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Trading When to call it quits? Oil Trader
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Trading When to call it quits? Oil Trader

  #31 (permalink)
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xylem View Post
So ive been trading for 6 years now.
Mostly on sim though I did do some real money trading and lost a small amount of money a few years ago.

I feel like im near to being profitable (as i think I have done for 4 years) but now I do think I actually am IF IF IF I can only take the Easy 'A' trades.

What is an easy trade?
A trade that I feel I have to take and has a lot of volume and excitement with it. A trade that is a good opportunity. Low hanging fruit.

How often does these trades present themselves?
Maybe 5 times a week, when the market is volatile it could be 50 times a week.
Basically I dont really know and if im honest I couldnt really tell you what an easy trade was. There are many vague examples and setups in my head but every day is different and the markets are constantly changing.


My question is when is it time to quit.
When do you recognise the insanity of trying to beat something your always so close to beating, but failing.
Can a loser ever make it.
Are there even profitable traders out there

AS you can tell Im not very happy right now with my trading and these are some thoughts Im struggling with.

I feel like I have really good experience and can usually 'call' a market well.
I am market savvy maybe in that I can tell a short squeeze and have kind of deconstructed market behaviour into more than just "omg omg its going up or omg its at support it must be a long!"

Basically im saying I think I have graduated from novice perspective on the markets but all I feel that has helped me do is make sense of the markets (or not be so mortified by its irrationality).

I am an order flow trader that tries to enter with tight stops take a quick scalp and hold a bit for a larger swing move.

I just thought id put this out and see if it makes any sense or if someone is in the same boat.
If Someone can see that im on the right/wrong track with my perspectives that would help a lot to.


TLDR:
Experienced trader who is marginal loser but can see glimpses of profitability asks when is it time to quit/how do you know if your on the right track.




I feel that way sometimes about a lot of things in life......as we age, life events change, priorities changes....life/death....we change.

if there's anything other than trading that gives you great joy then do it! life is short....here today gone tomorrow....do you really wanna waste your days away staring at the market or would you rather learn something new.

there's no easy answer and only your soul knows best.....take time away from markets, distractions and sit in quiet. listen to your soul.....get around nature and listen to your heart.

one of my struggles is looking at long term charts. I see a weekly chart of gold/oil and say why didn't i just sell or buy there and then go away and forget about it...then 3 years later take my profit......

i 'waste' so much time thinking about markets, watching markets....reading about markets....i could be doing lots of other things....but of course, one could say that about any 40 or 60hr work week job

best of luck!

....quick side note....if you haven't or don't serve in any capacity to a non-profit organization or church that you believe is doing good, do it....it helps change your perspective about life

...of if you're brave pay for someones groceries or drive thru or some one at a restaurant....that feels good too

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  #32 (permalink)
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Thanks for your more spiritual/ real life reply.
I didnt really ask about it but it is of course important to me and probably most people.

Since I made this thread Ive had some good trading weeks and started a journal.
I have glimpsed a reality of me being profitable which involves me being 99% patient and maybe only taking 1 trade a day.
Its very hard to do this and I also have a problem after taking a trade that loses and saying "why didnt I wait for the EASY trade".

Today EIA wrecked me.

There was maybe 2-3 "easy" trades I couldve taken but I got excited in the EIA and tried to scalp it and then went on tilt.
EDIT: btw ive put in a new rule that I cant just intuitionally scalp EIA release anymore. (so i did get something out of it)

Its very demoralising but I do feel I know the market well its just my knowledge isnt particularly actionable.
I can call moves ahead of time etc but cant neccesarily get a good entry with tight stop.

Maybe a mentor would help me as I feel im very close but need to refine the last 5% of my strategies to make it big.


Last edited by xylem; July 22nd, 2015 at 08:14 PM.
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  #33 (permalink)
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xylem View Post
Thanks for your more spiritual/ real life reply.
I didnt really ask about it but it is of course important to me and probably most people.

Since I made this thread Ive had some good trading weeks and started a journal.
I have glimpsed a reality of me being profitable which involves me being 99% patient and maybe only taking 1 trade a day.
Its very hard to do this and I also have a problem after taking a trade that loses and saying "why didnt I wait for the EASY trade".

Today EIA wrecked me.

There was maybe 2-3 "easy" trades I couldve taken but I got excited in the EIA and tried to scalp it and then went on tilt.
EDIT: btw ive put in a new rule that I cant just intuitionally scalp EIA release anymore. (so i did get something out of it)

Its very demoralising but I do feel I know the market well its just my knowledge isnt particularly actionable.
I can call moves ahead of time etc but cant neccesarily get a good entry with tight stop.

Maybe a mentor would help me as I feel im very close but need to refine the last 5% of my strategies to make it big.

I had a pretty big issue with tilt and over trading before, but I reduced it from 20+ trades a day down to on average of probably 3 now. What I did was put a hard stop in the number of trades as part of my rules. Maximum 4 trades a day, stop trading if there are 2 winners and net positive for the day, trading 2 hours a day.

You will get people who say this doesn't make sense, if there are more opportunities it should be taken - but the truth is, opportunities are infinite and they come every day. If you miss one or two, who cares, it won't make a difference in the long run.

Additionally, it will also force you to take the "easy trades" as you are limited in how many you can take. If you took a couple of mediocre scalps and was forced by your rules to watch a great trade take off without you, it will make you think twice tomorrow.

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  #34 (permalink)
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xylem View Post
Today EIA wrecked me.

There was maybe 2-3 "easy" trades I couldve taken but I got excited in the EIA and tried to scalp it and then went on tilt.
EDIT: btw ive put in a new rule that I cant just intuitionally scalp EIA release anymore. (so i did get something out of it)

Its very demoralising but I do feel I know the market well its just my knowledge isnt particularly actionable.
I can call moves ahead of time etc but cant neccesarily get a good entry with tight stop.

