Trading journal

I studied more charts today. What’s interesting is that the more charts I study, the more I see my strategy works.

So, this reinforces the idea that the problem is me. My strategy is based on price action. And there are always clues to what price is gonna do next.

The hard part is having patience, being willing to take a couple losses, paying attention to the details that I pay attention to in the backtests, and taking action accordingly.

I’m ok with practicing more in demo.

Also, I’m noticing how a lot of pairs were pretty flat pre-2020.

I’m working on this diagram. It’s a bit frustrating because I have to organize my thoughts and put them in order.

I know this stuff already. My problem is executing the trades at the time that I should.

I’m wondering if these diagrams will even be helpful for me.

Because all it really does is organize in a diagram what’s already organized in my head. I think I understand more than I realize.

My problem is just executing the trades at the right time. So, even if I complete these diagrams, they might not help my main problem. I could do all this work, and spend all this time making this chart, and still have the same problem.

Just because I’m busy, it doesn’t mean I’m being productive.

Perhaps what’s MORE productive is studying more charts.

As I study charts and examine them, it helps my brain to recognize the right set ups. Even on a subconscious level. Just staring at the same strategy in multiple charts over and over, will create a spider-sense of what’s a good set up and what’s not. Sometimes, my emotions will say one thing, and my spider-sense will say something else.

Studying more charts and recognizing the set ups will help me understand which instinct is correct and WHY.

I’m feeling pretty good about trading in demo, to be honest. A strange thing I noticed is that I’m still scared of losses, to an extent.

There are trades that I should have taken, but I was thinking ¨too soon, not yet¨. Then the next day, I see I should have taken it. I have to be willing to be a bit riskier and anticipatory. Is that a word? I have to anticipate more.

I’m trading more short-term movements. I like it because there are lots of opportunities. It’s not just about being busy, because that is a part of it. But it’s also about more opportunities to try and practice. The long-term strategy that I was focusing on before involved a lot less opportunities. That long-term strategy only yielded one or two trades per month in a given pair.

But this short-term strategy yields two trades per week. That’s a big difference. It gives me more opportunities to be wrong. The more I’m wrong, the more I learn.

The next step for me is to be a bit riskier and anticipatory. For some reason, even in demo it’s scary. Haha.

I got faked out a couple times. I see so many small mistakes of mine. But I like the way I’m trading now. There are more opportunities. Also, I just realized I’m not using trendlines as much. Almost not at all, which is strange.

Moving away from MAs was a good idea. No regrets there. The strategies were conflicting so much.

That’s progress for sure. But now, I have just some specific corrections to make. Trading short-term gives me more opportunities to keep working on it. Also that I’m in demo is a real relief.

The loss still feels the same, even in demo. However, the financial hit is non-existent which is nice. So, perhaps the switch back to live trading maybe won’t be such a big deal later on.

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I’m thinking about my recent loss. My strategy has some twerking to d-…no…tweeking to do.

The problem was 1) I didn’t use my diagram (I thought it’s too premature)
2) my brain was too flooded with emotions to think it through properly.

I saw two signs, one after the other, and I didn’t bother to think about which one is more significant.

Now, that’s a aprt of my criteria.

I’m trying to organize a diagram, but it’s difficult to organize so many things. Do I organize the diagram based on signals or based on the situation?

I might have to do both and see what works better.

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Today’s Friday and I’m preparing for my analysis this weekend. It wasn’t a profitable week. A lot of missed opportunities. I still get scared of jumping in sometimes.

Other times, I probably should just be waiting on the sidelines. I don’t have to catch every single move, just the ones with strong signals.

That’s something for me to keep in mind.

I’m looking forward to next week already!!

Nice journal. I must commend your efforts towards regularly updating your online journal. There is much to learn from it. I have read through a significant part of your journal and I have observed that the wall between you and success in trading is your psychological approach to trading. You need to work on this first — win or lose — then it becomes easier to work on other aspects of your trading. You know this already.

