Friday, June 29, 2007

June 26 trade summary $326


Gotta go to work. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

June 28 Trade Summary $1,028


I woke up at 7:15, traded for 45 min, made my daily goal trading from the book without my charts, and now I'm done for the day. I think if I quit trading by 9am my time each day I would be about 50k richer since I started trading last year. This morning I simply traded the range knowing that there was a less likely hood of any breakout trends occuring with FOMC minutes pending. Oil popped up this morning, and I found 70.11 to be a key number on CL, and 846.8 to be a key number on ER2. I was going to quit after I hit 500, but decided to go for my goal before 9:30am hit. NYSE A/D looks to be trending down but is still above 1.5. When NYSE A/D went through 1.5 yesterday, the indices took off vertically, and when we have breakouts above 1.5 during the afternoons like yesterday, the price action tends to be a breakout trend, from what I've noticed. Also when NYSE A/D breakouts out below 0.8 during the afternoon when it was previously in the 1.5 range for the day, then this tends to be a down trending afternoon setup. Today should be an interesting day with FOMC minutes in 3 hours, OH GOODY!
I won't be trading it because historically I've lost more than I've made trading this number, however 2 days later often shows a reversal from FOMC day, and the day after FOMC tends to be a choppy session, which is good for me, because I got work early on Friday, so I won't miss out on much I think.

PS, Am I the only one that has to make posts twice because of bloggers word verification not working the first time you do it?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27 Trade Analysis


Here's today's lucky charts!
Thanks for all the comments everyone.
No need for analysis, it's the same BS as usual on my blow up days, average losers and puke the trade when you feel the max pain or the market closes. ER2 had a nice 20pt run up today with a 2pt pullback during some periods during the day. Tommorow is FOMC day, should be boring after todays crazyness. Today we had bonds and equities inverse trading again, I think Paulson made a statement which made the dive in bonds and rally in equities occur. If you learn anything know that the inverse bond/equity relationship occurs leading up to FOMC meetings, something I think I just realized that is important to know and can be made into some sort of strategy.
I'm not sure what I'm doing as far as trading goes, I'm watching ER2 continue to climb right now in the afterhours around 11:45pm EST now at 847, good thing I finally cut that bastard.

Trade analysis-
I've never had a trade that ran for more than 3pts on ER2, I've never caught a trend day. This past month I was on the wrong side of the trend on the 2 largest range/trend days and also inccured my biggest losses ever (-18k and -9.5k), I do good at trading the first 2 hours, the afternoon I tend to lose my money/ make a couple hundred bucks, rarely make a couple grand, and have all of my blow up days by averaging a bad position on trending days in the afternoon.
I wish I had a trade risk manager because my big blow ups may have been able to have been stopped, becuase I'm stubborn and greedy, and I still haven't learned from my mistakes, I make 1 months of profit and through it out the window in a day, 2x this month, 20k out the window, (%*% me. Don't you just love loser traders venting their losses, it's funny. I still don't know how I'm going to avoid another blow up day like today, stops you say?, yeah maybe I should try that, or maybe I should try the not averaging losers thing....

So I'm pretty much back to where I started in May,,,,a month is lost, so close to getting back to breakeven, but all is lost. Will Johnny boy prevail,,,,,,,,,,,tune in next week, or whenever it is I decide to post again.

Anyone want to short the market tommorow with me before FOMC minutes are released? Heck lets bet the whole account, what's left of it,,, on some IWM 81 puts!!!!

June 27 Trade Summary -$9,500

Well I was up over 1k, and then I decided to go short ER2 around noon EST. I suffered another catastrophic day from an unusual trading day. Days like today make you want to quit. Overleveraged and stops placed too wide. I'm done. I don't know if I'm trading anymore. This really pisses me off. I was thinking of buying some vix puts this morning and going long ER2. Greed got me in the end, wanting to get breakeven. Have a good day, Sorry for taking down the VO guys, I'm probably done now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Question to Readers

I know there are a lot of traders that read this blog that are futures traders and I have a couple of simple questions for you.

