Thurs Nov 29 Trades & Journal

Trade Summary
Short 2 TF 722.6, 722.5, +0.5, +1.7
Long 1 TF 720.1, +1.4
Short 1 TF 723.1, -0.5
Long 1 TF 721.5, -0.5
Long 1 TF 719.4, +1.3
Short 1 NQ 2681.75, +5.0
Total NQ +5.0
Total TF +3.9

A trade plan should be tailored to the session one intends to trade. The 1st session of the day, from the Open to about 11:15am, is usually the most volatile. Today was a perfect example of such volatility, and if your plan does not accommodate a methodology that can signal such volatile swings, then the 1st time frame of the day is probably not for you. The 2nd frame can be much slower, more choppy, and often less impulsive. It may produce a trend, but more patience is required, and futures traders tend to have less patience. The last frame of the day, starting around 2:30pm ET, can return to impulsive action with more distinct trends. If you feel inclined to sit in front of the screen all day (something I gladly gave up some years ago), then you should at least consider adjusting your plan to accommodate the changing conditions. Going from one frame to another is almost like starting a new day. Leave the screen for awhile. Be prepared to take a fresh viewpoint. Have a plan for each frame. Trade the appropriate plan. And as Mark Douglas has advised, be the Disciplined Trader.

Wed Nov 28 Trades & Journal

Trade Summary
Long 2 TF 798.4, 798.2, +0.5, +1.2
Long 2 YM 12783, 12783, +7, -4
Long 1 TF 797.5, -0.7
Long 1 YM 12767, -7
Long 2 TF 796.3, 796.5, +1.1, +0.5
Short 1 TF 702.8, +1.0
Short 1 TF 703.7, +1.0
Total YM -4
Total TF +4.6

"Trade your Plan" is not a golden rule violated or conditioned on whether the streaming news seems favorable or not to the trade signal. We take the trades that match our plan, and if they do not show a profit premium at or near the time of the scheduled economic report, we dump the position and go flat. Flat is the safety position for handling news reports. Holding a position from a signal that occurred some minutes before the scheduled news event is permissible in our trade plans, first, if we've already exited partial units to pay for the trade, and second, if the price some 20 to 15 seconds before the scheduled time still shows a profit premium to our entry. The initial long TF position taken today was entered some 10 minutes before the scheduled New Home Sales number due out at 10am ET. I had taken 2 contracts of the TF (mini Russell), and 2 units of the YM (mini Dow 30). I exited both TF's with minimum mechanical profit targets, and did the same with the first YM unit, but held the 2nd YM with about a 10 pt profit into the news. Although I had a -1 stp-loss order for that position, the strongly negative news caused my stp to be slipped by a few ticks when the news hit.

Another long signal then appeared across the board in all 4 contracts monitored (the ES, YM, NQ and TF) as the negative news drove prices to new lows and the next support numbers from our Price Number Grid. The question to some outside these techniques might have been "Is the strongly negative news now a filter to ignore these new buy signals?" Absolutely not. In fact, possibly just the opposite. We trade the plan, not the news. And once the news is out, and has had its way emotionally with price action, a countering signal might be even more valuable to us than one taken before the news. Have a plan. The news is not a qualifying filter. Trade the plan. Stay disciplined!

Tues Nov 27 Trade Summary

Short 2 YM 12932, 12932 -5, -5
Short 3 YM 12938, 12938, 12938, -2, -2, -4
Short 2 TF 811.4, 811.4, +0.5, -0.5
Short 2 TF 811.9, +0.5, +1.3
Long 1 NQ 2646.5, -2.0
Long 2 NQ 2642.0, 2642.25, +3.0, +2.0
Long 2 TF 807.7, 807.2, -0.7, +0.5
Long 2 YM 12891, 12889, +7, -7
Long 2 YM 12886, 12885, +7, +20
Long 1 TF 806.5, +1.0
Total YM +9
Total NQ +3.0
Total TF +2.6

