Hard to Kill Blog's Official Trading Diary: Last Road to Consistency

Welcome to the new home of the Hard to Kill blog trading diary.

Here, traders behind my footsteps can learn from my mistakes and traders ahead of me can slap me if I start acting goofy.

About me

I started trading forex mid 2015 with over $100,000. No demo. Ever. I now have less than $8k.

I have tried everything imaginable to be profitable trading Asian session (Sydney/Tokyo session) but I spent less time improving my psychology and discipline. I think that’s my failure point and not the fact that I am trading Asia.

Why I started a public blog and diary

I believe I will be consistent from now on and so this will be my diary for that journey. You can see my trades on myfxbook. Link trail begins by looking at my Babypips profile.

About my trading strategy

This is not a place to learn a strategy or watch a small account turn into millions. This is more about refining the process, improving psychology, and improving discipline. Less about making money.

I will not be posting charts, profits, etc. You wanna see how I’m doing money wise? Go to myfxbook. It’s real and it is verified–can’t fake that (as far as I know).

One last thing

Be kind. What you say can severely affect my psychology–not to mention anyone else who is insulted. We need to learn from each other not attack each other. Trading is hard enough and if you are new, there will be a time when you realize just how hard, especially when you are on the journey alone. The game has a way of making you think you’re good when you’re really not.

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Are you seriously saying you have lost $92,000???

I live in Australia and so the Asian session is my day time trading session. It is the hardest time of the day to trade as price mostly ranges during this time. And those ranges are rarely wide enough to successfully scalp profitably.

Thank goodness we overlap into the London Session and then there are better opportunities to make a dollar.

Good luck with your journey and hats off to you for your determination.

Cheers

Blackduck

You mentioned you were going to risk more per trade. Could you explain why you are doing that? How much were you risking and how much will you be risking per trade?

I think risk management is an important part of trading so it would be good to get an insight into your thoughts.

I wish you the best in your trading journey. You mentioned have been losing money and hope to lose more. Those are the alarm bells. You should stop trading open positions for a time until you understand risk management and trading psychology. Both go hand in hand.

The first rule of trading is calculate your risks before your profits. But you are doing it the other way round. It will hunt you in the end because you will screw up your emotions and develop bad habits that will follow you for the rest of your trading career.

Please stop all trading and start researching on risk management and trading psychology.

Just my 2 cents.

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Thanks Blackduck. Thank you for the kind words. London session is usually a miss for me since I have to round up family members from school, work, etc. What people usually avoid will be my bread and butter and while I used to complain about it, no more! Japanese housewives are making me look silly so no more excuses–even if many of them are trading rate differentials. No excuses :slight_smile:

Tradeforex077, I used to risk .5% to 1% and now moving on closer to 3-4%. Not only will it make me more careful in trade selection but I am also not emotional about it. Also, I am trading with the idea that I will no longer try for trader funding because it was a bad experience for me, especially since I trade Asian open too where liquidity is thin. A lot of trader funding programs will not work with how I trade.

I did ramp up to my risk level now–I did not wake up one day and just changed the risk to a full 3 or 4%. Anyway, I have risked more before when things started–at one point I had 6 million dollars allocated to a single trade. Now that is being stupid.

Emekadavid: I don’t think I said I hope to lose more. I am risking more but not doing it so I can lose more until I blow up. I understand risk and psychology very well. There is more to risk management than allocating 1% of your capital per trade etc., etc., the usual things you read about online.

I have accepted all risks so just sit back, relax, drink, take your time; and watch me blow up–or not :slight_smile: It’s okay. I’m okay with all scenarios. I have experienced many bad things in trading at this point, nothing surprises me anymore.

If you can only trade the Asian market then may I suggest you only concentrate on currency pairs that cross with the JPY USD/JPY EUR/JPY GBP/JPY. Also there can be an opportunity trading the AUS200 and the SPX500 XAU/USD (gold) AUD/USD and the NZD/USD.

Look for news announcements that may trigger some extra liquidity that may give you a chance of making a few bucks. Just don’t expect big moves and be prepared to take short sharp profits. Also you need to watch your losing trades and cut them short ASAP.

Good luck.

