Category Archives: Monthly Reviews

Monthly Review – September 2017

Starting balance: £7,083.36
Target return: £247.91 (3.5%)
Actual return: £120.93 (1.7%)
Win rate: 50%
Closing balance: £7,204.29

Still not been a great month. Holiday and renovations got in the way of things this time! I’ve really only been trading the odd day and this last week, so I’ve been lucky to make any money really. Very sporadic and you’ve got to take all of the set ups to really maximise the strategy performance.

I have started to log my missed trades this last week more diligently so that I can see whether I am dodging the right trades and of the ones I miss, why I am missing them. Hopefully the October review will have some findings I can implement.

September’s Goals

Here are the goals I set myself at the start of the month.

  • Maintain a 40% win rate – Success
  • Do at least one scan every trading day – Miss
  • Log all my missed trades with reasons why I didn’t take them – Miss

Daily performance

All SignalsWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live225%00%
Total Pips 162-0-

4H performance

All signalsWin Loss %Conf. signals Win Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live13.8%00%00%
Missed 00%00%00%
Total Pips 1,150-954-176-

September trade log

A mixed bunch. I shouldn’t have taken the S&P500 short, not on my plan to trade that market. The gold trade should’ve been followed by a 200 pip winner but I didn’t check each morning. The Oil trade would’ve been a loser had I not traded the wrong market.

#DateStgyMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
101 Sep 17DSTNZDUSDLong0.75%0.71620.7125370.7261992.670.7240782.1685.53
204 Sep 17DSTAUDCADLong0.6%0.98650.9846190.9919542.840.9909442.32266.83
306 Sep 17DSTEURGBPLong0.75%0.91500.9127230.9214642.780.9127-23-11-41.30
406 Sep 17DSTGoldShort0.5%13401344.74713192104.461346.6-66-1.42-53.44
518 Sep 17DSTSPXShort0.6%2501.22506.55023481535302506.5-50-12-40.00
621 Sep 17DSTOilShort0.6%50.5751.155848.26231450.57-401-1.80
721 Sep 17DSTCADJPYShort0.6%91.2091.7555--------
822 Sep 17DSTGBPJPYShort0.65%152.15152.9984149.482673.1150.181972.344107.73

Miss of the month – Gold

Down to my poor routine, I got stopped out, got another divergence entry to go short but wasn’t around to trade it. Frustrating because it corresponded to a trendline touch and a test of the m100.

4H Divergence Chart

Double divergence into the trendline confirmed on the 1H chart.

Gold 4H Chart – 27 Sep 17

Daily Chart

Not much to report here.

Gold Daily Chart – 27 Sep 17

Weekly Chart

Same – not much going on.

Gold Weekly Chart – 27 Sep 17

Monthly Chart

Run into w100.

Gold Monthly Chart – 27 Sep 17

One last point – I haven’t heard anyone not being positive about the future of Gold. However my trendline in red looks fairly bad for Gold. Price has crossed it – retested it and I can see a move down to the m200 around 1000 area.

I’ll only trade the divergences I see, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gold head lower.

New goals

Keep them the same plus one other which is the goal I most want to complete next month.

  • Trade at least 50% of the confirmed divergences I see.
  • Maintain a 40% win rate
  • Do at least one scan every trading day
  • Log all my missed trades with reasons why I didn’t take them

Monthly Review – August 2017

Starting balance: £6,967.51
Target return: £243.86 (3.5%)
Actual return: £115.85 (1.66%)
Win rate: 100%
Closing balance: £7,083.29

Not a great month for me, the stats above look OK but I only took two trades and they just happened to both win. The renovations and routine are again my two biggest blockers to trading. When work is busy and the house renovations are still on-going, I find it very difficult to fit everything in.

I also took some holiday and missed some class set-ups on my birthday.

August’s Goals

Here are the goals I set myself at the start of the month.

  • Maintain a 40% win rate – Success
  • Do at least one daily scan – Miss
  • Log all my missed trades with reasons why I didn’t take them – Miss
  • Up my position size to 0.75% – Success, although in the end I just upped it by £10.

Daily performance

The strategy didn’t do great this month, mainly due to trending markets. I was lucky to dodge these set ups.

All SignalsWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%
Total Pips 192-0-

4H performance

Not a great set of figures for the strategy or me, but I did out-perform the win rate!

All signalsWin Loss %Conf. signals Win Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%00%
Missed 00%00%00%
Total Pips 1,012-1,031-111-

August trade log

#DateStgyMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
124 Aug 17DSTNZDUSDLong0.75%0.72180.7185330.72796120.7288702.1686.23
203 Aug 17DSTEURUSDShort0.45%1.18681.1916481.164524351.1827410.852329.62

Miss of the month – US Oil

Hindsight is such a great thing, I noticed this US Oil trade during my September scans, it’s not A grade but it was a decent set up and oil can really move so it would’ve been worth trading IMO.

4H Divergence Chart

I noticed the divergence was forming on a trendline which I had recently drawn.

4 Hourly Oil Chart

1H Confirmation

A decent double divergence had formed on the hourly chart.

Hourly Oil Chart

Daily Chart

Not much on the daily chart, but I did notice the proximity to the d500 which was a case against this trade.

Daily Oil Chart

Weekly Chart

The prior weeks leading up to this trade were all doji type bars, indicating a move higher. We were also handrailing the green trendline.

Weekly Oil Chart

Would’ve been a good trade to run to the 4h200 & d200.

New goals

  • Maintain a 40% win rate
  • Do at least one scan every trading day
  • Log all my missed trades with reasons why I didn’t take them

Monthly Review – July 2017

Starting balance: £6,875.86
Target return: £240.65 (3.5%)
Actual return: £91.65 ( 1.33% )
Win rate: 50%
Closing balance: £6,967.51

I feel this month went better than it might look above. The win rate was solid enough but unfortunately, even though I made pips, the position sizing on my winning trades couldn’t be as large as I’d like. Spikes high often meant I had to downsize my positions.

The strategy took a beating this month with lots of losers (although it still made pips!) but I managed to dodge most of the losing trades. I also had a week’s holiday at the end of the month which surprise surprise was when a few winners started to set up.

The biggest limitation again is my routine. This is an excuse; but with the house renovations going on and builders needing things done or sourced, we’re working on the house until 1am most nights, on top of work I’m totally wrecked. If I recline my chair too much, I’m asleep 🙂

I can’t really see this situation changing until October time, so hopefully only another month or two and we’ll be in a more predictable place.

This is what my goals were for this month.

July’s Goals

Here are the goals I set myself at the start of the month.

  • 40% win rate – Success
  • Achieve a 3.5% profit month

Daily performance

The strategy took a beating this month, mainly due to trending markets. I was lucky to dodge these set ups.

All SignalsWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%
Total Signals9-0-
Total Pips -761-0-

4H performance

Not a great set of figures for the strategy or me, but I did out-perform the win rate!

All signalsWin Loss %Signals with ConfirmationWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live35.8%25.2%00%
Not triggered 00%00%00%
Total Signals 51-39-8-
Total Pips 530-689-205-

July trade log

#DateStgyMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
6030 Jun 17DSTUSDCADLong0.45%1.29741.2941341.318120661.2941-34-15-25.92
6130 Jun 17DSTNZDUSDShort0.45%0.73170.7354360.71591584.30.7275421.16636.54
6205 Jul 17DSTUSDCADLong0.45%1.29491.2907421.31562074.921.2904-45-12-35.91
6310 Jul 17DSTAUDCADLong0.45%0.97900.9767230.99681787.730.9868783.4269.79
6411 Jul 17DSTGoldLong0.45%1210.41204.1631230.31993.1512211061.68252.17
6513 Jul 17DSTCADJPYShort0.5%88.7789.396284.604186.7489.39-62-113-41.00
6617 Jul 17DSTUSDCADLong0.5%1.26551.2635221.28301757.951.2635-22-11-33.15
6728 Jul 17DSTCADJPYShort0.6%88.9589.778286.762012.587.531421.73769.13

Goals next month

After talking with Charlie we agreed that aiming for an amount of money is the wrong goal to aim for. (Forcing your will on to the market.) Best to focus on process and let the stats decide, however upping my position size will help me get closer to my target sooner.

  • Maintain a 40% win rate
  • Achieve a 3.5% profit month
  • Log all my missed trades with reasons why I didn’t take them
  • Up my position size to 0.75%

Daily goal

Do at least one scan a day.

