Thursday, July 29, 2010

Futures update

MBT has some issues I do not like. 1) The order entry portion of things defaults to limit orders, easy to switch to market, but sometimes it seems to switch back without my doing anything. 2) I have twice placed orders to do things in the future and the orders were canceled in some manner. The first was a few days ago, I was playing around with advanced order types, put in a loss stopping order along the lines of if price reaches point x sell the position at the market. The other was just over night now with an open limit order to sell at price x (in this case to take a profit). Some how neither order executed when I thought it should have. Perhaps shutting the platform down does this, if so it can be an expensive lesson to learn. 3) They had a working tick chart in all time frames when I signed up, it does not work on shorter time frame charts, no fix apparent for quite a while. 4) Sometimes it is requiring more than one click to buy/sell/cover an issue, even when I am clicking the right button. It is as if moving off the area of the workspace requires one to click on the workspace first to make one click orders go thru. 5) I am wishing I had what I see as a DOM type ordering interface. This does not appear to be easily available.

Because of these things, and perhaps some overall clunkiness I am experiencing with MBT I am now also opening an account with Tradestation, the funding wire should go thru any day now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Speakeasy speed test

Trying something new

First off on the ISP speed stuff, I got greedy. The brochure from the company never promised me super high speeds, I just did some net research and that is what other folks were getting. For a measly 10 more a month I have doubled my speed here.

I am trying something new for me. See the chart.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Book review and ISP speeds

ISBN 978-190-6659-71-4
The Guts and Glory of Day traders, true stories of day traders who made or lost a million. I ordered this book before it was published, looked like it was going to be good. IT actually is a reprint circa 2001 that talks to folks that made and lost a bunch from the net boom of that time. I've been doing this for a bit so it offered little for me. An okay read for a weekend, not for anyone that is seasoned. Save the money.

ISP now offering me service that should increase speed from 750K down to 10,000 download speed. A net search suggests it might really be 5 MB, but it is still 6x faster or better. I am going to check into this later this week. Turns out that cable out front was fiber optic.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Internet service

I think my trading got started using dial-up service. I was not active, thought more along the lines of buy and hold. But then I got more active and an open pipe became more important. I only had satellite available, got it and loved the speed. Satellite has some issues with signal delay, bad weather, maximum data daily so when the phone company offered DSL it was used. DSL has been similar speed, half the cost, and very enjoyable up until a couple days ago. The picture shows how a crew is burying new cable with "fiber optic" warnings. I suspect it is for telephone company but do not care as long as I can get faster service. I suspect they cut my phone line and went without service for a couple of days, back online now.

I am no longer an aggressive day trader but will look into backup net service, perhaps on a laptop cell phone card IF service is available here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pigs at the trough

I could have eaten more myself but sleep and peace were calling.

Duck duck goose

Last night I went through a lot of stuff at my desk, threw away several old sheets of data and notes. It was interesting to compare my notes from 2008 with the current market climate. I had a lot of good trading days but the recurrent theme was playing a bounce to the upside from oversold conditions, or this can't get any worse. Of course the market plunged a dull knife into those plans too many times to count.

Things are a little different now, very little interest in really playing bounces and I have no overnight exposure.

But, the Es future contract offers interesting chances. I took such chances "overnight" and had to duck a few times before my thesis proved right. So again I was too early and either had to sit through some pain or change my mind along the way.

DUCK- The E mini future contract traded July 5th when the rest of the market was closed. It closed on the low near 1011 and opened at 1800 hours last night around that point. I bought in around 1012 on the thesis that it would have been a bit oversold due for a bounce, that too many people were just scared on the 5th. This single contract trade worked fast for about 100 but I was WANTING it to be a $500 trade,and I felt safe that the 1011 lows would hold as a good stop. It turned on me and I had to take a painful large stop, $200. Meanwhile, a couple rules of trading were broken as I enjoyed nighttime beverages on a lovely night.

DUCK- I still believed in my thesis and bought again. Then Asia opened down fairly big, like around >1% and I got arse kicked again for about another $200.

GOOSE- I still believed we would bounce, bought again 1005.25, spent too much time watching the screen instead of relaxing, and have been restless overnight. I saw it once overnight around 2400 hours near a breakeven point of 1012. Woke again to see it with about an $800 profit, took it to the bank.

Fairy tell lesson: volatile overnight trades best left until Asia opens. I'd be roughly at the same profit if I'd held my original trade but it just hurts the account too much. I'f I'd been better disciplined to have only taken the last entry (ie wait for Asia to open to get a final over reaction) I'd have double the profit. Also noted was that as of 0411 only 230K contracts traded so tough to do this with a lot of size. I'm up 25% in this account since it opened early June.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Observations of the future

Things I have noticed with futures:
1. Read the disclosures, there is large risk.
2. No pattern day trade rule. This means a smaller account (2k-5K for whom I talked to) can buy and sell all day long.
3. If you think you can read charts and markets, I think this is a great pure play way to prove it. When you are right, you are so very very right. When you are wrong, well...
4. I am enjoying the service and system with the futures broker I chose for now. Directly from the trading platform I can access a small chatroom where I can receive real time assistance. I think they are geared for larger players than myself, but they have been very helpful.
5. Ninja trader platform is nice, has some nice built in analytics, but for now I am choosing not to use it. It interfaces with some brokers but does so with a clunkier older version of my brokers trading platform.
6. The quirks of a new trading platform have me very grateful that I am only using a small account for now. Take some time to get comfortable before risking much.
7. Futures trade all night! Perfect for a junkie! But the real benefit is being able to fade or participate in extremes at 0400-0800 as the market whipsaws around.
8. I am still working on my dashboard of indicators. IT seems a few ancillary charts and quotes help to show the direction of things.

June 2010 review

I really did not trade this month. I did not look back at what I did as I recall holding onto positions in all accounts from last month. I'd owned VMW, sold out just above my buy price after having been up 7%. I also took money back from the options god on this, in excess of 100% return, a 1R gain. I also was holding RJI, sold out in light of current market conditions and the fact that its chart shows the 50 day below the 200 day. RJI was about a 1.5 R gain, had been closer to 3R, in three accounts! The reason the bottom line is not better is that these were all profitable positions held over from May, the profit did not grow much from then.

Discussion: it was a wonderful month of peace. I am going to reconsider how I invest in light of this. I am considering a much slower paced style with most of my accounts. I've opened a futures account with the idea of following commodities in turtle fashion. It might just be a lot of data to keep track of. I am enjoying the short term e mini trades right now. I know some of the single contract trading I've been doing in that account is mainly educational in how the new trading platform works, but it is amazing to see what can be done with a single instrument. I've tended to enter trades a little early but frequently I've been correct if I hold through some pain. I've also then been so relieved to come back to profit that I take small profits (50-100) rather than the larger ones (300+) that I'd envisioned with my original trade premise. This needs to change for me to scale this account up.

If I can do this I can foresee the day I can quit my day job is closer than first thought.