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The Way of the AttitudeTrader


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The Way of the AttitudeTrader

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  #21 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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omni72 View Post
Excellent work and journal, AttitudeTrader! Really enjoying the side-car perspective as you take on this quest. Keep up the awesome progress.

And, obviously, keep us posted on it

Appreciate it @omni72 ! Will do.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #22 (permalink)
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Cutting off 1 hour early today (13:30CT) – I have to leave to do my other work/job.

Today I completed the 20-trade sample size but I'll be keeping the parameters the same through tomorrow. I'll go through my stats this weekend when I have the time, to confirm some of the things I'm seeing that might improve performance.

I finished the session kind of bummed about my last trade being a loser again today. And again, it's silly. I had my best day yet today. And even though I missed 2 trades due to inexperience with my method, I've followed my rules throughout this whole exercise so far.

So the more I consider it, the more I realize what I have accomplished in such a short period of time.

Don't like it...
08:27 It's a few minutes before the open and I already have a setup to take at the open. I don't want to do this because of the initial swings that usually occur. Doesn't matter though. Time to follow my plan.

Trade #18
08:30 Long on valid setup. Feeling some anxiety...
08:32 Out target. +7 ticks.

Trade #19
08:38 Long on valid setup. Little uptight about taking another trade this soon.
08:39 Out target. +6 ticks.

Hesitating...
08:52 Finding myself looking for reasons to NOT take the next setup. I've had 2 winning trades so far and I don't want to give any back. CB Leading Index is in a few minutes, but it's a low impact report and not enough to keep me from being prepared to take an entry should it trigger. Take the setups! All of them!

Trade #20
09:12 Long on valid setup. Nervous about going long again after such a big move up. It doesn't matter though. I have no idea whether it will drop or not, so just take the trade!
09:19 I'm certain I'm getting stopped out on this one. But I'm finding a pattern with myself where I think that on pretty much every trade.
09:35 I'd love to get out of this one right now with a small 2-tick loss.
09:38 I decided yesterday to make a concerted effort to begin doing visualizing work, so while this trade is going nowhere I'm visualizing – not about the outcome of this trade, but about other things.
09:48 Out target. +6 ticks.

Done for the day?
10:08 Now thoughts are running through my mind about quitting for the day while I'm ahead. But that isn't part of my plan. Stick with the plan. Stay focused.

Missed 2 setups.
10:23 My method requires some discretion, and because of the small range and the way price had formed, it wasn't clear to me at the time that I had gotten 2 setups back to back (both winners). Self-fulfilling prophecy from earlier attitude? Lack of experience with the method too. Stay focused.

Trade #21
10:35 Long on valid setup. Really don't want to be in this one now after the 2 winners that I missed. Irrelevant.
10:54 Stopped out. -5 ticks. Feel a little irritated. This trade is meaningless! Focus on the plan!

Trade #22
12:22 Short on valid setup.
12:39 Out target. +6 ticks. Occupied myself with my other job while this trade was on.

Trade #23
13:09 Short on valid setup.
13:31 Ugh. Stopped out. -5 ticks. Doesn't matter though. It's just another trade.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #23 (permalink)
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I could not have anticipated that this week would turn out like it has. I'll try to have a Weekend Review up sometime tomorrow. And hopefully in the meantime I can fully digest what I've done this week.

Trade #24
08:46 Long on valid setup. Report in 14 minutes.
08:50 4 ticks MAE.
08:54 5 ticks MFE now. Report in 6 minutes...
08:55 Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #25
09:16 Short on valid setup.
09:25 Ok, now I'm getting nervous. I just know this is going to pop up and stop me out. Relax! It's just another trade.
09:25 Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #26
10:02 Short on valid setup. Price spiked through my order hard and I'm already 3 ticks MAE. Price looks strong and I think I'll be stopped out of this one. Interestingly, this trade looked really good to me and I thought it would be a winner for sure.
10:05 4 ticks MAE now... Doesn't matter though.
10:07 Ugh. Stopped out. -5 ticks. Irrelevant. Log the trade info and prepare for the next one.

