Best music of the late 90’s early 2000’s

Warning: If you aren’t a hip hop / rap fan of the 90’s, you aren’t cool.  Just kidding…. you might be cool but you are so white.

Born in January of ’85, I grew up in the sticks of central Pennsylvania.  I played football, baseball, and shot BB guns.  I tried chewing tobacco when I was 12 and had my first beer when I was 15.  Bon Jovi, Journey, Guns n Roses and Metallica were on constant repeat in town.  I hated them.  Actually Guns n Roses is alright.  Metallica is alright too.  Bon Jovi and Journey are pretty awful to my ears, even to this day.  I just want to jump out into traffic every time I hear crowds of frat-boy type white folk half drunk sing “OHHHHHH, WE’RE HALFWAYYYY THEEERRRREE… OHHHHH OHHHHHHH, LIVINGGGGG ON A PRRAAAAAAYYYYER.”

Oh man, typing that was painful.  Fuck.

So my guilty pleasure….. rap music.  My dad hated it, my friends hated it and I probably would’ve been called names for listening to it.  But I loved it.  I remember saving up money to buy my first rap album and probably my favorite of all time.  DMX – It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.  Got damn, that was such a good album.  I’d rock that on my Sony Discman ESP with 10 second skip protection on repeat for months.  I’d tap the top of my CD player to see how long it would go until it started skipping.  And it took AA batteries. I’d go through those Duracell AA’s like a hot knife through butter. Oh man, some of the best times ever.

I remember listening to the DMX track “Intro,” before getting into my first fist fight.  It was one of those scheduled fights like “yo, meet me out back at 1:00PM tomorrow.”  I put on that DMX track, felt the adrenaline surge, the hype of motivation, rolled up and one punch later, I was standing over a body with a smirk on my face.  Alright, maybe it didn’t happen like that.  Not at all.  But Mike Tyson and Chuck Liddell both had it as their entrance song so that’s saying something, no?

And then I listen to this garbage they put out now.  Man, no wonder why so many people hate on hip hop and rap.  The stuff that’s on the airwaves now just makes me want to punch myself in the balls.  It’s so awful.

So to defend some good hip hop and bring back some nostalgia, I’m going to list some of my favorite artists and albums growing up:

Ludacris – Word of Mouf.  Oh man, I had 2 12 inch subwoofers in my Jeep at the time. This album bumped serious bass. “Move bitch! Get out the way, get out the way, bitch, get out the way!” sounds way better than “Take my haannnnnddddd…..we’ll make it…. I swear?” Oh god, I just gagged.

Busta Rhymes – Had a few good albums.  Loved Bussa bus.  Woo HA gotcha all in check!

Method Man and Redman – “Zeem Zeeema who got the keys to my beema?”  Hahahahaha.  Love it

Ja Rule?  Yeah he was corny, but we all enjoyed his jams whether you admit it or not.

2pac and Biggie – No need to say more.  Although I can’t say I prefer one over the other.  I enjoy both as much as the other.

Wu-Tang, Rakim, NWA.  Older but some of the best stuff out there.

Snoop and Dre before they went soft with the mainstream garbage they put out now. Same with Eminem.  Music industry has its way of making the greats bow down and s some d.  Poor Snoop.  Poor Dre.  Eminem.  *sob*  S’ing some D now.

Nas.  Rakim.  LL Cool J.  Mobb Deep.  Heavy hitting.  Loved it.

Remember Ski-lo?  I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…. haha.

Even the Beastie Boys.  Damn.  I really think the 90s were awesome for music.  But of course maybe it’s because I grew up in the 90s.  Anyway, just had a nostalgic moment.  I hope you guys enjoyed the music of that era as well.

If you got some more you’d like to add, please comment.  I think the next time I hear a Bon Jovi song I’m going to hit my head off of my fist.  Really hard.  Ugh.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Back to some forex action

If you have been reading some of my posts, you’ll know that I started off this blog trading forex on the 1 min chart EUR/USD.

I had been doing quite well for a few months but volatility went into the shitter as of late. Here is an article that goes into detail over the volatility as of late in the EUR/USD.  And for me and my strategies, has become a lot tougher to trade especially on the 1 min time frame.

https://vantagepointtrading.com/archives/21008

I also highly recommend Cory’s site – if you get a chance to browse his articles, they are all good reads.  He is one of the few guys that I really take seriously when it comes to trading the markets and advice.

