Welcome to Wall Street, Main Street and Me

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Still Here!

I keep getting emails asking about my plans, my past, my decisions. I am so grateful to you readers. You have made my life a joy in trading. Readers from Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Japan, Miami, Florida! ha. It's pretty incredible. 500 readers per week peek in at this blog, and that makes me so sad to think that I'm not posting here in ways that keep you coming back. I think I handled a lot of the answers in a post on my other (personal) blog:

I'm Still Here! <--Blog article.

I will no longer be trading, but I wish you all success, Traders!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Death Knell

Well, I have come to a painful decision.

In the past number of months, everything in my life has gone from bad to worse, financially. In the past two days, my home's air conditioner stopped working. (I came home to 94 degree temps in my house, with three pets with lolling tongues eying me suspiciously.) My van's air conditioning went out the same day, for the second time. And my washing machine stopped working. My computer started misbehaving, even crashed in the middle of a trade!

I don't have much of a trading fund anymore; the world has not been kind to the old broad. I owe a lot of money I can't pay, and I have many, many things that need to be replaced or repaired, all of which takes money. Oh, and I just got hit with a copay on that eye surgery of last year that I was assured was covered by Medicare. Not. I'm not a candidate for bankruptcy (I explored that very seriously). So I have decided to stop trading and use what's left of my fund to help my financial difficulties. Perhaps I will sleep better nights, paltry sum that it is.

Not sure what I'll do with this blog. I'll leave it up for others to peruse, for sure. But just not sure if I'll continue to study and share. There doesn't seem to be much point right now. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be. Shrug.

That's not to say it hasn't been one of the most enjoyable periods of my life! It wasn't trading that did me in. It was the Recession, the housing bubble breakdown, the banks and Wall Street that I, and thousands like me, can thank for their lives falling apart. Oh, and I did some dumb things too, like a reverse mortgage on a house I later couldn't sell, but had to repay. If anything happens to cure said sad situation (can you say Lotto?), then I, like Arnold Schwartenegger, will be back!

Happy trading, you maniacs. I'll miss you.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Momentum vs Renko

Well, I've been screwing around for days, investigating charts, listening to our online trader group share their own chart setups, and reading, reading, reading. Other blogs, mentor websites, brokerage websites, and all sorts of commentary. The Amazing Thing is that everyone has a different opinion! Imagine that! And there is that tendency to think that your way is the only way. It's just human nature.

But when I was trading options with Tasty Trade, I was more interested in probability %'s on the option chains than I was with charts (other than a simple trend chart) and daytrading was out of the question with a small account. So apart from my very early beginnings in trading (about six or seven years ago), I haven't done much research on charts. And even back then, I was learning how to read candlestick patterns and not examining other kinds of charts.

This Renko Bar chart got me going. Then a trader I know is trading /CL with a tick chart. I had already tried tick charts with a Volume Profile indicator and did very well in papertrading, but the real trading wasn't giving me the certainty I wanted. (Needed! at the time). In search of the Holy Grail...aren't we all?

Well, my next step was to set up a Momentum bar chart. This (as well as Renko bars) are fairly new additions to Think or Swim. You have to buy/pay for them on many other platforms. I wanted to see how they compared in terms of "noise" (cutting down on the choppiness) and ease of reading. I wondered if moving averages worked with both. I wondered what other indicators I could investigate that would look good to my trading eye.

I found a new (to me) indicator called "Spearman." This is what ThinkorSwim says about it and explains the settings:
The Spearman study is a technical indicator used for evaluation of trend strength and turning point detection. This study calculates Spearman's rank correlation coefficient in order to reveal correlation between actual price changes and extremely strong trend. The Spearman indicator registers two sets of data: prices of each bar during the specified period in their chronological order and the same prices sorted ascendingly. Spearman's ratio found for these two sets is then multiplied by 100; value of +100 suggests strong correlation with uptrend and -100, with downtrend.

Since the extreme values of -100 and +100 are rarely recorded, values of +80 and -80 might be used as overbought and oversold levels respectively. Plotting the Spearman indicator along with its short SMA (e.g., three day SMA on daily charts) might give an idea when to expect the turning points: look for the crossovers of the two plots. Useful information can also be obtained by analyzing action of the indicator in relation to zero level: crossing above the zero level might be an opportunity for the Long Entry while falling below zero might suggest the Short Exit.

Input Parameters
price The price to be used in calculation of Spearman's ratio.
length The number of bars in the period on which the prices are registered.
average length Defines period of SMA of Spearman indicator.
over bought Defines value of the overbought level.
over sold Defines value of the oversold level.

Spearman The Spearman plot.
SpearmanAverage The SMA of Spearman indicator.
OverBought The overbought level.
ZeroLine The zero level.

My next step was to configure, side by side, a Momentum Chart (on the left) and a Renko Chart (on the right) using similar indicators.

Here are the screens from my TOS Chart setup: Momentum first, then Renko.

I had to go back and add the Impulse indicator (blue bars) to the Momentum chart. And here are the charts, side by side: Momentum (10 ticks) on the left; Renko (10 ticks) on the right. The red lines are mine, just drawn to put your attention on how the PPS (arrows) and the Spearman crossovers line up with reverses! The moving averages and MACD are not working so well here. Maybe play with the setting some more.

Look at that Spearman indicator!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If that's not the holy grail, what is??? I'm pleased as punch and going to start papertrading this baby tonight! MACD is looking like it's lagging even more than we know. (we KNOW it's a lagging indicator, right?)

Which one do I like most? Definitely, the Momentum. Look at the 14:00 time frame. On the Renko chart, just before 14:00 there's a yellow arrow (bearish) and then immediately a blue arrow reversal. Those two arrows don't even show up on the Momentum chart! Less noise! I like that. I'm getting happier. Knowledge is power

P.S. I smoothed out the MACD with a 3/10 setting (which matches the Spearman). I notice that the Momentum TTM Wave is smoother too than on the Renko chart. Momentum bars get my vote on this comparison, hands down. Less is more! ##

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Impulse" study with Renko Bars

Okay, I'm still not yet in the groove of this Renko bar test on futures. I didn't like the 2-bar entry rule, as often the chart does an abrubt turn around after two bars. Sort of the modus when it goes into consolidation, 2 red, 2 green, 2 red, etc. But to wait for three bars seems to put me too late. Of course my other indicators help, but the Renko bothered me. Just a little TOO simple.

I pondered this, and remembered an indicator I put on my candle charts called "Impulse." I didn't know if it would work with Renko or not, but figured I'd give it a try. THAT way, a "blue" bar would not be "counted" in my 2-bar trigger.

This from Think or Swim:

The Impulse study is a bar coloring system based on two indicators: EMA and MACD Histogram; for MACD Histogram, values (12, 26, 9) are used as input parameters. A bar is painted green if both MACD and EMA values are higher than those of the previous bar. A bar is painted red if both MACD and EMA values are lower than those of the previous bar. A bar is painted blue if neither of the two conditions is fulfilled.

