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Welcome to my blog. A lot has changed since I started this thing. I'm now trading live after about a year of paper trading and studying. Originally I had planned on starting part time and slowly growing my account but life has a funny way of changing your plans. I found myself at a crossroads of sorts and quickly realized that I was being given a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue my goals. I took the leap and I'm not looking back. Follow me here and see the triumphs and the losses.

Updated (08-10-16)

I tend to look for momentum trades that I can hold for anywhere from a few hours to a few days. I usually take positions of $5k to $10k in size to allow larger gains on smaller percentages (it's easier to hit a 1% to 5% gain vs a 10% to 20%+ gainer) and I like to use a trailing stop.

This blog is a way for me to log my progress and to aid me in learning, I hope that you find it useful. Financial freedom isn't given, it is earned. So plant the seeds of education and grow your pennies!

Monday, February 29, 2016

That One Time You Missed a Trade Because You Slept in: $SALT

The sleeping schedule is something that I need to improve to ensure that I'm nailing the best morning entries.


But that said, I was super happy to see one of my top 3 picks on my watch list see 45% gains and settling at the EOD with 33% gains. I could have entered after the ticker had already reached 20% gains in the morning, but I didn't like the idea of chasing because I've been burned by that so many times.


Instead I continued to watch the chart and see how it played out. It was a great lesson and reassuring to see how the chart and the indicators reacted.


Here's a screenshot and some notes on what would have been the perfect trade:



Paper Trading Success: $GLUU $HPTG $SYN $ACW

Today's paper trades worked out nicely for me. I had two winners and two losers, but because I kept my risk low and cut losses quickly my gains out did my losses.


My trading schedule needs to improve and be adapted however. Because the markets open so early here on the West Coast I'm finding that I need to work on getting up earlier so that I don't miss some of the better entries and plays, like $SALT today.


The other issue I need to figure out is that I'm having to leave the house around 8:20am to drive my son to school, and often times I'm not back home until about 10-10:30am. While I can exit trades via phone, it removes the ability of using the indicators for exit triggers. I need to find a way to use the Thinkorswim platform on my mobile, the app doesn't seem to have that feature.


I placed three trades this morning, $HPTG $SYN and $ACW. I later entered an afternoon trade with $GLUU for the EOD push... which stalled.


Screenshots and Notes:








Paper Trade Watch List 02-29: Close Eye on $GLUU $IMMR $SALT

Here's a cut and paste of my watch list for this Monday, its a mix of percent gainers from Friday, earnings winners, and a couple that were percent losers last Friday.

I'm paying special attention on $GLUU, $IMMR, and $SALT.

I'm only planning on entering 2 to 3 paper trades in the morning and maybe 1 or 2 in the afternoon push just to further test using the indicators on timing entries and exits.

Of course, when I go back to trading actual money I will limit my trades to 1 or 2 a week to maximize my position sizing and allowing the time to lapse between trades to avoid free-riding. But as I've mentioned before, I might as well take advantage of multiple paper trades to learn from.

Watch List:
02-29,

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Successful Trading Day on Friday $IMMR $UNT $RATE

Friday turned out to be a really good learning day for me. I followed my trading plan (except the last trade) and used the watch list feature on Thinkorswim. The indicators for my exits work and I was able to end the first three trades with profits, albeit small profits.

The last trade worked well with regards to using my indicators for an entry point and then exiting at the EOD for a very small loss. If the afternoon push had not stalled out I would have likely taken a profit at the EOD. The bad think however was that I had not planned on making a trade in the afternoon and was doing so out of just wanting to trade. Trading out of being board is basically gambling and I'm here to learn not gamble.

Screenshots and Notes:







  

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Paper Trade Watch List for 02-26

I'm going to do the watch list a little different and use the watch list feature on Thinkorswim. I'll make screenshots and notes on those that I trade or learn something from. But here's a list.


Momentum trades
$IMMR
$GLUU
$CRDC
$EDAP
$TOPS
$PRSS


Looking for bounces (not sure if this is a good strategy, just playing with it)
$UNT
$RATE


Happy trading!

