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bwolf's ES Daily Trading Journal

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bwolf's Avatar
 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

I'm working on an automated Bloodhound / Blackbird intraday ES swing strategy which I put together. It's evolving. My daily reporting is on a per combine account basis so as to maintain a consistent perspective on performance. However, I copy trades to multiple accounts.

I also allow 2 statistically driven discretionary setups, 1x daily each maximum when market particulars are aligned for one or the other, or both. One is BtoA (B period to A ledge given BtoA stats) and the other is the Mark Fisher ACD setup with some modifications. Eventually, I want to automate the latter. Occasional alternate discretionary setups are: A to ON, AB to IB, and Gap fill on the open. These are instead of, not in addition to either of the staple setups.

Trading plan and goals

Last night, after a hard but decent day, I did what is my Achilles heel, which is to get mad when I lose late at night after a long day of trading, and all my self-control is gone. My risk management system had locked me out on my cash account, so no damage there (I made up my DLL loss today, just goes to show), but on the combine (evaluation) accounts I decided to trade off Rithmic and I ended up blowing them up taking some 10 lot revenge trades. I actually have a system to lock up Rithmic too but didn't have it in place. I am continuing my journal "as if" because, well, I can take off $5K and then add it back in for the combine reset and it ends up being the same. More important is for me to just be honest about it and take stock of what happened. I know all the issues, the what-to-do's and not, etc. No input needed, thanks Life goes on. I still track my P&L calendar continuously omitting the rest so as to see what I would have if I didn't do it, which is more important looking forward.


Total P&L (P): +13.5
Trades:
Round Turns: 11
Errors: Many
Cost of Errors (P): -100 (blown combine acct, pts and time & reset cost)
Risk Plan Adherence: No
Opportunities Available: Low
Event Day: Yes
Preparation: 8
Market Alignment: 8
Execution: 8
Bloodhound Signal(s): Two Bloodhound trades (corrected from earlier)














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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

I'm working on an automated Bloodhound / Blackbird intraday ES swing strategy which I put together. It's evolving. My daily reporting is on a per combine account basis so as to maintain a consistent perspective on performance. However, I copy trades to multiple accounts.

I also allow statistically driven discretionary setups. One is BtoA (B period to A ledge given BtoA stats) and the other is the Mark Fisher ACD setup with some modifications. Occasional alternate discretionary setups are A to ON, AB to IB, Gap fill on the open, trading to the pivot and/or back down in Globex, and a couple of LBR "Street Smarts" setups. I work within the framework of Adam Mancini and Spotgamma levels and all the other typical day trading levels we use. These setups all manifest themselves as opportunities at different times. But I must try as much as possible to only do planned trades and not to segue from these into all-day scalping, which happens when I grapple with things not going as planned (often) and works well some days, but perhaps not so much in the long run. My idea with Bloodhound is to really try to move towards automation, or supervised automation, away from discretionary trading, which is fraught with my human weaknesses.

Trading plan and goals

I had two nice trades at NFP today my first two. I made double my whole day just on those two trades. My bias posted last night for the day panned out exactly as I had anticipated, and unfortunately, I didn't trade it as well as I could have. I came out with a decent profit on the day, but I gave back 1/2 my max profit on the day too. I over-traded and spent too much time agonizing over small moves and pullbacks when my bias was basically unfolding as I had anticipated.

I am mainly upset about doing something at the end that I just don't do much anymore: Trading in the last few minutes when PA is unpredictable. By this time I had actually made up the 1/2 from the max profit I had lost earlier and I was angling for a final thrust up on the day and it went down instead. I was positioned too large for this final type of trade, but more importantly, I just never, really rarely, trade the last few minutes anymore. I had a view it might go to 3945 on the day and even though I saw some heavy resistance above, I thought we'd have one of those days where it makes a final push up into the close. Granted, the last few days don't really justify this. We're not in a very bullish mode these days. On the other hand, this was a breakout that spent an inordinate amount of time basing below, for days on end. Lesson: Don't be greedy! And don't overtrade (talking to myself). This last one where I gave back 1/2 of the day's profit is really a problem. The whole point of working with Bloodhound and my goal is to do one or two trades myself to offset Bloodhound trades, and I am nevertheless trading way too much. Gotta work more on that.