Other things to cover with Charlie

  • Missed trade log
  • Killer trends in USDCAD & CADJPY
  • GBPUSD trades – getting stopped out
  • UK100GBP set up near misses – take anyway?

Monthly Review – June 2017

Starting balance: £6,779.05
Target return: £240.65 (3.55%)
Actual return: £96.81
Closing balance: £6,875.86 ( 1.43% )

I’ve enjoyed this month a lot more, felt more confident trading with the tighter rules. Definitely fewer trades, but I prefer the quality of the trades. Still get caught out from time-to-time thinking a trade isn’t on, only for it to materialise and take me by surprise.

I’ve been lucky and unlucky, missed an entry on the FTSE by 3 pips and got closed out of position for a small profit on oil which would’ve been a loser had the trade not expired! Can’t really complain all in all. Still learning lots.

One last thing: I need to be careful with my analysis – not paralysing myself trying to read too much into other markets. my missed EUR long trades were a case in point, waiting for the perfect set up even though I had valid set ups to go long.

Daily Performance

Two daily divergences, I missed both! Gold I was already in a trade and looking to add, the retracement never happened (should’ve moved my target to the daily though – don’t know why I didn’t). The FTSE just totally passed me by! Doh. Would’ve been a good entry following my 3 pip miss on the 4H chart.

All SignalsWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%
Total Signals2-0-
Total Pips 385-0-

4H Performance

Missed a lot of trades, again through poor discipline. I have patches of regular scans and then life invariably gets in the way. Be it work events, the house renovations, jet lag or getting burgled! One bad trade (the AUDJPY 15M trade) and some good ones that didn’t feel so good at the time (Oil and Gold).

All signalsWin Loss %Signals with ConfirmationWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live23.8%00%00%
Not triggered 23.8%26.4%114.3%
Total Signals 53-31-7-
Total Pips 1,687-1,412-276-

June Trade Log

The first AUDJPY trade was the only trade I shouldn’t have taken.

#DateStgyMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
101 Jun 17DSTFTSEShort0.55%7547.87591.3447465.5821.877591.3-44-12-33.04
207 Jun 17DSTGoldShort0.45%1292.81297.1431271.82104.81273.51934.482134.55
316 Jun 17DSTEURAUDLong0.45%1.46851.4655301.4780953.11.4655-30-14-30.55
416 Jun 17DSTOilLong0.45%44.6044.114948.701102.2444.7313-19.10
516 Jun 17DSTAUDJPYShort0.45%84.6584.801584.0575584.82-17-11-29.93
619 Jun 17DSTOilLong0.45%43.4642.846046.402944.942.84-60-11-30.00
722 Jun 17DSTOilLong0.45%42.5641.956145.00244444.802243.677112.00
828 Jun 17DSTAUDJPYShort0.5%85.2685.552983.911344.685.6-34-11-33.80

Mistake of the month

My biggest mistake from this month’s trading is my AUDJPY trade; trading on a timeframe I couldn’t manage.

I was keen to take a trade, saw a set up on the hourly that looked nice and went to the 15 chart to confirm the trade. The trade itself was fine, BUT I couldn’t move my limit order inline with my MA target on the timeframe because I was working. So even if it had’ve worked out it became a stress to manage.
I should’ve remembered that my lifestyle doesn’t suit the lower timeframe and not to force a trade through to appease my inpatients.


AUDJPY 15M Chart – 9 June

Success of the month

Had to be my Oil trade, the reason being I took 3 consecutive attempts to get the winner. This is something I should be prepared to do always but I know I wouldn’t have stomached it 6 months ago, specifically: keeping an eye on something that’s lost me money (and not turning away in disgust) and going back in several times. That’s progress for me !!!

Notes to review with Charlie

  1. Go through my current NZDUSD trade
  2. Go through the current EURJPY set up (set up on the daily and hourly but not the 4h)
  3. AUDJPY 4h short yesterday – how would you have traded that given the early break?
  4. Discuss the significance of trendlines in the EURUSD long trade (20th June) and the EURJPY trade (15th June).
  5. How to deal with big trends. Are there specific things you look for? E.g. NZDUSD 4H.
  6. MBT discussion on bigger loses / trades. You trade a pure strategy vs discretionary. If you lose on a pure strategy you have the background of the back testing results to rationalise the trade vs discretionary where it’s not so easily measurable because you’re not necessarily always trading consistently.

