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What is the single biggest area you need to improve as a trader?

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What is the single biggest area you need to improve as a trader?

  #11 (permalink)
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: Dorman Trading
Trading: ES
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Interesting discussion

I dont share many comments here but I love the site......I thought this discussion was meant for me to share. My thoughts an concepts are mine. Not looking to rebuttal anybody or have negative comments...take away what you think you can use or leave it.

My experiences have brought me to understand that a trading plan written out with strict rules, should cover the items on the list such as overtrading, letting loser run and not getting enough profit as expected.

What I found most difficult is controlling and recognizing the human behavior that gets in the way in trying to follow the rules....Ask yourself what is your belief in RULES? in general...my life has taught me rules are made to be broken, or are for dummies.....that belief has caused me so much pain!!!!! and I have lived in 9 countries and walked in 44.....not bragging just reflecting why I had that belief!!!!

The minute I started to use the TJS electronic journal (a statistical look at your trading) an I uploaded my NT trade data, it showed me my trade statistics and when you begin to see the statistical repeated errors, it begs for you to ask the question..Why am I doing this? and until you identify that...you can't change!!!!!

It was not until I identified the triggers of my human behavior that I began to reduce them..........It is not easy.!!!

If you understand the mental game the brain plays with fear and greed, you realize it's in your head.

What worked for me was identify the triggers, for me there has been two.....one was my "euphoria" feeling, you win 4 or 5 in a row and on the next one you blow it up..you move your stop an let the loser beat you more than if should have.
Why?....... in my case the wins made me over confident........remember we spend time convincing ourselves we have an edge....so it plays against our confidence.....So now every time I have a winner, I say...I am one trade closer to a loser...I have a win rate of 68%...which means 32% lose...so I had to grasp that 1 out of every 3 trades may be a loser an except that an PLAN for it.

The 2nd behavioral issue....I found that my need to be right was a problem....when I would lose, I would chase the loss...why? because we humans hate to be wrong.......now when I have a loser.....I leave the computer for 15 to 20 minutes and go visit my "human behavior" the one that wants to jump in an get the money back...which is a NO NO..I speak to myself about the 32% loss rate which is acceptable, it's OK.....

Recognizing your triggers is the key!!!!! Spend time identifying WHY..you are doing certain things that are detrimental to your trading...

I also found that trading on a short time frame chart is a NO NO for me, I use a 30 minute bar to trade. I enter on a 60 second chart...but dont watch the 60 second chart, it sucks me in to the noise, so I watch the 30 minute chart...
I love price action...the fact I used the word LOVE...tells you I am an adrenaline junkie...I jump out of perfectly good airplanes, I scuba dive deeper than my license allows, I worked in war zones as a civilian for 8 years......now I have identified it....cant change it.... but I recognize it in the moment.......so I changed my chart time to compensate for the human behavior....helped greatly.

You can't change who you are...instantly....human behavior took years to develop.....but you can place things into your trade plan to help you recognize it in the moment and to offset them!!!

I read a very profound comment about trading, some of you may recognize this......."have the courage in your conviction to take the trade but have the intelligent patience to sit tight.!!!!!!..very hard..practice it!!!

I was trying to upload a behavorial study an a behavor change plan but could not get the function to work, if anybody would like it, email me @....lawler.kc@gmail.com.....would be glad to share.

I hope my words help, it has helped me in sharing.


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  #12 (permalink)
New York City, NY
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Big Mike View Post
Hey guys,

New poll:

Please vote and discuss.


Where's "all of the above"?
I wish I was joking lol

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  #13 (permalink)
Gold Coast
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I assumed that Not following my own rules covered the why the !@#! did I do that moments.

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  #14 (permalink)
Los Angeles CA/USA
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Big Mike View Post
Hey guys,

New poll:

Please vote and discuss.



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  #15 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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I'll add a few more options and re run this poll in the future, keep the discussion going guys.

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  #16 (permalink)
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As @cory said, All Fears are the Same Fear. I think Fear is at the root of many of these problems,

I personally fear failure and the death of my account, I fear that the capital I set aside to follow this quest will dissipate, that I will waste the capital like a fool. I fear that the gifted masters of the universe really are better qualified than me. I fear I am just an average person who just couldn't quite get trading "its a hard racket after all". I fear there is a flaw in me that is deluded by randomness.

So all I can do is work out these trades one by one, and slowly prove that there really is an edge that I have. I feel like every trade is fighting me all the time. The market-maker wants to stop me out, the institution wants the liquidity. All I can do is work at learning the market behavior and execute without the fear. I see small steps.

I can keep blocking off behaviors that hurt me. Fear can be a powerful tool to make me an effective trader. I won't be a fool, I will respect the fear and survive as a trader. I will Live to generate a large-enough sample-size of trades to discover what the edge is for me.

Last edited by snax; June 9th, 2019 at 12:51 AM. Reason: so dramatic.
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  #17 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
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I hate when position goes against me. So I often exit too soon right before big move occurs. A few ticks instead of a few points

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  #18 (permalink)
Dallas, TX USA
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Trading: GC CL ES + MES as of MAY 2019
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snax View Post
I think Fear is at the root of many of these problems,

Once upon a time... It's "ALL of the above" listed in the poll for me. Then I read "Trading in the ZONE" by Mark Douglas and work my way through it... the only thing left is "Misreading price action/context" that still kept me from "Trading should be EFFORTLESS, as he suggested.


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  #19 (permalink)
Stockholm, Sweden
Experience: Intermediate
Trading: FDAX, ES
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Posts: 78 since Oct 2018
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Interesting topic, I picked "overtrading" because it is what I do when I give back most of the profits from a good week of trading, I usually go for 1-3 trades in the DAX morning session and maybe hold a runner into the afternoon. What happens is that Im either marginally up or down in the morning and I'm unsatisfied with the day come back in the afternoon for the US open and take either a quick win/loss and then I go off trying to force the market to give me the money it "owes" me for my time and I dig myself down deeper with each trade until I hit my daily loss limit and instead of 1-3 trades that day i have 10-15, at least I have the discipline after 2 years not to continue trading when that happens but I didn't need to hit my daily loss limit at all.

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  #20 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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I personally picked not following my plan because there are some mornings where I don't get my daily prep done before the market starts and some times I trade days where I shouldn't like fomc. I think there are a bunch of other small things but it's getting much much better

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