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The Pandawarrior Chronicles II
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The Pandawarrior Chronicles II

  #191 (permalink)
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I feel like shit today.

My Achilles heel is this....moving those damn stops to soon.....stupid thing is I know I do it but can't stop myself. At the end of the day, I see what could have been had I just done NOTHING.....I even put my targets in good places....it seems I know HOW to find ENTRIES and EXITS, but dealing with the emotion in between is becoming a serious issue. Each time it happens, I tell myself like a good repentant alcoholic that tomorrow will be DIFFERENT. That tomorrow I won't move the damn stops....that tomorrow I will walk away. That tomorrow I will be the trader I know I can be......

And tomorrow comes and I don't move the stops and I get taken out for a loss....then the next day I move the stops and once again, I find myself on the sidelines watching while price moves toward my targets....and remain the trader I AM.

Today for instance, I sold in a near perfect location....after around 28-30 MFE, I moved to BE, thinking, CL will do its famous 20 tick pull back and I'll have 8-10 ticks of room between me and price.....but today it did a 29 tick pull back and took my stop to the TICK and then sold off for more than 100 ticks.....

After a long time, I found another place to get in, and EXACTLY the same thing happened. This time by a few ticks but still, the EXACT same thing.

Its time to admit I have a serious problem. Hi, my name is Brian and I am a stop moving aholic. I've been a stop mover since the beginning of my trading career. It has ruined me and I am ready to recover from my addiction.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. How my method produced nice winners if I would just leave them alone. It felt good to write this. I even meant it. But honestly I'm not sure I even followed that plan even once. Well Wednesday I did but what really happened there is I took my kiddo to school and left the trade open....and my targets got hit while I was out....otherwise, who knows what stupidity I might have committed.

Today was one of the easiest days to make money in recent memory on CL and I have two trades for BE+1 to show for it. I've simplified my entry decisions as much as I think I'm gonna get them for now. They are clear and easy to see. I use confirmation, so sue me....its not the confirmation that hurts, its the stop.....yes if I didn't use confirmation, I might be able to go to BE and not get hit, but I KNOW this is gonna happen, its part of the system, that break out pull back that seems to happens 95% of the time. And yet, I cannot seem to stop violating the most basic thing....don't move the stop.

I stopped losing by going BE aggressively....but I was also searching around for the holy grail, so going BE often times saved me from my own ignorance.....and I grew to love the BE.....knowing it was protecting me while I learned and solidified my ideas.....but now that I have, its a noose around my neck. Its literally killing me. Its cost me tens of thousands of dollars this year alone in missed winners.....dare I say it, maybe even 100K in profit has been missed because of this issue.

I used to say things like "no one changes until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change." Now I'm not so sure. The pain of staying the same is extreme and yet I don't change. Now the question is WHY?

Another issue is this, once price has moved away from the entry zones, I HATE chasing but often times, a chase can work, the profits are reduced of course but the premise of the trade remains valid.....risk can increase but if you wait for a pull back, that to can be reduced....but for some reason, I feel like once the initial entry is gone, just sit it out. Who knows when and where it will reverse.....maybe the move is over.

I'm at McDonalds writing this and CNBC is on the TV, they are talking about "Easy Money Trades". If only they knew!. Today was easy money all over the place and I have none.....

Something MUST change and it MUST change soon. I'm growing to hate this in a way I didn't think possible. I told my wife today, days like this make me wonder if I can be a great trader. I know I can be a good trader but being a great trader requires that I change this behavior and change it permanently. I could be a good trader just scalping 10-20 ticks a day. Add size as the account grows....I have the patience and the discipline to do that. I'd be up around 30 ticks today......But I want to be a great trader.....and that requires behavior modification.

Honestly, I'm at a loss. I have the weekend to think about it....and maybe the rest of the year....I don't know if I should trade any longer until I figure out what's causing this. Actually I will finish the combine, I have two more days left. Hopefully I will roll it over. All I need to do is have one tick winners with a single lot both days and I'm good....then maybe I sit out the rest of the year.....who knows.

@tigertrader says everyone gets what they want from the markets. That sounds like bullshit to me on the surface and yet I wonder if I'm not wrong about that. And if I'm wrong, what does that say about me as a person both emotionally and mentally? Do I subconsciously WANT to not be a winner? That sounds irrational at best and laughably stupid at worst....and yet????? If so, my family is in serious trouble.....