1.Who is your broker? (if you don't wish to say, just tell me if it is a broker other than IB so I have an idea to base my results on)
2.What time does your broker auto-liquidate your position if you are overleveraged?
(for example IB liquidates outstanding futures positions at 3:50pm EST give or take a minute)

What is the point of these questions you ask,,,,I'm curious if this short time period of trading has an influence on price and how many brokers are involved in auto-liquadation of positions and at what times these brokers execute. I know there are many retail brokers that let you hold your overleveraged futures position until 4:15pm or later, but I was hoping to hear back from some of my readers that trade with other brokerages. Knowing this information would be helpful so please all contribute.

June 26 trade summary $2,147


Today I did good on futures, but did terrible on one stock trade which was a long on GS that I was looking to scalp. Turns out I bought the top and made the same mistake as yesterday with holding it for a big loss. I think I need to stop trading stocks or trade smaller size on the stocks I'm trading because I made the same mistake twice. The bonds and stock indices are behaving inversley to one another, and my GS buy was a perfect short because ZN had bottomed out right around when I bought it.

P/L $2,147 on 95 contracts and 2,700 shares

Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25 Trade Summary


Today was a battle up 1500 in the AM, down 2000 off the selloff, but I made it back in the last 45 min. AAPL burnt me bad, and I didn't see the drop coming. Only loser today was AAPL for a whopping $1,299. It was a scalp that I wanted to make $20 on,,,,,OOPS! I should have taken the $250 loss when I got the first bounce, NYSE A/D had a totally bearish setup for continuation to the downside and I felt frozen and stuck in AAPL, I waited for the 12pm reversal and scaled out on AAPL and got a winner on ER2 to make up for my humilating loss on AAPL. I usually scale out on my bad trades just like I scale in on my good trades, but today I totally screwed up by not watching the major market and NYSE A/D during the afternoon. I need to keep trend line alerts on the NYSE A/D. I was so focused on AAPL that I lost track of what the broad market was doing and I ended up losing what I made in the morning. I failed to use a stop on AAPL and was struck with "Deer in the headlights syndrome" (DITHS,,aka DIPSHIT without a stop loss)

P/L $1,638 net on 75 contracts, and 4,100 shares

Today could have been a good day but I screwed it up by not watching NYSE A/D. Oil popped today too, but XLE really didn't lift the market. I'm not sure if there was news out today besides the morning housing number that I missed, but it was yet again another good day full of volatility and I'm glad I came out ahead after screwing up so bad on AAPL.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June 22 Trade Summary $569


Not bad for 30min worth of work. My charts wouldn't load, so I traded straight from the book. Got work early this morning.Have a good weekend ya'll.

P/L= $569 (28 contracts traded)

You'll see I traded with no strategy this morning except to be long around the key time reversal period of 7:15-7:30. My goal was to make $100 before work, goal accomplished. NVDA sold off this morning as well as CAKE,,,,,too bad I didn't hold those shorts.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 21 Trade Summary $1,112


Market Summary-
TOday was a very volatile and good day to trade the stock indices.

P/L= $1,112 73 futures contracts and 3100 shares traded

Trade Summary-
Got my but kicked on NVDA trying to short it in the afternoon as well as CAKE.
Did well on futures and scalping GOOG and Crude Oil.
Overall I shouldn't have tried doing a short term intraday swing trade on CAKE because it was a slow mover that lost momentum in the afternoon, and I should have managed my stops better on NVDA because I could have come out with a winner on it today. Also by trading NVDA and CAKE in the afternoon I wasted time I could have been trading ER2 and YM.

