Last Updated on March 1, 2021 by Chin Yi Xuan

If you are checking out my Weekly Trade Review for the first time, scroll to the bottom so you can get a context of this review.

WEEKLY REVIEW – WEEK 2, FEBRUARY 2021 (8/2/2021 – 12/2/2021)

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Stats:

a. Profit Calendar: 

Profit Calendar – Week 2, Feb 2021
Profit Calendar – Week 2, Feb 2021

b. Weekly Stats: 

Weekly Stats: Win Rate, Expectancy, R-Multiple
Weekly Stats: Win Rate, Expectancy, R-Multiple

 

Weekly P/L, Max Runup & Max Drawdown (in points, not currency)
Weekly P/L, Max Runup & Max Drawdown (in points, not currency)

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Weekly Trade Review

A. Overview:

A week of important learnings and takeaways. (p.s. I only traded 3 days due to CNY)

Shift in Market Condition: Week 2, Feb 2021 has been a different market vs Week 1. This week, the market has been forming All-Time Highs. This means that the market has been in search of value itself, leaving me without proper CVAs to base off for my trade ideas.

Without solid multi-day CVAs, I was not able to execute my best trade ideas. This left me with several B trades, especially on Monday (8/2) of which are not truly my strength.

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B. What I did well:

1. Solid pre-trade prep: Risk Pillars, Self-Reminder (more likely vs less likely), Trade-idea rating + if/then, No trade zone.

2. DVA: Mindful of shifts in real-time market rhythm and OF, so I was able to stop myself out when my trade ideas were not working.

3. Rational: Cut myself out rationally (most of the time) when my idea was wrong.

4. Sizing & risk management: While this week isn’t the best week for me, it displayed the importance of having a solid risk management place in place.

I’d have lost way more if I do not have risk management rules in place such as:

  • Risk pillars (max daily DD of 6 x 5 points)
  • Max risk (1 chip) on B trades.
  • No trade zone.

In fact, this week gave me inspirations to refine my risk management plan even more as I’ll explain more below.

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C. Challenges Faced:

1. Execution on Sierra: On Monday (8/2), I closed the wrong position on Sierra Chart.

Action: Later on I added position bracket to show me which SL belongs to which position.

2. Indecisive in trade management: On Tuesday (9/2), I was in an A trade of RPB short into PVA but I was indecisive while managing my 2nd position as OF started to go against me. I realized that this happened because I did not have a pre-defined trade management goal/priorities beforehand.

Action: Devised a trade management goal based on the number of chips in play as shown below.

3. Sizing on A-trade: In line with point 2, my trade on Tuesday (9/2) should have been approached with a bigger size. Instead of going in with an I.I tempo, I should have entered with an I.II to capitalize on my trade ideas.

4. Grey areas on mergers: Wednesday (10/2) was a tricky day with mergers of profiles. As shown in the Playbook Trade section later, both PVAs were not intersecting with each other that day but combining them did produce a nice bell curve base – so I was hesitant there and it affected my trade conviction too.

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Weekly Playbook Trades:

In this section, I will share several trade ideas that made the most sense to me for the trading week. These are my A trades (a.k.a. my Playbook trades), and I look to keep improving on them.

Playbook Trade #1: RPB Short Trade

Date & Time: 9/2/2021, 9:36am EST

Context: Pre-open, price was in an imbalance down pace. RPB short is more likely UNLESS rhythm the downside rhythm is broken – then I’ll only consider BPB long.

Trade execution:

1st entry: As market opens, price slightly above VAH1 to test VWAP (and -5000 OF level). As strong sell OF came in at 1a and pushed price back below VAH1, I enter the 1st chip of my RPB short.

  • Initial SL: Above VWAP
  • Initial TP: POC

(!) Mindful of VWAP rhythm broken which could lead to a BPB. Add-if: Buy OF breaks below OF swing low AND if P is < VAH.

2nd entry: As I entered my 1st entry, buy OF attempted to lift the offer. However, it failed and sellers eventually came in at 1b and hit the bids and pierced below prior PF swing low.

Added my 2nd chip as sell OF did that.

  • Initial SL: Above VWAP
  • Initial TP: Slightly above VAL

Trade Management:

As price hits TP1, I adjusted the SL of my 2nd position nearer to VAH1.

New stop-if: Manually close my trade if strong Buy OF came in.

Soon after that, buy OF came in at 1c and I actually did not follow my plan to close myself out. Due to greed and fear of losing a good RR trade, I actually re-extended my tightened SL back to my initial SL level – in hope that VWAP rhythm/VAH could hold and sellers could come back in.

While that sounds like a legit move, but observing my thought process at the time, I did not plan for something like that.

As such, the move was more impulsive/outcome bias than a rational decision.

2nd trade: Closed myself out at 1d at a small loss where I should have closed myself out at 1c at a small gain.

09022021 ES trade screenshots
09022021 ES trade screenshots

What could be better:

1. The incident that happened to me today is a result of (a) lack of prep pre-market open and (b) I did not have a predefined trade management goal in place.

So my action steps are:

  • a. Make sure I have enough time for pre-open routine.
  • b. Coming up with a pre-defined Trade management goal:
trade management goal
trade management goal

Playbook Trade #2: RPB Short Trade (Trade 3)

Date & Time: 10/2/2021, 10:45am EST

1st Entry Context: Pre-open – this is one of the day where VA isn’t 100% defined – I was not sure whether to leave both PVAs alone like A, or combined them like B. Eventually, before the open, I decided to combine both PVA and go with it – but I am also mindful that this newly combined CVA isn’t statistically strong.

