*This first post became quite long so if you don't care to read it all, just scroll down to where it says TRADING. So what do we have here? Another journal in the Journals Forum. I've been thinking about doing this for a couple weeks, but haven't really come around to doing it because I wasn't really sure what I wanted to get out of doing something like this. I normally keep my own journal, but it has slowly evolved into me just writing out my thoughts for the day in a Word document, adding the day's chart, and then closing it. Lately it has come down to pretty much forgetting about it until much later because I am off doing something else when the NYMEX closes. So why am I doing this? I want to hold myself accountable to my trading. I'm feeling discouraged. Trading on my own and reviewing my own trades only causes me to see things in hindsight. If I make a profitable trade then it is always, "yes, I made a correct trade." If I make a losing trade then it is, "well, I guess that was a higher low," or "well, there is some strong buying coming in so I shouldn't have shorted there," etc. Then the loop comes in that I start to try to refine my strategy and tell myself that I won't do that again, only to do it again! And who am I? I'm 27 from Pennsylvania and I still live at home with my parents. I largely have no idea what I want to do with my life and so I tend to not want to pay rent to someone when I don't really plan on staying in the area that I grew up in. I save as much money as I can, but right now I don't have an income. My savings is not a problem so the whole "go out and get a job to support your trading" really doesn't need to be an issue. I have more money in savings and investments than I'm using for my trading account. I believe that my trading account is sufficiently funded. 2003 was the first year that I really got myself into the stock market. I was on a military deployment and during our training I somehow got involved into talking with a guy in my Company who was into business and investing. It was around that time that I started buying my first companies, such as Intel, Penn National Gaming, Boyd (the casino), Coca-Cola Bottling. I had no idea what I was doing. I pretty much just went off of what he said. In 2004 I did some foreign exchange trading for a short time, and in 2005 I did some more foreign exchange trading where one day I decided to trade some news only to have a huge drawdown of around $8,000 before it came back and I got out for maybe a $100 loss. I'm surprised I didn't get a margin call. I hung that up for awhile while I was in college where I went from Criminology to Finance (after I got back from my deployment) to Economics where I have a BA in Economics. I was a Police Officer for almost 4 years, following my dream, only to have those dreams turn into misery when I ended up hating every day that I had to work. My secondary dream was to live in California so in September of 2008, I quit my job, packed up my car, and drove out to San Diego where I lived with my friend and his g/f for about 3 weeks and then moved to my aunt and uncle's for about another month or so. I applied to 54 jobs not having a clue what I wanted to do, got a sales job in Los Angeles that was a pyramid scheme and quit the first day, and then had an interview with a large government defense contractor, but didn't get selected. I decided it was too expensive to live out there without an income and so I moved back home to live with my parents having a full-time job with the police waiting for me. I worked for about a year and a half full-time before I started to hate it again. I went out and took some risk and resigned from my job this past May and in August I started trading a live account again. **I can honestly say that my trading would not be where it's at today without the help from NoDoji. Thanks again!** This is getting to be quite long so I am just going to cut the introduction about me and get onto my trading. TRADING I strictly trade Price Action with a 20 EMA on the 5 minute chart and stay out of any trades around any news. I try to not look at anything else other than the Crude Oil chart. Sometimes I'll look at the ES just to see if I can make any sense out of it, but most of the time I don't have it on my screen. Over the last month or so I have reduced my trading time from the NYMEX open, 9:00am, until 12:00pm (noon) EST since that seems to be the best time to trade. I then go off and do other things. Just to clarify how to read my chart: Big Red Arrow - NYMEX open Horizontal Dashed Line - Previous Day's Close Turquoise Line - 20 EMA Small Green "Up" Arrow - Long Trades Small Red "Down" Arrow - Short Trades I don't want to cluster up the chart so I will only be posting a screen shot of the period that I trade with maybe some bars from pre-market. I then plan to talk about my trades and why I took them. I'm hoping that I can get some direct feedback on my trading to accelerate my learning curve. My strategy currently goes with 10 tick stops and 11 tick targets. I did this because there seems to be common moves of 10-11 ticks in a direction if the trade is a high probability trade. I often give up taking a larger move, but in the beginning when I went for the larger moves I often ended up giving up those 11 ticks to get 1 tick at breakeven, while not being completely confident in my trading. I am very aware of this and do want to take larger moves, but I'm also just trying to be profitable while gaining confidence and the understanding of trading. I have missed or not taken a lot of trades only to watch them go in my favor. I would be doing very well right now if I could just get over my hesitation to take trades. I have been vigorously working on that since September, having read Trading in the Zone 3 times now. So let's get on with the show. Entries after this one will get to the point and not be so long-winded. Please stay with me! There seems to be some color distortion on the charts, but I will work on that. Trade 1: Long at 82.35. Price had gone through the EMA and came all the way back. I also had Friday's close right near the bottom there, which was previous support. I went long at one tick above the high of the green hammer bar. On this trade I went to put in my stop, but accidently did it with a Limit and I was taken out immediately at -4 ticks. Total -4. Trade 2: Long at 82.30. CL was in a small range back and forth finding support on the EMA several times. The previous red hammer-like bar did not extend all the way up and so I was effectively going long at a lower part of the range. I've seen patterns like this happen often where the bar to enter on when it gets ready to make its move tends to find support like this without extending all the way back up. Two bars later it made its move, but since it was not having any follow through on the current bar I ended up getting out at +1 before it closed on the lows of that bar. Total -3. Trade 3: Short at 83.06. For some reason I kept having this idea that price was too high and there was going to be some kind of pullback to the EMA. I had a short-bias. I kept looking for some kind of weak, failed break out. The one red bar felt like it was getting weak and so I entered on 1 tick below the low only to have it turn around against me immediately. Yes, I sold that bottom tick. In hindsight it actually looks like a good long trade, but with my short-bias I failed to see that. My stop was 10 ticks, but I ended up getting slippage and got out at -11. Total -14. End Total of -15.5 (added commissions). I then watched the rest of the morning not knowing what to do. I figured I took 2 losses today so I'd just hang it up for the day and walk away. The first trade that I screwed up put me in a negative state of mind. I was pretty frustrated with myself. I thought about going long on the first big green bar after it bounced off the EMA, but with so much downward pullback previously I wasn't sure where the market was headed. So I'm going to end this here. This is quite long. If you read all the way, thanks. I hope you still have some energy to provide any advice.