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Rob C

Rob C's Trading Journal - starting Feb 1 2019

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I admired the other traders that post their trades on the BBT site. I have been trying to get the courage to start. If I am embarrassed to post the trade, I shouldn’t have taken it. So I want that consequence on my shoulder. So I promised myself when I switched from Etrade-pro back to DAS, which is much easier to journal, I would post my trades.

I have been live for 3 months now. First week live on DAS.

1st week of February

            Risk: $25/trade

            Max allowable trades per day: only 1. I am having an over trading issue that I am trying to resolve. So I have a self-imposed limit of one trade per day.

 Friday 2/1/19

Well being score of 5.5/10. My one allowable trade was with FB. I do apologize for the chart. This was my last trade with Etrade-Pro which doesn't automatically show entrance/exits. The tech level I drew at 167.51 was too weak to act on (that is why I drew it in yellow - stronger ones are orange) so I let it go by. After the 2min candle the price sat for awhile, until it started to move and I went long. I took a partial at 1R. Price just missed the second partial at 2R by a few pennies. The 5th 1min candle spooked me and I exited.



Monday 2/4/19:

I gave myself a “well being” score of 4/10, which is below allowable limit to trade live. So I traded on SIM. Made 3 good trades, but since they were on the sim I won’t journal them here.


Tuesday 2/5/19

Well being score of 5/10. My one allowable trade was with AAPL. A very bullish 2min candle was created and I went long as it passed the recent premarket high. I didn’t have a strong technical level for the entry or exit so I cut my shares in half (so only a ~$12 risk). Got lucky on the last exit.



Wednesday 2/6/19

Well being score of 5/10. My one allowable trade was with MU. Stock made a nice ABCD inside the 5min. I was going to wait for the 5min candle to finish, but when it made a new high on increased volume I went long at 9:33am. It fizzled quickly and I got all out when it looked like it was reversing.



Thursday 2/7/19

Well being score of 5.5/10. My one allowable trade was with TWTR. I made a mistake on this one. But, it didn’t cost me much to learn a good lesson. I have learned to be sloppy when zooming in on a chart not to look carefully at the tech levels because Etrade always lists the next level you drew on the edge of their chart. So you always know the next level with a quick glance. So I was careless when zooming in on TWTR and caught the 2nd tech level and not the first. The price dropped below the tech level I was going to short on, but I thought the risk/reward was so large I let the price make a new low of the day. Once that happen I shorted. Once the price dropped a little the real tech level appeared on my chart and I realized I trade now has a 1 to 1 risk/reward ratio. If I was aware of this level I would have shorted at the 31.1 level I drew where the risk/reward was OK or just not trade it.

Usually, when I realize the risk/reward is wrong I get out of the trade. This usually occurs when you get a bad fill. But, since the price was moving in the right direction I waited for the 1st tech level to close the trade. It missed by a penny and retraced. Since this is not a real trade anymore, just one I am trying to get out, I stopped out at break even.



Friday 2/8/19

Well being score of 6/10. My one allowable trade was with MU.

The tech level I drew and the 1min VWAP coincided making it a strong tech level and I really like it when the 1min VWAP and 5min VWAP get a large separation. I took the trade at the 1min VWAP and made the 5min VWAP the first target. This trade had a very tight stop out level (just below 1min VWAP). I took the first partial at the 5min VWAP with the plan to take the next partial at the 2nd target (200MA). But, I got cold feet and made the 2nd partial in the middle of nowhere. Then all out a few cents below 200MA.


It's interesting what a different perspective I get on my own trades when I post them like this. After what I thought was a good week trading and was reasonably happy after reading my journal entries, I now look at the these trades posted and I am not really proud of any of them. They look quite haphazard and not well thought out. The Friday trade with MU would be the closest, but not quite. Something for me to think about.

Thanks for reading, 


Edited by Rob
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Mark, this is my well being calculation from this morning. In general I don't score well in Winter. The cold and short days impact my work outs and energy levels.

My Garmin informs me of the first 6 categories on the table. Fatigue level is self determined. I did have a headache this morning but that is unusual. I won't see a good score >7 until late Spring. My resting pulse doesn't drop below 50 all Winter.


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Daily Trading Log

Monday 2/11/19

Well being score of 5 (calculated in last post). Still on self-imposed 1 day a trade max. More nervous than usual knowing I will be posting the trade later.