Ok, I accept I am the problem. I accept there is something I am not aware of limiting my prospects of being a great trader. Worse, while I'm aware that I'm not aware of what's missing, I've no real idea of what that variable is....and I don't know how to find it and fix it. At the same time, I have a certain feeling hovering around the periphery of my consciousnesses that purports to be the answer...something that sounds vaguely like the word surrender. Something I've not been willing to do.....is it possible to win the war by not fighting at all? Maybe, fighting has not produced desirable results.

And in case anyone is wondering, I made $80 today in the combine. Don't laugh and don't judge. I've done enough of that for all of us.

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  #192 (permalink)
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Brian, there are many axioms in the market, but like most things they work or are true only about half the time.

We all struggle with similar things, the difference is the longer you are in the business the quicker you catch yourself making a mistake and then correct it.

You are looking for absolutes but won't find them. Stops are like everything else in trading. They can work, they can hurt, they are not black/white good or bad.

Bottom line is you need a direction for the market you believe in, preferably macro, then be as fluid as possible and allow your trades to pay you.

I wonder how you would do if you traded USO as the ETF and you traded it with the rule of no more than one execution a day, either a buy or sell but not both. Forcing a more macro view and more time to get paid.

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  #193 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Brian, there are many axioms in the market, but like most things they work or are true only about half the time.

We all struggle with similar things, the difference is the longer you are in the business the quicker you catch yourself making a mistake and then correct it.

You are looking for absolutes but won't find them. Stops are like everything else in trading. They can work, they can hurt, they are not black/white good or bad.

Bottom line is you need a direction for the market you believe in, preferably macro, then be as fluid as possible and allow your trades to pay you.

I wonder how you would do if you traded USO as the ETF and you traded it with the rule of no more than one execution a day, either a buy or sell but not both. Forcing a more macro view and more time to get paid.

Sent from my phone

Time seems to be the issue.....

I've been doing this for about 4 years. First year more or less part time, second and third year were holy grail hunting and the last 18 months more or less profitable but using harsh loss controls and having some decent winners......

BUT what is hurting is now that the holy grail hunt is basically over, I'm comfortable with my trading style and have confidence in it and I'm ok with taking a loss even, it seems I'm afraid of giving open profits back......

And I understand things are fluid....and that stops are good and bad.....and there are 120 exceptions to every "rule". All that I'm ok with.....I even get the market direction right most days.....BUT I hate to give back open profits.....on any level it seems......and this seems to be the issue.....allowing trades to pay me....if I was doing that, I wouldn't be writing this.....thats the main issue here...not allowing the market to pay me.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #194 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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PandaWarrior View Post
Time seems to be the issue.....

...

BUT what is hurting is now that the holy grail hunt is basically over, I'm comfortable with my trading style and have confidence in it and I'm ok with taking a loss even, it seems I'm afraid of giving open profits back......

And I understand things are fluid....and that stops are good and bad.....and there are 120 exceptions to every "rule". All that I'm ok with.....I even get the market direction right most days.....BUT I hate to give back open profits.....on any level it seems......and this seems to be the issue.....

have you explore putting on an opposite trade then take it off once the original trade goes your way again.

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  #195 (permalink)
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cory View Post
have you explore putting on an opposite trade then take it off once the original trade goes your way again.

That seems even more irrational than the problem I have.....an unnecessary complication. What we have here is a failure to allow the market to do what its gonna do....not a direction issue nor an entry issue.....Adding anything to this will only make it worse....not better. I agree with @Big Mike that having limited executions per day is a good start...I only needed one today.....just like yesterday, only one was needed.....so its not tactical, its emotional which means a tactical solution is at best flawed and at worst, contributing to the issue.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #196 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
I feel like shit today.

My Achilles heel is this....moving those damn stops to soon.....stupid thing is I know I do it but can't stop myself. At the end of the day, I see what could have been had I just done NOTHING.....I even put my targets in good places....it seems I know HOW to find ENTRIES and EXITS, but dealing with the emotion in between is becoming a serious issue. Each time it happens, I tell myself like a good repentant alcoholic that tomorrow will be DIFFERENT. That tomorrow I won't move the damn stops....that tomorrow I will walk away. That tomorrow I will be the trader I know I can be......

