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Greg L's Trading Journal - Full Transparency 2019 Live

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Feb 1st

P&L After Commissions:  -$72

Trades: 20

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Shares - Das Stop Out

This journal entry is a little late. Was busy over the weekend. My trading on Friday wasn't bad but wasn't great. I took way too many trades, and didn't maximize the trades that I took. 

I plan to go over more about the overall day and feeling vs individual trades. It will be easier to cover the 20 trades. 

Yellow - I was very scared when I took these trades. I had a tough Max loss day the day before. I didn't wany many trades the day before, so I traded these very scared. As soon as I entered, I was ready to exit. Fear overcame me. 

Green - Here I forced myself to hold, but I started to hold too long. I took good-great trades. I just wanted a homerun in each of the trades. My goal is $120-$150, and I had plenty of opportunities to get there, I just wanted to get there with 1 or 2 winners instead of taking multiple winners chipping away towards my goal. There was only the one bad NVDA trade where I stopped out very poorly. I let that run a little too much and stopped out at the top. Everything else went my way and moved fairly decently. I just didn't take profits appropriately. As you can see many times, my position MAE went to $30+ but I ended the trade at break even or near break even. I need to do a better job of taking profit, and not expecting every stock to be a big winner.

Orange - Exited these trades very quickly. Nothing wrong with these trades. They weren't the best and weren't the worst. Got out when I didn't like the price action. 

Red - Again at the end the day, I just lost it. I considered stopping after the green trades and I was something like +$12 after commissions. Considering how I didn't really trade well, it wasn't the worse thing in the world to end green after commissions. I didn't have a lot of shares left so I decided to look at AMZN and TSLA. I tried to force a move when there wasn't one. I was at -$27 and I decided to use my last 24 shares on a TSLA trade that immediately went against me. I let it run against me and I had to exit at $72. +$12 would have been nice. --$27 would have been survivable. -$72 is disappointing and not how I want to start the month or go into the weekend. 

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$APHA - Fairly good move for APHA. Moved about 10 cents, but I didn't take too many shares for how low price the stock was. I didn't take any profits, because I figured it would break below VWAP. Sold near B/E. 

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$CRON - More quick on the profit taking here after losing out on APHA profits. Stopped out near B/E before the big move. Got a little scared. 

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$AAPL - Best move of the day. First reversal attempt was good. Moved about 40 cents, but I didn't take any profits on it. Took the Reversal a second time and as you can see took profits at about 20 cents and down to VWAP. 

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$NVDA - First entry wasn't great. I should have stopped out and I should have taken some profit when it did pop down. When I did stop out, I regretted it and re-entered. It popped on me and I decided to stop out if it broke $146. It broke and immediately came back down. Reentered a 3rd time for the reversal. I took profits, but I didn't do a great job. I held a lot of shares that I had to cover at break even. 

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AMZN - These trades were really bad. I took 10 shares, to try and keep my share count down. I need to change my mindset in this regard. 

What happens when I trade these higher price stocks, is that I get really pick with my limit orders. I don't market order out of a trade and I try to get a nice fill. Sometimes the stock will really go against me when I do this. I should just avoid trading high price stocks like this. 

The last trade is the one that really went against me. I only had 8 shares after covering 2. I accidentally added to my position near the top which was fortunate. I meant to actually exit the position there. A hotkey error working in my favor. Its better than going against me, but it doesn't feel good. 

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$TSLA - Fell apart on TSLA 

I took this first TSLA trade while I was in the AMZN trade that I was losing. I traded this one very poorly and I traded them together. I took 75 shares because I felt confident in the setup and I was right.  I just didn't exit or take profits because I wanted this trade to make profit and make up for the AMZN loss. I traded them together and when they both came down, TSLA came down faster than AMZN. Very poor trading to not trade it independently. 

For the second trade, I used my last 24 shares. So very small share size. Right away it went against me. I tried to get a nice limit order exit to minimize the loss. I couldn't get a fill. I let it run way too long and stopped out at the top. 

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Overall this was a ok day of trading. SHould have ended the day green. I dont need to trade my final shares. I do need to take proper profits.

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Feb 4th

P&L After Commissions:  -$62

Trades: 17

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Shares - Das Stop Out

I started off today very impulsively. I took a terrible terribly ORB on FB that jumped on me. I got out quickly, but it cost me. It was a bad trade to take from the start. It is very dissapointing,  because I have an alarm that goes off 2 minutes after the open that tells me to take perfect ORBS only. this wasn't a perfect ORB. After that I continued to trade impulsively and I didn't take profits when I had them. I took multiple break even losses until I took a break. After the break I traded much better. My P&L only came up about $50, but I was more rational and more calm. I took better trades and took profits.

Green is where I had winning trades that I did not do a good job with profit taking. I try to hit a home run on these trades, but sometimes I need to take my wins and move on. 

Blue is where I decided to take a break. The trades were much better after this point. The last two trades at the end, I tried to get back to B/E. 

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$FB - I took FB short since it seemed to be holding the PDC and the 200SMA was right above it. I didn't like it as soon as I entered. It wasn't a perfect ORB that I am supposed to take. 

I renetered when it held the 200SMA. Took a small profit at PDC and sold rest at slightly below B/E. I slightly panicked on this one since I was also in another trade at the same time. I didn't expect such a drastic move down. 

 

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$MU - Second trade on MU I didn't do a good job of taking profit. I took a small share size for MU so I wanted to let it run a little. I thought it would run more since it was below VWAP and all trend lines on the 1 min and 5. 

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Post Break Trading 

$SPY - Got Stopped out on the first entry. Reentered when I still thought it was weak. Didn't take great profits. I am at least happy that I decided to just sell all when it looked strong instead of waiting for it to pop back up to B/E. 

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$CELG - Very poorly trade. I took this as a VWAP bounce. It never broke VWAP so I shouldn't have exited. Scared out of this one. Only lost $5 on this trade, no reason to exit.

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$SQ - My favorite trade to take. The break of the 50SMA and retest. Wasn't super far from VWAP so profits were just ok. 