Trade #27
10:17 Long early. Setup not valid yet. Focus. Ugh, price is slicing through my entry level too – 4 ticks MAE. Doesn't matter. It's just another trade.
10:22 Trade is now valid.
10:34 Unbelievable. I was certain I would be stopped out on this one, but now it's up to 4 ticks MFE.
10:36 Incredible. Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #28
10:52 Long on valid setup.
10:54 Not liking this. 2 ticks MAE... Irrelevant!
10:54 Ugh...3 ticks MAE. Doesn't matter! Do something else!
11:05 Holy ****! Price has turned around and is at 4 ticks MFE now.
11:06 Out target. +6 ticks.

Hesitating...
11:27 I'm feeling hesitation about taking the next setup because I'm up on the day and don't want to give it back. I have to follow my rules! If I start making random decisions outside of my plan then I'm doomed! I'm keeping stats, so if I see that it would be beneficial to stop at a certain point, then I can put that in my plan, but for now it's not part of my plan.

Trade #29
11:30 Long on valid setup. I like the way this one looks.
12:02 After 5 ticks MFE price has come back to below my entry. Doesn't matter.
12:09 Amazing. Back up to 5 ticks MFE.
12:11 Out target. +6 ticks.

Hesitating...again
13:03 I really don't want to take another setup and risk giving profits back. This can't be a factor. If I'm inconsistent and don't follow my plan then I can't get consistent results, and if I don't have consistent results, then I won't have a clear idea of what to expect over time, and I won't have confidence in the plan I'm trying to execute. And confidence in my plan is essential.

Done for the day
13:30 Cut-off time for Friday's. That's it. This has been an unreal week for me.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #24 (permalink)
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I could not have anticipated that this week would turn out like it has. I'll try to have a Weekend Review up sometime tomorrow. And hopefully in the meantime I can fully digest what I've done this week.

Trade #24
08:46 Long on valid setup. Report in 14 minutes.
08:50 4 ticks MAE.
08:54 5 ticks MFE now. Report in 6 minutes...
08:55 Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #25
09:16 Short on valid setup.
09:25 Ok, now I'm getting nervous. I just know this is going to pop up and stop me out. Relax! It's just another trade.
09:25 Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #26
10:02 Short on valid setup. Price spiked through my order hard and I'm already 3 ticks MAE. Price looks strong and I think I'll be stopped out of this one. Interestingly, this trade looked really good to me and I thought it would be a winner for sure.
10:05 4 ticks MAE now... Doesn't matter though.
10:07 Ugh. Stopped out. -5 ticks. Irrelevant. Log the trade info and prepare for the next one.

Trade #27
10:17 Long early. Setup not valid yet. Focus. Ugh, price is slicing through my entry level too – 4 ticks MAE. Doesn't matter. It's just another trade.
10:22 Trade is now valid.
10:34 Unbelievable. I was certain I would be stopped out on this one, but now it's up to 4 ticks MFE.
10:36 Incredible. Out target. +6 ticks.

Trade #28
10:52 Long on valid setup.
10:54 Not liking this. 2 ticks MAE... Irrelevant!
10:54 Ugh...3 ticks MAE. Doesn't matter! Do something else!
11:05 Holy ****! Price has turned around and is at 4 ticks MFE now.
11:06 Out target. +6 ticks.

Hesitating...
11:27 I'm feeling hesitation about taking the next setup because I'm up on the day and don't want to give it back. I have to follow my rules! If I start making random decisions outside of my plan then I'm doomed! I'm keeping stats, so if I see that it would be beneficial to stop at a certain point, then I can put that in my plan, but for now it's not part of my plan.

Trade #29
11:30 Long on valid setup. I like the way this one looks.
12:02 After 5 ticks MFE price has come back to below my entry. Doesn't matter.
12:09 Amazing. Back up to 5 ticks MFE.
12:11 Out target. +6 ticks.

Hesitating...again
13:03 I really don't want to take another setup and risk giving profits back. This can't be a factor. If I'm inconsistent and don't follow my plan then I can't get consistent results, and if I don't have consistent results, then I won't have a clear idea of what to expect over time, and I won't have confidence in the plan I'm trying to execute. And confidence in my plan is essential.