I got a comment yesterday that asked how many trades I took, I'm not sure, there was alot. Checkout today's trade log if your curious. I did 49 one lot trades on YM today, with some 1 lots being adds to my core position.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20 Trade Summary $1,006


Trade Summary-
I got a long scalp on ER2 near the moring lows and shorted YM near the top around 7:30am. ER2 was the better short today compared to YM which has a more bullish tone compared to the other indices today. XLE and Crude Oil are selling off as I type right now, but volume may be letting up for some consolidation or a bounce pretty soon. Could only trade the first 2 hours, gotta go to work. I'm not sure what is going on with bonds in relation to trading correlations with the stock indices.

P/L= $1,006 (36 futures contracts and 200 shares traded)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Joining the Virtual Office

Today is the first day I'm participating in Dinausor Traders Virtual Office. Here is the link to his site where the P/L of Blogging Traders is shared. Dinausor Traders Virtual Office
Thanks DT.

June 19 Trade Summary $423


I'm getting a little better at my position sizing, but still need to work on my stops. I anticipated a second morning pop, but failed to cover my short because I didn't think we would pop another 2.5 pts on ER2. Using tick extremes with NYSE A/D will be my back bone, with block trades as added support to my trade setup. I'm glad my commission is reduced now too, because every little bit helps. I decided to add my blog to Dinausor Traders Virtual Office because I noticed he could use some extra company with the departure of some of the traders. I could only trade the first 2 hours because I got work this morning. I made my money today shorting near VAH on ER2 and getting a bounce on YM at VAL.

P/L= $423 (30 futures contracts traded)

Market Observations-
ER2's morning high was yesterday's VAL(853), there was a short setup there with an exit placed at today's VWAP(850).

Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18 Block Trades

I've been watching Citigroup a lot lately because it has a high correlation with SPY.
Here is my nightly analysis of a comparison between C and YM, with Block trades circled.

Here is part of the strategy I'm working on combining NYSE A/D, NYSE TICK, and price and volume. Add in the block trade signals from C, SPY, IWM, and I might be on to something.

June 18 Trade Summary $219


Baby Steps. That's what I'm doing right now. I traded terribly all day today. Something about Monday's I tend to do badly. I watched the first hour hesistant to enter a trade. I made the mistake of shorting ER2 today instead of YM. You can see by comparing the charts that ER2 had a more bullish bias into the afternoon.

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15 Trade Summary $207


I wasn't looking to make a lot this morning. I still need to work on position sizing and my stops. This weekend I plan on spending some time reviewing trade setups. I could only trade the first 2.5hrs.

Market observations-
Bond volatility is showing the same pattern of lossing volatility after the first hour and a half. ZN normally opens up and would fade into the afternoon. When ZN hit its peak around 8am, the stock indices put in a retracement.

Some Block trades on IWM and DIA

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 14 Trade summary $162


I'm still messing up on my stops and trade entries. I need to spend more time reviewing my trade setups. I'm going to try to enter with only 1 contract initially and only adding to winners. As long as I start out with 1 contract, and I don't add to it if it's a loser, and I put in a 7-1.4 tick stop, then I shouldn't have any big losses. The spikes up on the indices have been unforgiving if you are short without a stop. I'm seeing bonds lossing their influence on equities after the first hour of trading and it looks like ZN still shows a pattern of getting faded around 7:30am. Could only trade the first 2 hours.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13 Trade Summary


I'm positive for the week and that's what matters most. I'm starting to realize what I'm doing wrong. The way I was trading 2 months ago was a much better method than what I've been doing lately. Lately I haven't been trailing my profit with stops, and I end up letting a winner turn into a loser. So I'm making sure I trail my profits no matter how small they may be. I need to make sure I only add to winners and that I keep that stop close incase of a reversal. I'm hesistant lately and I need to slowly build up my confidence again by trading small and consistently. I didn't participate in the afternoon beige book rally. Today was a decent day and I wasn't interupted with work or phone calls, so I was able to trade better. The market is still rallying as I type right now, but I'm not buying. All sectors are in the black and ER2 is at a daily pivot level.