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$FB - Last trade of the day. Was considering entering at 11:26ish. Decided against it. Still thought it was a short 10 minutes later. Ok profit taking. Held the last 50 out of 100 shares too long. Really wanted it to break down to VWAP. I was trading my P&L at that point and trying to get closer to B/E. Exited this trade at B/E instead of when it started to show strength. 

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Started off the day very poorly. I was very impulsive with my trades and that isn't a good sign especially for trade 1. I was not in control emotionally. I did regroup when I took a break, but I should have done that earlier. My trades themselves were ok. I took a lot of trades, and I need to work on my selection. I did do a good job of keeping the trades small. Most of my B/E trades were on the small loss side instead of the small win side. I did keep the losers small, and the winners never really made super long runs. 

Need to work on my emotional control. The first trade of the day is crucial. The difference in trading between a red start and a green start is huge. I need to make sure if I take an ORB that I take one that is smart and makes sense. 

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 6:56 PM, Greg said:

Rom

Thank you so much for this post. I appreciate everything about it. Its not easy and its going to be a lot of hard work, but I know if we keep working at it, we will get better. 

I also have started to write down my rules/guidelines/tips before trading. I have an online journal that I write in and a notebook in front of me where I hand write the things I am trying to work on for the day. I feel this works great for a little, but I do need to reread them as the day goes on. 

Another thing that I'm working on is making sure I take A1 setups. I have found I need to reduce FOMO as much as possible. I stay out of the chatroom after open and I mute and don't watch Andrew. If I don't find my A1 setups or worse when I see one, but don't take it, I start to take just ok setups, or even hunches. I will sometimes take a stock because it "looks weak". One thing I am trying to do is be mindful of the time of the day and look only for specific strategies in those time periods. For instance in the first 15 minutes, be looking only for ORBs. Then for the next 45 min, look for VWAP moves, and after that look for VWAP moves and reversals. 

I also plan to start using hard stops. My biggest losses and worst days have mostly been because I have let a trade run past my stop loss. I will probably end up taking losses more often and slightly bigger smaller losses(if that makes any sense), but i need to make sure I don't have the big losses that just kill my day and my confidence. This right here is what I consider to my biggest problem at the moment. 

Thank you so much for the feedback on my trades. There were definitely some that have a clearer 2 min picture. I didn't take great trades or setups to begin with that day. I dont think any timeframe could have painted a picture that would make me feel good about those trades. I've definitely considered using the 2 min chart, but I haven't made the switch yet. I have tried it in the past. You are right that it does avoid some noise, but I also feel there can be some additional information in the 1 min. Still debating about what I'm going to use going forward. I think if I can stop out properly, then I should keep the 1 min, since it is the chart that I've been using for the past 10 months. 

My trading success is going to come down to my emotions and my risk management. If I can stop out, I believe I will be able to level up in my trading. 

I use Rocketbook for writing my daily rules/notes and upload them to my online Journal in Google Drive. It's pretty cool https://www.amazon.com/Rocketbook-Everlast-Reusable-Notebook-Executive/dp/B07CZDXVH5/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1549411256&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=rocket+book&psc=1 

FOMO is hard to overcome. Especially when you hear Andrew talking about trades. I used to mute the chat too. Now, I've learned to not really pay too much attention to the chat. I still have it on and I hear it, but I don't use it to trade. When I used to listen to the chatter, I would get FOMO and enter into bad trades. Now, I just ignore it for the most part. We should only take trades that look like like our predefined setups. I monitor a number of stocks at the open, and for the first 8 minutes I just look at the patterns as they are being formed. When I see one of them that is starting move in a way that it may turn into a good setup, then I focus my attention on that one stock and wait for the right entry price. The right entry is critical to a good trade. Once I am in I set my STOP range order. Sometimes, I end up overriding my order or updating depending on how the price is moving.

Yes, not honoring defined stop losses is a big issue for a lot of traders. Every time I went Hulk it was because I ignored my stops. Sometimes I even made it worse by averaging.  That is why it is so important to address this issue.

I totally understand your concern that with stop loses you you may take losses more often. The only way to address this is to set a rule to limit how many trades you take per day. I have a rule of maximum 2 trades per day.  Hard stop loses will not help you if you keep taking trade after trade. I absolutely recommend you set yourself a limit on how many trades you take.  You should also set a Max Loss per day limit int the DAS Account controls, there is a video in the education section that shows how to do this. At the very least set up a DAS alarm the will tell you when you have lost X number of dollars. X being your max loss per day that you have defined for yourself. My Max loss per day is 2% of my account equity and my max loss per trade is 1% of my account equity, that is why after two losing trades I am done for the day. The limit of 2 trades per day also helps me look harder for good setups. Since I only do two trades a day, I don't want to waste them in questionable trades.  

It took me a while to switch over to the 2 minute chart. I was so used to the 1 minute chart that the 2 minute seemed very strange and lacking data. Now, I feel the  opposite. I haven't used a 1 minute chart in 2 months. When I see one, like in your post, I have a hard time reading the signals because I am so used to the 2 minute chart.  

 

 

 

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Feb 4th

P&L After Commissions:  -$3

Trades: 13

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Shares - Das Stop Out

 

Still too many trades today, but I did feel better with my opening hour. I was patient and I waited for decent setups. I had 2 bad trades that pretty much wiped away the day. I was better at taking profit and having small winners. Not a lot of exciting trades today for me. 

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$FB - Tried the reversal to VWAP on FB 3  times. The first one broke down a little in my favor. I should have taken some profits, then my mental stop would have been break even. I didn't take profit there and it got to my entry and I let it go to my original stop. I just didn't stop out. I let it keep going even though it broke my trade idea. This was a very bad trade on my part. I broke my stop loss and took a much bigger loss than I should have.

Entered again a few minutes later when it was showing more weakness. Took profits quickly and mostly at the 50sma.

I really like my entry on the 3rd trade. These are the trades that I like to take. My stop is break and hold of the 50SMA. It did that and stopped out. I considered re entering but didn't want to enter the trade a 4th time. 

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$TSLA - This was the worst trade of the day. I was looking for a big play and it didn't work out for me. It wasn't even a good setup, I was just looking for a trade with this one. Not proud of this one at all. This was a gamble and no reason to be in this. 

