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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

  #3701 (permalink)
Sharpening mental edge
the congo
 
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GaryD View Post
My upbringing brought a simlilar quote. "One cannot serve two masters".

I just got off the phone with my wife, explaining how ridiculous it was, that with what I am making now, in something I have done for over 20 years, and am extremely good at (not going for ego, but for definition), but do not enjoy...

When I take a project today, I know 99% of the time what I will make the day I sign on. That is the biggest difference in belief.

I can make money almost every day trading, IF, (and if it were not just silly that word would be huge) 1) I do not care, and 2) the trade size is relatively small.

And at that level, what I know I can do, is about $50k a year. 1-2 contracts. Sounds absurd, I know. Sounds so easy also, to just multiply. But it does not feel easy, and for me, as crazy as it sounds, when the feeling is gone, I do not make money.

So, yes, I can burn the bridge, and I am considering it more each week. Thought I was there; my jobs were ending and my main account went to another PM. Have enough to eat for a few years, a wife who supports me, friends here that encourage me...

And then another offer comes up.

I have not missed a delivery schedule since 1996? I am opening franchises for various businesses across the country, and that one attribute makes what I offer attractive. They need to deliver on schedule, I am almost like an insurance policy. I do not fail. And because of that, it takes a few jobs and I have a new loyal client. Easy. But relentless, unforgiving, in a constant race, time of day means nothing.

Trading works on it's own schedule. Some trades are quick, and those are the best, but most, the overwhelming majority, work on their own schedule, and give plenty of chances to decide they are not going to work out. I know that, and with one contract, it is almost a game. Price can move against me, ok I give. Not that it matters.

But I know, with almost absolute authority, I will find the trade, and I can maintain profitability even at a 50% win rate, because of the way I trade... with one or two contracts. I could be net DD $1k, so what? And hit the next opportunity with zero baggage, 100% belief.

I could survive trading, there is no doubt in my mind.

But in the depths, somewhere there was this positive reward system in what I have done in the past, more psychological than financial, that has a deep knowing of what I produce on an annual basis, and yet that math will not transistion into trading, for some reason that I do not completely understand.

My solution; be willing to accept less. And yes, that works. And so many times recently I find myself thinking, make more, for what? Stuff? Toys? Ego? Proof that I can? And having already been there, none of that seems to matter.

I bought a disc golf set this week, on sale for $19.99, and have smiled more, laughed more, because of that, over the past week than maybe the prior month, maybe two.

I went into making money with a goal, and with that promise I made to myself came the acceptance that I had in some ways sold my soul, temporarily, or that was the initial deal.

I was a slave to my own cause. So, whether I enjoyed what I was doing had nothing to do with it. And that direction brought me shitloads of money. But even that was not the source of happiness, it only brought with it the craving to keep going. How far can this go? Had it not been for the real estate collapse, who knows?

But was I lucky to get thrown off that horse? I often think I was. But when trying to fill the void, the vacuum, that is created by a fast removal of mass, and seeing a way that I know but despise, and needing to gain some sense of credibility with, with myself...

I may eventually run out of things to say here, or of people to talk with about it. We have never met, though I know your name, and I hope like hell some day we do meet. Same with Big Mike, and others that may prefer anononimity (for whatever reason traders do). But what I am trying to get out, what seems to be fighting it's way to the surface inside of me, is that trading is not about money. Which seems fucking preposterous.

But it isn't about money.

And yet, it is.

If I seem to be losing my sanity, which when I read my posts sometimes I am sure it does, what I feel is happening is I am actualy gaining it. Discovering that life and money have nothing to do with each other.

Breaking the cycle is difficult, and what is so incredibly ironic, is if the cycle is broken, for good, there is an unlimited stream of money available for the taking. And by not wanting it, it comes easier. But at that point, it does not matter.

And then, life takes over.

Its amazing the hold over us that a physical and mental routine has. I have worked consistantly 6 days a week since leaving school (around 15 years now) and the hardest part I found with trading full time was that I could not wind down and slow my energy levels enough.

On a typicall day I work physically and mentally for 8 hours, inc cycle to and from work, then go to the gym. Swap that for just a gym session each day and I just could not make it work. I almost need to be physically and mentally tired / relaxed to be able to trade properly. Otherwise my mind is too active, considering all sorts of stuff, finding all sorts of reasons that dont matter to trade or not.

The other issue is I have always worked for myself or run my own business save for a few longer contracts. The drive and work ethic required to be successfull doing that is immense. Add to that the fact I genuinely love and enjoy my other work and it was very difficult to give it up.

Then there is trading, when I was full time I worked at a prop firm. Before that I was trading off my own hook on and off for 2-3 years trying all sorts of stuff all the time, basically your classic what not to do guy like @Big Mike has a list of stuff not to do, that was me lol!

Then I gradually came to realise that what was right for me was a balance, it didnt mean I was a failure that I couldnt trade full time. For some reason I needed to accept that as thats what it felt like at the time. I just need more to fulfill me as a whole person in terms of creativity, energy levels, mental application, no pressure to perform, financial stability, ultimatly the knowledge that what ever I was doing at that point in time was because I chose to do it, I wanted that.

Once I accepted that both forms of my work went from strength to strength.

