Trading journal

I’m practicing on a chart. It’s the same chart I practiced on yesterday. I’m trying to be patient; to retrain my brain on what to wait for.

It’s just a practice chart. It’s not even demo. It’s just pictures. And you know what? I get scared. I look at the chart, and I start thinking if I should trade or not. And the uncertainty gets me scared. I actually feel scared. It’s kinda like…you revenge trade and open a largrer-than-usual position…that immediate feeling after. That confusion of, am I wrong or am I right?

For some reason it kinda feels like that. It’s an uncertainty that carries a lot of weight. I’m trying to understand it. It actually sounds like trading trauma. You get so many losses and then later, every trade feels like a reminder of those painful losses.

Wow, this is straight out of The Disciplined Trader, isn’t it?

I just took a look at The Disciplined Trader. On p.119 it says we have to learn to trade without fear, and we need to completely trust ourselves to confront and accept whatever information the market is offering about itself. He said we have to do the necessary mental work to release ourselves from anything within us that would cause us to narrow our focus on attention or block certain categories of information from our awareness.

So for me, that means I have to learn to trust myself and my strategy, and also make peace with my fear of losing money. That fear never goes away. I think I just have to overshadow it with my strategy.

Another thing I noticed is that I have two strategies. One for major reversals (based on S/R), and one for retracements (also based on S/R).

The major reversals is not so flexible.

However, the retracement strategy is. In my mind, I use the retracement strategy to jump in on anything I think is significant.

I make mistakes on both strategies, though. I gotta just be more patient and be less in a hurry to make money. Focus on trading, not making money. Right?

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Yes, you’re right, we need to focus on process/trading first, not money. If the process/strategy works then money will come. I’m in a same boat, we need to more patient.

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Today is a bit weird for me. I’ve got some stuff going on and it’s getting in my head–disrupting my emotions. The kind of feeling that you either feel like screaming and fighting, or just going back to bed. Kind of like…explode or implode.

I did my trading anyway. No trades today. I’m actually relieved about that. For one reason, it gives me a chance to experience some patience. Another reason is that I don’t feel like it. But, if there’s a signal, I’m taking it regardless of how I feel.

I could have forced some trades, but I didn’t.

Also, some of the demo charts on IG are acting weird. There’s some candles missing. The live trading charts are fine, though.

I’m looking at charts and I don’t feel confidence in a lot of what I’m seeing. I just felt confused when I was looking at the EUR/USD chart. I have to remind myself to repeat what I do when backtesting.

I draw my support, and I draw my resistance. Then I have to wait for a signal. I think I’m forcing too many trades.

In backtesting, it looks so easy. It really does. I really gotta be patient and think about the difference between backtesting and live. What are the gaps? All of my backtests have the same clues and signs about moves that are coming.

My application is terrible, and it’s really frustrating. I’m sure it’s staring me in the face.

I’m gonna keep practicing and trying to understand what I’m doing wrong. The answers are right in front of me.

I’m doing my trading now, and I see some potential set-ups. The problem is that when I really think about what I’m seeing vs charts and signals I’ve been studying, what I’m seeing today is just ¨could-be-something¨ situations.

That’s not the same as a trading signal. It’s really just my desperation. I really saw price hit what could be resistance, but there was no real signal. I guess I just saved some money by not trading that.

Today is a day for patience. However, I did place one trade because it was hitting some support. Just one trade.

Patience, young padawan.

I just finished my trading for the day. I get upset with myself when I miss trades. Even when there were no real signals.

There’s a part of my strategy that if I have a signal, I should take it, but I could be wrong 4 times before I catch the actual signal.

EUR/USD and GBP/USD are retracing. I could have traded that, BUT the conditions weren’t right. I feel upset for not trading them, but I did the right thing because the conditions weren’t correct.

If I traded those pairs, it would be by coincidence that I profited. That’s not how I want to trade. I want to trade based on my strategy. I want my live trading to look like my backtests as much as possible.

That doesn’t mean I’m gonna feel good about it along the way. This isn’t about feelings. My feelings tell me to take random trades because SOMETHING is gonna happen. But just because something is gonna happen, that doesn’t mean that I should be apart of it.

I shouldn’t be apart of trades like that because they don’t fit my strategy and therefore are too risky to participate in. The odds against me are too high in those situations. My strategy has weeded out the trades that are too high, and has left me with trades that are favourable.

