Trading journal

I just realised something. I have two strategies.

trading major trends with reversal signs
trading retracements (often don’t have signs)

But how can I trade a retracement, if I’m already trading the trend?

mind blown

This contradiction creates a jumping-in-and-out style. Jumping out based on the wrong signs makes getting back in very difficult.

To clear up this contradiction, I should focus on entering and exiting based on my strategy’s signals. This requires practicing more patience.

The only time to focus on retracements is if I exit erroneously based on a bad signal, and I’m trying to get back in. (not ideal trading)

Or I can focus on retracements when I’m trying to pyramid. (ideal trading)

I currently trade GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/CZK, and USD/SEK. I noticed that I feel a bit uneasy trading 4 USD pairs. I’m thinking of eliminating one of the two crosses, then my roster will have a little less USD exposure. Actually, ditching GBP/USD might not be a bad idea. IG recently upped the margin requirement for GBP pairs.

Maybe over the weekend I’ll think about it.

Of course, less pairs means less risk, but also less profit. Once I can be more patient and become more profitable, then I can take on more pairs again. For now, less is more.

I’m tired of doing analysis. At the moment, the only thing really left for me is trading the market to see how well I do.

Right now, doing more analysis will only give me more of what I’ve already seen. I’ve been preparing more practice charts, and that’s kinda the only thing I feel like doing.

Even that, I don’t feel like doing. But I should because I’m not consistently profitable yet. So, practicing trading is something that I should do just because it could help me keep my mind focused on how I should be trading.

I’m at a point that more information, and more trading books won’t help me. I just have to face the market and myself.


I’m just about done trading. It took about 30 minutes so far. I selected a few pairs that I should take a second look.

I kinda don’t know what to do with myself. I mean, I’m supposed to be waiting for very obvious signals, right? That’s what I’ve been talking about before. I’ve said it so many times that the signals in my strategy are so easy to spot. Yet, I didn’t see any such signals today. I saw a couple signs that I would be jumping onto a price that’s trending already.

That can be dangerous also. But, I’ve seen pullbacks with clear signals offering safe entry, and those are the ones I should wait for.

I’ve seen some trends that require being wrong 4-5 times in order to get into. That approach looks great in a backtest, but forward testing that can be dangerous because if you keep taking losses going long, you might find out that price is reversing and you should have gone short.

It depends on the trend of course. Some get pretty choppy. And that’s kinda what I saw today. I didn’t see anything that resembles the setups I see in my practice charts. So, all I should be doing is waiting…not trying to figure out the best way to trade something that isn’t tradeable (for my strategy).

A falling knife has no handle. When price starts doing its random walk, that’s the equivalent to a falling knife. I should wait until what I’m seeing makes sense, and I see a signal. If not, I should wait. No position, IS a position!

So, I’m done, and part of me doesn’t know what to do. I have other things to study, and I have practice charts. I’m actually sleepy already, and I’d like to get some rest.

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Last week, I decided to refrain from trading. And, of course, it was a week full of signals!

I’m upset that I missed out. It’s like the market is laughing at me and knew I wasn’t taking trades.

But I have to be honest with myself. I’m not even 100% sure I would have taken all of them. I opened one perfect trade two weeks ago, and I closed it prematurely last week.

One good thing that I didn’t do was desperately try to jump on and takes losses while doing so. Now, I have to wait for the next run, which could be in a week or two…

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I’m practicing and also preparing more charts for practice. I’m really considering focusing on trades that present a clue + confirmation.

Basically, when I get a signal I’m not 100% sure about it. But I keep seeing that there are lots of trades that there is a sign acting as a clue, then a confirmation signal.

Those trades are very obvious. Of course, not 100%, but pretty close haha.

The scary part is waiting for that kind of signal. It may come only a few times a year in a given pair–possibly less than 10. Waiting for this kind of signal also means that I have to be willing to MISS OUT on swings that don’t fit this criteria.

Looking at big beautiful candles and doing nothing about it still irks me. But this kind of strategy could be better for my margin.

My cycle has been

  1. catch a nice entry
  2. repeatedly lose trades while good trade is creating profit
  3. close profitable trade, margin is lower than before

I’m getting tired of it, and I need to break this cycle. If there’s a way to keep me from wasting money on bad trades, and focus on higher-probability trades, shouldn’t I do it? Even if it costs me smaller trades that could lead to faster profits?

Well, the problem is that I’m not doing so well trying to catch those small fast-money trades. I’m really having trouble with those. They don’t seem to match the way I think. I want to try this other way which offers higher probability.

The fast money seems too difficult for me. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to say it. It just feels chaotic.