The other massive MASSIVE thing I now always try and do is stay in the present. Like right now this second. Not 2 mins ago, not later that day. RIGHT NOW, focusing on that very second in time that you involved in right now wipes everything else away. Keeps all other factors out of the way. Makes life so simple.

One of the wisest and most passionate people I have ever met had a favourite quote.....'You've got one foot in the past, one foot in the future and your pissing on the present'....

Oh so true!

You will make the right choice for you when the time is right.

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  #3702 (permalink)
Scarecrow
CA USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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program's Avatar
 
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Amazing journal Gary.
tremendously appreciated.

-Mark

I have approximate answers, possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty of different things. But I'm not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things i don't know anything about.
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  #3703 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
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josh View Post
I could not agree more Mike. The truly sobering thing about trading the markets on your own is that no one makes you push that button. Win or lose, we are totally responsible in every way for our successes or failures.

Yup, but of course a lot of traders never realize or accept this. They blame indicators, signal providers, trading room educators, platform crashes, internet disconnects, computer lock ups, phone ringing, wife interrupting, children needing attention, etc. And those are the guys who won't succeed, at least until they realize they are completely and utterly responsible for their trading in every single way, including all of the above things.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #3704 (permalink)
User requested to be banned
Orlando, Florida
 
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GaryD's Avatar
 
Posts: 6,462 since May 2011
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A guy who works for me had a heart attack. He is ok, but it was a scary experience. Knowing the stress of the project I had him on, for both of us, it almost seems his condition was directly related to me. I know, genetics, diet, exercise... but extreme daily stress can be a heavier impact on the body. Hidden, slow, psycho-physical abuse is a part of the job. It caused me to think about whether I am next?

I hit max down today. Had too much going on, covering for him, managing here in Colorado, warranty issues in two other states, new budget due by noon, conference calls... and in the middle of that thought I would get tricky with a divergence trade. Horrible decision in hindsight. A trade I really do not believe in. Not sure why even. My mind was just not here today. Loss was only about 1%, not the first or the last time, but I may sit out tomorrow.

 
  #3705 (permalink)
Elite Member
San Jose, Ca
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
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Broker/Data: AMP/CQG
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David_R's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,510 since Nov 2009
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GaryD View Post
A guy who works for me had a heart attack. He is ok, but it was a scary experience. Knowing the stress of the project I had him on, for both of us, it almost seems his condition was directly related to me. I know, genetics, diet, exercise... but extreme daily stress can be a heavier impact on the body. Hidden, slow, psycho-physical abuse is a part of the job. It caused me to think about whether I am next?

I hit max down today. Had too much going on, covering for him, managing here in Colorado, warranty issues in two other states, new budget due by noon, conference calls... and in the middle of that thought I would get tricky with a divergence trade. Horrible decision in hindsight. A trade I really do not believe in. Not sure why even. My mind was just not here today. Loss was only about 1%, not the first or the last time, but I may sit out tomorrow.

His heart attack is not your fault.

If you experience the same stress then that is not good. Do you exercise? Sounds like not time for that, huh? If you are as busy tomorrow as you were today you probably ought to sit out. I think trading CL requires a lot of focus and if you are doing all those other things then you can't focus.

Take the day off from trading. Hang in there.

David

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  #3706 (permalink)
User requested to be banned
Orlando, Florida
 
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011
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Brent Below $115 as US Eyes Potential Oil Release - US Business News - CNBC


Brent crude slipped below $115 on Friday as supply worries eased on a possible release of oil reserves by the United States while Israeli comments on Iran reduced fears of a potential conflict in the Middle East that could disrupt exports.

News that the White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential reserve release helped benchmark contracts come off the previous session's three-month highs.

Prices were also dampened by easing concerns of a supply disruption from the Middle East after Israeli President Shimon Peres downplayed the prospect of a unilateral strike on Iran.

The possible release of reserves "would definitely be the reason for the active Brent this morning," said Ben Le Brun, a Sydney-based market analyst at OptionsXpress. "This is not bad news for global growth, since it will allow for more development and generally better the world economy."

U.S. officials will monitor market conditions over the coming weeks, watching whether gasoline prices fall after the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday, as they historically do, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

The United States has not yet held talks with international partners about a coordinated move. The source noted that Britain, France, Germany and other partner nations in the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) were receptive to a potential release a few months ago when conditions were similar.

 
  #3707 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,352 given, 83,231 received

Sorry to hear about your friend.

Do you consider yourself healthy?

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

The following user says Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
 
  #3708 (permalink)
User requested to be banned
Orlando, Florida
 
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GaryD's Avatar
 
Posts: 6,462 since May 2011
Thanks: 2,090 given, 5,026 received


Big Mike View Post
Sorry to hear about your friend.

Do you consider yourself healthy?

Mike

Yes, vegetarian, natural health, gym, good diet, etc. Within 2 days of being in Denver joined gym, bought frisbees, checked out kayak lessons. Just tough schedule and job requirements. Never stop.

The following user says Thank You to GaryD for this post:
 
  #3709 (permalink)
User requested to be banned
Orlando, Florida
 
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011
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I am tempted to fade this, but not going to until some reversal. A lot of momentum. But the stops just got blown, which is requirement #1 for me.

 
  #3710 (permalink)
User requested to be banned
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