FastTrader Futures-Trading Journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by EMini-Player, Oct 10, 2003.

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  1. Trader: FastTrader

    Instruments: ES and NQ

    Indicators: Moving Averages; Bollinger Bands; S/R Levels; learning CCI

    Primarily, I watch 5 time-frames on the instrument I'm trading which includes 100Tickbar, 1 min, 3-min, 10 min, and 30/60 min. I always have the 10 min. and 30/60 min. charts up for ES and NQ on my screens. During the day, I watch the relationship between the instruments and try to identify the leader. The leader could change throughout the day. I also tend to trade the instrument providing me the best value at that time. For example, if ES is down 10 pts; and NQ is down 15 pts, and I get a Long signal, I will tend to trade the instrument that over-reacted on the down-side, and has more up-side potential, which in this case would be the ES. This may be not be the best way to go, and some may argue that by doing this I am, in effect, trading the weaker instrument, but this has been working out alright so far and provides a lower-risk entry. If you have any thoughts on this, feel free to reply. If you find a certain negative behavior or pattern in my trading, again, please reply.

    I take short-term trades in the direction of the larger trend. I watch the 100 Tickbar chart and enter in the direction of the 3 min, but entry is fine-tuned based on the Tickbar chart and the 1 min. chart. I use a 1.5-2 pt stop-loss on ES and 3-4 pt stop loss on NQ.

    Trading Experience:
    I opened my first stock trading account in January, 2003 but didn't have the time to touch it til March 2003. At which point, I purchased a software that I'd prefer not to mention here. Anyways, this magic software didn't work for me and in May, 2003 I turned to traditional technical analysis using candlesticks and charts. I started trading stocks regularly at the beginning of June, 2003 and have been doing so since then, so I have a SOLID 4 months experience in the markets But, I have traded stocks, options, and futures in this time. I started focusing on index futures at the end of August, and now only trade futures.

    Software: eSignal for equities/futures, and TCNet for Stocks only. Will be cancelling TCNet soon.

    Broker: Interactive Brokers.

    Internet Connection: High-speed cable

    Hardware Setup:
    Dell PIII 700 Mhz with 768 MB RAM. Triple 19" Samsung 191T LCDs. APC battery backup on trading machine. Seperate battery backup on Cable modem and router.

    Current Situation:
    I've been in the Information Technology business for the past 6 years, and it is what I do full-time. I trade part-time. I actively trade the first 1-1.5 hrs of market open, and then trade about 30 minutes in the afternoon from 2-2:30 PM EST. Since I trade short-term, I can be in and out of trades very quickly, and my current schedule works alright for now. At times, I have to exit a profitable trades early and I miss several good entries due to my schedule, but that's life.

    The goal of posting my journal here is mainly to improve my discipline. Plus, it will force me to go back and look over my trades every evening. All the trades that are posted here, are the same ones posted in the #FuturesTrades mIRC chat room in real-time. Also want to clarify that ALL trades posted in my Journal are Real $ trades. At times I make paper-trades, which are posted in #FuturesTrades and marked as "paper", but I will not include those in my journal. If you're interested in joining me in the #FuturesTrades mIRC room, PM NihabaAshi for access.

    Trades are sorted by Eastern Time.
  2. October 1st (Wednesday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 9 (All Shorts) 7 Winners & 2 Losers

    10:19 AM - Short 1 ES 1004.25
    10:20 AM - Cover 1 ES 1003.50
    Result: +0.75

    1:49 PM - Short 1 ES 1008.75
    1:50 PM - Add 1 ES 1010.00
    1:58 PM - Cover 2 ES 1011.00 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -3.25
    Notes: A few minutes later price did go below my initial entry point of 1008.75, so a slightly wider stop-loss would have turned this one into a profitable trade.

    2:10 PM - Short 1 YM 9380
    2:12 PM - Cover 1 YM 9376
    Result: +4
    Notes: My thinking totally changes once my day turns into an overall "down" day, and I start going for very quick hits. This is a problem.

    2:22 PM - Short 1 ES 1009.50
    2:24 PM - Cover 1 ES 1009.25
    Result: +0.25

    2:28 PM - Short 1 NQ 1326.50
    2:40 PM - Cover 1 NQ 1326.00
    Result: +0.50
    Notes: Just the fact that it took me 12 minutes to churn out half a point on the short-side should have been enough clue for me to reverse and go Long, but my head was messed up today for sure.

