As expected, my new beginning has required some new adjustments. This is the end of my first full week with @RenaTrader and his chatroom at www.diamondsetups.com and the bottom line is that I've been very satisfied with his service. Both Renato and my fellow students in the chatroom have been great -- he provides a collegial and supportive environment where you can learn based on the style that works best for you, as well as being alerted with enough actionable information in advance to make profitable trades.
Last Thursday and Friday when I first started and didn't know much as I
do now (which is still limited), I made about 12 points net of
commissions trading the ES on each of the days -- even while missing
some trades. This also included taking some questionable ones and using
less than optimal trade management for 2 contracts. Still, my accuracy
was around 70%. Partially beginners luck from favorable market
For the first few days this week, I wasn't following along as I should
have and had mostly rogue trades (old bad habits die hard). But as soon
as I regained focus by yesterday, I made about 8 points net of
commissions trading units of 2 contracts during a pretty choppy and what
I thought was relatively difficult trading conditions.
Today, I only made 1.75 pts, although there were some good setups I
missed getting a fill by a tick or two, or just flat out passed. I was having one of those days
where my mind is in a fog, so I was being extra cautious.
One of the
members said he tracked 14 potential scalp trades each making a +2
profit target, 1 scratch, and 0 full stops, all before lunch. That's 24
points! Before lunch! Under chopfest conditions! He didn't take all
of them, but that's what was theoretically possible if you followed the
aggressive and short term/scalping approach to Renato's methodology.
Using real dollars, I'd be happy with profits 1/3 of that amount for the entire day.
So from the performance perspective, it's looking quite promising. But
since I'm still trading on a SIM account, I know these performance
figures could be a huge distortion from reality. Therefore, I'm taking
as many steps as well as time to minimize the gap between plan vs. actual
execution before switching to the live account.
For now, here are some of the key adjustments I've had to make from my previous method of trading:
Charting & Securities Traded
Instead of flipping through dozens or even hundreds of
a day generated by my stock screens, I now generally flip between just a
few workspaces on my charting
platform. ES is the my primary focus, and I'll keep an occasional eye
on EURUSD, USDCAD, and AUDUSD (my current personal favorite which he
doesn't follow). One advantage of all this is that I get to know these
particular markets pretty well, and understand their particular
Another advantage is that the ES and forex both trade actively
overnight, except obviously over the weekend. In many instances, there
has been greater volatility during the London session vs. the NY
session. So if you're holding a position overnight, you're not likely
to get a gap open go against you. A disadvantage is also the same as advantage, the ES
and forex trade overnight. With all this recent volatility in the
middle of the night, it's difficult to truly have restful sleep!
Another change is with drawing and updating the Fibonacci levels. The
prior method involved drawing them over the opening range just once
during the day for each potential stock on my watchlist. Now I'm
updating the Fib levels (mostly on the lower timeframes) multiple times
as significant new price swings are completed. There are about a half
dozen or so different timeframes to monitor, but only a few timeframes
constant monitoring throughout the day. However, a lot of this updating
depends on what level of trading activity you prefer. Those who focus
on weekly and daily charts do not update their Fib levels very
Order Entry and Trigger
I'm used to entering trades based on buy stop or market order, in the
direction of the intended move. Now I generally enter with limit order,
in front of the market. There are times when I feel like I'm standing
in the middle of the road while a semi-truck is coming straight at me
full speed. Funny thing, when you get a confluence of various factors
for a price level, it's like magic and the truck usually DOES stop
before hitting you, AND it also happens to magically do a u-turn back
the other way, on a dime.
The setup trigger is also different. Since key levels are known in
advance, I don't have to constantly look for a hammer candle pattern for
an entry trigger, thereby passing up profitable trades that ended up doing what I had anticipated. In
addition, the ES bars can have a lot of messy wicks due to all the
HFT/algos, so I never thought they could be traded very frequently based
on 5 minute candle patterns -- or in other words, generate candle signals at the level of frequency I was seeking.
Therefore, knowing a potentially significant price level and having
confidence with those levels makes it easier to place your orders well
in advance and letting the markets come to you. Only downside is that there have been many instances when the
market have come within 1 or 2 ticks from my limit order, and then shot
back the other way without me. With my prior method, it's similar to
discovering a perfect hammer setup, but finding it a minute too late
after it had already moved $0.25 away. Regardless of the method, there will
always be missed opportunities.
The scaling out method @RenaTrader uses is one of the big "secrets"
to making consistent profits. I've experimented with scaling out in
stocks, but never had a solid method that I was comfortable with using
consistently. Renato teaches a method that works, and I have seen
others on the Twitter feeds scale out in similar ways. After using it
with 2 contracts (3 or 4 cars per trading unit is even
better), I'm sold.
Community and Social Interactions
When I first started trading full time over 6 months ago, the primary
interaction I had with other traders was essentially via the comments of
the traderxblog.com. It's a great site with a gold mine of great setups, and while Trader-X was actively posting, a great
community for traders to share ideas via the comments. Other than using that site,
I felt I was pretty much on my own, trying to find my own way.
I began to branch out to Twitter/Stocktwits, but still don't interact
very much with that community for whatever reasons. I also started this
blog, which is more of an outlet for my thoughts and ideas. But I was
missing a more real time interaction with a community, as well as some
sort of mentor to help guide me on a path to consistent profitability.
This is where the diamondsetups.com chatroom has helped to fill the
void. Having @RenaTrader as the great natured and patient instructor,
as well as others
similar to me who are eager to learn how to be consistently profitable,
results in a great environment -- it feels like I'm a part of a team
we all share the same goals. And even better, we all help each other
I no longer feel as alone on my journey. I'm looking forward to next week.