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The PandaWarrior Chronicles


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The PandaWarrior Chronicles

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  #51 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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There is a story about the host of the TV series Building It Bigger that demostrates how fear can be overcome. The host is an architect whose job it is to travel the world and do tv about gigantic building projects. This requires he ascend to the tops of many of the worlds highest buildings during construction. Turns out, he has a massive fear of heights which he discovered the first time he had to go up on one of these towers. Instead of giving into the fear, he worked on it and eventually was able to mostly overcome it.

During one episode, he asked an iron worker that had just clipped himself into his safety harness why instead of clinging to the steel beams and girders, he simply tested the ropes and harness and then leaned out into the void to do his job. The iron worked said "I'm tied in and you have to trust your equipment".

A light bulb went off in my head. I have to trust the fact that I have good equipment and to learn how to "tie myself in" For me that became the idea that if I have a free trade, then who cares what happens next. I can only control my exits after that.

So I resolved to only trade two lots, scale out early on one, get the trade free and give it a go and let either my target or price action tell me to get out.

I can set targets either with a fixed number, a fib number or support/resistance. For now, I'll do my best to use a logical fib number, trade in the direction price seems to be telling me to go and hold for that target.....UNLESS price action says otherwise.

Do this enough times and the three "F" responses to fear will over time diminish to the point where the learned response to bail early at the first hint of price going against me will be overshadowed with the learned response to think rationally about the exit and what the chart is actually telling vs what I fear its telling me.

Today I did this six times. Twice long, four times short. I had two losers and was close to my daily stop out number. But I knew I had the direction right, all I needed was timing. So I got short again and held to my first fib target. I left a little on the table but it ended up being the largest trade I've ever done with live money.

I waited through the news then got short again, stopped at +5 passed on the next one, waited some more, got long and exited when I though price action was telling me it was over.

Then I got bored watching price action fool around in a narrow range, started marking my chart up and then missed the next sell off. After that my kid got up, came down and insisted I love on her for a bit. Time to call it quits.

I ended the day at +67 ticks.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #52 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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This happened while I was hugging on my kid and posting my journal for the day....Not sure if I would have taken it but the signal was there. 100 ticks...crazy.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #53 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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Posts: 3,163 since Mar 2010
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Trading Psychology Trading Session: Discipline to Reach the Next Level in Your Trading - Trader Kingdom

Trading Psychology Webinar: Profit From the Herd By Not Thinking Like the Herd - Trader Kingdom

Develop Your Mental Edge by Dr. Andrew Menaker - MarketDelta's library


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #54 (permalink)
 bluemele 
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PandaWarrior View Post
100 ticks...crazy.

Not crazy, but she is yours and very beautiful. Just waiting for you to ask her to dance.

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  #55 (permalink)
 PHXtrader 
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I just wanted to say a real BIG THANK YOU for posting these links. They have been very enlightening and helpful.

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  #56 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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Posts: 3,163 since Mar 2010
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I had a short bias today but my first trade was a long. As soon as I entered the trade, my nerves started jangling. I got profitable right away in the trade but even then, could not shake the nerves.

Next trade was short. Got profitable right away and while I was adjusting the stop, prices simply dropped like a rock, when I looked back at the chart, was up 40 ticks. My target was pretty far away and then before I knew it, I saw 60 ticks on the PnL. Right there my stress level was off the chart. Heart rate was super high, I had dry mouth and sweaty hands. First time I've had these symptoms in a long time. I even experienced some tunnel vision. I could not think rationally at all. Had I tried to rationally trail my stop, there was no way I could have. I don't even remember seeing the swing or the line painted by the supertrend. I just clicked the exit button. I was profitable on the trade of course but it was a major stress.

After exiting the trade, I instantly had clarity. As it turns out, I would have been out of the trade around the place I did exit on a rational trail stop but still, it was a really incredible experience.

However, NOTHING bad happened. I learned that I could exit a trade at the rational place without one of the 3 F's of fear taking over. Hopefully this is an experience that will help unlearn the desire to bail at the earliest hint of giving something back.

After that trade, it took about 30-45 minutes for my nerves to settle down, my heart rate to return to normal and for me to feel like I could trade rationally again. So I didn't trade until I could control my breathing and my hands weren't shaking. There was some news in there, nat gas I think so that was a convenient place to use the bathroom and get some thing to eat.

After that, I could feel my stress level rising slightly every time I contemplated taking a trade. So I passed on a couple but decided I needed to force myself to take the next trade. I used a very aggressive stop on it because I had no desire to stay in the trade long at all. Either it would go my way super fast or I would take a small stop. Well I got out with -3 I think.

After that, the nerves really settled down and I took a couple more trades. One I knew I would be exiting for only a few ticks. I got 11 on that which is about what I thought I could get.

