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I am taking another look at this as a resistance area. Maybe I should give up at it and watch for above 100, but on a larger scale nothing has really happened here yet. Going with 24hr data, all crude has done so far is hit exhaustion.
I have been studying the effect of multiple contracts to reduce ultimate risk. If I start a trade with 3 contracts, take one off at a typical scalp, and leave my stop as is, a 2:1 initial trade could become a 4:1 on the remaining position. I never looked at it that way before, but maybe there is a place for my scalping that I did not understand before. And if I looked at scalping greater risk to reward, say 10P vs 15S, but am right 85% of the time, then that also means I would be in a 4:1 or better trade 85% of the time? Not that it has any bearing on the outcome of the remaining position... But somewhere in there is this layer of math that is hidden.
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Based on the above theory, I went short today at 99.40, held it for hours. At the time I entered it was not the popular direction, and I had to hold back the urge to close the trade. I wound up making 35 ticks, felt so good to have been "right" with the top... and then in the final minutes price let go for one of the biggest moves I have ever seen in such a short time period. Reminiscent of the flash crash, which I also watched in real time. But, I was flat by then.
I think it was Tiger Trader who said something about making the market take you out. I rarely do. Today it would have served me well. But instead of the 400 +/- ticks many variations of a trailing stop would have given, I felt relieved to close my trade at 30 something. $300 a day is ok, right?
I still watched the crash, by that time having no clue what just happened, no idea where to get in. So fucking fast.
Price pulled back up over a dollar, started to flutter, I went short. Bam, "stop filled". Waited, short again, "stop filled". Then I was down.
Got up from the computer, walked away. -60 ticks.
Missing the best part of my trade, and then seeing this moment of pure momentum in the direction of my bias, I needed to get in... even when I knew better.
In times past, today's scenario could have been very ugly. I slipped, but was able to catch myself fairly quickly. I was so angry to have sat for hours, made this tiny amount, and then wound up being not just "right" about the trade, but about as right as I could get in a single trading day.
Except, I missed it... from being conservative and "safe", or so I was feeling. And got so frustrated from that, that in those few seconds, that I almost got into trouble from it. I was on some subconscious autopilot to catch what I "deserved" from it.
There was a time where I would have added on... Thankful I know better, even when I was lost for a few moments.
Horrible trading, complete lack of control. Will I ever feel that element of the psychology is gone?
It comes from anger?
I really don't know, but I do know I am lucky to have not taken a beating from that, and cannot believe I did what I did, on both sides.
And missing the move still bothers me tonight. Not a good start to the week. I think my recent frustration with how slow rebuilding can be, how little I am trusting myself lately, is starting to take it's toll on me.
Embarrassing. But I have to document it. Talking about winning trades does not make me a better trader. It is hard to talk about things like this, but this needs to be transparent, and I am making myself accountable for what I did.
I had no business trying to trade such incredible volatility when that is not what I understand. Had I not closed so early, so weak in my position...
Even if I had made thousands from it, I was into something that I was not familiar with. And a win would have possibly perpetuated the belief that it is ok next time.
Days like today eat away my confidence. There is still something inside me that fights back.
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I have recently added a daily and weekly evaluation sheet to my trading routine. On it, I ask questions like "How well did I identify the type of day and mood of the market?" and "Did I keep my losses contained and my risk managed?" and one of the last 'bottom line' questions is: "Did I build positive mental and emotional capital today?" I review myself sometime during the evening and have to sign it, stating that I have objectively rated my performance. Then I carry over what needs most attention to the next day's worksheet that I review before the start of the next day. I do the same on Saturday after the week is over, and review items needing attention on Sunday evening.
This has allowed me to pretty objectively identify which categories I did well in, and which I did not. On Friday I closed the week with a bonehead trade. Being able to rate myself a 1 out of 5 on Friday for the emotional capital question allowed me to release it and let it go. Fine, I had a moronic moment, I'm human, I lost money, I damaged my emotional well-being, I ignored risk, and now I have rated myself fairly and marked specific areas for attention the following trading day. What else should I do.. what else can I do? This allowed me to let the mistake go, and get started planning for today. Perhaps writing it out in some way would allow you to let it go as well Gary.
Last edited by josh; September 18th, 2012 at 08:58 AM.
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There are two aspects to experience.
Learning what to know and what we do with what we know.
You say your trading was “horrible” today.
And I'm mentioning this in respect of everything you've written about in your journal.
Perhaps it's better to say the reasons for your trading were horrible.
Having “anger” and “need” as reasons will always be horrible regardless of the monetary result. (as you say).
These are horrible reasons to do anything.
Imo all that's required here is some order to the thought process.
The perception of what's going on is, perhaps, just a little off balance, but that's all.
You're rowing across this ocean with ours of different lengths.
There is a circular nonsense in changing the reason for doing things.