Total P&L (P): +15.5
Trades: 32
Round Turns: 34
Errors: Many
Cost of Errors (P): -15
Risk Plan Adherence: No
Opportunities Available: High
Event Day: Yes
Preparation: 8
Market Alignment: 6
Execution: 4
Bloodhound Signal(s): Got one short signal I didn't take (trend up day)






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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564


I'm working on an automated Bloodhound / Blackbird intraday ES swing strategy which I put together. It's evolving. My daily reporting is on a per combine account basis so as to maintain a consistent perspective on performance. However, I copy trades to multiple accounts.

I also allow statistically driven discretionary setups. One is BtoA (B period to A ledge given BtoA stats) and the other is the Mark Fisher ACD setup with some modifications. Occasional alternate discretionary setups are A to ON, AB to IB, Gap fill on the open, trading to the pivot and/or back down in Globex, and a couple of LBR "Street Smarts" setups. I work within the framework of Adam Mancini and Spotgamma levels and all the other typical day trading levels we use. These setups all manifest themselves as opportunities at different times. But I must try as much as possible to only do planned trades and not to segue from these into all-day scalping, which happens when I grapple with things not going as planned (often) and works well some days, but perhaps not so much in the long run. My idea with Bloodhound is to really try to move towards automation, or supervised automation, away from discretionary trading, which is fraught with my human weaknesses.

Trading plan and goals

Weekend Review and Prep

Reviewing my journal here to date I see that I perform much better when I trade under 5 trades daily and carefully notate all the market particulars leading up to the trade and take time to screenshot each one. This process really keeps me focused on good setups vs FOMO ones that I have to then spend a lot of energy digging out of. The days I don't do so well are ones where I get sucked into a focused frenzy and overlook all of my detailed note taking which I usually post here as a screenshot of the spreadsheet where I notate things. The daily profit when I make fewer trades is more limited and also probably more realistic about what can be consistently pulled out of the market given my account size. More importantly, even though I don't track this anymore, the profit per contract, and hence the overall risk equation, is much better when I trade less. Therefore, beginning January 9th, 2023 I am going to set my total max daily discretionary and automated trades to 5 under the current Bloodhound Strategy I have. Unless I develop an automated strategy that back and forward tests favorably with more daily trades that will be the amount I will be allowed to trade as my current strategy doesn't typically get more than one or two a day.

All of this is not a new realization. What's new is that I am going to set my NT8 Guardian Angel risk manager to 5 max daily trades, which is something that was really inconceivable to me up to now as it never figured in any contemplated risk management parameter settings inputs. In fact, up to not so long ago, I fancied myself a scalper, and I still can do very well scalping. But overall things have moved in a different direction and my system is lagging behind and it feeds my dopamine generation habit more so than my trading business. So I am going to try this and see if it helps me really get focused on fewer, better setups. Posting this here is a pretty big commitment. The idea of setting no more than 5 daily trades in stone is kind of daunting, but I see that I've gotten several consecutive sets of days where things went better and I felt better and had much less variation in intraday results by doing this, so it has to be the way to go. The place I know where this is hard is in very tight-ranging price action, where the only way to move forward is to take small scalps back and forth. But if the choice becomes to stay out of the market entirely during those times, it is probably (most likely, though hard to admit I guess) better to stay out of it entirely.

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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

I'm working on an automated Bloodhound / Blackbird intraday ES swing strategy which I put together. It's evolving. My daily reporting is on a per combine account basis so as to maintain a consistent perspective on performance. However, I copy trades to multiple accounts.

I also allow statistically driven discretionary setups. One is BtoA (B period to A ledge given BtoA stats) and the other is the Mark Fisher ACD setup with some modifications. Occasional alternate discretionary setups are A to ON, AB to IB, Gap fill on the open, trading to the pivot and/or back down in Globex, and a couple of LBR "Street Smarts" setups. I work within the framework of Adam Mancini and Spotgamma levels and all the other typical day trading levels we use. These setups all manifest themselves as opportunities at different times. But I must try as much as possible to only do planned trades and not to segue from these into all-day scalping, which happens when I grapple with things not going as planned (often) and works well some days, but perhaps not so much in the long run. My idea with Bloodhound is to really try to move towards automation, or supervised automation, away from discretionary trading, which is fraught with my human weaknesses.

Trading plan and goals.