Market Observations-
I'm sure you've heard it already, but ZN and ES are trading in tandem instead of inversely to each other these last few days, and the market has been putting in big gaps in the morning both ways.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What Happened on my big loss

I was long, 18 contracts (equivalent to like 18,000 shares of IWM) with and avg. price of 837, exited 2 at 838 at my signal, but didn't have in a stop, then the drop happened. I never added to the position on the way down, I was long in the morning and didn't have a stop. I exited 10 at 828.5 because I had to leave for work. I never had in a stop. I left on another 6 contracts overnight and covered at 823.1. Today the high of the day was 837. OUCH! What happened. I had to leave for work, that's what happened. Just like today, I was long and had to leave for work. I ended up breakeven after making 1k in the morning. Work,,,Work, Work............I'm sure I will bounce back, the fact that I lost so much in one day is disturbing. I've read all the trading books, Trading in the zone included. This month was different then last month because I've been trying to use large size, but I can't trade the same way with large size, and as a result I have had some big losing days these last few weeks. So I need to switch up my style and go back to what I was doing before, becuase my trade management before never would have let a loss this big occur, because I was using stops before. It's going to be hard trading small size again, but it is the only way for me to get back on my feet.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

June 7 Trade Summary $-18k


I blew up today. I can't trade large size. I had to leave for work and left a portion of my position on and it cost me an extra 5k in losses. This is why I still have a fulltime job. For days like this. You never know when they will strike. I made many mistakes, but it doesn't matter now. I don't know what to say, and I feel nothing right now. I had a chance to exit for a profit at my target but I didn't go flat, and it cost me. I pretty much lost all of last months profit in 1 day. I leveraged myself long in at the top with no stop, and exited a large chunk of my position when I had to leave for work which happened to be at a peak selling point. I left on 6 cards, which are now 6 pts and $3,600 cut deeper into my account. I'm officially an idiot that doesn't know how to trade. This is a classic newbie mistake of trading too large of size, not using stops, and freezing up and waiting until you felt the max pain on your position. I think I need some time to recoup from this loss. I have to work a lot next week. I should have gone to bed earlier last night and planned out the day ahead of time and not put myself in this position. The only way I will be able to survive is if I trade small it looks like. I'll have to go back to the drawing board and just look to make a couple hundred dollars a day instead of thousands. How cool am I for making this post were I talk about my huge screw up were I lost 18k in 1 day.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Best Broker for Trading Futures based on Commissions

I made a post earlier that had the wrong calculations, so this is a redo

My trading volume has been increasing trading ER2; over 1k RT for the month of May, and I'm losing money by using my current bundled rate commission setup through Interactive Brokers, so I've done some research to see how I can reduce my trading costs.

Broker Commission Comparison, 1000 Round Trips per month, trading CME index futures-

Interactive Brokers Bundled fee- $4,800
Interactive Brokers Unbundled fee- $4,480

TradeStation standard fee- $4,480
TradeStation Lessee member fee- $4,440 ($3,040 + current IOM lease fee of $1,400=$4,440)

MB Trading fee- $4,500

Velocity Futures standard fee- $4,500 ($3,900 + $500 platform fee for X-Trader Standard)
Velocity Futures Lessee member fee- $4,750 ($4,250 + $500 standard platform fee)

Conclusion- These are the rates I found for 1k RT's per month, obviously the rates for the Lessee's at each firm goes down with the more volume you trade.

If my volume goes up to 2,500 RT/month then who would be best broker?

Interactive Brokers Bundled fee- $11,520
Interactive Brokers Unbundled fee- $9,870

TradeStation standard fee- $9,870
TradeStation Lessee member fee- $7,770 ($6,370 + 1400 lease fee= $7,770)

Velocity Futures Lessee member fee- $7,875 ($7,375 + $500 standard platform fee)

Useful links-
CME membership and Lease info

If I start to consistently trade over 100 RT a day (2000 RT/month) I will most likely switch to Velocity Futures or another FCM that offers a competitive rate.