Next I waited through some serious swings until I got the set up I was looking for. I took this trade in a pretty calm manner.....BUT I glanced at the PnL as it was in progress and noticed I was at 100 ticks for the day midway through the trade. That triggered the thought process of "I've never had a 100 tick day before. It would be a pity to be at this level and then give half back." So I bailed right there. I got the 100 ticks plus 7 more so netted 107, but no sooner had I exited the trade than it ran all the way to my next target and then some. So while the trade was profitable, the execution was piss poor at best. I exited the trade for exactly the wrong reason. Fear of loss.

So while today was my most profitable day in a long time, I feel like I executed poorly in terms of taking trades off at the proper time.

This being said, I am super excited that I have given myself the opportunity to at least have days like this. In the not to distant past, my trades would have been at best, 20 ticks and sometimes 10 or 15.

I am grateful to the people that have been harping on me to look at exiting a trade at the correct time as opposed to some fixed number. I will still use fixed targets at times. I did today on one occasion. They do have their usefulness but on days like today, they are useless and counter productive.

Back to the fear issue. The book I am reading, the document that @tigertrader posted and the webinars I have been watching have really opened me up to the idea of embracing uncertainty. I have done this the last two days. Its just the beginning of a brave new world but it has proven to me that I can take advantage of larger move days and not miss vast majority of it. Its also proven to me that nothing earth shattering happens if I don't insist on controlling every last detail of the trading day. Its basically find the entry and exit, take the trade and then do my best to let it play out.

This will be my main task going forward, becoming so comfortable being uncomfortable that it does not induce me to bail out of trades in blind panic.

Cheers.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #57 (permalink)
 tigertrader 
Philly, Pa
 
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I've got 2 words for you...beta blockers...lol.

Calm down buddy - you're a trading machine.

When you get that nervous, you lose focus.

Focus and forget, i.e., focus on the market, forget everything else. The more you focus on the market, the less nervous you'll be.

That post brought back memories of when I first stepped up my size (in the pit). Although, I was not nervous until I covered my position.. Then my hands began to shake like a leaf, when I was carding up the trade. While I was in the trade though, I was so focused on the market and the pit, that it was impossible to be nervous. After I took my first loss on a 50 lot, and saw it wasn't the end-of-the-world, that I could make it back and more, on the next couple of trades, I didn't get nervous at all anymore.

The market isn't there to take your money, you are there to take the market's money. You shouldn't be nervous, the market should be!!! Don't forget that - it your raison d'etre.

You are still putting way,way, too much pressure on yourself. Stop worrying about your P&L - your P&L will take care of itself, if you focus and trade well. In fact, why don't you hide it for a while , and see if that helps?

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  #58 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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I haven't been that nervous in about a year. I really felt in my gut it would be a sell off day and I was hoping I could take advantage of it and not really trusting myself to do so since I'd never done it before. Maybe it was a lack of skill in terms of what I thought might happen that caused the extreme case of nerves.

Total performance anxiety in play today. I've experienced this kind of thing a few times in my life. Usually lasts only a day.

As to the PnL, I can't turn it off. I think I can hide the total PnL but not the current trade PnL.

As to the beta blockers, I'd love them short term but long term I need to face the music.

Cheers

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #59 (permalink)
 tigertrader 
Philly, Pa
 
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PandaWarrior View Post
I haven't been that nervous in about a year. I really felt in my gut it would be a sell off day and I was hoping I could take advantage of it and not really trusting myself to do so since I'd never done it before. Maybe it was a lack of skill in terms of what I thought might happen that caused the extreme case of nerves.

Total performance anxiety in play today. I've experienced this kind of thing a few times in my life. Usually lasts only a day.

As to the PnL, I can't turn it off. I think I can hide the total PnL but not the current trade PnL.

As to the beta blockers, I'd love them short term but long term I need to face the music.


Cheers

Good thought, to keep in mind...

Trading is 40% risk control, and 60% emotional control!

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  #60 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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Posts: 3,163 since Mar 2010
Thanks: 6,328 given, 13,388 received


I had 107 ticks yesterday, today was 90 ticks. But today my nerves were only slightly on edge and non existent after the first trade. Strange how that works.

Only three trades today. All winners. I watched in sim for quite a while after that and had some real good sim trades but truthfully, at 90 ticks I was finished. Ended the week with 240 ticks which is my best week ever.

Have to say, its a result of doing the right thing even when it hurts.

I'm done for the week even though markets are still open. I think I'll take the weekend to really process what I have learned this week and hopefully put it to good use next week.

Cheers


Arrows on the 12 range charts are where I took my trades and the arrows on the 5 min and 36 range charts roughly coincide with those levels.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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