I’m gonna keep working on focusing on those favourable trades. Patience. Patience.

I took one trade today, and it jumped right at me. I could have caught it while half asleep. In my backtests, the signals are mostly that obvious. We’ll see how that one goes.

Another thing…I eliminated a few more pairs from my roster. I finished my trading and I’m done almost 30 minutes sooner.

It feels weird, as though I should be busier. But busier is not the same as more productive. I normally feel rushed towards the end of my trading, but the last two days didn’t feel like that. It’s kinda nice.

I missed some trades. The first candle of the week was kinda big and it wasn’t the best entry, so I stayed out. Also, I guess I doubted the candle because it wasn’t engulfing.

But I drew my support line, price bounced it, and I just didn’t take it. Now, price is bullish, and I’m asking myself why didn’t I take it.

I don’t know. I saw another trade with a bullish doji that I didn’t take. I’m wondering where my head was when I saw it.

Maybe because I got distracted because there were some candles missing prior to that candle. Some kind of glitch error with IG’s demo charts. But regardless, I miss some signs, and I’m wondering why.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not paying close enough attention. Maybe I get confused going from chart to chart? Maybe I’m just scared to lose.

Now I’m wondering if I’m frustrated because I didn’t see the sign, or because price is moving and I’m not profiting from it.

I do get scared. There are signs that I’m scared to take, because I’m not 100% sure they’re actual signals.

I’ve seen trades where there’s no actual signal, but price bounces my support line and goes to the moon. How does one judge that? Do I always take such trades?

There can’t be a ¨sometimes¨ rule. Because that creates an inconsistent strategy.

I don’t know. I’m getting annoyed. Time to leave finish trading for the day…

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I’m still thinking about why do I experience such fear…

Is it really about losses? I think I’m kinda traumatized from losing so much.

I also think I’m being too hard on myself. Just because I miss a signal it’s not the end of the world. If I miss the beginning of a new trend, I can jump in on the retracement (although, it’s more difficult).

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Hey @dushimes. I have been reading your threads and I observed a certain pattern that Mark Duglas talk a lot about in his book titled “Trading in The Zone”.

I didn’t bought the book yet, but I found the audio book on YouTube.

I will recommend you give it a try. I believe you will find lot of information that will really be relevant to your current situation.

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Thanks. I have Disciplined Trader, which is pretty much the same book, to my understanding. Thanks though!!

And you’re right. His information is very useful for me. The application is the hard part.

Which pattern of mine have you observed? I imagine it’s related to fear…

Actually, I was thinking of a pattern earlier today.

1-Strictly follow pattern
2-Loosely follow pattern
3-Miss trade entry

I think this is my bad habit. I have trouble following my strategy step by step.

I’ll follow it step by step, then I try to go faster/get lazy/assume I have internalized it. I stop referring to it. Then I miss a trade or make some simple mistake, and then I go back to following my strategy strictly. Repeat…

@AlfaaJalloh have you had any experience like that?

Just finished for the day. I’m definitely exercising more patience this week. Not perfect patience, but more patience than last week.

I only have 8 positions open. Not too long ago I had over 20 positions open, all in the green. Of course, that doesn’t mean much if your account is consistently shrinking.

But it is a change for me; it’s a different pace. I’m really glad I reduced the pairs I follow. I’m a lot less rushed.

I’m about halfway done with my trading. I have just one trade in the red. The rest are going ok…for now.

However, I missed a breakout on a consolidation. That’s an area I REALLLY want to get better at. There are some amazing entries in retracements and consolidation breakouts. Those entries are even better than the reversal positions I try to get in on.

The problem is that they’re more difficult. Jumping in a trend that’s already in motion is like jumping on a moving train.

I am getting more comfortable with the whole patience thing. It’s really important to know your strategy, and the favorable trading conditions. If you get one amazing trade that goes to the moon, you can ruin it with a series of bad trades on a trend that wasn’t even tradeable.

This is what I’ve been doing. But, now I’m trying to just be patient and wait. Just like an ambush hunter.

Leopards are ambush hunters. I saw a video of a leopard in a tree, just waiting. Then the prey got close, and that crazy leopard jumps out the tree and catches his prey.

That’s their thing. It’s called ambush hunting. Some animals just wait for their prey to come to them. Especially animals that can camoflauge. Wait, wait, wait…gotcha!!

You know, I’m kinda feeling more at ease. Slightly. I say that because even though I missed a consolidation breakout, I was waiting for the right clue.

