In an effort to hold myself honest and analyze my trading, I've decided to create a trading journal. I'm a big fan of Bulkowski's writing and am currently working through Barry Burns' materials. Unless explicitly stated, all trades occur in simulation space.
Reason to take trade: Today's trade was a classic flag setup on the 9/12 emini.
Pattern: Tight flag that formed on the 30-minute chart after a big move down around 6:45 am PST. Entries were bullish at 1320, and bearish at 1315.
Targets: Approximately the size of the move - 20 points from 1325 to 1315. 2 contract exit at 1325/1305 - another 1 exits at 1330/1300.
Stop: Entry of the opposite position - 1315 for bullish, 1320 for bearish.
Outcome: Trade hit targets at both 1305 and 1300 for a total profit of 140 ticks.
Comments: It was fun to watch this trade - I do like the pattern trades and the statistical analysis behind them (I'm an engineer). I wish I would have had money in this trade today, since it was a winner - but the morning was a bit of a fireworks show and that's the gambler in me.
The only paper trade I've written down is a SPY short at 137 that stopped out at 139. But this post isn't about trades - it's about psychology.
There's a deep fear to address, and it's becoming more evident as I work through Van Tharp's "Super Trader."
It's the fear of change.
I don't really like the type of work I do, and I could change that relatively easily. But when I think about it I feel fear. There are endless reasons I come up to maintain my status quo, even though the net result would be an increase in satisfaction (and probably pay).
I've found the same fear creeping into my trading studies, and it's affecting how I approach learning about trading and the pace at which I proceed.
I think I'm scared of change because I don't fully control the outcome. The uncertainty of the final state tends to keep me from changing things.
The positive aspect of all of this is that I tend to plan, and my trades have well defined entries and exits. The downside is that I have a drive to be right, and in control - even if the consequences are negative.
Two months already? I could have sworn I updated this in September.
I decided to schedule my trading a bit better than I was in the past, and to flesh out all the details in my trading setup. I got a Kinetick live feed going, but have been having problems getting NT to allow me to sim trade anything other than ES (been a nice morning for shorts today). NT support will be calling me again today, according to the latest email.
My learning approach right now is to monitor the ES and get a feel for its behavior. I have been doing a few scalps here and there in obvious S&R areas and channels, but nothing too involved. With the problems I've had over the past couple of weeks with my system, I'm hesitant to dive too deeply into method development because I simply don't trust the information on the screen. I hope that I can get this worked out soon. In the meantime, I'm continuing to study the Top Dog trading courses.
Regarding the fear of change - I found out shortly after my last journal entry that I'm going to be a father. Looks like I have no choice but to push ahead with changes in all avenues of my life. I can only think of Tharp's book, where he encourages us to embrace new information - and it's all coming at once. Work, school, baby, trading - I sure have piled the changes on!