Done for the day
13:30 Cut-off time for Friday's. That's it. This has been an unreal week for me.

Nice work.....leave those trades alone and they often times work out....keep it up.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #25 (permalink)
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The only stat that really matters in this exercise right now is how well I followed my plan, and as you can see from my posts I didn't take any random trades.

If we're going to look at stats of my method/approach (all in my simulated/demo acct) then my expectancy chart (net of commissions) is probably as good a way as any.


I'm keeping detailed stats of my trades which is giving me a picture of where I might make adjustments to improve my method. But I'm realizing how small this sample size is at this point, so I will continue with the current plan/rules for now – at least until I have more data and experience with it.

But again that isn't the focus right now.

It might seem that as this exercise has progressed and as I've experienced decent results, that taking each trade would have gotten easier. But it hasn't. It's going to take a lot more than 20 or 30 trades to change my thinking and my behavior.

Mark Douglas says in “A Final Note” at the end of Trading In The Zone:

Mark Douglas
“Try not to prejudge how long it will take before you can get through at least one sample size of trades, following your plan without deviation, distracting thoughts, or hesitation to act. It will take as long as it takes. If you wanted to be a professional golfer, it wouldn't be unusual to dedicate yourself to hitting 10,000 or more golf balls until the precise combination of movements in your swing were so ingrained in your muscle memory that you no longer had to think about it consciously.

When you're out there hitting those golf balls, you aren't playing an actual game against someone or winning the big tournament. You do it because you believe that skill acquisition and practice will help you win. Learning to be a consistent winner as a trader isn't any different.

I wish you great prosperity, and would say “good luck,” but you really won't need luck if you work at acquiring the appropriate skills.”


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #26 (permalink)
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good job wish you the best of .....luck

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  #27 (permalink)
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I have a lot of “experience” trading, but nothing more than that to show for it. I've been at this for many years, but still have yet to truly begin.


AttitudeTrader View Post
It might seem that as this exercise has progressed and as I've experienced decent results, that taking each trade would have gotten easier. But it hasn't. It's going to take a lot more than 20 or 30 trades to change my thinking and my behavior.

Well done, @AttitudeTrader Very well done. I must say your user name tells all during this exercise, Attitude. Thank you for the play by play of each trade you posted, very helpful for anyone reading your thread to truly follow your progress. FWIW, IMO you should be very proud of yourself, what you've accomplished here is not an easy task and your posts provide an excellent example of why. Your first few posts in this exercise reveal some of the difficulties most (if not all) traders encounter that often emotionally influence us to bend our rules and take trades that are not in our best interest. You were stopped out of your first trade (classic ), then a "user error" and then a "no fill" all in the first day! But you soldiered on, that is attitude!

The two quotes I posted above tells us (me), you have recalibrated your trader's compass and chose a heading straight into the core of your dysfunctional trading behavior. Few traders venture there, but IMO, the ones that do rise to the top. I believe your journey will reveal diamonds and stones, both will clamor for your immediate attention and at your own pace both deserve it. I'll repeat what's been said before, good luck and stay your course.

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Thank you @Cashish for your encouraging words and support.

Your input means a great deal to me.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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A bad day for my method and for following my rules:

Trade #30
08:30 Long on valid setup.
08:32 Dropping here. Looks like I'm going to get stopped out on this first trade of the day. Doesn't matter. It was valid so I had to take it.
8:36 Ugh. Stopped out. -5 ticks. Irrelevant. Focus on what I need to do next.

Trade #31
09:23 Short on valid setup. It's valid, but due to the discretionary aspect of my method, it wasn't as clear as usual, so I'm not liking this one too much.
09:25 Price is powering through my level and I'm feeling a little knot in my stomach. But this trade is meaningless. It's just another trade. There's nothing “wrong” with it. Just stay focused on the plan.
09:28 Stopped out. -5 ticks. Not happy about this.