So rather than act like a 6 year old who just had his favorite toy taken away and totally quitting forex, I took a look at the majors (EUR/USD; USD/JPY; GBP/USD; USD/CHF) on the 5 minute charts for some trades the past 2 weeks.  Followed them for a few days and noticed that a lot of good trades had been setting up on the 5 minute chart.  So I adapted.  Ditched only trading 1 minute on just the EUR/USD.  Now I hawk all the majors on the 5 minute chart.  And I realize you’re less likely to get stop hunted compared to the 1 min chart (kind of duh).

Decided to take a few low risk trades this week and so far 4 for 5 and my sole loser did not exceed any of my winners.  I also kind of hit a *light bulb* moment.  And that moment was to take a partial.  Nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering.  Just take a partial – it’s like that first shot of tequila and lime, it takes the edge off.

4.12.2017 USDJPYM5
Trade I took today in the USD/JPY 5 min chart.  I like it.  

I had normally only ever thrown on a lot or 5 mini lots and either it hit my target or it hit my stop.  Instead I put out two separate orders, half the usual quantity each.

Let’s say for example price has a big move down and is pulling back.  I will look for signs of a reversal back into the trend direction (short) like a consolidation breakout, a long pin bar, engulfing candle, etc.  Where I use to enter with just 1 order and have a target set at just above the previous low or sometimes slightly exceeding it, I would have those frustrating moments where my target would barely be missed and it would come back to stop me out at BE or small gain.  Or even worse, I’d start getting anxious and take profits before my target was hit and then watch is shock as prices continue rocketing in my intended direction.

Now that I am using 2 orders, I take my partial at 1x risk, no matter where it is.  If the stop is 2 pips above the previous high, making it a 5 pip risk, my first target is set at 5 pips.  Once that first target is hit, I’ll move my remaining order to BE.  Usually the next target is at a logical point (slightly beyond previous swing) or 2x risk or if price is really rocketing down I will just keep moving my target down and trail the stop with it.  Sometimes you get lucky and get 3x+ what you expected and sometimes you’ll only make out with your first target.  But that’s not really the main point.

The main point (for me) is that it keeps your emotions in check.  You got some money in the bank with the 1st target, no more risk on the second and it now it’s a waiting game.  You lose that anxious feeling that you need to take what you can get once you see green and it allows you to stay patient and squeeze as much out of the second order as you can.

And I think it smooths out the bottom line.  You won’t have as many wild swings into red or green and you will more than likely have lots of small losses, lots of small wins and that occasional big win.  I can live with that.

Boats and hoes soon.  With my boy Sykes.  Moet, Lambos and 50k+ Instagram followers.

Oh boy I can’t wait.

Al Brooks Price Ambiguous… err Action

I remember when I first started this blog that one of the things I’d cover are the methods or systems that I tried using in the beginning of my trading endeavor.

One of the first names I came across time after time with a firm backing was Al Brooks Price Action series.  He’s known as kind of the guru of modern price action trading on the 5 minute time frame of the ES futures.

I will try to keep this short and to the point and this is all my opinion.  So take it for what it’s worth and of course, as always, do your own research, draw your own conclusions and form your own opinions.

Ok here we go:

His stuff is ambiguous as shit.  If you read any of his books or listen to any of his videos you will almost definitely do one or more of the following:

  1. Fall asleep
  2. Daydream
  3. Wonder what in the whale shit he’s rambling about
  4. Fall asleep
  5. Wonder when he will ever get to definitive entries, exits, money management, risk, etc. (which I realize is only half of what’s needed to succeed, but c’mon give me something to get excited about!)
  6. Fall asleep

And the wallpaper in my apartment is really putrid.  I wonder who thought shiny purple wallpaper would look good with hard wood floors.  I used to drive this Jeep Cherokee too…. boy that thing was a tank.  Looooved that car.  Shitty gas mileage but back then gas was a buck fiddy a gallon so no biggie.  I mean I used to walk into a gas station with a twenty dollar bill and came out with a full gas tank and full stomach. Boy….

Oh, sorry.  Where was I?  Ahhh, right.  Al Brooks.

Yeah.

If you’ve ever read his stuff or watched his videos you’ll 100% come out of it thinking, “Wow, I need to study more, because I could barely pick up on what he was getting at and since he is this world renowned trader, he must know what he’s talking about.  And since I couldn’t really pick up on much, it means that my market knowledge is just crap.  Boy I better hit the books 8 hours a day for the next year before I can do anything.”

People always comment that his books are unparalleled.  His knowledge is just so vast. He knows the markets inside and out.  Yet each reviewer or follower of Brooks will agree on THE SAME THING – IT’S DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW OR YOU WILL NEED A FEW READINGS TO “GET IT.”  Do you really want to follow and build a strategy around a guy that can’t break something down in 300 pages? (I think he has 4 books now, all 300+ pages – I got through 1 and a half in detail and skimmed the last one before I said fuck it).  The book layouts are a disaster.  The graphs he includes suck.  You won’t have a clue what he is talking about.  You can only read 2 pages at a time before your eyes want to bleed.

