Highlight of the day? My first trade experienced a 2.75 slippage, but luckily only on 1 contract. I'm sure there are much worse examples of slippage on fills from the flash crash or other big news events. I had a stop loss order at 1266.25 on a short position before the ADP employment report this morning at 8:15 AM, which triggered with a fill at 1269.00.
I called TradeStation, and they
pretty much said what I had expected and what I saw on the tick charts
-- it's still holiday volume, so the thin volume combined with the
bigger than expected number created a volatile move. The usual canned response, but they do have a point.
But still, I would
have accepted 4 ticks, but nearly 3.00 full points (11 ticks) of
slippage on what's considered a highly liquid security does seem out of
the ordinary. I consider it a lesson learned with regards to
putting your stops in obvious places, as well as having a position
before a high impact news release.
Thursday, January 5
Total gross profits: ($25.00) -0.50 ES points
Total trades: 9 [1 scratch]
Execution score: 66.7%
Opportunity cost: ($125.00)
[Positive impact due to a single large rogue trade]
Due to the large slippage of the first trade, in addition to the 2nd trade
of the day being a error (entered wrong price) that lost, as well as a
full loss for my 3rd trade, I was down about -7.50 in relatively short
I started to chip back, and there were some additional trades that went
about +1.50 to +1.75 in the money, but they ended up with a small loss.
I hope to better capture some profits in those types of trades once I'm
trading 2 contracts starting next week.
How I identify potential reversal days
By around lunchtime, it was clear to me that we had a potential reversal
day ahead of us. I've seen many of these chart patterns, so they seem
pretty clear to me, and they seem to work more often than not. Here are
a few key "tells" of a possible reversal day:
A) The swing high that preceded the low of the day was broken.
B) The swing down to retest the lows retraced about 61.8%, and never broke the upward sloping trendline
C) A tight consolidation formed, and broke out of the range. After the high of day was broken, the reversal was well confirmed. You can also see a
1-2-3 bottom formation
So once the trend appeared to be up and we were headed for a gap fill, I looked for opportunities (including those not specifically stated in my trading plan) to go long.
I found a decent setup that wasn't totally to plan (i.e. therefore I consider it rogue),
and ended up with a trade that booked +6.00 (went as high as +8.75). This
enabled me to nearly breakeven for the day.
Today was yet another example where I was able to scramble and climb back up out of a deep hole. Something in my mind changes and makes me a better trader when I need to scramble. The real trick is to find a way to turn on that switch when I start the day flat!
Modifications to the trading plan
Since it appears that my trading plan is possibly too rigid with regards
to entry setups, I'm in the process of modifying it to be a bit more
flexible. The only potential concern is whether
the modification will become too flexible and enable me to
consider any random and rogue setup to be part of the trading plan.
However, one area I will not modify is the trade and account risk
management sections. Those are areas that need to be kept on a tight
leash. This is what will keep me in the game for the long term when I
hit my next rough patch on the road.
I'm still experiencing the mental challenges of sticking to the plan, but it's also a time of transition, since my plan is current in flux for the move to 2 contracts as well as the modifications described above. This is a time I'll need to be extra careful in order to ensure that the move to 2 contracts will not result in the painful outcome from back in November.
But to look at it from a more positive perspective, it's also a time to push forward with even greater focus and determination to trade according to the plan. I will minimize entering based on rogue and sub-par setups, which will help me significantly to achieve my goal of becoming a consistently profitable trader.