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The Way of the AttitudeTrader


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The Way of the AttitudeTrader

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  #41 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

I initiated my militaristic approach today. I changed the color of my bars as an additional reminder to myself of my objective.


Treating my trading today like a no crying, no celebrating, no nonsense, no bull**** military exercise created a massive shift in my attitude, an increase in my focus, and a shift in the type of result I was focused on.

I also changed how I do things in my office. Today I:
  1. turned off the sound on my computer so I would have to pay attention and focus my eyes on what was going on rather than bells/dings.
  2. hooked up my Bose® MIE2i Mobile Headset ear buds to my iPhone 4S and cranked my PandoraOne station (see my blog sidebar for my easy-listening style of music) to aid in my focus.
  3. didn't watch the longer term chart like last week.
  4. didn't do any reading of blogs, no “research,” no backtesting, no chatting – barely anything but focusing on executing my plan for the day.
  5. practiced a specific mental exercise often (that I'll get into at a later time) when I wasn't entering a trade or recording it in my log (or eating lunch).

The profits today simply came as a result of following my plan, and a market structure that happened to be favorable to my method. And the session flew by.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked...
08:29 Theater of Operations is hostile...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...move out.

Trade #56
08:37 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:46 Objective achieved. +11 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #57
09:04 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:18 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #58
09:28:46 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:32 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #59
09:41 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:43 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #60
09:49 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:53 Things happening pretty fast and I realize that I made a minor error on this trade. I got in 1 tick lower than I should have.
10:01 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #61
10:10 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
10:29 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #62
10:47 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
10:59 Objective achieved. +7 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #63
11:13 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:37 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #64
12:17 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
12:47 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #65
13:11 Short on valid trade. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
13:26 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #66
14:02 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
14:12 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Stand down...
14:30 Clear chambers. Safety's on. Arms away. Prep for debrief.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Objective was accomplished with one minor error (see above).
  • Observations: The end of the down-move today was unknowable with my method. Price turned after testing the 01/31 low, but that is never a guarantee that price will bounce. And, in fact, price eventually broke lower. The primary beneficial action on my part today was taking every valid short signal as the market moved down in a slow grind.



"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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  #42 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

Kevlar, bullets & batteries ready...
08:29 T.O. is hostile...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepare to engage.

Trade #67
08:38 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:40 Minor error: entered one tick too high.
08:49 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Take cover...
08:52 Stand by for enemy barrage at 09:00.

All clear...
09:04 Weapons live. Prepare to reengage.

Trade #68
09:09 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:32 No Joy. -5 ticks. Stop only exceeded by 1 tick before price powered back up to my original target.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #69
10:20 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
10:35 Objective achieved. +8 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #70
11:12 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:29 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #71
11:45 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
12:01 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Break for chow
12:30 Took a break to eat and deal with a couple of trading related email's and chat responses.
13:19 Break is over...pack it up...check weapons...put head back on swivel...prepare to reengage...move out!

Trade #72
13:55 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
Cease active engagement... projectile is en-route... stand by...
14:30 No more new orders. Wait for completion of current trade.
14:43 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results and prepare for debrief.

Mission complete... stand down...
14:44 Clear chambers. Safety's on. Arms away. Prep for debrief.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Objective was accomplished with one minor error (see above), however on the next instance of the situation appropriate action was taken.
  • Observations: Market conditions were not as favorable for my method today. However my focus on this training exercise made a HUGE difference in my reaction to events. I was only focused on the mission objectives.




"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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  #43 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received


After my first two trades were losers, I thought it was going to end up being a short day of trading for me.

Then I had two trades that stopped me out to the tick. If this had happened before implementing my militaristic mentality approach, I would have been frustrated to say the least.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:25 T-Minus 5...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepare to engage.

