Take every setup ? Or quit when you're up

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by wiesman02, May 19, 2010.

  1. Just curious as to what you guys think.

    I trade the ES. Lately, I've been enforcing a rule for myself where when I'm up 1.75 points or more, I stop trading for the day, and just watch the market..... trying to get better at reading it while keeping my profits.

    This works out fairly well except for the occasional blow-up.....I'll start trading off the 1 min charts instead of higher time frame charts and get chopped up real bad. My +$100 days on 1 contract turn into -$450.....I mean hardcore tilt.

    Lately, these blowups happen less and less. And many times they stem from the fact that I don't take my good setups....I leave them be....then see them profit, and get pissed and get into trades that I shouldn't.

    So now, when I'm up 1.75 points +, I quit. I know I'm limiting myself when I only take 2 points per day. I see other opportunities that I could be trading, but I leave them alone.

    *Oh and FYI, if I'm long, and have a target that will net me 3 points, i will not exit early for 2 points *

    Is this a stupid idea ? Or how many days in a row do u think it should take for me to graduate to taking every setup ? Or should I be taking every setup ?
  2. When day trading, "it's not about how much you can make in a day, but how many days you can make."
  3. automate.
  4. LeeD


    It's also about not having a large loss when you are having a down day.

    By the way, I see you posted a quote. Is it from someone famous?
  5. I only take best setups I see, I usually place less than 5 trades a day, but I only trade 6E and Crude Oil. Alot of times if I am up, I will be more cautious or set tighter stops, but when I hit a winner Im trying to make them to run as long as possible.

    I havent been able to make as much money in the ES or NQ .. as i Did shorting the euro and playing Oil both ways.
  6. NoDoji


    I think 1.75 pts was a good target when the daily range was 6-10 pts, but ES has been providing individual 5-min bars of 4 pts or more several times a day, so I think you need to shoot for a larger piece of the pie at least once a day.

    The 3-min chart appears to be the smallest reliable intraday time frame I've seen, especially useful as a cross reference to the 5-min chart. I tried 1-min chart in sim when the volatility increased, because I thought it would help me get into trades earlier with tighter stops and I chopped myself to death. Decided to trust my setups instead and not worry about slightly wider stops.

    One of the best setups I see on ES off the 3-min chart is a hammer/inverted hammer at a pivot point off a strong move in one direction. Looking at today's chart from the open to the close, you have the following such signals: 10:21am bar, long signal; 11:30am bar, long signal; 11:48am bar, long signal; 12:03pm bar, short signal; 12:27pm bar, short signal; 12:48pm bar, long signal; 1:03pm bar, short signal; 1:36pm bar, long signal; 1:48pm bar, short signal; 2:00pm bar, long signal (not too keen on this last one because of the possible micro-trend exhaustion after 5 pushes up from the pivot low). They don't all work, but most of them do, they limit your risk and the ones that really move, give you 3 pts or better depending on how you manage your trades.

    I trade these a lot with CL too. Wait for the bar to completely close as a hammer/inverted hammer, then enter immediately with a stop at the hammer bar's high/low.

    This is what usually put me on tilt, too.

    Why don't you take your good setups?

    I sometimes don't take a good setup because at first I don't want to jump in too soon before the setup is confirmed. Then the price bar that confirms the setup is very wide and I'm afraid to place such a wide stop. Then when I see the move went in my favor 3x or more the distance of my wide stop, I get pissed. (Confession: Sometimes I will get so pissed that I'll throw in the towel with everyone else who's capitulating and actually scalp a piece of the end of the move. I'm not proud of myself when I do this, but it actually works because I can place a 2-4 tick stop and usually scalp a couple pts, or 20 ticks if it's CL.)

    If you hesitate to take a good setup, I say just let it go. Wait for a re-entry point or a new setup.
  7. I have never seen ANY proposition where it made sense to cut your winning time periods short because you hit a target. You might want to "trail a stop" so that once you are up X for the day you will quit if you give 1/2 X back ... but that is very different than cutting it short at X. It is those times when it is all working that pays for the bad days and presumably leaves a profit over and above. You can't find success in the bad days you can only work to limit failure to a reasonable (and responsible) number. Since all of what you will earn and all of your capacity to deffer losses will occur on "good" days you must stay in the game and take your trades.
  8. LeeD


    You can interpret the OP differently...

    You have had a good day, you have had a few profitable trades, you have hit (and posiible exceeded) whatever daily target you might have. Now, should you put another trade on or is it better to call it a day?
  9. One more point. To my way of thinking the only reason to trade ES is because you are trading real size. It is the toughest of the liquid markets. Until you are moving at least 20 cars per trip give ES a pass and look at NQ, E6 (and the other major currencies). Add CL and ZG to the list if you can afford to trade them. ES is simply a tougher game to play. Guys that trade in hundred lots don't have much choice but then again they don't need much in the way of advice from me ... lol.
  10. I am suggesting that he should not have an absolute daily target on the upside. Once he hits X he should continue to trade and trail a stop at 50% or 30% or whatever behind X.


    #10     May 19, 2010