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TST Combine Journal

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TST Combine Journal

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  #321 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: Rithmic / CQG / Ninja Trader Brokerage
Trading: NQ
Daytrader999's Avatar
Posts: 1,231 since Sep 2011
Thanks: 1,218 given, 1,702 received

I'm more and truely sad about what you mentioned in your last post than about the blown Combine because it seems that this ONE failed attempt took away all of your self-confidence not only in trading but in your whole life...

And I totally agree on what @josh and @AttitudeTrader said before, and the only thing I can add or contribute is a warm and hearty 'DON'T GIVE UP' as well as an emphatic 'KEEP ON WORKING ON IT', since this will be the only way to get out of that hole without giving your trading (career) an ultimate and final Goodbye.

So, that's just my $0.02, and I really hope you don't find this any kind of bothersome or inconvenient.

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  #322 (permalink)
Tulsa, OK
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw, Ninja Trader, Sierra Chart
Broker: Ninjatrader/Rithmic
Trading: G&L Tribute Series Rampage
omni72's Avatar
Posts: 348 since Jan 2012
Thanks: 582 given, 618 received

I'm mostly writing just to echo what so many other thoughtful futures.io (formerly BMT)'ers have written.

A couple of things I will add:

1. Recognize that we are all susceptible to the recency bias - today you'll likely overweigh what happened today and underweigh the previous day, week, month, year
2. Arbitrarily assigned time constraints are just that - arbitrary. The combine is an arbitrary 10- or 20-day container. Having a couple days similar today within in a year is an arbitrary container. You are involved in a process that is really unrelated to time. You're not past some deadline or anything like that. You are just somewhere along your own personal path.

None of this precludes you from addressing the things that are causing you to stumble, but I would hate to see you get sidetracked by potential blips on the overall grand scheme of things.

Also, you don't quit trading. It's La Cosa Nostra, it's our thing.

From one of the best movies ever made in the entire history of all mankind:

I've eaten the bar and it has eaten me. Both these things will happen again.

I've got more thoughts on this, but for the most part they probably just continue echoing what others have and will say.

Accept your stuff for what it is, hone in on the things you can directly control, and just keep swimming:

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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  #323 (permalink)
FuturesTrader71's Avatar
Posts: 310 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 124 given, 1,170 received

indextrader7 View Post
I donít think Iíve ever truly succeeded at anything in my life.

I donít know if I will ever be able to not have blowout days in trading. This is my second one in 12 months. All it takes is ONE every 100 months to matter.

I know exactly where to exit trades for small losses. I cannot follow that rule 100% of the time.

I donít know if I am cut out for trading. I know that Iím not cut out for trading if I cannot fix the problem, and the problem is me.

I donít know how to fix the problem. There is a way to take the responsibility off myself and only keep enough margin in my personal account to where Iíll be hitting a margin call around the time of a daily loss limit. So thatís one thing I can do, but it doesnít satisfy the root of the problem.

Honestly Iím tired. My arms are up in the air. I almost just donít care.

This painful experience WILL NOT BE ENOUGH to change me. Iíve had plenty of them through the years, and I still go back to letting a trade get out of control from time to time.

I donít know how to fix me.

I have a simple question: Are you or are you not committed to being a consistent trader?

In other words, given that we can't change the past and we live in the now-moment, what do you want to do? Would you like to complain, be a victim (maybe) or would you like to take actionable steps to potentially improve the situation for yourself?

Let me know and we can move forward.

Days like today are TEACHERS. They stress-test our risk plan, emotions and attitudes. How are you handling today's test?

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  #324 (permalink)
Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: Cl, TF
Posts: 945 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 943 given, 4,264 received

If you don't mind me chiming in..one thing to consider is that you were mostly trading oil for a while now. At least that's what I gathered from your journal. It appears you only recently switched over to ES . Most all your recent ES trades were probably done with no "skin in the game."