Maybe a mentor would help me as I feel im very close but need to refine the last 5% of my strategies to make it big.

In my own trading I realised that I can't really control the upside of my portfolio, but I can control the downside. I swing-trade stocks, although I always try to bag a big runner (get one every 2nd month or so)... If I have string together several good months, for instance 5%+ a month and have perhaps 4 to 6 losing months of less than 2% my annual performance will be quite respectable. However, if I have one month where I lose 10%, it impacts my performance significantly.

Once I started controlling my downside of my portfolio, my own trading really changed for the better. This does not mean tight stops with loads of leverage - this means using smaller size, using reasonable stops, only adding new positions if old positions are working, trading even smaller once the account is negative for the month and knowing when to stop trading if trades are just not working. If the account survives a bad month with minimal damage, then I am in a much better position for the next month.

Once the above paragraph hit home, I gained a bit of perspective that really helped my trading. I can't remember the last time I traded on margin, no individual trade can do devastating damage to my account and no individual bad month will leave me in a large drawdown.

With regards to your own trading, if you still feel the need to trade size that can wreck you, I would surmise that you have not yet lost enough real money. Sometimes the only way to learn is to lose big - I needed to lose more than my monthly salary in a day on two separate occasions, and even then I was a slow learner.

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  #35 (permalink)
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By wreck I mean Near a max loss day, it gave me lots of losing trades and it put me on tilt.
It didnt wreck me financially.

Also Im only trading 2 contracts so cant go any smaller imo.

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  #36 (permalink)
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xylem View Post
By wreck I mean Near a max loss day, it gave me lots of losing trades and it put me on tilt.
It didnt wreck me financially.

Also Im only trading 2 contracts so cant go any smaller imo.

I suspected as much, but found your choice of words interesting...wreck usually implies something went wrong badly. Did not mean that it imply that it wrecked you financially. However, it is always advisable to minimize those days where overtrading / revenge-trading / boredom-trading / ego-trading, etc. cause too much damage to the account.

What I meant with my prior post is that once you have the perspective of what is needed to have a great year, individual days (or trades in my case) don't matter that much anymore. Knowing that I just need to keep my downside low and grab the potentially nice winners that come along occasionally made trading less stressful and more profitable for me. As long as I don't let a bad month get out of control, there really is very little to worry about.

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  #37 (permalink)
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xylem View Post
Today EIA wrecked me.


xylem View Post
it gave me lots of losing trades and it put me on tilt.


Your choice of words are indeed interesting. Can you spot the issue with your thinking here?

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  #38 (permalink)
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It reflects how bad I feel about it.
Thats a reality that im working on

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  #39 (permalink)
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what do you feel bad about; a data report that wrecked your trading? a trading strategy which you created that had losses?

my point about what i asked was that you kept referring to your being "wrecked" as a result from something you believed to be outside your lotus of control. saying that "it" gave you losing trades and put you on tilt, you are thinking in a way that will not help prevent this from happening again.
there is no "it". a trade is not a winner or a loser until its over and closed. the unique market that we create for ourselves when we make trades exist only in our own worlds. it seems like you are blaming your emotions and subsequent losses on a particular market scenario or event and not yourself and how you traded.


theorizing..

think of it like there are two markets. one that we're observing (true market) and one that exists only when we have a trade on (false market).
- we can only make or lose money when we are participating in our "false market".
- we cant control the true market
- we have absolute control over our false market, except for the movement of its price which is correlated with the true market.

most traders work with this by trying to align their false markets as closely as possible with the true market. you know, the whole "trade what the market tells you" thing. so we devise a strategy to do just that, which is great but the issue is we do so by only looking at the true market! and when things are not working, we troubleshoot by observing the true market again.
we place little emphasis on false market strategies, the only market from which we can make money in!
therefore profitable trading is about creating quality false markets. or in other words, good trade management.


Quoting 
Its very demoralising but I do feel I know the market well its just my knowledge isnt particularly actionable.
I can call moves ahead of time etc but cant neccesarily get a good entry with tight stop.

looking back and saying that you missed your easy trades or the could've, should've type thinking that then leads you to alter your trading strategy to prevent something bad from happening is pointless because unless we actually made the trade (made a false market), the scenario never really existed in the first place. and if we did make the trade then that scenario can only be altered by what we can do in our false markets. a setup is something that we observe in the true market, which we know we cant control.


i'd suggest to stop thinking about winning and losing trades before or after they happen, and only think about managing a trade once you're in one. good trades exist in good scenarios, you create these scenarios by placing yourself in a position where you can manage your trade well.

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  #40 (permalink)
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Very interesting thoughts there Riela

I'll have to digest them but what I can get from them so far is that I definitely need to be in my False market less often and only enter the true market when I naturally instinctively feel it.

During the EIA for example I was amped and ready for that flush. But That excitement and conviction ended up hurting me as I took about 6 attempts at the short which never came.
The true market was a bear trap followed by a bulltrap and dump.

Once I was in these trades the trade management was good; They all lost less than 7 ticks and didnt give me a move I could bank but I took too many of them.

Also its a good point in that The EIA did NOT wreck me.
My plan execution/plan wrecked me. Its true.
The market was imo tricky but its just the market, Im the only thing that can change.

Sometimes the market feels like a bully that you have to keep giving your lunch (time/patience) to until you can find ground (opportunities) that you can stand firm in (trade). In this case that EIA day was a day where I stood up for myself too soon and got slapped back down. Gulp.
Well the only positive I take from that is ive changed my plan to not allow me to liberally scalp the EIA release anymore.

I just wish the process of improvement could be more "that worked great il do that more" rather than "uh, thats bad I I cant do that anymore".

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