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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

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The Euro just opened with a strong gap up. I have not found any news that says why, but the most obvious signal in the market to me on Friday was the extreme buying at 125.00. I had not been thinking about the market being open, was looking at charts, and crude opened higher. I opened the other charts and the ES and 6E are gapping open hard.

 
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Last edited by GaryD; May 27th, 2012 at 11:55 PM.
 
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Confirmation of Frustration



I had watched for a swing buy at "90" for quite a while, how long does not matter. I thought I saw the turn at the high end, and was wrong, and then excluded myself from the low side of range.

I could have taken the trade the next day, but cam at the market feeling I was wrong to try, and so went back to my normal scalping. I made money the night of and the two days following my swing trade loss, but the satisfation of that somehow does not outweigh the feeling of defeat on the larger move. And that may be "the wrong dream", but I sit here this morning, not to trade due to the holiday, but to vent.

Walking in this morning and seeing price hit 91.99, to me "92", confirmed that a buy at the 2nd turn would have given an entry for, as of today's price, a 3 to 1 swing trade.

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I was confessing to a friend this weekend that my entry did not have everything going for it that it should have, but looking at it today, it had more for it than against it. I had a zone that was identified on a higher timeframe, it had volume confirmation, it had a bar color reversal, it had "significant" divergence... the only thing missing was a clear break of the dominant T3, but when going to a stop as tight as I did, I went for it. I think it was around a 20 tick stop, not a 60 tick as in the "theoretical" setup, not really the same trade on a microscopic level. But from a more distant perspective they are more alike than they look.


The pursuit of feeling confident about something that one cannot be confident about, of desire to be fearless in an arena where you must remain frightened, creates quite the paradox.


I nearly convinced myself over the weekend that I would be better off trading with 1x risk to 1x reward, but having the advantage of shorter time horizon and the "feeling" that the trade was right, than I would 3x reward to 1x risk, but having to completely surrender to the unknown.

In this trade example, the duration of the unknown would have been days, and through a holiday weekend even. Looking at all of the cycles of price that occured since that would-be trade might have been taken, the market gave, and then took away, over and over and over, and to get to the long-distance goal, you have to keep telling it "No, I will wait for a better offer", meanwhile sitting through another period of questioning the outcome. You almost have to not care.

In fact, not caring about the outcome may be a key ingredient to succesful trading. I know I see a difference depending on my trade size. At smaller size I trade better than at larger size, because it matters less to me. The bait that the market keeps trying to give, and then threatens to take away, seems less enticing.

A benefit of scalping is not having to sit through such an extended period of unknown. Confidence in a trade can be similar to filling a leaky bucket; it holds water good enough in the short term, but try to hold it for any length of time...



EDIT: BTW, I told that friend I was going for $12,000. That was the $2 move...

From where, was the question.


Last edited by GaryD; May 28th, 2012 at 05:22 PM.
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I wish I knew how to put into words the thoughts I have just had. A desperate attempt to mark a place in my mind. It has to do wiht the individual surroundings of starting over. "Individual" like, memory, history, experience, wisdom. But also included are the battls scars of the past, and wounds not yet healed.

I finally drove to the coast to learn to surf. Only really reid once in my life, for one day on a rented board, maybe 15 years ago? An almost hurricane hit north of us, and even though the surf report website said 1-2, I thought I would take a chance. Took the Beachline straight across, by myself, toying with my cell phone the first few minutes getting out of Orlando. I had a 7000+ minute month recently. Becomes habit.

I made it to the "C"s, called a friend from a band in college. He made it through life from artist to husband to divorced to africa to poverty to education to making money, in New Mexico. He lived on less than $10k a year in Baltimore. Lived on $1 a day or less in the Peace Corps, in a hut made of dung, with no electricity and no running water. He would hike down the mountain to the river to draw water. He would ride his donkey into town to the internet cafe, to keep in touch every 6 months or so. Malaria twice. Got out of the Peace Corps and started hitchhiking through Africa. I forget how many countires, 13? Walked on hot coals, experienced the land of "Gorillas in the mist" drank blood from the neckskin of a freshly killed goat ("salty", I still have the video). Witnessed me jumping like an idiot in a bet against the Masai. lol! ( I hope you read this)

I left the second message in about a month. It said something like, "One of the symptoms of having gone to the "dark side" is that you stop returning voicemails". I meant, workoholism.