Mon Nov 26 Trades & Journal

Long 2 NQ 2627.0, 2627.0, +2.0, +4.5
Long 1 TF 806.4, -0.5
Short 2 NQ 2638.0, 2638.0, +2.0, -0.0
Long 1 NQ 2633.5, -1.0
Long 1 TF 804.0, -0.2
Long 2 TF 803.8, 803.8, +0.5, +1.0
Long 2 NQ 2631.75, 2631.75, +2.0, +5.0
Total NQ +12.5
Total TF +0.8

Breakouts should be part of a trade plan. Some of the most profitable trades come from them. But only the best breakout choices produce profits, as the rest of the time, the market tends to pull back in from new highs and lows, stopping breakout players out quickly, and causing repeated losses. So your trade plan must provide the right breakout criteria and filters, and that is a challenge this trader continually focuses on in order to improve the trade plan. Serial Sequent provides an excellent rule set to identify the best potential impulsive price action breakout out above one series of waves just at the place where a whole new series should ensue. But take a breakout play into support and resistance, and face price action coming right back into your face, a bit like running right into a wall after charging through an opening door. We call these price / wave levels where price should either reverse strongly, or fire off into a whole new set of waves with impulsive action Inflection Levels. Today, a critical Inflection level arrived right into a potential support / exhaustion level, coloring the potential trade entry criteria with a mixed signal. The trade, had it been taken, was worth more than 3 pts in the TF contract where it appeared.

Two qualifying/disqualifying aspects are always considered for breakout entries: "Is this the first or second trend direction of the day?" ...and, "Is there significant, impending support/resistance/exhaustion that will confront price shortly after the potential breakout occurs?"

But two things might be added to the qualification list of potential breakout rules. First, was there reversal action from the Inflection Level, suggesting a solid presence of support / resistance from which price action met rejection? Second, did this reversal action subsequently show distinct signs of weakness and/or repeated failure to progress away from the Inflection Level? And finally, did the ensuing reversal action use up a greater portion of the shot clock by a factor of at least 2 versus the time any of the previous wave pauses used up on the way getting to this Inflection Level in the first place?

If all three of these criteria are met, then chances are that a further breakout beyond the Inflection Level will break through the support/resistance/exhaustion numbers that lie just beyond the Inflection Level that had colored the breakout entry with a mixed signal. So if these additional qualifications are met, and price is in the second trend direction of the day, take the the trade even if the breakout faces a potentially significant level of support/resistance/exhaustion.

Fri Nov 23 Trades & Wkly Summary

Short 1 TF 800.2, -0.5
Short 2 TF 801.3, 801.0, +1.0, +0.5
Short 1 NQ 2821.50, -1.5
Short 1 TF 803.3, -0.2
Long 2 TF 803.1, 803.1, -0.3, -0.3
Total NQ -1.5
Total TF +0.2

Weekly Trade Summary 20121123-20121119
Total ES -0.0
Total YM +4
Total NQ +7.75
Total TF +10.5

Thurs Nov 22 Happy Thanksgiving to all

Wed Nov 21 2012

Trade Summary
Short 2 YM 12781, 12781, +7, +8
Long 2 NQ 2596.0, 2595.75, +2.0, 2.25
Long 1 NQ 2595.50, -2.0
Long 1 TF 791.4, -0.5
Long 2 TF 791.3, 791.5, +1.0, +0.5
Long 2 NQ 2585.75, 2585.50, +2.0, +3.5
Total YM +15
Total NQ +7.75
Total TF +1.0

Sometimes pre-holiday trading barely gives you a pulse. Temper your expectations and remember there are better things to do with your time than sit in front of a video screen all day. Stay flexible, and take the trades in the contracts where the signals occur. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving....

