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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

  #2691 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
But, scalping with higher dollars seems foolish.

Why... I know an ES trader in Phoenix that scalps for 1-2 points on a tick chart using 50-250 lots at a time....he's good and been doing it a long time.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #2692 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
But, scalping with higher dollars seems foolish.

One persons scalping is another persons swing trade.

If we define scalping as trading for less than 5-6 ticks, then I think scalping is not a good idea for a retail trader.

A lot of retail ends up moving towards scalping because they view smaller targets as less risk. They might start with daily charts, but after a few losses, they are down to 60 minute charts. Then 5 minute charts. Then 4 range charts. Then 133 tick charts.

All in an effort to minimize pain.

But it's the wrong approach. Far better to trade the bigger chart with less noise, and just trade the right instrument and right size. Do you need a 100 tick stop on CL to trade it on a daily chart? Perhaps. Don't want to take a $1,000/contract stop? Then don't trade CL. Trade QM. Trade USO as an ETF. You have options. But I very much think the bigger chart is far smarter than the smaller chart.

With scalping, it's about the cost of doing business. Assuming you don't lease a seat, then the round turn costs will be a huge percentage of your overall profit. Add slippage in and out of a trade, and you've easily spent 2 ticks in fees just to get in and out of a trade where you only made 4 ticks. 50% is a huge penalty to pay.

Whereas if your target was 20 ticks, then 2 ticks fee is only 10%. Still huge, but much better.

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  #2693 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
And now the more relevant version.



"I know this much after two hard years of struggle....I will never be the same person every again....in fact, I don't want to be that person again. I am less arrogant, more patient, more thankful, more generous than before I lost so much money in the real estate business. I thought I deserved the success I was having...and the truth is, no one deserves anything, its a result of choices and timing, just like in trading. Do it right and make money, do it wrong and lose it....."



I know those things too. But tell me that you don't feel regret for having lost touch with that person who believes in anything?

Raw courage, relentless optimism, belief in any obstaclce can be oversome if you work hard enough.

Fresh.

I do not want money. No one would believe me, but really, that would be too easy.

I want to find myself, which means, where is that person who was not afraid of loss?

I remember a period of time in which I felt NO FEAR. I knew I would win....risk everything...all in....make it happen. Raw courage, relentless optimism, belief in any obstacle can and would be overcome if I worked hard enough.....Fresh.....This person I did in fact lose for a long time......and I hated the person I was without it..........BUT, I am getting this part of me back.....and it feels good. The other part I lost....the arrogance, the sense of entitlement, the demand that I get my way no matter what, those things are gone....replaced by a healthy dose of humility resulting from seeing how little I am in control. More gratitude knowing that it comes so hard and can slip away so quick.....the willingness to be flexible with what comes my way....these things combined with the courage, the optimism, the belief in hard work, these will make me successful again in the way I know I can and will be....

Five years is a long time to have misplaced oneself. Why are we afraid of loss? For me, I replaced thoughts of "look what I built" to "maybe I just got lucky and I'm not really that good". The self confidence melted away. And it created a sense of "I'm afraid of loss because I'm afraid I'm not good enough to make it back". Its taken 2 solid years of intense self study and focused thought and practice to get back to the place where I can once again say, "I am a winner and I will win today and I will not lose confidence if I don't". In the context of not winning....but somewhere around 30 days ago, I started feeling like a winner again, even if I wasn't winning like I thought I should be. Confidence is back....still struggling a bit, but its there....I can feel it.

Somewhere inside is that switch, that once flipped, will reveal once again, the trader that's not afraid of calculated losses....irresponsible gambling is to be feared, but calculated risk with a KNOWN worse case scenario that is acceptable if it happens is nothing to fear......in fact, I make the case that NOT taking that trade contributes to the growth of that fear......

Time to take the Mrs out on a date...cheers.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #2694 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I wanted to add one more thing.

When I trade normal size, it just comes natural. I don't give it a second thought. It is no big deal. Win, lose, who cares. It makes no difference to me whether an individual trade is a winner or loser when I am trading my normal size, because I have basically removed the importance of money.

How many times have you gone 150+ mph down a freeway? Highly illegal, but I've done it a few times (when I was younger). Your leg starts shaking uncontrollably due to the adrenaline and fear.


Last time I pegged the speedometer I blew a tire, Alligator Alley, pitch black, middle of the night, nothing for miles. Having to get out and lie on the ground without a flashlight in the middle of alligator country was worse than the speed. But really what I should have been afraid of was the fire ants.

