Dealing with Trend days vs Range days: Psychology and Pulling the Trigger

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by johnpinochet, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. I've been trading the 30 year T bond futures contract off and on since 1994. I count approximately 6 account fundings and 5 account closeouts. I'm on my 6 attempt now.

    I'm seeking advice on how successful futures traders, and bond traders in particular deal with the daily battle of determining as price approaches a significant level of support or resistance, if you are to buy or sell.

    As the above sounds rather "novice", let me explain with an examination of Friday's action in the ZB September contract.


    1) We are in a 60 minute and Daily chart down trend, so I want to take short trades that approach resistance.

    2) Resistance involves looking at signficant highs and lows and performing proprietary mathematical calculations on them to come up with key levels for the day. (Not pivots and not Fib.)

    3) A variety of indicators established on 4 charts, i.e. each chart a "system" if you will, give me short or long signals. All are in agreement, some leading, some lagging.

    4)Important key numbers were: 116 10, 116 02, and 115 28. (No, I'm not joking. I'm being dead serious.)

    Here is what happened:

    0720 - 0735 I stay out due to important report, and not wanting to get hammered. I see that the market touched 116 08, and shot up to 116 17.

    0732 - 0735 Market is playing with my key number at 116 10. Now what? I have a short bias. My 4 charts are showing a downtrend, but they are still positive. This could be a fake move. Do I buy or do I sell? If I sell, the market could go back up to 116 17. Now is the time to buy! But wait. I've decided to not trade against the 60 min and Daily trend. I decide not to buy, and due to my overwhelming desire to buy, I decide not to sell. I sit out.

    0748 Market hits 116 04

    I now decide that my short bias has been confirmed. I will sell any approach to 116 10.

    0801 Market hits 116 08. OK, here's my chance. I set up my order in advance. I assume it will hit 116 10 no problem.

    0810 It doesn't look like it will hit 116 10. Maybe I should put in an order for 116 08? Nah, wait......

    0815 Down move starts.

    0821 Market hits 116 02. I know that if this holds, it will go back to 116 10, but if it doesn't hold, my next target is 115 28. As it could go either way, I decide it is best to wait for 116 10.

    0824 Market hits 115 29. Low of the day. All 4 charts are screaming up move coming, probably to 116 02. Short then?

    0836 Market hits 116 01. I put in a sell at 116 02.

    0838 Market hits 116 02 and no higher. I watch time and sales waiting for confirmation on my order. Order not executed.

    0848 Market hits 115 29 again. Holds. Market turns. I cancel my sell at 116 02. Is this the low of the day?

    0850 Market hits 116 03. Now my dilemma. How solid is my 116 02 number for the second attempt? I'm biased to the short side, but my 4 charts are now beyond screaming. Their hitting me upside the face with a 2X4 telling me to buy.

    As the market went past the 116 02, which stopped it at 0838, I decide that shorting is not an option. Perhaps I should wait for an attempt to 116 10? I decide to wait. As I wait, I think about the money I'm leaving on the table by maintaining a bias to one side only. Oh, well.

    0928 Market hits 116 10. Do I short now? I didn't expect the market to have another range day after essentially the same day on Thursday. I really thought we'd have a sell off. But, something is obviously wrong with my assessment today, as the market is hitting 116 10, and appears to want to go higher. I pass on the short.

    1003 Market dips to 116 06, and continues higher to 116 16. I call it quits for the day.

    I need help with these two time frames and the dilemma posed:

    0732 - 0735



    Anyone with experience in this care to comment?
  2. I've included a chart with arrows indicating the times discussed.
  3. this is all you need to know. find something else to trade or quit.
  4. vhehn,

    Thanks for the tip, although I was hoping for a comment or two about trading.

    In any event, considering the recent poll here and how long it took and how much was lost, are you saying that everyone should be successful on their first account?

    The amount funded to each account was money I could "afford" to lose, although that is never really true. What I mean is, I was not harmed financially by placing the money in a futures account.
  5. mogul


    wow that's a beautiful day

    short at the first and second arrow, then long at the retracement after the third arrow

    couldn't ask for anything more!

    you have too many questions during the day! know what to do before the market opens
  6. The short answer is that most P/V traders have a specific criteria of success/ failure of a test of S/R.
    A trade is entered or exited only after the specific criteria has been met.

    Your chart is a little hard for me to read because I don't see clearly where the open and close are in each bar. It may be just my eyes though.( the close higher than or lower than the open)
  7. John... I applaud your effort... and your poise... i just think (imho) your tactics / strategy is a wee bit flawed...

    Short and Sweet - Entries Not As Important as Exits... Entry can be based on random flip of a coin and account can still go up...

    Exits & position sizing are (stops or profit taking & money management) are 'Gods'...

    best you read the hokey entitled book
    by VanTharp... Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom...

    after Six tries i think you could use a bit of a stategy change not a clarification of SR as entry points...

    anyway... no one should ever quit an activity <u><b>IF</u></b> it is adding to their life growth whether or not it adds to their monetary bottom line or not...

    cj... hope something i said helps...

    good skill



    If You Have The Vision We Have The Code
  8. ======================

    a] Like occasional derivatives myself also and ;
    hopefully you have been keeping records so should be able,
    to find plenty of patterns that do not work for you ???????.

    b]Smaller time frame charts are fine for entrys and actually i have been most likely to lose right in midlde of your chart, where,
    trend changes and;
    like cash markets also & heve changed the main work chart to daily charts, monthly charts help much also.

    z] Works better for me to trade smaller size downtrends position ;
    and while the Bloomberg salesman did mention bonds,
    there also good reason most companys have private or public stock
    people cash invest or trade.

  9. mhashe


    You make a valid point about the "coin flip" . I looked at some stats while back and seems most large sucessful traders are right only 40% of the trades. If one can get hold of their money management rules, Coin flip bring that edge up to 50%. Probably works best with Volume charts.

  10. Yes, VanTharp does a good job of driving this home - showing how this is true from many different angles and trading strategies...

    Entries, he seems to point out very methodically, are only 1/6 of a trading strategy and in terms of priority are at the <b>bottom</b> of the six elements...




    If You Have The Vision We Have The Code
    #10     Jul 16, 2005