Monthly Review – May 2017

Starting balance: £6,815.66
Target return: £241.95 (3.55%)
Actual return: -£36.61
Closing balance: £6,779.05 ( -0.54% )

Overall my assessment of the month would be one of poor discipline (not being focussed enough). With the house renovations going on and a holiday to get ready for I didn’t regularly check the markets. I was too busy buying bathroom sinks and posing trunks 😀 !

On the positive I didn’t hemorrhage money, a few losers but after my call with Charlie, I’ve started trading tighter. My DST rules are now:

  1. Only take a trade when a divergence occurs on two adjacent timeframes
  2. Only take the divergence if two or more markets are setting up
  3. Take the sweetest looking divergence (kinda obvious but I do find my head gets stuck into one market)

Daily Performance

There was only 1 divergence I spotted this month, GBPJPY. I didn’t take it as I was trading the GBPAUD pair. In hindsight the GBPJPY should’ve been my focus because it set up on 4H and Daily timeframes (rather than the GBPAUD setting up on the 4H and 1H timeframes – higher timeframes are more significant).

All SignalsWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%
Total Signals1-0-
Total Pips 511-0-

4H Performance

Not a bad month to be away on holiday, some really strong trends in play which has hammered the win rate. Taking all DST signals would’ve resulted in a win rate of 38% – however the strategy still made over 1,000 pips.

Factoring in the new rules, the win rate would’ve been 56%. What’s interesting this month is the new rules would’ve meant I’d missed half of all losing set ups and only 2 of the winning set ups! (Be interesting to see how that plays out over subsequent months.)

All signalsWin Loss %Signals with ConfirmationWin Loss %Signals TakenWin Loss %
Still live36%13%00%
Total Signals 55-34-5-
Total Pips 1,177-1,685-59-

May Trade Log

The early trades were taken before my call with Charlie where I switched to a tighter set of rules.

#DateStgyMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
128 Apr 17DSTEURUSDShort0.5%1.08941.0961631.06862093.311.0961-63-17-33.65
21 May 17DSTUSDCADShort0.6%1.36781.3705271.35191595.81.3705-27-12-37.80
33 May 17DSTGoldLong0.55%1254.51251.1341268.0571.671251.1-34-11-34.00
44 May 17DSTGBPAUDShort0.55%1.73501.7396461.72361142.471.7396-46-11-34.88
59 May 17DSTGBPAUDShort0.55%1.75141.7551371.71823328.971.7551-37-11-29.92
610 May 17DSTGBPAUDShort0.45%1.75931.7654611.73752183.571.73272664.3614132.26

Mistake of the month

My biggest mistake from this month’s trading is not comparing markets side-by-side.

I was following the GBPAUD divergence too closely and not picking up the opportunity in the GBPJPY. I followed both charts but didn’t switch to the GPBJPY which had a better set up. I don’t really have an explanation for why I didn’t switch, but I should’ve.

In future, before taking a trade, I will make a note to layout all the related pairs together (e.g. GBPAUD, GBPJPY, GBPUSD, etc) and compare the relative set ups to double check I’m taking the best opportunity.

Here’s the two charts in question (grey areas are when I was away):


Early in the month the GBP was strong, so a few stop outs along the way; however price did retrace nicely. I had a good run on this.

GBPAUD 4H Chart – May 2017. Grey areas show when I was away


But I should’ve paid more attention to this. A similar set up, price grinded higher resulting in a few stop outs, but the daily divergence formed at the top which would’ve given me a juicier target to aim for. A 4H entry (~147.40) with a Daily target (~141.85) would’ve resulted in a 550 pip trade at almost 7x RR!

GBPJPY 4H Chart – May 2017. Grey areas show when I was away

GBPJPY Daily Chart – May 2017. Grey areas show when I was away

Notes to review with Charlie

  1. If I hit monthly target early should I tighten up on the trading? Is it best for psychology?
  2. Wanted to cover off adding to winning trades and at what stage it’s valid to add in. Thinking about the GBPAUD short on the way down
  3. Cover tricky price action following a divergence stop-out. Wait for price action to properly go outside and back inside the bands again? E.g.