    2:53 PM - Short 1 ES 1010.75
    3:06 PM - Cover 1 ES 1012.25 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -1.50
    Notes: When is this going to get through your thick head FastTrader? Market is rallying. Why step in front of a moving train? GO WITH THE FLOW!

    3:22 PM - Short 1 ES 1014.00
    3:25 PM - Cover 1 ES 1013.50
    Result: +0.50

    3:41 PM - Short 1 ES 1015.50
    3:52 PM - Cover 1 ES 1015.00
    Result: +0.50

    4:13 PM - Short 1 ES 1016.25
    4:49 PM - Cover 1 ES 1015.75
    Result: +0.50

    ES: -2.25
    NQ: +0.50
    YM: +4

    Very crappy day for me. I broke my rule by trading against the direction of the higher time-frames, and paid for it. Considering how many stupid trades I made today, I think I came out alright.
  3. October 2nd (Thursday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 6 (2 Longs, 4 Shorts) 6 Winners & 0 Losers

    9:35 AM - Long 1 YM 9418
    9:36 AM - Exit 1 YM 9422
    Result: +4

    9:42 AM - Short 1 NQ 1333.00
    9:43 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1332.00
    Result: +1

    9:46 AM - Long 1 ES 1012.00
    9:47 AM - Cover 1 ES 1013.00
    Result: +1

    9:59 AM - Short 1 NQ 1339.00
    10:00 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1338.00
    Result: +1

    10:09 AM - Short 1 NQ 1344.00
    10:14 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1343.00
    Result: +1
    Notes: I was expecting NQ to drop much lower, and it did drop, but I exited early as usual. I just don't trust this market.

    3:14 PM - Short 1 ES 1020.25
    3:15 PM - Cover 1 ES 1020.00
    Result: +0.25

    ES: +1.25
    NQ: +3
    YM: +4

    I think I could have done a much better job today. Yesterday's losing day had me a down a bit, so I was in "recovery mode" rather than trading for real profits. I was going for quick hits. 5 out of my 6 trades were less than 1 minute holds. I knew this was going to happen since all I wanted to do was recover prior day's loss. I also missed a Long entry on ES by a couple of ticks in the morning which could have netted 4-6 ES pts, but I was expecting ES to slide a bit lower. No worries, there's always tomorrow. Now, I'm a bit concerned about tomorrow since the unemployment rate is being released at 8:30 AM Est, and everyone is expecting it to be higher than consensus causing a sell-off. The markets usually go against the majority, so tomorrow will be an interesting day. I will have to be very careful and go for quick low-risk hits tomorrow as well.
  4. October 3rd (Friday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 3 (All Shorts) 1 Winner & 2 Losers

    8:30 AM - Short 1 ES 1028.25
    8:38 AM - Cover 1 ES 1028.75
    Result: -0.50
    Notes: This trade was made by accident, and I felt pretty good about my exit. Usually, I let the market take me out by hitting my stop (which was at 1030.25 in this case), but I didn't like the price action at all, and got out with a minimal loss. This was a good exit, but what I should have done was reversed my position at 1028.75 with a 1.50 stop loss thus keeping my overall risk on this trade the same.

    11:04 AM - Short 1 NQ 1373.50
    11:09 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1376.50 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -3
    Notes: I entered this trade as I was heading for the door leaving for work. Clear lack of discipline here. I should not make any trades I can not monitor. I will try to stick to this rule in the future. Turns out, if I had been monitoring it, I could have bailed for a profit.

    2:24 PM - Short 1 NQ 1386.50
    2:33 PM - Cover 1 NQ 1385.50
    Result: +1
    Notes: I made this trade from work while I was remote connected to my home PC using I use three 19" screens to monitor the market. With this remote connection service, I can only see 1 screen, and this is a clear disadvantage for me. Nonetheless, the entry was pretty good considering HOD on NQ was 1388.00 (my stop was at 1388.50 on this trade). This could have been a 20 pt profit, but trading from work with no time on hand took it's toll on this one. I should not trade from work.

    ES: -0.50
    NQ: -2

    I gotta say, watching the ES go from 1020 to 1030 in a matter of less than a couple of minutes was sweet! It was worth it to get up early this morning for the show :)
  5. T-REX



    I knew I'd rubb off on you sooner or later.:)
  6. October 6th (Monday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 8 (4 Shorts, 4 Longs) 7 Winners & 1 Loser

    9:33 AM - Long 1 NQ 1380.00
    9:34 AM - Exit 1 NQ 1378 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -2

    9:40 AM - Short 1 YM 9545
    9:42 AM - Cover 1 YM 9543
    Result: +2

    9:45 AM - Long 1 NQ 1372.50
    9:47 AM - Exit 1 NQ 1373.50
    Result: +1

    9:48 AM - Long 1 ES 1028.75
    9:54 AM - Exit 1 ES 1029.25
    Result: +0.50

    9:55 AM - Long 1 YM 9538
    9:56 AM - Exit 1 YM 9540
    Result: +2
    Notes: This exit was way too early. All of my exits are usually early, but this one was overkill. Should have held on for 10 more points at least.

