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Death by 1000 Papercuts.


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Death by 1000 Papercuts.

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  #1 (permalink)
jstfrn
Brisbane, Australia
 
 
Posts: 4 since Oct 2010
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What this journal is to me.

This journal is a record of my work in progress, designed to create accountability. For this to work for me, I need to start, at the start. Posting a bunch of trades I made for the day wonít work for me. I need to post the journey of what got me to the trades that day to create true accountability.

In this journal I will be posting a lot about myself, how I got there, what I know and donít know. My reasons for trying to be a trader, my trading plan, the steps to achieve my goals. Eventually, once all that is worked out in my mind and posted for all to see, I can post my trades with my pretty charts.

Thatís my accountability, looking at my trades with one eye on my original plans. Now I do expect to change some things along the way, but Iíll have to be accountable for the changes. I canít just flip flop around, everything needs to be justified. That I believe will give me every chance to make it as a trader.

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  #3 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Always great to see another trader taking this step (journal).

Looking forward to it.

Mike

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  #4 (permalink)
jstfrn
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Do I want to be a trader?

For me itís the defining question really. Do I want to be a trader? Iím not sure i can answer that without real world experience. Get in there, get beat up, come out and say, ďI want to do that againĒ. Ok so I want to be a ďtraderĒ in laymanís terms, after all, itís such a great life, or so I hear. Work from home, no boss, own hours, big dollars and all that.

So Iíve answered the question before, but not for trading, for another occupation. Yeah I wanted to do something elseÖ oh the glory. I got trained, enjoyed it all, loved it, still do. All goes well in the practiseÖ but, in the real world, when you have to put in that daily grind, everything changes. I didnít really want to be there.

So I love all the training that goes with trading, but do I really want to be a trader? Do I want to sit through 7-8 consecutive losses knowing my Max Drawdown is still a while off? Will I want out, will I try to change my proven method, will I convince myself that the statistical reality of a Max Drawdown was my bad trading, my fault.

The question will remain unanswered, for now. But I want to find out, and this journal is here to help me answer that question. Do I want to be a trader?

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  #5 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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jstfrn View Post
Do I want to be a trader?

My gut tells me this:

If you have to ask, if you aren't 100% certain ---- then no, you don't want to be a trader. Or at the least, you won't be a good one.

You have to change your mindset. You are competing with the best of the best. And I guarantee, they want to be traders.

Mike

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  #6 (permalink)
jstfrn
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Am I committed?


Iíve been thinking a lot about what Mike wrote. Upon reflection I realize I havenít been that committed to trading. Probably because Iíve feared failure and that type of fear has been an issue for me in other parts of my life. In fact this journal is a result of me trying to overcome that and make a commitment for once. Itís here now, and people can read it, and if I donít see things through, I will have failed, and I will have no choice but to accept that.

One thing I just realized is that this journal is the only evidence that I have even attempted to learn this craft. It seems every journal I read, every trader I talk to, has a bunch of people who know they trade, profitable or otherwise. At the very least, from the journals Iíve read, peopleís families know they are learning a profession. Well, not me, nobody knows what Iím doing.

I made a conscious decision not to tell anyone. My justification was they would hurt my progress. I figured they would keep asking me how much money Iíve made. And trying to deal with their questions would be psychologically distracting when trading. I figured I might try to "win big" that day because I knew person X is going to ask how much I made that day.

It would seem my secrecy was really because I just didnít want people to see me failing. If I donít tell anyone, I can dismiss my failures. If I donít commit fully to it, I have no chance of competing with the best of the best. If I donít commit fully to it, I wonít be accountable to friends and family. I have to drop the fear of failure. If I simply am not skilled enough, then so be it, Iíll tell people I failed at that trading thing and move on.

Profitable traders are the "best of the bestĒ I wonít compete with them being half assed. I need to show that I really want it and am committed to it. My determination and desire to do this has been lower than it needs to be for success. Big Mike said I have to ďchange my mindsetĒ. Thatís very true and so obvious now. The way I had been thinking was uncommitted and that approach was never going to work.

I want to change my mindset. But I feel it needs to come from my drive and passion to trade. Not from external factors. First things first, time to make some commitments. I will tell some of my family what Iím doing. They wonít have a clue what itís really all about, but next time I talk to them, they will ask, and thatís important to me, Iíll be accountable, Iíll be committed.

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  #7 (permalink)
jstfrn
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The Learning Journey.


Iím going to give a basic background on my trading education and experience so far. I read a bunch of books, all the popular ones. The ones I found most useful were about what a trader is actually like, who they are, their mentality. I searched the internet for resources, found a wealth of info on the basics but beyond that it was mostly people selling methodologies. I never purchased any, the concept never felt quite right to me. It could be because I never found one that suited me, or simply that I wanted to create my own method.

