E or just past it. 

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$LLY - Traded LLY 3 times. First time I saw it pushing off the 20ema on the 5 min chart which coincides with $124. I felt that was a great spot to take it short. I covered a little too much on the first profit taking. I did 45 shares, could have done half that and covered more when it dropped. I only took 20 of my 100 shares at that point. The rest, I stopped out when it briefly popped up above VWAP. I entered the second time when it pushed off vwap and below the 50SMA. It looked like it was going to hold the 50 and I took it short there. IT dropped about 30 cents from my entry, but I didn't take any profit and stopped out on the squeeze. 

The final short on LLY was when it broke the 50SMA on the 1 min. Again dropped down 30 cents and I just sold a small portion of my shares. Rest at B/E. 

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$BA - Went for a reversal play on BA. Took it when it broke under the EMAs. Not the best entry. I was hoping for it to break the 50SMA. It broke under for a split second but couldn't hold. I stopped out at B/E. 1347017069_2019-03-1113_51_01-Photos.thumb.png.503fff97775d2d675b490735c13f54e7.png

Much happier today with my trading. I was more in control and limited myself to 4 trades on the day. Big improvement over previous days of trading. 

 

 

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it was not better trading. it was pure luck picking up crumbles.

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March 12th

P&L After Commissions:  $53

Trades: 5

Took 5 trades today. Had 2 winners with 3 losers but finished up $53 after commissions. I had two winners who moved about $1 each but the profit taking wasn't the best on them. I could have let more shares ride for a longer time period. I was too antsy with profit taking on both trades. 

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$MOMO Long - Took MOMO long on a VWAP break when it came back to retest VWAP. This was a bad trade. There wasn't any confirmation that the stock would hold VWAP I just assumed and wanted it to. It was not a great long and I got stopped out quickly. I took it again a second time a few minutes later when it broke through VWAP. A much better entry would have been a few candles later. I took my first profit after a 25 cent again and the second profit taking was supposed to be a $30 cent gain but I had a bad fill. I then started taking profits every minute or so. I need to let the trade ride out instead of being so aggressive with profit taking. There was no reason to take profits where I did. I also should have let the trade ride until it made a new 5 minute low. I exited near $37, just because it was a whole number. Decent entry, but profit taking can be a lot better.

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$MOMO Short - First attempt was when it broke between the moving averages and seemed to hold the 9ema for one candle. It popped up and I had to exit the trade. I entered a second time when the price action looked like it was going to drop back down. It looked like it couldn't hold $37.70 so I took it short there. I sold half my shares before it crossed the 50SMA and sold 25 more shares at $37 and the rest near VWAP. Again could have been a little better with the profit taking but happy with this trade. 

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