Trading journal

Often I have questions or thoughts that I would like to share, but don’t want to create a new thread for each one. So, I figured I’ll have just one thread for everything bouncing around in my head. Feel free to comment and question.

I’m a beginner and looking to improve myself as a trader.

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I stopped looking at every pair and focused on just the majors + one minor pair. However, I recently started scanning all the pairs for long-term trades (6 months or more).

But, I recently got stopped out on the EUR/USD and traded waaaaaaaaaaay more than I should have. I allowed my desperation to overshadow my logic. My desperation told me that there was no way I could be wrong. I didn’t even WANT to see how I could be wrong. So, I didn’t plan for what could happen if I was wrong.

Now, the fear is hitting me as I look at long-term opportunities. This morning, I was looking at several set-ups, and I’m completely indecisive.

If I’m feeling undecisive, then I’m not placing any orders, right now. I’m just gonna step back.

The markets will open this evening.

I’m quite confident the EUR/USD is going to bounce the MA35 on W1 this week, BUT I’m waiting for some confirmation before I do so.

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This is a very good idea - its hard to know the markets unless you really know yourself. And even then, we change, our ideas change, our influences and pre-occupations change.

A guy once told me that a computer is a different animal today when you have turned it on than it was last night when you turned it off: it re-builds itself when it re-boots itself. Next to us humans, computers are a bench-mark in predictability.

Good luck with the journal.

PS: I might be inspired…

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It seems EU is in an interesting situation right now. I took a look at the weekly chart (below) and we did break a fairly long-lasting uptrend line which probably sparked some exiting. But this break was preceded by the upmove reaching the base of a prolonged consolidation period back in the first quarter of 2018. So not surprising that we met with some selling here.

On the other hand, the sell-off has fallen to the top edge of an even earlier long consolidation period in the entire 2nd half of 2017, which was repeated almost identically at the end of last year! So we might see some further penetration into this lower consolidation range for a while.

But when trading off signals from a weekly chart, one should really only read these moves at end of each week, and a lot can happen in a week.

Personally, I would say that we have now broken that existing uptrend shown on this chart (together with those earlier consolidation areas) and we need to wait for confirmation of a new trend in either direction from here and maybe the daily chart is a good one to watch for the early signs. But that’s just my view :smiley:

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Yes!!! 2018!!! In several pairs, they’re bouncing the 2018 R/S zones.

I’m curious if they will break through or maintain the bounce.

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@tommor

You’re very active on this forum and it would be a different place without you. Thanks for your contribution!

I appreciate your input.

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I was thinking of different strategies I could implement. And I could feel myself feeling excited and hopeful.

But I had to check myself. Changing strategies won’t necessarily make me a better trader. Especially if I haven’t fully explored my current strategy.

I don’t think I’ve actually completely followed my strategy to the end more than two times. My trades for the first time are doing well and I know what’s going with each of them.

And those trades are actually following my strategy.

My strategy is based on trend lines and MA20/35/90.

But, I want to reassess my plan and the steps involved. I would like to apply them to short-term trades, while still trading on the W1.

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Changing strategies and extending strategies are different things.

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@SovoS I agree. I meant that switching completely to a different strategy and trying new indicators will not give me a solution.

The problem is not the strategy. I, myself, am the problem.

I have to make more effort to let the strategy work and to try to think more logically and less emotionally.

If I change strategies and start using the MACD or whatever pokemon ikimojo strategy, my results will be the same or worse because I’m lacking discipline.

Start small, use risk management and position sizing.

Look at the trade, setup a position where you can put your stoploss if your entry was wrong.

Set your position size so that the SL position will lose the amount you accept to be the most you are prepared to lose if you are wrong. Then hit it and let it go.

You already have your exit if you were wrong, there is nothing else to think about there.

Then you have to choose how you will get out if you win. What is the position you get out? Fixed position below expected resistance? Time? a change in the trend short of your expected take profit point?

Plan RULES for the trade, and exercise risk management.

Start off risking small amounts, live to fight another day.