His entries are ambiguous as dog shit like: “here we have a high 2 and the bears are fighting so take caution when entering.  In the next graph you’ll see 2 attempts to go lower then a false break higher.  You could take an entry on that low 3 but beware the bulls could take this into a further range.”  No shit, Al?  Once you get through his terminology you realize the basis of what he is saying.  “Market is trending up, you could take the first pullback that attempts to go higher but if selling is strong be careful with your entry and perhaps a quick exit… or it go into a range.”  Great.  Thanks.

al-brooks-photo
Handsome AF.

All this and he has no proven trading record.  No profit statements.  Nothing.  Just ambiguous entry and exit rules, videos that’ll put a coked-up hyena to sleep and for some reason a dedicated following I can’t seem to wrap my head around?  Maybe I am that stupid?  Maybe I didn’t give his books enough time (Trust me, it’ll take you at least 3 months to get through all of his books once and you will need a second reading, so you might go through half a year before you can juggle your way through his books and video series).

It’s a black hole with no end.  Picking up book after book.  Studying system after system. Thinking you don’t know enough.  And that’s what Al Brooks did to me early in my trading career.  Rather than forming my own strategies and methods based on support/resistance, trends, momentum, velocity and HOD/LOD, I got caught up with learning everything there was to know about a “high 2,” or a “low 3.”  So for 4 months I probably went through every price action book I could put my hands on.  And it always comes back to the same few points:

  1. Take trades with the trend
  2. Don’t get caught up in “noise”
  3. Don’t over trade (be selective)
  4. Look for entries around HOD/LOD depending on previous (day’s) and intraday price action
  5. Key S/R are important levels where you can expect some things to happen

And so forth…..Probably a few I’m missing there, but you guys get the point.

I will say that the people who do benefit from the book probably did so not solely from the teachings in his book but rather learning enough about taking trades with trend, following a certain methodology for entries and trading a demo while studying.  I mean you can get good stuff from it, you just gotta make it your own or spin it a bit to make sense of it.  And you can learn it all much most clearly and concisely by just searching the interwebs, playa.

Overall, I’d say stay clear.  It’ll get you caught up in a few months of frustrating, go-nowhere, I’m stupid-negative talk.  Then you enter this black hole of needing to learn everything out there and never really getting down to trading.

You can read all the books you want on how to golf.  Golfer A does just this.  Reads every book, watches every Youtube video and buys the best clubs.  But he never quite gets out to golf at a practice range and definitely not a real round yet.

Golfer B goes out on the practice range every day for an hour and figures out how to chip, putt and drive.  He reads no books, watches no videos but occasionally watches other golfers who are good and adjusts in practice accordingly.  He also has never gone out to golf a real round yet.

Who do you take to win?  All other things equal, I’d put my money with golfer B.  Apply this to anything in life.  A dentist.  A lawyer.  A basketball player.  A gamer.  I’ll take the guy with actual experience over the book worm every day of the week.  Get my point?

Ok, enough with my side rant.  Bottom line, stick to the basics, practice in sim or with small amounts of moola and go on from there. And stay away from that handsome guy, Al.

 

 

 

Recent Swing Trades

Here are some of my recent swing trades including the one that really stuck it to me.

The strategy isn’t rocket science.  Basically I look for a consolidation pullback in the direction of the trend.  Sometimes it’s as simple as a pullback that consolidates for one or two day, sometimes it’s resistance that is tested 2 or 3 times and looking ripe for a breakout.

MU – This one worked out great.  I entered intra-day anticipating the breakout of the 3 days of consolidation prior.  Although it did pull back to below my entry, I wasn’t too worried as it was still showing good strength.  Had a beautiful gap up after I took a partial and I took the rest off the day it gapped up.

MU Swing
Yellow line is the trigger.  1/2 Partials are indicated in white.

Next is Yelp.  Had about a month long consolidation and just looked like it had a lot of energy bottled up just ready to head south.  Was triggered in and had good follow through the first day and second only to hesitate just above my first target.  Hindsight I am kicking myself for not just taking my first partial quicker but hindsight makes us all Michael Jordan’s.  Wasn’t going to sit back and hope.  Took it off at around BE minus commissions.

YELP Swing
Waiting for a breakdown at the yellow down.  Had a reasonably strong spike down and just barely missed my first target by a few cents.  Out at BE.

