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Greg L's Trading Journal - Full Transparency 2019 Live

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March 13th

P&L After Commissions:  $-111

Trades: 9

Terrible day of trading. 3 losses accounted for the majority of my day, and dumb mistakes were made. It was a very slow day for me. I wasn't a fan of the gappers watchlist and I wasn't patient enough to wait for the perfect setup. 


$CRON - Thought it would be a VWAP break. Saw the moving average on the 5 min but still took it regardless. I then held too long on the trade. I wanted to give it a chance to move and when I exited it was at the top. I then swapped my position thinking that since it was going to break down below VWAP that I could take it long. That trade didn't work out and I exited that one appropriately. 


$ROKU - This was the mistake of the day. There was no reason to be in this trade. I was impulsive and thought it would bounce off the 200SMA as it had for the past 20 min. Also was holding under the moving averages on the 5 min. The trade did push back down a little but couldn't break under the EMAs on the one. I was ready to exit the trade. The spread was about 5 cents on this stock. So about $5 on my 100 shares. A little more than you want to see, but not a deal breaker. I was ready to exit the stock, but instead of exiting. I kept trying to set a limit to get a good fill and a good exit. I didn't want to eat the $5 spread. I had a few opportunities to exit for a $5 loss but chose not to. The stock then moved up to $15 loss and I chose not to exit there but instead set a limit order to fill. It popped up again and I moved my limit order up. I was chasing the stock with my exit. I was setting a trailing stop in the wrong direction. I kept worrying about the $5 that eventually the stock popped up to a $30 loss and I had to exit with a market order. 

I do sometimes record my trading session and I did record this one. I've attached some of the screenshots from the recording showing with me trying to get a good fill on the exit instead of just taking the minimal loss to begin with. My second limit order is where the first exit would have been if I just did a market order! When its time to exit a trade, I need to exit the trade! 853049404_2019-03-1309_55_43-DASTraderPro.thumb.png.8e0a705694ce6f598567e7d70de237d5.png



$CRON - I was trading my P&L at this point. I was up about $35 on this trade but didn't take any profits. I was hoping for a bigger move and wanted to capitalize with having a full amount of shares. Was shooting for it to break below LOD and down to $21. Exited near B/E. 



$ACB - Another bad trade. I was trying to make my money back and I took this ACB because it looked like it could be short. No reason to be in this trade either. Originally had 300 shares and added another 100 at the 50SMA. Very poor trading today. 



Edited by Greg
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March 14th

P&L After Commissions:  $55

Trades: 9

I had a good trading day going that turned into an ok trading day. I am super happy with how I traded for the first 6 trades that I made today. I even got up from the computer and called it quits. For whatever reason when I came back to the computer I took 3 more trades and all were losers. I was greedy and I just jumped into trades without waiting a good setup. 


$GE  - I first went long thinking it was just a pullback but quickly exited. Then I took it short when it came back to the 200SMA on the 1 min chart. It broke under VWAP and I was shooting for a target of $10 which is a lot to ask for with GE, and it never came. I took some profits along the way but got out the rest when it came back above VWAP. 

The third GE trade, I took long when it couldn't stay below VWAP and was pushing back up. I took it below the 200SMA which was a little risky, but I thought it was strong. It popped up and I held for 25 minutes without taking any profits. I wanted to get back to the HOD and see if It could break it. I was hanging out for most of the time I was in the trade and when it pushed below the 200SMA I exited. Maybe not the best exit since the stock did jump back up, but I wanted to be protective of profits. 



$AAPL - I saw AAPL couldn't hold above VWAP. I was targetting $183.35 but missed the entry. Decided to still hop in since there was a lot of selling pressure. I was worried that I chased it, but it dropped pretty easily still. My first target was the previous day mark. I first sold 25 of my 100 shares, and for whatever reason I just hit the button to get all out. I was little mad at myself for that. Not sure exactly why I did it. Maybe because the first few GE trades got away from me without me taking profits. 


$FB - Took FB short when it could break above the 200SMA. Dropped as soon as I got in. First partial was meant for VWAP. Bounced off VWAP pretty convincingly so I took another partial when it came back. My plan was then to hold until the stock wasn't going to go lower. It held at the previous day mark so I took partial profits. I exited the rest when it popped back above VWAP. I held the last shares too long. I saw that it was on the way back up when it started to make its move, I just didn't exit. I still need to find the balance with my strategy if I'm going to hold or take the profits and run. 