And tomorrow comes and I don't move the stops and I get taken out for a loss....then the next day I move the stops and once again, I find myself on the sidelines watching while price moves toward my targets....and remain the trader I AM.

Today for instance, I sold in a near perfect location....after around 28-30 MFE, I moved to BE, thinking, CL will do its famous 20 tick pull back and I'll have 8-10 ticks of room between me and price.....but today it did a 29 tick pull back and took my stop to the TICK and then sold off for more than 100 ticks.....

After a long time, I found another place to get in, and EXACTLY the same thing happened. This time by a few ticks but still, the EXACT same thing.

Its time to admit I have a serious problem. Hi, my name is Brian and I am a stop moving aholic. I've been a stop mover since the beginning of my trading career. It has ruined me and I am ready to recover from my addiction.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. How my method produced nice winners if I would just leave them alone. It felt good to write this. I even meant it. But honestly I'm not sure I even followed that plan even once. Well Wednesday I did but what really happened there is I took my kiddo to school and left the trade open....and my targets got hit while I was out....otherwise, who knows what stupidity I might have committed.

Today was one of the easiest days to make money in recent memory on CL and I have two trades for BE+1 to show for it. I've simplified my entry decisions as much as I think I'm gonna get them for now. They are clear and easy to see. I use confirmation, so sue me....its not the confirmation that hurts, its the stop.....yes if I didn't use confirmation, I might be able to go to BE and not get hit, but I KNOW this is gonna happen, its part of the system, that break out pull back that seems to happens 95% of the time. And yet, I cannot seem to stop violating the most basic thing....don't move the stop.

I stopped losing by going BE aggressively....but I was also searching around for the holy grail, so going BE often times saved me from my own ignorance.....and I grew to love the BE.....knowing it was protecting me while I learned and solidified my ideas.....but now that I have, its a noose around my neck. Its literally killing me. Its cost me tens of thousands of dollars this year alone in missed winners.....dare I say it, maybe even 100K in profit has been missed because of this issue.

I used to say things like "no one changes until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change." Now I'm not so sure. The pain of staying the same is extreme and yet I don't change. Now the question is WHY?

Another issue is this, once price has moved away from the entry zones, I HATE chasing but often times, a chase can work, the profits are reduced of course but the premise of the trade remains valid.....risk can increase but if you wait for a pull back, that to can be reduced....but for some reason, I feel like once the initial entry is gone, just sit it out. Who knows when and where it will reverse.....maybe the move is over.

I'm at McDonalds writing this and CNBC is on the TV, they are talking about "Easy Money Trades". If only they knew!. Today was easy money all over the place and I have none.....

Something MUST change and it MUST change soon. I'm growing to hate this in a way I didn't think possible. I told my wife today, days like this make me wonder if I can be a great trader. I know I can be a good trader but being a great trader requires that I change this behavior and change it permanently. I could be a good trader just scalping 10-20 ticks a day. Add size as the account grows....I have the patience and the discipline to do that. I'd be up around 30 ticks today......But I want to be a great trader.....and that requires behavior modification.

Honestly, I'm at a loss. I have the weekend to think about it....and maybe the rest of the year....I don't know if I should trade any longer until I figure out what's causing this. Actually I will finish the combine, I have two more days left. Hopefully I will roll it over. All I need to do is have one tick winners with a single lot both days and I'm good....then maybe I sit out the rest of the year.....who knows.

@tigertrader says everyone gets what they want from the markets. That sounds like bullshit to me on the surface and yet I wonder if I'm not wrong about that. And if I'm wrong, what does that say about me as a person both emotionally and mentally? Do I subconsciously WANT to not be a winner? That sounds irrational at best and laughably stupid at worst....and yet????? If so, my family is in serious trouble.....

Ok, I accept I am the problem. I accept there is something I am not aware of limiting my prospects of being a great trader. Worse, while I'm aware that I'm not aware of what's missing, I've no real idea of what that variable is....and I don't know how to find it and fix it. At the same time, I have a certain feeling hovering around the periphery of my consciousnesses that purports to be the answer...something that sounds vaguely like the word surrender. Something I've not been willing to do.....is it possible to win the war by not fighting at all? Maybe, fighting has not produced desirable results.

