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iqGod's Own Country
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iqGod's Own Country

  #281 (permalink)
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And more of @GaryD's thoughts:

I just got off the phone with my wife, explaining how ridiculous it was, that with what I am making now, in something I have done for over 20 years, and am extremely good at (not going for ego, but for definition), but do not enjoy...

When I take a project today, I know 99% of the time what I will make the day I sign on. That is the biggest difference in belief.

I can make money almost every day trading, IF, (and if it were not just silly that word would be huge) 1) I do not care, and 2) the trade size is relatively small.

And at that level, what I know I can do, is about $50k a year. 1-2 contracts. Sounds absurd, I know. Sounds so easy also, to just multiply. But it does not feel easy, and for me, as crazy as it sounds, when the feeling is gone, I do not make money.

So, yes, I can burn the bridge, and I am considering it more each week. Thought I was there; my jobs were ending and my main account went to another PM. Have enough to eat for a few years, a wife who supports me, friends here that encourage me...

And then another offer comes up.

I have not missed a delivery schedule since 1996? I am opening franchises for various businesses across the country, and that one attribute makes what I offer attractive. They need to deliver on schedule, I am almost like an insurance policy. I do not fail. And because of that, it takes a few jobs and I have a new loyal client. Easy. But relentless, unforgiving, in a constant race, time of day means nothing.

Trading works on it's own schedule. Some trades are quick, and those are the best, but most, the overwhelming majority, work on their own schedule, and give plenty of chances to decide they are not going to work out. I know that, and with one contract, it is almost a game. Price can move against me, ok I give. Not that it matters.

But I know, with almost absolute authority, I will find the trade, and I can maintain profitability even at a 50% win rate, because of the way I trade... with one or two contracts. I could be net DD $1k, so what? And hit the next opportunity with zero baggage, 100% belief.

I could survive trading, there is no doubt in my mind.

But in the depths, somewhere there was this positive reward system in what I have done in the past, more psychological than financial, that has a deep knowing of what I produce on an annual basis, and yet that math will not transistion into trading, for some reason that I do not completely understand.

My solution; be willing to accept less. And yes, that works. And so many times recently I find myself thinking, make more, for what? Stuff? Toys? Ego? Proof that I can? And having already been there, none of that seems to matter.


"My solution; be willing to accept less. And yes, that works. "

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October to date. And still, one day at a time. Thanks for the mention, and relax.

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  #282 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
"My solution; be willing to accept less. And yes, that works. "

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October to date. And still, one day at a time. Thanks for the mention, and relax.

My butt-kicker @GaryD to whom I owe much of my profitable trading posted here; wow!

Thanks for dropping by Gary and fantastic trading!

For posterity: https://futures.io/trading-journals/18170-22-days-price-action-trader-shares-his-journey-5.html#post205150

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  #283 (permalink)
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... and if you are in class Trading 101 (who isn't? The 101 keeps moving higher) this is compulsory reading:

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/18446-confessions-stories-defeat-lessons-learned.html

My July 2017 Challenge Journal Please read and Press Thanks on This Post

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  #284 (permalink)
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iqgod View Post
My butt-kicker @GaryD to whom I owe much of my profitable trading posted here; wow!

Thanks for dropping by Gary and fantastic trading!

For posterity: https://futures.io/trading-journals/18170-22-days-price-action-trader-shares-his-journey-5.html#post205150

Had mine kicked more times than I can count. Trade smaller.

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  #285 (permalink)
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Today I succumbed to the "What-the-Hell" Effect.

This is described by Dan Ariely who is a behavioural scientist.

The day started extremely positive and I had made a good amount of profit but then I did not exit when the market signalled to (in fact I loaded up more) and hence ended down more than 2.5x the original profit.

Here is the chart, followed by the "What-the-Hell" effect.

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Think what happens when you go on a diet. When you start out, you work hard to stick to the diet's difficult rules: half a grapefruit, a slice of dry multigrain toast, and a poached egg for breakfast; turkey slices on salad with zero-calorie dressing for lunch; baked fish and steamed broccoli for dinner. You are now honourably and predictably deprived.

Then someone puts a slice of cake in front of you. The moment you give in to temptation and take that first bite, your perspective shifts. You tell yourself, "Oh, what the hell, I've broken my diet, so why not have the whole slice - along with that perfectly grilled, mouthwatering cheeseburger with all the trimmings I've been craving all week? I'll start anew tomorrow, or maybe on Monday. And this time I'll really stick to it." In other words, having already tarnished your dieting self-concept, you decide to break the diet completely and make the most of you diet-free image. Of course you don't take into account that the same thing can happen again tomorrow and the day after, and so on.

