My plan was to look for possible turning points during the day and trade counter trend using Bob Volman’s set ups on the 70 tick and the 5 minute charts ,with Allen Bary’s ‘Time and Sales’ filter to enter, but to stay in longer than a 10 pip or even 20 pip scalp. The counter trend of the day would be much better if it was in the direction of the trend over a longer time span. I was starting to get some good results but still searching for that something extra to add a hard edge to my trading. Having read a blog post by Mat Lacoco about how he shuts off trades almost immediately they go against him, and how he suffers long strings of break-even trades, waiting for the one that goes immediately into profit and doesn’t look back, allowing him to risk up to 4% per trade, the idea resonated with me, especially after watching his lesson at a recorded traders conference in Orlando. I decided to add this idea in to the way I traded. Frustration set in as I watched trades fly in my direction after being stopped out almost to the pip, time after time. I boiled over and entered trades on full tilt losing 10% of my account. I calmed down and decided to split my trades in two, taking half profit on a scalp of maybe 5 or more pips depending on momentum, allowing me to keep my stop the same distance behind entry waiting for the big move, so I wouldn’t get stopped so much. The worst then would be a break even, over all result after price moved forwards. I would have to hover my stop over break even until I took first profit. (Matt doesn’t use an initial stop loss by the way, only an in the trade stop loss once it is moving.) I clawed back the 10% loss and went into profit using around 1% risk. There was a lesson to be learnt here but I hadn’t really learnt it.
For six months I’d been using Ninja Traders sim charts with MB Trading data. MB pulled the plug. I tried to get a live account with MB but they wanted a passport for ID and mine had run out years ago. It would cost £200 GBP for a rushed passport or £93 for one with a six to 8 week delay. I was impatient and looked into using Kinetick data, but the $55 US a month advertised was only the historical data fee with another $25 to $50 for live forex data. A bit pricey so I looked into ProRealtime. Get it free each month trading with IG a couple of trades a month. Only problem with IG you can’t move your stop within 6 pips of price. No good for me I thought, so I ended paying £30 month without IG whilst I looked around for something else. I’ve never traded with anyone other than Oanda, so was glad to get away from being tied to IG. Also I was finding it very frustrating to get my head around the IG platform as well as learn the ProRealtime charting. I’ve always been a bit of a techno-phobe, preferring what I know, to the new. I’m not a gadget person and work much better when I can work on autopilot without the frustration of learning what every button does. Well I know all this, yes, but I was still trading at the same time, and I went on full tilt again. This time I ended with my account 15% down. I stopped trading and took some time off to get my charting sorted. I realise now that when my mind is trying to get used to something new like making an addition to my trade plan as I wrote about earlier, or if I’m having trouble with my charting or anything that is distracting me away from managing trades, it all goes tits up.
I’ve stopped using ProRealtime, couldn’t get used to it although it does have some nice features. I’m back with Ninjatrader using the free sim account with FXCM data. Not sure how long the data will last, so I paid £93 GBP for my passport which actually arrived after just a week and will enable me to use MBT data if needed. My old laptop which I use for a backup and to keep an eye on news releases got so corrupted it wouldn’t boot up.( It was 10 year old with Vista on it.) I had to fork out £300 for a new one. Then I decided to upgrade my old Blackberry phone that was good for nothing and buy a Samsung android with 4g so I could use the Oanda app to exit trades in emergency. The phones great but immediately it hooked me up, Blackberry sent a communication to my desktop that corrupted that as well. Cost me £40 to put that right and completely re-install windows 7. I tried to do some clean up stuff myself but made it worse. Got 10 on both computers now and starting to get more settled on that side of things, even if I’m flat broke.
A few good things happened though in the past few weeks. Shonn Campbell (friend of Matt Lacoco) gave me free access to his trading course and daily trade plans as I’d been following his work for a while and he wanted to thank me. I enjoyed the course and took a few things away from it, although against the advice of Rob Booker I’m still trying to trade intra-day, so I’m not using the trade plans which are on a longer time scale. Shonn’s course is only $27 by the way if you’re interested. Next I found Adam Grimes, author of ‘The Art and Science of Trading.’ Actually I’ve not read the book as can’t afford the £46 GBP price tag, however if you go to his blog he has a free course which is absolutely awesome. I’m only half way through the course myself, as each week you are given some heavy homework. Some homework is backtesting, (I’m using the Ninjatrader backtester for that, for free, as I lost all my Forextester data and I much prefer Ninja for it’s ease of use.) Other home work is about meditating and using trance states to increase learning speed and doing charting exercises in market structure and charting to create a skill set and aid intuition . My description really doesn’t do it justice, however be warned, the course is heavily built around advanced statistical analysis that contradicts many of assumptions we have about charting and price action. Adam however is very open to the possibility his analysis may have missed something and is very open to different ideas. Maybe this is the course that all beginners should do to set themselves up in trading. It is not just for beginners but if you started here you may not get so easily sucked into to other stuff so easily. Brilliant. I also went to Rob Booker’s conference at Heathrow in London another free event for me, although he did charge $9 as a sort of commitment to turn up fee. I couldn’t afford the hotel Rob stayed at where the conference was held, but stayed at the nearby Thistle that was linked to Rob’s hotel by the Heathrow pod, an interesting driver-less taxi service, almost like the Johnny cab, Swartznegger took in ‘Total Recall’ (not seen the remake.) The thing is, I’ve cut down on alcohol big style, to help save money, lose weight and to improve my alertness in the morning for trading. Well I decided to have a few, sat alone on the balcony bar (Billy no mates), over looking terminal 5, the night before the conference. Then got a really bad nights sleep, so my head was falling off it’s shoulders as I kept trying not to nod off during the conference. Sorry Rob, it wasn’t you, although that guest speaker you had, who although sounded really clever and was the fastest speaker I’d ever heard, totally lost me, and I was appreciative when you explained after, the relevance of what he was talking about!
I’m taking a bit of a vacation, (staying at home but off work for a couple of weeks) which is giving me time to start blogging again and explain where I have been and that I was down, but am certainly not out. I’m still following ddtrader on traderAllen’s forum, still listening to the traderspodcast (looking forwards to the John Netto interview,) also Adam Grimes podcast and course, reading James Clear’s articles, watching Kim Krompass videos, following Rob Booker on TFL365, (still waiting for the Pheonix conference video to come out) also waiting for Matt Lacoco’s course to come out, got in touch with Ryan Herron again from JoaquinTrading after his podcast interview, reading trading books when I can get them cheap, etc, etc, etc.
That’s it, I’m outta here, and will be back next time with something a lot more interesting than the pile of excuses here!