During that consolidation period, it was kinda bullish, then bearish, and I had no idea how to even look at the chart. But I told myself about a week ago that I should start by identifying the most recent reversal sign. Then, it may help me understand where price might be trying to go.

I did that and I thought it was gonna go bullish. So, I was waiting for a sign. I ended up waiting too long and missed it.

But, at least I understood what was happening. That had never happened before. Not with a live chart. It’s a small step forward, but forward nonetheless.

The next step is actually trading the move.

One of the easiest way I see that one can eliminate his/her fear of losing money is by demo trading. And building your strategy through that. Then head over to start trading with not the money you can afford to loose, but rather start with taking the minimum microlot and setting your stop lose based on your strategy built from demo trading.

Yeah! Build strategy first before focusing on making money. That’s why I will always recommend demo trade. I wanted to make money as fast I could, so I started with a live account, but quickly understood that I can not properly build a strategy with my money on the line. So, I just withdrew my money and open a demo trade. Now I am as patient as anything.

Emotional Trading!

Yeah! Mark Douglas stated it in Trading In The Zone. You should always take a trade based on your strategy and not randomly, unless you are so confident, and not overconfident, about what is going to happen.

The best way to avoid this is by looking at the market in terms of probability. You will always read that or heard successful traders say that. What that simply means is, trading signals are never 100% guarantee.

Therefore, when you think the market is giving a sign based on your strategy, with other confirmation, like time confluence and maybe indicators confluences, you should enter the trade and set a stop lose not in term of money but rather in term of price action and chart patterns. Immediately you realize the market is going in the opposite of what you anticipated, cut your losses. It is very difficult to do, but just close your eye and click on that close trade, watch the same instrument and see if the reversal actually hit your stop lose before going back to where you anticipated or completely went against your trade. Then journal it. It is very difficult to build this strategy with live account.

Yeah! And that is emotional trading. There is something I have always known about emotional decisions and that is, the act of expectations.

Whenever you expect something to happen and it goes with your expectation, you feel proud; when it goes beyond your expectation, you feel surprised/overconfident; and whenever it goes below your expectations, you feel betrayed.

And to my shocking, Mark Duglas actually stated it in his audiobook and in one TV Show he had with the old Wise Trade TV.

Not really.
The strategy I am building right now is a bit unconventional for us beginners. As it is always recommended to start with not more than 3 pairs, the strategy I am building has more than 10 pairs, one I am studying for mastery which is “Gold” with three majors (EURUSD, USDJPY and GBPUSD) then the others are those popular crosses.

I start by just skimming the pairs using a clear linechart on the 4hrs time frame. When I see a pattern that I recognized forming, I watchlist it, draw S/R levels and dropdown to the 30 minutes time frame.
On the 30min, I start with a linechart, draw new S/R line with a horizontal ray, then use the fib tools for confluence. After that, I turn the chart to a candlesticks chart, then use a rectangle tool to improve the S/R from a line to a zone.
Dropdown to the 5min chart display my indicators for confluence and candlesticks reading.
When everything is confirmed, I then drop down to the 1min chart for the perfect entry. While I have already determined my ST on the 5min and TP on the 30min.

While waiting for the candlesticks and pattern to fully form, I go on to skim other pairs. I watch those many pairs, so as to not get connected and attached to a particular instrument, thus reducing trades based on emotions.

I am still building this strategy tho. So far it has always given a higher R-R Ratio most often 1:4. I don’t feel the rush to make money from the market anymore. All my entry and exit are not based on the money I am willing to loose or a expect to make from the market but rather the amount of pips I can obtain from my strategy.



Yeah! That’s the other way fear of the market displays itself. Either you are afraid to miss the trend or afraid to make a wrong decision. Thus causing to take the wrong trade or cause you to not capitalize on an opportunities on your chart. It is very difficult when trading with fear.

There is another thing I learnt from Mark Duglas Show at Wise Trade TV where he stated that, before you go long ask yourself if there is enough room for other traders to long and if you are shorting, if there is enough room for other traders who will be willing to go short. And the psychology behind this is, whenever you buy, for the price to continue going higher there should be people who will be willing to buy higher than at the price you bought the instrument.

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I’m gonna watch this. Thank you!!

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I’m practicing some charts, and I noticed something. Let’s say price hits resistance. Once price bounces, this is where the ¨random walk in the park¨ starts.

