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Too much focus on "me"?
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Too much focus on "me"?

  #11 (permalink)
Elite Member
Miami FL USA
 
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Cashish's Avatar
 
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josh View Post
If I am aware that my success in trading is linked mostly to me, then I will tend to take responsibility for errors, work on my temperament, and all of those things which can improve my execution and thus my success and bottom line.

However, in reading some of Steenbarger's great book "Daily Trading Coach" and after making a list of a couple of exercises, I am left with the thought: am I making this too much about me?

After some recent bad days, I was very focused on what I did wrong, where I needed to improve, what I did well, and my mental state, etc. After some recent good days (and during those days), I was not at all concerned with my psychology, taking my "emotional temperature," breathing, or any of that. Even through the losing trades on those good days, I never really turned my attention to myself and what I needed to continue doing well or do differently; I was just focused on my market.

Someone here at futures.io (formerly BMT) has a signature from Steenbarger that says something like: 'Let trading be about markets and trading, not about you' (paraphrased). I wonder if perhaps I have let myself stray from what should be the focal point: trading, and my market. During some great win streaks earlier this year, I remember reviewing trades and correcting some things, but it wasn't focusing on self that got me into those win streaks; it was just trading well, killing it, and keeping almost singularly focused on competing in the market.

Obviously there is a balance here; but I'm not talking about shifting blame or responsibility to an external entity like a market. Obviously, there is a need to focus on how we do and how our gray matter is operating. But I'm wondering if we get too sidetracked by focusing too much on ourselves, when we should turn away from the mirror and "look up for the ball." What do you think?

Another great topic from a highly respected member of futures.io (formerly BMT), thanks @josh .. IMO, as Big Mike posted in the threads sub-title, "The psychology and money management forum is where you learn to become a profitable day trader," but most of the threads in this section receive very few responses for some reason. One of my pet peeves when reading posts in different threads is the "we" word, trading (to me) isn't about "we" or "you" or "they" or "us" it's about "I" and "me" no one else. I feel I benefit greatly from posts written in the first person because the author is telling me He/She is, "not talking about shifting blame or responsibility to an external entity."

IMO, the rules of the game of trading are dependent upon each individual trader's method/style and market/instrument. I believe the most important thing to remember when trading is what works (what actions am I taking) when I'm on top of my game and trading successfully/profitably. If I remember this and continue to build on these actions I feel I'll be better prepared during less opportunistic market conditions.

K.I.S.S., (keep it simple stupid) I like to keep things simple. I believe I have two ways to lose money when trading, (1) Be wrong the direction of the market and (2) Make a stupid mistake. My stupid mistakes most often come from just clicking buy instead of sell or entering a 5 lot instead of a 2 lot, not while under pressure during fast market conditions but just as you said failing to, "look up for the ball." I think we all strive to build a better mouse trap, I know I do but I also believe an active trading session is not the time to initiate a newly ill prepared untested idea. It may seem like it ought to work at this very moment and maybe it will, but how do I flawlessly manage a trade I've never taken before? My point is this, if I stick with what works now and do it well I'll be profitable. If I remove my unforced errors (stupid mistakes) implementing the method I currently use I'll be more profitable.

A final thought about, "am I making this too much about me?" I know "me," I know what triggers my bad behaviors and actions and I can usually see them coming a mile away. Most are triggered by stupid mistakes, as an example; I sell a 2 lot instead of buy,,,, the market goes up (as I thought) I cover and take a 3 tick loss. I still want to get long here but now my entry point is 3, 4, 5 or 6 ticks under the current price. Do I go all in,,,, I'm looking for a 20 tick move here,, but I only wanted to risk 5 ticks on the trade (I'm down 3 already),, If my original entry was executed properly I wouldn't be going through this mental masturbation,, I'd be choosing targets NOT recalculating the risk involved in forcing a poor entry. I think of it as self made misery, Mark Douglas says it best, "I continually monitor my susceptibility for making errors."

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  #12 (permalink)
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in my trading I try to look at the "big picture".

The "me" is, of course, a part of the picture - but the "others" are the majority.
In preparation for a trade I always analyze what the "others" are doing, and compare that to my log of past transactions.
When I see certain patterns occurring (what others are doing currently) I select my own reaction based on what action had the highest (statistical) success-rate (what I was doing in the past).

In analogy with "riding the bicycle":
If I see a large group of cyclists coming down the hill at high speed, I know it is in my own best interest to ride behind the group at moderate speed. I wouldn't try to jump into the race ahead of the crowd, because I know from past performance (of mine) that I can't keep the speed up and will eventually just be overrun by the crowd.

The "me" is very important, but only as it relates to the "others".

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