Green and red sections of the colored plot can be considered bullish and bearish segments of the indicator, respectively; blue sections are deemed neutral. A Buy signal occurs when the price is in long-term uptrend (usage of 65 period EMA for detection is suggested), and the Impulse turns bullish on the intermediate trend. The Sell signal is suggested when the price is in long-term downtrend, and the Impulse turns bearish on intermediate trend.

So how does it look?

As you can see, it informs the trader with a little more information, when data is not strictly bear or bull, but a shade of blue!

It's not the end-all, be-all information, as you can see, sometimes it doesn't help. But I like that it gives a pause sometimes when it's needed.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Day Trading Crude Oil with Renko Bars

Okay, this is Day 1 of the new papermoney tests on sweet crude. Renko bars! Or Bricks, as I prefer to call them. Japanese "renko" means "brick."

This is a learning process. Totally different than the day trading I've been doing up until now.

First of all, it takes a lot of patience to wait for the specific entry and exit points. No more hopping around and moving stops and moving targets. Uh uh. This is a system. And I'm not used to being glued to the screen to watch for the changes. So I've missed quite a few on this, my first morning, of Renko.

I'm also at exactly breakeven, NO profits, NO losses, after 8 trades this morning. I won't even put up my cash/sweeps account because I made too many timing errors to even count this as a good test. But it takes a little getting used to. So maybe my next trading session will be more mechanical.

At any rate, I think I might like this system. Time will tell. And I need to get my bricks in order.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Renko Bars for Day Trading Futures

As many of you know, I am on the search for a clear, clean way to trade sweet crude oil futures with a small trading fund. So far, I have not hit on the perfect setup for me. But I am not deterred. I keep investigating new things, and want to share them, as I do. (it does NOT mean I know any more than you do about it, but just keeping the trader buddy attitude, okay?)

I LOVE trading. I think I love learning even more than trading sometimes. One of our readers shared that he uses Renko Bars (instead of candles) on his charts at Ninja Trader brokers. I had never heard of this before, and with some help from another smart reader, I was able to find Renko bars on Think or Swim, and put them on my Active Trader chart.

What do Renko Bars look like?

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so here's what they look like. Sort of like "bricks." So, in this setup, each bar is 5 ticks, on a 2 day chart.

This is five minutes on a 2 day chart, using candles.

Okay, so what do we notice about these charts?

  • First of all, the NOISE of the candle chart is vastly reduced by the Renko bricks.
  • There are no wicks (and some people will not like that at all);
  • The Renko is the cleanest looking chart of all. A pleasure to read.
  • Realize that Renko bricks are PRICE driven, and not TIME driven, which is why they look different, especially in the choppy sections. And because of this, you will not get Volume on this Renko chart, which is computed by time frames.

    How do Renko Bars work?

    As far as I can gather, from watching videos and listening to websites describe them, Renko bars just create a new brick whenever the price goes above or below the current brick. They will always be "touching shoulders" so to speak. If a brick represents prices, as an example, of 100.00 at the top, or 99.95 at the bottom, the minute the price goes to 100.01 or 99.96, a new brick will form, touching the former brick either below or above. It is clean, and it clear to the eye. Green bricks go up, red bricks go down. It is trend following, so to speak. There are many videos on the internet about Renko bars so if you're interested, you should check out the YouTube selections.

    What is the Trading System for Renko Bars?

    Well, there may be many, but here is one I found:

  • Go Long with Two green bricks in succession. Put your stop below the last red brick.
  • Go Short with Two red bricks in succession. Put your stop above the last green brick.

  • Exit:
  • Exit the Long with One red brick. UNLESS you have had 8 or more green bricks, then exit with 2 red bricks.
  • Exit the Short with One green brick. UNLESS you have had 8 or more red bricks, then exit with 2 green bricks.

  • Does it get any easier than this?

    Here's a video of a guy who computed a couple of months of Forex profits using this system, successfully. I found this fascinating!

    Backtesting Renko Bars Systems from forexreview.info.

    Am I Going to Trade Crude Oil with this simple 2-brick system?

    In a word, no. I personally would NEVER use only one trigger (in this case two Renko bars) to inform my trade. I personally am always going to add a MACD to my charting, and possibly some other indicators to give a confirmation. At the moment here is my Active Trader Chart. And I plan to put a 15 min. candle chart up for a bigger view of the market to use in coordination with this one.

    Okay, I admit that I'm not at all sure that these particular indicators are set at the right levels for Renko Bars. But you can see I have got confirmations galore that agree with the system. I have a 7 and 20 SMA on the chart.

  • MACD crossover and histogram
  • RSI Wilder direction
  • TTM Squeeze (a John Carter indicator) that seems to go off in accordance with the above.
  • and finally a price oscillator which I added just for the hell of it. Not really needed

  • In truth, I think I would rely MORE on my confirmation indicators than on the 2-brick system for actually placing a trade. Although I will be watching it closely on papermoney to see how it goes. Starting a whole new test now.

    How Do I Find Renko Bars on Think or Swim?

    Okay, thanks to J. for this information. I want to share it with other readers who use TOS platform.

    1. At the top of the chart,(next to "Style") there's a little wrench that opens up the Settings for each chart. Click on that and a "Chart Settings" box opens up.

    2. Go to the 3rd Tab, which says "Time Axis"

    3. On the left side, under "Aggregation Type", choose "Range" from the dropdown menu

    4. Under time interval, choose any time you want; I chose 2 days from the dropdown menu.

    5. Under Price Range, choose any range you want; I chose 5 ticks from the dropdown menu.

    6. Under Range Type, choose Renko Bars from the dropdown menu.

    I don't know what Phantom Bars are, so if someone else knows, please explain. I left that box unchecked. I checked everything else on the page, and put in 5 bars as the expansion area (at the end of the chart, to the right -- "blank space" so to speak). Hit Apply and OK to save everything and also save it with a chart name so you don't lose it.

    If you have war stories, or questions, or anything to add, please let us hear from you!

    Happy Trading!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Being Your Own Person

    I haven't been blogging much...in the "learning" mode again (for the umpteenth time in my trading life).

    I'm still reading John Carter's "Mastering the Trade" (it's like 400 pages, and not exactly something you rush through) but I'm also looking at internet videos on crude oil, and reading other blogs. What really strikes me is that there is a wealth of information out there, and there is also a plethora of bullsh*t! I've seen videos on not ever using technicals as well as videos on such technical depth that you'd need to be a mathematician to trade. I know people with four computer monitors and people who trade on their smart phones. So, you really, really have to find a way to stay true to yourself. And in this game, believe me, it ain't easy. No easy answers, and certainly no certainty.