Can Losers be Winners? $BPTH $EYES $VRNG

So I went into today's trading day with three tickers on my paper trading watch list, $BPTH, $EYES, and $VRNG.


It took me a little bit to update my Thinkorswim platform (had to reinstall it) so I watched from my mobile app and noted that all three were starting in the red. I waited and did not enter a trade.


But then I saw that $EYES appeared to be bouncing and noted that the candles looked like it was going to recover. So I placed a trade and was in @ $5.98 for 100 shares.


Of course a short time later when the platform was up and running I saw that the indicators didn't support my entry and I exited the trade for a loss of -5.18% and a loss of $31.


I to the platform and checked $VRNG and saw that it was a no go, and moved on.


$BPTH however had an entry trigger and appeared to have potential to run up towards the EOD. I placed a trade and was in at $1.77 for 600 shares. Unfortunately the run never materialized, but I used my indicators perfectly and exited at $1.75 for a loss of only -1.13% at $12.


Comparing these three tickers and the two trades was a great lesson on risk management and using indicators.


$VRNG did run around noon but I was getting ready for work when I saw it and I'm not chasing.


Screenshots and Notes:






 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My New Ferrari Broke Already


Paper Trades for 02-25: $EYES $VRNG $BPTH

I'm curious to see how tomorrow's trades go now that I'll have the Thinkorswim platform I can go off of at home.







I Stayed Afloat in the Red Sea: $LLNW $SBLK

Well today was a bit of a surprise with my picks because I was fully prepared to have two small losses. Right at the start it was reported that markets in the EU were in the red and that oil was again the culprit. Naturally our markets were pulled down as well and we started the day with a sea of red.


I also knew that I wasn't going to be able to pay close attention to the trades because I needed to deal with the customer service at Frontier Communications to get our home internet up and running again... yeah, 2 FREAKING HOURS!!!! I'll be nice and not swear on my blog but lets just say that I've lost enough brain cells today because of them that I may vote for Sanders.


The good news however, I now have internet at home and I will be able to test out trading with the Thinkorswim platform. As well as ending the day with two small gains.


$LLNW = 5.26% gains and $35 profits


$SBLK = 1.79% gains and $15 profits


Screenshots and Notes:





Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Paper Trades for 02-24, $SBLK and $LLNW

Here are some screenshots and notes for a couple of paper trades I'm looking at for tomorrow.





What Today's Red Market Looked Like


Trading Blind in a Red Market = Duh... A Loss!

Yeah, the title says it all. My paper trades for today were pretty epic losses even though I stuck to my trading plans and got out before the EOD. Both $MXPT and $ICAD crumbled under the red markets today. That combined with trading blind due to no internet at home caused some larger losses than I'd like to see.


But as with the other losing paper trades I've seen lately, it is a great lesson and confidence boost to see how well the MACD and AO indicators on the 15min chart are going to work for risk management. There will be meat left on the table most of the time because the indicators seem to trigger an exit before the tickers really dive, but I'm okay with taking medium to small gains vs big losses because I'm swinging for the fence.


Timothy Sykes has said before that you're better off making singles and doubles consistently rather than always going for homeruns and striking out.


I'm quickly seeing how important it is for risk management and not taking unnecessary losses because of holding too long.


Screenshots and Notes:





Monday, February 22, 2016

Paper Trades for 02-23: $ICAD and $MXPT

Only came up with two paper trades that I liked. Going to place limit orders for the open.


Screenshots and Notes:





Managed to Still Grab a Gain from Friday's MOC Issue

I learned a valuable lesson about using MOC orders to close out positions at the EOD. Luckily it was with paper trading and not real cash. But even with the MOC issue I was able to snag a gain with one of the stocks, $GRPN and closed with over a 9% gain.