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I was doing my analysis. I’m kinda getting tired of it.

Only because I keep seeing the same errors, more or less.

Maybe I’m not tired of the analysis as much as I’m tired of seeing myself make similar mistakes over and over.

We’ll see what this week brings.

Wishing you all the best. Keep pushing. I am sure you will get there eventually.

As Torchwave mentioned, its more a mental battle than it is a battle of skill.

I guess a good thing is you’re able to see your mistakes and soon you’ll be able to identify that you’re about to make a mistake before you make it!

Wishing you a green week mate!


Thanks! You too! I took a bit of time today to work on my diagram.

I have been working on it, but I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or what direction I was going in.

But I lost on a trade yesterday that got me thinking. So, now I’m working on diagrams for different scenarios.

For example, if I see a doji, and I’m not sure what to do, I can look at my doji diagram, and I’ll have different doji scenarios and instructions.

That’s the idea for now…

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I had a thought while brushing my teeth last night.

Perhaps I’m taking false signals. Perhaps I’m jumping into trades that are not actual signals.

Sure I do my analysis. But my analysis is limited to my own understanding of the results.

I’ll take another look at my results from last week.

The good thing is that I took screen shots as I did my analysis; I can just pull up the pictures! Easy!

So, I made a list of my entry signals. I’m gonna do a comparison of trades I entered vs entry signals I should be waiting for.

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I think I get overwhelmed by so many things. I recently started thinking about trading retracements. There are so many opportunities there.

However, I also look at trends losing momentum, bouncing/breaking previous highs/lows, and…

I’m drawing a blank here. Is that basically it? Retracements, major trends losing momentum and reversing/continuing…I thought there was more.

I’m working on a checklist to help me keep track and figure out what I should be looking at for each pair, and I thought it was a long list.

Maybe I was over-reacting. Momentum (trend reverses or continues), retracements, and consolidating. These are basically my only options for price action. The market only does but so many things.

I’m trying to organize my thoughts and I think this is a start. Once I identify what price is doing, then it’ll help me identify what I should be doing.

I’m rambling, man…just sorting out my thoughts…


I’m taking time today to focus on my diagram. I really need something to help me think. I’m not even trading right now, which is a first. I didn’t even check on my trades–my profits are holding, so…straight to the diagrams.

It’s a little weird, not trading. But this is important.

The past few days I’ve been feeling some frustration and disappointment. Sure, I can go to the motivation page by Sovos’s quote page for some motivation. But sometimes, I get tired of looking for motivation. At some point I just want some results for a change.

But David Goggins said, ¨when the ending is unknown, and the distance is unknown, that’s when you find out who you are¨.

That’s why I have to take some time to organize my thoughts. The diagram started going crazy with so many steps. But in my last post I realized that I’m really overcomplicating things. Countless scenarios exist in the charts, but I don’t have to be prepared for countless scenarios. I just have to be prepared for what I look to trade:

  1. losing momentum (which results in reversals or continuation)
  2. consolidation (leading to breakouts)
  3. retracements (when they start and end)

My strategy has the same signal for each of these. Just the conditions are different.

Oh god…

I think I’m realizing that the key to trading is simplification; not complication.

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I found a nice feature in the diagrams that’s quite helpful: adding a picture.

I’m still having trouble simplifying my ideas. But pictures will help reduce redundancies, I think.

I was listening to a video about Forex motivation. They guy said it seems many traders start to get mentally exhausted after 4 hours.

Coincidence or not, I certainly fall into that category. But I have to keep in mind that the time you spend in front of the charts is irrelevant to your profits. You could place five trades and lose them all, or place one trade and be right. And in that case, doing less is more.

I guess, it’s not about productivity–it’s about profitability. It doesn’t matter if you grind and grind everyday, and staring at charts. One good trade beats five bad trades any day of the week.

