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Anyone had resistance to writing a trading system/plan?
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Anyone had resistance to writing a trading system/plan?

  #1 (permalink)
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Anyone had resistance to writing a trading system/plan?

Good morning.

Something became overwhelmingly clear to me last night when reading on of Steenbarger's books that I really need some assistance with:

"The traders who avidly seek emotional help are frequently quite reluctant to examine their actual trading methods. They are uncomfortable with the acknowledgement that they have nothing proprietary to share and are trading very simple price patterns or gut hunches".

This really hit home for me because the last thing I want to do is come up with an actual plan or figure out a system. I'm really not sure if I'm just lazy, don't want to risk failing (or not smart enough), or feel like I have done it before and it hasn't worked, or if I'm afraid that with so many market variables... it would be impossible to come up with something that actuall works.

I'm not asking for a system from the boards, but I am wondering if others have experienced this as well. There is something definitely there that I have to overcome.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
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afraid to fail, to be wrong?


nashville,

i think i am in similar situation where i have been reluctant for months now to tie together my observations/analysis into a executable system. instead keep dabbling here and there doing always some more analysis or observation. "always looking for new information, ideas" how to avoid any losses or failed trades....

i guess in my case there is underlying fear of failing, and there is more to it....

how to overcome this? well not sure quite frankly, been at this for a while....

wish you the best,
tihfa

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same here

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For many people, myself included, it is more psychologically satisfying to be encouraged and inspired by a trading idea, thinking how great trading it will be, than to test it - only to find that over the long run the idea is no good.

If you never test an idea, or never put it on paper, you are never disappointed in it. Testing/evaluating brings reality to the light of day, and can be emotionally draining and discouraging.


I learned this the hard way - losing money by trading untested "systems." Once my emotional brain realized that testing was good for my bank account, it started to get easier to test each and every system.

If you have any questions please send me a Private Message or use the futures.io "Ask Me Anything" thread
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Look I don't know how to emphasize this with greater importance but don't completely disregard a system just because it failed. Your main job is to find out what failed with the system and what prevailed. Just because a system fails as a whole doesn't mean that you can't find positive aspects. After you go through a few systems and develop new ideas you can start to piece together what worked from each system and come up with a hybrid that uses the best of all worlds. This way you can become intimately aware of any shortcomings if they arise. If you can learn something from each time you fail you'll inevitably succeed in the end.

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Itchymoku View Post
Look I don't know how to emphasize this with greater importance but don't completely disregard a system just because it failed. Your main job is to find out what failed with the system and what prevailed. Just because a system fails as a whole doesn't mean that you can't find positive aspects. After you go through a few systems and develop new ideas you can start to piece together what worked from each system and come up with a hybrid that uses the best of all worlds. This way you can become intimately aware of any shortcomings if they arise. If you can learn something from each time you fail you'll inevitably succeed in the end.

@Itchymoku, Excellent Points.
Thanks for putting this into words. I find it to be completely true. In fact, I believe one needs to keep some database / excel sheet record of the important sections of trading systems, so that it becomes easier to use them in the hybrid one. And becoming intimately aware of the inherent shortcomings helps a great deal, as then one gains the ability to choose proper systems to be used for a given underlying depending upon the exact context of that time.

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I went through this for a very long time. Felt like a writers block. You just have to start somewhere, get something down and see what it does. I found that when I did this I was immediately inspired to do more on it and instantly felt more motivation to test, revise, add etc. I think getting it down the first time is the hard part but in my case when I did it started to flow from me naturally like the ideas that I was always batting around in my brain.

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No Map, No Route, No Destination

If you are referring to a trading plan, i.e. a set of instructions by which to guide and organise your trading sessions, then I say yes, get one. It doesn't have to be born fully formed (I think I am now on my 19th revision), but do have one. I think it is very dangerous to start trading without having put thought into a plan. Why?

There is unlimited potential for harm (and of course for benefit) in the markets. WE decide when we want to play, for how long, with what stakes, etc. No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and say 'hey buddy, think we should call it quits for today'. You are the player and the coach. The plan plays the part of your coach.

In a near random and unlimited environment, things can get very confusing very quickly. This can skew our decision making abilities wildly, which can lead to 'oh sh#t what am I doing/what have I done'. The thoughts that promoted those actions can be greatly reduced by the proper formulation and application of a trading plan.

In part it's job is to provide some solidity to a fluid environment. Stable reference points to hang onto when the sea gets rough. And to provide consistency. The external variables of the market are arguable infinite, and faced with that you are trying work out 'what works and what doesn't'. From a scientific enquiry perspective you want to control as many variables as you reasonable can to explore the effect of others in turn. Your plan provides the consistency to tackle this. Albeit pretty fuzzy at best, it's better than nothing.

I could bang on and on about the value of a trading plan, jounalling, etc........ But of course this all just my experience. In summary:

My trading plan now holds my distilled beliefs about trading. I read it before each session (luckily now just a few bullet pointed pages). It says 'this is what you believe, so do it'

know thyself
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  #10 (permalink)
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What do you mean by Trading Plan?

A document that describes exactly your conditions to enter and exit trades, or a document that covers risk management, money management, a definition of your edge,... aka a business plan. Something else?

Remember there is a lot of rubbish written about trading, especially in most books and internet sites. Also remember that most people dont make money trading. Should you be taking advise from such people? (Steenbarger is an exception. I personally think he adds a lot of value).

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