My last 3 trades were just bad trades. There wasn't a good solid setup and I was trying to get a quick buck. Not sure why I did it. I was at $80 after commissions which would have been good enough for me for the day. I went ahead and just took 3 bad trades that I didn't last a single minute in any of them. I wasn't at goal for the day, but I should have stopped since I did walk away from the computer and tell myself that I was done. Need to be better at walking away when I am done for the day. 

Edited by Greg
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March 15th

P&L After Commissions:  -$33

Trades: 12

There are some clear cut signs when I am trading bad. When I trade things not on my watchlist and when I short significantly more than I go long. The only thing on my watchlist on Friday was ORCL. Because of that, i was looking for things to trade. ORCL gave me plenty of opportunities, I just didn't capitalize. I should have ended my day much sooner than I did. 



$ ORCL -  I don't really mind my trading on ORCL. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't bad. I really liked my first trade. I took an ORB after it broke the 200SMA and held it. It dropped about 20 cents and I took some minor profits. I was really hoping for the break of $51. It didn't do and I took a slightly loss on the remaining shares. I dont mind that this winner turned to a loser, because it happened so quickly and I felt the R/R was there. 

The second trade was a bad trade that I got out of immediately.

The third trade is the one that bothers me. I wanted to take it long for a VWAP break and I did. I just didn't get the entry that I wanted. I was looking for something closer to $51.55 instead of $51.60. A very insignificant amount and not a bad entry by any means. My stop would be break of VWAP so about 15 cents. I was just scared after 3 straight losses and didn't want to take another loss so I exited out of this trade before it hit my stop loss or even tested it. It dropped merely a few pennies and I exited this trade. Absolutely no reason to exit the trade. The next minute it popped and I regretted it. I knew I messed up on that one. 


$SPY - I shouldn't be trading SPY at all but I was looking for things to trade. It was slow and I should have just walked away. 

First trade was a 200SMA break/reversal. It was holding the 200 and looked weak so I took it short. It dropped to VWAP and I meant to partial some shares, but accidently sold all. I wasn't happy about it, even though the stock didn't really go further down. I felt I exited out of a potential big time winner. 

When it came back and pushed off VWAP a few minutes later, I thought that would be a good entry point for me to reenter. I don't know if I would have taken this trade if I didn't exit early on the first one. For sure this was a revenge trade to get some of the potential profits that I felt were coming and I should have had. STock popped and because I didn't have the cushion for a decently entry, I exited the trade. 

The third trade was much better. This one wasn't a revenge trade, I took this trade for its own merits. It broke under VWAP and held it so I took it short. It didn't drop as strongly as I wanted it to and I got out after taking some minor profits. Wanted to keep the winning trade, a winning trade. 


Everything else was just chop for the day and poor setups on my part. I should have called it a day before taking any SPY trades and just stuck with the ORCL trades. 


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March 18th

P&L After Commissions:  $36

Trades: 9

Got into a hole early today. I exited my first trade early and then to decent sized losers with FIS. I was able to keep a level head and churn out 3 good winners after. The P&L for the day wasn't great, but I'm happy that I took good trades to finish the day. 


$FB - First FB trade was a bottom reversal after an ORB. It seemed to be holding he $161 level. The candles never closed below that level. I was in long at slightly above $161. While the candles never closed below $161, they did try to break down underneath it multiple times. That made me feel uneasy with the trade since I was already letting it run 25 cents against me which is about all I want to risk at $25. If it did actually continue downward, the loss would have been a much bigger one than I wanted. So I exited this trade at B/E when I had the opportunity. The stock did make the move up to VWAP and then some, but the R/R wasn't there for me for where and when I entered the trade. 


$FIS - FIS got me good today. It wasn't the best trading on my part. I thought it was a pullback so I wanted to enter for the break of LOD. It was holding the 9ema and the 200SMA on the 5 min. I wanted an entry closer to $108.20, so I wasn't too happy or comfortable with the entry that I got. It popped up against me and I had to exit. 

It looked like bounced off PDC and came back down so I decided to try and take the trade a second time. I got an entry I felt more comfortable with but the stock didn't break down and I exited the trade. 



$MU - Took me 3 tries to get this MU trade. I could have stayed in the trade from my first entry and probably gotten close to the same result. It broke under the emas and was holding under $40.25. Took it short underneath the 20EMA. I was a little skittish after taking two losses previously so I exited quickly at B/E. It still looked weak later and I got right back in for a slightly better entry. It tried to break down, but came back up so quickly. There was quite a bit of buying pressure at that point so I exited the trade for a small gain.