This is a side-effect of 1. being a perfectionist OR being hard on yourself by depriving the self of too much; and 2. thinking you have infinite time and opportunity. Take care all.

had my fair share of "what the hell" days....they are death to a trading account....I can feel them coming on...and only just now after all these years am I learning to walk away or to stop trading when I feel that sensation coming.....getting a handle on this aspect of my trading has made a huge difference in my confidence that I won't blow out again....it might happen but its getting less and less likely.....good job in recognizing it...

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #286 (permalink)
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Want to be a better trader? Secrets in Plain Sight

Sorry for not posting for two days in my journal. I've been thinking long and hard and trying to put down my thoughts that might fast forward this frustrating process for some of you and make you avoid the many traps that lie on the way to be coming a consistent successful trader.

Let's break it down to parts that can be easily remembered.

The first part is obviously Control. We think we are in control of our trading - the PnL curve proves otherwise.

Many traders starting out find that whenever they "decide" to do something in their minds e.g. like following a well thought out and carefully crafted plan there is an initial kickstart that make it appear that they will succeed - yes, they have it sealed this time! - only to find that at some point they find themselves ignoring the plan completely.

Let's fix this issue first.

The problem runs deep. If you want a cliché, as deep and tenuous as our evolution. The part of our brain that thought so hard, considered all cases and wrote that plan is what we shall call our Spock brain. Let's call it Spock for short.

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The other part is what Morad Askar calls our monkey brain. This is your impulsive childlike part of brain that is full of boundless energy. Call it Mr.Peebles.

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Mr.Peebles cannot be commanded into an OFF mode. Never. You are him in a way. You hopes, fears, ambitions, romances, desperation are the many facets of Mr.Peebles.

For this reason he gets to steer your car.

But you never acknowledge him directly. The thing you give credit to for your achievements is Spock - your reasoning and logical part - the one whom you think makes all decisions! But in truth the Spock part is dormant - he likes it when there is peace and quiet and when order is maintained. He does command Mr.Peebles like a parent gives orders to a child. Mr.Peebles is as obedient as a little child - he does most jobs in a likeable manner. But subvert him too much and soon he will crash in front of TV and forget about that grand project that Spock has planned for him - no logic works to make him do things Spock's way.

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So, to review, here is what happens when you get a sound trading plan and then take your Spock and Mr.Peebles combo and launch into the market:

1. Use emotion as a driver.

Forget those manuals which teach yourself to be a emotionless robot while executing your trading plan. That is too much subversion for Mr.Peebles, who will ultimately waylay your best plans. Emotion is Mr.Peebles native language. IMAGINE the happiness of following the plan, the HORROR of failing because you did not follow your plan. Use Emotion as a spoon to stir your trading plan into a lively froth instead of letting it die on paper.

2. Use social pressure.

There is a reason to start your journal here on @Big Mike. I'm not doing this for you really. Mr.Peebles easily succumbs to a bit of social or oeer pressure. No one's going to pressurize you on @Big Mike, people are way too nice even while kicking your butt, but the invisible accountability is not lost on Mr.Peebles. Put out that post about the nonsense you did yesterday and Mr.Peebles is immediately on best behavior! Again, if the child you project onto trading is approval seeking, beware, and read further for the solution...

3. Make Mr.Peebles comfortable.

Mr.Peebles is also called an Orphan by psychologists. If he feels unprotected and uncared for he will go on a rampage till you sit up and notice him. Negative attention is better than no attention. So look after yourself FIRST - don't show up at your trading desk hungry, tired or without anticipating the fun, or without having had fun in your offtime.

For practical advice, see tricks in the next section.

4. Consistency

Mr.Peebles has to be trained to start doing the right thing IMMEDIATELY. This is the hardest part because of the associated inertia to start doing something but once YOU CHOOSE to do it the inertia is the best part that keeps you consistently doing the good things over and over again

We tend to make stupid decisions because we don;t think about the choices we are making. Mr.Peebles is too much concerned with NOW, QUICKLY, and FAST. So inject the START of the atrading day with Spock's prods and Mr.Pebbles get on the right track instantaneously, and continues doing so. (see Continuity below).

5. Discipline = Fun

Being a good parent means knowing who is incharge. Get your environment clear, have your trading platform uncluttered, practice execution and eliminate your environmental distractions so that Mr.Pebbles cannot find excuses. Make Spock recognize the patterns of Mr.Pebbles he needs to watch out for the most

6. Focus on priority

The good things of execution in trading are rarely the most urgent ones. Just like eating healthy and excersing show benefits over long term, good trading habits are to be prioritized instead of short-sighted goals of Mr.Pebbles ("wow, green! take profits!")

7. Be State-Conscious

If by chance Spock goes to sleep Mr.Pebbles turns into a T-Rex.

There is a need in the 'child' in each one of us that seeks for approval, praise and a pat from others. This same need flames you whenever you are criticized. While both are good, check if all you really want from trading is the approval and admiration from others. Pause for a minute and think about it. Because if your annwer is Yes then you are playing a very dangerous game. If this is an approval seeking activity it is going to be very difficult for you to lose face and accept mistakes as simply the regular cost of doing this business. Instead, losses will loom large as threats to your identity, and eventually kill you as a trader.

