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Confidence in discretionary trading


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Confidence in discretionary trading

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  #11 (permalink)
 chipwitch 
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glennts View Post
From your comments it seems you haven't quite gotten a handle on this yet.

I am painfully aware.


Quoting 
Flying demands some of these attributes and it also requires enough confidence to overcome fear. As you train to become a pilot you learn the procedures necessary to pilot safely. There are fairly precise steps to follow to deal with an engine failure, aircraft stall, aborted landings some of which are particular to the aircraft some of which are generic. But in every case there is a solution to a problem, procedures to follow. Discretionary trading is getting into a home built experimental aircraft for the first time without knowing what its flight characteristics are. Seat of the pants flying and you have to develop the manual as you go along. Yes there are common things to look out for but there is also the unexpected / unanticipated event for which no by the book procedure exists. It's somewhat similar to hopping into your Citation but it is also very, very different.

Great! A fellow pilot (or a sim pilot?). I have high performance, complex and tail dragger endorsements. I never got my multi, ifr or jet ratings, but I have about 600 hours in an old v-tail Bonanza. It's been over 20 years since I've flown. I am one of those seat of the pants flyers, fwiw. One of my first cross country trips, right after getting my license, I took off on a hot day in a 172 after doing the requisite preflight and runup... Just as I crossed the end of the runway, I lost significant power. I was slow, low about 150ft agl, and surrounded with nowhere to set down but back the direction I came from. I wasn't able to climb out more than about 50' a minute. As I had been taught, I immediately reached for the mags to see if that was the cause. Before I switched from "both", it occurred to me that that could be disastrous. I managed to gradually turn back around and declare an emergency. It was an uncontrolled airport, but I made a crosswind landing, safely. It turned out it was indeed one of the mags. Could have ended badly. I am very intuitive in social settings, relationships etc. I guess I've expected that to translate more.


Quoting 
Don't know if you are a runner but even if not, you could get yourself to the point where you could do a marathon ( yeah I know... you're run 3 so far this year... but lets pretend you haven't and you just came out of ACL surgery ) . It would take awhile to get in shape, maybe several years, but you could do it. Take this marathon challenge and apply it you where your are now in trading. Considering where you want to go you are possibly still at the point where you can barely bend over and touch your toes. So the question becomes how badly do you want to cross the finish line and will you put in the time, endure the pain and frustration that awaits you along the way?

First of all, even as a child I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees or causing great pain.

Second of all, I live my life in a perpetual state of self-inflicted frustration. I always take on more than I can chew. And keep plugging away at it until I succeed. Check. If I didn't, I wouldn't still be posting on this forum.

I have had a lifetime to do a lot of things... running isn't one of them. I have bad knees. Never going to happen for me. I take your point, but you need to realize, sometimes, things simply cannot happen no matter how hard we work at it. I do get your metaphor. Still, i have to push back on this notion that all you have to do is work hard to be successful. That may be the case for ultrasound techs and engineers (assuming the basic intellect and desire is there), where there's nearly 100% chance of success. But the statistics would suggest otherwise in the case of trading.

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  #12 (permalink)
 Anagami 
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chipwitch View Post
I am painfully aware.



Great! A fellow pilot (or a sim pilot?). I have high performance, complex and tail dragger endorsements. I never got my multi, ifr or jet ratings, but I have about 600 hours in an old v-tail Bonanza. It's been over 20 years since I've flown. I am one of those seat of the pants flyers, fwiw. One of my first cross country trips, right after getting my license, I took off on a hot day in a 172 after doing the requisite preflight and runup... Just as I crossed the end of the runway, I lost significant power. I was slow, low about 150ft agl, and surrounded with nowhere to set down but back the direction I came from. I wasn't able to climb out more than about 50' a minute. As I had been taught, I immediately reached for the mags to see if that was the cause. Before I switched from "both", it occurred to me that that could be disastrous. I managed to gradually turn back around and declare an emergency. It was an uncontrolled airport, but I made a crosswind landing, safely. It turned out it was indeed one of the mags. Could have ended badly. I am very intuitive in social settings, relationships etc. I guess I've expected that to translate more.



First of all, even as a child I couldn't touch my toes without bending my knees or causing great pain.

Second of all, I live my life in a perpetual state of self-inflicted frustration. I always take on more than I can chew. And keep plugging away at it until I succeed. Check. If I didn't, I wouldn't still be posting on this forum.

