I agree, I mean I have banged out series of positive trades when I was upset because I forced myself to stay focused, but that's the thing, I shouldn't put myself through extra stress. I think the only reason I did it was to see if it was possible. I think the main reason why I get upset is that I have a sort of OCD where I strive to make a profit for the day given that I don't hit my maximum draw down for the day and when I start off the day with a negative I know I'm looking at more and more screen time. I don't trade when I don't have viable signals so often times it may take a hour or two for me to find something I'm completely satisfied with and hopefully I'm not too tired to sit it out. If I miss the opportunity it motivates me even more to hawk eye for the next. It's very hard for me at this moment to just walk away from the computer knowing that I didn't hit my loss limit and I haven't made money, It's almost like I feel compelled that either or needs to happen. Now when I do come back and break even I feel I can take a break. I feel almost insane talking about it because it's almost a form of self torture that I feel is necessary when I know it really isn't.
Last edited by Itchymoku; October 2nd, 2013 at 12:19 AM.
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I'm completely confused what moon phases and recording moods have to do with each other. Maybe the word moods is a bit ambiguous, emotions is probably a better word to describe what I was going for. emotions based on previous results whether they may be excitement, boredom, dissatisfaction or aversion etc.
Sorry, I was probably a bit off-topic. While you were discussing your individual moods, I went tangential and started talking about how moon phases impact the overall mood of market participants, manifest with increased volatility. In short, many good traders learn to walk away, take a walk, or do something when they are out of sync with the market because their experience is that when they are stressed or suffering draw down and not in a good mental state they need to get away from the screen. Whether or not you need to prove that to yourself empirically is up to you, but there seems to be a lot of evidence that supports it.
Good idea, walking away does help. I guess where I was trying to go is that there are a plethora of thoughts and feelings about trading outside of it's rules that I found important to document as I thought they did impact my trading in subtle ways. I had a hunch that these split second instinctual thoughts did help me get insight on whether or not to stay in or out of a trade based on a particular idea. Based on that hypothesis, I found it important to test it out as a specific criteria for managing a trade to see if it was helpful instead of acting upon it and not clearly documenting it. I don't want to rely upon my instinct even though it provides great inspiration for new ideas. If I didn't continue to strive to make my system mechanical it would put me under much more stress by forcing me to try to analyze these thoughts on a second's notice without meticulously analyzing them and testing them with simulated trades first. This may sound quite obvious to the experienced trader but it has become more and more evident as I proceed into the trading realm. This is especially true since many of my trading ideas were based upon taking actions on split second thoughts that occurred while in a trade that my mind has seen so many times it felt natural or instinctual when it was really just a neural mechanism for pattern recognition without hard recorded statistics.
For a second I thought you misread mood for moon but then I knew that wasn't the case since you seem highly intelligent. haha. Anyways I wouldn't rule out anything with the market including moon cycles although there are probably other unconventional ideas that affect the market greater like for instance the weather. The article you posted goes into great detail about the statistics behind the connection but doesn't explain why it happens. What would you guess the reason to why moon cycles affect people's behavior collectively? My hunch is that since full moons provide more light at night and people are drawn to be out and about more while it is light out that they are perhaps more prone to make mistakes in the market place the day after with a slight hangover because of the excessive night life activities.
Last edited by Itchymoku; October 10th, 2013 at 08:44 AM.
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Nice thread. I think this goes to the heart of what trading is about - once you have established you have a methodical edge. As with all things trading this is just my experience and belief - it may not be anyone else's.
The role of tracking your moods is vital IMHO. My goal when doing this is to make sure I am 'in balance' whenever I trade. I use the term balance for my mind, body and soul. For me that is taking a 3 level approach, broadly am I in overall balance in my life; healthy, well rested, content. Am I using the benefits of trading (for me primarily time flexibility, working solo and from home) to achieve balance with my family relationships and activities outside of trading?
Then I will 'get' into balance before each session. That is exercise and relaxation to clear my mind. And the last level is on demand relaxation, breathing techniques to focus as and when needed, most often the minutes up to and at the moment of execution. Sticking on the headphones and closing out external distractions also helps me as do mental rehearsals.
We all put lots of effort into market analysis and drill down from long term to short term charts. I just see these routines as applying a similar approach on myself.
The whole purpose of doing this is so I am clear headed and calm at the moment I click the mouse. It is part of a process to clear out all mind chatter and external nonsense prior to the moment of execution. I find in doing this I do not feel rushed as I have brought myself to a state of 'right thought right action'.
OK, it may all sound like a load a waffle to you. It's a personal thing, all stems from what I believe, which is discretionary trading is a performance activity and the key skill in that activity is making decisions. Therefore it's a good investment to explore what helps me to make better decisions. And through trial and error (journaling) I have found this approach does.
So yes, track those moods. If you can spot the moods and 'tilt' that most effect you, you're half way to improving those issues.
Another technique along the same lines is to have a 'psychological' stop. If you have major imbalance inside or outside of trading, just shut it down for a few days.
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