Tues Nov 20 Trades & Journal

Total 2012 Trade Summary
Short 1 TF 788.3, +1.3
Short 1 TF 787.9, -0.5
Long 1 TF 788.4, -0.4
Short 1 TF 789.1, -0.4
Short 1 TF 789.9, +0.5
Long 2 TF 788.5, 788.6, +0.5, -0.5,
Long 3 TF 787.8, 787.5, 787.5, +1.6, +0.5, +0.5
Total +3.1

Be careful what you ask for.... says the proverb. Today's swings were big in the initial time frame, not unlike yesterday. But today's were a bit less organized and gave some mixed entries, as they extended through expected support numbers on pullbacks. But if the signal is still good, and you let your stp's take you out, you can more easily review the price position without further pressure. Some prefer to use very big stp's when they trade. Some even move the stp's in order to accommodate their intuition that the trade should still be going their way. I prefer to set my stp's around the expected turning points, which for ValhallaFutures, is always a combination of wave structure and support/resistance grid numbers. If price breaks beyond this, the stp's take me out. Often, the complexity of the wave structure simply regenerates the signal. Fine. So what if I got stp'd out. I'm not hurt to re-enter. There are plenty of trades each day. Small losses are the trader's friend. Large losses take you out for the day, and may keep you flat for the week, and even the month. Have a plan. A plan should not only include precise entry concepts, but money management and behavior management stop-loss triggers. Trade within the plan.

Mon Nov 19 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 785.1, +1.0
Short 2 YM 12690, 12690, -4, -7
Short 1 NQ 2570.0, -2.0
Short 1 TF 788.1, -0.3
Long 1 TF 788.1, -0.5
Short 2 TF 788.1, 788.5, +1.0, +2.0
Long 3 TF 788.3, 788.3, 788.4, +0.5, +2.0, +0.5
Total YM -11
Total NQ -2.0
Total TF +6.2

Up to today, especially the last 2 weeks, the initial trend of the day was brutally choppy, and seldom offered much in the way of swings. Today was like old times, with
two perfect entry signals at either end of the initial moves. Have a plan. Trade with the plan. Stay with the plan.

Fri Nov 16 Trade Summaries and Journal

Weekly Trade Summary 20121116-20121112
Total ES -0.0
Total YM +53
Total NQ +3.5
Total TF +0.5

Long 3 TF 763.1, 763.3, 763.0, -0.7, -0.3, -0.6
Short 1 TF 762.5, -0.6
Long 1 NQ 2511.25, -2.0
Long 2 NQ 2507.0, 2506.50, +2.0, +5.0
Long 1 YM 12470, -10
Long 2 TF 761.1, 761.3, +2.0, +1.0
Total YM -10
Total NQ +5.0
Total TF +0.8

A modest day, and an even more modest weak for profits. An adjustment using a plan contingency was applied to last frame, PM trading with good results yesterday. This contingency should have been applied earlier in the week and even in the month, but is seldom a good plan on Friday's, where the PM trading can trail off as traders even out. The object of a plan is not to serve convenience, or even a trader's tranquility and rest. It is designed to best serve market action and successful applications of trade models to trend results. Keep an eye on these more subtle aspects of the plan. Stay focused. The opportunities can appear very quickly as the early action unfolds. Miss it at your peril, as missing important trades can pressure you into making more risky trades later in the trend.

Thurs Nov 15 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 769.8, 769.5, -0.6, -0.3
Long 1 TF 768.6, -0.6
Short 2 TF 769.5, 769.7, -0.7, -0.5
Long 3 TF 769.5, 768.7, 768.7, -0, +0.8, +0.8
PM Session:
Long 2 TF 763.1, 763.1, +5.0, +1.5
Short 1 TF 769.1, +0.7
Short 2 TF 770.8, 770.8, +0.5, +2.0
Total TF +4.1

Again, early trend action appeared quickly, and in the TF was especially hard to trade. However, a YM inflection breakdown trade did appear that would have captured the early bear trend right into the lows....but I was not focusing clearly and missed it, and thus felt compelled to take less attractive trades in my plan.