I have had a lifetime to do a lot of things... running isn't one of them. I have bad knees. Never going to happen for me. I take your point, but you need to realize, sometimes, things simply cannot happen no matter how hard we work at it. I do get your metaphor. Still, i have to push back on this notion that all you have to do is work hard to be successful. That may be the case for ultrasound techs and engineers (assuming the basic intellect and desire is there), where there's nearly 100% chance of success. But the statistics would suggest otherwise in the case of trading.

Hello Dear Friend and welcome to FIO and trading!

I was going to say that there is a wider question here - how do you do with general uncertainty in life? Is that the spice of life to be embraced, enjoyed, and celebrated... or is that a dissonant artifact that must be eliminated as much as possible?

Are you secretly (or even) openly enjoying your state of 'perpetual self-inflicted frustration'? Why define it as 'frustration' and then experience it as thus? Can it not be all a delightful adventure??

Whether or not they know it, for many traders, the NOT knowing of trading is the juice that keeps pulling them back.

You are never in the wrong place... but sometimes you are in the right place looking at things in the wrong way.
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  #13 (permalink)
 Anagami 
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chipwitch View Post
...I am not a person of faith (a belief in the absence of evidence or cause). I wish I were. Life would be happier and simpler. If unsupported blind faith is requisite to be a successful trader, I will never make it.

Of course you are a person of faith. Everybody is. You have faith in many things for which you have no proof / evidence. (Say that proof / evidence for A is B. What is the proof / evidence for B? C. What is the proof / evidence for C? D... and so on, infinitely deep, which is obviously not the case, stuck in the good ol' infinite regress, the Achilles heel of classical evidentialism.)

Having said that, I don't think blind faith is required for success... but deep inner work is.

When you just embrace it all, without caring about 'success' or 'results', then you give yourself the best odds to make it long term.

You are never in the wrong place... but sometimes you are in the right place looking at things in the wrong way.
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  #14 (permalink)
 Anagami 
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chipwitch View Post
... buying at the high, selling at the low wrt mistakes. It's uncanny how often I can make that mistake. The problem is that I don't see whatever it is that would prevent me making that mistake so much. If only I could figure that out, I would finally have my edge! I could sell the high and buy the low!

Surely, that's not so difficult! Add a filter to your methodology. For example, you could put a Keltner Channel on your chart, and take your setup short only if the price is above the channel, and your long setups only when the price is below the channel.

You are never in the wrong place... but sometimes you are in the right place looking at things in the wrong way.
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  #15 (permalink)
 ZviTradingCoach   is a Vendor
 
 
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chipwitch View Post
I hear you to say that your confidence has been up and down on the scale of years before obtaining a sustained sense of confidence. That's fair. Thank you.

I was specifically asking this of discretionary traders, though. While they certainly have rules they follow in making their trading decisions, it's far more subjective. Where as having "Confidence in my system," as you say, implies a more quantitative, less subjective approach. As I understand it, system trading is the diametric opposite of system trading. https://www.thebalance.com/discretionary-or-system-trader-1031038

Quite the contrary: Discretionary traders (myself included) all have a system. It's just less rigid and mathematical and not as explicit, but nevertheless it's a system. It's the reasoning that lies behind the discretion.
If you were to explain your trade to someone, you probably could. That is a system. And if, on the other hand, you look at the trade in hindsight and see things you have missed that would have prevented ore changed the trade - that isn't a system problem, it's you and your skill level+psychology.

However, because of the difference you pointed out, it just makes it that much harder for discretionary traders to seperate these two issues. Nevertheless they are still different, and still must both be resolved for the trader to be confident.

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  #16 (permalink)
 chipwitch 
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Anagami View Post
I was going to say that there is a wider question here - how do you do with general uncertainty in life? Is that the spice of life to be embraced, enjoyed, and celebrated... or is that a dissonant artifact that must be eliminated as much as possible?

Uncertainty is uncertainty. It is neither something I avoid or embrace. I am not a gambler. I don't play Russian roulette. On the other hand I have jumped into so many things, way over my head and solved problems as I go. If one was to truly embrace uncertainty, gravitate toward it, there would be no need to perfect something, improve it or even attempt to make it marginally better. If you want uncertainty, then flip a coin. Heads buy ES right now, tails sell it and just wait. I would NOT embrace that myself, but if you like uncertainty, that would do it.


Quoting 
Are you secretly (or even) openly enjoying your state of 'perpetual self-inflicted frustration'? Why define it as 'frustration' and then experience it as thus? Can it not be all a delightful adventure??

You are the one giving the word "frustration" a negative connotation. Who said I don't enjoy the journey? Do you think I would keep myself in a perpetual state of frustration if I didn't derive some pleasure from it?


