Thurs Dec 19 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 1129.2, -0.7
Short 1 TF 1128.6, +2.0
Long 1 NQ 3489.25, -0.5
Long 2 TF 1125.9, 1125.5, -0.7, -0.3
Long 2 TF 1124.9, 1125.0, +1.3, +0.7
Long 2 TF 1124.3, 1124.6, +1.0, +0.7
Long 3 TF 1125.1, 1125.2, 1125.0, +0.5, +0.5, +2.3
Long 2 TF 1125.8, 1125.4, +0.5, +1.2
Total NQ -0.5
Total TF +8.5

Sometimes chop can actually work in your favor, as the small breaks put food right into your hand. Today, the only visible persistence was the plethora of trade entry setups and the need to keep up with them. Kept to the rules of Pre-News positioning today as the Philly Fed 10:00am release counted down to the last minute while I held an NQ position with no profit. Therefore, I took a quick exit for fractional loss, only to see a small pop upwards that would have provided a reward, but at the expense of violating that critical rule and risking an ugly stop-out if wrong: that of never holding a pre-news position if insufficient profit cushion has developed before the actual news release time. More opportunities are always just on the horizon, and there should be no 'missing' of missed trend action, except when ignoring a true Trade Entry Model that worked out well after all. Stick with your Trade Plan. Stay focused. Be rested. Trading is not a causal thing. It requires all you can bring to the task. And if well prepared, once the Opening Bell sounds, just stay calm and wait till all your preparation tells you the model is at hand, and then strike immediately. The 'thinking' part should be over when the bell sounds. Execute the plan. Reflection time is later.

Wed Dec 18 Trades & Journal

Long 2 NQ 3466.25, 3466.25, +2.0, +2.0
Short 2 TF 1119.5, 1119.4, +0.7, +1.2
Short 1 NQ 3459.25, +3.0
Short 1 TF 1120.8, +0.7
PM trades:
Long 2 TF 1111.6, 1111.6, +0.5, +2.7
Total NQ +7.0
Total TF +5.8

Two days prior without journaling and already losing touch with the Trader. But today could not ignore the inner voice any longer because the Trader in me seemed to have lost his voice and was functioning on too much input from the Accountant and the Analyst, at least in the 1st Frame. For although my entries were solid, I was jumping out of TF shorts at the first sign of opposition and had no trade patience at all, thus leaving the lion's share of the profits on the table for the 2 best trade entry models of the morning. The PM went better, as the plan goes, as the pre-FOMC entry model called for longs on the retest of the LOD made some 20 minutes or so prior. Usually I keep a default target in place for that, but the way going back up was so riddled with resistance that I used some of that over-caution left over from the AM to take the profit at initial resistance. Like an FOMC played some months back, this proved way short of the eventual market gains, but it also prevented me from being whiplash'd out of the long by a sharp breakdown first. So the profit from that play was really just luck and caution, not good trading, and therefore cannot reward myself for the strategy or management. Two more trading days this week, and then will be off all of Christmas week. Stay focused.

Tues Dec 17 Trades

Long 4 TF 1111.5, 1111.0, 1110.7, 1110.8, -0.0, +0.5, +0.5, +1.2
Long 2 NQ 3459.25, 3460.0, +2.0, +4.0
Long 1 TF 1110.4, +1.0
Short 1 NQ 3469.25, +3.0
Long 2 YM 15790, 15789, -5, +5
Long 1 TF 1108.5, +1.0
Total YM -0
Total NQ +9.0
Total TF +4.2

Mon Dec 16 Trades

Short 1 NQ 3479.75, +2.0
Short 2 NQ 3483.75, 3483.5, +2.0, -1.0
Short 3 TF 1115.9, 1115.9, 1115.7, -0.2, +0.5, +0.7
Short 2 NQ 3489.5, 3489.25, -1.75, -2.0
Short 2 TF 1115.5, 1115.4, +1.0, +0.5
Long 3 TF 1113.8, 1113,7, 1113.1, -0.0, -0.0, +1.0
Long 1 TF 1112.8, -0.5
Long 2 TF 1112.5, 1112.4, +0.5, -0.5
Long 2 TF 1112.3, 1112.2, -0.7, +0.5
Long 2 TF 1111.7, 1112.0, +0.5, +1.3
Long 2 NQ 3479.75, 3478.75, -2.0, -1.0
Long 1 TF 1112.1, -0.7
Total NQ -3.75
Total TF +3.9

Fri Dec 13 Trades & Journal

Long 1 NQ 3458.25, +4.0
Long 2 NQ 3455.25, 3455.0, +4.5, +2.0
Short 1 TF 1102.5, -0.2
Long 2 TF 1099.0, 1099.2, +0.7, +0.7
Long 2 YM 15661, 15661, +7, +20
Short 1 TF 1100.8, +0.9
Short 1 TF 1100.5, +1.2
Total NQ +10.5
Total YM +27
Total TF +3.3