I’ve used this analogy before. It feels like trying to catch coins dancing around in a blender. Sure, you might catch a few coins, but your fingers get chewed up every time.

That’s how I feel. It’s awful. I need a strategy that works for me. Something that feels natural for me. This way feels natural for me. We’ll see how it goes.

I want to go back to live trading. I want to build up my demo account to what it was when I first came back to demo, but that may take too long. Instead, I’m gonna wait to see if I can build it up to a certain $ amount, and consistently have green months.

After that, I’ll go back to live trading. But, demo first.

I’m realising that the reason why jumping on a moving trend could be too risky for me is because the market may be undecided about which way it’s going.

If there’s a bearish trend, and I missed it the entry, trying to force my way in may not end well. Price will bounce around a little bit. At my proper entry, I’m safest from the volatility. But once the volatility starts, price is deciding if it will retest/break resistance.

So, imagine me trying to force my way into that kind of trend. My proper entry is safest. Just like a getting into a car that’s pulled over for you.

But a late entry in my strategy is like trying to get into a car while it’s doing donuts!

car crazy donuts

I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes ideas come back to me and I understand them different than the last time. I think it makes a bit more sense this time because I’m actually waiting.

I’m doing just ok as far as patience. Yesterday, I got so tempted and took a trade that I probably shouldn’t have taken. I’ve talked before about two types of trades for me: new trend vs retracements.

New trends are safer but there are fewer and inherently require more patience. The retracements is where it gets funky. Some retracements let you know when it’s safer to jump on the trend, but it’s still quite tricky. Also, I get scared when trading them because I’m so scared of being wrong.

But, am I scared because my FOMO makes me take bad signals? If I just focused on clear signals, would I do better?

That’s worth looking into…

I’m phasing GBP out of my rotation because my broker raised the margin for GBP, JPY and TRL. I stay away from TRL because the gaps are wild. So wide that you could wake up with your account liquidated. Sure, that might be super rare, but why chance it?

The margin requirement for GBP is more than 2x that for EUR CHF and NZD. So, I’ll explore those.

Just finished trading. I opened one new position. No other signals. I saw some trades that looked tempting, but they’re just random walk trades. Meaning that, it’s too choppy to be trading.

Those are the trades that have been ruining me. There is a point that price is trending. But for how long? How wide is that channel?

If there’s a strong trend without much volatility, well, understanding the direction isn’t that difficult–particularly if the trend is lasting for 10 days or more.

But when there’s a trend with a lot of volatility, and each mini swing lasts 3 or 4 days, that’s when it gets more difficult. It’s not as simple as ¨just buy when price is going up¨ and ¨sell when price is going down¨, because by the time you get your confirmation, it might be too late.

Some volatility can be really confusing. And that’s the game. How to not get eaten alive during that time. For me, the answer is ¨don’t play that game¨. For me, the solution is to just wait.

Yup. I saw some trades that I wish I got it. But, the signs weren’t obvious enough for me. So, I just have to suck it up.

Anyway, I reviewed my pairs rather quickly because most of my pairs are still trending, and I have to wait for the next cycle. I have just 4 trades, running.

This is quite different from about a year ago when I had 20 trades running. It was cool. I’ve had moments of 20 plus trades, all in the green.

How could it be possible for an account to shrink when that many trades are in the green? That’s actually a complicated question. Being in the green doesn’t count for much, if you’re in the green by a few pips. You could be in the green today, then get stopped out tomorrow. After that, you’ve still got a roster full of profitable trades, but the margin is shrinking at the same time. So, it becomes a picture of half truths.

Just because you have a plethora of profitable trades running that doesn’t mean you closed them at profit. And it also doesn’t mean that your margin is growing. And that’s part of what my problem was when I was trading live. But that’s mostly due to too much flexibility in my strategy.

Right now, I feel like I’m doing better. I’m trading less, and that means less losses, which is a big deal for me.

I’m really considering focusing on clue+confirmation trades ONLY. It’s easier said than done, because I have to watch all those nice pretty candles and get no profit from them. It sucks because the voice in my head says ¨man, imagine if I took that trade…woohee that’d be a lot of money…maybe I should take trades that look like that next time…¨

I can’t do that nonsense anymore. I can’t chase money. There are trades that could be profitable…these mid-swing, pullback trades could be profitable, but it’s not working for me. So, for the moment I have to stop. They’re killing my account. I wanna focus on higher-probability trades.

Maybe later, after returning to live trading, I can practice these mid-swing trades in demo. But not now. Right now, I need to focus on properly trading one strategy. Just one. Let’s get busy!