    10:07 AM - Short 1 ES 1031.00
    10:09 AM - Cover 1 ES 1030.50
    Result: +0.50

    10:12 AM - Short 1 NQ 1380.00
    10:17 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1379.00
    Result: +1

    2:37 PM - Short 1 ES 1034.50
    2:49 PM - Cover 1 ES 1033.75
    Result: +0.75
    Notes: Another early exit. I was expecting price to drop to at least 1033.50, but due to low volume, I did not want to risk not being filled so decided to place a limit to exit 1 tick above my intended exit. Price actually fell to 1032.25 a few minutes after I covered, so I left at least 1.25 pts profit on the table.

    ES: +1.75
    NQ: +0
    YM: +4
  7. October 7th (Tuesday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trade: 8 (4 Longs, 4 Shorts) 6 Winners, 2 Losers

    9:52 AM - Long 1 ES 1026.25
    9:53 AM - Exit 1 ES 1026.50
    Result: +0.25

    9:57 AM - Long 1 YM 9535
    10:01 AM - Exit 1 YM 9525 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -10

    10:06 AM - Short 1 NQ 1373.00
    10:08 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1371.00
    Result: +2

    10:09 AM - Long 1 ES 1024.75
    10:09 AM - Exit 1 ES 1025.00
    Result: +0.25
    Notes: As always, early exit. 1027.50 would have been a better exit. Price actually continued up to 1029.75 before any significant pull back.

    2:09 PM - Short 1 ES 1029.00
    2:09 PM - Cover 1 ES 1028.50
    Result: +0.50
    Notes: Counter-trend trade. Plus, I wasn't getting confirmation from TRIN so bailed quickly. What I should do on these quick counter-trend trades is reverse my position on the Exit.

    2:22 PM - Short 1 ES 1031.75
    2:26 PM - Cover 1 ES 1031.50
    Result: +0.25
    Notes: Price was not going my way. Any time it takes several minutes to pull out 1 tick in ES; you're on the wrong side so exit and reverse accordingly.

    2:30 PM - Long 1 ES 1032.75
    2:31 PM - Exit 1 ES 1033.00
    Result: +0.25
    Notes: This trade was a total accident. I had a Buy Stop at 1032.75 for my previous trade, and I guess I must have typed in the OCA number incorrectly for my previous exit, so this was still an active order. I'm lucky I got away with it, and will be more careful in the future.

    2:42 PM - Short 1 YM 9587
    2:45 PM - Cover 1 YM 9594 (Trailing stop hit)
    Result: -7
    Notes: YM sucks and I should not trade it. I barely make any points in YM and it's just not worth the risk. Not only that, I miss out opportunities in ES while I'm watching YM. So, going forward, I will not be trading YM unless it provides a great value, e.g. ES is up 10 pts and YM is up 2 pts. In that case, I will go long on YM since I'd be expecting the market should balance out soon. That's the cool thing about trading: you learn something new everyday. Key is to keep these 'lessons' as cheap as possible :D

    ES: +1.50
    NQ: +2
    YM: -17

    I should have been going with the flow, and riding the ES to the long side most of the day. My 3-min chart was saying BUY most of the day, but I ignored it and traded off the 100-tick and 1 min. charts so my profits were very limited since I was playing with fire; jumping in front of a freight train to pick up a quarter. Definitely not the smartest thing to do, but in real-time trading, emotions can cause a person to lose all logic. I'm a Software Developer by profession; how can I program myself to think properly and clearly during trading? If I can solve that one; I think I have it made :)
  8. October 8th (Wednesday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 7 (4 Longs, 3 Shorts) 5 Winners, 2 Losers

    9:35 AM - Long 1 ES 1036.00
    9:37 AM - Exit 1 ES 1035.75
    Result: -0.25
    Notes: Most of the good entries go in my favor immediately; usually within 30 seconds so I cut this one after it just chopped up and down for a couple of minutes. A little patience would have turned this one into a Profit but my 30 min. chart was saying SHORT so I did not want to risk it.