Sometimes the contract of choice for us, the mini Russell TF, reverses before actually reaching the next support or resistance or exhaustion number it is approaching on the Pivot / Exhaustion Grid. As a trader, you have choices. You can chase a fill as the market sometimes quickly vacates the buy zone without the preferred price, and accept a price higher up with greater stop-loss risk, and reduced target opportunities; you can skip the trade altogether; or--and this is what I did with the initial long trade opportunity today, you can grab a different contract that might also be offering the same signal but was slower to respond to the turn. Such was the case with the initial NQ long. And I had to chase this a bit further than wanted even to catch it. Such is trading. It's an imperfect world with imperfect methods and a seriously flawed operator who requires his full focus and discipline sometimes just to stay in the game. Stay disciplined. Stick to your Trade Plan. It won't catch every opportunity, and even those it calls correctly will occasionally pass you by on operator error. Wishing all a great weekend.....

Thurs Dec 12 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 1103.0, -0.5
Long 2 TF 1102.1, 1101.9, -0.0, +0.7
Short 1 TF 1101.5, +1.0
Long 2 TF 1199.5, 1199.7, +1.8, +0.7
Long 2 YM 15769, 15766, +7, +20
Short 2 TF 1102.0, 1101.5, +0.7, -0.2
Long 2 YM 15757, 15753, -0, -7
Long 2 TF 1199.6, 1199.5, -0.7, -0.7
Long 2 TF 1199.0, 1199.0, +1.1, +1.5
Long 1 TF 1102.2, +1.1
Total YM +20
Total TF +6.5

Missed the same initial in-trend breakdown trade today as I did yesterday, and today it became apparent to me why. I was so exclusively focused on the TF contract in the early going,that I missed the YM setup altogether. Later I missed a decent breakout trade in the TF that was also 'in-plan', and one that several students caught. What causes the balking at inflection breakout levels is the sense of action I pick up regarding price proximity to the critical level. If it looks choppy, I duck the breakout trade. But observation teaches that the right inflection levels seem to overcome the action that was choppy just minutes before, and can produce a clean, impulsive breakout altogether different in action than that just preceding it. Have a plan, stick with the plan. Don't worry about what it might do. The Trade Entry Model is either right or it's not. No shoulda-coulda allowed. If the breakout trade is failing enough to really warrant trepidation, then it has no business in being in the plan anyway.

Wed Dec 11 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 1114.4, 1114.4, -0.7, -0.7
Long 3 YM 15913, 15913, 15914, +20, +20, +7
Long 1 NQ 3597.25, +3.0
Short 1 NQ 3502.75, +3.0
Long 1 TF 1108.5, 1109.0, -0.0, +0.7
Long 1 TF 1108.2, +1.5
Long 1 TF 1108.9, -0.5
Long 1 TF 1109.5, -0.2
Short 2 TF 1107.7, 1107.6, +1.2, +0.4
PM Trades:
Short 1 TF 1105.8, +1.2
Short 1 YM 15908, +20
Total YM +67
Total NQ +6.0
Total TF +2.8

Missed an important inflection breakdown trade today that would have allowed participation in the initial slap down decline. And as a consequence, was left counter trend trading until a signal for the 2nd leg breakdown came, in which I participated modestly. On potential Persistent Trend Days, often the day's quota comes from a single opportunity, and thereafter opportunities can get much harder to find. But all-in-all, the Trade Plan did at least keep me in the game for a decent day's profits. Will spend some time studying those early breakdown opps in the charts for awhile. Some trade entries require a bit of mental rehearsal.

Persistent Trend Day often offers what we call a Last Chance Texaco in-trend entry. This one seems to have come to the anticipated resistance areas, and did offer a decent profit for both a YM and TF initial position. But even after making the call to re -enter the 1-lot after an initial profit target was reached, I balked waiting for a few more ticks and missed the trade entry. That was the reason for grabbing the slower-to-react YM. A profitable day was important as yesterday's profits were only get-even with Monday's losses. And so, I tend to get careful, more interested in the consistency of day-to-day profits than taking the risks to make it a bigger hitter. Still, missing such a good trade entry with a 5 pt swing always disappoints. Stay focused.