Cheers

Blackduck

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Ofcourse its your account and so you can do what you want. But just for the record for any beginners who may be reading this journal I don’t think this is right. You should only risk 1% or less as you used to but higher %s will make people more emotional.

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Beginners should risk way less than 1% IMHO. Gotta give your psychology time to catch up because after all, new traders just came from the school of conventional norms and thinking. One needs a paradigm shift to succeed in this business.

Man, I’m feeling better than yesterday. As the days go by, I just feel closer to my goals, especially on days I take planned loses.

I never once stopped believing in myself, even if friends, coworkers, and family doubted me.

Here’s a quote that inspires me to this day–I found it more than 5 years ago.

To your dream and to the next greatest version of yourself

If you want to think bad enough to go out and fight for it
to work day and night for it
to give up your time, your peace and sleep for it
if all that you dream and scheme is about it
and life seems useless and worthless without it
and if you gladly sweat for it and fret for it
and plan for it
and lose all your terror of the opposition for it
and if you simply go after that thing that you want with all your capacity, strength and sagacity;
faith hope and confidence and stern pertinacity
if neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout
sickness nor pain, of body and brain can keep you away from the thing that you want
if dogged and grim you beseech and beset it
with the help of God, you you will get it.

-Les Brown

You guys probably won’t believe it but for success, I got rid of my friends and muted those who gave me nothing but negativity. I’m starting to get negativity again now that I am sharing my journey online but I believe with my developing iron mind, I cannot be broken. Hard to kill, baby!

I just know some of you are so sinister that upon reading above you’re gonna try to get under my skin hahah. Sickos :

P.S. Usual diary update regarding my trading week will be uploaded Fridays, around evening time in Oceania… for anyone who cares ha ha.

I can relate to this comment. I have stopped talking to anyone who does not understand trading.

Cheers

Blackduck

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Ugh. It’s a long diary entry so I’m going to upload Monday and Tuesdays log now.

Monday

Before the trading week started, I allowed my developing iron mind to be attacked. It was something that was said in the forum that got to me.

I thought about it for a while and could not enjoy my walk.

I managed to bring my focus back to the present and move on but I wondered if it will pester me as the trading week started.

Monday opens and two of my positions were still on without any crazy gaps. There were also no new setups so it was mostly a trade management and study day.

I managed to take the time to do mind and body management too and as far as the comment that bothered me over the weekend, I still remembered it but I had no emotion toward it. Thank goodness.

Not gonna say who said what, it’s in the rearview mirror anyway.

Even with the comment issue out of the way, the challenges of the day were not over though as price neared my price target on one trade. Almost 4R but not quite there yet. I want 5 or more because that is the plan. I’m not good enough to have a high hit rate.

It was tempting to fall back into old habits (close position to cover the losses), especially after a string of losses but I knew that if I fed the monster, the habit will return so I called it a day so that I could spend time with the family–but not before I closed one position as it no longer behaved as a winner should behave.

I have one open trade at this point.

Oh and speaking of family, I’m starting to get used to them being at home during COVID lock down.

Tuesday.

I started the day feeling strong. Iron mind, iron will.

I wake up to find that I was right in closing one position for a tiny loss–could have been much worse loss wise. If I had been wrong and missed big profits, I should theoretically assess it objectively and not get sour since the fact is, the trade was not behaving the way a good trade should behave.

The real test is when such an outcome eventuates–when it just keeps going. Will I act like a FOMO fool? We’ll see.

On to my existing trade: market mind games showed no mercy early as I manage my trade (move SL). I want to stay in the trend, a big win is so close, but the trend seems to be dying.

I need to refrain from saying the market mind games because the market does not care about me. I create nearly everything in my head.

Afternoon update: Stopped out.

A few hours later: Price continues the trend without me but has not yet made new highs, maybe it will when I am asleep. Small FOMO creeps in.

I start questioning if I should have moved my stop. I let the thought in but I don’t serve it tea so it just goes out the back door. Yay! It was closed according to plan anyway.

I’m out with a small 1R gain. Bye, 4R.

At this point I wondered if I should get back in. Thoughts, they always come.

I remind myself that made no such plans before the trade. Then, another thought (see, they always come): I could risk it because I had a 1R gain and make $ if I am right. It is going to leave without me then I have to wait a long time for another setup.

