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Difficulty pulling the trigger/ performance anxiety
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Difficulty pulling the trigger/ performance anxiety

  #11 (permalink)
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koshari View Post
Hulk suggested some actions to take to help relieve your anxiety. I'd like to suggest some I have learned and follow in the year I have been a futures trading student (paper money). While am still paying my dues, and don't have the experience some of the others in this thread have, I have seen improvement in my trading by taking these actions:

1. You have a method; so I will assume you have rules for when a trade setup fits your entry rules, and how you can enter a trade without breaking any of the rules. I will also assume you have another list of rules for tempting trade setups that you would NOT take the trade. I have memorized the my methods rules with flash cards, and drill myself daily on both sets of rules. I visualize trade setups that have been successful (using screen grabs if necessary), and trade setups that I've walked away from because they fit rules of when to NOT take a setup. Finally, Never change a rule in the heat of a trade, only on Saturdays when the market is closed, and you are fresh.

2. Have confidence in your trade method, follow it, and pull the trigger when it fits your rules (BOTH kinds).

3. Limit your risk to $150. If you cannot put your stop at a price that exposes you to more than $150 of loss, do not take the trade. Always place your stop when you enter the trade, always, always, always... When you have paid your dues with a satisfactory winning record, you can up the anti. For now, keep it small.

4. If you discover you make a mistake in an entry (in your rules compliance, or risk exposure), flatten immediately- do not wait hoping it will go your way. (I know this is easier said than done!)

5. Review the winning and loosing trades at the end of each day to see if you broke any rules. Focus on those you may have broken. Question your rules if there are losers, and you made no mistakes; maybe they need to be modified to fit the market or your personality. Remember, rules are changed only weekly.

6. After each trade is complete, take at least 1/2 hour off for physical exercise to make your mind leave the trading mindset for a rest. This is supposed to help you to avoid greed trades after a winner, and revenge trades after a loser.

7. After entry, and after verifying your rules for that entry, use manual trailing stops; if the price moves in your favor, move you stop according your rules. Move to breakeven at the earliest opportunity. Figure out which stops work the best for you.

These have helped me as I pay my dues.

From a different perspective:

Your suggestions in #3 are dangerous! Why would you limit yourself with a hard stop? Is your thesis invalidated because the market did not follow your plan of action to a tee? On that notion- why would you try to plan how order flow (let's be honest- 3 point ranges are order flow ) is going to play out? This kind of stuff is straight out of the books that everyone reads and blows their accounts up with.

#4 why would you get out unless there was a reason? Every trade has a 50/50 chance of working. If you don't feel it's a good trade then exit by all means but if it didn't fit your "rule" it still fit someone else's rule.

#6 walk away and potentially miss your best set up of the day?

#7 Stops make your broker rich an limit your profit potential. Only use when you cannot monitor price action or are too stubborn to pull the trigger.


Last edited by Inletcap; October 11th, 2015 at 05:03 PM.
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  #12 (permalink)
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Maybe you should consider taking even less risk until you feel comfortable quantifying exactly how profitable your edges in the market are. For example, if you were to freak out if you had 10 losing trades in a row because the actual dollar amount of losing 10% would be too great, then maybe start back up with only .5% risk or maybe even .25% or 0.1% risk until you're comfortable.

If I were training a trader that I was backing with my own personal capital, the rules would be: Show me 3 months of profitable SIM trading where I can observe the risk management being properly executed (which is probably even more important than the actual trade locations or trade entries), then go on training wheels with small risk with maybe .25% max risk per trade and 1% max daily draw down risk.

Then only after then can they start taking anywhere near 1% risk per trade.

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  #13 (permalink)
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Papertrade View Post
difference is mainly mental state I'm not deluded I could duplicate sim results I just need to work on taking the correct action most of the time live as I do on sim



I do believe in the method but like you said previous loss clouds my trading... and I should believe more in myself after all I did the research and tested it.



Mentally for sure that's where I need work, Not ideal but I think I'm ok on the account was left with 15.2k in the account down from 17k most of my trades requires 3 pts or $150 stop and We're having big range days lately over $225 and I skip the trade.



I'm not afraid of losing money I'm afraid of being wrong even on sim I felt some anxiety those 2 weeks after my melt down.

Not fixable.. ouch I know I have what it takes to make it I had overcome every barrier over the years trading plan money management etc slowly as I did it on my spare time all barriers but psychology perhaps the most important one and I know I'll eventually overcome that one as well


BEST OF LUCK

Thanks I appreciated your honesty

I see your words but I don't believe them. Actions speak louder then words. You may believe (and I am sure you do) what you said. But again your actions say other wise.