    With a personality like my own, I have always tried to "fit in" -- always feeling the outsider. So, in trading, it was natural to me to try to emulate what other traders did. If they said they had success, then I wanted to do it that way. We're all looking for success in trading, so it's an easy pitfall. And I'm not saying that we can't learn from each other. BUT...

    Trading is like having a relationship. You can't just marry anyone and expect it to work. You have to find the rules, patterns, strategies, and discipline that fits YOU. Not your trading buddy or your mentor or your friend who used to be in the pit. I realized that I am way too quick to accept what others say without testing it on my own ground, by my own standards. I LIKE new things and I love learning, so it's easy for me to try things. But to embrace things without a strong foundation geared to MY personality, my own trading style and goals, is just plain silliness. But it's been said that I'm a silly woman. I need to stop that.

    So, for the moment, I'm going to spend a lot more time testing and questioning theory and strategy and a lot less time placing trades until I get some sense of "who I am" for real as a trader. This is not a minor matter. I am here to say I think it's one of the most important things we can do before we risk our money.


    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    A word about Stops!

    "By using hard stops and sticking to them, a smaller trader has a fighting chance of being able to do this for a living. If he can't at least do that, he will not make it as a trader. Period."

    John F. Carter - "Mastering the Trade"

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    John Carter's "Fake Orgasm"

    I'm loving this book!

    When large funds (the "big boys") want to get out of a stock, they deliberately push the stock to new highs, sucking in the retail crowd (that would be us) and then they start unloading.

    By making the stock look great, when it isn't, institutions fool the masses. So it says in Mastering the Trade. Carter likes to call this a "fake orgasm" setup and if you look at the chart he supplied, you can see how the volume and the RSI indicator show the lie. While the price action is bullish, the other clues show a bearish divergence. This little chart makes it clearly obvious.

    Carter has
    Rules for Trading a Fake Orgasm setup.

    1. Look at stocks that are making new 52-week highs. (you have scan software on your platform that likely you need to learn if you don't use it already which will give you a list of said stocks at new highs.)

    2. Look for a bearish divergence using a 7-period RSI (relative strength index indicator).

    3. Look for a decrease in volume. (there is no susteained price movement without volume)

    4. Short the stock the day after it closes below the previous 52-week high. This would be your entry.

    5. Place a 25 cent MARKET stop above the all-time high price.

    6. To exit, use a close price above the high of the low day while above key support. If key support is broken, stay in the trade until there is a close above the high of the low hour on a 60 minute chart.

    7. Don't trail stops. The exit is the price reversal signal.

    Carter gives specific examples and says there will be a lot more information about this later in the book, but I wanted to share! Maybe he won't mind and it'll sell some books? Oh well, sue me. (never been known for my timidity or wisdom)

    Back to the Future

    Well, it's deja vu all over again. I'm back to scratch and a little gun shy.

    I'm going to finish reading my John Carter book before I start trading again. Also been exploring something called "TraderMinute" which is scary but very interesting!

    It's been a crazy month. I've edited a book and three short stories, and survived an office job that has "stress" tattooed into its desk top. I've been through major air conditioning repairs (in a very HOT Floridian summer climate) and picked about 1,000,000,000 burrs ("hitch hikers", "beggars' lice") off the curly poodle hair of my poor little dogs. To say nothing of my adventure into sweet crude oil!

    As Arnie would say....I'll be bacckkkkkkk!

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    I'm Out!!

    Did you hear me?

    I'm OUT of that #$%^&*&()(*&^^%$ trade and I kept my skin, but barely.

    I shall be doing some intensive reading and research before I do that again.

    The reasuring thing is that I still have my principal to fight on another day. This is part of the learning process. Might not like it, but gotta learn it.

    Ended up with $4732.00 (plus the commissions to date $588.00) = $5,320.00 and I started with $5000 on June 26, 2014. So, hey! Now it's time to learn risk management in futures!

    After all, everything in life is a risk. Everything! So manage it!

    Happy Trading, all you psychopaths. (yes, John Carter has likened traders to being as crazy as psychopaths, so there you have it! I certainly can't argue!)

    Crude Oil is very Rude Oil...

    Well, this is a whole education in itself. I bought a contract at 103.35, right? That seems like light years ago, and a very lofty price indeed.

    Then it plummeted down to $98 or $99. I couldn't see clearly through the tears.

    Then I got a reminder of expiration (it was an August contract). So I rolled the trade, in a moment of panic. I had never rolled a future before, and assumed it was like options, but it's not quite like options. I lost $90 dollars (including $7 fees) in the roll. I thought I was making a like price to like price roll, but it ended up costing .41 cents on each leg. Plus the fee. So that's a mystery to me. I will call TOS and ask when I get a minute. (If I wasn't an idiot, I'd have printed out the confirmation box, and then I'd know, if I wasn't conscious enough to SEE at the time.)

    Then I saw that my contract had disappeared off the Active Trader software! Well, duh. My new September contract isn't active. (It just went active this morning, and like magic, it's returned to the ladder!)

    So another lesson....the August contract hasn't expired yet, but it STOPS TRADING before it expires. I didn't realize that little piece of info either. Maybe John Carter is going to explain all of this to me in language I can understand? (I'm loving the book, but barely into it.)

    THEN, as oil just kept falling, I got a margin call! My first margin call in all these years of trading. (well, I am new to futures, remember!?) I called TOS and was told that oil was turning so likely by tomorrow (and that would be today) the call would be made good by the rise in the price. And sure enough, my deficit disappeared. But that cost me a couple of gray hairs and a rapid heartbeat.

    Sooooo, this morning, we just hit $102, and I have a stop (finally) fixed at 101.86 which will keep me out of the horrid doo-doo of this past week, but still not give me any winning numbers. I'm willing to get out with my principal. But it kills me. If we keep going up, I'll move the stop up accordingly. But I have to go to the office job this afternoon, so I'm looking for some good news this morning.

    My $1000 winnings....(shrug). How Rude!

    Here's the Information box off my trading page: That top line is the line that went negative (612.24) and prompted a margin call. Whatever my Net Liq was at the time, minus this negative $600 didn't leave enough to cover my $3125.00 margin requirement, so that's how that works.

    and here we are...my stop's in place, and I have a sell order in for $102.69. I will move that up accordingly if we keep going higher. From my mouth to God's ears. (If She only cared about trading...)

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    A Caution ....from John Carter

    One reader suggested I read John Carter's book "Mastering the Trade" and I've just started it. I can tell you it resonates. I thought I'd share the things I find in it that inspire, terrify, or teach me. This from the Introduction. And I quote:

    "Trading is not about everyone holding hands, belting out the lyrics to John Lennon's Imagine, and making money together. The financial markets are truly the most democratic places on earth. It doesn't matter if a trader is male or female, white or black, American or Iraqi, Republican or Democrat. It's all based on skill.

    The only way to become a professional trader is to obtain an edge, a weapon that can separate you from the rest of the migrating sheep.