This may limit the size of your wins innitially, but also gives you data, how likely are you to win each trade? how likely is a string of losses?

Relax. Give yourself rules that you stick to… then build up experience, time and confidence.

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I must admit that I have a problem. Before going to bed I took a look at the markets to see how the markets opened.

GBP/USD opened with a green candle. I had a short position, and it was in the red. So, I closed it, and opened a buy position (2% risk)

EUR/USD also opened with a green candle, so I opened a buy position. (two 2% risk positions, to sell at different TPs)

I woke up, and both hit SLs.

This morning, I’m just reading. No more trades this morning. I read a book about short-term trading and the rule was to wait for trend confirmation. Same as Pipsology.

Basically, you don’t want to try to catch the trend right away and ride it until the very end. You actually want the middle 50-75%. Something like that.

That’s not what I did at all. The problem was I saw what I wanted to see and jumped right in.

So, when I saw I hit my stop in both trades, and I saw that GBP/USD went in the direction of my original trade, I said to myself, “I have a problem.”

I’m reading “the Disciplined Trader”, and I’m still not being disciplined.

No more trades this morning. Just reading and developing some rules.

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The only good thing is that after I opened EUR/USD, I thought to myself, “let’s just stick to 2% risk.” So, I actually did that for GBP/USD.

The rest was bad, though.

My next trade will be 1% risk.

I’m doing my journal entries on my computer, and I saw how a new candle just formed in EUR/USD and it’s green.

My first thought was “oh man, I gotta jump in there now!” I could feel the impulse generating in my brain. But, I’m not jumping in.

This is a strange thing to say, but I’m tired of losing. Of course no one wants to lose. But Disciplined Trader says you make the decision. Everything comes from the trader. You can’t control the market but you can learn to be objective in your perception.

Right now, there’s too much emotion in my brain to think objectively.

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The crazy part about my EUR/USD losses is that my rules for MA trades determine that if price bounces the MA, then take that trade. On D1, price crossed under the MA20, then boucned the MA20, and continued bearish. If I had shorted EUR/USD on Thursday, I would have profited 140 pips.

But I was SOOOOO stuck on the idea that it was going bullish, I didn’t WANT to believe anything else. “It’s gonna keep going bullish, and I’m getting in early so I don’t miss out on any profits.” I suppose the keywords there are MISS OUT. I gave in to FOMO. I didn’t want the clues the market was giving me. I wanted to see what I wanted to see. I wanted to be smarter than the market.

Another clue was that the swings are losing a bit of strength. It’s not conclusive, but it’s worth observing. It’s something that I actually thought about looking into, and just forgot about it. “Naaah.”

I’m trading with desperation. I see some glimmer of hope (the beginning of a candle in my favor), and I just grab at it hoping for big money. However, by doing that, I’m accomplishing the opposite. That’s not strategy–it’s mania.

I’ve been procrastinating my journal entries because I have to face my losses. I’ve had one nice trade with USD/JPY recently. This trade lasted 17 days.

Other than that, I’ve had some losses that I didn’t want to face. But, these losses are the truth. Nothing more, nothing less.

But through journaling, I can find my solutions. The most difficult part is using logic at the moment of searching for set ups. Focusing on logic and strategy, not money.

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Hi @dushimes

Earlier you wrote:

Which I assumed from your description refers to longer term trades off a weekly chart. So far, so good :slight_smile:

But now your write:

You have already realised that what you are currently doing with these short-term trades is impulsive, spontaneous trading without any specific strategy, it’s just chasing moonbeams, in this case, candles (pretty close to gambling). You have also realised that it is not going to work. But you have also realised that the emotive stress being caused by these failures is doing incredible damage to your confidence in making sound judgements. This is not good!

The good news is that recognising the problems is well over half way to resolving them!

You also mentioned above that:

It sounds from your general writings that you like trading longer term (no problem there) but that you also have a passion for following markets closely and want to be involved (no problem there, either!).