Next up is a position I am still holding.  FNSR.  Similar to Yelp.  Had a big gap down, showed strong signs of selling and after seeing the first sign of the pullback ending (that big engulfing bar) and an inside candle the next day,  I wanted in if it broke below the previous day’s low.  Triggered in with a strong move south and took my first half off in a couple days.  I am still holding the rest hoping to see another break down past the recent 2 day consolidation.

This is why I like talking partials.  It allows me to stay patient and really get the most out of those trades that just take off.

FNSR Swing.png
Great trade.  Love set ups like this one.

Next up is the f*&^%*$.  You can see my trigger in the yellow line was juuuuuust barely triggered.  I liked the setup as the consolidation was very tight and looking to make a nice breakout to re-test the lows.  Unfortunately to my dismay, I woke up to find that it gapped up 3 times my initial risk.  I immediately took the position off at market open as I wasn’t going to let it completely blow my account.

Looking back it wasn’t such a bad trade and a good learning lesson.  This is why we keep our risk limited and never get too cocky.  I contemplated doubling my usual risk on this trade because the setup just looked so promising.  I’m glad I stuck to my original plan or I would’ve been in the red.  Luckily, I’m still net green and already put this trade past me.  No sweat.

AFSI Swing
Not taking it personal but F^*% you.  🙂

It seemed the last few trades were short biased so I took this trade as kind of a hedge that the market might continue up.  This is sort of a triangle formation that re-tested that resistance 3 times.  I was hoping for a quick breakout where I could take my full position off at 1x risk but after I was triggered in it took me out in the same day.  Oh well.

CBOE Swing.png
May offer another entry later on if it keeps re-testing those highs.

Last up is a stock I have been day trading and tracking for a good part of 3 months now.  I know this stock pretty well and I entered on feel more than anything else.  I guess that’s how veterans trade a lot when they have been watching the same stock move day in and day out for years.  I just knew it was a good opportunity at a swing.  Quick $3 per share profit and I am a happy man.

X Swing.png
This is a great stock to day trade.  Liquidity is awesome, movement most days is great and you don’t get erratic spikes so it won’t scare the novice away.

Well those are it for now.  If anyone has any questions on the strategy or how I decide to take profits/partials just ask.  It is no big secret and I have been using it successfully now for a good part of a year.

Faacckkkk me

DSC01351
Trevi Fountain last August.  Was hot AF and had swamp ass all day.

If you don’t know, I’m currently living in Korea.  Obviously south because Scottrade doesn’t have local offices in North Korea or I might have considered a move there – I hear their beer is excellent.

So that means that I need to get my trades done before 12PM EST as that’s about 1 AM locally here and I gotta get my ass up to go to work at 8 AM local.  Most of my trades are swings and I usually set my stops and targets before going to bed.

It’s always like Christmas morning for me.  I wake up and the first thing I do is roll over, grab my phone, log in to my mobile IB platform and check my P/L to make sure nothing drastic has happened.  Some mornings is like real Christmas and all my positions show that oh-so-lovely tint of lime green indicating “Ima be a making it rain soon.”  And some mornings I wake up with a bowl full of cheerios with a fat turd on top.  Except one night I decided to go out for a burger and beer and not check my positions at market open until I got home which was about 11AM EST.  I’ve never had any real “oh shit” moments so I didn’t feel worried.  Yeah, it happened.

I had one position short the previous day gap the fuck up.  I don’t mean a few cents.  I mean gaaappppp the fuuuccckkkkkk up.  Like a few dollars.  And the bleeding didn’t stop there.  Another long position I had gapped down about 5% as well.  Da fuq.  Like the Backstreet Boys song goes, “quit playing games with my heaaarrrrt.”

So here I was doing so well the past few months and now most of those profits have been wiped out.  I didn’t hold the positions and just cut them ASAP – I wasn’t going to hold on hoping for a return.  Such a heart breaking moment for me.  All that hard work for the past few months of finding trades, placing entry orders staying strict and risking 1% of my capital and finding reasonable targets with good risk to reward ratios…. GONE.

I guess I’m not as heartbroken as I thought I would be.  I am still net profitable since I started last September.  I still have a steady income and I have a six pack of Budweiser in my fridge.  Life is not so bad.  This is why it’s vital to keep some sort of regular income while you make the journey to trade full time.  If I wasn’t, I think this moment would’ve really taken its toll on me.

What I will do though is take the rest of the week off.  It’s Thursday now so I’ll just watch, wait and get back on the horn on Monday.

Now I really know why so many people hate holding positions overnight.