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$AAPL - The only really good trade of the day. Got a great entry. Added to my position when it pulled back. A little risky, but it worked out. I held for about 45 minutes until it broke VWAP and hit the 50SMA on the 5 min.  Good patience on this one. Need more of these. 

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Overall, not my best day, not my worst. I was happy with how I traded in the morning. I was pretty patient and I didn't force anything in the morning. I took profits quickly. Just the two bad trades on FB and TSLA ruined my day. 

 

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Feb 6th

P&L After Commissions:  -$146

Trades: 15

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Loss - Das Stop Out

Another Very bad day for me. I traded today very poorly. I didn't sleep well and the baby was fussing throughout the morning. No excuses, I just need to know when not to trade. 

From the beginning, I traded terribly. I didn't take good setups and I took trades based on feelings. I won 2 out of 15 trades. I wasn't focused and I clearly didn't have it today. I exited (lost) most of my trades very quickly. The first 5 trades I was in for less than a 1 minute each. They never even went my way. I was throwing money away,.  I had one decent trade with CGC. The rest of the time I was trying to force a trade on FB. 

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$MU - First trade was a gamble reversal. It wasn't going to reverse there and looking at now, there was absolutely no reason to take it. Second trade I thought was going to break under VWAP since it broke the 50SMA and there wasn't any nearby support. 

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$ATVI - Got Chopped up on this one. Went short, stopped. Then went long and stopped. Didn't want to short one more time after that. 

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$CGC - The only decent trade of the day. Hopped in on the pullback. Figured it was a good place to enter, whole dollar and 20ema on the 1 min. Took profits quickly, because I was on quite a losing streak. Missed out on potential profits. 

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$FB -  I really tried to force a trade on FB. I thought if it broke under $170 it would break down and continue falling. It never did that, I tried multiple times. Broke even on most of the trades, just had one bad loss where it popped on me. Shouldn't have tried so hard to make something happen here. 

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$ZEN - My last trade of the day, I knew i was nearing my DAS stop out limit. I should have quit a while ago. I felt this was a good trade. I rushed the entry a little, but I didn't want to miss it. The long wick literally lasted 2 seconds and stopped me out. Das would have stopped me out on the next two candles regardless. 

I might have stopped out myself as well. I would have definitely reentered at $74.15ish. Would have exited fully at $73.4. 

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I'm obviously doing something wrong. Going to have to change things up. I always tell myself in the morning to be selective and wait for the A1 setups, but as soon as the bell rings, I go and trade however I want. I need to make sure that I am selective and that is the goal for tomorrow. I wait for and take my A1 setups. I am nearing a point where I have to start limiting the amount of trades that I take. It might be a good idea already, but I'm going to try one more time to see if I can take the right setups. I dont need to take everything that looks weak. I can wait for the right opportunities and utilize the 1 min, 2min and 5 min charts. 

One thing I've noticed that I'm doing is that I am going out and looking for a trade.  I can watch 5 stocks at a time. I have 4 on my 2 extra monitors and 1 on my laptop. For the chart on my laptop, I am constantly scrolling between my non favorite watchlist stocks as well as the usual suspects (MU, AMD, FB, AAPL). My goal for tomorrow will be to keep my watchlist stocks open and not flip through my laptop screen constantly. I need to watch and understand the stocks instead of flipping to something that looks ok and taking a trade just to trade. Many days I may only make 1 or 2 watchlist stocks and the rest will be AAPL and FB. 

No Fomo - I need to keep my FOMO in check. There are going to be hundreds of trades that I miss each day. I don't need to catch everything. Other people in chat will catch nice multi dollar winning trades and that is ok. Andrew will make $1000+ and that is ok. I need to trade to my abilities and with my strategies. 

Finally, I need to start taking stocks long. The market has been strong since Jan. I can't just short everything and anything. There are a lot of long plays out there that I need to take advantage of. I need to evaluate each stock individually and determine if the setup is right and if the stock is long or short. 

 

Things I need to work on tomorrow 

Wait patiently for A1 setups

Watch the watchlist stocks 

Don't be afraid to take long trades. They are out there! 

Control My Emotions - No Fomo

 

 

 

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Greg,

Thanks for sharing your journey,  hard as it may be. One of Andrew's advise is: if you are having a bad streak, you should consider switching to simulator for a while. You can use SIM to hone in the skills to find of the A1setups or other issues that you need to address. If you do switch to SIM, make sure you treat it the same as a real account. Stick to the same rules and don't just pick any trade because there is no real money on the table. 

BTW, I had a losing day today.  I've got chopped on two trades hitting my max loss for the day. I made my journal for the day and thought I was done. The FOMO kicked in when I saw what seemed good opportunities. I broke a couple of my rules and traded again and loss some more. I was on a 7 day winning streak, until today. I blew it. I can only blame myself for not sticking to the rules. I should have just walked away with a normal max day loss, instead of twice that :(

 

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19 hours ago, rom30 said:

Greg,

Thanks for sharing your journey,  hard as it may be. One of Andrew's advise is: if you are having a bad streak, you should consider switching to simulator for a while. You can use SIM to hone in the skills to find of the A1setups or other issues that you need to address. If you do switch to SIM, make sure you treat it the same as a real account. Stick to the same rules and don't just pick any trade because there is no real money on the table. 

BTW, I had a losing day today.  I've got chopped on two trades hitting my max loss for the day. I made my journal for the day and thought I was done. The FOMO kicked in when I saw what seemed good opportunities. I broke a couple of my rules and traded again and loss some more. I was on a 7 day winning streak, until today. I blew it. I can only blame myself for not sticking to the rules. I should have just walked away with a normal max day loss, instead of twice that 😞

 

Rom, Sorry to hear that. 

FOMO is the hardest problem to beat. 