Early trend action has been very choppy and devoid of more easily identified swing opportunities. But true the Elliott Rule of Alternation, one frame's action is usually countered by the next. If choppy or consolidating in the 1st frame, then subsequent time frames can swing and trend more freely. If your plan isn't working in the early going, chances are better it will work later in the day. This is the proper way to apply flexibility to your plan: agree to trade other time frames. But that doesn't mean flexibility is ubiquitous. It doesn't mean that if your trade plan is failing, you should simply give it up and go back to intuition. Nothing can be worse. Sometimes your trade plan will not work. Often market conditions will vary to threaten the validity of your plan. If this happens too frequently, you may have problems with the specific setups within your plan. Remember, your plan should include behavior governors. Too many trades...trades are curtailed. A maximum $$ loss limit hit per day.... trades are curtailed. First frame action chopping your out of entries.... switch to the later time frames of the day. In other words, allow some contingencies in your plan to shift its range of focus. But keep to the plan. As Norm Hallett says, "Stay disciplined!"

Wed Nov 14 Trades & Journal

Short 2 NQ 2570.25, 2570.25, -2.0, -2.0
Short 2 TF 786.9, 786.9, +0.4, -0.4
Long 2 TF 785.9, 785.9, +0.5, -0.5
Long 2 NQ 2567.25, 2567.25, -1.25, -1.25
Long 2 YM 12713, 12713, +10, -4
Long 2 YM 12693, 12693, +7, +13
Long 2 TF 783.7, 783.7, -0.5, -0.5
Long 4 TF 783.0, 783.0, 783.2, 782.7, +0.8, -0.7, +0.5, +0.5
Long 2 YM 12665, 12665, -0, -0
Long 2 TF 781.0, 781.0, +0.5, -0.5
Long 3 TF 780.1, 780.3, 779.9, -0.7, -0.7, +0.5
Short 1 TF 781.2, -0.5,
Short 2 TF 781.3, 781.3, -0.2, -0.2
Short 2 TF 781.5, 781.3, -0.4, -0.3
Long 2 TF 781.8, 781.8, -0.4, -0.4
Total YM +26
Total NQ -6.5
Total TF -3.2

Early trends in the 1st frame can develop very quickly, and if accompanying early entry signals are missed, a good section of that early trend can be missed. Thus one is tempted to counter trend trade at support zones where initial wave series structures would normally produce bounces. These counter trend trades can, and often do, provide this trader with his daily 1st time frame profit quota. But not today.
And the early short entry signals, although taken according to the plan, were nonetheless stp'd out by choppy action. Even after that, I was only down marginally after hitting my 10 trade maximum limit. Then I let emotions get the best of me. Seeing the day had given Persistent Trend Day Down signals, I was eager to short the first major corrective bounce, in order to catch a 2nd leg to new lows. It came from an extended impulse low that I was unable to counter trend with buy entries, but the ensuing bounce also came after my 10 trade limit. My efforts added almost 3 points in TF losses trying to get in sync with the day, losses I would not have had if trading had been curtailed after the 10 trade, 1st time frame limit. Stick to your plan. Tomorrow is always another day. Or at the least, wait for the last frame of the day and see if action has improved for better swing opportunities.

Tues Nov 13 No Trades, No Journal

absent from trading....

Mon Nov 12 Trades & Journal

First, I just want to salute all our brave veterans, both living and dead, who have been willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf in this, civilization's long arching march towards individual freedom and personal responsibility. I salute them all, and say Freedom First. There is no peace without it. Semper Fidelis.
Trade Summary
Short 2 YM 12789, 12788, +7, +10
Long 3 TF 794.9, 794.7, 794.5, -0.0, -0.8, -0.6
Long 2 TF 793.6, 793.6, -0., -0.6
Short 1 TF 793.0, -0.6
Short 2 TF 792.8, 792.8, -0.0, -0.1
Short 2 NQ 2586.25, 2587.0, +0.25, +7.0
Short 1 TF 793.8, +1.5
Long 1 NQ 2576.5, -2.0
Short 3 12752, 12750, 12759, +7, +8, +5
Total NQ +5.0
Total YM +37
Total TF -1.2

Early attempts to get in sync with the budding decline with stp-n-rev entries proved troublesome, but I did keep to the plan in taking them. But with the momentum indicator TTI still pointing south, I flipped my entry technique to shorting bounces instead of taking breakdowns, and this proved out well, and showed some decent profits. However, much of the gains were no more than restoring the health lost on earlier entries. Thus, the day proved only marginally profitable. Need to take a personal day on Tuesday, so the journal will pick back up with trading on Wednesday. Stick to the trading plan....