Screenshots and notes:







Friday, February 19, 2016

So I Guess MOC Orders SUCK $GRPN $MBII $FNMA

I decided to do two more paper trades for today and was planning on closing those out as well as the $GRPN trade. The trades didn't go as well as I would have liked, especially without the ability to use Thinkorswim's platform for my MACD and AO indicators. Instead I decided that I'd hold until the end of the day and placed MOC orders (Market on Close) and figured that they would close out the positions and I'd start fresh on Tuesday....


Wrong! None of the orders were executed and now my two day trades have turned into losing weekend swings and my $GRPN trade is also a weekend swing instead of a logged profit.


ugh.


But the good news is that this is only a paper trade and there for the lesson is free.


I will say that the one good thing that is coming out of me not being able to use the Thinkorswim platform at home is that when I analyze the trade and compare my exits with the indicators I have set up within the MACD and AO I can see how I will be more profitable and that using them is going to be vital in my risk management.


Have a great weekend and keep studying!


Screenshots and notes:







Thursday, February 18, 2016

Closed $SRNE and $PXLW with Small Losses

I ended up closing both $SRNE and $PXLW with small losses today. A lot of the reasoning having to do with how I'm entering the trades and not being able to use my Thinkorswim platform at home right now. In both cases, the indicators that I use gave exit signals way before I closed the trades and while I still would have closed with a loss, it would have been far less.


I'm still in a swing with $GRPN but I'm watching my indicators and I'm a little leery. No crossovers yet on the MACD but the AO is showing a few red bars and the MACD lines are getting closer. I won't be holding this over the weekend so tomorrow I will be looking for a good exit point.


Screenshots and notes





Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Two More Paper Trades This Week $SRNE $PXLW

If I were trading with actual cash I'd be limiting myself to only one trade a week until my small account can allow more. But since I'm not... why not take advantage and learn?


Screenshots and notes


$SRNE




$PXLW



Updates on Paper Trades, Closed 2 $TWI $BBOX

I thought I'd post an update on this week's paper trades. I ended up closing two of the trades, $TWI and $BBOX. $GRPN is still a swing but honestly I may exit tomorrow if the decline is looking like more than just a pullback.


I may pick a couple more to paper trade for tomorrow to Friday.


$GRPN = Open




$BBOX = -2.54% loss of $29



$TWI = 16.9% gain of $60


Please feel free to comment on my screenshot notes. Happy Trading!



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Groupon Inc - GRPN Stock Chart Technical Analysis for 02-16-16






Another look at the chart for $GRPN. I didn't mention the 200ema in my charts but it makes sense. Will be a good thing if it pushes past the 200ema and we get some more uptrending.

This Week's Paper Trades $GRPN $TWI $BBOX

This week's paper trades are all momo swings, $GRPN, $TWI, $BBOX.


I'm looking to hold for a day or so but not longer than Friday.











Week 02-09 to 02-12 Paper Trades: $GROW, $EXK, $DRD

I wanted to post some screenshots of the paper trades from last week. I figure it will help with my learning process as well as maybe help someone else if they happen to see it. As always, please feel free to comment and tell me if I'm missing something or wrong about something.


$DRD = Loss of about $68




$EXK = Loss of about $20



$GROW = Gain of about $28


 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Paper Trading Log, $DRD, $EXK, and $GROW

Using my Thinkorswim program I entered three paper trades for this week to test out a swing strategy and to work on reading charts.


Two of the three saw red today, but not a big surprise considering the market right now. The charts still look good for a swing of a couple days or maybe even a week... though I don't plan on holding over the weekends.


Here are some screenshots with notes. Please feel free to comment and correct me if I'm off on these or if you have suggestions.









Monday, February 8, 2016

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

It's been a while... life and money ugh.


I'm still holding a couple of bags because once again I failed to follow my own rules. So as punishment I'm only allowing myself to paper trade for a while.


With that said, my paper trades for this week are $GROW, $EXK, and $DRD. I'm also keeping an eye on $AUY and $GRAM.


Keeping with my rules I'd be entering the momo play on Tuesday and only doing one play. My money is on $DRD for a swing of 1 to 3 days, out by Friday for sure.