We are all wired differently and rather than try to stifle your interest in short-term, would it not be better to evolve a proper strategy that clothes this passion? Trading off weekly charts gives you a lot of time to wander off the track, so why not fill it with something else to satisfy your needs to be involved and to try other things?

I would not suggest going lower than 1-hour charts but maybe 4-hour charts will give you a good balance between reliability and activity? This would also help you develop discipline by forcing you to only reassess and act at the end of each 4-hour candle. At the moment you seem to be acting at random whenever you happen to look at the charts and based on what you are seeing at that moment.

But at this point I want to ask you, is this how you want to develop your journal or am I just intruding on your personal thoughts here? Or do you prefer to talk trades instead of trading? I don’t want to divert your journal off-track with my own thoughts here! :smiley:

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Your assumptions are correct. My W1 trades are going well. The USD/CHF broke out of a downward channel. I’m long on that.

I’m also trading the breakout on AUD/SGD. I plan to hold this until a resistance zone, maybe 6 months.

I’m trading the USD/DKK as well.


This has been in an upward channel since 2005. Not much to read into there. I have two positions on USD/DKK. One position to hold for a year, and one position to hold until it crosses the MA20 on W1.

These were opened prior to my recent losses. My confidence was higher. And my entrance seemed pretty straightforward.

But, while my long-term trades are running, I’d like to trade short-term.

However, I switched to W1 to avoid the D1 market noise. But, like you said @SovoS, a lot can happen in a week. If I’m truly going to trade the W1, then I have to not look at it for a week. Or perhaps wait for the development of a healthy candle before opening a position.

I guess I jump back and forth between the D1 and W1.

Trade the W1 and enter on D1?

Maybe trade the D1, and use the W1 for exit signals? But, I prefer to use trend lines and MA for exits.

As I write this I think I’m sounding confused. And I am.

For entries and exits my strategy uses bounces and crosses of MA and trendlines.

On my long-term trades, the signals were very clear. There’s much less noise on W1 and M1 charts.

With EUR/USD, I’m losing confidence.

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@SovoS Feel free to comment as much as you want. No worries.

I’m kinda just thinking outloud here. So, I’ll probably seem like I’m rambling.

You mentioned the H4 or H1. Maybe, but I think I prefer the D1. I haven’t really touched the H4 in a while.

I could try, though. Backtesting doesn’t hurt anyone. After that, I could even just trade 0.01 lots as a live test run. But maybe D1 is better for me because faster charts have more market noise.

I should give it a try before coming to a decision.

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My main concern was only that you could find a shorter term that you could trade independently from your weekly thoughts and positions. The 4-hour was only a suggestion for this. I would certainly agree that the Daily chart would also serve this purpose and I am sure that other experienced traders like @tommor would also agree with this.

It might be worthwhile developing a variation of your strategy to fit the Daily chart to help in keeping these separate whilst at the same time maybe helping with timing of your weekly positions.

With regard to your EU trades, and any other USD-based trades, it might help to also keep a watch on a USD-index chart which a lot of brokers offer. This would help give a picture of what the USD is doing independently of any other specific currency. For example, it has been showing some strength recently which counters any possible strength in the Euro. Its worth remembering that every currency pair is exactly that - a pair of currencies, each with its own story to tell. We are trading the net imbalance between them and not just the story behind one of them. Just a thought.

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Using multiple timeframes is very common and it is certainly valid to use these on a top-down basis. For example, your prime set-up would come from the weekly charts and then you drop to the daily to fine tune entry timing and levels.

The TF’s should be far enough apart to still be related but not just reflecting the same moves, but also not so far apart that they are on different planets! Such pairs are typically Monthly/Weekly or Weekly/Daily or Daily/4H/1H or 1H/15m/5m and so on.

Sounds like you are at a very interesting and formative stage in your progress! Keep it up! :smiley:

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Thanks! But the part I have to keep in mind is that “work ≠ results”. I can read 20 books, and post 100 journal entries. Nothing will make a difference if I don’t change my thought process.

See what the market is doing, not what I want to see in the markets.

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