    That edge is gained by five key points (listed below) as well as the psychology of the trader taking the other side of the trade. Without this, as you enter the revolving door to the financial markets, filled with excitement and anticipation, the predators are merely licking their lips, because what they see is a slab of freshly cured meat, ripe for the eating. And feast they will."

  • The financial markets are naturally set up to take advantage of and prey upon human nature. As a result, markets initiate major intraday and swing moves with as few traders participating as possible. A trader who does not understand how this works is destined to lose money.
  • Traders can know more about a market than anyone else in the world, but if they apply the wrong methodology to their trading setups, they will lose money.
  • Traders can know more about an indicator or group of indicators than anyone else in the world, but if they apply the wrong methodology to those indicators, they will lose money.
  • Traders can know exactly what they are doing, but if they are trading the wrong market for their personality, they will lose money.
  • Traders can know exactly what they are doing, but if they apply the same strategies that they used to make themselves successful in other areas of their life, they will lose money.

  • And yes, I'm still waiting for oil to rally. I rolled my August long to September and it's grim. But since this is the last hurrah, I might as well sit it out. I have no alternative. As the man says, I will lose money if I do anything at the moment.

    P.S. Oh, just to make sure things don't get too dull, I just got a margin call on the account. They tell me I have until tomorrow before the hand of TOS smites me down.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Nothing to Report...

    I'm in a holding pattern over Newark, and VERY cranky.

    Until oil rallies, I can't make any resolutions or promises.

    But that is not to say I'm not studying my tail feathers off. I never, ever, ever said I was an expert, did I?

    But determined, yes. And cranky.

    Let me just say this, in speaking with trader friends, I've got an interest in /TF, so if you have experience in the Russell, do tell!

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Half Way There

    Well, oil bounced half way up to my Long, but still has another $400 thereabouts to go...the bouncing ball. Still, it always nicer when the losses are out of profits and NOT my principal.

    This weekend I am taking a serious look at my charts and see if I can get a trading plan down with some more specifics.I want entry and exit points with SOLID confirmation indicators. I'm afraid my nature is to be a bit of a cowboy and a little too reckless in life. When things are going well, it seems to be working, but then reality catches up.

    In my heart, I wanted to avoid technicals. As Sosnoff always says, technicals ONLY reflect the past. They do not actually show where the underlying is going to go. So to put your faith in technicals is a difficult thing for me. I don't invest in them readily. BUT given that the stock market is a crap shoot, you have to rely on SOME kind help (Tarot cards, anyone?) so it might behoove me to take technicals a little more seriously in this Futures game. I dunno. We'll see if it works, right?

    For starts, John Carter's book "Mastering the Trade" is en route from Amazon, and it's got a lot of futures trading in it, so there's a start. As I get through it, I'll share what I learn, if I think it's helpful to anyone else. And I hope you readers will continue to do the same here.

    I appreciate the feedback and would love to get an Oil Futures group together to Skype and swap information. bevjackson@gmail.com, if you're interested. Happy Trading (while I hunker down and wait to get the rest of the way to the top to sell that sucker!)

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Bad Day at Black Rock

    Well, I managed to get myself caught Long again in that nosedive yesterday. I can only say that my puny little contract at 103.35 may be my undoing. I'm already down ALL my profits since I started this on 6/25/14, and am into my principal for a couple of hundred.

    The question was asked what was my entry trigger. I hit a support line on that Volume Profile indicator, and RSI and MACD had a momentary blip confirming "up" and I should have waited for additional confirmation, but it all dropped like a stone, and I wasn't on top of it. I know, I know, I know.

    I was fooling around with other chart markers (which I don't know how to use yet) and I believe I got distracted somewhat to boot.

    This is my learning tool and it appears I'm a slow learner. Let's hope my fund lasts to use the lesson. It's another 12 days, I think, before this contract expires. So can we all send oil up, up, up with our intentions? Please!

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading /CL Futures - 7/8/14

    Ohhhh brother. Live and Learn!

    Well, I decided (like an idiot) to bite the bullet and get out of my Long because I had to go to work...and who knew what would happen next? (OF COURSE what happened next was that oil soared, and I could have been in profit. Just shoot me!!) My account had already been "adjusted" by $300 (for the overnight hold of the trade, and recalculated value), so when I sold it, it was only another $50 loss on top of the adjustment. ONLY! A total loss of $350. Arghhhhh. Kills me. My own stupidity. BUT. I managed to make it back, once I was out. So slim profits, but at least I stayed afloat without giving up all my gains. A lesson learned, as my readers reminded me, so gallantly, in the comments section of the last post.

    At the moment I am busy investigating other indicators, and have ordered the John Carter book "Mastering the Trade." I'm always, always, always interested in new stuff, as long as it's not expensive and not something I've already done.

    (Sometimes it feels like "what haven't I done???")

    BTW, I'm really enjoying the reader participation. Just what I always hoped for on this blog!!!! Keep writing, keep sharing, puh-lease!!!

    Happy Trading


    Monday, July 7, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading /CL Futures - 7/7/14

    Well, rats, I did it again. Bought a contract (when I should have shorted) and been stuck with it all day long. Puts a real hiccup in my giddyup.

    Looks like I'll have to leave it open overnight and how I hate that. But unless something happens after 5 pm, this baby is l-o-s-i-n-g...and I'm not willing to sell it yet.

    Looking into a new indicator that a reader suggested: TTM Squeeze indicator. John Carter's book "Mastering the Trade" is highly recommended, but it's too pricey for my budget. Have to see what develops.

    thinkorswim's FUTURES Commissions

    I promised to get back to you on the verdict on the commissions. Right now I am paying $3.50 per contract for each trade, i.e. $7.00 for a roundabout, in and out. It's a hefty price to pay when you trade small, like me. About 34% of my profits are going to the broker.

    So, on your advice (see previous comments), I called TOS this morning to plea my case. Alas, if they take me off this "flat" $3.50, they would move me to another type of commission structure which would reduce the commissions to $2.25 each trade BUT invoke another kind of fee of $1.47 which would total $3.72 and not do me any good.

    When I mentioned that "others" only paid $5.00 for a round trip, he responded by saying, "yeah, but they probably traded 1000 contracts a month."

    He did say that when I got up to 200 trades per month, I should call back because they might be able to do something then.

    Oh well, I DO believe it's the cost of doing business, so I'm not going to whine about it. I'll just get up to 200 trades per month!

    And btw, he was looking specifically at oil (for me). I don't trade other futures. So not sure if the fee structure is different for other commodities. You'll have to call yourself, if you're curious.


    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    Does Money Make You Mean?

    I am a big fan of TED Talks.

    I'm also a big fan of making money.

    Of course, I'm not a 1%-er in this world, so I was really interested to know what would happen if I really made a LOT of money. Would it change me? We all carry our own ideas about rich people/poor people. Here's just another little tantalizing point of view.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading /CL Futures - 7/3/14 Update

    Oh, I really hate weekends and holidays! No trading! (yeah, I know...get a life!) But this is my passion, I'm afraid.