    GBPJPY 4h stop out example

    Tricky price action example

    EURCAD Daily Example

Monthly Review – April 2017

Starting balance: £7,005.35
Target return: £234.68 (3.35%)
Actual return: -£189.64
Closing balance: £6,815.71 ( -2.7% )

Daily Performance

There was only 1 divergence I spotted and I took it (it was a loser)

ActualWin Loss %Trades takenWin Loss %
Still live00%00%

4H Performance

Again didn’t perform as well as I’d hoped aiming to take 50-60% of all trade signals. But given my smaller account size I can’t afford to spread my positions around at my current risk level (0.5%). I’ve definitely been more active in the markets scanning and picking trades. I think this past month has seen a couple of strong trends (in the JPY and GBP) which have not been favourable for the strategy.

So the winners haven’t been big and the losers have been numerous.

ActualWin Loss %Trades takenWin Loss %
Still live47.8%00%

April Trade Log

#DateMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
128 Mar 17GBPCADShort0.6%1.68291.6912841.66361932.31.66551742.07186.85
228 Mar 17GBPJPYLong0.9%138.00137.4060147.8298216.3138.60601758.42
330 Mar 17EURJPYLong0.4%119.41118.8556120.861452.59118.85-56-12-28.10
403 Apr 17EURJPYLong0.6%118.84118.4044119.991152.61118.40-44-11-21.83
503 Apr 17AUDUSDLong0.6%0.76090.7571380.7693842.20.7571-38-12-39.12
605 Apr 17GoldShort0.4%1255.21263.381 1234.02122.611263.3-81-13-24.76
705 Apr 17CADJPYLong0.35%82.3381.904383.691363.1683.19862651.18
806 Apr 17AUDNZDLong0.3%1.08171.0803141.08937651.0803-14-12-15.56
910 Apr 17EURJPYLong0.45%117.70117.2743118.45751.74117.27-43-13-32.90
1010 Apr 17AUDJPYLong0.5%83.22382.7464884.4571232.5782.746-48-12-33.39
1110 Apr 17EURUSDLong0.4%1.05851.0563221.0660753.41.0633482.1359.57
1212 Apr 17EURCADLong0.5%1.41101.4084261.424015661.4084-26-11-33.15
1312 Apr 17CADJPYLong0.5%82.2581.972883.461214.3281.97-28-12-33.60
1413 Apr 17EURCADLong0.5%1.41201.4084361.42241042.881.4084-36-11-36.10
1520 Apr 17EURUSDShort0.35%1.07591.0782231.0697622.71.0719401.7140.03
1624 Apr 17EURCADShort0.6%1.46341.4717831.43133213.861.4718-84-12-42.13
1726 Apr 17USDCADShort0.5%1.35881.3631431.34341543.581.3631-43-12-35.52
1827 Apr 17GBPCADShort0.55%1.74851.7548631.69356139.71.7548-63-11-37.86
1928 Apr 17GBPCADShort0.5%1.76131.7654411.74292255.481.7655-42-11-31.35
2028 Apr 17GBPAUDShort0.4%1.72851.7337521.70612765.31.7338-53-11-28.66
2128 Apr 17EURUSDShort0.5%1.08941.0961631.06862093.311.0961-63-17-33.65

Notes to review with Charlie

  1. Noticed clusters of set ups form (e.g. All JPY pairs setting up).
  2. Switching markets after being stopped out – might dilute the win rates. Need to pick the markets better first and then stick with the best set ups.
  3. Need to get better about my trade scans – make sure I check every day rain or shine. Still missing the odd scan and therefore missing set ups.
  4. Trading too many markets? Multiple signals across correlated markets. Difficult to decide which to take. Goes to previous point – I’ve ditched the NZD to help with my routine and scan times.
  5. Using the higher timeframes more (been too focussed on the lower timeframes) Struggling to appreciate the significance of what I’m seeing. (e.g. daily vs weekly, trendlines vs MAs, etc)
  6. Add to checklist – are there other divergences in play across other markets with better targets?
  7. Using the hourly timeframe to get better entries – not necessarily a divergence – but band play?
  8. Started to think about my account in terms of number of bets (like big blinds in poker).
  9. Emotion free trading eBook. Finding it difficult to get into a positive state having never had a run of winners.

