However the moment I floored the words and threw them down on this journal with force I already felt ready to be trading mindfully again.
Journaling works on an intimate level - it works best for me when I bare all, (openly or not I am not bothered, mainly because I barely have time to shape myself, without having additional time to think about what others think about me).
But I promise to not mix a cocktail of potent information and blog it with scant regard for my innermost being who may be wary of attention, like a frightened puppy who has backed up into a hole after a traumatic event.
You gotta watch this scene from Two for the Money, as he discusses some similar issues. We just want to feel alive!!! Unfortunately, sometimes losing is the best way to do that.... gotta find cheaper alternatives.
What you wrote is scary:
Deep inside I feel safe as a loser.
As a conformist middle class yes man.
I find that mediocrity liberates me and keeps me 'stress free'.
It's scary because it's true about so many of us. I'm thinking of the Jonah complex.
"...the degree to which you think you know, assume you know, or in any way need to know what is going to happen next, is equal to the degree to which you will fail as a trader." - Mark Douglas
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- Always strive to be aware of and in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and actions and how they are interrelating and driving one another at any given moment in time.
- Trying to understand your subconscious mind is like trying to chase the wind. Merely trying to master your conscious mind (thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) is a plenty difficult task in itself, start there!
One problem I need to overcome is when the volatility expands I become shy of approaching the market - even when I can sense that the volatility is on MY side and the technical conditions point to the market exploding my way and yielding a huge profit.
I have NOT been taking those trades when upfront courage is needed and secondly the ability to withstand the fluctuations and not move either the stop or target are needed.
Hence this is turning into a defensive trade combine which is barely at breakeven instead of yielding the proper amount of profits.
One way I have found I can overcome these problems is to use a ROLE MODEL.
@PandaWarrior has been an inspiration to hold for larger targets and walk away after a predetermined hours of trading. I will humbly try to emulate him and always try to honor my stops and targets - which also implies that the entry points I choose need to make me comfortable with the stop size and the target must be predetermined - Brian effortlessly takes 30 or 50 ticks from the market and then walks away once done and isn't tempted to come back. I will choose to apply these two learnings from him.
I need to trust the probabilities that the current move will keep going for a while.
@GaryD has been an inspiration for being in the present moment - he has learnt to develop an intuitive feel for the market's voice AND LISTENS TO IT. I have developed the intuitive feel to a small extent BUT I DON'T LISTEN TO IT. From him I hope to learn how to walk my wisdom's talk.
I need to learn to go with what currently IS.
@josh has been an inspiration to hone my craft and art which is possible only only in the frame of context. By knowing what the market really is and who you really are. And acting only when you sense both of these entities (market and you) are ready to accept your action.
I will always remember to place the market in its context i.e. know the market's place and then I will go to identify MY place (based on my capital, my limitations, my personality traits, my risk tolerance) in that place in the market i.e. I am separate from the market.
@jimjones26 has reminded me to THINK POSITIVE instead of riddling myself with self-doubt.
Winners expect to win. Losers expect to lose. And both realize their expectations more often than not. We go in the direction of our dominant thoughts and we tend to bring those thoughts into reality.
@Anagami has reminded how rooted we are in our perceptions; has reintroduced me to Vipassana Meditation for MINDFULNESS. When I feel an adrenaline rush am I to interpret it as a possibility that something wonderful could happen or a sign that something awful could happen. He reminds me that for the risk taker and the risk manager (both of whom are a single person really) the uncertainty between a SMALL loss and a LARGE profit is where the fun lies. This does not mean trading for the thrill of it. Rather the opposite.
The precept? If I tend to over risk, I need to pull myself within my frame of safety. I need to establish trading guidelines which will protect me. I promise to step back each time I am overtrading. However I must learn to embrace volatility when it is within the frame of my safety.
However, if I tend to avoid risk, I will expand my frame of safety. I will slowly add risk so that I stay emotionally neutral. Trading should be fun, but more importantly trading should also be profitable. That statement alone will keep the cheap thrills of taking random unplanned emotional losses at bay.
There really are too many good Samaritans here, including @Big Mike. I've only named a few.
I will add others here as my gratitude becomes aware of more influences!
However this should currently suffice to take my trading to a new level!
Last edited by iqgod; April 25th, 2013 at 01:27 AM.
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I am down $497.50, just $2.50 away from the daily loss limit, solely trading the 6J.
The memories are hazy, but today was an 'unmindful' day - I observe that there is an intimate connection between haziness and unmindfulness. A truly awful day, but I will take it for what it is really - a treasure trove for its L E A R N I N G S but of course that means that I have 'learnt' and will never repeat such a day again. (Otherwise there have been no learnings!)