My mindfulness training came in handy and saved the day; however, as I felt my heart beating faster. It’s a sign I’m about to do something dumb so I went for a walk so that I could think clearly. During my walk I thought:

In the long term, creating the bad habit would cost me more than 1R. The mistake will also precipitate other mistakes. I just know because I have been losing for so long.

Came back from the walk feeling fresh. Called it a day with no positions.

I knew going into this week and last week that the market would not make it easy for me even though I have decided to focus and tune out other traders. Just because I have decided to be more disciplined, it does obligate the market to present me an opportunity.

I’m still waiting for the big win, patiently. But in order for me to catch the big win, I have to also catch losers.

Along with riding the trends, you should work on an exit strategy. Losing 4R just to get 1R is painful.

Not following the plan is painful. I followed my plan, my process. I can wait.

When you follow the trading plan, if you loss or profit, you are still a winner. The more you follow your trading plan, the more disciplined you become.

“If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” -Derek Sivers

Good trading to you all today.

Wednesday.

I woke up and the first thing I do is check the phone for setups–and there was one! That got me out of bed real fast-- and it’s really cold right now, believe me.

Still had about an hour before candle close though. It was tempting to open a position–I mean it’s going to close in less than an hour. But I have my morning routine and it has to be done before any trade can occur because for 7 hours I have had no liquids and no carbs.

Coffee, chat, good carbs and then a cold morning shower (I mean really cold!).

Cold showers are easier done in the winter than during hot Australian summers for some reason.

Game time, finally. And now mental challenge right away–the price has moved further than I wanted but the signal is clear as day. Well, mind tug of war began. I started thinking maybe I should wait for a pullback for smaller SL and bigger RR but then I have never tested it that way.

Reasoning sounds cool. Sounds legit, but I didn’t do any of that sort. I just entered as planned. It’s a big SL but its’ the plan. I’ll adjust later if things keep falling apart–when the market is closed.

Noon update:

Checked on the trade from Tuesday that made me have a little FOMO…Yeah, that’s going in the other direction now. It’s good to stick to the plan.

On my current position, market wants me to sweat as it moves .25% against me. I see a correlated pairs moving fast but the one I’m in isn’t. Checked the backtest review notes again and yup, it says most of the time it will move against me.

Mind games, gotta love them :slight_smile: Time to finish blog and work on my next one which is a big project and time consuming. I think it will help others. Then, go for a run next with family (who are on bicycles)–hope I can keep this up at least until I’m 80 but knees hurting lately since cross training to boxing. Oh well, you don’t need knees to trade!

Afternoon update: Still in the trade. No other setups–sitting on trading hands.

Evening: Nothing to do live trade wise, just review charts and past trades. Trolls getting in my head again so I will have a hot shower before bed for a quick win/spiritual boost.

There’s noise in your head (inner monologue) and there’s external noise. So much noise. I believe reducing chatter is key for me.

Thursday

Waking up to a new reality and challenge. I feel like an alcoholic on remission and someone keeps trying to tip me over to the dark side. No, it’s not the market that vexes me. It’s the internet trolls.

Glass half full: it’s a good test of the developing iron mind. It is, what it is. I think when the time comes where the comments just rolls off like water off a ducks back, it means my EQ is elite level status.

That’s more important to me right now than making money because having a low EQ gets you into a lot of trouble in and outside of trading.

So I guess, trolls are my best friends?

Anyway, still in the trade, there’s nothing to do but sip coffee and go for a really long walk. It’s slightly disappointing that most are still at home due to the COVID so I don’t get to enjoy the walks as much.

I don’t feel like opening any new positions today–I think it’s a day to take care of myself as well as review some setups. I feel there is always room for improvement.

How can I be 1% better?

Noon: Apart from my morning walk, I’m still studying charts. Just need to take breaks for my eyes sake at minimum. Trade is going well but no expectations–market does what it wants. I gave myself permission to have beer with lunch so long as I don’t make any live account trading decisions.

Evening: After a long walk, back to reviewing but getting tired of reviewing. I think I found a way to be 1% better but it takes more patience. Nothing else worked for me before so what choice do I have but to do the things I have not been doing.

Night time: Trade is slow to move but I can wait. In profit but threatening a stop out. Who cares, SL is there. Too exhausting to try to be Nostradamus.

