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staying in the trade to the target
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staying in the trade to the target

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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staying in the trade to the target

Any suggested solutions (short of a blindfold) for allowing ones trade to work to the target (set by backtests and current context) v. getting antsy and "cutting the WINNER short"?

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Place the trade with stop and target, then walk away from your desk. Go get some coffee or a drink or something...

Before you attempt to beat the odds, make sure you can survive the odds beating you.
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I still struggle with this, but what helped me the most is tracking my initial targets in my journal. For me it was a psychological issue stemming from lack of confidence in my pre-trade analysis. After seeing that T1 hit 80% of the time in my winners, I got more comfortable holding. As soon as I have a skid though I still go back to my old habits. Happened to me today...17 tick trade that could have been a 40 tick trade had I left my targets alone. Just coming off a 6 day losing streak, so confidence is a little lacking right now.

London Calling
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Just keep practicing..... I know it seems like a lame answer, but the more you work toward it the more you will witness and understand the value of it. The better you understand the value of holding out (either in a trade or waiting for a trade) the easier it will get.

"If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong."
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Mechanical Stop Strategy or what he said.

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Goldstone's suggestion is one of only three. The "set it and forget it" with a fixed stop and fixed target is one of these three options. The other two are "wing it" and a "mechanical trailing stop strategy" (MTSS).

"Wing it" means using all your knowledge of price action to determine when the trade is going to reverse on you. In my opinion this is the least successful strategy of the three. Not because it is impossible, but because once you are in a trade your emotions rise and your judgment and rational thinking suffer. This method depends solely on your judgment and rational thinking so you can see the problem.

"MTSS" is self-explanatory. There are two words - "mechanical" and "trailing" that define this - you've got to define in advance your strategy for trailing your stop. Some options are:

1. fixed tick trailing stop - say 10 ticks behind price or 20.
2. Use the Supertrend indicator - when it changes color, get out.
3. Use an ema or other average - when its hit, get out.

There are really infinite options for MTSS - the main distinction is "looser" or "tighter" with obvious implications for %win and risk:reward. However you've got to define it in advance, you've got to use it consistently (so you can tell if its working), and you've got to stick to it. The key is not to deceive yourself into thinking you are disciplined in the use of your stop when you are not. Discipline in this case is not on a spectrum - if you are not sticking to your stop strategy exactly, you are not disciplined at all.

I would advise playing with some MTSS types in SIM to see if one makes sense to you - using the supertrend on tick-based charts appeals to me. Also play with Goldstone's "set it and forget it" option. They each have pluses and minuses that anyone can see with a little reflection.

good luck.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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Xav1029 View Post
I still struggle with this, but what helped me the most is tracking my initial targets in my journal. For me it was a psychological issue stemming from lack of confidence in my pre-trade analysis. After seeing that T1 hit 80% of the time in my winners, I got more comfortable holding. As soon as I have a skid though I still go back to my old habits. Happened to me today...17 tick trade that could have been a 40 tick trade had I left my targets alone. Just coming off a 6 day losing streak, so confidence is a little lacking right now.

I completely agree, building a track record of trades and their metrics can help immensely. MFE and hypothetical MFE after the trade was exited is what I focus on when it comes to holding trades and optimizing targets.

If you don't build that confidence in the numbers you could still simply sit on your hands, but you wouldn't even know if it would be a good thing or not. That's what makes it so difficult...

vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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Xav1029 View Post
I still struggle with this, but what helped me the most is tracking my initial targets in my journal. For me it was a psychological issue stemming from lack of confidence in my pre-trade analysis. After seeing that T1 hit 80% of the time in my winners, I got more comfortable holding. As soon as I have a skid though I still go back to my old habits. Happened to me today...17 tick trade that could have been a 40 tick trade had I left my targets alone. Just coming off a 6 day losing streak, so confidence is a little lacking right now.


Xav,

Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate the reply. What you describe is EXACTLY what I experience. And I agree, confidence is the key.

Logic aside, I am looking for a way to "trick" my fear and let that winner go to fruition.

Thanks again.

Ross

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RossM View Post
Xav,

Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate the reply. What you describe is EXACTLY what I experience. And I agree, confidence is the key.

Logic aside, I am looking for a way to "trick" my fear and let that winner go to fruition.

Thanks again.

Ross

Another thing that helps me is talking to myself out loud. I have an initial stop, and then after that it's all discretionary. I say what I am seeing out loud, tell myself "if x happens I should exit", and talk the whole trade out loud. Don't know why it helps, but it keeps me calm. Slows my mind down to 1 thought at a time, rather than the 100 if I stay quiet

London Calling
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I use the "set it and forget it" approach - after I enter the trade and I confirm that my stop and target is working, I will minimize my chart so I am not distracted by it. I will periodically (maybe once every half hour) check the trade to see if I hit my target or stop, but otherwise, I let it be.

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