Holiday – talk through approach for winding down trading …

Monthly Review – Mar 2017

This month I’d give myself the grade: C-

Starting balance: £7,070.10
Target return: £255.50
Actual return: -£64.75
Closing balance: £7,005.35 -0.85%

I’ve been itching to get to the end of the month to see how I did since I started trading more markets.

All I can say is WOW, I did pretty badly! Before I crunched the numbers on my performance, I actually thought I’d done OK this month. OK being, checked regularly enough, had a few trades on each week, handled the increased number of markets, traded the right markets, kept up the journalling, etc. However, I have hugely underperformed the strategy.


On the daily charts, I only traded 30% of the set ups. I under performed the strategy quite badly.

ActualWin Loss %Trades takenWin Loss %
Still live110%133%

4 Hourly

On the 4H charts, I only traded 29% of the set ups (under performing badly!) What’s worse is I managed to catch over half of the total losing trades! 😐

ActualWin Loss %Trades takenWin Loss %
Still live513%218%

Given that I have underperformed this strategy so badly, I’d have to put the whole thing down to my psychology (second guessing trades) and lack of discipline (not being routine enough, when I check the markets). The psychology is probably my greatest issue, I keep wanting to put wider stops on, which skews the RR and puts me off the trade (especially around MAs and support lines).

I think my most significant changes for next month will be tighter stops (10 pips), getting back into markets and downsizing position sizes at ambiguous areas. This will be my number one goal for next month – if I can consistently do that, I reckon I will make some money.

March Trade Log

Here’s the break-down of my trades this month.

#DateMktPosAcc RskOpenStopStp PipsTgtTgt PipsR:RCloseFnl PipsFnl R:RDaysP&L (£)
127 Feb 17GoldShort0.3%1254.8126611212351981.751234.82001.78239.68
201 Mar 17GBPCADShort0.4%1.64691.6529601.6374951.61.6374951.6147.90
302 Mar 17AUDNZDShort0.4%1.07401.0792521.05651753.361.0792-5212-29.19
403 Mar 17EURUSDLong0.4%1.05151.0475401.05958021.0594791.97854.25
506 Mar 17FTSEShort0.6%7359.07416.05769434167.297416-57-111-78.06
607 Mar 17GBPUSDLong0.6%1.22061.2149571.23832344.11.2149-57-12-43.41
709 Mar 17GBPUSDLong0.6%1.21601.2110501.23581983.961.2150-10-0.25-6.87
810 Mar 17EURAUDShort0.6%1.40961.4139431.39781202.881.4139-43-11-46.37
914 Mar 17AUDNZDShort0.5%1.09361.0969331.0875611.841.0969-33-12-33.39
1016 Mar 17EURUSDShort0.7%1.07091.0757481.0618911.891.0757-48-11-47.40
1120 Mar 17AUDUSDShort0.6%0.77250.7758330.7641842.60.7644812.453110.78
1222 Mar 17EURUSDShort0.3%1.08101.0830201.07141165.8-----
1322 Mar 17EURCADShort0.4%1.44471.4478301.43471003.31.4478-30-11-31.10
1423 Mar 17GBPJPYLong0.3%138.65138.1348140.281633.4-----

Summary of what’s working and what isn’t

Here’s my summary of what worked and what didn’t.

What worked

  1. I covered more markets and feel I am getting a better feel for those markets (mainly volatility).
  2. Managed my risk pretty well – I averaged 1.95x RR on my winners – so despite losing twice as much as I won, my drawdown was only 0.85% this month
  3. Didn’t close any of my trades early. Once in a trade, I kept to the system.
  4. My journalling has been consistent so I’ve been able to look back on trades and review what I did.
  5. My market scan note taking is working for me. * indicate levels worth watching, ** indicate a set up is forming and *** indicates a set up is in play. Good for reminding me of correlating markets and managing my exposure.
  6. !! indicates a trade is on. Again helps me to manage my exposure to a currency. I’m sure as I trade more I will need to make calls on total exposure to a currency.

My market scan notes.

What wasn’t so great

Quite a bit 🙂 !

