The funny thing is...for a long time I wasn't really following my own system and it's rules completely. The rules were to enter at certain "hotzone " times of the day in conjunction with several other indicators lining up ..stops generally kept at no more than 10 ticks..and to ride out the trade untill my software gave me an exit signal. The exits are a breach of the black spine on my 2 range chart..or a an exit signal on my 5 range. Instead, I was getting out of a lot of trades at 10 ticks..or whenever I felt the price had gone far enough. The truth is, you never can tell how far it will go. So I started forcing myself to stay in until the exit signals came from the software. Now, I'm starting to get 40 - 100 tick moves on almost a daily basis. Yes, sometimes I'm up 20 ticks and I end up breaking even..but the upside is catching some huge moves. Instead of being happy with a 50 tick week, I have had a few 200- 300 tick weeks..just by following my system. Discipline is truly the key.
Failure is not an option
The following 7 users say Thank You to lancelottrader for this post:
Well, Lancellot I would like to say thanks for producing this thread for several reasons, 1) you give me encouragement that a trader can develop into a consistently profitable trader 2) you stuck with the thread for months 3) you didnt really change your method much, so we can see that you have found a good system over time and 4) the honesty to post your errors that remind us all that discipline is a daily requirement for all traders, no matter how successful---one can not lose discipline!
The following 3 users say Thank You to trvlntrdr for this post:
Thanks for the comments. The "discipline" thing has been written about a ton of times, but in my case, it's been my biggest obstacle. Obviously, one needs to find a reasonable system...and, most importantly, understand the market conditions in which that system works best in. My system works best when there is directional momentum. That happens towards the opening of a market..3 to 5 minutes after a news release, and at certain times I have seen statistically to yield a big move. I have sincerely believed for a while my system can produce results..unfortunately I have often failed to follow it.
Why? The first emotion that I succumb to is Temptation. The market has numerous fakeouts and traps every day. This is no accident. The Pro's know how to lure you into a trade by making it look like a sure thing. Discipline is the only thing that can keep me out of a trade untill everything in my system lines up. Unfortunately I have failed in this respect many times.
The second big obstacle is fear of loss. When you have been killed as many times as I have trading, it's easy to want to bail out of trade when you're only a few ticks up..or down. I now have to make a commitment to stay in a trade until the market takes me out..not what I think my target should be. It's much easier said then done. On demo, no problem. Live, much harder..but I'm doing it...Finally, I'm really riding out some great moves. But I'm always tempted to bail when I'm up 10 ticks or so.
Another undisciplined issue was abandoning my system after some consecutive losses and doing the revenge trade thing. I now record my commentary while trading, always giving feedback on my emotional state. If I notice that feeling coming on, I walk away. That takes discipline. I realized I can get compulsive and keep coming back to the PC like some deranged Vegas Gambler. It's horrible. My heart pounds, I get sweaty..my blood pressure would go through the roof. It's hard to explain but the results are usually disasterous . I'll pile on double or triple the contracts I usually trade and go into some stupid scalps trying to make it all back in one or two trades. I can never let that happen again.
I decided if I was going to fail, it was going to be because my system sucked. That I can live with. But to fail, after all these years and time and money spent at this..because I couldn't control myself or follow my rules..then that, would be truly sad and pathetic.
Failure is not an option
The following 10 users say Thank You to lancelottrader for this post:
Wise words. I suspect few traders have avoided those emotional issues. Probably even the real pros in firms struggle with them. I notice almost every time I get excited about a trade it turns out badly. Strangely I am not a real emotional person and not prone to gambling. (Otherwise I couldnt live in Reno!) I need to keep reminding myself of the facts you mention and make sure I develop a system that gives me minimal "wriggle room" to get out of my system. Otherwise I cant determine if the system is the problem or my emotion. Journaling my frame of mind or attitude sounds like a good idea.
The following user says Thank You to trvlntrdr for this post:
I use two monitors while trading, but most all my charts and indicators are on 1 monitor. The other monitor has a duplicate chart..but in a zoomed out perspective. This is the chart that automatically draws all price congestion areas and support and resistance lines . I like to watch that chart while I'm managing a trade because when it hits the price congestion areas, I can expect price to bounce. Now as long as price stays within the parameters of my Indicators/moving averages, I can ride it out. But it's nice to understand why the price is bouncing. I call these areas "Speed bumps". So, to answer your question, I am only recording the one monitor that has all the primary charts on it. Mainly cause I haven't figured out how to record both monitors..