First thought is I really need to take profits a penny or two earlier. This was almost a good trade. AMD was forming a very bearish 2min candle. So I shorted on the new low (VWAP was my stop loss), but took half shares (cut my risk in half). I don't know why I did that at the last second. Need to search my psyche why I did that.
Took 1st profit early, before the 22.88 tech level I drew (in yellow) because I am usually nervous before my 1st partial. After that I relax (too much) and patiently wait for my 2nd target, 22.8 on the 5min chart (200MA) which missed by a penny. Then got out on a new 1min high. So I need to take those partials a couple of pennies before any target. So instead of a good trade, I would call this one a fizzle. The trade did enforce the need to take partials a little early and I need to soul search a bit to see why I cut my shares in half. I have been doing that more often lately. Overall a good learning trade.
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Daily Trading Log

Tuesday 2/12/19

Well being score of 5.5/10. Still on self-imposed 1 day a trade max.

Good 2min ORBD setup on AMD but not well executed.

Actually did two mistakes on the trade today. I did short exactly where I wanted  on the new daily low on a very bearish forming 2min candle. But again I cut my shares in half at the last moment again. Got to stop doing that.Then AMD dropped to my tech level (23.31 which I drew in yellow before the start of the market - see chart below) for my first partial. But, because I took so few shares, I did the usual rookie thinking, "there was not enough profit yet." Yep definitely watching my P/L. I saw the next level was only a few cents away so I waited. Now the 23.31 level is already at a 2R profit. So this is really ridiculous not to take some profit. AMD then retraced to my planned S/O. Unsure why I see two cover arrows, I only covered once and I don't see any open positions (accidental long). Hopefully I don't get charged an extra commission.
I went 3 months live with taking the correct share size every trade as one of my few positive things that I did. Since I have switched to DAS I seem to have the instinct to cut my shares in half. On Etrade-Pro I would calculate the shares mentally based on price/risk/ATR. On DAS, since we can, I have it programmed into my hotkeys (my buttons only show the risk amount). Now that I don't go through the math anymore I feel as if I don't believe the share size is correct and I instinctively halve it. Correcting this will be my main focus this week.
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Thanks! I love the measurements and how it's not 100% based on feelings. That's a Garmin watch? Do you recommend it? Id like to score my sleep better. 

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57 minutes ago, Mark D. said:

Thanks! I love the measurements and how it's not 100% based on feelings. That's a Garmin watch? Do you recommend it? Id like to score my sleep better. 

Yes a Garmin watch. Its helped my sleep tremendously. I bought it for running (has a very good GPS), that after a couple of months I happen to find a really good book on sleep improvement. I would try something in the book for a few days and the watch would let me know what affect it had. Took a couple of months but I got my sleep back in  order. Though with demands of family life I can only get 6 hours a sleep a night (I rather have 8), I am usually in deep sleep for >60% of the night.

Its also really good on the days you wake up really groggy and think you had a bad sleep. Then the watch informs you you had a good sleep but you accidentally woke up (by alarm) in the middle of a deep sleep cycle. Thus I know in 1 or 2 hours I will feel back to normal.

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Wednesday 2/13/2019

A bad rule breaking day.

Broke my 1 trade/day max rule today on a revenge trade. I was already shaky since I have been having an issue taking the correct shares lately. I have been cutting them in half at the last moment. This issue culminated yesterday by it help caused a wining trade to become a losing one because of the wrong share size.

Today my well-being score was 4.5/10. That is lowest I allow myself to trade live but it must be half size. There was a 1min ORB set up on TEVA. This is unusual, I only have one 1min ORB setup so it’s unusual to see. But, it matched the setup criteria and I took it. Don’t you love when the stock reverses the millisecond you place your order? But this is still all OK. It correctly match the setup, I had the correct share size, my entrance was exactly where I wanted it and I had my stop out price planned. But, I was caught in the headlights and WAY over shot my stop out point. This is highly unusual for me. Since I have been live I have been very good about stop outs (which is odd since I was really bad about it on SIM).

Taking the correct shares and stopping out right on queue was my two strong skills I had. Which really shocked me today now that I may be losing both. When you have just a few skills losing two can really knock you down.

After my one trade a day (win or loss) I always step away from the computer for a couple of minutes. I just need 2 minutes to reset. Today I didn’t step away. I took a revenge trade on AMD very soon afterwards. It had no setup and would you know it I took the full share size. And again I let it go well past my stop out.