You have to get to an "I DON'T CARE" position when you trade. That is the only way you can make objectionable decisions and be able to be comfortable in the uncertain.

Your stop limit of 3 pts per trade is unreasonable. It means you are trying to trade a market that you are not capitalized for. Your stop should be based on where your trade idea becomes invalid. Some of my trades that can be 3, 5, 20 points. It doesn't matter. It is the least of my concern. I place higher concern on what has the market done, what can it do next, and what are the probabilities.

You also need to get past the right or wrong. Trading isn't about being right all the time. I have been wrong plenty, but been able to see, understand that, and trade the other direction for a profit.

Also being correct in analysis is about 20% of actual trading. Trade management is 80% and can make or break your trade. You can be wrong on the trade and still manage it to a successful conclusion. Also just because you get the analysis right doesn't mean you can execute the trade correctly. I know I have done this a lot before. If you had the right idea at the wrong time, your idea was technical wrong.

I am not trying to be rude, or anything. Just real.

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  #14 (permalink)
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I'm actually surprised the no one has mentioned Mark Douglas to you in this thread. Anyway, he has 2 books that you could look into and another one due out soon that he was able to finish before he passed away.
The video that I"m posting is also a good place to start getting immersed into his way of thinking. I would suggest stopping the video and taking notes while watching it. This is not a video where you watch it once and it all clicks. It is a video, however, where you watch it over and over and catch on to some things you missed before and also as you grow some of the things he says take on slightly new meaning.
Let me know if you like the video and decide to buy Trading in the Zone or The Disciplined Trader. They are both good books and recommended by many.


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  #15 (permalink)
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This is like 13 hours long and at times boring, especially in the middle, but it will completely dissect the issues you're having with pulling the trigger. Mark is a magician with this topic. You'll literally have a hard time thinking the same way about trading again.


shanmugs View Post
Great Man! RIP

Here are couple of pretty long videos, seminars Mark did, not sure if there is a copyright on it, available on youtube. I enjoy watching it now and then.






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  #16 (permalink)
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You stole my Thunder!


Itchymoku View Post
This is like 13 hours long and at times boring, especially in the middle, but it will completely dissect the issues you're having with pulling the trigger. Mark is a magician with this topic. You'll literally have a hard time thinking the same way about trading again.

I was going to post these if he liked the video I posted. Oh well... I just didn't want to overwhelm him with 3 videos all at once. There is a lot to take in here.


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SatchFan View Post
I was going to post these if he liked the video I posted. Oh well... I just didn't want to overwhelm him with 3 videos all at once. There is a lot to take in here.


It's crazy how even I struggled with these concepts for years and had no idea about some of my subconscious thoughts affecting the decisions I was making. Eventually through one of his exercises I found out that I was self sabotaging myself in trading because I didn't think I deserved the money. Things I've done in my past to other people that haven't been completely reconciled have surfaced in my trading without me even knowing it. I'll repeat that, I did not know these things were indirectly affecting my trading until I followed the trail of thoughts. Trading literally goes that deep. As a result I've become more generous and caring for others to help counter balance this internal struggle among other things.

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  #18 (permalink)
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It is a privilege to get feedback from a "Legendary" member of the board, and exactly the kind of feedback I want to get. Thank you for considering each of my points.

Please address the following responses to your feedback:

"Your suggestions in #3 are dangerous! Why would you limit yourself with a hard stop? Is your thesis invalidated because the market did not follow your plan of action to a tee? On that notion- why would you try to plan how order flow (let's be honest- 3 point ranges are order flow ) is going to play out? This kind of stuff is straight out of the books that everyone reads and blows their accounts up with."

If an entry is otherwise compliant with all my rules, I choose to limit my risk. My method specifies the price at which the stop is to be placed. I do not arbitrarily place the stop at $150, I place it according to my rules. If the price for the stop is in excess of $150, I get out immediately, or better yet, don't take the trade because of excess risk. I don't understand "3 point ranges are order flow" Is there a better way to limit risk to a threshold (like $150, or 2% of an account balance, or any other criteria)?

"#4 why would you get out unless there was a reason? Every trade has a 50/50 chance of working. If you don't feel it's a good trade then exit by all means but if it didn't fit your "rule" it still fit someone else's rule.."

I suspect you are using a method that requires a setup to expect a 50/50 chance of working, or you would not be entering in the first place. My rules specify a minimum of 2:1 reward:risk, or no entry is made. What setup do you use to assure a 50/50 chance of working?

"#6 walk away and potentially miss your best set up of the day?

Yes, there will be others. Please understand these are rules I follow while paying my dues. When I have had the practice and experience you have, I may change my rules to allow another immediate trade.