Now, you found yourself trading under pressure with another instrument than you were doing before. CL is a totally different animal than ES..

Before getting too down on yourself, consider how that may have played some role in what happened.
Anyhow, I know exactly how you feel..and I know it really sucks. Hang in there.

Failure is not an option
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  #325 (permalink)
In the heat
Experience: None
Platform: Tradeovate
Trading: Energy
PandaWarrior's Avatar
Posts: 3,162 since Mar 2010
Thanks: 6,324 given, 13,368 received

Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Tony Gwyn, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, et al.....what do all the greats have in common? They struck out a LOT more than they got on base......and yet they knew the law of large numbers gave them an edge and they exploited that edge to greatness. I'm sure they all felt at times exactly like you do right now.....but we know who they are because they didn't quit.......champions pick up where losers leave off.

This was a blown day, NOT a blown account. $400 or less if you do a smaller combine and you can start over. No big deal....however as @FuturesTrader71 has mentioned, it really is a teachable moment. Greatness will lead you to embrace the teachable moment, to run to it, to fully internalize all you can from it.....this is greatness, accepting our weakness and yet never giving up.

Make no mistake, you have greatness in you....everyone here knows it....you are to young to be saying things like "I don't think I've ever truly succeeded at anything in my life" That is such a load of crap I can't believe you actually said it although I understand why and in fact, I've said the exact same thing in times past.....This is just us feeling sorry for ourselves. The truth is you've done more in your life than many others have. What actually happened is you let your emotions over rule your stats.....it happens. A screw up...so what. This is what the daily limit is for. It doesn't define you any more than the color of your car defines who you are.....its just a car and this is just a combine.....details.

Take a couple of days off, feel sorry for yourself for exactly one day, clear your head, go shoot something in the woods or go to the range with a full auto and let off a couple of mags....does wonders for your state of mind.....get back in the saddle soon.....

This will pass, I know, I've had my fair share of them......

Some success cliches.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci

Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #326 (permalink)
London England
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Metatrader
Trading: Spot $
Posts: 90 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 1,075 given, 134 received

I'm really sorry about whats happened. I don't know too much about trading yet compared to you so I'll keep it brief but you're an incredible trader with some amazing ingrained skills, experiences and natural talent and nothing can take it away from you. To say I think quitting trading would be a shame is an understatement. I don't think you'll be focusing right now on just how good you are and how much you've learnt because of whats happened recently as @omni72 pointed out in his excellent post but it is a fact and one that I think you should focus on as soon as possible.

With regards to you've never achieved at anything I only know what you've written on here but I remember that when you started your first journal you said you were doing your series 7 while pulling all this money from the market I remember thinking this guy is super-human. If anything you've been a massive over-achiever than the norm so don't go down that road brother because its not true.

Thanks for all your help you've given me along the way.

Hope to see you back here soon.


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  #327 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

To each of you mentioned in this post, I offer a very warm, very heartfelt, thank you. Your words today showed me a great act of kindness and compassion. Today I received back tenfold whatever I may have contributed to this community.

@iqgod Thank you. Trade to win, don't trade not to lose. A subtle yet important shift in mindset. Especially going forward from this blow to ego.

@jinhar Thank you. My mind certainly was invested heavily in my opinion, very true.

@josh Thank you. Good point about the fact that this was a lost combine deposit vs an actual multi-thousand dollar down day. Also, wow, great wisdom about the confidence in entry location connecting with the large loss. You're totally right. My entry was not confident at all, it was not actually a setup, it was simply an entry long because there was a stall in the down move and I hoped for an upward rotation. I continually found spots lower and lower where I could "hope" the level would support price. This is certainly one of the best takeaways from all of today.