The most valuable information I found came from trading forums. You find all types there, proís, amateurs, venders, scammers. Reading their discussions gave me an understanding of what itís REALLY like (and not like) to be a Professional Trader. The information that really interested me was focused on developing a ďTraderĒ.

Iíve done a bunch of sim trading, mainly to learn the software and get an understanding of how markets move in real time. But I needed to see what it was like to trade with real money, getting real fills. I simply wasnít prepared to spend years learning only to find out I simply cannot handle live trading.

So what happened on live? I learnt I can handle it and I enjoyed it, as for my account balance? My broker made a tidy profit, I got killedÖ Death by 1000 papercuts.

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  #8 (permalink)
 PositiveDeviant 
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With all due respect sir I would advise you to scrap this journal and start another with a title that better reflects the direction you wish to travel in, the first word in the name of your journal is death, so every time you come to it, you will see this, as will your subconscious mind, that's not likely to help you.

"So what happened on live? I learnt I can handle it and I enjoyed it, as for my account balance? My broker made a tidy profit, I got killed… Death by 1000 papercuts."

What you say here is the end of a period, put this behind you, and start afresh.

"The primary thing required to obtain what you want from life, is simply the will to pursue it, and the faith to believe it is possible." - Author Unknown

"The ability to maintain discipline and stick to the rules is the hallmark of the experienced successful trader" - Curtis Faith
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  #9 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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And cut your position size by 100.

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  #10 (permalink)
 Nicolas11 
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Hi,

It is a very good idea to start a journal!


jstfrn View Post
I made a conscious decision not to tell anyone. My justification was they would hurt my progress. I figured they would keep asking me how much money I’ve made. And trying to deal with their questions would be psychologically distracting when trading. I figured I might try to "win big" that day because I knew person X is going to ask how much I made that day.

It would seem my secrecy was really because I just didn’t want people to see me failing. If I don’t tell anyone, I can dismiss my failures. If I don’t commit fully to it, I have no chance of competing with the best of the best. If I don’t commit fully to it, I won’t be accountable to friends and family. I have to drop the fear of failure. If I simply am not skilled enough, then so be it, I’ll tell people I failed at that trading thing and move on.

Of course, everybody has his/her own views and his/her own journey...
On this specific subject ("not to tell anyone"), my evolution was the following.
At the beginning, I was "ashamed" of what I was doing and feared what other people may think about it.
So, when I had to present my activity, I was not very clear about what I was doing ("technical analysis" rather than trading, etc.).
Then I realized that this way of distorting reality was taking some of my mental energy and was not positive at all.
Now, I am clear: "I am preparing to day trade".
"I am who I am.
I do what I want (while respecting others, of course). This my life.
If you do not like what I am doing, no problem for me: you have the right to think what you want.
I might fail, but at least I would have tried, and anyway, it would be my failure.
I am not ashamed to have taken the control of my life, and be trying to fulfil my objective (= being a trader and make a decent living from it)."

Just exchange of thoughts...

Nicolas

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  #11 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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PositiveDeviant View Post
With all due respect sir I would advise you to scrap this journal and start another with a title that better reflects the direction you wish to travel in, the first word in the name of your journal is death, so every time you come to it, you will see this, as will your subconscious mind, that's not likely to help you.

"So what happened on live? I learnt I can handle it and I enjoyed it, as for my account balance? My broker made a tidy profit, I got killedÖ Death by 1000 papercuts."

What you say here is the end of a period, put this behind you, and start afresh.

I agree with this 1000%. This game is hard enough without a negative journal title staring you in the face. I also advise against telling to many people what you are trying to do. Most of the feedback will be negative. So just embark on the journey, tell your spouse if you have one, and keep your journey to yourself.

The time to tell them is when you quit your day job and move to a nice little island somewhere...or at least you are making enough money to tell them, "I've been doing this long enough that I can afford to quit my job" or something like that.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #12 (permalink)
 Nicolas11 
near Paris, France
 
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PandaWarrior View Post
I also advise against telling to many people what you are trying to do. Most of the feedback will be negative.

Of course, do not tell "too many" people, and do not tell your current boss
However, with respect to family, friends and other people, in my opinion/experience, there could be 2 different attitudes:
(i) Do not tell, keep your project inside in order to keep the strength inside and in order to not to receive negative feedbacks, or
(ii) Tell when asked, in order to be in peace with yourself and - who knows? - receive a little support.
It depends on personality and entourage...

Nicolas

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