  1. I missed set ups through lack of discipline and rigour with my morning and evening market scans
  2. I second guessed a number of trades (in particular the GBPUSD) which in hindsight was a golden opportunity. Would’ve been a great winner but felt stupid at the time, trading into volatility ahead of the fed rate decision.
  3. Tampered with my position sizing too much! My losers were generally larger size trades than my winners. I shouldn’t really started tweaking my position size until I’ve endured a more sustained drawdown.

Changes for next month

  1. Get a small position in the market on the open of a valid candlestick and place the bulk of the trade as an order at a better price. It won’t always be a full trade but it’s better to be in the market
  2. Make sure I’m back in a trade after a loser if the signal is still valid. This is so important, especially when you get an additional divergence, my confidence in the trade should increase. It won’t always work out but it usually does.
  3. Don’t get too precious about how price enters the bands after move higher, it won’t always be text book (Think about the FTSE trade)
  4. Rigour & Discipline. 10pm should be my main scan of the day, morning to validate any set ups forming, lunch time to check on price alerts. I also need to keep a better eye on the higher timeframes, I’ve ignored them too much.
  5. Trade smaller stops and be prepared to jump back in if the set up is still valid

I would also consider upping my position size for double or triple divergences but I think I’ll keep this back for another month.

Monthly trade overview

Here’s my run down of the markets I traded this month:

  • Blue circles are winning or open trades taken
  • Red circles are losing trades taken
  • Black circles are missed DST set ups (they appear in pairs or triplets)
  • Dotted black circles would be missed DST trades that would’ve been a loser (just for context)
  • Grey circles are DST set ups I chose not to take


EURUSD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


EURGBP 4H Chart – 24 Mar


EURJPY 4H Chart – 24 Mar


EURAUD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


EURCAD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


EURNZD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


GBPUSD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


GBPJPY 4H Chart – 24 Mar


GBPAUD 4H Chart – 24 Mar

GBPAUD Daily Chart – 24 Mar


GBPCAD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


GBPJPY 4H Chart – 24 Mar

GBPJPY Daily Chart – 24 Mar


GBPNZD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


AUDUSD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


AUDNZD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


AUDJPY 4H Chart – 24 Mar


NZDUSD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


USDCAD 4H Chart – 24 Mar


USDJPY 4H Chart – 23 Mar


XAUUSD 4H Chart – 24 Mar

XAUUSD Daily Chart – 24 Mar


FTSE 4H Chart – 24 Mar

FTSE Daily Chart – 24 Mar

Trade plan updates

I need to update the plan to include:

  • The change in markets markets
  • Revise my goals to be achievable for next month.
  • Add a section on routine (Morning, Lunch and Evening quick market reviews i.e. 10 minutes)
  • Start adding calendar reminders to review my plan at the beginning of each week
  • Set alarms to remind me to check the 4H charts when they are setting up
  • Get better at setting alerts

Monthly review – Feb 2017

Overall I’d give myself a grade C
Account performance +0.16% (basically scratch)

Not a great month. I started trading on 23 Jan and we’ve now done a month of trading. The biggest failings have been my lack of routine (not checking the markets at set times so missing set ups) and trading too few markets (having no skin in the game). I started out the month looking at Daily and 4H charts of EURUSD, GBPUSD, EURGBP and Gold.

It seems to me you need to build up your trade history/mileage to get comfortable – so I need to be in more markets seeing more varying price action. Making a handful of trades each month won’t help me improve that quickly. So I need to expand the markets I trade and aim for around 10 – 20 trades a month (see updated trade plan)

In the later week I started following more of the major crosses, although I still managed to miss most trades due to lack of routine. So that’s something I’ve got to get licked ASAP!
In summary here’s what worked and didn’t.

Trade summary

This month I took 4 trades, 3 were winners, 1 loser. I also opted not to take a trade on the AUDUSD because although it set up, it was very close to resistance so felt like I might get needlessly stopped out. I also felt if I did try and trade it, I wouldn’t trade it well with my current level of experience.

Of all the markets I now follow there were 24 DST trades: 19 winners, 5 losers (so it should’ve been a great month).

Here’s a run-down of the markets and set ups.