Trade #73
08:30 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
Entry was higher than trigger price because price had exceeded trigger level on the open. As a result stop is much tighter and target is farther out.
08:36 No Joy. Stopped out. -3 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #74
08:46 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:48 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Stopped out to the tick before price turned to reach initial target.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #75
09:03 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:14 Objective achieved. +8 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Take cover and stand by for enemy barrage in T-Minus 10...
9:20 Crude oil report in 10 min.

All clear...
09:34 Prepare to reengage. Weapons are hot.

Trade #76
10:11 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
10:22 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #77
10:28 Long on valid setup. Very difficult orders to carry out because I don't think this is a good idea.
SHUT UP FNG! CARRY OUT YOUR ORDERS!
10:36 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Stopped out to the tick before price turned to reach initial target.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #78
11:41 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:44 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #79
12:40 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
13:22 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #80
14:15 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
14:29 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results.

Cease active engagement... mission complete... stand down...
14:30 No more new orders.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Objective was accomplished with appropriate action.
  • Observations: Two trades were stopped out to the tick, but I was only focused on the mission objectives and as a result I followed the mission plan without deviation.



"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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  #44 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

I had my first day of dealing with equipment problems, and it was a bit aggravating.

There was some kind of Charlie Foxtrot with the back end server for the demo platform I'm using, so I had to wait...and wait...and wait. In the process I missed a valid 7-tick winner and a valid 6-tick winner.

It's aggravating because I need these trades to build my sample size and stats. I should have had +13 additional ticks for the day.

But I'm not willing to fudge the numbers. This exercise is about the whole experience of trading, good and bad. And this kind of **** happens sometimes.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:23 T-Minus 7...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.

Weapons jammed...
08:41 Demo server issues preventing order placement.

Stand by until this Charlie Foxtrot is cleared up.
08:52 Missed a 7-tick winner. This kind of **** happens. Maintain position and await new orders...

Charlie Foxtrot continues.
09:07 Missed another 6-tick winner. Repeat, maintain position and await new orders...

Weapons back on line
09:31 Server appears to be back up.

Price moved to within one tick of my entry...
09:34 ...and then powered down to target. Orders canceled.

Trade #81
09:37 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:38 Objective achieved. +7 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Suddenly I'm in a ****storm!
09:39 Things happening fast now.

Trade #82
09:40 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:45 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

****storm continues!
09:47 Things still happening so fast I'm behind on logging it.

Trade #83
09:49 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:51 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #84
10:12 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
10:21 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #85
10:59 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:04 No Joy. Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #86
12:40 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
12:42 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #87
13:09 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
13:22 No Joy. Stopped out. -3 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Cease active engagement... mission complete... stand down...
14:30 Cancel open entry order.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Objective was accomplished with minor distraction.
  • Observations: My platform wasn't operating properly at the beginning of the session, but it finally came around and I proceeded to take my trades according to my plan. I did lose a little focus due to some brief “chatting.” That won't be tolerated tomorrow. Other than that I was able to focus on the mission objectives and follow the plan without deviation.




"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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  #45 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:23 T-Minus 7...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.

Trade #88
09:06 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
Quite sure this is going to be a stop-out. Shut up FNG! Follow mission orders!
I don't believe it – target was hit. Believe it scrub!
09:39 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #89
09:44 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
Slight miscalculation. In 1 tick better than plan called for.
10:11 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #90
10:41 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:18 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #91
12:00:06 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
13:14 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results.

Cease active engagement... mission complete... stand down...
13:30 No more new orders.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Followed mission plan without deviation.
  • Observations: No Joy today. Tight range after strong early push up was not conducive to my method today. Irrelevant though. Mission was accomplished.




"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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  #46 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

A review of the week

I implemented my militaristic approach this week and the change in my attitude was massive.

I don't recall having ever been more focused on the task at hand in my trading. Because of that I was able to, in nearly every case, take setups without hesitation, fear, regret, etc.

In that regard this approach has been extraordinarily beneficial for me.


I'm realizing that most people don't understand why I'm doing what I'm doing. I can understand that, because until very recently I was there too.

But what I have learned about myself, about the market, and about what trading isn't, is becoming of such astounding value to me that I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world.