    When I started trading this morning, I seemed to pick everything going in just the opposite way from my trade. As much I stared at the charts and rationalized about the trends and the news and all that malarkey, I just couldn't seem to pick 'em.

    This I noticed had a very detrimental effect on my self respect, my self esteem and the mood of my new morning. It suddenly hit me that when we trade, we bring a lot of old baggage with us from the past. Traders have psychological issues to overcome in this, as in every other kind of relationship in their lives. This one is a hottie because it involves MONEY...(the other hot topic is SEX, of course). And so for me, I see it as an opportunity to look one more time into myself, and clear out some of that baggage that I so love to lug around from childhood and right through old age.

    This stuff is very deceptive...tricky...subtle. Unconscious. Unless you deliberately dredge it up and deal with it.

    So what's this crazy woman going on about now? The last thing we need is psychobabble. But when those nasty little trades I circled on today's sheet, those reasonably "large" (compared to how I trade usually) losses gave me a little reminder.

    Am I good enough to trade?

    Are people making fun of me and my baby trades/baby fund?

    Do I even deserve to have money? I don't seem to handle it so well in the real world.

    Is my mother turning over in her grave?

    That's just a little sampling of what flew through my brain this morning as I tried to hunker down and get very objective about this situation.

    Eventually I talked myself up and out of the fugue state I was in...but I thought it was worth mentioning that you trade with your WHOLE self, not just the tiny piece of your brain that likes winning.

    As you can see, the day turned out all right. That's because I've been dealing with my sh*t for a very long time and as well as overcoming fear and greed in the market place, I am onto myself and not about to induldge in self pity, self loathing or any other kind of negative thinking that will deter me from my goal of turning $5000 into a respectable trading fund. However long it takes. Let them laugh, let them jeer. We're all in this together, so who laughs last, anyway? I'd say the Big Boys who always win, no matter what happens. All those bankers and investors that went scott free while the rest of us went down the tubes....oh just the thought give me my grit back! Okay, updating my fund herewith:

  • Date--------------- # of Trades--Daily Profit---less fees -----$5K Fund Balance
  • June 26, 2014------10 trades-------$200.00 --------77.00 ------- $5,123.00
  • June 27, 2014------7 trades--------$230.00 --------49.00-------- $5,304.00
  • June 30, 2014------8 trades--------$250.00-------- 56.00-------- $5,494.00
  • July 01, 2014-------18 trades------$810.00--------129.50-------- $6,174.50
  • July 02, 2014------1 trade--------($470.00)------- 3.50-------- $5,701.00
  • July 03, 2014-----17 trades------ $340.00--------119.00---------$5,922.00

  • Happy Trading!

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading the /CL Futures - 7/2/14

    Okay, boys and girls. I got caught yesterday in free fall (with one open long contract) so I held it overnight and tried to wait it out. The losses got up there, but on a mini rally this morning, I sold it -- giving up those glorious wins of yesterday (before the fall). It's okay, I'm still ahead.

    Because I was holding, I didn't get any trading done this morning before I had to leave for work. So this is meager pickings. I included a photo of the piece beneath the Cash Report, to show my total profit since 6/26. That does NOT have the fees out of it, but I'm still proud of it. $1000 in a week, not shabby for a baby trader, non? And yes, I've spent $300 on fees, so you can see I make a LOT of very small trades, which is my strategy. Fees are just the cost of doing business in my book.

    Tomorrow I start fresh, and see if this market settles down to something I can live with!

    Okay, I need to start this list so you don't have to look back to see what's happened.

  • Date--------------- # of Trades--Daily Profit---less fees -----$5K Fund Balance
  • June 26, 2014------10 trades-------$200.00 --------77.00 ------- $5,123.00
  • June 27, 2014------7 trades--------$230.00 --------49.00-------- $5,304.00
  • June 30, 2014------8 trades--------$250.00-------- 56.00-------- $5,494.00
  • July 01, 2014-------18 trades------$810.00--------129.50-------- $6,174.50
  • July 02, 2014------1 trade--------($470.00)------- 3.50-------- $5,701.00
  • Happy Trading!

    **Live** Day Trading the /CL Futures - 7/1/14

    Well, I changed my working hours at the "real" job so that I would have my mornings free to trade. I've actually quit that job, but my boss is too busy to even think about interviewing and hiring a replacement, so until the next blow-out, I'll likely continue to work there. (I committed to training a replacement, providing he doesn't yell at me. The man is a yeller.)

    So, a whole morning to trade futures! I was thrilled!! And I started making money!!!! Notice on the report below, I got up to $6100! I was very excited. Do remember that I started this fund with $5K on 6/26/14, so in one week that would have been $1100 profits. (Actually, it's more than that, because that is net of commissions which are sitting at over $300 right now.)

    But ahhh, the trading gods are not so kind. Also remember I said that I WILL have losses. I bought one contract at 10:22 am yesterday...and that's when oil began to go down, down, down. I was stuck with a long, so I left for work hoping it would turn while I was away. Needless to say, if you look at a chart, it did NOT turn but kept going down. I've held the contract overnight not willing to take a $740 hit on it, and now it would lose $890 if I sold it. So I'm not selling it. Not yet. But of course, I can't trade this morning because my fund isn't big enough to do more than one contract at a time. So this is the DOWN side of the little strategy I'm into.

    However, I plan to wait it out and see if I can't keep my profits.

    You'll notice the last line of this report is that "Adjustment" I talked about in another post. My best guess is that IF you hold a contract overnight, the value of that contract is computed and the difference between my fund and the fair market value is deducted. If the market goes back up, they will adjust the other way. Or so it seems. I really hate that they touch my fund balance when I haven't sold the damned thing yet!!!

    But so goes the brokerage/regulations/CYA system of futures trading. I still don't really get it. Sigh.

    Oh, and if you don't have a chart handy, take a look at this one...and at the crash yesterday. I couldn' be happier that I only have one contract invested in this baby right now! A lot of people are crying big tears, I'd wager!


    Monday, June 30, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading the /CL Futures 6/30/14

    Things are slow and steady. No fear/no greed. I'm really keeping it small, determined to make this work.

    My "real" job isn't going great, so under a lot of stress. I gave notice today and it was ugly and uncomfortable, so not a great time to be trading either. But, just want you to know my committment to the DIY philosophy.

    For you newcomers, there's a whole "history" of me trading oil futures with Paper money. But this is the real deal, starting with $5K on 6/26/14. I'll put up a tally when I'm not feeling so fried (from quitting my job. Ack.)

    Meanwhile I plan on doing real in-depth explanations of my charts soon. Just not up to it yet. It's going to rain again...out there...and in here too, folks. Life is hard.