What I mean by this is:
You're happy to have made a “scalp” trade when, in hindsight, that is all the market would have given you.
You're angry or needy, to have made a scalp trade when there was more to the move.
You appear to be changing how you feel about what you did in respect to what you cannot know then happens.
This is nonsense, and I say that with respect.
Getting order to this can be difficult, because it's new, but is not complicated.
Don't make it complicated.
With “need” and “anger”, and fear, one could spend a life time delving into the why and where for of them, or, one could merely acknowledge our awareness that they exist and their detrimental effects.
One could even continue to allow them providing we accept the price we pay for having them. If one is willing to accept paying that price (each and every time) then fine..pay it.
But we can't keep buying them and then complain for having them.
However, if one is not willing to accept paying that price, then stop buying it !
That's the simple, but difficult to accept, fact of the matter imo.
If trading is the thing we chose then we are required to equip ourselves with the appropriate tools.
Mind set being the most important.
I say mindset rather than psychology because psychology can take a lifetime to unravel where as mindset takes a moment to invoke.
Be aware by being present !
You are. You were in those moments of today's trades.
Initially (I'm guessing so please excuse if I'm mistaken) you tried to “stretch” the envelope by staying with the trade which, in hindsight, lasted some hours.
This is great as it was a decision you consciously made at the time. (in those moments).
The outcome of the trade is irrelevant !
What's crucial is that you did what you chose and decided to do.
You created a new experience by “doing” and you gained experience from that event, those moments.
You then seem to unravel that benefit by changing the reason for your action at the time, because of the “subsequent” market action of continuation.
You will eventually go insane unless you see that you're doing this, and that you're doing it to yourself because of anger and need.
This insanity is the price you are presently willing to pay for buying your own anger and need.
Additionally you are not recognizing all the things that you are competent and capable of as a trader which would, imo, bring to you what your anger and need are not allowing you to have.
This isn't a psychology lesson. I'm not a teacher.
All I can offer is from my own understanding and experience.
The root cause of anger and need is a lack or inability to accept.
What is not being accepted is personal but it will be about ourselves.
Something we do not accept about ourselves is what triggers anger and need.
Fine, go find those things, if we can, or rather begin to be aware each and every time they are invoked, and in that moment of awareness make a choice to not buy them.
In that very moment there will be a shift.
What we have done is change the source from which energy emanates and hence the energy we attract.
The source is no longer anger or need.
The attraction will no longer be anger or need.
What transpires, in that very same moment, is that we are subjected to a different energy.
You will feel it tangibly. It will not be restricting but expansive.
We have opened ourselves to the possibility of something new and that newness is self fulfilling rather than self destructive.
Each of us can give that energy it's own name or feeling or what ever.
Regardless, the point is that we have consciously decided to let go of something, anger and need.
The euphoria is in the “free fall” of what is new, having let go of what bound us.
We were bounded to the the past via anger and the future via need.
From this perhaps it can be seen why the moment, the present moment, now, is stressed so much.
It is only by being aware of the present moment that we are able to allow the letting go to our attachment to both the past and the future, the letting go of our anger and need.
The present moment is the perspective that gives us our perception.
Ok I know this may fall on deaf ears, and no I'm not saying this is or should be meaningful to anyone, rather and merely, that this is my experience for and in, what ever way it may help.
In trading, all of the above can be seen to allow us to function in uncertainty with the certainty that, and confidence in, our own ability to take appropriate action in this and each and every new moment according to ones experience. And via those experiences, to learn what to know.
We are then, again, left with learning what to do with what we know.
Imo, you have an arsenal of tools that enable you to interact with the market to your benefit and fulfilment. Look at all the wise things you mentioned about your trading today (self perceptions/actions/observations etc..) But it will be your interaction that will fulfil you and not the monitory result.
All of those tools are at your disposal at a click of the mouse.
The energy required to invoke those tools is within you.
You have it, it is yours and no one can take that away from you.
You could even say that you have earned them.
Where that energy emanates from is down to what you're accepting to pay.
Anger has a price. Need has a price.
Both are more costly than any amount of profit you may earn from the market.
Freedom from both is free. It comes from our free choice.
We are given what we choose.
All we require is the awareness to see that we have a choice and that that awareness can only occur in the present moment. That choice can only be made now. It has nothing to do with the past or the future other than to free us from both. Stay present and we shall be aware.
No try, do.
No if, now.
Decide what you're going to do and how you are going to do it, from what you already know.
Then do it.
I hope I'm not coming across like some nut case or know it all.
These are just my observations and perspectives and sincerely wish you well.
Let it be.
Perhaps we are better to not ask anything of the market but rather let her give it to us.
To be gentle, humble, empathic, non demanding and accepting of all her graces and wimms
and delight in whatever she shares with us.
Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...
Last edited by zt379; September 18th, 2012 at 04:10 AM.
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