    9:47 AM - Long 1 ES 1034.25
    9:51 AM - Exit 1 ES 1034.75
    Result: +0.50

    10:01 AM - Short 1 ES 1036.50
    10:02 AM - Cover 1 ES 1037.50 (Stop-loss hit)
    Result: -1.00
    Notes: My entries have to be pretty precise for me to make money, and this entry was definitely early. I think Greed took over since I didn't want to 'miss' this trade.

    10:03 AM - Short 1 ES 1037.00
    10:05 AM - Cover 1 ES 1036.75
    Result: +0.25
    Notes: I think this is the type of trade where an "Add" would work out pretty good. Instead of exiting at 1037.50 on my previous trade, I could have done an "Add" to my short position. But since I'm new to trading, I will do as advised by you experienced traders and stay away from "Adds".

    10:09 AM - Long 1 NQ 1395.00
    10:10 AM - Exit 1 NQ 1396.00
    Result: +1.00

    10:13 AM - Short 1 NQ 1394.00
    10:14 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1393.00
    Result: +1.00
    Notes: Early exit. But one good thing I see by looking at the past two trades is, I can enter Long or Short without really giving it much thought. From reading posts of other traders on the EliteTrader board, it seems like that's a big issue for many of them.

    1:42 PM - Long 1 ES 1032.25
    1:45 PM - Exit 1 ES 1032.75
    Result: +0.50
    Notes: Early exit yet again. I got an actual Sell/Short signal at 1034 so perhaps I should stick with the trade until I get a signal to exit. What may be even better is to then exit and reverse my position. Not sure about that. If anyone has any thoughts on this method (exit on profit and reverse), please reply.

    ES: 0.00
    NQ: +2.00

    I don't know why, but I was very hesitant today to put on trades. I hesitated too much, and missed a lot of good entries. I wanted to short at 1039+ before the market even opened but I hesitated. My biggest challenge is to overcome the psychological pitfalls in trading.
  9. October 9th (Thursday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 9 (2 Longs, 7 Shorts) 7 Winners, 2 Losers

    9:36 AM - Short 1 NQ 1406.00
    9:37 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1405.50
    Result: +0.50

    9:39 AM - Short 1 NQ 1408.00
    9:40 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1407.50
    Result: +0.50

    9:46 AM - Long 1 ES 1041.75
    9:47 AM - Long 1 ES 1042.00 <-- This was an order entry error. It was supposed to be an exit, but my orders got messed up.
    9:48 AM - Exit 2 ES 1041.50
    Result: -0.75
    Notes: I am looking at a better order entry platform so these type of mistakes/losses can be avoided. Ninja Trader looks pretty damn good and only costs 0.5 ES pt per month :)

    9:51 AM - Short 1 ES 1042.25
    9:51 AM - Cover 1 ES 1041.75
    Result: +0.50
    Notes: Super-scalp mode to make up for prior loss. Total time in trade: 22 seconds :D

    10:00 AM - Short 1 NQ 1405.00
    10:03 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1404.00
    Result: +1.00

    10:19 AM - Short 1 NQ 1405.00
    10:19 AM - Cover 1 NQ 1404.00
    Result: +1.00

    2:02 PM - Short 1 NQ 1413.00
    2:07 PM - Cover 1 NQ 1414.00
    Result: -1.00
    Notes: 5 minutes and no profit! Sure sign my entry was sloppy. Of course, I should have exercised patience since this was a decent trade and would have profited given enough time. All of you probably think I'm on SPEED or something while I'm trading, LOL :D

    2:15 PM - Long 1 ES 1041.50
    2:16 PM - Exit 1 ES 1041.75
    Result: +0.25

    2:24 PM - Short 1 NQ 1409.50
    2:28 PM - Cover 1 NQ 1408.50
    Result: +1.00
    Notes: I need patient exits; I know.

    ES: 0.00
    NQ: +3.00
  10. October 10th (Friday)

    Followed Trading Plan: [​IMG]

    Total trades: 1 (0 Longs, 1 Short) 1 Winner, 0 Losers

    9:32 AM - Short 1 ES 1038.00
    9:33 AM - Cover 1 ES 1037.50
    Result: +0.50

    ES: +0.50
    NQ: 0.00

    I was showing a friend how I trade the ES/NQ this morning, and didn't want to put on real$ trades. I banked it pretty well on the simulator in the first hour though. 9.5 ES pts and 4 NQ pts, but it was on 'paper' so doesn't mean much :D
    #10     Oct 10, 2003
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