@Brewer20 Thank you. I certainly did not have a clearly defined stop today. All the stops for my entries should have been at most a point and a half away. I trade direct movements in price action, and should never be in a position where I'm hoping for things to turn around. You're right about the fact that I shouldn't add to trades. I have proven that I am not capable of that advanced strategy at this point in my trading. You're also right about size, I added to the position and was loaded up 12 contracts. Not a good idea at the onset of the combine before a cushion built especially. Based on the p/l I'm capable of producing, I don't need to trade that large anyways to successfully hit the p/l goals.

@TonyParisi Thank you. You're right bro, I certainly do overtrade at times. It's something I've been "aware" of for quite a while, but since I'm profitable I've been ignoring it. Certainly something for me to add to the to do list for the continual revamping process we call trading. I'm a huge fan of accountability, it's part of the reason I have journals on futures.io (formerly BMT). What steps did you take to add accountability that helped you the most?

@AttitudeTrader Thank you. Thanks for the kind words, and being relate-able. Honestly, I think I'm "too good" a trader to start over totally. Maybe this is wrong, but I'm just giving an honest answer. Now, clearly there are things that need fixing, but I think I can continue to trade well the majority of the time while working on some of these psychological gaps I clearly have. Expound to my response if you feel the need.

@Big Mike Thank you. Helps me put things in perspective a bit better. Also, great comment regarding needing ALL the pieces to come together. The good thing is that through consistent journaling, I'm getting a very clear picture of exactly what pieces I have as strengths and what pieces I lack.

@Daytrader999 Thank you. I won't give up. You're certainly not bothersome, I appreciate you taking the time to offer your thoughts. You're so right about the one failed attempt bleeding over into my whole life perspective. Oddly, just the other day ( i forget where) but here on futures.io (formerly BMT) I made a post to someone about not letting their trading affect their personal self worth. Here I was today doing exactly that. Thanks.

@omni72 Thank you. Totally right about the recency bias, great point. I do need to keep the bigger picture in mind each day. Love the Big Lebowski clip, thank you.

@FuturesTrader71 Thank you. I am totally committed to being a consistent trader. Thank you for making it (embarrassingly) clear that I was actually just being a baby this morning! (not sarcastic i mean it) I certainly want to take actionable steps to improve. Yes, interesting way of looking at it, my risk plan (lack thereof) was totally pointed out as flawed today by this type of market move, good point. I hope to hear more from you.

@lancelottrader Thank you. Yes, that's actually something I didn't consider until my gf (and now you) pointed it out. CL gives such a quick death, that I may possibly have respected risk more in that market. ES being slower, I may have gotten in a mindset that it won't burn me as bad. Learned that is wrong today! Thanks for bringing that point up.

@PandaWarrior Thank you. You're really right, today was a blown DAY, not a blown account. Mainly it was a blown mindset/discipline deal for me. Today is no bid deal in the grand scheme of things as you point out. Thank you for the kind words man. Really made me feel good. Tons of wisdom about letting emotions overrule my stats. If I look at a historical p/l chart, today is barely noticeable, just a blip. Still a rising equity curve.

@cmmichaels Thanks man. Such kind words and complements, thanks so much. Focus shifted to my longer term performance. You and @PandaWarrior have made me rethink the not successful post. I'm an accomplished fiddle player, a near-scratch golfer, a very competitive tennis player (4.5), I consistently bowl 200+ games, I'm good enough at the guitar to be able to play most SRV and Hendrix stuff, and I can shoot a squirrel offhand from a hundred yards with a .22 without a scope. I am hard on myself to my detriment, and yall's posts helped me rethink that a bit. I need to work on not being so dang hard on myself, as well as a stronger attitude of gratitude (I think they go hand in hand).

My thoughts in summary... after a few hours away and some introspection, as well as the help from you guys, I feel a ton better about today. Longer term perspective is key. Still a let-down to have a lapse in discipline/risk mgmt, and I've come to some conclusions on it. Today I now realize that I did not mentally prep/check myself as I typically do. I was back in autopilot trading without any real checking in with myself. I realize that the mishap yesterday also had me in a bit of a "revenge" mode for today. I wanted that +$1k in my combine account, and by george, I was going to put it "back in" with my trading today. This guided my decisions rather than a supreme acknowledgement of the ever-importance of risk management. Risk management is it, without it there is nothing. I'm thinking of how I can put both pre-session, and throughout-session protocols in place to continually remind me of where my focus should be. Also reminders to "check in" to see what's going on up there.