How my method will perform going into the future is still highly questionable due to the lack of duration (91 trades so far), but regardless, I have made more progress as a trader in the past 4 weeks than I have in most of my years.

At this point I am taming the desire to look for a way to improve my method because the experience itself is where I'm profiting. However, this exercise of trading the same method over and over and over and over again is actually allowing me to see the market doing what it does over and over and over again. And I have little doubt that as I continue on I will gain clearer understandings of what I might do to improve how I interact with it.

The bottom line is that I'm seeing trading – the whole thing – in such a different way now that it's difficult to put into words.

I'm nearing my 100th trade – 50 or so trades after I made the minor target modification.

EDIT: Originally I hadn't planned to make any changes to my method, but after looking at my stats, and with the primary objective of my development in mind, I've decided to make another change on the day following the day that I hit 100 trades: I'm going to add a second contract and use two targets.

The stats for my current target are showing a 15% greater profit than the target I was using for the first 50 trades, but with a 96% retention of win rate.

So I'm going to go back to my original target for the first car and use the target I'm currently using for the second car.

This will have a few implications for my trading.
  • First, the mechanical implication: It will mean that I will have more to keep up with while working orders. There are situations when the first target has been reached and another setup forms before the second target level has been hit. So there will be times when I'll still have the second contract on when I'm entering a new position. This will likely result in some errors while I learn how to manipulate the order entry platform and deal with various scenarios that occur.
  • Second, the risk management implication: By using two contracts, my losses on each losing trade will double. It will be necessary to effectively double my risk tolerance parameters. The hopeful offset will be the larger potential profits generated over time.
  • Third, the psychological implication: My biggest reason for hesitating to do this is that my drawdown numbers are going to increase. Bigger per-trade losses, bigger daily losses, and larger drawdowns are not going to be easy for me to stomach. Period.

The interesting thing to note here is that I'm making a change that should improve my profitability, but it doesn't have anything to do with modifying the setup I'm taking for every trade.

And so the training continues.


A look at the stats

My expectancy still appears to be waning. Maybe it's a natural effect of insufficient data thus far. Or maybe it's an accurate reflection of the state of my method right now. I still need more time and experience in order to understand how I should be interpreting this.


I'm posting my weekly stats again this week. I've changed them a bit to reflect $/Day over all days (running) rather than on a weekly basis.


"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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  #47 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:23 T-Minus 7...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.

Trade #92
08:34 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:38 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #93
08:49 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:56 I don't believe it. Price has come all the way back down almost to my target. Shut up FNG! It isn't over yet! Focus on the mission!
Holy ****! It was 4 ticks MAE forever! That's right scrub! Now focus on the mission plan!
09:16 Objective achieved. +6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #94
09:21 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:43 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #95
11:09 Long on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
11:15 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #96
13:06 Short on valid setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
14:16 No Joy. -5 ticks.
Loss limit rule hit. Done for the day.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Cease active engagement... mission complete... stand down...
14:30 No more new orders.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
  • Outcome: Followed mission plan without deviation.
  • Observations: No Joy today. Another tight range day that wasn't conducive to my method. Again, it is irrelevant. Mission was accomplished.




"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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  #48 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
AttitudeTrader's Avatar
 
Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

I received a private message asking me about a couple of the S5 Trade Analyzer acronyms.

So that everyone can see them I'm posting the answer here in the thread.

BSO = Best Scale Out
TIT = Time In Trade
TSB = Time Standing By

"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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  #49 (permalink)
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I received a private message asking me about a couple of the S5 Trade Analyzer acronyms.

What about your custom user title? "Status: FNG". Unless it's something to do with being the new guy... ?

Mike

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  #50 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Big Mike View Post
What about your custom user title? "Status: FNG". Unless it's something to do with being the new guy... ?

Mike

Urban Dictionary can probably answer that question better than I can.

-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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futures io Trading Community Trading Journals > The Way of the AttitudeTrader


June 30, 2013


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