Note- This information is for my own use only and may or may not be correct. Also, if anyone has any comments or see's corrections let me know. There are other trading fee's I didn't include for each broker that add to the total costs per month. Also another factor in picking the best broker is the interest given on the money in the account.

June 6 Trade Summary $2,656


I hit my goal mid-day and then took a break and came back and did some light scalping on YM, ER2 and some stocks. GOOG seems easy to market make, but can be dangerous if it has a breakout. If you were long into the close and you got hit you can thank the tech sector for crushing your position. Overall I traded conservatively today and traded smaller size and focused on my setups. Today was pretty much a stressless day.

P/L= $2,656 (45 RT ER2, 24 RT YM, 1 RT CL, 2s GOOG, 4s SMH- all winners)

Market Observations-
GOOG had a nice late day breakout as soon as the market showed a little bit of bullishness. SMH and Financials got hit hard today. Crude Oil didn't do much. ZN is going up?? Look out equities!

June 6 Mid-dayTrade Summary $2,007 (29 RT on ER2, 1 RT CL)


I traded the first 3 hours and hit my daily goal so I'm taking a break. I traded very good today. I waited for my setups and got 2 good runners which were both long positions believe it or not.

P/L= $2,007 (29 RT on ER2, 1 RT CL)

Market Observations-
I never watched the cash market for the Rusell 2000, but I'm starting to now and I see that it has it's advantages. I think a good portion of the block trades I see on my charts aren't professional human trades, but computers that are arbing the difference between the cash and futures contract. Out of all the futures products I've been watching for the last year, I would say breakout trades work the best on the bonds. The best trending futures contract is bonds, and the best contract to market make during slow times is crude oil.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 5 Trade Summary $6,187


Today was a day of redemption. I was short yesterday going into the close and got stopped out for 3k, went long and got stopped out for 1k. In the process of losing 4k in about 30min I learned a new trade setup and a good lesson in sticking to the game plan and not taking impolsive trades. Tommorow should be the first day I get reduced commissions, which is much needed, because the last 2 days I've traded over 100 lots on ER2.

P/L= $6,187

Trading thoughts-
There were a number of times I though about quiting today. When I hit 2k, I thought that I was lucky to have made so much back from yesterdays loss. Then I got to 4k and started to trade more conservatively. Then I got to 5k and knew that I had to take all the setups I could with reasonable size to make back my full loss from yesterday, plus a little extra to make me positive for the week. I'm also starting to trade Crude oil more, which seems to be a great contract to scalp. Last year I got my butt kicked trading QM, but I see that CL is much better for scalping and I've learned a thing or two since last year.

Things I need to work on-
Entering size only on signals- (Today I entered on an impulse and it cost me 3k in lost profits.)
Taking more scalp trades with 2-4 cards.
Exit at your signals or at least cut 3/4 of the position and tighten stops very tight with a couple of contracts extra for a potential reversal fade.
Wait for setup on NYSE A/D and NYSE TICK (to be honest I haven't been watching NYSE TICK for weeks now. I just watch my price chart and the A/D charts, but I missed a couple of setups that would have benefited me had I been using my old setups).

June 4 Trade Summary $-5,907


I didn't have time to post yesterday because I had to leave for work right after I got done trading. I was up over 1k in the morning and then I lost that plus another 6k in trading the last 2 hours. I blame the big loss on taking impolsive trades and letting emotions take control at the wrong time. I wasn't following my strategy and averaged losers. I was also distracted by taking 5 calls while I was trading, and having to leave trading and come back less focused. I'm having a hard time trading larger size and I've been hesistating lately on exiting at my signals.

P/L= $-5,907

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Best Broker for Trading Futures based on Commissions

My trading volume has been increasing trading ER2; over 1k RT for the month of May, and I'm losing money by using my current bundled rate commission setup through Interactive Brokers, so I've done some research to see how I can reduce my trading costs.