Trade #32
09:31 Short on valid setup. This one is valid too, but this is the first time that I've taken an entry in the same direction at a level beyond the first entry that was stopped out. I may need to develop a specific rule about this kind of situation.
09:34 If this trade stops out then I will hit my max loss and be finished for the day...
09:36 Price is moving against me. I can feel the urge to question my method bubbling up.
09:41 Price moved 5 ticks MFE and has moved back up toward my entry now. I can see how attached I am to the outcomes of my trades, because when price was close to hitting my target I was feeling pretty good about life in general, and as it has pulled back I've started feeling a distinct lack of self-worth. I'm also dreading having to stop trading for the day due to hitting my daily loss limit.
09:46 Here we go. Price is on its way to stopping me out.
09:47 Stopped out. -5 ticks. Sick feeling when the chime rang. This is where I start using some expletives in my self-talk. But that's it. I'm done for the day regardless of how I feel about it.

I know that how I feel about this has much more to do with what's going on in my life and what trading means to me right now, and far less to do with the fact that I've taken three losing trades in a row, or that I'm done trading for the day. It's affecting the way I see my future.

Trade #33 – I knowingly broke my rules
11:29 Long on valid setup, but I knowingly broke the rule I have about 3 losing trades in a row. I began to rationalize how that rule is really more for discretionary trading and that my method has very little discretion and that my 3 losing trades weren't about me being “off” today, but a result of my method that will happen from time to time.

Those rationalizations are actually true, but the biggest reason for that rule is my own tolerance for losses. I know that losses accrued on 3 losing trades in a row are going to start affecting my decision-making (which they obviously did!) and so the rule is for my own protection rather than a measure of the current state of the method.

11:46 Moved my limit order to my entry level when I finally came to my senses.
11:59 Price looks like it will move up and have made that trade profitable. If it does then I'll probably get that sick feeling that I should have stayed in the trade. But if I had stayed in and it was a profitable trade, then I would have reinforced a very dangerous behavior.
12:06 Trade would have been a loser if I had held it. This would not have been a good situation to be in psychologically.

4 losing trades in a row for my method so far
I'm also hearing the voices in my head that are saying, “Look, the method has had 4 losers in a row. This isn't good. Maybe I don't have an edge here. Maybe last week I was just lucky. Maybe I should be looking for a better method to use here.” It's very easy for me to have a fearful mentality about the future of my method and my trading and cause me to start another search for a better method.

It is true that the results of the last 6 days of trading (prior to today) could have been a fluke, but just writing this stuff makes me realize that all of this doubt, and feeling that need to change things, is based solely on today – this one day. Amazing. I'm hanging my hat, my self-worth, my future, on the results of this one day of trading.

End of session
My 3-losses rule saved me from a pretty bad day – I would have had 6 losses in a row for the day (although the last one was stopped out to the tick before turning around, so it wasn't a complete and utter bad direction call by the method). I'm not happy about the fact that my method did so poorly today.

But I'm losing focus of the objective here
I am obviously allowing this to become more about my method and its results than the exercise itself. Tomorrow I have to take my trades according to my plan regardless of what today was like. Let's get back to focusing on the exercise and its objective: Consistency.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #30 (permalink)
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First kudos on putting together your post. I've written more of those posts than I'd care to admit. They suck and no amount of big-picture contextualizing removes the fact that it sucks. On the bright side, it's supposed to suck If these sessions left a sweet taste in our trading mouths, we may be even more prone to repeat them


AttitudeTrader View Post
Maybe I don't have an edge here.

This can be more true than just not having an edge. For whatever reason, it could be that your method and edge don't excel in markets like today. Still useful information and doesn't detract from the overall effectiveness of the edge.

As for the losses themselves, I can't help but point some attention to the 'spend what I overearned' pattern. If I recall, Friday was a highwater mark day. People, especially traders. seem to have this tendency to give back unexpected winnings/earnings. I have no idea if that in any way applies to what you experienced today, but it's a very common trap. I'm certain some of this pattern is rooted in the notion of playing with 'house money'. But there is more to it than that. Anyway, just a thought.

Keep on swimmin' AT!

Edit: I know we can all comment on various elements of the session, but I tried to look at areas that may be a little sneakier.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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