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How do I stop getting in my own way?
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Created: by Rock Sexton Attachments:0

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How do I stop getting in my own way?

  #11 (permalink)
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iqgod View Post
Well, if it a loser, "so what"?

The only way I can explain it is like this ..... I have 20 trading days a month to hit my numbers. So I'm constantly weighing "time opportunity costs" of positions. It's to a point where I do feel as if I'm fixating too much on it.


Quoting 
If you are trading a "don't care"size AND if you have practiced hard enough to have confidence in the expectancy of your system, then that issue will not arise.

Well again .... since I'm trading for a living, I tend to always care about the size of my position, just some sizes less than others.

I think it's crazy how much the size of the position can trump my analysis though and lead to shaky trade management.

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  #12 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
There are two economies in this world:

1. The Time Based Economy: You live in this world mentally. You think in terms of time; time til end of month, time it takes to find a trade, time it takes for the trade to work or not work...time, time time....you get paid for time.

2. The Results Economy: This is the world traders actually live in. You get paid for results not time: If it takes 1 day to make your monthly nut or all 20, its irrelevant: Results are NOT time dependent. So move from the time based economy to the results economy and I think you will start to see your results start to come into line with what you know your system can produce.

This is all too familiar. Almost like being served a hefty dose of online smelling salts.

I definitely find myself fixating on #1 and it's been a complete detriment.

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  #13 (permalink)
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Rock Sexton View Post
It's funny you mention the "C" word .... i.e. "confidence". It's one of the very things I'm lacking in life right now and it tends to seap over into my trading. This journey in trading isn't just about building a career and being successful, it's about finding my confidence.

I definitely don't show the same confidence in the exit as I do the entry. It's crazy because my exit signals are derived from the same source with every trade. I know where they're going to be. There's just something about that "what if" factor and my lack of confidence that takes control of the wheel once I get into the green. What if this is one that gets reversed? What if I happen to be wrong about the target? Once that train of thought starts, sometimes it gets really hard to shut it up. In many cases I say "well this is decent money" and there will always be other trades so I should just take the profit.

If I may ask, how long have you been trading full time? It seems to me that, given what you say above, trading full time is the last thing you should be doing. You may protest and say "but I have a great system!" I'd say deep down - on some level - you don't think you have a great system - otherwise you'd follow it.

Think about what would convince you that you have great exits. Maybe it is analyzing past data. Maybe it is watching someone with discipline succeed with your method. Whatever it is, just figure out what you need to get confidence, and then implement it.

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  #14 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
If I may ask, how long have you been trading full time? It seems to me that, given what you say above, trading full time is the last thing you should be doing. You may protest and say "but I have a great system!" I'd say deep down - on some level - you don't think you have a great system - otherwise you'd follow it.

Think about what would convince you that you have great exits. Maybe it is analyzing past data. Maybe it is watching someone with discipline succeed with your method. Whatever it is, just figure out what you need to get confidence, and then implement it.

To an outsider looking on, yes the assumption is on some level I don't think I have a great system. I fully understand where someone might get that idea, especially when they've never seen it.

What it boils down to is this ...... to this point I have NOT accepted the risk involved. It's been a journey coming up as a trader because prior to getting involved in this profession, I was not what you'd called a risk taker. I have always been technical/analyst in nature, but the kinds of risks we take on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis involves live capital and it's been an adjustment for me psychologically. Not only that but I don't come from a lot of money and I've never made an exuberant amount of it. I'm a guy who has always "gotten" by.

So my relationship to money has been a very conservative almost pragmatic one. Within the last 5 months I was given a considerably larger capital base to work with, which I've been wanting for a very long time. Yet at the same time, I've been apprehensive of making full use of it. Mentally I'm trying to adjust to inherently larger position sizes. In trades I find myself actively fixating on fluctuating $ amounts instead of just monitoring where the position is at in the chart.

In total, I've been at this for about 4 years now. The first 1.5 years were losses. The next 1.5 years was profitable, but still had to work really hard for it (lots of little wins). This last year is when I've significantly increased profitability and I'm taking substantially less trades. I've gone from conducting almost 35-40 trades a month to no more than 7/month over the last 6 months. The "core" emphasis of my system from when I started is still there, but the mechanisms have evolved as time has gone on. In my quest to better understand "why" it worked "when" it worked, I've gone deeper down the rabbit hole with my research and have since calibrated/tweaked it with other trading studies. Within the last year is when the recipe has really become precise.

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  #15 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
Lastly, the market does not care one bit about your monthly numbers.

Just saw you added this comment.

It's the truth though, the market does not care about what I want. That is why it was important for me to become patient in my approach, not chasing trades ...... only taking them when they hit my parameters and risk/reward appetite. That part of it I finally have down.


Quoting 
If you plan on making it as a trader, you need to stop caring about it as well and just focus on trading correctly, the monthly nut will take care of itself.

That's it in a nutshell man.

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  #16 (permalink)
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Rock Sexton View Post
To an outsider looking on, yes the assumption is on some level I don't think I have a great system. I fully understand where someone might get that idea, especially when they've never seen it.