I used to have a similar response to speaking in public. Trembling feeling, voice quivered some when I started. I did not relate the two, but I see that it is a similar reaction.

Guys, it is not trading, it is me and my desire to set a clear path to reward with an unusual aversion to risk, one that for whatever reasons, and I have several, grew inside of me while I was going though a rough time.

I had lost money before, $200k in a business investment, $325k in a swept CD, and handled that with very little trouble. But by the time I finally unwound my real estate life, I was stripped back to basically just me, my wife, and my dog. I have come a long way from there in a relatively short period of time.

I do not lack patience in a trade as much as I do in life right now. I want to experience the freedom of believing anything is possible again. The more I push to break free, the more I guess I get that 150mph response.

Trading 1-2 contracts does not generate enough money for me if I am to do it full time. And I don't trade well with distractions, so I kind of have to choose, or continue to trade part time with smaller size, or change my trading style. And I would prefer the trading full time, because for some reason I am very passionate about it. But still sometimes question myself as to why. As in, is it for the right or wrong reasons? And that cannot be answered from anywhere but this side of the thread.

I am forcing myself to drag it out, and having a regualr battle with it lately. And winning it to some degree. I am not hitting the $1k a day every day, but I am profitable 9 of 10 days now with up to 6 contracts, and getting far more comfortable than I was, but measuring the tremor rate of that 150mph shaking leg is tough to do while driving, still shaking, but you just feel it less.

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  #2695 (permalink)
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I have knocked off all the surface stuff and throgh that have become a decent trader. Now I am to the deeper layers, and they are harder for me to deal with than what was on the surface. So the commentary seems uglier as I go. But really, it is where I am choosing to go. It is where I want to go. For me to become the trader I want to be, I have to tear down some walls I have built around myself, and it is hard, but I am choosing it. As distraught as I may seem sometimes, it is just part of the process. Maybe like childbirth, it hurts like hell, but it will be over soon and a new life begins.

Thanks guys, appreciate the comments. I am not necessarily looking outside myself for the answers, even though I post the questions here. This thread is a tool, a place where I string it all together. I see the posts from a year ago. Would write them all over again. I am the biggest reader of this thread. And that is what makes this the most perplexing to me. I will at least understand myself better through this process.

Feel free to stop reading if it gets too weird or intense. I am still anticipating some great puking to come. And looking forward to it.

 
  #2696 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I like your new user title: "Oil whisperer"



Mike


Thank you. I thought "Markert Wizard" was a little over the top for me. In case I have not made it obvious by now, I do not consider myself a "Wizard" at trading quite yet. lol! Possibly a Harry Potter by now.

A friend called me the oil whisperer as a joke, making fun of all the time I spend really, but I kind of liked it. Reminds me that I do nothing but try to understand my market, it does all the rest.

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  #2697 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
Five years is a long time to have misplaced oneself.


I had to get to the end of my disaster, and it took years to unwind, and those years overlapped the start of my trading education. I have been trading for 5 years, but not 5 without losing constantly in other places, so my confidence was getting hit for the majority of the time I was learning.



PandaWarrior View Post

Why are we afraid of loss? For me, I replaced thoughts of "look what I built" to "maybe I just got lucky and I'm not really that good". The self confidence melted away. And it created a sense of "I'm afraid of loss because I'm afraid I'm not good enough to make it back". Its taken 2 solid years of intense self study and focused thought and practice to get back to the place where I can once again say, "I am a winner and I will win today and I will not lose confidence if I don't".


For me I think it is having seen that despite all the effort in the world, despite all the skill in the world, things can still go very wrong. Where I once trusted in whatever the future would bring, now I have some mistrust. Where I once believed that I could overcome whatever needed to be done, now I have the experience that sometimes I can't.

My beliefs were shaped from years of experience, I started into business at age 25, so 25 years to become that person, and I had never experienced any major failure up to that point. Then I spent several years being completely abused financially, and that shaped a new part of my psychology that I did not have before.

Now I am re-shaping, but this time having the memory of what it is like to lose so completely to overcome.




PandaWarrior View Post
Somewhere inside is that switch, that once flipped, will reveal once again, the trader that's not afraid of calculated losses....irresponsible gambling is to be feared, but calculated risk with a KNOWN worse case scenario that is acceptable if it happens is nothing to fear......in fact, I make the case that NOT taking that trade contributes to the growth of that fear......


I agree, NOT taking the trade can be just as bad, if not worse for me.

Somewhere that switch is in there, and I have gone in after it. If I'm not back in 12 months call for help.