And in case anyone is wondering, I made $80 today in the combine. Don't laugh and don't judge. I've done enough of that for all of us.

Any chance of helping yourself with scaling? Take enough contracts off at a closer target to make the overall trade breakeven while leaving the original stops on the remaining cars?

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  #197 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
I feel like shit today.

My Achilles heel is this....moving those damn stops to soon.....stupid thing is I know I do it but can't stop myself. At the end of the day, I see what could have been had I just done NOTHING.....I even put my targets in good places....it seems I know HOW to find ENTRIES and EXITS, but dealing with the emotion in between is becoming a serious issue. Each time it happens, I tell myself like a good repentant alcoholic that tomorrow will be DIFFERENT. That tomorrow I won't move the damn stops....that tomorrow I will walk away. That tomorrow I will be the trader I know I can be......

And tomorrow comes and I don't move the stops and I get taken out for a loss....then the next day I move the stops and once again, I find myself on the sidelines watching while price moves toward my targets....and remain the trader I AM.

Today for instance, I sold in a near perfect location....after around 28-30 MFE, I moved to BE, thinking, CL will do its famous 20 tick pull back and I'll have 8-10 ticks of room between me and price.....but today it did a 29 tick pull back and took my stop to the TICK and then sold off for more than 100 ticks.....

After a long time, I found another place to get in, and EXACTLY the same thing happened. This time by a few ticks but still, the EXACT same thing.

Its time to admit I have a serious problem. Hi, my name is Brian and I am a stop moving aholic. I've been a stop mover since the beginning of my trading career. It has ruined me and I am ready to recover from my addiction.

I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. How my method produced nice winners if I would just leave them alone. It felt good to write this. I even meant it. But honestly I'm not sure I even followed that plan even once. Well Wednesday I did but what really happened there is I took my kiddo to school and left the trade open....and my targets got hit while I was out....otherwise, who knows what stupidity I might have committed.

Today was one of the easiest days to make money in recent memory on CL and I have two trades for BE+1 to show for it. I've simplified my entry decisions as much as I think I'm gonna get them for now. They are clear and easy to see. I use confirmation, so sue me....its not the confirmation that hurts, its the stop.....yes if I didn't use confirmation, I might be able to go to BE and not get hit, but I KNOW this is gonna happen, its part of the system, that break out pull back that seems to happens 95% of the time. And yet, I cannot seem to stop violating the most basic thing....don't move the stop.

I stopped losing by going BE aggressively....but I was also searching around for the holy grail, so going BE often times saved me from my own ignorance.....and I grew to love the BE.....knowing it was protecting me while I learned and solidified my ideas.....but now that I have, its a noose around my neck. Its literally killing me. Its cost me tens of thousands of dollars this year alone in missed winners.....dare I say it, maybe even 100K in profit has been missed because of this issue.

I used to say things like "no one changes until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change." Now I'm not so sure. The pain of staying the same is extreme and yet I don't change. Now the question is WHY?

Another issue is this, once price has moved away from the entry zones, I HATE chasing but often times, a chase can work, the profits are reduced of course but the premise of the trade remains valid.....risk can increase but if you wait for a pull back, that to can be reduced....but for some reason, I feel like once the initial entry is gone, just sit it out. Who knows when and where it will reverse.....maybe the move is over.

I'm at McDonalds writing this and CNBC is on the TV, they are talking about "Easy Money Trades". If only they knew!. Today was easy money all over the place and I have none.....

Something MUST change and it MUST change soon. I'm growing to hate this in a way I didn't think possible. I told my wife today, days like this make me wonder if I can be a great trader. I know I can be a good trader but being a great trader requires that I change this behavior and change it permanently. I could be a good trader just scalping 10-20 ticks a day. Add size as the account grows....I have the patience and the discipline to do that. I'd be up around 30 ticks today......But I want to be a great trader.....and that requires behavior modification.

Honestly, I'm at a loss. I have the weekend to think about it....and maybe the rest of the year....I don't know if I should trade any longer until I figure out what's causing this. Actually I will finish the combine, I have two more days left. Hopefully I will roll it over. All I need to do is have one tick winners with a single lot both days and I'm good....then maybe I sit out the rest of the year.....who knows.