    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    Think Or Swim's "Active Trader" software

    Those of you who got interested in scalping futures with me know (from earlier posts) that I use the "Active Trader" on the TOS platform. I thought I would review it today as well as the chart and indicators I'm using in my everyday trades.

    Here is the whole page, as I have it set up. You have many other options (for ex. you could put TWO charts instead of one, and even reduce the size of the ladder (on the right) and have a bigger chart beneath it, all the way across. But this is the way I like to see my information. Simple, simple, simple.

    On the left I have a chart and two indicator/oscillators (MACD and RSI) and on the right the "Active Trader" ladder. Note that I have circled the little box at the top that says "Auto Send." That means I can just click next to the price I want (on the ladder) and register my order without a verification box opening and waiting to be clicked to place the order. I.E. it makes for very quick buys/sells with one click of the mouse. (so be careful and leave that unchecked until you are confident with the software). Using it, you can use your mouse to just slide your order up or down to a higher/lower price by just dragging the mouse. VERY nifty.

    In this freeze shot I have NO trades on, and no open orders. So this is just a picture of it off hours.

    The left side of the AT ladder, a green colored column is the "Buy" side used to purchase a long contract. The right side, colored red, is what you'd click on to "Sell" or short a contract. When you have a fill, the price on the ladder will be marked with little arrows, so you can see where your contract sits. The golden color that sits on the price shows you the current price. That little gold highlight moves up and down rapidly reflecting the activity of the traders. So you can see the price of /CL at the time I took this photo was $105.74 --that shows in the upper right corner as well as on the golden rung of the ladder. You will note that there are 11 contracts open at $105.88, but the rest of the open contracts (showing in this photo) are just 1 contract for each rung.

    I took this snapshot after hours and you can see there are VERY few overnight contracts open. Those little yellow numbers highlighting the green and red rungs of the ladder are the number of contracts open for that price level. When you make a trade, you will see your contract(s) increase that number as it fills.

    I can't say enough how much I love this ladder software which makes quick daytrading just a dream, in terms of input. Slide that little mouse around and trade!

    In tomorrow's post I'll go over, in detail, the setup of this chart.

    Weekends are no fun with a closed market.

    Here's another little shot (on a separate occasion) which shows that I purchased a long contract for $104.02 (surrounded by arrows to indicate my contract); and I have an open order to sell it at $104.12 (a .10 profit x $10 each rung = $100). And I have a stop order in for $103.99. (that's too close; I'd get stopped out if this was real, but this was just an example I set up in paper money). Those open orders are the ones I can slide up and down to different prices with my mouse, as I change my mind watching the market move. I don't have to cancel and set up a new order...just slide those red icons (with the little x's which are used if you want to cancel the order altogether, and not just move it) up and down. Easy peasy.

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    **Live** Day Trading the /CL Futures 6/27/14

    Wow, we're having severe thunderstorms. I've reset all the clocks in the house twice now! Down and out in the tropics takes on a whole new meaning when you can't walk the dogs!

    Got a little bit of trading in before work this morning. Here's the Cash and Sweeps account for the day:

    I need to go into the office on Saturday but if I get a bit of time over the weekend, I'm going to review my chart setup again, in some detail. I keep tweaking it hoping to get better information. But in truth, I watch it go up and down, and that's about as better as I believe it's going to do. Charts report where the products have been, they can't really tell you where they're going. So I don't have a lot of faith in the technicals, but you have to use something, and that's what we've got. However it's a game of probabilities, and you have to trust your own good sense.

    I'll explain my logic when I put up the chart over the weekend, and we can think about it some more. The proof is always in the results.

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    "Home" At Last!!! and...Some Words About "Family"....

    Wow, what a trip it's been. I haven't had a trading fund in a number of months (I've lost count of how many! But I used what was left of my fund to buy a house in January, so it's been at least all of 2014) and it feels really good to open my software this morning and ta da~ ! My funds are cleared, and I began to trade /CL sweet crude oil with REAL money for the first time!

    Now I live alone with dogs and a cat, so I don't have family around to chat up my trading. But I DO have an extended family of friends, people I love dearly (dearly!) who think I'm crazy as a bat in a sunroom, and they consider trading (most especially MY trading since I'm the original pauper) nothing but gambling. That in spite of the fact that they have never traded themselves and don't have the first notion of what it is I really do But since I have just been through the worst financial crisis of my life, they can't imagine that I would turn to trading to pull myself out of the abyss. Now, this affects me. Why? Mostly because I love them and expect them to respect and trust me. But basically they think I'm lying. What happened to me financially was not entirely my own fault. I had the assistance of an entire nation and a recession to aid in my downfall. And I certainly didn't lose it trading! In fact, trading kept me buoyed for many months when I would have fallen faster and harder without it.

    So when I sat down to trade today with my new baby fund...I found my heart in my throat. What if they are right? What if I am delusional? What if I lose it all and they will say "I told you so!" (after all, there are no guarantees in trading, and losses WILL and DO happen. The trick is to win more than you lose, and that's called the skill of it, which I have devoted about four 1/2 years of my life learning).

    Then I realized a couple of things:

    One. It really helps to have a trading partner, or a trading buddy. Someone who understands the things you do, and with whom you can share new knowledge and swap bragging rights and horror stories without them thinking you're a braggart or jumped off the deep end. I really need to work on this one, as I don't seem to find the right match. It simply is totally defeating to let family and friends get under your skin. If you don't have the courage of your own convictions, then reconsider whether you should trade at all.

    Two. What are the worst enemies you have in trading? I learned this when I was brand new, and it took me a couple of years to master any kind of control. Fear and Greed. And that's exactly what I found this morning...rampant fear in my heart! The minute I recognized that pest for what it was, I settled down and in the very limited time I have before sailing off to a "real" job (as my "family" calls it) I made $200 trading. (after $77 in fees, I netted over $100.)

    So, you've seen me through the papertrading of /CL oil futures. Here I go with real money. I'm disclosing all to you because you, I realize, are my true trading buddy. I love your comments, your emails, your questions and I feel like this is the place to show you the money. It's puny, it's pathetic, but hey! It's mine and I love the chance to be back in the game.

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Re-Opened Account -- Hold on Funds

    Not exactly sure if the rules are broker-specific, or regulated, but I put my monies into my fund (at last, hooray!) and it shows on my online trading platform as received funds. But when I tried to sell a contract tonight, it rejected. I texted TOS and was told funds would not be available until Thursday 6/26. That's about 4 working days on hold. Just FYI. No instant gratification in this game...it keeps reminding us. :-)

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Back in the Saddle Again

    I'm very happy to report that I have put hands on a baby amount of money to re-open my trading fund (the real one), so as soon as the new ACH account is established, I'll be taking deep breaths and trading for real. (I've recently changed banks, so need to set up another ACH. But VERY small futures trades to start.

    What's an ACH account?