However, if you put in the work with STUDYING, then 3 good trades out of 5 beats one good trade.

I think there’s a difference between trading time and study time. Placing trades for hours upon hours could potentially be counterproductive.

But putting in the hours to study, analyze your work, and sharpen your mental tools is a different thing.

I read a quote from Abraham Lincoln:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.“

Actually, I’m gonna go share this on Sovos’s page.

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I’m studying retracements, and I can see why people say trading against the trend is riskier.

If the trend is strong, the retracements will be too brief to make any profits. But you may not know that until after the trade. You don’t know what the trend will turn into.

I say it’s still worth it to trade against the trend, but you will feel the burn a lot more compared to only WITH the trend.

I see counter-trend trades that are really profitable, and you’d be kicking yourself for missing out. And yet, there are some very strong swings that trying to trade against the trend is rather a waste of time/money.

I suppose it depends on the strength of the trend.

I do believe your analytical thought patterns are going to lead you to a more peaceful coexistence with Forex, perhaps dare I say a profitable one?

I have heard the Lincoln metaphor with chopping trees before. Last week I returned to full time consulting, and feel that my tiredness of the past year or so will not negatively impact my ability to be able to work continuously for an 8 hour period. For sure I still get tired, and I have to wait another year in the queue for an operation. I have accepted that. People just tell me “see a private clinic”. Well I have my personal reasons for not doing that - if more people with the choice opt for private medical treatment having spent up to 13% of their income for “national health” that used to cost 2.5% when I was a lad, the NHS will be more starved of resources than it is now. I see us having “privatisation by stealth” and trust people like Branson just about as far as I can throw them. But I digress.

I had a meaningful conversation at work when I went to the office to meet some of my colleagues face to face. The discussion was about efficiency, and ways to improve it. This is the most receptive group I have worked with in over 20 years, and I have already read the “IT operational improvement plan” for the next three years that puts flexibility of work options and recognition of the impact of mental stress" at the top of the agenda for improvement. They have my attention, for sure.

They brought me back after a (short) two month contract earlier. I am now replacing a permanent Delivery Manager who resigned at short notice. We had a short conversation that had already been initiated before my departure at the end of March due to budget restrictions.

The conversation was about the value of questioning conventional business processes in accepted work flow models, and employee and line manager perception that all was well, when in fact it rarely is. I read a consultant report three years ago at another client’s office that mapped out the end to end work flow process and the procedures the staff followed in assuring those processes. The COO had asked me to do some due diligence on the report outcomes. Two things were quite alarming. The first was the consultant’s summary of current and proposed processes. The consultant took a current business flow process model in Visio and declared this to be correct (despite the fact that the marketing director and HR director had specifically told the consultants the process diagrams did not reflect the way the staff actually did their jobs). The second alarm was when I asked on of the operations staff to show me by example why she was not following the written processes, to which she replied “everyone knows the written processes are wrong, they do not work, so we all use the same workaround, but it is not written down anywhere”.

I asked the COO to delay progress by two weeks until I interviewed the C level execs again and corrected the errors of the “current business process flow and procedures documents”. How anyone can expect meaningful and measurable efficiency improvement by making such a basic oversight of reality is quite beyond me.

How does this relate to your last post? As Forex apprentices, we do take for granted that recommendations from others are based on their own experience, not their own interpretation of what somebody else has written. I participated in a team of 4 consultants about 3 years ago faced with what was deemed as an impossible task - to pull back a programme that was 3 months late to deliver on time. Working with a colleague who had done something very similar two years previously we started from scratch with a blank Excel spreadsheet, listed all the contract deliverables the new contractor needed to design and implement in 25 countries within the next 12 weeks, collected the historical data from the first country transition that was 3 months overdue, and created a factory model for discovery, design, migration and handover. The 26 countries took 10 weeks in parallel whereas the first country had take 24 weeks in total. We completed on time. That was a 240 column spreadsheet, but with a frequent number of video conferences with the right knowledge resources we did in parallel for 25 countries in less than half the time we had done the first one.