Criticism, from people and markets, causes anger - Anger is a disproportionate reaction to some auto-provocation. Anger and fear (and greed, which is also Fear, the Fear of Missing Out) are Mr.Pebbles triggers.

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Continuity:

The solutions is monitoring. You cannot slack in this area.

Remember to monitor your:

- Health: This is achieved by good diet, good realtions, moderation, bramhacharya, good night's sleep, ensuring financial security.

- Resources: Your energy levels matter. You need the right amount. Are you tired (Pebbles: won't!), exhuberant (can work against, remember Mr.Pebbles easily excitable nature), emotionless / depressed / bland (absence of Mr.Pebbles! No trading today! Spock needs his assistant to trade.)

- Will: Remember, every decision cosumes your resources, but unlike most resources, willpower is completely exhausted and cannot be replnished in a daytrading session! Everytime you have to suppress short-term goals for long-term good in a trading decision a lot of willpower gets used-up.


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Tricks and shortcuts:


- Do not introduce randomness: This means knowing your market, strategy, times to trade, and cultivating good habits without allowing events to hijack you. How? Say "No" to everything other than what you plan to do. Your survial instincts were useful while running from a mammoth, but make your intent so defined and objective that the "No" comes instinctively! No setup, no entry! Market crazy, deviate from strategy? No.

- Reduce the number of choices / decisions you have to make in a trading day. I use AutoOCO orders, monitor a single market, trade a single method, look at a 70-tick chart ONLY wihtout any other timeframes, have only 200 candles displayed and do not scroll chart back for more information. Have all the easy tasks automated and leave yoruself to take the hard decisions. This might even have the pleasant side-effect that your conscious brain will ave your decisions ready.

- Maintain focus on only the important parts of trading: Namely risk control, flawless execution, entering the screaming "must!" trades instead of might or could trades.

- Enforce limits religiously: This includes daily limits, number of trade limits,, exact size, proper stops, and regular breaks too. Don't use up your willpower on the lesser stuff but go for quality instead of quantity in trading.

- Most of all, Love yourself without fail: Ensure that you have fun, keep yourself out of depression, eat healthy (and not stay hungry because of fad diets either!). Do not stress your body because it is the critical support system that needs to be reset every night by good sleep, goodwill and lot of love. As I already said, follow the lowest stress strategy of living within your means, saving well, and using your time to your fullest advantage and not squandering it away.


Note thus that trading well is completely a game of setting priorities and then balancing your body/mental state to align with the priorities so that you consciously monitor your resources for best results. Monitoring is the key, because when you go into an autopilot / zombie mode (Spock goes to sleep) therein lies the undoing of all traders.

Trade well!

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Gripe: Net negative till date

If I compute all the losses I had in the first four years of trading, NET I am still negative. If I ever get another stab afresh at this thing, in another life perhaps, one thing I'd like to do differently is keep my initial tuiton fee donated to the market small.

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I cannot even think of using the leverage I used to go all in with in the first year.


One thing I'm really thankful for was those losses, though large, were contained, unlike for e.g. this:

Architecture of a $7 Billion Loss: Causes and Remedies

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However I am hopeful that the road to getting back into proper profitability, even though made longer by this initial mindless digging, would be walked over confidently.

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  #288 (permalink)
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iqgod View Post
If I compute all the losses I had in the first four years of trading, NET I am still negative. If I ever get another stab afresh at this thing, in another life perhaps, one thing I'd like to do differently is keep my initial tuiton fee donated to the market small.

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I cannot even think of using the leverage I used to go all in with in the first year.


One thing I'm really thankful for was those losses, though large, were contained, unlike for e.g. this:

Architecture of a $7 Billion Loss: Causes and Remedies

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


However I am hopeful that the road to getting back into proper profitability, even though made longer by this initial mindless digging, would be walked over confidently.

If you can lose 2 billion fast, you can make 2 billion fast, you can lose 7 billion fast. That's just massive stakes gambling.

Seriously can people get hired and lose 2 billion and be allowed to keep trading, gotta love finance.

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A Request

Please vote today if you like my journal.

Here is the link for pushing the Thanks button (Post #12):

https://futures.io/feedback-announcements/33355-october-trading-journal-contest-w-prizes-2.html#post439289

I hope you've had as much fun reading it as I've had writing it and composing the material.

If you learnt something from it I'll count it as my karmic bonus.

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How To Get What You Want (And Earn Karmic Bonus Points!)


I just made up the words karmic bonus and then googled them to find out if I "invented" them.

Turns out there is an amazing post about them right here:

How To Get What You Want (And Earn Karmic Bonus Points!)

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