    For newbies, this is the electronic transfer that you can set up with your broker, a link between your trading fund and your checking (or savings) account. It allows you to send money either way, to/from each other. If you have big profits in trading, you can move some of them out and not be tempted to trade with them. Or if you need more money in trading, you can just do a quick ACH transfer into your fund. It makes the tired old wire transfer process obsolete. Although a WT might be quicker, I'm not sure. WT's have to be done one at a time, through the institution, whereas ACH accounts, you just go to your computer and input the transfer, day or night. Easy peasy.

    What do you need to know to set up an ACH account?

    In your customer profile section of your online brokerage (and I pray to Wall Street that you're using an online brokerage like Think or Swim) you'll find a place to set up new banking. Choose the ACH option (NOT wire transfers).

    You need the numbers off the bottom of your check. The 9-digit number on the left is the routing number to your bank. To the right of that is the number of your checking account. (if you want an ACH to savings, you have to find the number for your savings account).

    BTW, a wire transfer uses a DIFFERENT routing number, something local, so don't be confused. If in doubt, call your bank.

    P.S. My brokerage put two little deposits ($.33 and $.10) into my checking account and then I had to go into TD Ameritrade and verify the amounts. This to prove the whole ACH set up was legit. The second I verified the deposits, my account was active, and I just transfered monies to my trading fund.

    Let the fun begin!

    Happy Trading! ##

    Monday, June 9, 2014

    /CL Update - 6/9/14

    OKAY! I weathered the storm, but felt I was losing money day after day by NOT being able to trade (the funds tied up by margin requirement) so, today I got out at a $580 loss. The losses were up in the $3K level for many days, so I consider getting out this cheaply a win.

    If you recall, I bought two contracts at 104.16 and then the market dropped for days...I sold them this morning for $103.87 (.29 cents x $10 = $290 per contract, $580 total loss).

    Since I got out, I've been trading (small, small, small) and already recouped that loss today already. It does not pay to lose big. So I'm glad I held out, but next time I'll set a stop before I walk away, confident. NEVER be confident!

    I need to update the running tally of wins and losses for this account:

  • Date--------------- # of Trades--Daily Profit---$5K Fund Balance
  • March 25, 2014-----18 trades-----$415.08-------- $5,415.08
  • March 26, 2014------3 trades-----$678.19-------- $6,093.27
  • March 27, 2014------9 trades-----$157.50-------- $6,250.77
  • March 28, 2014------3 trades----($427.76)--------$5,823.01
  • March 31, 2014 ---- 4 trades----$195.71----------$6,018.72
  • April 1, 2014---------6 trades----$377.95----------$6,396.67
  • April 2, 2014--------15 trades---$642.02-----------$7,038.69
  • April 3, 2014--------10 Trades--($379.40)---------$6,659.29
  • April13, 2014--------1 trade--($30.00)------------$6,629.29
  • April 30------about 100 wee trades $442.61........$7,071.90
  • May 1, 2014 (count the trades yourself)----------$7,528.62
  • May 9, 2014 -------45 trades --($27,44)-----------$7,501.18
  • May 14. 2014---- 37 trades---$1,485.62-----------$8,986.80
  • May 20, 2014------24 trades---$750.54-------------$9,737.34
  • Jun 9, 2014------18 trades---$303.38**-------------$10,040.72

  • **included in this profit is a $580. loss which I held from 5/28 to 6/9 to assure the loss was not larger.


    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    /CL Oil Futures Expiration Calendar

    I got confused about expiration dates and one of our readers pointed out that I had an incorrect expiration date on the last blog entry. I looked up the CME Group chart and by golly, she was right. JULY (the current oil future) doesn't expire in July; it expires June 20th. So, for anyone else out there who might be confused, here's the chart:

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    /CL - When Bad Goes to Worse

    Okay, on 5/28/14 I purchased two futures contracts in /CL (oil) and walked away (WENT TO WORK FOR 5 HRS) without setting a stop. I don't know what possessed me. I got distracted, or overconfident, or the paper money reality kicked in and I just wasn't paying attention. A LESSON LEARNED.

    Those $104 contracts dropped like a stone and STILL haven't come back. Since my last post, they've dropped even further. I'm posting my running Cash & Sweeps. The "white line" shows the adjutments that have been made to the account for the daily settlement prices. (if the market goes up, these will adjust back to original figures).

    The circled red item is the 5/28 purchase of the two losing contracts.

    And here is the Active Trader page, show in full with both the Chart, the indicators and the Active Trader ladder on the right.

    Until I sell these losers, I haven't got actual losses. Since they are July contracts, I have until mid June to allow them time to come back. So they're not truly losers yet. BUT, in fact, every day that passes with these sitting here, my cash fund is tied up and I can't be making my daily profits, so in fact I'm losing money every day whether these two contracts finally are sold at breakeven or a small profit. (the likelihood of the market swinging high, high, high above my $104 price is next to nil.)

    This paper money account is crucial in learning how to trade. You do NOT walk away from open contracts without setting a stop. Decide what you're willing to take as a loss ($100? $500?) and SET THAT STOP. Or sit there and day trade, and get out when it turns on you.

    I had doubled my original $5K fund to over $10K. Now I have (on paper) "lost" $3,540.00 of those $5K profits. Since 5/28! Just to show you how fast it can turn on you, so this is not a strategy for sissies. If your emotions get involved here, you're dead in the water.

    I'm hanging in with this, and kicking myself for not setting a little stop. I'd rather lose $500 than $3500. Wouldn't you?

    Happy Trading. Learn from my mistakes!

    And PAPER TRADE if you are not a pro!! I only share these "bad" trades with you because every other website seems to be selling something and telling you how much money you're going to make. It's true you can make money, but if you're careless or uneducated, you can lose it as fast as you make it. And more. So I want example of both the good AND the bad, in full disclosure, so that readers can actually trust that this blog is about the truth.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    /CL Update - So...what does a BAD day look like?

    Had to go work today, so I purchased a couple of contracts this morning (sweet crude oil, natch) thinking they would go up when the market opened. I took off, went to work, came home around 2:30 and Yikes!

    Here's what a bad trade looks like. I'm long 2 contracts and I'm down $2,620. (Since I'm ahead in total YTD by $5,000, this is NOT a trade I want to sell right now!)

    This is where emotions and control of them come in. It would be simple for a lot of novice traders to go nuts and quick, quick sell these at this big loss hoping not to lose even more. That would not be me. These are July contracts. Good for a long time yet. I am going to sit on them until the price goes back up. Patience and no fear! Gotta have it.

    You will notice the chart plunges as well as the Active Trader ladder doesn't even have my buy-price (104.16)showing, it's dropped so much.

    $104.16 is the price I paid. I have a sell order set for $104.21. We shall see....

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

    /CL Update - 5/27/14

    Holiday weekend, not a whole lot of trading going on -- and certainly not me.

