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Like a turtle to his balcony...
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Like a turtle to his balcony...

  #1531 (permalink)
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Playing with my MRI in Photoshop, thinking about it. I was supposed to go salmon fishing in Alaska this summer, with Tuna Can... Told my chiropractor I was feeling a lot better, went to the gym, was... She stopped me. "Gary, I want you to feel better, but just so you know, reading your MRIs, you should be in a lot of pain".

Psychological impact is not completely known. Possibilities include; depression, trying to feel stronger through trading, feeling more risk averse, being angry and taking it out in my trading, not staying focused due to not feeling comfortable in my chair.


I would recommend

Esther Gokhale's "8 steps to a pain free back"

However be careful if there is a herniated disc etc. and the usual warnings like consult your professional etc.

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Ahead of the EIA I am long-biased. The area from late March / early April (yellow highlight) held and price came back above the open.


Should have pressed that trade... I caught it, and took another 50+/- ticks out of it, but I traded it very conservatively. Timidly maybe even.


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I scalped my way to a slightly better profit, but still do not know why I could not press that long this morning after EIA. I think I am just nervous of the moves after EIA in general. And with good reason, as volatility can be high and I prefer tighter stops. And, I got stopped out of my first entry, so maybe that set my risk tolerance a little lower. But, better than normal regardless. Net 188.

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I decided to set up a dedicated trade computer. Out come all the cables... And updates, chart settings, etc will take me the rest of the afternoon. I used to run two computers for redundancy, and since it seems I have accepted trading as a daily event again, there are a few things I need to take care of. And, out comes another monitor too.

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I just had a new integration on a core level about why scaling out makes the most sense. Will finish later.

Net 58, hard earned.

Another good week. Not as good as last, but that is not that common yet.

TGIF


Last edited by GaryD; May 31st, 2013 at 08:06 PM. Reason: expand profile
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Today was nearly a big losing day for me.

Yesterday had been a double distrubution uptrend, but price came back to the lower balance area in the ON session. In the opening period, price tested the upper edge of the lower balance of yesterday, then moved back through the open. I bought, scaled out, and was prepared to ride my winner to yesterday's high. When price made a pullback, and I had already banked some, I decided to go in again. And then, because I have been wrestling with when to press, as it moved in my direction again I added some, which pulled my average price higher. Not a problem if A is never taken out...

So fairly early, I am down roughly $1200.00. Not max down, but down enough that pressing is certainly off the agenda for the day, and, if I had two losses in a row, for whatever reason, I was done. I also decided I needed to scale way down, I would trade 1 contract and see how that went.

The loss told me something about the day; that it was looking very rotational. I took my time considering the next trade, and found it when price ran into the lower edge of the upper balance of yesterday. I faded the move higher, scalped out a small win, watched for awhile and saw sellers coming in, entered short, and scaled out from 3 contracts as price returned to the mean.

At that point I was still down, but only a few hundred. As I exitted my final contract at VWAP, I watched as it appeared other traders did the same, so I scalped it a couple times long, got back to breakeven on the day (before commissions).

I was prepared to quit, but had nothing else going on, today was the first day on my other computer with 3 monitors, so I just sat here and played with settings, changed the base colors for the footprint VWAP, adjusted monitor resolution, added a view of daily net after commissions to see the difference (saw I was technically still down for the day).

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And then in K period the move pushed below what I was defining as current value. I looked over at ES and a minor H&S had formed. I entered on the push without waiting for a pullback, and rode it down for a win that took me to +$420 on the day. Felt great. Patience, and knowing to change my approach, had salvaged a big net loss day.

When price made a new LOD, and I saw buyers hitting it hard, I almost scalped it up, but stopped myself. I was done, and you don't fade K period. But in the final minutes price rose back far enough to give me a decent entry, and I shortred it once more to end up decently, with not a single other loss after this morning's major hit.

I never felt revenge, or hidden revenge. I knew that sometimes I will be right, and others wrong. yesterday I was criticizing my trading for not presing the move up that folloed EIA, and today I thought was a good opportunity. And, I still believe that was the right trade at that moment. But, once I saw the day type had likely changed, my short at the top was also the right trade at that moment. And while the timing was not the best, I had already blown my "pressing wad" in the morning, that part did not matter. How much I made did not matter. As long as I traded correctly and was very sensitive to my risk parameters, it felt like the right thing to do.

I never liked fading crude when it was running up on a Friday, and I had to do it today when I was already injured. But like a pilot going through a preflight checklist, price was in the area I had defined before the session, it did what I needed it to do in terms of volume, divergence, and that trade was the best I could imagine at that point.

I went shopping yesterday, looking for an add-on lumbar support to use in my car. While I was out I picked up a few shirts, and I found one that I thought my wife would get a laugh out of. It said "LUCK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT". As I got ready to leave for my doctor's appontment this afternoon, I saw that shirt on the dresser and changed into it. Going into the weekend knowing that I have worked very hard to feel comfortable trading.