My goal for today was to trade 6 times or less. I, of course, used all 6 of my trades. I was super selective, compared to previous days. I am proud of myself for holding to the 6 trade rule I implemented.  I was more selective with my opportunities, but I fomo'd into one trade at the end with too large of a size because I missed out on some other trade opportunities that I saw and I should have taken. I missed my A1 setup and I took a simliar set up on GRUB, even though I have had not good experiences with SSR. That one trade ruined my day P&L wise. Overall,  I consider it a win, emotionally. I was in control the whole day thats what I need to fix at the moment. 

I am considering going back to Sim for some time, I'm going to give it a few more days. It hurts to keep losing money, but I feel much better with my max loss today than compared to my max loss yesterday. I hesitated on my setups today, but overtrading was under control. I consider it a significant improvement. 

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Feb 7th

P&L After Commissions:  -$116

Trades: 6

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Loss - Das Stop Out

My P&L wasn't great today, but I am much happier with some of the improvements that I made to my trading. I set out today to trade 6 times or less. I traded 6 times, on the 6th trade I got stopped out for Max Loss, but I would have stopped trading regardless. 

I did make some mistakes and I did miss some of what I would consider easy A1 Setups. 

A couple of goals I wanted to achieve for today

6 Trades or Less✅

I traded 6 times or less and I did stick to the watchlist. Pre trading I added FB to my watchlist. 

No FOMO❌

I avoided FOMO for the most part, I missed out on the STI move, I didn't let it affect me. I did miss a move on EA later that I was trying to be too penny perfect on. The move did exactly what I thought it would and was an A1 setup for me. Regret that one a little. 

Take Only A1 Setups ❌

I might have jumped the gun a little bit on a few of my trades. The setups weren't perfect. Setups were much better today than in the previous days. 

Stick to the Watchlist Stocks for at least 30 minutes✅

I watched and waited with the charts I put up premarket. I didn't flip around looking for a stock to trade. 

I went for 1/6 on my actual trade. Two big losses at the end of the day that really hurt me. 

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$STI - Got chopped out. Went short on STI for a VWAP break. I accidently added to my position on the second trade. I was working on setting a limit order and must have misclicked to double my position there. I took 50% of the new position off for a small gain, but I still thought the stock was weak, so I held the rest. It popped up below VWAP, so I exited. I think it was partially due to having a greater risk size than I originally intended. It then looked like a long to me so I swapped my position. This was was impulsive, but If it would reject vwap and be above trend lines, I figured the risk was there. It ended up coming down on me right away. I didn't want to swap positions once again, so I let it go. 

I had a limit order set at $65, but took it off, thinking that it would just be a gamble entry if I took it, even though the 20ema on 1 min and 5 min is there. The trade idea on that was right,  I didn't want to use 3 of my 6 trades on was stock. 

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$FB - My best trade of the day. It broke under the 200 on the 5 and the 1. Price action also indicated weakness. Felt it was a safe bet to VWAP. Did pretty good with profit taking. Stock moved 66 cents, I captured $51 profit on 100 shares. I did a good job waiting for the first profit taking point. I held 20 shares for the break of $168, but chickened out and just closed my position on the trade. The R/R for me on that didn't feel worth it. 

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$CMG - I might have FOMO into this trade a little. It made a big move from VWAP, I wanted to take it short for the reversal. I love my entry on the 1 min, but I knew the 5 min was holding. I figured if it could break the 9ema on the 5 it could go. My stop was a break and hold above the 200SMA on the 1min. The trade didn't work out, and I probably shouldn't have been a trade with such a big spread. I went very small share size, I am happy with my stop out. 

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$NXPI - Took this short as a trend trade and it seemed to be holding below a previous day mark and $90. Again, it was holding on the 5, I was thinking it could break down and go to VWAP. It popped up above the Previous day mark and I hesistated on the exit. I easily could have exited this trade for a $7 loss or so. I let it keep going up until it broke the 50SMA. This definitely wasn't the best entry, and my big mistake was not stopping out. I took it thinking it would hold $90 and previous day. When it broke that, it was time to go. 

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$GRUB - This trade was a risk management error. I was watching this stock all day, I knew it could move. I shouldn't have taken 100 shares on this trade. I was blinded by the prospects of reversing to VWAP for a multi dollar move. I tried for a while to get an entry on this. I had my limit orders set, but it never reached. The stock dropped some and I lowered my entry to where I got it. I don't mind the entry, but I took too large of a share size. It popped on me, and DAS stopped me out. I froze on the stop out here, so this on me. This means I took too much risk and wasn't ready to accept the loss. I also don't like trading SSR, I've never had good experiences with it. I'm going to avoid them going forward. It was always a general guidelinefor me to avoid SSR, but now its a rule for me. 

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Overall I am very happy that I did not overtrade today. I went in with the plan to take 6 or less trades and I achieved that. I missed out on a couple of easy trades that I saw, but I am learning to accept that. I need to do just a little bit better on trade selection. I also need to keep my risk management very tight even later in the day. That was a slip up on my part today. 

Edited by Greg

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6 Trade Limit

From here on out, starting today. I am implementing a 6 trade limit. If you have seen any of my daily posts, you will know that I trade a lot. I have an overtrading problem. I have no problem jumping into a trade. I've had this problem from Day 1, and I never really got rid of it, except for a a few short weeks in October. Otherwise, I average about 15 trades a day since I went live in October. 

In October 2018, I had a 6 trade daily limit, and I actually stuck to my rules during that time period. When I first started in sim I would enter in and out of trades with very little hesitation ( a good thing for exiting, a bad thing for entering). I took a lot of trades, but the losses were small. I never broke stop loss and I never doubled down. I knew that I had no limits and I could easily get back into the trade. 

When I imposed the 6 trade limit, everything was fine for a week or so, until one trade where I didn't stop out because I knew I had a limited amount of trades. I didn't want to exit that trade and lose one of my trades for the day. (Terrible Mindset) I broke stop loss and I took a big loss on the trade. Shortly after, I started to break my stop loss more and more often. I never had this problem until I had the 6 trade limit. I started to break my stop loss and even worse I started to double down on my trades. Now I was breaking stop loss almost daily and doubling down on top of that. I took some big losses, which led me to remove the 6 trade limit. I thought if I didn't have the pressure of making every trade count, that I could easily exit a trade when it was time. 