Tues Dec 10 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 1128.1. -0.2
Long 1 TF 1127.1, -0.4
Long 2 TF 1127.1, 1127.0, +0.5, -0.5
Long 1 NQ 3512.50, -2.0
Long 2 NQ 3510.0, 3509.5, +2.0, +4.0
Short 1 TF 1127.1, +1.0
Short 1 NQ 3515.75, +2.0
Long 1 YM 15995, +10
Long 1 TF 1128.8, +1.2
Long 1 TF 1120.4, +0.6
Total YM +10
Total NQ +6.0
Total TF +2.2

Some very thin and erratic action in the early going, with buy signals flipping back to sell without production really in either direction. When conditions thin, and action so choppy there's no shame in staying small. Shift to the YM or ES or NQ contract where risk is lower and often the volatility too. Yesterday was another Rogue Wave pattern, and like the one of Wednesday the week prior, was a losing day. Important to follow a losing day with a winner, so reduce risks and get back in sync. Forget about getting your lost money back from the prior day. Just get back in sync and post a day's profits. Consistency is key. Your losses will be overcome with consistency, not desperation. Keep focused. Stay disciplined.

Mon Dec 9 Trades & Summary

Long 1 TF 1131.7, -0.4
Long 2 TF 1131.6, 1131.3, +1.0, +0.5
Long 1 TF 1132.2, -1.0
Long 2 TF 1128.5, 1128.2, -0.1, -0.7
Long 3 TF 1127.7, 1127.2, 1126.8, -1.4, -0.5, +0.7
Long 1 TF 1127.0, -0.7
Long 3 TF 1125.6, 1125.6, 1125.7, -0.8, -0.8, -0.9
Long 3 TF 1125.1, 1125.9, 1125.8, +1.1, +1.0, +0.7
Long 1 YM 16024, +15
Long 1 TF 1127.8, -0.0
Total YM +15
Total TF -2.3

TF lonely collapse blew through several buy signals and support levels before reaching deep oversold at 5th final support level. And there, failed to hold onto the potential runner as a pullback threatened some much needed catch-up profit. Did have a bull breakout signal to re enter that long but was a bit shaken up after bailing out at Mach 5 a couple of times on the way down. Another Rogue Wave formation for TF there, and all contained within the 1st frame, unlike last Wednesday, where the pattern occupied nearly the whole day, and even more dramatically. Use your stp's and manage your losses. The market is always bigger than you, and cannot be predicted or explained. Accept the outcome and stick with your Trade Plan. Good days have occurred far more than those more difficult to trade like today. Chin up, and back at it manana.

Fri Dec 6 Trades & Journal

Long 2 TF 1131.2, 1131.4, -0.5, +0.7
Long 2 TF 1130.0, 1130.2, +0.5, +4.0
Total TF +4.7

The Pre-News Trade Entry Model is stock-in-trade for our Trade Plan. Today, just enough premium was created in the final moments leading up to the 9:55am ET pre-lim Consumer Confidence number to hold onto the 2nd unit for the outcome. In the plan, we keep a default target of +4.0 as the exit for our OCO orders. When playing the pre-FOMC report at 2:15pm, that target should be changed to +10. The action was pretty shakey leading into the report, but just holding still payed off for the exit spike. Trade the Plan. This particular model is also presented on Webinar #1 on the website. ...and a good weekend to all...

Thurs Dec 5 Trades & Journal

Long 2 NQ 3477.0, 3477.0, +2.0, +4.0
Short 1 TF 1122.2, -0.5
Short 2 TF 1123.2, 1123.5, -0.8, +0.7
Long 2 YM 15863, 15861, -7, -5
Long 2 TF 1121.5, 1121.0, -1.0, -0.7
Long 3 TF 1120.5, 1120.5, 1120.3, +1.8, +1.0, +0.7
Long 1 TF 1119.5, -0.5
Long 1 TF 1118.9, +1.5
Total NQ +6.0
Total YM -12
Total TF +2.2

Well, it wasn't pretty, but it was a profit. As yesterday was good to breakouts, today was good to fades, and poor to breakout players. The simple understanding that since yesterday's range was bookend-reversals, today's was likely to be contained and range bound within, kept me from committing the error of trying to play breakouts today in order to revenge myself for not taking them yesterday. But the small swings today were a bit erratic, nonetheless. The good thing I can say about today was that i was able to step back into trades that continued to fit the entry model, even after they exceeded my risks and was stopped out. Fewer trades taken too, than yesterday. Stay with the Trade Plan.