Fri Nov 9 Trades & Journal & Wkly Sum

Trade Summary
Short 3 TF 793.4, 793.2, 793.8, +0.5, -1.0, +0.5
Short 1 TF 793.8, +1.5
Short 2 TF 793.6, 793.9, +1.0, +0.4
Long 1 NQ 2588.25, +2.0
Total NQ +2.0
Total TF +2.9

Weekly Trade Summary 20121109-20121105
Total ES +7.25
Total YM +75
Total NQ +15.75
Total TF 10.0

Grinding action is always a challenge as there is no sense of climax when price reaches numbers on the support / resistance grid or when fulfilling wave structure culminations. But it is what it is, and the game plan doesn't change. The payoffs are just more modest. Since I've been having mental resistance to taking inflection breakouts, I was at least happy to report that I took the inflection breakout in the NQ when it appeared. But since I had no faith in it, I only took 1 unit and the quick mechanical profit I would have normally taken for just one of two units. The action did eventually payoff for a 2nd unit profit despite the low, patience-testing grind of the bull action. If it was worth taking 1 contract, it was worth taking 2. But I do believe my habits regarding this part of my trade plan are improving. It's Friday, and at least the new James Bond film is in town......

Thurs Nov 8 Trades & Journal

Trade Summary
Short 2 YM 12924 12923, +10, +7
Long 2 TF 804.2, 804.2, +0.4, -0.4
Long 1 TF 802.7, -0.2
Short 2 TF 802.5, 802.5, +0.4, +1.1
Long 1 TF 801.4, -0.2
Long 1 NQ 2606.0, -2.0
Long 3 ES 1387.25, 1386.75, 1387.0, +1.25, +3.0, +3.0
Long 1 YM 12844, +20
Long 1 TF 799.0, +1.0
Long 1 TF 798.1, -0.1
Long 2 TF 797.5, 797.5, +0.5, +0.7
Total ES +7.25
Total YM +37
Total NQ -2.0
Total TF +3.2

Without a trade plan and a method of identifying best possible reversal levels, today's market would have been nearly impossible to trade. But with Serial Sequent, it was like a money machine... assuming you took reasonable profits and had no expectations of holding runners. A short entry in the TF on further breakdown from the initial HOD caused me much trepidation because of my perception of the unusually strong internals, especially the TRIN, which in early going was as low as .45. But I stuck to the plan, and sure enough, that short proved profitable. Adherence to the plan was also kept when buy signals came in the ES when no other contract was clearly showing them. And although I tend to avoid trading the ES because of its usual doggy performance, today it was the most profitable trade of the day. Stick to your plan. Stay focused. Keep the discipline up.

Wed Nov 7 Trades & Journal

Long 1 NQ 2642.50, +5.0
Long 1 NQ 2642.25, -1.25
Long 1 TF 808.9, -0.2
Long 3 TF 808.5, 808.5, 808.3, -0.8, -0.3, -0.4
Long 4 TF 808.0, 807.8, 807.8, 807.6, +0.5, +0.5, -0.3, -0.8
Long 2 TF 806.9, 806.9, -0.7, -0.7
Long 3 TF 806.1, 806.1, 805.8, +0.5, +0.5, -0.5
Long 2 TF 805.3, 805.3, -0.5, -0.5
Long 2 TF 804.8, 804.8, +1.0, +2.0
Long 1 TF 805.4, -0.5
Long 1 TF 801.1, -0.7
Long 1 TF 799.7, -0.0
Long 1 TF 799.5, +1.0
Total NQ +3.75
Total TF -0.9