Learned something new today and Babypips had the answer: comdoll

Should have gone with the antipodean bunch of the comdolls :slight_smile: Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Before you go Google that, thanks for reading!

Can’t wait to try a the slight adjustment I found but it involves a lot of waiting. That should give me time to do some more testing, anyway.

Calling it a night. Friday should be a semi day off–as long as I don’t do anything dumb if I’m stopped out overnight.

Past instances when I get stupid: When my entry tool has an error and a trade is triggered, triggered incorrectly, or not triggered; Stopped out then market moves in intended direction in a big way (FOMO); a big win; and accidentally reading some twitter hedge fund guy talking about why so and so has to go up (or down) and I start second guessing myself. Oh yeah, gotta add troll comments in the mix now. Gotta watch myself very closely.

Friday

Wake up to a loss, not even 1R.

There are setups and an opportunity to apply the adjustment I discovered yesterday but I am feeling a bit lost. It’s usually what happens when something is new. Plus my phone was erased so things are not working as usual.

I have also moved my office in the lounge (a long time ago) to expose myself to a lot of noise and distraction (iron mind exercise) but this morning I find it challenging. I feel a bit lost because I have a change in procedure, t.v. is on and loud, I just woke up, and cooking is happening in the kitchen.

As I write this I remember I have to eat breakfast first so I will do that. If I miss a setup then so be it–it’s Friday anyway.

That’s what I said. That’s not what happened.

I managed to mute the t.v., inhale, exhale, and think. Think? Okay I know for sure I’m not in flow state now since I am thinking. Is it because there’s a change in the plan?

If I consider that I wanted to get in on this pair two days ago but the price has moved too far and now it has pulled back to my ideal entry + it meets the adjustment yesterday–it’s a trade.

Trading is like farting. If you force it, it’s probably not a fart. Something like that–that’s what Miad said.

I have a trade on now… a good outcome does not mean I did well. I will review this over the weekend.

Going for a walk now and I think I’m done for today. I’m feeling extra bad as I just had miscommunication with a family member. This morning has not started out well.

Post walk update

I realized these were my mistakes today:

  1. I did not put on my noise cancelling headphones on when it got overwhelming
  2. I slept in 30 mins extra, giving me less time to absorb what the market has done overnight
  3. I had a slight change to my process
  4. I added a new pair to the target list

Little things can turn into a big thing. I’ll try to be better next time.

Evening: By this time I managed the trade well enough to lose nothing–but I opened another trade. I lost 1R but I learned a lot because without it, I didn’t have my aha moment. I think if I tested it on demo I wouldn’t have realized some things with my new process. Failure is a great teacher. Emotion can also be an indication that there’s something missing with the process. To me, anyway.

Final thought for the weekend…

Below, you see bad trading

temp

I see a hole dug, a sprout, and roots taking hold.

I have a confession.

Ever wonder how I got over $100k to trade FX? I traded stocks before Forex. In hindsight I would say I got pretty lucky day trading a small account after a few years and you know what?

I thought I had the game figured out.

I was all over the internet giving advice: Risk management this, be disciplined that, don’t catch a falling knife whatever… blah blah blah. I’m sure you have heard it all. Platitudes/cliches are everywhere.

I even wrote a book.

Then I had to trade Forex. Had to. Boy, that showed me all the holes in my game. Yeah, being a different market all together did not help but there’s more to trading success than possessing a good strategy, knowing risk management/position sizing, and knowing about psychology. I read Van Tharp, Ralph Vince, and Steenbarger books, believe me.

Anyway, I discontinued the book and the trading course–because while what I taught was good knowledge, I knew it wasn’t going to be enough to help others succeed.

What I am saying is… careful out there.

P.S. I refunded about 95% of the money I made from the trading course. The book was cheap and I did not know how to refund since book stores were the ones who gave me the money.

I like that your journal is very detailed down to your daily routines. I think it’s little things like this that make us better traders. Your attention to detail in your actual life can easily be transferred looking at the markets as well. I’ll continue to follow this journal as it seems a bit different from the others.

Happy trading mate!

Thank you so much for your message, that made my day. I am loving the positive energy :slight_smile: Happy trading to you as well.