Total P&L (P): -35
Trades: 19
Round Turns: Approximately 30
Errors: 10
Cost of Errors (P): -67
Risk Plan Adherence: No
Opportunities Available: High
Event Day: No
Preparation: 8
Market Alignment: 2
Execution: 2
Bloodhound Signal(s): None

Did not achieve my weekend review goal today. Details in my spreadsheet notes. If I had to boil it down to one thing, it was letting a trading system get in front of things I saw and my analysis, and my pre-market bias for the day (my matrix score was quite bearish as price went up, my "not hugely bullish" note that the time was coy / understated). I didn't trade that bias and I didn't stop when my ACD trade went underwater. I compounded the loss by scaling in and moving my stop and failing to stop at my DLL.






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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

I'm working on an automated Bloodhound / Blackbird intraday ES swing strategy which I put together. It's evolving. My daily reporting is on a per combine account basis so as to maintain a consistent perspective on performance. However, I copy trades to multiple accounts.

I also allow statistically driven discretionary setups. One is BtoA (B period to A ledge given BtoA stats) and the other is the Mark Fisher ACD setup with some modifications. Occasional alternate discretionary setups are A to ON, AB to IB, Gap fill on the open, trading to the pivot and/or back down in Globex, and a couple of LBR "Street Smarts" setups. I work within the framework of Adam Mancini and Spotgamma levels and all the other typical day trading levels we use. These setups all manifest themselves as opportunities at different times. But I must try as much as possible to only do planned trades and not to segue from these into all-day scalping, which happens when I grapple with things not going as planned (often) and works well some days, but perhaps not so much in the long run. My idea with Bloodhound is to really try to move towards automation, or supervised automation, away from discretionary trading, which is fraught with my human weaknesses.

Trading plan and goals.

Total P&L (P): 24.50
Trades: 19 (6 RTH, 13 Globex)
Round Turns: 53
Errors: 0
Cost of Errors (P): 0
Risk Plan Adherence: No
Opportunities Available: Low
Event Day: No
Preparation: 8
Market Alignment: 8
Execution: 8
Bloodhound Signal(s): No auto trades. Just used a scalping strategy of mine to keep track of the tone of the market as it fires off vertical long/ short signals that give a sense of the direction for sets of bars.

Better overall. No sweat today. I didn't stick to 5 trades for the day, but took 6 in RTH and so not far off there. Globex is a different story. Globex is easier in some ways for me, certainly to put on bigger size as it's quiet and more predictable at certain inflection points. I mainly trade around the pivot, LRC and parallel channels and supply / Demand zones as all of the other RTH stuff is unavailable. I had a nice trade at the end of RTH just now and got in a bit too early, which caused me to get out too early too after taking a bit of heat, but not that much. I had a short at 3932 that's still playing out and is now at 3927 and I got out for a -1/4 pt scratch. I knew where to get in. It's that Fomo thing of fearing to lose it for 3 pts. I could have done 1/2 and 1/2 too but didn't. No big deal, just making a note of it.







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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

I am using this time with CPI, etc., to revamp some stuff. I am not satisfied with my approach right now. It's far too volatile even in good times. I am working on just focusing on one strategy, the one I like best, which is the ACD trade. To do that, to really bear down on it, I have to do some work on my trade configurations, sizing, and more precise entry and exit rules. That's what I am working on right now. More to come...

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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

Weekend Review

I had to pause because if one thing has become clear to me in my short time journaling here, it's that I am not following the basic premise of my stated approach to trading. The whole premise of my approach as stated here was to execute the one automated Bloodhound strategy I developed that has given me good backtest results over a year, with a few discretionary trades to fill the gaps and some discretionary management of the strategy in terms of qualifying the market action and context to try and weed out some of the bad Bloodhound trades. I thought I had this down and so wanted to show everyone how I do it and the great results. But the system is not working. I should also add that I recently back-tested it over 2 years and the prior year the system was a big loser. So that undermined my confidence. Who's to say that the system the way it performed over the last 365 days is not at its peak, about to go back to what it did 24 months ago. Then there are the questions of what NT8 backtesting even represents... Too many questions.

In practice, what it boils down to is that I don't fully trust the Bloodhound automated strategy, I end up doing way too much discretionary trading, and my discretionary trading, as history has shown, tends to very quickly go from a couple of focused trades per day to many trades and different types of setups encompassing a range of strategies, each of which can be successful individually, but the way I do it they get diluted and applied ad hoc. What I get is over-trading and a P&L that goes from consistent and within one standard deviation for a few days, then every couple of weeks gets hit with a tail event as my lack of self-control gives way to a bout of revenge trading after a big loss and no systematic structure to abide by. Even if I end up just this side of the abyss, it's only due to luck and I know it's not really working. I cannot keep my trading results inside of one standard deviation from the mean. I am prone to 3, 4 or worse sigma moves and this is the death knell of my trading. That's what the Bloodhound automated strategy was supposed to prevent.

