Monday, October 4, 2010

How I manage my trades

In a previous post I wrote about risk management, today I'll let you know how I manage my trades from entry to exit.

When I enter a trade it means the setup is one I like very much, I only take what I call: "Diamond Setups", those are 10 setups from my arsenal that work most of the time. If I look at my stats for this year, I can see they've worked over 70% of the time, it has taken me a long time studying all my setups to see which of them work better, I noticed that from the plus 20 setups I was using to make the decision to pull the trigger, many of them were working "only"  40 to 50% of the time (there are traders whose setups work 10% of the time and they still make money!), so by observing them I decided to cut more than half of them to come to that +70% number. The setups I cut do work during "certain times" of the year though, so I keep them at hand.

Another thing I noticed is that when I enter a trade it's usually profitable for 1 to 3 points just to come back to my entry level and then stop me out, so a profitable trade turns into a loss, that used to drive me crazy! So, to solve that problem, I decided to take half when in profit from +1 to +3 points, depending on market conditions and leave the remainder running and trailing them with a stop to lock in some profits.

If you have been following my twits for some time you know I usually cover my trades way too early (I know my weak points, working on them), you don't have to make the same mistake so try to develop a good trailing strategy.

Since I decided to have those 10 ES points as a weekly target all that matters to me is that I achieve it no matter what, sometimes I leave trades way too early, but most of the time it has been working, so that last week I completed a 10 week winning streak. As an example, last Thursday when I was short from 1152.50 there was no need for me to get out of the trade as I did at 1145, I could have trailed it as the price never challenged to go back up again, anyway, there's always room to make it better in trading, and we are always learning, there is no stop for that, once you stop learning you might start losing, market is very dynamic, it's always changing the way it behaves.

Keep what has been working consistently, trade well and good luck!

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