I kept watching and it pushed down a little more and I still thought it was short. I got in at the right time and the stock dropped. Took profits at the 50SMA, VWAP and below VWAP. Got all out when it showed some strength. 


$FB - Again it took multiple tries with FB to get the trade. The first trade was early. It looked weak to me and broke under $163, but the stock clearly wasn't ready and I got stopped out. There wasn't a lot of buying pressure to push the stock up and it broke under the emas and again under the whole number so I took it short. I was a little premature with the profit taking. I should have only taken 1 of the first 2 profit takings that I did. I am ok with the 50SMA and the VWAP target point where I got all out. 


$AAPL - Last trade of the day. Wasn't the best entry. This stock just looked like it topped out to me. It tried to reverse about 15 minutes earlier but bounced off the 50SMA. It started to push up but couldn't really break above $188.25. I decided to take it short and it did come down and broke the 50SMa. Took some small profits to lock things in. Generally these stocks will retest the 50SMA after they break, but push off fairly quickly. This time it held the 50 for a few minutes, but I had a good entry so I could wait it out. Took more profits on the way down in case it couldn't go lower. It then gave me 3 straight green candles and it looked like there was buying pressure so I exited the trade. The stop out should have been above the 50SMA and above $188. I still would have been profitable at that point, but I chickened out of this trade and traded with the mentality of just locking in profits. Missed out on the move to VWAP. 



Overall, an ok day. I did trade a lot of stocks that weren't gapping up and I did short 8/9 trades. There wasn't a lot in the morning gappers so I did put FB and AAPL on my watchlist. I do need to work on trading what is in play. I feel my trade numbers were a little inflated because they were just me taking multiple stabs at the same trade. I do feel good that I was able to turn a red day into a green day. 

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March 19th

P&L After Commissions: -$124

Trades: 11

I struggled and I struggled hard today. I fell into a hole early, and I couldn't quit when I had one trade get me back. I have a problem with red days. I cannot accept a red day. I am doing a much better job at keeping the losers small for the most part, but I can't seem to keep the losing days small. I will keep trading and trading to try and get back to break even or better. It is killing me and my account. I have learned somewhat to stop when I am having a winning day and I am able to end the day green whether I am at goal or not. I cannot end the day red unless I am at max loss. I have turned many acceptable red days into unacceptable max loss red days. 


As you can see almost every red day is a max loss red day where I hit $150 plus commissions loss and DAS stops me out. The smaller red day losses are days where DAS has stopped me out after hitting 3000 shares. I think on only one of these days, did I decide to walk away on my own. Almost each of those red days, I should have quit before things got as bad as they are. I have a hard time accepting a small red day. It goes against everything you are taught in life, sometimes it is better in this game to admit defeat than to keep going and I am having a hard time accepting that and putting that into practice. One idea is to lower my DAS max loss. That is the next major goal that I have for myself. I need to learn to walk away when I am losing and I am done trading. I lose very often, but I still don't know how to lose properly. 


Can you spot the sim days? 



As far as my trading day goes, I took some major losses early in the morning. I should have called it quits right then and there. One of the things that has really helped me was sticking to my watch list stocks. Today they were WHD, STNE, MU, NVDA. I only watch 3 stocks at a time, so I was already breaking a rule by making this 4 stock watchlist. In the morning, I was flipping between MU and NVDA which wasn't a good sign. I kept 4 available in the morning in case WHD or STNE didn't move or went too out of control. That is when I should have swapped it out for MU. I shouldn't be constantly flipping back and forth between MU and NVDA at the open.  I didn't trade well, but I am ok with my trading up until I strayed away these 4 on the watchlist.   


$NVDA - I took NVDA long when it seemed to be holding VWAP. As soon as I entered, it dropped down below VWAP and I had to exit. Stayed in this trade for 13 seconds. It doesn't help that there was a decent sized spread. It then popped up back above VWAP. The second trade upsets me. There was no reason to take this short. I am not sure what I was doing. It never closed below VWAP and was even making higher lows above VWAP. This was a long and not a short. Bad trade on my part. I'm glad to have gotten out for a small loss. 