Wed Dec 4 Trades & Journal

Short 1 TF 1121.2, +1.0
Long 1 TF 1120.0, +1.0
Short 2 YM 15887, 15887, -5, -5
Short 2 YM 15893, 15893, -5, -5
Short 3 TF 1125.0, 1125.5, 1126.0, -0.2, -1.0, -0.7
Short 2 NQ 3489.5, 3490.25, -2.5, +2.0
Short 2 TF 1128.5, 1128.7, -0.7, +0.5
Short 2 TF 1128.7, 1128.9, -0.5, -0.2
Midday Frame Trades:
Long 2 TF 1124.0, 1123.5, -1.4, -0.7
Long 3 TF 1122.3, 1122.3, 1122.2, -0.4, -0.4, +1.0
Long 3 YM 15866, 15866, 15866, -5, -5, -5
Long 2 TF 1120.7, 1120.7, -0.5, -0.5
Long 3 YM 15862, 15862, 15862, +15, +15, +20
Long 2 TF 1119.9, 1120.0, -0.5, -0.5
Long 3 TF 1119.3, 1119.3, 1119.2, -0.5, -0.5, -0.3
Long 2 TF 1119.4, 1119.9, +1.0, +0.7
Total YM +15
Total NQ -0.5
Total TF -3.3

Far outside the normal volatility tolerance of most traders and trade strategies today, except for breakout players, who must be celebrating hard. The best fitting Trade Entry Model to today's action in our Plan was the Pre-News buy signals just prior to the Housing Numbers. Several students apparently got fills but I missed in both the YM and TF where the signals occurred....and then a huge vertical move straight up without me. The profits missed always smart more than the losses accrued, even those shorts at the very highs that I was continually stop'd out of.....right before the big total give-back collapse. Guess you'd say it just wasn't my day. The hesitation I made just a before Pre-10am News was clearly a mental error, but with 2 pts already in hand at that time, is one I'm familiar with, as I tend to get protective about early profits....usually to my detriment. After that, my I suffered non-buyer's regret at all the great profits that woulda-coulda been had I been filled at the lows Pre-News, and suffered from trying to 'get even' with the market by shorting it too quickly. Then too, I ignored the in-plan breakout plays that would have netted good participation in the last part of both the rally to the highs and the sell-off to the lows. So still being affected in my trading by my mental blocks against taking breakouts. Somedays' are just perfect for range expansion and Serial Sequent Inflection breakout trades. Others, not so much. The skill in recognizing the day for what it is early on, and approaching the action with a clear head without trend prejudice, non-participation remorse, or the desire to prove you can out smart the trend by stepping in front of it early are integral to the best mental game a trader can have. When the day presents itself, believe in it, and go with what's offered. A breakout trade taken, but failed is no shameful act as long as the model is in your plan. just makes you feel stupid quickly if you buy a false breakout or sell a false breakdown and are immediately stp'd out. Live with it. Be the Trader. The Trader doesn't care. He is judged by his adherence to the Trade Plan, not his genius insights or tape reading skills. Those belong to the Analyst, and he is not allowed to trade your account in real-time. Challenge him to refine all breakout triggers and model criteria. Then follow the plan. Money management and loss limitations will take you out before you're ruined the week in any single day's trade action. And if in the plan, valid breakout models will keep you in the game and part of the day's true character.

Tues Dec 3 Trades & Journal

Long 1 TF 1128.1, -0.1
Long 2 TF 1126.8, 1126.7, -0.7, +0.5
Long 3 TF 1126.3, 1125.4, 1125.3, -1.4, +2.0, +1.0
Short 2 TF 1131.2, 1131.2, +0.5, +1.0
Long 2 TF 1128.8, 1128.5, +1.0, +0.5
Long 2 TF 1128.9, 1128.8, +1.5, +0.5
Total TF +6.3

The first trend direction of the day is usually rejected. That's why the Test-n-Reject occurs far more often than does the Persistent Trend. But anticipating a reversal can cause you to slip into tape reading to justify an entry that is not quite ripe for a Trade Plan Entry Model. And so it was today for me, as I let my discipline slip with an early long entry. It was close enough to recover with follow-up entries, but nonetheless, it kept me from showing the profits I should have shown from the 1st and most important turn of the 1st Frame. Stay disciplined. Follow the Plan.

Mon Dec 2 Trades & Journal

Long 1 NQ 3496.0, -2.0
Long 1 TF 1138.7, -1.4
Long 2 TF 1136.9, 1137.0, +1.4, +0.9
Long 1 ES 1182.25, +2.0
Short 1 YM 16061, +10
Long 2 TF 1135.7, 1035.9, -0.5, +0.5
Long 1 TF 1135.4, -0.5,
Long 1 TF 1135.4, +1.0
Long 2 TF 1137.7, 1037.5, -0.7, -0.5
Long 2 TF 1136.5, 1136.6, +.6, -0.4
Long 1 TF 1135.5, -0.5
Short 1 TF 1134.8, -0.2
Short 1 TF 1134.4, -0.4
Total NQ -2.0
Total YM +10
Total ES +2.0
Total TF-0.7

Not every day is great for trading, and when price is confined to range bound activity, is often hard to understand the range limits till they are well behind you. Several trades within the Plan did keep the P&L in balance, but the best trade in the TF I cut off too soon from loss of patience. Tomorrow is another day. Stay focused. Follow your plan. If your entry models work more often than they fail, eventually the market will come back to favor your entries.