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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets
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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets

  #2481 (permalink)
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What holds me back is fear. I do not just shrug off a large loss in a matter of seconds. Yet, the words just recently posted of a famous rtader advise one to remain frightened to be succesful.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword". Really? At 43 coming out of a major defeat? I would love to have held that moto at 25. Today it is a weird thing to consider.

I was in the shower thinking abot this, and the thoughts I have had before about insurance underwriters formulating their business models on probabilities came to mind. I have written here about that before, but never in this light; For $4,000.0 per year, no long term commitment even, they would have paid to rebuild my house if it were destroyed by fire, or hurricane, or whtever risks there may be. For $1100 a year, also no commitment, they will replace a $40k vehicle, and pay medical expenses and liability claims. Are they insane? Or will insurance companies continue to be one of the rocks of the financial world?

What is the correct ratio of risk versus reward? Many traders seem to prefer greater reward to lesser risk, but that is far from the insurance model...

Probability.

 
  #2482 (permalink)
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Of all the things that I do not know about a trade, which do I not know the least?

 
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Yes, I thought about that nearly non-stop as I drove 2 hours back to Orlando tonight.

This is Gary, having been distracted by thinking about trading, on his drive home last night.

Truly one of the best scenes in any movie for me -- two of the most funny comedians ever.


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  #2484 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
My primary account in my business lost their account recently. We were their star players, and every project we have done has gone flawlessly. Just started a new job today and expect to get what may be the last one, in Boston, before the end of the month. It was a good run.

That news of a possible end to the lead income generator of my business is what has escalated my drive to go full time in trading. That also means I have pressured myself more than I should to make the transition.

I am a good trader. That is the irony. At one or two contracts, when I do not care, I trade very well for the most part. Certainly net profitable, but just not enough money to want to leave everything else behind to do it.

In my re-read of Market Wizards, I was reading about Tom Baldwin, at the time of the interview possibly the largest independent trader in the bond pit, ;

Jack Schwager - "At what point were you confident that you were going to be succesful at it?"

Tom Baldwin - "That is an interesting question. You are never really confident in this business, because you can always be wiped out pretty quickly."



That was from a trading legend, "never really confident"... That does not do much to build confidence.



I decided to trade larger I would go for larger targets and hold longer, but the problem is, that is not exactly how I trade when I am doing 1-2 contracts. I am quick to decide, quick to forget, hold when I feel like it and don't sweat the heat in those instances, smell a failed trade comeing when I am really in the groove. 4 ticks, 6 ticks, -4 ticks, just treading water and feeling things out, then hold one and done. Or two, and then done.

When I size up I start putting so much emphasis on the risk to reward, but in a textbook sense. Calculators even. When I trade 1 cntract, screw the calculators, there are no guarantees, and so I just keep my losses low. There are more than enough times when I feel really good about a trade to even consider keeping one that feels so-so. Or, so I operate at smaller size.

I have decided I do not believe in the variable size approach. I found a niche of how I trade, and there are no variables to "1". If I trade 4, it is 4, not 3, not 5. FOUR.

If I add in, FOUR.

Or 3, or 2, or whatever number I decide on.

Just bigger than 1.

I know we have had this convo before gary, but can you not come up with a secure business trade plan to help you grow and overcome this, i don’t think you need to change anything about your approach, method, style, targets....stops you get the point

My look on this is....once you can trade 1 contract and make x,y,z at the end of every week, then you can trade however many contract you want with the exact same replication of the methods you used with 1 contract. As long as the markets are liquid enough to fill your orders were you want to get in then there is no worry. Until you start trading over 30-40 contracts on most liquid markets then you don’t need to worry about scaling in and out ect

But there is no reason for you to think of trying to add large targets just because you have more contracts, this sparks almost greed and focus on the money and not your job. You are doing a fine job with the targets and stops you have in your style now. So why change that?

Like i said before i really feel you need to put together a strict business plan for your business to protect you and help you grow as a trader

Say you are trading 1 contract now and you have $20,000 banked and you "feel nothing" this is your comfort zone. So why don’t you focus on trading one contract, and when your account gets to $40,000 then add 1 more contract, Your risk on your account will be the same as 1 contract and you won’t need to change your method stops or targets. Just trade as if it was 1 contract. If you start beating your account below your safe thresh hold of personal risk levels. then go back to 1 contract until your account is +$40,000 again then go back to trading 2 contract

Keep doing this and before you know it, if you keep focus on your trade plan, risk ratios ect...you will have a $80,000 account and trading 4 contracts with the exact same risk levels you saw trading 1 contract with $20,000 and so on and so fore. Same targets, same stops, just bigger draw downs and bigger profits. But the ratios are all in shape

Like i said a week ago or so, i really think having a detailed risk plan for your business can really help you overcome this mental issue you are having. I don’t think plunging in head 1st with 4 contracts suddenly is going to help you get over this. Because one day you are happy trading 1 contract and taking good ticks out the market and the next day suddenly you have 4 contracts with 4 x the amount of risk you normally see and feel, this triggers you to almost go into defence mode and you will underperform because you are not in the zone you were in with 1 contract

As i said before, once you can make consistent money with 1 contract. There is no bloody reason GARY!! you can’t do the same with 10 and yes there is more risk more emotions ect with the larger size trades because this is out of your comfort zone. But all this can be controlled with a secure business plan to protect you from the markets and help you keep your account and risk in balance

You have the method, the discipline, the understanding and the will to become a great trader. So make a strict business plan to help you grow safely and perform it flawlessly and meet your desired goals

One more thing from experience, tyring to hard make some thing work = it not working

The more you try work harder and push to make it work more it get on top of you

So basically if things are not flowing naturally and you are fighting againt your self it make it alot harder to achieve what you want to achieve

" I will follow my rules, I will take my stops, I will be disciplined and i will work with the market....NOT AGAINST IT! Professional mind control is the key"

Last edited by greenr; May 25th, 2012 at 04:27 AM.
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  #2485 (permalink)
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ES still aiming to blow the stops at yesterday's high.


Mission accomplished


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My Chart Trader P&L reads 0.00, as it does every morning. Most days it reads as a blank canvas. Today it reads as a question mark. The reading that will be there when the market closes today will be the direct result of my trading, completely my responsibility, but at the same time not under my control. The limits of the affect I can have are setting the boundaries of when to stop. I did that the other day and then did not take the 2nd trade that I had been looking for.

Maybe it was not the best trade, sure there will be others to come. But in defining the rules under which I am required to operate, that too becomes a moving target that can help or hurt my bottom line. In the recent case, cause me to miss something I had been planning on.

Maybe I do not need larger swings, and my thoughts on insurance odds last night are a part of that. Maybe I do need them and my max down needs to be adjusted. Maybe the rules are per trade, not per day.

I almost never hit max down trading one contract, I had the flexibility to come back from losses almost to infinity, and many times did it by picking up 5 ticks here and there, building a padding with which to take another "real" trade. But those 5 tick trades were also "real", yet I ignore that aspect as I increase size, and I believe that is why I cannot get out of first gear above 2 contracts. Back and forth.

I increased trade size, and altered my method.

Who can really say what that final ingredient is in a business of unknowable, so possibly the best approach is, when something is working not to question it, don't even think about it.

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  #2487 (permalink)
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Euro just hit major decision point

 
  #2488 (permalink)
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If the Euro pulls out of this nosedive...

 
  #2489 (permalink)
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Euro


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  #2490 (permalink)
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5000+ contract washout, possibly.


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