Overall, again, just really thankful for the outpouring of the community here at futures.io (formerly BMT). If I skipped someone, it's totally by accident. Thanks guys, I'll be in SIM for a while, and then back in the live and/or TST saddle soon.

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  #328 (permalink)
Manchester, NH
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Trading: NQ
Posts: 25 since Mar 2013
Thanks: 153 given, 28 received

indextrader7 View Post
Yes, I believe it's end of day from what I understand.

Also, don't become "overly careful" trade your plan, and if it works that's great, if it doesn't it's no reflection of your self-worth. Simply adjust and keep improving...

Your own words and I am giving these words back to you! Glad to see you already put this episode behind you. All the best to you!


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  #329 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Just so we're official here, ha:

I don't have to go back very far to put today into overall performance perspective. Here's since I started trading ES... 12 days ago:

BUT.... as discussed, it wasn't the P/L that bothered me. It's the lack of focus on risk management which led to a disregard for proper risk controls. Simply letting myself down. Anyways, we've discussed what happened now. At this point I'm only intereted in focusing on what I can do from this point forward to improve myself and prevent letdowns like that from happening. I know we'll never be perfect, but surely I can get to a point where I honor a rule such as: never let an ES trade go more than 2 points against me. That could be like a disaster stop. Let's say I'm in a crap mindset (which will happen from time to time), and I have a total disregard for stop placement. I will have an auto stop in at 2pts that I am not allowed to move, for any reason, ever. Something like that, along with measures to keep myself in proper state of mind and focused on risk, should be helpful. Man, I've been trading for so long, it boggles me to write this stuff. It's not insightful; it's things I could have written down after reading my first trading book ever. Here I am years later, coming to the conclusions that I have to focus on the absolute basics. My first reaction is to feel embarrassed about that... like I'm a post-grad student which has to go learn his ABC's and multiplication tables. But, on second thought, isn't that what professional athletes do? They struggle, or get their mindset out of whack, and what do they talk about... getting back to basics. Maybe that initial reaction of mine ties in to me being prideful.

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  #330 (permalink)
Tulsa, OK
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw, Ninja Trader, Sierra Chart
Broker: Ninjatrader/Rithmic
Trading: G&L Tribute Series Rampage
omni72's Avatar
Posts: 348 since Jan 2012
Thanks: 582 given, 618 received

indextrader7 View Post
Man, I've been trading for so long, it boggles me to write this stuff. It's not insightful; it's things I could have written down after reading my first trading book ever. Here I am years later, coming to the conclusions that I have to focus on the absolute basics. My first reaction is to feel embarrassed about that... like I'm a post-grad student which has to go learn his ABC's and multiplication tables. But, on second thought, isn't that what professional athletes do? They struggle, or get their mindset out of whack, and what do they talk about... getting back to basics. Maybe that initial reaction of mine ties in to me being prideful.

This is one of the greatest challenges we face - transferring sterilized information obtained in a calm, conducive setting (like reading a book) to uncertain, volatile, and violent situations (like trading). It's two different worlds. There's a gap we're always trying to shrink. And, like you pointed out, that happens by getting up, getting back to basics, and doing it all again.

I think it's also to recognize something else you pointed out: if pro athletes still struggle and have to work hard once they are at the top of the pack, there's probably a pretty good chance I can expect to always have to work on my own game. It may be different areas or different whatevers as I progress, but the work never disappears.

And, to me, both of these ideas you shared are helpful and, I'm gonna argue with you - I think they are very insightful

So thanks for sharing them with your futures.io (formerly BMT) crew

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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