After that I was able to pull myself away from the platform for a few minutes. I came back with huge FOMO and really wanted to revenge trade more but I kept control until 10am (EST) where I turned off the platform. I thought I was making more progress than that and was planning to allow more trades a day next week. Now I will stay at 1 trade a day for a while longer. At least I didn’t lose it or hit max loss. Live to trade another day.





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Thursday 2/14/2019

Well being score of 4.5/10. Thus, I will trade at half share size. My one allowable trade was with MU.

Good setup

Took trade exactly where I wanted

Correct share size

1st partial at the correct location, which isn’t easy knowing I am at half shares.

2nd partial a bit early. I have been burned recently just missing my 2nd target by a penny. But I took this 9 cents too early, not good either.

Exit was bad. If I waited for the correct exit (at B/E) I would have a heck of run with MU. But I was so burned yesterday taking my stop out late, I exited early and missed the big run with MU. I guess it will take a few days to get my nerve back.


A comment about yesterday’s journal entry (TEVA trade). I wrote the journal entry before watching the video replay of my trade. Wow what a difference. Setup was horrible, it was 3+% away from VWAP. I thought it was OK, the 1min candle was smaller than half ATR, but that was tunnel vision. I spotted the trade on a small chart that VWAP was out of view. So I guess out of site out of mind. I transferred the stock to my main chart connected to L2 and looks like I took the trade immediately as soon as it broke the tech level. So in that 1 or 2 seconds that VWAP was available to see I was focusing on the entry point instead. It instantly reversed before I could notice how far from VWAP it was and re-evaluate.

So for the first 3 months of being live I used Bolinger bands to determine if the trade was too extended. They look good in ETRADE-Pro and easy to manipulate. It made the DAS chart too busy and too many mouse clicks to change the settings. so I decided not to use them 2 weeks ago when I switch to DAS. I don’t take <5min ORBs if it’s beyond the 20MA +4 sigma band , which this clearly was. What a bad setup. It was the setup for a reversal back to VWAP. See image with Bolinger bands (dotted line) added. I took the trade long at the green line, yikes!


And here is the MU chart. Missed the boat on that one.



Edited by Rob
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Friday 2/15/2019
Well being score of 4.5/10. Thus, I will trade at half share size. My one allowable trade was with AAPL.
Mixed feelings from my one trade today. Its too bad I went all 5 days this week and there was no day I was satisfied with my trading, though previous week went well. I was really fighting my trading demons this week. This morning NVDA was on my main chart (linked to my L2), but AAPL and AMD got lots of volume in the first minute so I moved them to my main and "up to bat" chart. I was looking at AAPL long or AMD short. AMD looked better but AAPL setup occurred earlier. But, that is really no reason to jump in. Plus, I really don't like the 1min ORB I prefer the 2min ORB. Anyway obviously the FOMO was to strong and took AAPL. 
Now as for AAPL, the trade was OK. The setup was adequate at best (but at least there was a setup, not like AMD and TEVA from earlier this week), AAPL had an ABCD from premarket, great 1min vol, but 1min candle wicks were large with no direction. So just a so-so setup. I shouldn't have taken it seeing that AMD was setting up nicely. Now as for execution goes, that went well. Entrance was good. I let it move a little bit farther than my usual entry to make sure it was going in the right direction since 1min candle bidirectional. I had to adjust share size due to the larger risk since I let it move a bit. So share size was right (half size), then when it reached my level for the first partial (high of the day and 1R) it was difficult to take like earlier this week. With half shares your P/L is really small when you take the 1st partial. But, I took it at the correct spot. Also, I have been bad this week stopping out, but I did stop out right at B/E as well.
So should I have taken the trade? I will give the setup a bad rating. It was FOMO talking. But, I am happy with my execution since this week has had poor execution. So I will give this trade overall a neutral rating. Sad, that means I do not have a trade that I would rate as "good" this whole week.
Obviously, I will have to stay on the one trade a day rule next week. I am also removing the 1min ORB off my setup list. I have only taken that setup 4 times live. First two times were winners so I had some confidence in it. But, I took this setup twice this week, when it should be one a month. That sounds like FOMO. 
Have a good long weekend.
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Summary for 2nd week of February


So this is summary of my  2nd week of trading in which I journaled for the BBT community to view. This was also my 5th week of trading with the solitary goal to reduce my overtrading. First week was a brutal boot camp style trading. The initial reaction seemed helpful since my second week I traded very well. By the third week I was back to my old overtrading max loss self. Fourth week I went on a self-imposed 1-trade a day maximum, which went well initially, with a week of good trading. Now I just finished my second week on the 1 trade a day and it didn’t go as well. Actually was quite disappointing.