@tigertrader says everyone gets what they want from the markets. That sounds like bullshit to me on the surface and yet I wonder if I'm not wrong about that. And if I'm wrong, what does that say about me as a person both emotionally and mentally? Do I subconsciously WANT to not be a winner? That sounds irrational at best and laughably stupid at worst....and yet????? If so, my family is in serious trouble.....

Ok, I accept I am the problem. I accept there is something I am not aware of limiting my prospects of being a great trader. Worse, while I'm aware that I'm not aware of what's missing, I've no real idea of what that variable is....and I don't know how to find it and fix it. At the same time, I have a certain feeling hovering around the periphery of my consciousnesses that purports to be the answer...something that sounds vaguely like the word surrender. Something I've not been willing to do.....is it possible to win the war by not fighting at all? Maybe, fighting has not produced desirable results.

And in case anyone is wondering, I made $80 today in the combine. Don't laugh and don't judge. I've done enough of that for all of us.

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This used to happen to me a lot when i was trying to catch big targets in one trade. It's very hard to be up 30 ticks and then when it retraces to your entry..to be faced with the prospect of losing a trade. Who would want to have 30 ticks of profit and then end up losing the trade?
I wouldn't beat myself up over breaking even. That's why a lot of times I target areas 20 to 40 ticks where I know after the target is hit, it will probably retrace. Usually a nice countertrend fail pattern shows up later on and a re-entry back into the trend can be taken.
In other words, sometimes splitting up a 100 tick move into two or three 30 tick targets isn't such a bad idea. I think it's much easier than trying to nail all 100 ticks in one trade.

But again, everyone has a different style and comfort zone. So I'm not saying that this would be right for you, but merely what often works for me.

Failure is not an option

Last edited by lancelottrader; November 21st, 2014 at 04:29 PM. Reason: mistake
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  #198 (permalink)
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I like all in all out because of the math...

I like confirmation, it makes me feel better about my directional thinking. I would rather not catch a falling knife so to speak.

I like moving stops, it makes me feel better in the moment...

Feeling better in the moment does not seem to be working all that well.

Stripping things down to the bare essentials I come up with:

1. I can continue to leave my entries alone and modify things by scaling out. This gets some profit on the table and I can leave the stop alone so if hit, its a break even trade. This is easy to implement.

2. I can modify the entry so confirmation is no longer something I use. This introduces a new level of uncertainty, but it does get my stops much further away from the action....and potentially can allow me a break even stop without worrying to much about it being hit, plus it could add another 20+ ticks to my profit potential. This would be difficult for me to implement as it would require more waiting than I'm used to and it would require i revise my entry technique more than perhaps I'd like to at this point.

3. I can eliminate confirmation and scale out and potentially scale back in if given the opportunity. This would be the hardest to implement I think. It would require an entirely new way of thinking about trading.

4. I can man up and keep things exactly the way they are and simply not move the stop. This is the simplest to implement as it requires no further modification. But this has not worked so far.

5. Lastly I can explain myself to my wife and the reason she's not driving the new car she'd like. And then make a daily report to her about how I actually traded. I wonder about the wisdom of this but personal accountability can go a long way towards behavior change.

I have the weekend to think about it. I'll decide by Sunday night.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #199 (permalink)
Hi Mom!
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Panda,

I'm not sure if trading is currently your primary income, so this suggestion may not be feasible. It's just something I was thinking about earlier today when I read your frustrated post. It's something I would consider doing if I were in your shoes is all.

Have you considered taking it easy for the rest of the year? Try trading only 1 contract AIAO and not moving the stops? It might make you less antsy in a trade to want to move the stop if you're at minimal size. It would also give you a good month to get into the habit of not touching things and then being able to evaluate those results. With practice and some tangible numbers come the start of the year, it might make things easier for you.

Again, just a suggestion. I respect your contributions here to the site immensely and I consider you an influence in my own trading. I know you'll conquer this.

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  #200 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
profitable but using harsh loss controls and having some decent winners......

This is where I am now, I've done really well but within a window of stop loss control, now that control has turned into profit limiting.

I have been working to take trades for longer, also have a macro picture and try to trade in that direction, and limit my trades a day. I would like to get to the point where I can place a trade or two a day and only have to manage it at certain inflection points.

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