Since my view of retracements vs reversals has changed, I think it would be good to collect samples of both, just for reference…

This way, I can compare the PA in both scenarios, and see what clues there are.

I’m making more practice charts. I’m separating them into different categories

1: entries/exits
2: retracements/reversals (particularly tricky for me)
3: retracements

(this post was longer, but the rest got deleted when I tried posting during a dropped connection…and I don’t feel like typing all that again…)

I just recorded my account balance for the month of March. It’s lower than last month, however, it’s the lowest decrease ever!

I’m not 100% sure that’s worth celebrating, but it’s definitely a positive that I’m losing less. Losing a little is better than losing a lot!

Let’s see how this month goes.

Patience, young padawan.

I’ve missed some nice entries recently, because I was scared of losing. Sure, some of them would have gotten stopped out, but several of them would have been profitable. I would have made my money back plus the profits.

If I miss the ideal entry, I should be ready to trade retracements and be able to identify favourable entries on trends that are already trending.

I’m gonna start preparing more practice charts for that kind of scenario.

This weekend I’m taking time to prepare charts for the setups that I’m most troubled by: retracements.

I got porkrinds; I got grapes. I’m ready!

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I’ve been collecting chart samples for practicing retracement trades. As I collect them, I also see my strategy play out as the trade unfolds.

These charts have presented some ideas about retracements, but now I have some questions that need answers.

All my answers lie within the charts. Therefore, I have to collect some samples and do a tally.

I really don’t feel like doing it. I really don’t. I’m quite tired of collecting charts, doing analysis, and doing tallies. But, this is something that could be very helpful for me.

I can whine and complain all day about what I wanna do, and what I don’t wanna do. But your circumstances determine what you will or will not do–not you. I don’t wanna do anymore analysis, but my circumstances dictate that I have to.

I’m finding information that might help me navigate the types of trades that have been ruining me. Why wouldn’t I jump right in??

¨When the distance is unknown, and the ending is unknown, that’s when you find out who you are.¨ -Goggins

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I can completely understand where you’re coming from. Collecting and analyzing data can be a tedious and draining task, but it’s important to remember the potential benefits it can bring. In fact, I can relate to your situation so much that I recently signed up for another FTMO trial challenge myself! The challenge starts next Monday and I know that this spreadsheet will definitely come in handy.

However, I must admit that the process of drawing lines on the charts, scrutinizing them, and manually inputting data into the spreadsheet can be extremely laborious and exhausting. I’m currently in the same boat as you, having only completed about 20% of the work with another 80% left to go. It’s frustrating and exhausting, but we have to push through it to reap the benefits. Hang in there!


Thanks! I appreciate the push!!! Same to you! I wish you the best with the FTMO challenge. How long until you start?

Just looking at your spreadsheet makes me wanna slouch in my chair. haha
But that’s the weak side of me coming out. The strong side should say, ¨ok, bring it on! let’s go!¨ That’s the voice I’m focusing on.

I’ve heard it’s helpful to sometimes forget about the entire task, and just break it down into manageable piece. You’ve done 20%. Just worry about getting to 40% next. Then 50%. You got this!

@alphahavoc What do you do to stay motivated?

I just wanted to reach out and express my heartfelt thanks for the video you shared. It truly touched my heart. The emotions it evoked and the message it conveyed were simply inspiring, and I am so grateful.

A Chinese bamboo tree indeed.

fist bump


I’ve been collecting retracement samples for the past week or so. I’ve also collected a few nice practice chart setups.

I’m looking at these retracement samples, and I’m not even sure there’s anything to analyze. Just by collecting samples, I see much the same thing over and over. I pretty much already have the conclusion that I want, without even counting any variables.

Same thing again and again. However, I have noticed something regarding gap candles. So, that might turn into another task.

There are some things TA-wise that I still need to learn to implement my strategy better. But for the most part, I have all the data and charts I need.

At this point, I think it’s all about patience and not allowing fear to disrupt my strategy. That’s all mental. I can keep practicing, just to try to drill in the ideas…but I feel like I’m getting to the point that more data isn’t all that much helpful.

It’s still helpful, but not immensely. More data is more like a polisher. Right now, the game changer for me is patience. That’s my biggest hurdle.

If anything, charts are just something to do. I don’t want to take a break, because I don’t deserve one yet. When I can get some consistent profits, I can just focus on practicing charts, just to keep my mind sharp.

But I don’t need much more information. Statistics and tallies, I’ve got enough of that for now. Now is the time to apply everything, and there’s only one way to do that.

Speed trading is not the live market. It’s a re-creation of past charts, but it’s not the real thing.