This is very much an example of how preparation work to create a “factory model”, what I previously had called a “cookie cutter” approach I had previously worked with my colleagues in Texas, can deliver extraordinary results that can be used over and over again.

You mentioned that pictures will help reduce redundancies. One thing I started last year was to capture and save images of TradingView screens at three separate times, all to the same settings. In my case I was interested in Daily candles, on five major pairs. The first image was taken when I decided the price action was “in the zone” the time and date of which was defined as “setup”. The second image was taken when I actually committed to the trade - that was as soon as practicable after when I entered the trade. This was defined as “entry”. The third was as soon as practicable after exit from the trade - defined as “Exit”.

The first observation was that I had far more “setup” images than I had “entry” images, because seeing a setup is far more frequent than actually making a trade entry. They say the most difficult thing for a trader is not having the hindsight of “seeing price action to the right side of the here and now, when you enter”. Almost every chart analysis you see in literature tells you how they recognized this as a setup. Try looking at your setup charts overlaid on your Exit charts and you will soon find that there was no way you “saw the price action” before the time of entry. I have analyzed about 100 of these, and I do sometimes recognize some patterns, but nowhere near the 60 to 60% of times that you would want to be right to lead to a demonstrable positive edge being developed. I do intend to follow this in future, but I am now concentrating on stuff other than Forex (I am wholly absorbed by all things crypto in our Trading lives). Until I can prove that we have an edge based on expectation of, and the reality of, utility definition, utility continuity and therefore the time based pricing of the value of NFTs, I will not relax my concentration on this trading opportunity. I’ve bought 119 NFTs of one particular type, sold 68 of them at an average mark up of 22% during three months. Each NFT continues to earn about 5% per month, but you need to do “computer work for 2 or 3 hours per day to achieve this”. And the biggest shame of all - the crypto market has tanked about 50%, eliminating the actual Fiat value of all that work. It is still a subject with a huge potential, and I just keep accumulating quantities of those NFTs, recognizing that one day they may be akin to a Luna token (bad crypto joke).

I hope this gives you some spark of interest to continue along the path you have chosen. The one that is dressed in coveralls and looks like hard work - to quote Edison. :joy:

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This is interesting because you saw the need to keep the information organized. Sometimes we might think we don’t need an organization method, but we do. It does a lot of the thinking for you.

This is a very big deal, in my opinion. For one reason, you can keep the images in a folder (backed up somewhere, I hope), and you can review them anytime you want. You don’t have to go back to the charts and do the work all over again.

Another reason is that you can see what you could have done, what you should have done, and what you can do in the future when you see similar set-ups. You can add notes, thoughts, etc.

Just taking notes alone is ok. But the image says it all. I wrote some things on the diagram that later I couldn’t understand what I meant. Pictures (along with notes) are crystal clear.

I remember this quote. It’s about opportunity right? People don’t recognize opportunity because it’s usually dressed in overalls and disguised as work. Something to that effect.

Good quote!!


I’m digging this right now. It’s helping me to keep working.

I finished two diagrams so far. The ideas are quite clear.

I’m curious about applying them. But for some reason. It feels scary, and I’m not sure why.

Live charts aren’t always as clear as past charts.

I took a quick look at a live chart this morning, and nothing came to mind what I should do first.

I saw took a quick look, and I wasn’t sure what that particular candle meant.

Sure, it was a glance. But that fear of still not knowing what to do, can be discouraging.

But that’s when I would have to take my time.

A snake can only shed its skin against sharp rocks.

I have to create new habits and overshadow my old ones. Previously if I was unsure, I would take my best guess.

But that’s not systematic. So, I would have to slow down, use my diagram, and figure out what I’m looking at, what I should do, and more importantly—why.

I’m gonna give myself a chance to play with it learn this new method.