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quantum27's NEVER blowing up journal

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quantum27's NEVER blowing up journal

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  #1 (permalink)
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

I started an ES journal a couple of years ago on this forum. Since the, I've learnt alot and what is currently separating me from being a consistent trader and an inconsistent one is risk management. In other words... "NEVER BLOWING UP" again. Luckily, I've been trading small, so it hasn't wiped me out yet.

I've been reviewing Douglas, and just getting back to basics. So this is about me trading my 20 trade sample size according to my plan. With an emphasis on :

#1 2 stops and finish for the day
#2 10min break after stop
#3 Execute trading plan

Looking back at my trading records, not following these items are what blew my account up.

A big part of what I will be focusing on, is also the expectations I have for each trade and each day that I trade. Letting the market pay me as it makes money available to me. Hence:
1. Predefining a stop before I get in. Which allows my brain to accept the possibility of me not being right.
2. Expect to get stopped out for every trade.
3. Expect each day to be stopped out 2x. Each day could be a potential blowup day, if I don't keep this in mind. Markets could be too volatile to trade, I could be not in the right mindset to trade.

There's alot more about expectations and how it relates to fear and greed. I'll post more in the future.

There's not going to be much about technicals that I will be posting. No screen shots. The focus for me is thinking in probabilities and not blowing up.

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  #3 (permalink)
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Trade 1:
9:40 Entry: 1246.25 Exit 1233.75 Stopped

Trade 2:
10:20 Entry 1227.5 Exit 1229.25 Stopped

First couple of trades of my 20 trade sample size. Finished up after 2 stops, and took 10min break. 10min break is useful as it helps me look at the big picture, and not get chopped. However, it does make me miss some moves where it could stop me out and continue in my original direction. In the end of the day, who cares.... trading is about me and how I want t trade. Plenty more opportunities to come. It also helps me take a time out to refocus on finishing up if my next trade is a loser. Keeping my expectations in check, that it's ok if today was a losing day. Because I limited my losses, and prevented what could have been a blowup day.

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  #4 (permalink)
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Today wasn't a good day to be trading. I over traded, and broke my own daily risk rules. Moved my stop on my second trade (#4), and lost composure. I was hoping to get off to a better start, but what's done is done. Lets focus on what can be done in the future to prevent this.

I found this section by Brett Steenbarger about being a perfectionist:

Perfectionism is often the chief culprit when the pain of losing exceeds the pleasure of winning. Desperately trying to feel good about themselves, perfectionists set unrealistically high ideals. They think they will finally be OK if they just accomplish X. (For X, you could substitute many things, including looks, wealth, popularity, or achievement). Because X is an unattainable goal, perfectionists ironically use their ideals as a basis for self-criticism when their performance doesn’t match up. After all, is achieving X will make me OK, then I must not be OK if I fail to achieve X. The emotional theme of the perfectionist is “not good enough”. Perfectionists are driven to do more and more because they never feel competent, worthy, and loved as they are. Thus, even when there’s a profit on a trade, perfectionists will look for the portion of the move that they did not participate in. If they caught most the move, they will reprove themselves for not trading a larger position. And when trades don’t go well, perfectionists review all the reasons that shouldn’t have made the trade, should have known better, etc. By focusing on the portion of their performance that doesn’t match their ideals, perfectionists transform successes into defeats, losses into failures. They rationalize their perfectionism as a drive for achievement, but all they are accomplishing is an undercutting of their confidence.

Perfectionism shows up as negative self-talk and self-blaming. Emotionally, we recognize perfectionism from frustrated, angry feelings when trades don’t work out as planned. “Beating myself up” is how many perfectionists describe their self-talk. The way to beat perfectionism is to make a concerted effort to talk to yourself the way you would talk to a good friend in a situation where things went wrong. Most people know how to treat others with respect, love, and dignity. They just haven’t learned to do the same for themselves. If you would be more nurturing, understanding, and supportive of a friend than you are of yourself in the identical situation, then you know that you’re not being your own best friend. If a trade doesn’t work out, the constructive trader focuses on, “What can I learn from this?”—not “What’s wrong with me?”. In Woodie’s language, the best antidote to perfectionism is the ability to reassure yourself, “There will be better trades down the road.” The key is to not miss those better trades while you’re beating yourself up!

I feel I have a perfectionist personality, which leads me to critising myself when things don't go my way. I always had this feeling of when I overtrade, I'm trying to fix something. Which is counter productive. I beat myself up, with negative thinking and self talk.

I need to be kinder to myself, with encouragement and giving myself approval for my trading. Regardless of the results of my trading, I'm still ok as a person.

Anyway, lets keep trying tomorrow and see what happens.

Here are my trades for the day:
Entry Exit EntryT ExitT
#3 Short 1263.5 1265.5 9:42:02 AM 9:43:12 AM Stopped
#4 Short 1262.25 1266.5 10:01:50 AM 10:11:52 AM Stopped
#5 Long 1266.25 1264.5 10:16:33 AM 10:18:44 AM Stopped
#6 Short 1264.25 1264.25 10:18:59 AM 10:28:57 AM Scratched
#7 Long 1264.5 1264.25 10:29:06 AM 10:47:57 AM Scratched
#8 Long 1266.25 1263.5 10:51:38 AM 11:05:06 AM Stopped
#9 Short 1264.75 1264.5 11:11:29 AM 11:40:44 AM Scratched
#10 Short 1263.75 1265 11:41:39 AM 11:42:40 AM Stopped

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  #5 (permalink)
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I strongly encourage you to review the MAE and MFE for each trade, and post them. They are two of the most important metrics of trading, in my opinion.


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  #6 (permalink)
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Tuesday 1st November 2011

I traded well limiting my trades to 4. Last trade I didn't take a break after my stop. I probably should have finished off after getting stopped out 2x. But I was too focused on making money for the day.

Wednesday 2nd November 2011

Overtraded this day. Had some nice scratches. But need to step back and wait for the setups to occur. Lets not beat myself up over it. Lets just try better tomorrow.

From the past couple of days worth of trading. I've felt alot of times my direction is correct, but I'm trying to milk too much out of the trade. Looking back through my charts, I feel that a 2pt target is my best bet.

I'm restarting my sample size, but this time I'll look at trading based around 4-5days (a week), which should correlate to around 20 trades anyway.

I was writing my trades down on a sheet of paper, which was rather tedious. Since I record my trading screen everyday, I'll talk through my checklist for my setups. Any mistakes or discrepencies I will note down in my trading journal. This should achieve what I was trying to achieve with the written paper.

My daily risk goals are still the same:
#1 2 stops and finish for the day
#2 10min break after stop
#3 Execute trading plan

I'll look to take up to 4 trades a day (still not decided if scratches count), with daily profit target of 4pts. Trading time 9:30-11:30

Again, I'm not going to beat up on myself if I don't achieve what I set out, or if I made a mistake. Focus on progress over perfection. Be encouraging towards myself, and most of all have fun!

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  #7 (permalink)
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Thursday 3rd November 2011

The adjustment to smaller profit target has been better. Made my daily target, but still deciding how many trades I should take to make it happen.

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Last Updated on November 7, 2011

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