Last edited by GaryD; June 2nd, 2012 at 11:01 PM.
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  #2698 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
..................... Because it really is not about the money. It is about proving something to myself.

It is about going headfirst into what I believe, not what I know.

It is about returning to the person I once was, not in terms of money as much in terms of a belief in abundance, and a confidence in the face of, who knows what.

I am typing ever so slowly, tiny little phone keyboard, at a bar in just one more strange town, walked here in the rain.

There is nothing I would rather do than become myself, again. So I keep coming back here (futures.io (formerly BMT)), telling myself what to do to get there.

I trade very well. But my confidence is shattered from things not related to trading.

I have another shot at things, and do not want to fuck it up. So I trade like I am scared. Every day.

And I watch this over and over, and wonder why I don't just go with it, as I said to @Deucalion?

Because, I can't be wrong again. And the pressure that brings nearly kills me. At a minimum, it castrates me.

I've always found it difficult to walk the same path as others.
I see that I don't see things as most people see them and I don't think as most people do.
I've done just about everything in my life differently.
Not as a selfish, self serving person, not to disturb or interfere with the norm,
indeed there was often much trepidation in me, in whatever I was about to embark on.
But it was always passion that drove me. Not desire, not need, but passion.
It was the love of the thing, in the doing and of the being.
It becomes not about what I get from something but about what I give to it.

To cut a very long story short,
I was always me without even realizing it.
A wise man that is no longer with us, once said to me, when I was relatively young ,
"don't let the world change who you are" and without even thinking I replied
"assuming we know who we are ?".

I felt I'd spoken out of turn, such was my respect for him, but without saying anything more,
he just gave me a warm and knowing smile and walked on.
It took me about 20 years to understand the true meaning of what he said.
and another 20 odd years to understand the true significance behind his smile

I think more often than not, it doesn't matter to have to know where something comes from.
That it is here, within us is the real point of it all.
That we are conscious of it and at the very least acknowledge it, will lead us to question if we want it or not.
Such that we can tell the difference and value between things like anger and empathy,
fear and courage, passion and indifference, love and guilt, egoism and humility, integrity and deceit.

We come to know the truth of some things and we don't really need to know how or why.
Like needing silence to hear.
Like straiining to understand a distant pain until we let go of the need to.
As when the truth of something comes to light when we're not looking at it.

Ultimately it's all about our truth I think.
Our true nature.
Returning to the source that is everything.

Opening ourselves to the possibility of all that we can be is one thing.
Being that, only happens by realizing that we already are and
realizing that, only happens when we let go of what ever we recognize as stopping us.

"the "self" is an entirely illusory entity, constantly changing, full of contradictions which only habit prevents us from discerning.
But above all, the "self" is selfish.
As if flying in panic from any recognition of its own nothingness, it feverishly erects edifices of self importance, self aggrandizement, self love.
More binding than any prison, since we unthinkingly take its very walls for reality, it prevents us from ever realizing the true significance of our being here.
"
D Pendlebury (English Author and Scholar)

What's any of this got to do with trading ?
A lot (imo).
with sincere and kind regards

shalom

Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...

Last edited by zt379; June 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 PM.
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  #2699 (permalink)
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zt379 View Post

What's any of this got to do with trading ?
A lot (imo).

Nearly everything, possibly.

 
  #2700 (permalink)
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Surly View Post
GD - As you know I love your journal but I don't get here that often... so I'm a little behind. I wanted to comment on this specifically and also your other comments in this and other posts about swing/scalp.

If it were only as simple as "I can make 10 ticks a day so why don't I trade 40 contracts and make bank?". It is not that simple because your trading takes guts, it takes judgment, it takes acting in the face of uncertainty and putting your best abilities up against the market. This is not a math equation. I firmly believe that you have within you what you are looking for - you know things that you do not always allow yourself to "know" or act on. There is magic in that place between what your rational mind thinks and what your whole being can understand - this is why it resonates with us so much when Yoda says "NO! Try not. DO... or do not. There is no try."

Your approach to trading requires that you get into that place. If you are not in tune with yourself and confident, you won't get into that place - you must have the pieces of the puzzle (YOUR puzzle) in place and then you need to step into the unknown. You will only do that when you're aligned - thus I agree that it is important to work out truly where your trading lies between swinging and scalping - this is part of that alignment.

I'll leave you with a video that I was watching every day for a while - the most important line is "What are you waiting for? Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"

Matrix Neo vs Morpheus - YouTube



"Good. Adaptation, improvisation, but your weakness is not your technique...What are you waiting for? You're faster than this. Don't think you are, know you are."


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