Trading the contracts separately as their separate and sometimes conflicting signals appear simultaneously can be challenging. Even allowing this into one's trade plan would be prohibitively complicated for many traders. But I have found it essential to have these other doors open should the exacting criteria for a model trade entry not appear in the favored contract, the mini Russell, symbol TF. This is especially true if one is to successfully position in the initial trend direction of the day. The NQ was flashing a breakout buy signal off the initial LOD and produced a nice 5 pt profit in the process. But the TF sell signal which I had already called was completing just at the moment I needed to exit the NQ at initial exhaustion levels. Mentally, I wasn't ready to reach over and short the TF just as I was feeling the joy of the NQ profitable exit. Exaltation can be just as dangerous an emotion to your trading as trepidation. The effects are the same. It distracts you from your intended game plan that must be executed often with precision in order to capture your entries correctly. In this case, having missed an important short opportunity, another did not appear til almost 45 minutes later when prices were already very oversold, and momentum indicators were filtering out further shorts. Stay focused. Those first few minutes can be critical to your day.

Tues Nov 6 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 820.7, 820.7, +0.5, +1.2
Short 2 TF 822.7, 822.6, -0.2, -0.2
Long 1 TF 819.7, +0.6
Short 4 TF 821.2, 821.1, 821.7, 821.8, -0.0, -1.2, +0.5, -0.4
Long 1 TF 821.2, +1.0
Total TF +1.8
PM Addendum
Long 2 NQ 2672.5, 2672.5, +2, +3.0
Long 1 NQ 2672.0, -1.0
Long 1 NQ 2670.25, +2.0
Long 1 TF 821.9, +0.7
Total NQ +6.0
Total TF +2.5

First a comment on the technical side: I made a conscious decision a few years back to only trade the 1st time frame of the day, til around 11:15am. On most days, this is the period of greatest volatility and impulse trend. On those days, the midday frame tends to consolidate or just wander. But this yin yang between the 1st and midday frames can flip. So that when the 1st frame consolidates, a trend will often appear in the midday frame. And just so it was today. On such days, I often try to come back later and trade either the midday or Last hour frame action. But the purpose of this revived journal is really to critique the extent to which I trade a plan. And today, I did make one notable failure worth examining. The pullback to 10:30am was a perfect buy signal after the sell signal at the HOD (high-of-day). That sell signal was whippy and I failed to re enter it after getting stp'd out. And when the buy signal finally arrived, it came on weakening momentum. The support number was valid, as was the structure, and the momentum signal was no longer fresh enough to filter the model out of contention as a trade, but the 'feeling' of the market remained heavy. So, I only took one contract and exited it for only a quick profit. A retest of that same low came just minutes later, and would have provide the same buy entry signal, with a potential stp-n-reverse to short on further weakness. I 'appraised' the market as so weak at that point that I ignored the buy signal on the retest and waited instead for the market to fail that I might get short. But the failure never came. And instead of being long into the full rally back to the HOD, I tried to get short half way back up, still appraising the trend as down, and lost some of my initial profits. Appraising the trend outside of structure can be a dangerous game. It requires tape reading and intuition about overall market conditions. But trading a plan is not tape reading, unless some aspect of tape reading is incorporated into a trade model as a necessary condition filter to the trade. Define the model according to what makes it most consistent. Consistency means it must work far more than half the time. Once qualified, give it a brand name. With a brand name it can be committed to the plan. But once committed, it must be traded, even against 'appraisals' of trend that fear its success at some particular moment. Trade the plan. Keep the discipline...!!

PM Addendum. Came back in the PM and traded the SubSequent Return-to-ORB in the NQ and the TF for small additional gains to AM frame action.