Last edited by GaryD; June 1st, 2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Melissa's List:

A) She needs to always know;
  1. How much I am risking
  2. How much I am making or losing

B) We need to agree on Max Down for the day, and Max Down for the week. If it is hit, I am done for that period.

C) At the end of the week, a percentage of profits comes out of the trading account and goes into a retirement account. This needs to be done consistently, just as if I had a "real" job and contributing to a 401k.

D) I am going to be forced to define work hours and get off the computer when work is over for the day. And, when work is over, I have to get out and do other things.

E) There needs to be some performance benchmark of a realistc expectation that we compare actual results to. From that, we can decide going into the next week what needs to occur as it relates to the items above.



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Her list does not seem like much, and it is not a difficult one to follow. The key point here is that up until recently she was not wanting to discuss it. Trading succesfully, to her, was not "real", so why even get into those things?

When I started trading, I was convinced I would become good at it. I had some gigantic wins very early on, which I was happy to talk about and even head out to celebrate. But then came some gigantic losses. I did not want to worry her, and KNEW that it would work itself out over the next few trading days...

I fell into a period of me not wanting to talk about trading, other than to defend what I was doing, that I was working very hard on figuring it out. Which lead to me studying every day, all day, for such a long time. I woud go through phases where I thought I had it all worked out, and then periods where I didn't, and the process was just something she grew tired of.

Last year, I had shown her how I had achieved a degree of consistency, and was considering trading ful time, as I thought my work was about to run out. We joked about living on $500.00 a week from trading, and she was ok with that. But I was also still in some difficult times, completing a bankruptcy, living in - but losing - our "final" house.

And regarding trading, I was feeling like, while maybe I had learned a lot, I had done it 99% on my own. I had my own terminology for things, some of them silly. Like, "Wonderland", or "Brer Rabbit", whatever it took for me to start to recognize certain repetitive market behavior so that I could trade it correctly. And somewhat because of that I still had a feeling that, possibly luck was a part of it. And that brought on an intensifying effect to the normal uncertainty that cannot be removed from trading.

I was going through that during the lowest point in my life from a perspective of self-worth. And the pressure built and built, until I had to quit trading altogether. I snapped one day, erasing all the gains for the year and then some. I still have yet to go back and read through some of that, and may never. Instead, I spent my energy on building back my own feeling of self. Figuring out who I was after that whole ride. Learning, to be happy again.

I spent several months reaching out to friends who I had not spoken with for a long time. Many of us had experienced similar losses, and it was not a very social time. I met with some investors face to face, and apologized for having lost their money. I allowed them to vent, or more often, to tell me they had never once though it was my fault. The market collapsed. A few close friends, unfortunately for me those who had the most invested with me, said they would invest with me all over again. That they knew I would come out of this and be successful again. That was a good push in the right direction. To stop feeling ashamed of things. Or like I had something I had to make up for.

And so here I am, several months later, looking at trading differently than I ever have. I have been doing things to focus on addressing my confidence issues, replacing my old terminology with the language of a trained professional trader, trading in sim at high speed over and over and over to reinforce that I do know what I am doing, and that there is a well defined "edge".

And so, Melissa's List is a very important milestone to me. It means I am comfortable enough with it to bring it up to her again. It means we are talking about it again. It means, although at a far slower pace and with much greater hesitation, she is getting comfortable, maybe.

While I used to see trading as something possibly rebellious, or high adrenaline like X-Games sports, it is becoming scientific; a mix of math, analytics, executon skills, and psychology. And all of them take a lot of work. But it was never an "easy" life I was looking for, just one to feel good about. And I am feeling pretty good lately.


Last edited by GaryD; June 1st, 2013 at 08:36 PM. Reason: typos, reading to Melissa and clarifying
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I decided to set up a dedicated trade computer. Out come all the cables... And updates, chart settings, etc will take me the rest of the afternoon. I used to run two computers for redundancy, and since it seems I have accepted trading as a daily event again, there are a few things I need to take care of. And, out comes another monitor too.

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My new "comfort zone"

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Not a lot of effort on my part to calculate resistance yet. The overlapping action seems corrective, minus the double top of course...

Price was headed down on Friday, but right in a support zone as it went into the close, so the Sunday open could still hold. If not, that major inverted LSP stands out without question, and would provide DT, then ABC completion.

If 90.33 breaks I will need to start over, but kind of preferring to wait and see. Watching market profile provides more detailed direction on the day and has reduced the amount of time on calculating SR levels. Plus, using Current Price Line takes care of most prior pivots.


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Last edited by GaryD; June 2nd, 2013 at 06:19 PM.
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