I have only been working with Bloodhound for a few months and I want to keep exploring the automated approach. Right now what I am seeing is that it may end up being more of a part of a systematic approach that is not fully automated, as I just don't have that holy grail automated system figured out, but I do have a systematic approach I want to focus on and I think it can help me implement it more successfully than I alone am able to.

Over the last couple of weeks, I started really bearing down on the ACD system as I read The Logical Trader more deeply (after many months of simply watching it play out daily on 5 and 15 min charts over my main 15 min chart) and this is what I will be focusing on totally going forward. The main reason is simple: It keeps me on the right side of the market (provided I execute it correctly!). This one thing, just by itself, is the core of my trading problems. I get easily distracted with ideas like doing a "quick" gap-fill trade against trend one morning or fading a fib retrace level, or some other "major" support or resistance level, or any other number of discretionary moves that can pit me against trend and unable to quickly get out. Plus I have so many discretionary moves that I can justify doing a whole lot of stuff that just amounts to putting on massive risk big picture and nothing to show for it in the end. Most importantly, a systemless stream of discretionary trading, even when I try to limit it to just a few trades a day, is always a slippery slope that leads to problems, whether directly or tangentially related to the trades being put on.

What I like about the ACD approach is that there are really just three possible trades each day, A-up or A-down and C-up or C-down. or A or C outside in. I spent some time looking at what my results would have been over the last month applying it consistently and they would have by far beat what I did. Even if I simply apply it as a core structure not as a single trade, meaning even if my trading degenerates into many small trades, as long as I am trading in the ACD direction per the trade entry direction prerequisites, then I am not pitting myself against trend. But if implemented correctly, I really have no more than a couple of possible trades per day. Committing to just doing this takes out the possibility of deviating into so many side excursions that end up taking me astray, even if not in the actual moment, but in wholly unexpected ways after the fact. For example, if I trade Globex as I did the night before last, with just one trade to exploit my correctly perceived notion the market might just go down overnight, I get a good trade that night and it also primes me going short in RTH when RTH has nothing to do with what happened in Globex and things quickly do a 180 and I am still in the Globex mindset and on the wrong side. Simply put, I have too many variables going on.

The other thing is that posting P&L every day is not helping me work on process. I get wholly focused on resulting and the voices in my head as I am trading are busy rehearsing how I will show and tell my exploits leading to my P&L results and not implementing and perfecting trading processes. It just puts a whole different spin on things. So I am only going to track if I was green or red or even and just focus on how I worked on trades. That's much less exciting for viewers looking to see how that guy did today. The quick P&L take. But it's what I need to do to get a better P&L in the end. I will post the calendar periodically, or maybe when I am finally satisfied I have a system really worked out I can get back to it. But right now I don't have a system I feel really confident about.

To ACD

Yesterday I got a perfect A-up signal and... I went short! Haha. It amazed me. Even as I was doing it. I took a bunch of heat and got out on a pullback. Then I went long but did not have the confidence to simply go long either. I took three tiny trades over the course of the day, just to get back to green. This was fair enough, given that I was rattled by the first thing I did and my goal was now just to stop the bleeding, not run the marathon. I go into detail for each trade in the attached spreadsheet notes. In spite of a slightly better than breakeven day, however, I felt great about what I learned and ***did not do*** over the course of the day.

There were some reasons for going short. First of all, price had gone through the daily pivot zone overnight and that's pretty bearish. There was a big drop overnight. Pretty bearish. Buyers had been unable to make new highs yesterday. On the other hand, there was a major support level at 3960 right below where the market opened which had held earlier in the week and again overnight. The overnight action took it down to a support zone on the weekly pivots, and there was also a potential gap fill right off the bat at the open. (Truth be told, there must have been a lot of people caught off guard as what took place early on was a major short squeeze). But I shorted it. I thought I knew better than simply going long, ***even though *** the very system I am claiming to now want to follow gave me a very loud and clear LONG signal. The same type of signal I saw worked over the last month irrespective of any support or resistance levels, pivot zone placement, prior market action, etc.