(Side Note: As I reflect after this, I realized that NOT combining both PVAs, like on A, are actually a better move to reflect value by the market)

As price selldown into PVA, I was anticipating for an RPB short into VAL of PVA.

(A) Not combing PVAs
(A) Not combining PVAs

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(B) Combining PVAs
(B) Combining PVAs

Trade Execution:

As price sold down into PVA, sell OF also breaks below -15k key OF level. As OF retraced (and price retrace to test VAH) and I saw sell OF coming in to hit the bids at 3a, I entered my 1st entry.

  • SL: Above VAH
  • TP: VAL

Trade management:

Strong buying came in right after my 1st entry – no chance to do anything and it hit my SL.

2nd Entry Context: After my 1st entry was stopped, I realized that I might have gotten too early into my trade idea or my SL was too tight for this sudden increase of volatility.

2nd entry Trade Execution:

As price attempted to selldown again, I re-entered my RPB short trade idea.

  • SL: Above prior swing high
  • TP: VAL

Trade management:

Strong buying came in at 3b right after my 2nd entry – manual close as my trade idea seems more unlikely.

Summary:

Logical trade idea and management given the context.

However, as an impact, the outcome of this trade truly affected my emotions, and I felt fear which also affected my execution for my 4th trade idea.

10022021 ES trade screenshots - final trade screenshot
10022021 ES trade screenshots – final trade screenshot

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Lesson & Takeaways from Week 2, Feb 2021:

1. Established Trade Management Goal/Priorities according to chips in play.

This ensures that I am crystal clear about my priorities during live trade management.

2. Refine my Risk Management:

Added one more rule to my risk management playbook, so now they are:

  • Risk pillars (max daily DD of 6 x 5 points), AND;
  • Max losing 3 trade ideas for a trading session (then stop trading).

Whichever comes first.

3. Identify Market Conditions where I cannot perform/execute my best trade ideas:

While this is not finalized, I’ll be more mindful when market condition is at an All-Time High with no clear VA to based my trade ideas.

Will add to this with more detail in the future.

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Week 3 Focus + Action Steps:

1. Be more mindful of overall trade context: All-Time High? CVAs?

  • “Is the market working around established value, or is it still looking for value?”

2. Continue to focus on improving my ‘More Likely vs Less Likely’ thought process.

3. Sizing: Have to courage to maximize my size on A trades.


READ THIS BEFORE YOU GO THROUGH MY REVIEW

Dear readers, this Weekly Trade Review is a new weekly content that I started with the goal to record my takeaways from the market. Unlike my other articles, this review is not meant for everyone, and it is more like my personal journal. Hence, it is NORMAL if you do not get anything that I say in this review because (1) you are not trading, and/or (2) you are not exposed to the way I trade, especially on the everyday social media and Youtube. 

Background:

I began my trading journey in 2018, and has started to learn how to trade the S&P 500 Futures (a.k.a. /ES) exclusively since May 2020. I have been spending nearly a year on a mix of simulation and paper trading, and I am currently in my last phase of paper trading the live market. The reason is simple: to build consistency. If you CANNOT be consistent in paper trading, you CANNOT be consistent putting real money in the market.

My goal in 2021 is to pursue funding for my trading career and (finally) start building a solid income stream from trading. 

READ MORE: Trading vs Investing – what’s the difference?

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (/ES):

Some stats display in this review are in points instead of currency. Every 1 point movement in the ES is worth $50. 

As an example, say my entry is $3,000.00, my Target Profit is $3,010.00 (10 points) and my Stop Loss is $2,995.00 (5 points).

This means that I am risking 5 points ($250) to make 10 points ($500). 

How I trade:

The details of how I trade are hard to be explained in a few sentences. However, the core idea of how I deal with the market revolves around the Auction Market Theory – which works whether you are trading or investing. You can read about my article on Auction Market Theory HERE

My advice if you want to start trading:

This is worth a dedicated article. But in short, trading is a tough career regardless of what most marketers tell you out there on social media. The stats that you see with my execution is the effort of 30+ hours of work EVERY WEEK – and guess what, I have yet to earn any money from trading.

If you cannot put in the work ethic like a professional sports elite (even before you succeed), then please, skip trading and do something else. Please note that this is not meant to be sarcastic nor demotivating, but most people aren’t meant for trading – there are much better things to do in life than trading that can make you money (easier). 

Abbreviations:

  • BPB: Breakout Pullback
  • RPB: Return to Value Pullback
  • Long: Buy
  • Short: Sell
  • CVA: Cumulative Value Area
  • DVA: Developing Value Area
  • PVA: Prior Value Area
  • POC: Point of Control
  • VAH: Value Area High
  • VAL: Value Area Low
  • VWAP: Volume Weighted Average Price
  • OF: Order Flow
  • Buyers hitting offers/ask: Buyers are buying
  • Sellers hitting bids: Sellers are selling
  • SD: Standard Deviation
  • TP: Target Profit
  • SL: Stop Loss
  • ST: Slow Trend 
  • NT: Normal Trend
  • FT: Fast Trend
  • Rhy/Rhythm: The pace of the price movement
  • Chips: Risks.