Good Trades

Neutral Trades

Bad Trades

1st week Feb




2nd week Feb





Lots of things to be disappointed about:

1)    Broke my 1 trade a day rule on Wednesday with a revenge day

2)    Continue to have correct share size issues. An issue I never had until last week.

3)    Not stopping out correctly. Though an issue while I was on SIM, this has not been an issue while trading live. This week I was too early or late on the stop out 3 times (out of 6 total trades is really bad).

4)    Even on the 2min ORB I seem to be jumping the gun a bit. I take the first trade to setup, not waiting for a really good one, or letting the so-so ones go by.

5)    Not taking my partials correctly. Not taking my 1st partial if my share size was too small. Not taking my second partial a few pennies early in case my tech level was not placed accurately.

Positive things:

1)    Never hit max loss

2)    Journaled every day this week on the BBT site. It wasn’t easy to show my trades to everyone, especially since I was not too proud of them.


Next week:

1)    Continue on 1 trade/day maximum. Apparently it is not easy for me to keep after a bad loss.

2)    Concentrate on execution. Correct share size, correct partials and correct stop out. Especially the share size and stop outs. These are skills I already had and do not want to lose.

3)    I feel I should do more. I will still think about it during the long week end.


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I was thinking adding a post trade checklists like Mike does, in my online journal. It won't be as comprehensive and organized as Mike's but I think it will be a useful exercise. I do go over this checklist mentally before and after a trade and then give the trade a score and determine how to improve. But I will try adding it to the journal and see how it goes.

Since I am mainly taking 2min ORB trades, I will start with that. Though the time range for the 2min ORB is 9:31:45 to 9:34 EST


What the setup was, how was the momentum powered by and did it break any veto rules.

This is how I define the setups:

Simple ORB 


2min chart
2min candle must:
<0.25 ATR
<1% move
Cross VWAP near end of candle
Must have strong tech levels for risk/reward

Small wicks


The Step


1min chart
Should not look like a bull flag

2nd 1min candle should be as large or larger than the first


Mini ABCD/Bull Flag



Vish Candle


2min chart

Very bullish/bearish candle

Take trade on a break of technical level


I tend to find what is powering the momentum as important as the setup. The check list has the list in order from strongest to weakest.

I find "The Curtsy" my strongest "power" indicator. This is when the price reaches a technical level I drew (usually from the daily chart) then touches it and retraces. Thus it is paying its respects to the level. Honestly I still don't trust that I am drawing these levels in the right place and if they are real. So this curtsy confirms it. I usually take the trade as it breaks it and the stop out if it retraces back.

Next strongest is when I see the 2nd minute have as strong or stronger volume than the first.

421 VWAP is when I see a large delta between VWAPs on the different charts. If I am thinking going long and the 2min chart VWAP is 0.67% higher than the 1min chart, that is a strong "power" indicator for me to use.

DTL break is simply the break of a daily technical level

Strong 1st is not only is there a strong final target, but if there is a good place to take the first partial as well, that seems help move the price.

HiLo break is simply the break of the high or low of the day.

Engulf PM is when the 2min candle engulfs an already large premarket 2min candle.


Then I have my list of criteria that I will not take the trade at the last moment if one of them is broken.

B-Bands is if the price is above the 20 SMA 4 sig Bolinger band

R/R 2-7 to 1, I find if the risk to reward is too large >7 it's not real and I don't take the trade.


So that's it. Sorry about the long entry. If any of you think something is very wrong with these setups, let me know. I have only been live 4 months and still have a lot to learn.


Edited by Rob
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Tuesday 2/19/2019

Well being score of 4.5/10. Thus, I will trade at half share size. My one allowable trade was with WMT

Lots of emotions to work through today. I guess that is a good thing. Changing my review a bit. I will use a checklist like Mike B and Mark D and end with questions like Mark D (Thanks guys!).

WMT formed a nice “step” 2min ORB. I was surprised after the trade (when I watched my video) how early I took the trade. So essentially it was a 1min ORB. Not happy with that, because I want to stop doing that. But it formed a full 2min ORB candle setup so I just assumed I was close to 9:32am and took the trade.

Now by bad luck the price spiked (25 cents) the instant I took the trade causing a bad fill. 1/10 of a second earlier and it would have been a successful trade, but this is common so close to the open, so I am use to it. Not an issue. The issue happens when the price reaches my 1st partial (line in yellow on chart below – which I drew in premarket) and I don’t want to take it because profit is too small due to the bad fill. But I was able to take the partial today at the right location. Then price dropped to B/E, which of course was easy to reach due to the bad fill.