As he graduated from the top nursing school this past year, havng just finished possibly his last year at the lower 5%, he said he was moving to New Mexico, $100k a year. "Rich".

I asked, "what are your going to do with all that money?".

"I don't know, buy a mountain bike? Get a prostitute in Vegas?"

I love that guy, not for that coment, he is far deeper than that. 20 years, I know. It was more the irony in how simple life's goals really are. Have fun, have sex.

Met my wife when I was 21. She swears 22, but I know because of how I spent my 21st birthday. When "sex" hit my mind, at 100 miles an hours as I sit and type, who knows why, my wife came to focus. And if I had to sum up what just hit me, be here now.


Last edited by GaryD; May 29th, 2012 at 09:11 AM. Reason: typos, cleaning
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GaryD View Post
I wish I knew how to put into words the thoughts I have just had. A desperate attempt to mark a place in my mind. It has to do with the individual surroundings of starting over. "Individual" like, memory, history, experience, wisdom. But also included are the battle scars of the past, and wounds not yet healed.

He lived on less than $10k a year in Baltimore. Lived on $1 a day or less in the Peace Corps, in a hut made of dung, with no electricity and no running water. .


So back to my point (my wife had wondered why I was in here typing and not hanging out with here, and I thought that was great advice).

$1 a day in the Peace Corps was "enough". "Having fun" is all that mattered to him. Sure, now he is making money and off on a new life path, in his upper forties, but it does not have the same meaning to him.

My "wrong dream" has more than one side to it. One part I think may be that I want long moves out of small entries, but I have a difficult time "feeling" long moves. But I would say I "feel" small moves. I wait and observe and have a storyline forming about what price will do, when. And the long time view just adds a deeper background to that moment, and possibly that moment does nothing to aid the long time view.

But the other part of "wrong dream" I believe is about money. $1000 a day is not a bad income. $300 a day is not a bad income for that matter. I was focused on a trade for $12,000, and while I might have gotten it, with the right combination of entry, stop placement, and patience, the desire to find that trade may have me missing the point. I lost so much money during the real estate collape that I have targeted the biggest moves, desiring a low-risk way to be back on top this year. Not be in "starting over" mode for the next 5 years. Wrong dream...

That leaky bucket of confidence can be filled over and over, as many times as I want if I can stay with the belief. But to do that one a single trade is to marry that trade. I may be better served to fill it again for the "next" trade, stop going for the "big waves", but still be fully aware of them. The synergy is possibly just allowing the bigger picture to keep me on the right side.

As I watched the surfers yesterday I realized the ocean did not present the conditions I thought I was after. The tropical storm that just passed made me think we would have bigger waves, but really they were just 1-2' and very choppy. 90% of the "surfers" had no clue what they were doing, were within walking distance of the renatl board shop, and fought the surf in waist deep water. I only saw 3 who looked like they could really surf, and they were way out, towards the end of the pier. They waited patiently for their wave, tried to catch it, if it fell apart, they just stopped. They did not try to chase it, it did not phase them to wait again. And when one finally did come, the ride was really not that impressive. That was what the conditions offered though, and they paddled back out again to do it all over.


My birthday is late July, and this weekend as a gift to myself, have comitted to a very specific trading plan that I will execute until them. The final rules, ones that I fought putting into writing so I would not have to follow them, are now set. Patience, if I miss the ride wait for the next, and enjoy the small rides.

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I am keeping a close watch on these two, winding into a tighter and tighter area. The 6E now not wanting to venture far from the 125 area.

 
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Nothing complex about today's chart. Not right now anyway. If oil is going to hold the 89.50 barrier and put in a W4, what is here is all I need. If not, same thing.

 
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