This really got me thinking and what came to mind is something that Daniel Kahneman talks about in Thinking Fast and Slow. That is the idea of substituting questions. “When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution”. I am convinced that between the time I see a signal, like that long signal, and clicking to go long or short, something happens in my mind, in that split second, and my trade execution decision is not the rational, simple, system following blind execution of the trade, Instead, I answer to the anxiety of clicking Long and the prospect of sitting through the trade all day, or as long as it takes, and hit Short, "get me out of here" or something. I am not really sure what the substitution is, but given that what I do is the exact opposite of what I see and register ("Go Long"), I have a very strong intuition that there is some type of substitution taking place. I don't think it's all that important to know what it is. I mean it would be great to know and it's something to work on. But in the meantime, I'd like to see if I can work around it, or within the confines of this impediment to find a solution to go long and do what I see and must do rather than the opposite. Now, having said all this, I am also aware that what I tell myself I "saw" and registered prior to hitting the bid is itself a post-rationalization. But the fact remains: I had a very clear long signal and went short.

Assuming that I am making some type of substitution as to the question of going long or short when my signal is long and that I am acting in what Kahneman describes as System 1 thinking (fast, automated decision making vs deliberate, quantitative System 2 thinking), then I need to slow the process down. But more than that, I need to make sure that I can only go long. I have to make sure that something is inserted between the time when I see the signal and what I do with that. To this end, I put together a procedure that I hope will help in the coming week. This is where I think Bloodhound and Blackbird can help me immediately. So what I did is I created Bloodhound exit signals, one long and one short, with the lower and upper boundaries of the opening range as my long / short dividing lines, and I added these to my Blackbird scale-out order set configurations, one for long and one for short. Thus, when I see an A-up (long) signal, for example, while it is qualifying as A-up (the time it has to trade at the A-up level, say 5 to 10 minutes to qualify as a viable signal), I start a stopwatch going to time it so I am not just staring at the price movement, and I go to my Blackbird order sets and select and load the one for the A-up signal, namely the one that only lets me go long when price is over the lower boundary of the opening range. Any short trade I try to put on here will immediately close. Not just now, but anytime during the session, as long as price is over the lower boundary of the opening range. I am now long only. All this might sound really extreme to someone who doesn't trade, or maybe even to fellow traders. I don't know. But I am thinking that with simple systems like this I can get passed some of the incredibly frustrating realities of decision-making under pressure and uncertainty. There are other parts to this initial qualification process. It's like a step-by-step process I just started outlining, not many, just a few quick things I do before I put on that trade.

There is a lot more going on in my mind right now, but this is already a lot and the main thrust of what I am doing. It will become clearer as I go.

Here are some visual notes from yesterday's session.








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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

No trades today. Seems obvious, right? It wasn't always.

Just prepped stuff all day, and caught up with organizing Blackbird order sets. Also added a new column to my Long / Short market assessment matrix to better deal with 3% plus VIX moves either way in the weighting of various factors. It's mainly a tool to keep me busy and looking at what's happening. A scoring checklist, not the end-all. But very helpful to weigh out all the market context variables.

And then, since yesterday, a lot of thought about position sizing. This blog piece by Adam Grimes does a phenomenal job of putting trade sizing into perspective. This is a recurring theme for me, and possibly the biggest hurdle left. I just trade too big. It's so easy to get caught up in wanting to pass combine evaluations quickly ("just let me pass the eval, then I'll slow down!) and calm down about all the money invested in the market so far (aka tuition). Not to mention financial pressures. Here's the blog link to that article: https://adamhgrimes.com/are-you-losing-position-size-matters/


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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564

Win-Loss-Draw: W-D
Trades: 1 - cash acct / 14 combine accts
Round Turns:29
Errors: 1
Risk Plan Adherence: Yes
Opportunities Available: Low
Event Day: No
Preparation: 8
Market Alignment: 8
Execution: 7






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 bwolf 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Experience: None
Platform: NT8, TOS, Tradingview, BH
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 258 since Aug 2019
Thanks Given: 682
Thanks Received: 564


Win-Loss-Draw: W
Trades: 3
Round Turns:12
Errors: 0
Risk Plan Adherence: Yes
Opportunities Available: Yes
Event Day: No
Preparation: 9
Market Alignment: 9
Execution: 9






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Last Updated on February 2, 2024


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