FOMO was bad because the other 3 stocks on my watch-list all had a very good ORBs.

The checklist: “the Step” setup and powered by the “Engl PM” (explained in my last post), which is the weakest of the momentum powers I use. No veto rule was broken.




What I did good today: Took my first partial at the correct spot. When I get a bad fill its tough for me to take the 1st partial at the correct tech level since it is now very little profit. Kept FOMO in check. AMD was setting up for really nice 5min ORBU with a mini ABCD/Bull flag. But I controlled myself and kept to my 1 trade/day max rule. Also I traded something besides AMD/MU/AAPL, which I think I have become too comfortable with.

How did I challenge myself today? I turned off my P/L window. First time since I started (10 months ago – 6m SIM, 4m Live). I was getting way too attached to it last week. It was time to stop it. Also I kept to my 1 trade/day rule.

What I did bad today: Took a 1min ORB in reality. Still no improvement in patience

What can I do better tomorrow: Will enforce a trade start time tomorrow of 9:31:45 as a rule.

Plan for tomorrow: Will still turn off my P/L window. 1 trade/day max. First trade must be after 9:31:45 EST.


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Wednesday 2/20/2019

So my Garmin would not update this morning, so I was unsure of my well being score. Funny that Garmin also made the watch list this morning. So as a precaution I traded half size. An hour after I was finished trading my Garmin updated and I actually had a well being score of 3.5/10 and should have been on simulator today. Do’h! My one allowable trade was with FCX.

The setup was a very bullish 2min candle forming powered by both volume and new high. But neither power was strong enough to take the trade by itself.


I was a little nervous that the risk reward ratio was too large (6 to 1) and the trade was almost vetoed. I usually do not do well with R/R above 5. With more data I may reduce the veto limit.

I was trying not to take any trades before 9:31:45, since I want to stop taking 1min ORB. I was watching the clock on this one and took the trade long when it made a new high a few seconds before 9:31:45. But, I was conscious of it and did respect new rule some. But no, I did not follow the new rule to the letter.

I didn’t have any levels except the final target, so I took my first partial at 1R, which was also at the Bolinger band (4 sig). Then exited at B/E.


What I did good today: Took my first partial at the correct spot. Exited trade correctly. Took correct share size. Kept to my 1 trade/day max rule. Also I traded something besides AMD/MU/AAPL. Traded OK, even with a low well being score.

How did I challenge myself today? I turned off my P/L window again for the second day. Also, I kept to my 1 trade/day rule. Tried a 1min 45sec no trade rule.

What I did bad today:  Failed to keep the 1min 45sec no trade rule.

What can I do better tomorrow: Will enforce a trade start time tomorrow of 9:31:45 as a rule.


Thanks for reading. Trade safe.



Edited by Rob C
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Thursday 2/21/2019

Well being score of 5/10. Though I felt a bit more nervous trading than usual this morning. My one allowable trade was with AMD.

The setup/power:


It was a "step" 2min ORB setup. Not a good 2nd 1min candle but it had really good "power" by my setups. It did a curtsy at the 24.13 level and strong volume on the 2min candle. I took the trade as it broke the 24.13 level. The price did reach my first target at 24.19 (1R, high of the day and at Bollinger-band) but the price had a quick down spike, the instant I sold, so got a poor partial price.

I thought I missed the exit at B/E due to a hot key mistake. Then I looked at my video (3 times) and my final exit was not a hot key mistake. I clearly clicked "sell all" right at B/E but it did not register with the SW/Broker. I noticed it quickly and sold again 2 cents lower. Makes me a bit nervous the sell button, though it moved and I heard it click (in the video)  it did not register. Does this happen often? That's a first for me. I a have CMEG as my broker. I'm a little frazzled by this. 


What I did good today: I kept to my 1min 45sec no trade rule. Took my first partial at the correct spot. Exited the trade correctly. Took correct share size. Kept to my 1 trade/day max rule. Recovered quickly after the sell did not go through the first time.

How did I challenge myself today? I turned off my P/L window again for the third day. Also, I kept to my 1 trade/day rule. Successfully kept to my 1min 45sec no trade rule.

What I did bad today:  Traded AMD again!!!

What can I do better tomorrow: Calm my nerves. Look at the scanners more when the watch-list is weak.

Thanks for reading, hope everyone has a good day.

Edited by Rob C
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