Mon Nov 5 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 809.7, 809.8, -0.4, -0.3
Short 2 TF 809.3, 809.3, +0.4, -0.4
Long 2 NQ 2645.5, 2645.5, +2.0, +4.0
Short 1 TF 811.9, +1.5
Short 2 TF 813.8, 813.5, -0.1, +0.5
Short 2 YM 12998, 12998, +7, +10
Short 2 YM 13017, 13021, -0, -5
Short 1 TF 815.7, +0.9
Short 1 TF 816.7, -0.1
Short 1 TF 816.7, -0.3
Short 2 YM 13036, 13036, +7, +19
Short 2 TF 817.4, 817.4, -0.2, +0.9
Total NQ +6.0
Total YM +38
Total TF +2.3

Choppy, grinding markets are always a challenge, and it complicates the technical messages given that one trend direction is changing to the other. What is trend and what is counter trend becomes eye-of-beholder. But that doesn't have to change your plan if you're using Serial Sequent Wave method instead of Elliott Wave. E-wavers must depend on being able to identify the difference between impulse and corrective structures. Thankfully, that's not a issue with Serial Sequent. Today, there were ample trades in both directions, and the lows were called with Sequent rules in both the NQ and YM contracts with great success. Once reversed, however, the opportunities for bull, in-trend breakout plays were hindered by negative filters we attach to the models. That means, we had to wait for short entry wave signals to align with the exhaustion and turn of the bull momentum indicator to bear. Once there, a weakness in my trade plan again becomes apparent, that is, when to shift from a quick profit mode to a more patient, trend developing runners in exit strategies. Playing catch-up to earlier small losses often affects exits whose holding times should be extended to suit the change in signals. This is one of the toughest things to handle in trading. When to let 'em run. Identify the clearest recognizable aspect to the WorkDone concept of one trend rolling over to the next, as a clear Event Concept entry model for the new budding trend checks all filters as a 'Go'. Then shift your exit strategy to include a runner with a loose trailing stop-loss until the next WorkDone / reversal signal appears. Construct the language of this rule clearly into your plan. Re read your plan with an exacting understanding. Be prepared to recognize your plan when it unfolds at the right edge of your video screen. Trade your plan. Keep the discipline.

Fri Nov 2 Trades & Journal

Long 2 NQ 2683.25, 2683.75, 2682.5, +2.0, -2.0, -1.0
Long 1 TF 725.8, -0.4
Long 2 YM 13164, 13164, +10, +10
Long 2 TF 823.1, 822.7, +0.6, -0.2
Long 1 TF 823.1, -0.3
Long 2 TF 820.9, 820.3, -1.2, -0.7
Long 2 TF 820.5, 820.1, -1.0, -0.5
Long 3 TF 819.2, 819.0, 818.9, -0.5, -0.3, -0.2
Long 1 TF 819.5, -0.4
Long 1 TF 819.1, -0.1
Long 1 TF 818.3, -0.4
Total YM +20
Total NQ -1.0
Total TF -5.6

Losing days should be the best days to learn from. From the technical side, there was little to clarify on entries, but the weakness to be identified lies mostly in trade management and the mental side. As for the technical entry side, today's gap-up, grind-down vertical opening was much like we've seen so much of lately. If you keep your eyes out in at least 3 contracts, there are usually signals with which to participate in the early downtrend action that are models within my plan. ...but not today.... And eventually, a key reversal signal holds for attractive recovery gains. ...but not today.... There were reversal signals at support numbers in key places along the way down, and each gave a minor bounce that could have allowed for a small partial exit to pay for the trade. But 2 of them did not provide for any exit, and hit my stp's almost immediately after entering them. The final set of trades were all taken with tight stp's, fishing against the action which seemed to indicate a bottom, but in fact, were taken without actually having the trade plan buy signal to enter with. This is kind of revenge trade behavior. You believe you know what the market is trying to do. Half or more of your trade model is there. And your head is screaming 'get in before you miss it, you idiot'. But in truth, there was nothing to miss, so the additional efforts to position for the reversal that seems so clearly there added 2 more points to a loss that was already -3 up to that point. Don't trade to get even with the market. Better to miss the opportunity altogether even when your intuition is right, than violate your trade plan that keeps you in the better probability setups. If today is destined to be a losing day with the trade plan that works far more often than it fails, don't add to the losses trying to recover and 'get right'. And now I'd like to end with a firm resolution and a conclusion that sounds like 'lesson learned', but I have a feeling that I will need to reread this entry quite a few more times in the future in order to shake what is a near irresistible impulse in trade behavior.