It didn't help, I kept the bad habit, and I still occasionally have the bad habit of not stopping out when something drastically goes against me. I no longer double down, Das Risk Controls have helped me with that. I am also getting better at not breaking my stop loss, but I still have work to do. 

So as of yesterday, I don't really double down anymore, I do occasionally break stop loss, and I do overtrade. I have no interest in double down anymore and I don't see that being a problem in the future. I set up my Das Max trade loss to $80 with auto stop out. So If i double down on a trade, unless I time it perfectly, it will just get me closer to the $80 max stop. So there is no more incentive to double down. 

In order to address my overtrading problem, I am going back to a 6 trade daily limit. I had a lot of success with this, the first time around,  I just created additional problems with it. I will be bringing the trade limit back and using this coin system that I created to help me with it. 

Every morning, I give myself 6 Golden Coins that represent trades. Everytime I take a trade, I have to deposit one of the coins into the box. When I am out of coins, I can no longer trade. I am down for the day, no matter what the time, and I shut it down. This put a more tangible feeling to my trades. I'm literally holding trades in my hand. And I'm always thinking "Do I want to spend a coin on this trade?". I have become more selective when I use the coins, and I do a pretty good job of only taking 1 or 2 trades per time period/strategy. I have used all my coins in the first 30-45 minutes before and I had to let other solid VWAP/Reversal moves go without me. Now, when I use the coins, I keep in mind that I want to save some for later on in the day, and generally take 1 or 2 each of ORBs, VWAP moves, Reversals. 

I have had great success using this method to cut down the number of trades that I take. Other problems have arisen that I am working on, but it is imperative that I cut down my trades and this will be the method that I use to do it. I am forced to be patient with my trades and my setups. 

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Feb  8th

P&L After Commissions:  -$1

Trades: 7

Did I Walk Away On My Own: Yes

Another day of mediocre trading.  I wish I wrote this post before trading today on Monday the 11th. I made many of the same mistakes today that I did last friday. I dug myself into a hole and I was trying to get back to break even for day. That became the goal after about 4 or 5 trades. 

I did take 7 trades today. I took two trades back to back on SKX. I count that as 1 trade because I am taking the same strategy that I took on the first one after getting stopped out. 

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$SKX I started off fairly good with SKX, I took an ORB that went my way. I just didn't take a lot of profit. That is a problem that happens with me a lot. Hard to determine if I stock will move in one direction or trend especially when things move so fast in the open. I took some profit, but not nearly enough. Stopped out at worst than break even. Stop was break of the MA. Even though it passed my break even point, I let it go because I took it right at the moving average and I needed to see if it could break it.  

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$CRON - Entered CRon on a pullback. Ther was both the 200 and 50SMA acting as resistance so I decided to enter short here. It came down no problem and I saw the support on the 5 min. Exited the position before it got back to my B/E. Should have exited more when it was clear that it was going to ahve a hard time breaking below $20.85ish. 

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$AAPL - This is the type of trade that is hurting me. I need to fix these. I entered here thinking it would hold VWAP and if it didn't there was a lot of resistance right above it. IT popped through no problem and I had to exit. I thought about entering long here, but I didn't. I need to stop taking a stock right at VWAP without enough confirmation. I just picked a direction and lost. 

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$SKX - These are my two trades on SKX that I count only as 1. I took it short because I thought it would hold the 200SMA. I had a hard stop and I stopped out. The stock came back down below the 200 and I thought it was weak again. Took it short and had to stop out again for the second time. I count these as 1 trade, because I dont want to hesistate on reentering if something looks right to me because of my trade limit. I only allow myself to reenter a trade once per day. Ideally, I dont reenter any trades. 

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$NFLX - The trade of the day. The one that got me back to break even. In the past, I have looked at NFLX, NVDA, and TSLA just to get a big movement out of a smaller entry size. This time, I took an appropriate entry size on NFLX, I am really proud of myself for not taking a larger size just because it was my last trade of the day. 

These are my absolute favorite entries. The stock breaks the 50SMA and both EMAs also cross. I feel it is a very safe entry when it comes back to the 50SMA, and that is where I took it here. The stop is usually above the 50SMA, but in this case above the PDC. Reward is VWAP. I exited my shares at VWAP and I'm ok with missing the rest of the move. Proud of myself on the entry, the profits, and holding through the pullback. 

 

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This was a great day to get me into the weekend. I didn't make any money today, but I am happy with how I traded and that is what I am focusing on right now. 

 

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Feb 11th

P&L After Commissions:  -$39

Trades: 9

Did I Walk Away On My Own: Yes

It seems I am taking the same journey every single day. I fall into a hole early. I take some gamble trades mid day, and I try to earn it all back with a reversal. I need to make a change. I lost my first 6 trades of the day today. I broke my trade limit, and I'm not happy about it. I realize that one of the things I'm doing wrong is that I am taking trades that have good R/Rs, but they are not good setups. I am not waiting for confirmation, but instead entering because the R/R in my head is good. I've been also setting limit orders, so I'll set the limit order to where I feel is a very desireable entry, but sometimes when my order fills the stock just keeps going in the direction against me. So I'll often have to exit stocks after a minute or even less. I need to be willing to take a market order if i I like the trade. 

I traded my P&L on the last trade of the day. I should have exited with about a $65 profit, but really wanted to break even. 

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$TSLA - I really need to avoid taking these higher priced stocks early in the morning. The spread is insane, and you are forced to take limit orders. I feel my entry was ok, the stock just wasn't a short and couldn't break below the MAs. I wanted a slightly better exit, but was forced to exit where I did because I needed to put a limit order in. 

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$AAPL - This was a really bad trade on my part. It was about 30 minutes after my TSLA trade and I was really looking for something to trade. That was my first mistake. I  took a guess on a trade. This was a gamble, I shouldn't have entered even the first time. I thought it was going to hold PDC, it didnt. I had a very poor stop out at the half dollar. I should have at least let it hit 51 cents. The stock then came down and I was frustrated because it wasn't a great entry, and I could have gotten out at B/E or even made a profit. It popped back up above PDC and I revenge traded it. I took it short, but I am happy that I did get out for a small loss. In my head and in my notebook that I keep during trading, I counted this as one trade. I have the rule where I can re-enter a trade and it doesn't count as an additional one. This was a revenge trade, so I am counting it as one of my trades. 