I'm researching IB, Tradestation, MB trading, and Velocity futures.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1st 2007- Reflection Time

The last few months my trading has started to take off and I think it's time that I re-evaluate things. I'm working a fulltime job on top of my trading in the morning and I'm starting to question, "Why am I working a full time job and limiting my trading time when I am making a lot more money trading?" It's really a great question to be asking yourself, because there was a time when I asked myself "Why are you trading and losing all the hard money you worked for and not working a second job to regain your losses?"

What's my day like?
My typical day is getting up 15-30min before the market open (6am my time) trading the morning open before I go to work (posting a trade summary on this blog right before I leave), leaving the house to work an 8 hour job (looking at my charts on my lunch break), going to the gym after I get off from work, doing my trade and chart analysis when I get home, spending time posting charts, checking emails, and answering questions on this blog, and then going to bed and getting about 5-6 hours of sleep.

So what are my plans?
I'm going to try to get the latest shifts I can so that I can trade more in the morning and I may also cut back the hours I work. I like my job, and I like the social interaction I get with my coworkers. My other job gets me out of the house and I hate being in the house all day sitting in front of the computer because I'm a very active person.

What would I do if I didn't have a second job?
I would trade all day. I would do more trade analysis. I would look for other trading ideas. I would look for trade setups using options and also look for trade setups on stocks for swing trades.

What are my goals?
My goal is to get better at trading and progressively increase my avg. profit per week. A couple of weeks ago my goal was 1k a day. If I can trade a full day I try to get 2k. I'm begining to think that as time progresses 5k a day will be possible and from there who knows. What I want for the next month is 5k a week minimum. If I can continue to make 1k a day this next month then I will have proven to myself that it looks like I have indeed learned how to trade. I believe my trading blowup day I had 2 weeks ago was due to a psychological barrier I had in getting my account balance past a certain point. I have phased that point and I believe I'm going to have less severe drawdowns and that I should have continued progressive success. Other goals I have will be to upgrade my old computer, lower commissions, and become more prepared for the trading day by putting aside more time to sleep so I won't be falling asleep while trading.

Where am I headed?
I want to become a fulltime trader and make 10k a month minimum. (although I made more than 10k this month and my trading results are pretty consistent, the next few months I could blow up, you never know). If I had the chance to work at a futures prop firm or hedge fund I would probably try it out for the experience.


Why did I start this blog?
I started this blog as a journal to track my trades and explore trading ideas.

Who looks at my blog?
My guess is mostly aspiring traders that are still searching for ways to trade.(I've been there).

What do I look to get from readers of this blog?
Nothing. Thanks for all the comments, but please don't ask me for my secrets, because there are none, you just need time to see what is in front of you. I post my charts everyday, and you get to see what I'm seeing in the charts. Personally static charts are very boring to look at, and I'd much rather watch a recording of live trading action so that my brain can get to working.

What do I want this blog to give me?
This blog is a great place for me to post my charts so that I can go back to a particular day and look for repeated patterns. I also use this blog to access my favorite links. I'm not looking for money from readers of this blog and I have no ads on this blog.

June 1 Trade Summary $1,323


Could only trade the first hour. I'm mad at myself for not exiting at my signal, I covered half, but should have covered the whole thing, which would have given me another 5-700 bucks. Overall, I made more than I expected going into today given the amount of time I had to trade. Unfortunately I have work early again today. I finished the week hitting my weekly goal which is pretty good considering there was no trading Monday and I could only trade a couple hours the last few days.

P/L= $1,323

Market Observations-
NYSE A/D opened extremely bullish and couldn't push that much higher on heavy volume. This is a reverse setup to what we saw a few days ago with the extreme negative NYSE A/D opening. ER2 is the strongest today, and ES looks to be the weakest due to weakness in financials. I doubt we get a selloff today, I think there are still shorts holding from Wedensday that will cover by the end of today from fear of holding over the weekend. Monday should be a good day to trade.

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