Thurs Nov 1 Trades, Monthly Sum, & Journal

Short 1 TF 820.2, +1.0
Short 1 TF 822.0, -0.3
Long 1 TF 824.1, -0.4
Short 1 TF 825.1, -0.2
Short 1 NQ 2674.0, -1.0
Long 2 TF 819.4, 819.4, +0.5, +1.3
Total NQ -1.0
Total TF +1.9

Monthly Totals Oct 2012
Total ES +9.25
Total YM -16
Total NQ +41.5
Total TF +14.2

The best I can say today is that I stuck to my plan today. Although I missed the Double Pump NQ breakout, I actually took a breakout in the TF at that time. The TF subsequently failed with a small stp-out loss while the NQ went on, eventually posting +10 in production. So I could have taken both and netted a modest profit on the day. The pre-news short signal, taken in the TF was losing its premium profit when that slew of econ reports hit, so the tightened stp to -0.3 was the right tactic. Later buy signals after deeper pullbacks across the board did not come til after the 1st Frame cut-off time of 11:15am, which is currently all my plan accommodates. A wider trading window is allowed past the 1st frame for Persistent Trend Day Models, but the clues to that model were still sparse as the 1st frame ended. But at 1:30PM, we got a SubSequent Return-to-Orb, with TTI Buy and finally added small profit to the day. Stick to the plan. The monthly totals for October were the worst monthly's for the year so far. But there could be a silver lining. My poor performance during the month has driven me back to this journal, and I can already see the benefits to the self discipline needed for this kind of trading. Stay disciplined. Your plan must be specific. Each trade should have the characteristic of frequent repetition. These frequencies we call models. Each model should have a name and be replete with any necessary filters. Trade the models as they appear at the right edge of the screen. Limit your time in front of the screen. Limit the number of trades you can take during that frame. Limit your allowable losses. Have a profit goal. That is the trade plan. Stick to the plan. ....

Wed Oct 31 Trades & Journal

Short 1 TF 815.4, -0.2
Short 1 TF 815.0, +1.0
Long 1 TF 812.4, +0.8
Long 2 TF 811.4, 811.5, +1.0, +0.5
Long 2 NQ 2644.25, 2643.0, +4.0, +2.0
Long 2 YM 13071, 13072, +10, +7
Long 2 YM 13023, 13020, +1, +18
Total YM +36
Total NQ +6.0
Total TF+3.1

Knowing when to take fixed mechanical profits versus letting a runner develop often seems more art than plan. The initial sell signals at the HOD (high-of-day) in the TF occurred in very whippy action, and sometimes extremely whippy action is simply a valid sign to step aside. Being stubborn about signals is not part of a trade plan. Trades don't have to work. Lower down, buy signals started occurring at subsequent support levels, all counter trend trades, and none with clear stp n rev signals to get short on, according to plan rules. Again at the LOD, mechanical exits were possible runners as the TTI Momentum indicator signaled to HOLD through resistance, but with the daily quota of about $500 in hand for 1st Time Frame trading, there was nothing wrong with going flat and leaving the screen. Your plan should include a daily quota that is reasonable for whatever time you plan to stay in front of the charts. Learn to stop trading when you hit your quota. You can always come back and trade the 2nd or final frame of the day, if you have a specific action plan for trades in those frames. Taking a break from the screen will do you good. And remember, the 2nd and final frames are almost like approaching different trading days than the 1st frame altogether. Best to clear your head, or else commit the fatal error of trying to trade the 2nd frame with expectations of the market repeating what it did in the 1st frame .....

Tues Oct 30 Hurricane Sandy, markets closed