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$BABA - I got scared out of this one. Plain and simple. I was scared of taking another loss and I didn't want to take a huge loss. It couldn't break VWAP for the past 20 minutes, but for whatever reason I got scared when the stock went to test VWAP and I got out when it came back down to a reasonable stop loss. I missed on a massive move and I can only blame myself. I should have let it break VWAP to get out. I only lost $10 on this trade and that is more than reasonable and a $20 loss would have been fine as well. 

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$NVDA - This is my perfect reversal. I usually find at least one of these a days. A stock breaks the 50SMA and the EMAs crossover. I take on the retest of the 50SMA. Target is VWAP and I usually exit most if not all at that point. In this case, I didn't exit enough, I was watching my P&L. I was $80 down at one point and that this trade (My first win of the day) got me to about $15 down.  I didn't trade it how I wanted to trade it because I was more focused on breaking even than trading this well. I did take a larger share size than I normally would on NVDA, but with these setups, I am confident in them and the R/R is pretty good. At this point in the day, the stocks don't move drastically and I should be able to secure a safe exit if the stock goes against me. 

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Last two trades went my way, but I didn't take a lot of profit. Was hoping for a bigger move which might have been just a wish with how choppy everything was moving. I ended up making $3 after commissions on those two trades. Wasn't worth breaking my trade limit for $3. 

 

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Feb 12th

P&L After Commissions:  -$36

Trades: 6

Did I Walk Away On My Own: Yes

I almost didn't trade today. I had a hard time putting the baby back to sleep last night. I finally fell back asleep around 5am pst, and I decided to not trade for the day. I woke up around 7 and felt there was still enough time to view the markets without pressuring myself to trade immediately. I decided to go ahead and trade. I wanted to see how it would be if I didn't trade the open. I often fall into a hole, so I felt this was a good experiment since I missed the open. 

I got to trade strategies that I was more comfortable with and the moves were slower which I also liked. 

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$EA - EA got me twice today. I chickened out of the first trade. It was a classic reversal, but the price action scared me. The fear of a small loss forced me to exit at B/E even though there was no technical reason. I saw a few candles in a row pushing down. It gave me the perfect entry that I was looking for, but also scared me out because it was so close to breaking under the 50SMA. I should have set a hard stop on the trade. I think i would have felt more holding at that point.

The second $EA trade, I held too long. I wanted to catch one of the long hour moves that moves $2 that you sometimes see. I got a great entry and I liked the trade a lot. It came down almost $1, but I didn't take any profits. I was hoping to hit limits at $101 and $100. Those never ended up hitting. It had a pretty good squeeze and I held til my break even. I could have exited earlier during the squeeze, but at that point I was emotional. The rational thinking should be that the stock would continue upwards so I should get out. I was thinking in dollars. I was thinking, If I exit here, I would only make $5ish or so, so I might as well hold to VWAP and see what happens. 

Great entries on both of these trades, but for 2 different reasons, I didn't make money.

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$LULU - LULU gave me the perfect reversal entry that I am looking for. Breaks the 50SMA, and the moving averages cross under as well. I take it when it retest. Tight stop above the 50SMA. It came down my way to a level where it bounced a few minutes prior. I wasn't too worried and hoping that it would continue down. It didn't and started to come back to my entry. Volume was drying up as well. I didn't like the stock at that point and decided to exit at break even. 

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$ROKU - This one is the one that hurt the most. I saw that it broke under the 50SMA and then came back above it. The moving averages didn't go under yet at that point, so I figured it would be a good entry long. The stock did move up my way and made a big drop down to my break even. I decided to hold and it continued dropping. I stopped when it was clear it wasn't coming back and broke the low from 10 minutes ago. 

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So a rather slow day with small losses except from ROKU which was an average sized loss. I missed a few moves that would have made my day, but I am ok with that. 

A couple of things that I am still trying to figure out about myself and my trading is what exactly am I trying to do. Am I going to take profits quickly and take a few winning trades to hit my goal. Or am I the guy whos going to hold for an hour+ and let one trade do all of the heavy lifting. 

I am still thinking about my second EA trade. I realize that I messed up on both, but the second one hurts more.  I am coming to the conclusion that exiting a trade early hurts less than holding onto a winner too long where the winner becomes a break even trade or a loser.  If i took profits appropriately, I would have a had a slightly green day and that would have been great for me and my confidence. I'm on bit of a losing streak here, and a green day could help spur more green days. 

 

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Feb 13th 

P&L After Commissions:  -$141

Trades: 7

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Daily Max Loss - Das Stop Out

One stupid trade. One stupid mistake. I was trading just fine and I dont know what happened to me. I have my laptop and 2 monitors with two trades each. I was winning an AAPL trade on my right monitor, and for whatever reason I quickly glanced to my left monitor and took a short on TWLO and instantly got squeezed. I dont know what I was doing. I barely analyzed it. I just hopped in and hopped in for too big of a share size. It was a dumb play. 

Andrew says the 3 legs of a stool that make a good trader are proper technical trading, emotional stability, and risk management. I failed on the risk management part today and the stool collapsed on me. I took almost double the size I should have on a whim. I then fell apart emotionally. 

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My first two trades of the day were break even trades. I narrowly avoided a short squeeze on FB, so I am proud of myself for that move. 

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$AAPL & $TWLO - My third trade $AAPL was a winner. I didn't get a perfect entry, but I held through a small pullback and the trade moved well enough where It was a winner. The problem is that I took another trade while I was in the $AAPL trade. I hate to admit it, but I don't know what happened. It all happened so fast. I was watching AAPL on my right monitor, and for whatever reason I hopped into TWLO on my left monitor. I thought it was going to be a failed reversal since it broke under the 200SMA. It was not a good trade, I need a stock  like that to test VWAP once more before I can short it. It wasn't the right time to get in. Instinctually, I just got in. I didn't think, I took a large share size, and I watched it for about 5 seconds before hopping in. I just did it, without thinking. It instantly squeezed on me and so did AAPL. I later checked that SPY and most other stocks also had a huge green candle at that time. 