Psychological Dilemmas

It has been about 7 months now since I’ve started taking trading seriously as a potential means of earning a full time income.  During that 7 months, I’ve gone from nose diving into trading/psychology books 8 hours a day, to sim-trading 8 hours a day, to reading more books for 8 hours a day, to re-trying old methods of trading, back to sim-trading some new shit, to dedicating time at developing my own methods for trading and on and on.  It just seems like a vicious cycle to break out of.  One which I think if you don’t break out of, you remain in the loser’s circle of non-successful traders.  But it’s so fun to try out new shit!  😦

I liken it to the people who are unsuccessful at the gym.  If I had to guess, I’d probably give it similar odds to trading that around 90% of people fail to stick to a gym routine, lose weight (or add if you’re a skinny bastard), add muscle and have it become part of their lifestyle.  (To be honest it’s similar to any sport or activity – successful golfers, artists, musicians, etc.)  But I choose the gym because I’ve become part of that winner’s circle….. and it was a long, grueling process.  And I enjoyed it and it is still part of me today.

I started when I was about 14 years old.   My dad dropped me off at the gym one day after school and paid for a monthly membership.  He told me to spend an hour here each day, whether I wanted to make it productive or not was up to me.

So I started off by watching what the older guys were doing.  Asked them what to do….tried out the bench press, squat rack, did some curls.  After a week or so I started to enjoy it.  The pump.  The dopamine boost.  The progress I was seeing in myself.  The cheerleaders were all over me in math class hanging off my biceps, feeding me grapes and ironing my shirts on my stomach.  Yep.  True story.

I kept at it, 4 to 5 days a week.  Weeks went by.  Months went by.  Years went by.  I kept at it.  Everyday, upping my weights, adding calories to my diet, focusing on certain movements/exercises and adding to my arsenal…. and most importantly, not getting lazy.

I started to get people complementing my physique.

“Wow, you must work out.”

“You look great.  I wish I could build a body likes yours.”

But there is always one variation of a question that I think applies very much to trading.

“Hey man, what do I have to do to get big/lose weight/get a body like yours and how long did it take you?”

When I tell people it took me years, I almost always get an “oh shit!” response. As if it only takes a 3 month membership and some protein powder to look like Dwayne Johnson.  Sorry, doesn’t work that way. And whenever I see the looks on their faces and their motivation almost immediately sink because of the work they realize has to be put in, I can’t help but to realize that the trading game is not so different.

But what is required to move forward?  Well, I always tell people, just make sure to push yourself.  Lift one week and track your progress.  Increase your weight the following week or month.  Stick to the basic lifts and don’t pay attention to what others are doing. You can add all those fancy lifts and stretches down the road.  Don’t skip days too often. 0 And #1 – just keep at it and don’t give up.

So…..a few take away’s I am really trying to focus on:

  1. Reduce/limit information overload.  I know enough to be successful at trading. Reading books on lifting and watching Arnold movies aren’t going to do much for your success in the gym and the same goes for trading.
  2. Focus on tracking my progress.  I actually got away with this early in my fitness life.  Although I didn’t track my weights in a notebook, I knew week to week what my previous weeks weights were.  If I wasn’t able to increase it in the next few weeks, I knew something was wrong and I had to find ways to correct it – diet, supplementing other supporting muscles or maybe just getting more sleep.  Same for trading.  I need to track my progress and find where my weaknesses are.  Are a majority of my short trades losing?  Am I getting burned during certain parts of the day?  Am I up on the day and losing it all because of over trading?
  3. Frustrating days will come and come frequently.  Days when I think what I’m doing isn’t working.  Days when the lows are much lower than the highs of the high days.  Stepping on that scale and seeing that you didn’t lose any weight.  Checking your body fat and seeing that you actually gained 1%.  I’m doing all the right things, why aren’t I making progress? What many don’t know is that sometimes your body holds onto that last pound or percentage dearly and when it comes off, it’ll come off quick with drastic results.  The only thing needed is some perseverance.  And perhaps those big hits will come and they are just right over the hill.  Key is to not change or overhaul what I’m doing because of a few speed bumps.

 

And that’s it for this post.  My trading lately has been steady.  I am still focusing on equities.  Swing trades and the occasional day trade.  I keep my risk limited and let my winners run (taking partial profits along the way).  Trying to build my account so that I can take an income from it some day.

I just wish I could fast forward this learning and development stage to the part where I get to party on my yacht with the helicopter pad and smoke some cubans with my homeboys and sip champagne with my bishes and upload it to Tim Sykes instagram page, owing all my successes to him.  Uh huh.  No.