$STNE -  I usually stay away from wild stocks at the open, but for whatever reason I went to trade STNE. I thought taking a small share size might help, but the candles were still too big. Might have been because I didn't have a great watchlist and I believe at this point WHD was moving a too far from VWAP for me. 

I need to wait for a better setup when trading. I dont need to always be in a trade. Seemed to be holding the trend lines and the 20EMA. It broke above it on the first trade and I exited. Came back down and I tried again on the trade. Was not good trading. 


$MU - I was down $90 on my first 4 trades. Not where I want to be and I should be calling it a day there. I didn't even thinking about being done because it was still pretty early in the day. Saw MU was curling up and making higher lows. Went long with a target of $40.40. The previous day mark and where it stalled out earlier in the morning. I sold most of my shares there, but held some for the break. It did break up and I panic exited on the rest of the shares on the first red candle. I didn't need to exit the final piece where I did. I was watching my P&L and I knew how much the trade made me already, so I wanted to lock in the profits and be ~$25 down. I have had trades where they go $30-$40 in my direction and I dont take profit. they end up going back to break even or losing and I wanted to avoid that here with the final piece here. One thing I need to understand is that on the HOD breaks the stock can continue moving. I need to let the stock run more on HOD breaks. 


$BABA - This is where it all goes wrong. I didn't like my watchlist at this time. Low Volume and not a lot of movement for STNE and WHD. MU was still climbing, but I wasn't going to re enter. I then started searching for stocks. I checked AAPL, FB, SQ, CGC and finally landed on BABA. No reason to trade this stock and I should have stayed away. Took 3 trades, 3 losers. 


$AMD - After having no luck with  BABA, I came across AMD who was moving fairly well. I saw it setting up for a reversal and took it when it broke the 50SMA. I took 300 shares and was targetting the 50SMA on the 5 min at $20.40. It did come down to about $20.50 which was 13 cents and about $40. I really thought it would keep coming down since it was below all trend lines. Just couldn't break the half dollar barrier. It worked its way back up to my entry and I told myself to let it go above the 50SMA on the 1 min because that is where my stop should be. It did that and stopped out. I let a trade go from being +$40 to a loser. Exactly what I wanted to avoid on MU earlier in the day. My greed got me on this one and it was because I wanted to make up my losses that I already had. I believe that if this were my first trade of the day, I would have taken some profits. I need to treat every trade as the first trade of the day. My P&L shouldn't be affecting any moves I make in a trade. Each trade is independent of the rest and the rest of my day. 


Goal going forward - Learn to accept red days and keep the red days small. They are going to happen and that is ok. I know that nobody can win every single day that they trade. Part of the process is learning how to lose and how to lose gracefully. 


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Hey, Greg:

Read your journal from the beginning till now. I hope you are still trading and just decided to take a break from the journal. You and I seem to have similar issues on our trading entries and mentality. 

I do have a few words of advice that are helping me get over the issues we share. I initially struggled A LOT with trading in the first 5 minutes. Sometimes I would win, sometimes I would lose. But over time I realized that this was contributing to the get fast money FOMO mentality. I liked the idea of trading only 2-5 minutes and being one and done. I had to go through a detox phase to ween myself off that habit and mentality. To help, I would force myself to sit and watch the market move and go without me. It was painful.. and I relapsed once a few weeks ago for the first time in several months. Haven't done so again because that day I lost. (Luckily, not bad because I realized what I did).

My point here is, you have to take similar steps in your own way to stop that habit. You gotta recognize that urge that you have and be okay with it being there, but not acting on it. It's gonna be hard, but when you recognize "the trigger" activating, you will catch yourself. Acknowledging your triggers and letting the pain burn as you watch the market move without you will help. I don't have the urge to trade the first 5 as often as I used to. 930 is 935 to me now. But that's just one part of it. What also helped me is attempting to battle FOMO in my daily life. You gotta practice the same things while you're not trading. <-- That is critical. For me, I let things happen as they do. It settles my mind and I move at my own speed. I don't rush, I don't fuss and I try not to dwell on downfalls in life. It's not a life coaching per say, lol but there are more things that hit our psychology and minds in a day than just trading. So, we definitely should pay more attention to external noise that alters our mental. Whenever you are trading and you feel that urge to double down on a trade, acknowledge THAT FEELING and let it simmer. Don't suppress the pain and push it away by doubling down because the trade isn't working. You gotta catch yourself when these triggers are activated.