It moved so quickly on TWLO and I wasn't ready for it. I was watching TWLO on my left screen and I wanted to move it to my right screen so I can watch both AAPL and TWLO at the same time without turning my head. While I was doing that, TWLO popped and so did AAPL. I panicked, I wasn't ready to exit with my hotkey or hitting the button. TWLO kept going so I was forced to SHFT + ESC out of both trades.  I took a huge loss on TWLO, Das would have stopped me out for my max trade loss if I didn't get out when I did, and I missed my break even stop on AAPL so profits there were taken away.  In less than a minute, I went from a winning trade that turned me slightly green for the day into a near max loss. 

AAPL was a fine trade. $TWLO there is no excuse, I broke my rules. I shouldn't be in two trades at the same time. I shouldn't take failed reversal attempts. I looked at my records, and it is never worth it. And I took way too large of a share size. 

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$EA - After a trade like TWLO, I should be calling it a day or at the very least taking a 30 min break. Probably should have ended the day right there, I was not in the right emotional state. I instead took one lap around the house and set out to get my money back. I went in with $EA, traded it 3 times and lost all 3. The last trade I was so near my max daily loss that DAS instantly stopped me out. You can see that I was in the trade for literally 1 second. 

It was emotional trading and I traded terribly. I wanted the big move. In my mind, I knew I had the DAS limit nearby and I traded with the mindset that I'm either going to get stopped out for the day or I'm going to break even or beyond. I was risky and careless. And as expected, I paid the price. 

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A Day so bad you gotta journal twice. 

One thing that I noticed today is that I missed out on 3 wining trades because I set limits that I either pulled or were a penny off and didn't fill.  I've had this problem for a while, and I usually have one or two trades a day, where I actually have my limit set, and it doesn't fill or I take it off. I get real close, but I miss out on the trade.  I'm not sure why or when, but it must have been a few months ago where I just started doing limit orders and then I gradually switched all my entries to limit orders. Today it happened 3 times and each one would have been a day maker. I would have been done with the day if I got in any of those trades. Today I missed out on multiple $100 trades because I was trying to maximize $1 or $2 on the entry. That is a bad Risk/Reward! 

I am showing some of my missed limit orders for the day. I didn't have any limit orders today that I cancelled before it hit and would have lost on. I tried my best to place my pointer on the right price to show where the limit was set, but the gray line is very faint. 

$EXEL - I had a limit set for $22.95 and pulled it fairly quickly. The stock did touch $22.95, but I am usually last to get filled anyways, so there was a chance I wouldn't have gotten in this trade even if i didn't cancel the limit. And after I cancelled I placed a higher limit that didn't come close to filling. This was a killer as I took a lot of shares and it moved almost $1.50. My stop was a few cents above $23, so the R/R was probably 10/1 or even greater. 

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$CRON - I had every opportunity in the world with CRON. It floated in the .96 to .98 range and I just didn't take it. I was in, then I cancelled, in then I cancelled, and in then I cancelled. I was so hesitant on this trade. Would have been a nice 30 cent move. 

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$ATVI - Missed this one by literally a penny. It was an easy short for me. I would have sold most at VWAP for a 50 cent gain. 

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3 Times today, I missed out on winning trades because I was trying to penny pinch. I try too hard sometimes to be penny perfect on my entries. The funny thing is, I am so relaxed about it on my exits. For instance if VWAP is at $44.10 for ATVI, I would sell anywhere near VWAP. I dont need it to hit VWAP. I don't care about the pennies on the exit, just on the entry. 

I've had this problem for a while. I usually miss out on at least one trade a day because of this bad habit. 

A couple of questions arise because of this, 

1. Should I be market ordering on all my trades?

2. Do I feel so confident in a trade sometimes, that I try to even be perfect to the penny in order to maximize gain?

3. Am I scared of winning? 

 

1. Should I be market ordering on all my trades?

I dont know when I made the transition to limit orders, but there was a point a little while back where I felt the same way that I do now. I am missing good trades because I am not taking market orders. Any one of those trades that I missed on today, if I took them, I would have had a +$100 day instead of a -$141 day. I think I need to start taking market orders on trades with reasonable spreads. If I were to trade TSLA or NFLX then a limit is necessary, but otherwise I dont need to penny perfect. Take the market order! 

2. Do I feel so confident in a trade sometimes, that I try to even be perfect to the penny in order to maximize gain?

This happens to me often. Obviously if the trade goes against me, I will get filled along the way, but it seems that I try too hard on these winning trades. I think I know when I see a winner, and I want the perfect fill to go along with it. I need not to be scared of the market order. If I like a trade so much that I am trying to get a perfect fill, then that means, I just need to get in on that trade. The those few dollars extra I would lose on a loss, do not outweigh the missed gains. In many of these cases, they are winning trades. 

3. Am I scared of winning? 

The biggest question of them all. Am I scared of winning? As dumb as it sounds, it is a serious question that I must answer. I have been trading very poorly lately, and everyday I wonder, why did I barely miss my limit order fill on a big winner, but I had no problem taking a loser that wasn't a clear cut setup. From what I am reading, the answer maybe that I am fearful that I may not be able to replicate success tomorrow. I can take a winning trade today, but if I don't do it tomorrow, am I telling myself that the winning trade was a fluke. Is that what I am scared of? 

I play quarterback for a flag football team 2 times a week. I think we are far and away the most athletic team on the field, but we don't always win. I've thought the same there, am I scared of winning? Is is always easier to be the hunter than the hunted. It is easy to have a goal to be #1, but harder to achieve the top spot and hold out while everyone else is gunning for you. The target is on your back, is that something that I am scared of? Do I not want the pressure of being the best, of always having the pressure to perform.

Is that what is holding me back here? Obviously there are a lot of things that I need to work on, but am I afraid of taking the next step and then having to always trade at this leveled up stage. If I have some success for a few weeks and then go on a losing streak, am I scared that it was all a fluke and I didn't deserve my success? 