Quoting 

Of course you are a person of faith. Everybody is. You have faith in many things for which you have no proof / evidence. (Say that proof / evidence for A is B. What is the proof / evidence for B? C. What is the proof / evidence for C? D... and so on, infinitely deep, which is obviously not the case, stuck in the good ol' infinite regress, the Achilles heel of classical evidentialism.)

Ha! I thought you advocated for uncertainty and then you go getting pedantic and semantic about a word that has many definitions? I'm not going to debate philosophy with you or split hairs over the definitions of words. It's a fools errand that requires defining every word ad nauseam only to finally come to the conclusion that no philosophical discipline works in a vacuum. So much navel gazing is unproductive imo. I am most certainly NOT a person of faith. It is NOT for you to say! There are many definitions of faith. If you choose one (and not the one I meant) to project onto my meaning, that's your prerogative. But, you're only choosing to misunderstand me, to "fit" MY meaning into YOUR world view. To me, that sounds like an endeavor of someone who isn't quite so eager to embrace uncertainty as they would like to believe.

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  #17 (permalink)
 Anagami 
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chipwitch View Post
Uncertainty is uncertainty. It is neither something I avoid or embrace. I am not a gambler. I don't play Russian roulette. On the other hand I have jumped into so many things, way over my head and solved problems as I go. If one was to truly embrace uncertainty, gravitate toward it, there would be no need to perfect something, improve it or even attempt to make it marginally better. If you want uncertainty, then flip a coin. Heads buy ES right now, tails sell it and just wait. I would NOT embrace that myself, but if you like uncertainty, that would do it.



You are the one giving the word "frustration" a negative connotation. Who said I don't enjoy the journey? Do you think I would keep myself in a perpetual state of frustration if I didn't derive some pleasure from it?



Ha! I thought you advocated for uncertainty and then you go getting pedantic and semantic about a word that has many definitions? I'm not going to debate philosophy with you or split hairs over the definitions of words. It's a fools errand that requires defining every word ad nauseam only to finally come to the conclusion that no philosophical discipline works in a vacuum. So much navel gazing is unproductive imo. I am most certainly NOT a person of faith. It is NOT for you to say! There are many definitions of faith. If you choose one (and not the one I meant) to project onto my meaning, that's your prerogative. But, you're only choosing to misunderstand me, to "fit" MY meaning into YOUR world view. To me, that sounds like an endeavor of someone who isn't quite so eager to embrace uncertainty as they would like to believe.

Whoa! Definitely hit a nerve I see!

You are never in the wrong place... but sometimes you are in the right place looking at things in the wrong way.
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  #18 (permalink)
 glennts 
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It's been quite some time since a thread has been both this helpful and entertaining.

Aside from chipwich's razor sharp intellect, I really like the insight of Anagami's post closing comment.

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 chipwitch 
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Anagami View Post
Whoa! Definitely hit a nerve I see!

You make an awful lot of incorrect assumptions. This one, for example. You'll have to try a lot harder to get close to any of *my* nerves.

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 Skidboot 
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You are looking for the wrong thing. Confidence is all about expecting and achieving a certain outcome. Embrace uncertainty which is the winning attitude. In trading, you can't and will never know what will happen next. So you can never expect to be confident.

Read "Trading in the Zone" by Mark Douglas. It helps a little.


chipwitch View Post
This is a question directed at self-described successful discretionary traders.

How does your confidence in your trading profession compare to the confidence most people feel in their non-trading profession?

To clarify, as a trained ultrasound tech, I had a high degree of confidence in my ability. While I wouldn't say that I have confidence in my ability to trade, there have been moments where I did. But then, some series of losses wipes it all away. I began to wonder if having the kind of confidence one generally has in their abilities in most careers is even possible with discretionary trading.

I understand that there are various aspects that can give one confidence. I have confidence that I can manage risk and make sound decisions around that. This is about having a high degree of confidence before entering a trade, only to find out 10 seconds later that you just bought at the high, sold at the low, or some other equally humbling result. I don't expect perfection of myself. One such loss, meh, I made a mistake. Oops. Move on. Next one, similar. I start trying to figure out where I went wrong. It's in that scrutiny that I begin to realize, after 4 months eating and breathing trading, I have no better clue than when I started.

Sure, I still get those trades that restore some small measure of confidence. But it comes and goes. Does that ever go away for you successful discretionary traders? At some point, does it just come, and not go?

So, this question is about the feeling of confidence. Do you consider yourself in possession of it in the same way a surgeon might feel about their career? Does a series of losses above some anticipated threshold shake your confidence?

Please describe your confidence and compare it to the confidence you had in a previous career, sport (golf?), hobby etc.


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