What it boils down to is this ...... to this point I have NOT accepted the risk involved. It's been a journey coming up as a trader because prior to getting involved in this profession, I was not what you'd called a risk taker. I have always been technical/analyst in nature, but the kinds of risks we take on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis involves live capital and it's been an adjustment for me psychologically. Not only that but I don't come from a lot of money and I've never made an exuberant amount of it. I'm a guy who has always "gotten" by.

So my relationship to money has been a very conservative almost pragmatic one. Within the last 5 months I was given a considerably larger capital base to work with, which I've been wanting for a very long time. Yet at the same time, I've been apprehensive of making full use of it. Mentally I'm trying to adjust to inherently larger position sizes. In trades I find myself actively fixating on fluctuating $ amounts instead of just monitoring where the position is at in the chart.

In total, I've been at this for about 4 years now. The first 1.5 years were losses. The next 1.5 years was profitable, but still had to work really hard for it (lots of little wins). This last year is when I've significantly increased profitability and I'm taking substantially less trades. I've gone from conducting almost 35-40 trades a month to no more than 7/month over the last 6 months. The "core" emphasis of my system from when I started is still there, but the mechanisms have evolved as time has gone on. In my quest to better understand "why" it worked "when" it worked, I've gone deeper down the rabbit hole with my research and have since calibrated/tweaked it with other trading studies. Within the last year is when the recipe has really become precise.


The problem is YOU don't really believe you have a great system. If you did, the risk involved would be acceptable to you. Part of making it "great" is that it fits your personality, goals and objectives.

If you think it is because your size is too big, cut your size down to the "sleeping point."

Every new system I trade I start with small size, and gradually increase as I get used to the system. Kind of like a frog in boiling water. Raise the temperature slowly, and the frog won;t realize he is getting cooked!

If you have any questions please send me a Private Message or use the futures.io "Ask Me Anything" thread
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  #17 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
The problem is YOU don't really believe you have a great system. If you did, the risk involved would be acceptable to you. Part of making it "great" is that it fits your personality, goals and objectives.

I respectfully disagree with the "belief" factor. If I didn't beleive at some level, I would've completely walked away from this endeavor. It's a trust issue with me. If I had just let the targets or stops play out, the results are unanimously in favor of the system. So the question is why don't I trust it. This is where my relationship to money and the "time opportunity cost" (aka my fixation on 20 trading days a month) starts to wedge itself into the picture.


Quoting 
If you think it is because your size is too big, cut your size down to the "sleeping point."

Every new system I trade I start with small size, and gradually increase as I get used to the system. Kind of like a frog in boiling water. Raise the temperature slowly, and the frog won;t realize he is getting cooked!

Maybe I do need to go back to that. But in doing this for a living, I've been rationalizing the "time opportunity cost". It's crazy to me how much going from a 2,000 position size to a 6,000 position size in a $20 stock can decrease my ability to properly mentally manage a trade. Part of that is like I said before, I tend to fixate on the fluctuating dollar amounts.

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  #18 (permalink)
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Rock Sexton View Post
I respectfully disagree with the "belief" factor. If I didn't beleive at some level, I would've completely walked away from this endeavor. It's a trust issue with me. If I had just let the targets or stops play out, the results are unanimously in favor of the system. So the question is why don't I trust it. This is where my relationship to money and the "time opportunity cost" (aka my fixation on 20 trading days a month) starts to wedge itself into the picture.



Maybe I do need to go back to that. But in doing this for a living, I've been rationalizing the "time opportunity cost". It's crazy to me how much going from a 2,000 position size to a 6,000 position size in a $20 stock can decrease my ability to properly mentally manage a trade. Part of that is like I said before, I tend to fixate on the fluctuating dollar amounts.


Do you follow your system 100% when you are 1) trading small size and 2) regardless of time of month?

If you have any questions please send me a Private Message or use the futures.io "Ask Me Anything" thread
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  #19 (permalink)
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@Rock Sexton you sound like a prime candidate for automation. If you have a mechanical system that works but you are the problem why not remove yourself from the equation? Your problem is not uncommon and I have found not executing trades manually gives me enough separation from market to leave things alone. Of course you can still intervene if a BOT is trading but for me at least I don't feel the need to do so.

"The day I became a winning trader was the day it became boring. Daily losses no longer bother me and daily wins no longer excited me. Took years of pain and busting a few accounts before finally got my mind right. I survived the darkness within and now just chillax and let my black box do the work."
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  #20 (permalink)
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liquidcci View Post
@Rock Sexton you sound like a prime candidate for automation. If you have a mechanical system that works but you are the problem why not remove yourself from the equation? Your problem is not uncommon and I have found not executing trades manually gives me enough separation from market to leave things alone. Of course you can still intervene if a BOT is trading but for me at least I don't feel the need to do so.

That is a great idea.

The only caveat I have is that if there are deep down emotional/psychological issues, they will still show up with automated trading, just in a different form. Some people think automated = emotionless, and that is not true. It can still be emotional.

If you have any questions please send me a Private Message or use the futures.io "Ask Me Anything" thread
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