I guess the second lesson that I am going to try and get today is that I need to develop a winning mindset. I want to do well and I want to succeed, but is the fear of pressure of constantly performing holding me back? 

 

I did say full transparency...

I've actually had a real rough start to the 2019 year. I've posted all of my trading says since I started this journal here. You will probably notice that I have a lot of losing days. It hasn't been pretty. It may be time to get back into sim, there is no shame in that, but is something that I am trying to avoid. I feel like a day in Sim is a day I can't make money, but looking at my numbers, I might need to see it as a day as not losing money. 

Two winning days in February. Both were probably break even or near it after commissions. I am not trading well. I think we can all agree on that. 

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I started my 6 trade lifestyle change on 2/7. Its been 5 days and I broke the rule 3 times already, still much better than before. A couple of things have happened with how I approached trading since that day. The benefits are that I am more selective with my trades, and I pay less in commissions. One of the side effects is that my win % has gone down significantly.  My trading volume has gone down. You can see where I was trading freely, then trading with a 4000 share limit, and then trading with a 6 trade limit. 

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I have won 7 out of 35 trades with one break even trade. 20%. Right away that looks terrible, but I think it can be corrected.  I see a minimum of 5 trades that went enough in my direction that I should have taken profit and stopped at B/E. You could even make the case for a few more that could also fit this category. I also see about 4-5 more that have minimal losses -$5.  These trades I am ok with. They are part of the game. 

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The issue seems to be that I am trying to make every trade count as I should, but I am also trying to make every trade be that big winner. I'm not settling for the $20 gain or taking enough profit when the stock moves my way. I need to adjust my mindset so I accept a winning trade as a winning trade. I don't need to force my ideals of what I want on to the trade and instead I need to take what the trade gives me. I need to be ok and very happy taking a $40 win. 

I am also avoiding trades where the reward would equal $30-$40. Those are good trades and I need to take those. Winning trades are winning trades. I don't have to always have a preset reward of $100 plus in the trade. Or take a trade just because it is far from VWAP or the next level. If I see a trade that will move and I am confident I should be taking it. Don't pass up on it, hoping for a riskier $100 trade later on. 

The second issue with my trade selection seems to be that I am not waiting for confirmation, I am trying to increase reward, while also decreasing my edge. There have been times where I have taken a trade right at VWAP before it is signaled its direction and given confirmation. I impart my biases on the trade at VWAP or a significant level and hope the trade does what i want it do. I don't need to be controlling the trade and trying to make it do what I want. 

 

TLDR 

Take Market Orders - $1 isn't worth missing out on $100. 

Keep the winners as winners - Small winners are better than small losers. 

Wait for confirmation on trades - Don't need to be forcing out the directions, just go along for the ride. 

Be ok with winning

 

 

 

 

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Feb 14th

P&L After Commissions:  -$136

Trades: 12

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Daily Loss - Das Stop Out

I traded terribly today. I was emotional from the start. I can't help but get emotional when I feel like I make all the wrong moves. 

 

I'm stubborn, but I'm not that stubborn. I am going to be going back to sim for at least the rest of the month. I probably should have done it a while ago, but I am doing it now. There are many mistakes that I am making with my trading, and I need to fix these mistakes without worrying about my P&L. I am too P&L focused right now. Time to get back to the basics and work on fundamentals. I will make a second post with what I am trying to do in sim. 

I traded impulsively from the beginning today. I took a quick loss on an ORB and that opened the floodgates. I didn't respect the 6 trade limit and I didn't take setups. I took any trade that I could find. I fed my emotions today. 13 trades in about 1 hour. Disgusting stuff. 

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$CGC - I dug myself into a whole from the start. I took an ORB that was a little risky. Dropped on me right away. I tried to hold and find a decent exit, that was a mistake. It kept pushing down and I felt like I had to exit. It was a $46 loss which is on the larger side for me. As soon as I got out of the trade, the stock came back to my B/E. I was pissed about my exit, and then pissed that if I could have just held on for a few seconds more, I wouldn't have lost any money. It wasn't a great trade, so I didn't deserve to be at B/E on this type of trade, but my emotions were already getting riled up. Took a bad trade and a bad exit. 
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$NTAP - This brings me back to my question of "Am I scared of winning?" I had a winning trade. I had a great entry. It never went against me. Instead of sitting in this trade, I exit for a $0.45 loss! What am I doing. I held through extra losses in CGC, but here I couldn't even let it go against me by a few pennies. The stock moves up $2 after I exit. I wouldn't have captured all of it, but it was the move that I wanted. 

 

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$CSCO - I am actually ok with this trade. It wasn't perfect, and I did take maybe too large of a share size and missed my stop by a few cents, but I am ok with the entry. ORB up, came back down to VWAP and pushed off and above the 200SMA. I felt the 200SMA  on the 1 min and 5 min would have been a good entry. It came down below the 200, and I missed my exit by a few cents. Its always hard for me to exit a trade the same minute that I get into it, but it didn't look good right away. 

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$FB & $AAPL - My two winners of the day, I'm going to lump them together here. I liked the AAPL trade more than FB. I waited for confirmation and I am proud of that. FB was a little impulsive but the trade worked out. If I wasn't so scared, I could have done better profit taking on AAPL.  

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$FB - After my first successful FB trade, I tried 4 more times to catch the same move. I wanted the move, the stock didn't show that it was going to go down but I kept trying to force. Stopped out for almost $100 on these FB trades alone. 

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The rest of my moves, weren't as bad as these. In fact the trade ideas were ok on those moves, I just got in early. I wasn't waiting for the setup and the trade to develop, I got in and if it didn't make my move, I got out. I didn't trade KO or CGC poorly, just didn't trade them properly. 

$NFLX - When I am trading NFLX, that means I am completely emotionally out of control for the day. I took a normal share size, so I am happy in that regard. I took it long for the SMA bounce. IT broke down and I couldn't get the limit exit that I was trying to get. I kept moving my limit down, but didn't do it right and eventually got market stopped out by DAS when I hit my max loss for the day. 

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Edited by Greg

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