  • Blue annotations are winning trades taken
  • Red annotations are losing trades taken
  • Black circles are missed DST set ups (they appear in pairs or triplets)
  • Dotted black circles would be missed DST trades that would’ve been a loser (I recorded these to help with my confidence)
  • Grey circles are DST set ups I wouldn’t know how to trade


XAUUSD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

There were only set ups on the 4H chart. I spotted two and took both – the second was marginal – but worked out. I was relatively happy with both trades, felt my target selection was good, but I did lose 40 odd pips by not moving my limit order in the morning.


EURUSD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

I didn’t realise my first trade was a double divergence, so I should’ve set my targets higher given the recent price action testing the 100MA. My other trade was a loser – a divergence that set up but then ultimately didn’t and proved me wrong.

What was frustrating was missing the next trade. I was following on my phone but didn’t check the market at the right time, so missed my entry!

Again no daily set ups.


EURGBP 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Missed these two trades, both would’ve worked out and the second trade was a double divergence so would expect price to go higher for the rest of this month.


GBPUSD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Watched this first divergence really closely but the price action flew past any realistic entry. In hindsight I did wonder about trying to enter on the lower timeframe 1H. In theory it would’ve been possible but might’ve been difficult to juggle with work.

Here’s the chart. Would’ve definitely resulted in two attempts to make it stick.

GBPUSD 1H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

The only other thing I noted was the divergent like behaviour testing the 200MA. Although price didn’t close lower, the MACD kept rising and it made we wonder if the 200MA was distorting price action a little?!

This is more obvious on the next chart.

BTW no Daily set ups again.


GBPAUD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Here’s the better example of the 200MA distorting price action. Interesting to see if that plays out in the future.

Just one true divergence which I missed entirely! Looking back, I reckon it would’ve taken 3 attempts to make it stick.


GBPCAD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Just one marginal divergence – I did spot this but just didn’t realise what was going on until it was too late. It’s much easier to spot a divergence once price action has been printed on the chart!


AUDUSD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

This market has been trending like crazy – there’s a nice trend channel in play. The first divergence on the chart I missed but worked out fine, the second one I bottled because it was so close to the upper resistance line. My stop would’ve been on or near the resistance area so it seemed stupid to me to take the trade.

Technically I should’ve taken the trade – my goal was a flawless month of taking DST trades, but I just didn’t feel comfortable taking this one.


USDCAD 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Two really nice divergences missed here. The second one is marginal again but I always included these scenarios in my back-testing. Disappointed to have missed these two especially as the first one coincided with a Daily divergence so I could’ve ramped up my targets.

USDCAD Daily Chart – Jan & Feb 2017


USDJPY 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Not sure I would’ve taken the first divergence, with the wicks going lower than the prior low and the decent divergence in play, I’d like to think I would’ve 🙂 The second divergence almost materialised into a double. Given the price action I could see this as a good place to add to a position if risk allowed.

Interesting to me how both were not really clear cut trade scenarios.


FTSE 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Just the one divergence, but I can see another nice one in the making! Nothing on the daily.


SPX 4H Chart – Jan & Feb 2017

Feels like the rise in the S&P is relentless. There’s a definite short setting up at the moment but again another set up I saw but didn’t really know how best to trade the price action (being inside the bands and not really having any clear swings higher or lower).

Nothing on the daily.

What worked

  • I didn’t break my rules
  • I’ve had a couple of +2x reward to risk trades
  • I generally picked good targets

What didn’t work

  • Due to a lack of routine. I missed the majority of set ups and wasted 40 pips by not closing one position!
  • My entries could’ve been better. I should scale in to positions more.
  • My position size wasn’t really big enough. I should increase this to 1% so I can build the account quicker.
  • I started off trading too few markets for my timeframes (not enough set ups coming along). I’ve expanded to most of the major currency crosses now.
  • Reviewing all timeframes before making a trade (forgot at least twice), so I didn’t know whether I was with or against trend and whether my targets might not be realistic.

Changes for the next month

THe key changes are more markets, more routine, looking back further and using the 1H timeframe for entries.

I also need to update the plan to include:

  • The change in markets markets
  • Revise my goals to be achievable for next month.
  • Add a section on routine (Morning, Lunch and Evening quick market reviews i.e. 10 minutes)
  • Start adding calendar reminders to review my plan at the beginning of each week
  • Set alarms to remind me to check the 4H charts when they are setting up
  • Get better at setting alerts