And this is not to say I am perfect because I am not. However, my trigger(s) are far less volatile and I think that is enough to say that it's a damn good push towards becoming a better trader. I'm not at the point of not trading anything in a day, but the trades I do take I have a reason on why I took them. In most cases, anyway, lol.

As for some of your trades (in my non live/professional opinion), your bias shows towards the short side. Which is fine and you know that you are. It got more neutral as I went through your journal. Something I would recommend doing is studying the moving averages more and how they form in different situations. I found myself going short on up trends trying to catch the top of a reversal to a moving average and getting squeezed within a few moments later. I realized I wasn't aware enough of what the moving averages looked like when forming a reversal/long trade etc. So, when I went short, I wasn't seeing the more probable long trend continuing or forming. When I see a possible short trade forming now, I think about how this trade would look if it were a long or if it will pullback towards the next average. That helps me see the moving averages in a different perspective. I also think about what is more probable to happen. If I short here, based on the moving averages and the price action, is it more likely to go up or more likely to go down. It has helped me see long trades a lot more and know when to get out on either side. 

You can check out my trades to get an idea on how I trade. I had a big blow up and went back into the cave for awhile too.


Edited by Brandon K
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Brandon, thank you so so much for checking up on me.  I want to let you know that I still am trading, I am just not posting my trades on a daily basis anymore. I should have made a post about it, but I wanted to remove as many of the pressures of trading as possible and publicly posting my trades was one of them.

I made some significant changes to my psychology and trading mindset. I am not where I want to be yet as a trader, but I am making significant progress. I have cut down on a good chunk of my problems including overtrading, FOMO, and my patience issues. I've started to really focus on trading well instead of thinking in dollars for each trade. I'm slowly becoming the trader that I want to be. My confidence has gone up and my trust in my trading plan and myself is at an all time high.  I am taking actual setups in my trades and I am having green days. I'm feeling good about trading and my good habits that I am creating are getting stronger each day. 

As you can see in the calendar below, I am having more green days than red days. The biggest issue for me right now is accepting a losing day. My daily goal is $80-$100 with a max loss of $60, and as you can see I don't stop at $60. I have das risk control set to stop me out fully at $150 including commissions and I have been trading up until that point when I am losing. I set the $150 amount because it is way past my max loss and its there to stop me out when I couldn't stop myself out. That has been 4 out my 5 losing days this month.  Like most of my other bad habits including doubling down and overtrading, I have had to use Das risk controls to help me beat the problem. I have just recently lowered my max loss on das to $85. On my losing days I knew that I should have quit at $50-$60 but I have ignored the feeling inside of me that knew it was time to quit. Everyone of my $150 loss days, I knew I should have quit at $60, and I just didn't. I for whatever reason don't want to end red and I needed to get my money back ASAP. From Robert's Rants, he talks about the money being gone, and there is no rush getting it back, I am trying to adopt that mindset. 




 I checked some of my old trading days and my last 20 days where I hit -$60 or more and continued trading, I ended up green on only 3 of them, and over the 20 days my losses for trades after hitting negative $60 were over $700. My average win % on those days was probably around 25%.  With the auto stop out at $85, I will eventually learn to stop out when I know I'm not in sync with the market or I will have to always use DAS to stop me out as long as a trade. 

Brandon, if you still have the feelings of trading in the first 5 minutes, you could always email das and  tell them to lock your account until 9:35. When you know you can't trade at that time, you will lose the urge to trade at that time. It has worked for me! Das Risk controls has fixed my overtrading, my doubling down, and my breaking stop loss habits.  



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Heck yeah! Glad to hear from you and see that you didn't give up! It seems that you figured out some of yourself in the process. I too had to take some of the pressure away and that helped me figure out some of myself. Keep at it and looking forward to your updates whenever they come through. Also, didn't know I could do that with DAS. Will consider that if I have break the rule again. So far so good haha.

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I'm looking for an accountability partner. I haven't been trading well lately. Need someone to hold me to my rules and I would like to do the same for them. 


Ideally I'm looking for someone who's going to be a hard ass and really force me to stick to my rules. I don't start trading until 10:15ish on most days and trade for maybe 2 hours or so. I would like someone available during that time. 

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Hey Greg!  Just saw this post and thought I would give you a shout out....  I am just starting trading, been on SIM since March and going live this week.....  I am afraid I cannot offer much in the way of advice or accountability I don't think......not yet anyway.  Are you still working at it?  I hope so...  Keep faith in yourself and persist.....you will prevail.

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