Archive for April, 2009

30 April 2009

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


As I got no entry signal in the first thirty minutes, I didn’t trade today.

29 April 2009

Thursday, April 30th, 2009


Another short trade which didn’t follow through today. So far this week, I would have been better off going on holiday!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009


A choppy day in the wheat market. My short trade was quickly stopped out.  

It’s never nice to come up with losses, but it is important to take them with good discipline. Using a good system, losing is just part of the winning process!

27 April 2009

Monday, April 27th, 2009

This was a "no trade" day. I almost had a signal for a long trade when the market moved up sharply. However, there was no follow through on the upward move. In fact, price dropped and ended the session substantially lower.

24 April 2009

Friday, April 24th, 2009

This short trade moved well at first, but stalled before reaching my target, reversing to the long side and stopping out after about 14 minutes. 

23 April 2009

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I managed to get into a quick long trade (2 minutes) just at the open, giving a nice win today.

Note that I switched to trading the July contract today, as it is now showing up with greater volume than May. This usually occurs some time towards the end of the month prior to the contract expiry date. (I never trade any contract in its expiry month.)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


It was an aimless day for wheat today, and I did not find a trade signal during the first 30 minutes of the session.

21 April 2009

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


I managed to get into a long trade today. As you can see, it was for a single contract, with the trade being held for a little over 13 minutes, before yielding a good profit near the high for the day.

For those people interested in fundamentals (which I’m not), there does seem to be a good correlation between grain prices and the value of the US dollar. When the dollar strengthens, grain prices are pressured, and when it weakens (as it did yesterday) grain prices often rise. Of course, this is only a loose correlation, and other market moving influences can override the effect.

20 April 2009

Monday, April 20th, 2009


This was a winning trade, but a little disappointing because it was hit with a full 1.5 points (6 pips!) slippage, greatly reducing the booked profit. Also, it was just a single contract trade, as I am still trying to get over the "asymmetric hump" between the 1 and 2 contract level.

Saturday, April 18th, 2009


My short trade today was stopped out – just before going on to touch my target. 

16 April 2009

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


I got no entry signals in the opening 30 minute time slot, so I sat this session out on the sidelines.

15 April 2009

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I really had to react fast for this one. Notice the timings, the whole trade was over in the first 4:04 minutes of the trading session, entry after 2:47 minutes. 

14 April 2009

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I took a long long trade which didn’t reach its target. It turned round and was eventually stopped out for a loss.

13 April 2009

Monday, April 13th, 2009

I made a small profit today, but in reality it was a losing trade.

After a very quick spike up to within one pip of my target, price started to drop back and I lost confidence in this trade, pulling out early. Whenever you deviate from your plan, you deserve to pay the price, and I did.  A little more patience, and the target would easily have been made, bringing an extra $200+ dollars with it.

9 April 2009

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

This was frustrating! 

Owing to a software problem, the charts were not updating when the session opened – all that could be seen was yesterday’s chart.

By the time I contacted Ineractive Brokers and discovered a workaround solution to the problem, too much time had passed and I missed a clear signal for a winning short trade. 

I’m pleased to say I maintained discipline and settled for a "no trade" day. (In this situation, it is tempting to chase the market and take an unplanned trade.)

The missed trade was for 1 contract winning approximately 7.5 points (USD375), so it would have been a nice end to the week.

Not to worry. These things happen – and software problems with IB are mercifully rare. Sometimes glitches work in your favour, keeping you out of a possible losing trade, but this time I was unlucky. 

As a trader, it is important not to brood on this event. It happened! Forget about it, clear your mind, and look forward to the next trading session on Monday, prepared to execute the trading plan as well as humanly possible,

It is important to learn any lessons on offer. For instance, I’ve taken notes about the workaround solution provided by IB on this occasion. If the same problem reoccurs two or three months from now, I’ll know how to get the charts back online within a few seconds.


8 April 2009

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

The market moved down again today, but I managed to get a successful long trade early in the session. Just one contract though, so still battling the asymmetric effect.

7 April 2009

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

My early short trade was stopped out for a loss today.

Here is an example of the asymmetric effect

The money management rules permitted me to take 2 contracts, so the loss ended up being almost as large as some of the recent wins when I was trading just 1 contract. 

Going from 1 to 2 contracts is the time when the asymmetric effecis at its most extreme, and it can present quite a barrier.

6 April 2009

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Having started this project with a run of five losing trades, I was able to close out a fourth straight win last night. Welcome to the volatility of trading! As always, the trick is to ensure that on average your winning trades are larger than the losers.


3 April 2009

Friday, April 3rd, 2009


I didn’t find a trade that met my criteria during the first thirty minutes.  There was a nice move upwards later in the session, after I was tucked up in bed!  Still, it has been a better week, and trading just the first half hour seems to be getting me into a trade most sessions.

2 April 2009

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009


Another good win today, although it was a long time coming. You can see that price hit my target (551.25) just 32 seconds before the close of the session (04:15:00 Qld time).  Note the times in the bottom trade window are local Queensland time, whereas I have specified times on the chart to be Chicago time. Australia time is ahead, so 04:15:00 in Queensland is 13:15:00, the previous day,  in Chicago.

If it hadn’t reached the target, the trade would have closed out in a few more seconds with a market order, as I never want to be in an open position while the primary market is closed. 


1 April 2009

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009


Another successful short trade this session. This one took a little longer to materialize; I was in the market for nearly 50 minutes.

A couple of people have emailed asking me to explain the numbers on the graphic.  The blue figure at the top shows the P&L for the day in US dollars.  I was short one contract on this trade which made exactly 4 points profit, $200, less $6.10 brokerage costs – $193.90 net.

The net liquidation value is the Australian dollar value of the account.  (As explained in an earlier post, IB hold the account capital in two sub-accounts, one in AUD and one in USD. All profits and losses are held in the USD sub-account unless I explicitly convert them back to AUD.  As I only do this every few months, the overall Australian balance varies during each day as the exchange rate changes.)

We are now in the area I discussed in yesterday’s post.  The account balance is sufficient to take two contracts on some trades, which means that I will need to overcome the asymmetric effect to make further progress.


31 March 2009

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

It was nice to break the bad run and get a win today. Interesting that, though wheat price has risen quite sharply in the last two days, this was a short trade taking advantage of a spike down in price at the start of the session.

Note, also, how the total time in the trade was just 2 minutes 15 seconds! This is often the way with trades that go well.