#7 Stops make your broker rich an limit your profit potential. Only use when you cannot monitor price action or are too stubborn to pull the trigger.

Stop loss gives me a safety net to protect against potentially wild swings. I do monitor price and use a trailing stop to ride a profitable trade to my target. At the target, I may use a limit to get out if the trailing stop does not take me out.

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  #19 (permalink)
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koshari View Post
It is a privilege to get feedback from a "Legendary" member of the board, and exactly the kind of feedback I want to get. Thank you for considering each of my points.

Please address the following responses to your feedback:

"Your suggestions in #3 are dangerous! Why would you limit yourself with a hard stop? Is your thesis invalidated because the market did not follow your plan of action to a tee? On that notion- why would you try to plan how order flow (let's be honest- 3 point ranges are order flow ) is going to play out? This kind of stuff is straight out of the books that everyone reads and blows their accounts up with."

If an entry is otherwise compliant with all my rules, I choose to limit my risk. My method specifies the price at which the stop is to be placed. I do not arbitrarily place the stop at $150, I place it according to my rules. If the price for the stop is in excess of $150, I get out immediately, or better yet, don't take the trade because of excess risk. I don't understand "3 point ranges are order flow" Is there a better way to limit risk to a threshold (like $150, or 2% of an account balance, or any other criteria)?

"#4 why would you get out unless there was a reason? Every trade has a 50/50 chance of working. If you don't feel it's a good trade then exit by all means but if it didn't fit your "rule" it still fit someone else's rule.."

I suspect you are using a method that requires a setup to expect a 50/50 chance of working, or you would not be entering in the first place. My rules specify a minimum of 2:1 reward:risk, or no entry is made. What setup do you use to assure a 50/50 chance of working?

"#6 walk away and potentially miss your best set up of the day?

Yes, there will be others. Please understand these are rules I follow while paying my dues. When I have had the practice and experience you have, I may change my rules to allow another immediate trade.

#7 Stops make your broker rich an limit your profit potential. Only use when you cannot monitor price action or are too stubborn to pull the trigger.

Stop loss gives me a safety net to protect against potentially wild swings. I do monitor price and use a trailing stop to ride a profitable trade to my target. At the target, I may use a limit to get out if the trailing stop does not take me out.

If you have to limit losses to $150 you cannot afford the risk of any futures market. If you have to have a hard stop in place and your catastrophic error is 3 pts away you are going to find trading very expensive. People think they are " wrong" when price goes 1 tick above/ below point x- this is insane. I see price push on my levels every day- some days a climactic move will end a trend and it's more than a little push. If you enter before the climax is your thesis wrong? Hell no, add to that trade because you are likely very "right". Exit only if further signs of strength prove you wrong. Yes- it can be more costly than some book tells you that you should risk but the fact you are not getting dinged on two outta three trades makes it cheaper in the real world.

All trades have a 50/50 chance of working out. Price can go either way when you hit the button and this must be accepted and expected. Rules and expectations hurt- let's see what happens is very objective and has a fighting chance of being profitable.

I should add that I am a 100% discretionary trader with no hard coded rules to trade by. I have a collection if thoughts on everything under the sun but I decide when to trade- not a system.


Last edited by Inletcap; October 11th, 2015 at 08:46 PM.
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  #20 (permalink)
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Inletcap View Post
If you have to limit losses to $150 you cannot afford the risk of any futures market. If you have to have a hard stop in place and your catastrophic error is 3 pts away you are going to find trading very expensive. People think they are " wrong" when price goes 1 tick above/ below point x- this is insane. I see price push on my levels every day- some days a climactic move will end a trend and it's more than a little push. If you enter before the climax is your thesis wrong? Hell no, add to that trade because you are likely very "right". Exit only if further signs of strength prove you wrong. Yes- it can be more costly than some book tells you that you should risk but the fact you are not getting dinged on two outta three trades makes it cheaper in the real world.

All trades have a 50/50 chance of working out. Price can go either way when you hit the button and this must be accepted and expected. Rules and expectations hurt- let's see what happens is very objective and has a fighting chance of being profitable.

I should add that I am a 100% discretionary trader with no hard coded rules to trade by. I have a collection if thoughts on everything under the sun but I decide when to trade- not a system.

Exactly, price moving against you isn't failure or invalidation of your trade. You have to be able to with stand heat in any trade to allow it time to work.

Another stop people use is a time stop. They want their trade to work within the time they allotted. Saying I want 10+ pts in 5 min is ridiculous. Sure there are times when the market might do that, but you can't guess it with any certainty.

Trading is about opportunity. Taking controlled amounts of risk when the probabilities are there to be open for an opportunity.

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