There are only two ways an equity curve can go i.e. up and down. When the up part is in play the risk manager is in a neutral state which is okay but needs watching when he is euphoric or bloated with self-importance. Mine was the latter. When the down part comes in then the whole plethora and gamut of emotions needs to be managed and real skill is involved.
What went wrong?
My integrity was not bulletproof today.
I had ulterior motives - I was not trading to make money today, there was an 'ego stake' at play.
My humility nose-dived and my ego came into play.
Effect: I started the day with two trades that yielded one tick profit. I then went on to take a dicey trade which I almost subconsciously realized would not work yet I held on and which I had to close at a loss of $237..50
How many technical reasons were against it?
- I took a buy at the place where a reversal bar grazed the bear trendline.
- I held on even when an ii pattern formed (Al Brooks - an inside bar inside an inside bar). ii patterns are great reversal patterns. The stop for an ii pattern that is showing a bearish reversal is below the low of both the bars (in a bear trend, a bullish trend is now expected to emerge out of the ii).
- I held on even when the ii pattern's stop was violated. I MOVED MY STOP. Result is -$237 instead of -$100 and I had realized that I should scratch the trade at -$40 or so!
If ever there is the zenith of an optimistic thought in trading, this is it.
Internal Dialogue: Here my pride was at play. What will the traders at Big Mike think if I don't atleast get a refund for this combine? What will I tell myself - that I am a failure? and so on and so forth.
Cause: I was aware that I was thinking 'need to fix statistics, need to fix statistics' over and over. My intuition alerted me that this was bad but I ignored it.
Effect: I scalped till the physical limits I could push myself to. From -$237.50 I brought down the loss to -$40. For this I OVERTRADED. Today's trade count is 57 trades, which is higher by over a factor of ten times my acceptable daily limit of five trades.
Cause: My ego was in euphoria. I can do it! I can bring a $237 loss to $40! I am the flipper! Call me Paul Rotter!
What am I doing in an el cheapo combine when I could be flipping billions (why I was even thinking about which hedge fund should I choose from the multiple offer I have (in the daydream)).... etc. etc.
It is quite a feeling. Also I was in a heightened emotional state, in a sort of a high. I was coming to the end of my endurance after the four dozen or so trades. I was predicting one tick moves correctly (tick scalping). I was fetching $7.50 per trade after commissions. I decided I had it made. I placed a short order at 10195 and 'expected it' to be the double top of the day. SO I set a sell stop and then I immediately sensed something amiss and that I should cancel the order when suddenly my internet went dead. As I was sorting that out - my laptop battery died on me. I switched over to the Webtrader version of TST on my smartphone, I saw that my short order had filled, and immediately my 10-tick stop was hit.
I was mentally venting... trying to play the blame game - the worst kind where you know you have made a mistake and know it but want to squarely place the blame on the internet, or the other dozen things that had 'interrupted' my flow.
Now it will fall! I shorted again and then saw ... a line inching forward ... it was the daily loss limit percentage which stood at 88%! I was down $440! Flatten button and pulled pending orders.
Then I started feeling 'now I've NOTHING to lose'. Instead of showing the folks at Big Mike a -$440 figure why not be brave and get a rebate by scalping hard again?
So I started again. With a two tick stop! First trade: Plus one tick profit. Then another trade..sheesh the two tick stop had been hit! Down -$480.
NOW I WAS BRAVEHEART. Where did that effect come from? I guess there is a daredevil ego that wanted to be right in the final moment!
The point is that I had chosen my entry carefully. The one tick stop was respected. Price fell down exactly 10 ticks (my original target!). I should have protected my profits. Ego in control. Why let go the rest of the trend by trailing your stop? I suddenly decided to play @PandaWarrior. I will leave my one tick stop there and then place my target at 50 ticks. Why do these ideas dawn on me at the most inopportune moments?
So I wanted. You stop was respected - my ego whispered. Just ride down 50 ticks or more like @PandaWarrior after that.
Alas... the market came back and hit my stop.
Day's total: -$497.50.
DLL not hit.
Moral: ... is a Persian proverb - Believe in the almighty but hitch your camel securely.
P.S.: I am not posting the charts today. The entries and exits are so rapid and the bars cannot be seen in the dense buy sell markings - 57 trades today and right on 75% of trades. But hugging the DLL at the end of the day!
Thank god for this combine. Thank god for a daily loss limit. Trading is a profession fraught with risks and hitching the camel must always be the first step.
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