Case Study: An ET Made Trader

Discussion in 'Journals' started by mropp, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. mropp


    Hi All,

    I am starting a journal here to vet my trading strategies, reference my past and future mistakes and triumphs, and to gain insight and opinion from successful traders that can hopefully lead to my own successful trading pattern over time.

    I figure there are countless others that fit my fall within the realm of my situation as well that can also benefit and share their woes and success.

    Below I am outlining my current situation to take into consideration while reviewing/commenting.

    I've been trading as an investor, swing trader and day trader since about 1994. I am a software engineer that is quite astute in problem solving, logic, situational awareness and anticipation. When I want to do something, it becomes almost OCD where I will spend countless

    For the last year and change everything has been a long term hold, and really not paid attention to regularly sitting with t-stops. CVS did wonders.

    After the first ugly day in late July I liquidated mostly everything and moved out around 70k to high yield savings.

    I kept about $28k in as I would start taking advantage of the crazy market to start making gains via short term trading, as I have don't have a lot confidence in holding (long or short) for long periods of time until it shakes out a bit more.

    Now, I know the ins and outs of the economy, currency, how everything ties together. When it comes to intraday trading, I know just enough to be dangerous, because I'll have all the stars aligned, make 3 winning roundtrip trades/scalps, and then the next one or two will move against me so huge and fast it wipes those out and then some. I've been tinkering with adjusting stops, but that hasn't plugged the holes.

    So right now I am confused on if I am better off staying out, and going back to long term and automated swinging when the dust clears, but I am pretty set on making this volatility work for me.

    The way I approach intraday/scalps is primarily by choosing a stock with decent volatility and watching it's patterns in 1min window. I use standard studies to help make to decision on timing, whether they are effective or not, but moreso look at T&S, TICK, TRIN, VIX, VINX and the major index windows accordingly. If the stock is part of the index, then I pay attention to the index more as I assume basket arbitrage will play a role in its price action.

    With swings, I have created a formula/program that works very well with several stocks for auto trading. Right now with the current volatility though, all bets are off with that.

    Right now I have been using Izone, which I know is less than ideal, with a second TDAM account that has Apex. I realize this is not a platform pros use. I didn't realize how much better I could do for my goals until recently. On a positive note, my trades are often large enough to make the $5 flat trade cheaper, or at least negligible compared to per share. I have been using StrategyDesk, which a side for some lacking features like rapid order/book ordering seems to do ok. I get quick fills, but that is not relative as I don't have anything to compare with. Before I can refresh account data with a mouse click it is always filled if I am within B/A.

    I want to learn a lot more about the strategies employed to give myself a broader toolset and dial in the sights on my "scope" to ensure I have as much of the odds in my favor when I make a trade. The only thing is the amount of information is overwhelming. It is hard to ascertain what is good information from bad, as everyone has differing opinions it seems.

    The one and only thing I can see a consensus on about an edge, is the lone investor has the advantage of agility of getting in and out of positions rapidly. Outside that, who knows?
    How do you spot a good setup?
    Do equity curves work?
    What is the best broker for execution and data feed that can make a real difference most of the time?
    What tools/screeners/software platforms are the best or give you edge for that matter?
    Should I be trading options instead of equities?
    Are there core strategies that are commonly accepted that the individual traded can then build upon to fit his needs?


    These are all questions I hope to answer from both community and my own experience.

    I am going back to reading and doing a little homework before the AM session. I welcome all comments, insight, opinion, etc.

    Thanks in advance everyone and wish me luck.