Sometimes, the trend will start rolling, you’ve got some nice profit, then price will show some bullish signal.

At this point, you have two options: go bullish or hold. If you go bullish, you get to keep your profit, AND you get to profit at price moves back towards your entry. The problem with this is that your entry will be much trickier when price turns bearish again.

This option could cost you 3 or 4 losses trying to get back in on the bear trend. In that case, you may actually end up losing the profits you just got. Maybe, maybe not. You might end up keeping some. Another problem with this option is that it’s more mentally exhausting because you’re taking losses trying to jump into a car doing donuts.
car donuts

Or you can just hold on from the beginning and not even participate during the ¨random walk in the park¨ nonsense. The good thing about this is that you’re trading less and worrying less. This part is cool. The downside is when price starts heading towards your entry, your beautiful profits are shrinking in just a few days. This hurts.
And it doesn’t hurt for a day. It hurts for a week and a half.

I’ve written about this before. Imagine having enough profits from one trade that would cover all your food expenses for a month, and watch it dwindle to just enough money to buy McDonalds.

BUT…BUT, if you can hold, the chances are favourable that after retesting your entry, price will fall thru the floor.

I forget who, but another more experienced trader in his journal talked about this too. No emotions on this roller coaster.

And this is kinda what’s killing me. The back and forth. In my strategy, there are signs at the beginning of the trend, but in the middle is where the signs get funky, and I get eaten alive. I get scared that price is reversing, but it really isn’t–I’m just trying to hold on to my precious profits. Then I lose money trying to chase the trend, trying to get back in.

Sure, if you’re trying to pyramid, and price pushes resistance/support, I get it. you can’t help that. But that’s WITH the trend. I’m going with it, against it, with it, against it…then I get so full of fear, I can no longer see the bigger picture of where price is actually going.

It’s a mess. You’ve taken so many losses chasing the trend, and your re-entry is really wide and not so profitable, you kinda don’t even want it anymore. But you still take it anyway…

All you do is wish you had kept your original position. But instead, you’ve got a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich defiled by cat hair.

A big problem I have is that I see ¨something¨…it COULD be a set-up, but the conditions are way wrong. But I still see it as something I should trade.

The reason for this is when I see some price action, I see that SOMETHING is gonna happen.

Instead of asking myself ¨SHOULD I trade this?¨ I ask myself ¨HOW can I trade this?¨

There’s a big difference. When asking ¨should¨ there’s a possibility of not taking the trade.

But with ¨how¨ there’s no option for not taking. I’m either going long or short.

That means my brain has already committed to trading that set-up, and I’m ignoring any information that says I SHOULDN’T trade it.

I get so wrecklessly stuck on the idea that price is about to do something, I don’t bother evaluating the situation properly. Often the situation is too risky for my strategy.

I get scared that tomorrow there’s gonna be a giant candle, and I won’t profit from it at all.

This is where I can’t worry about individual candles and catching big moves. This is where I have to focus on the strategy and pay attention to what I’m seeing in the chart and pay attention to candles and price action that MATCHES my strategy. This requires WAITING!!!

Often, the hardest part of trading is NOT trading. It just feels weird that price is about to move and it could be quite profitable, and I’m not gonna do anything…that I’m not even gonna try.

I’ve said this before. But I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway because I need the reminder.

ALL candles are tradeable. EVERY single candle is tradeable. EVERY long wick, every engulfing candle. You can draw trend lines at random, and some candle is gonna bounce it. Is it coincidence, or is it a signal? Just because I see something a certain way doesn’t make it so.

Or rather, just because I see something a certain way, that doesn’t mean it’s favourable. This is the word I have to pay attention to: favourable.

EVERY candle is tradeable. I can place trades on anything. But is it FAVOURABLE? What are the odds that this will end in profit?

It’s all a question of playing the odds.

Just because price is pulling back, that doesn’t mean I need to trade it. My strategy, just like any other, is based on probability.

And this is where strategies go haywire. If I apply the techniques from my strategy to different conditions, the strategy is ineffective.

So, if I backtest, my strategy works. But in real time, if I’m impatient to wait for my strategy’s signals, my strategy won’t work and I’m sitting here wondering what’s wrong.

If I can apply the patience required in my backtests, to live trading, my results will improve.

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So it means in real account, you are not impatient enough, do you worry about missing the chance? If so, always think about next opportunity will come around.

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