    I'm busy working on ideas to get a real money trading fund back, so watch this space.


    Meanwhile I want to look into the Expiration Dates of Futures contracts. They are contracts and they DO expire on certain dates, so you want to be sure that you have disposed of yours accordingly and not get caught in expiration. There are calendars for Futures Expiration you can google. It looks like Oil expires about the 20th of every month.

    You will notice on Think or Swim that each monthly contract has a slightly different "name" -- it's not just /CL if you want to identify oil by the particular month. I believe the default of /CL is the current month. /CLN4 is apparently a July contract. So I need to investigate this. (what happened to June?)

    If any of you readers KNOW this stuff, PLEASE help us out and leave a comment, teaching us.

    Saturday, May 24, 2014

    Curses! Foiled Again

    Well, I put my tiny mind to work on a scheme to use the Active Trader ladder (currently used by me for /CL crude oil Futures) for stocks or ETFs. My theory being that if I put a few hundred dollars into a fund (rather than the $5,000 it would take to fund a Futures account), I could trade wee baby stock or ETF trades, making $10 a day or some such lightweight thing...but in REAL money, and slowly build myself a real money fund. Just as I doubled my play money fund.

    Might not be the most exciting trades around, but REAL MONEY. I'm tired of the paper money. Sounds good, no? I got really excited!


    I had a thought...and went uh oh, and got on the phone with Think or Swim pronto.

    Tell me, sez I to the broker customer rep, that the Pattern Day Trading rules that apply to option trading do NOT apply to trading stocks or etfs.

    I can't do that, sez he. They do.

    SEE MY BLOG POST regarding day trading regulations.

    My heart sunk like a Liz Taylor diamond in a straight up martini. Hopes and dreams quashed again.

    But I shall get my trading fund back. Somehow.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    /CL Update 5/22/14

    Okay, here's today's update. Still climbing, but I really didn't have time to trade much. I believe i'm satisfied at this juncture, that trading Sweet Crude Oil futures in small increments (day trading) works! And I'm not terribly focused since I'm working a part time job, writing a book, caring for three animals, and trying to win the lottery! Paper trading is not my idea of a good time. But when the market doesn't support the "contrarian view" of Tasty Trade, I choose to do futures!

    When/if I get a real $ fund again, AND the market decides to stop being insane (go up, go up, never come down, go up, go up....like a bad fantasy), then perhaps I'll get back to my option trading (which I dearly love, but I like winning better.). ##

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    /CL Update 5/20/14

    It's been good trading the past few days, though there have been some really BIG swings.

    I wanted to point out something. I think I have it figured out (but not 100% sure). When I hold a futures contract overnight (and I usually DON'T, since I'm basically day trading) there is some kind of accounting that goes on, and my fund is adjusted based on current prices. Take a look at the next to bottom line of the last report here - the night of 5/19/14 and you will see I got nailed for $460 out of my fund!

    I let the 2 contracts "ride" overnight (since it was losing) and sure enough, it bounced back and I was able to sell it for $20 more than I bought it for. And you will see that I got back my $460 adjustment from the night before plus my $20 profit to equal that final posting of $480.

    I haven't had anyone at ThinkOr Swim tell me why that Mark to Market, Official SettlementPrice adjustment is done. Some traders say it's just an accounting function at the brokerage, for closing price adjustments at end of day? I'm thinking it only appears on my account IF I have an OPEN trade held overnight.

    Anyway, still doing well with Crude Oil Future Daytrades (paper money account).

  • Date--------------- # of Trades--Daily Profit---$5K Fund Balance
  • March 25, 2014-----18 trades-----$415.08-------- $5,415.08
  • March 26, 2014------3 trades-----$678.19-------- $6,093.27
  • March 27, 2014------9 trades-----$157.50-------- $6,250.77
  • March 28, 2014------3 trades----($427.76)--------$5,823.01
  • March 31, 2014 ---- 4 trades----$195.71----------$6,018.72
  • April 1, 2014---------6 trades----$377.95----------$6,396.67
  • April 2, 2014--------15 trades---$642.02-----------$7,038.69
  • April 3, 2014--------10 Trades--($379.40)---------$6,659.29
  • April13, 2014--------1 trade--($30.00)------------$6,629.29
  • April 30------about 100 wee trades $442.61........$7,071.90
  • May 1, 2014 (count the trades yourself)----------$7,528.62
  • May 9, 2014 -------45 trades --($27,44)-----------$7,501.18
  • May 14. 2014---- 37 trades---$1,485.62-----------$8,986.80
  • May 20, 2014------24 trades---$750.54-------------$9,737.34

  • So I've almost doubled my money since March 25, 2014. That's an average of $2300 per month of income. Would that it were real money!!

  • Friday, May 16, 2014

    /CL Update 5/15/14

    You'd have to be following this series for this to make sense. See earlier "Day Trading /CL Futures" posts in the Index. This is just my results from 5/15. Very little time to trade, a workday.

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    /CL Update 5/14/14

    Well, another good trading morning. It is easier to make money when you HAVE money, and trading 2 contracts now makes it a lot easier to earn than when trading 1 contract. Soon, hopefully, I'll be able to trade 3 contracts. OR diversify and look into trading some other commodity if I can find one that interests me.

    Here's the detailed trades yesterday and today.

    So here's the latest tally, remembering that this is a papertrading account, and I started on March 25th, 2014 with $5000. I'm trading nothing but sweet crude oil futures, now up to 2 contracts at a time:

  • Date--------------- # of Trades--Daily Profit---$5K Fund Balance
  • March 25, 2014-----18 trades-----$415.08-------- $5,415.08
  • March 26, 2014------3 trades-----$678.19-------- $6,093.27
  • March 27, 2014------9 trades-----$157.50-------- $6,250.77
  • March 28, 2014------3 trades----($427.76)--------$5,823.01
  • March 31, 2014 ---- 4 trades----$195.71----------$6,018.72
  • April 1, 2014---------6 trades----$377.95----------$6,396.67
  • April 2, 2014--------15 trades---$642.02-----------$7,038.69
  • April 3, 2014--------10 Trades--($379.40)---------$6,659.29
  • April13, 2014--------1 trade--($30.00)------------$6,629.29
  • April 30------about 100 wee trades $442.61........$7,071.90
  • May 1, 2014 (count the trades yourself)----------$7,528.62
  • May 9, 2014 -------45 trades --($27,44)-----------$7,501.18
  • May 14. 2013---- 37 trades---$1,485.62-----------$8,986.80

  • By the way, my total commissions/fees to date are about $1800, but not sure if that's accurate because of the paper trading account? But that would mean about 20 cents on the dollar if it's accurate. Sounds fair to me. But I'm not at all sure this account shows commissions precisely correct.

  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    /CL Update 5/13/14

    Did okay yesterday and today. Trading very lightly and only in the mornings. (I have a proper job now, so that slows me down and with good results).