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Papa's Trading Journal
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Papa's Trading Journal

  #331 (permalink)
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Papa, good job on the report card.

Can you list 10 things for me, in order of importance, where you are making mistakes on your trades -- specifically in the discipline corner. Can you mark up charts and show 10 specific examples of what you did vs. what you were supposed to do?

If you were to take a blank chart, a snapshot of exact time you had to make the correct trading decision, as well as a list of rules for the trade, could you expect someone in your journal to follow them successfully and do the "right" thing? Is it possible? Is it likely? Are the rules clear enough? The expectations correct?

Start here. I can't type more, hand severe pain. More later.

Mike

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  #332 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Papa, good job on the report card.

Can you list 10 things for me, in order of importance, where you are making mistakes on your trades -- specifically in the discipline corner. Can you mark up charts and show 10 specific examples of what you did vs. what you were supposed to do?

If you were to take a blank chart, a snapshot of exact time you had to make the correct trading decision, as well as a list of rules for the trade, could you expect someone in your journal to follow them successfully and do the "right" thing? Is it possible? Is it likely? Are the rules clear enough? The expectations correct?

Start here. I can't type more, hand severe pain. More later.

Mike

Mike
I appreciate you taking the time to write with a broken hand. I know it must be painful.

Here is the list of my discipline issues as I see them:
1. Lack of patience/anxiousness to be in the market
2. Not honoring stops
3. Not looking at all indicators/price action factors before entering a trade
4. Not checking risk/reward prior to trade
5. Trading setups not in plan
6. Not cutting losers early
7. Overtrading
8. No daily loss limit
9. Using indicators without testing
10. Inability to turn off screens when finished for the day (need to give it a rest)

I will work on marking up charts showing at least 10 things I did wrong. Will take a little time. Will also work on showing blank charts with my guidelines straight from my trading plan.

Thanks again for your time. I do hope the surgery went well.
Papa15

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  #333 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
Mike
I appreciate you taking the time to write with a broken hand. I know it must be painful.

Here is the list of my discipline issues as I see them:
1. Lack of patience/anxiousness to be in the market
2. Not honoring stops
3. Not looking at all indicators/price action factors before entering a trade
4. Not checking risk/reward prior to trade
5. Trading setups not in plan
6. Not cutting losers early
7. Overtrading
8. No daily loss limit
9. Using indicators without testing
10. Inability to turn off screens when finished for the day (need to give it a rest)

I will work on marking up charts showing at least 10 things I did wrong. Will take a little time. Will also work on showing blank charts with my guidelines straight from my trading plan.

Thanks again for your time. I do hope the surgery went well.
Papa15


I suffer as well from:

1, 5,7,9 and especially number 10.

While I agree its good to identify and work on the negative, I also recognize its probably more important to identify the strengths you bring to the trading day and build on those. To much navel gazing and thinking about the negative will lead to doubt. And that is fatal.

All the things you detailed are legitimate and problematic for most unprofitable traders and even some profitable ones. Most will never be completely eliminated since we are in fact human and prone to error. I think the key is to do the best we can to minimize the errors and focus on making lots of good decisions.

Last week I read "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect". I recommend reading this book for all traders. In it, the author notes that winners actually decide to win. They think about winning, how it feels to win, what it looks like to win, and they practice the mechanics on the practice range and then while playing in the competition, they focus on just playing their game. They accept the mistakes and don't fall apart when they happen. The best golfers in the world never play a round perfectly, instead, when mistakes happen, they continue on with the predetermined game plan focusing on playing each individual shot to the best of their ability.

As traders, that is what we should do as well. Accept the mistakes.....even the ones we make all the time and stay focused on the prize. There is a prize right? Keeping our eyes on the long term prize will help us overcome the temptations to stray from out discipline in the short term.

As Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never, never give up".

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #334 (permalink)
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You have probably seen this before. Makes a good poster though.

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Papa's Trading Journal-2011-03-27_11-05.jpg  
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  #335 (permalink)
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Mickey Caine View Post
You have probably seen this before. Makes a good poster though.

I first saw this about 30 years ago as a young naval officer....it brings back good memories...

Don't worry, I am not giving up....if I was giving up, would I write such an entry as I did above? It is time, actually past time, to address the issue and fix it instead of trying to cope with it.....

Papa15

 
  #336 (permalink)
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aztrader9 View Post
I suffer as well from:

1, 5,7,9 and especially number 10.

While I agree its good to identify and work on the negative, I also recognize its probably more important to identify the strengths you bring to the trading day and build on those. To much navel gazing and thinking about the negative will lead to doubt. And that is fatal.

All the things you detailed are legitimate and problematic for most unprofitable traders and even some profitable ones. Most will never be completely eliminated since we are in fact human and prone to error. I think the key is to do the best we can to minimize the errors and focus on making lots of good decisions.

Last week I read "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect". I recommend reading this book for all traders. In it, the author notes that winners actually decide to win. They think about winning, how it feels to win, what it looks like to win, and they practice the mechanics on the practice range and then while playing in the competition, they focus on just playing their game. They accept the mistakes and don't fall apart when they happen. The best golfers in the world never play a round perfectly, instead, when mistakes happen, they continue on with the predetermined game plan focusing on playing each individual shot to the best of their ability.

As traders, that is what we should do as well. Accept the mistakes.....even the ones we make all the time and stay focused on the prize. There is a prize right? Keeping our eyes on the long term prize will help us overcome the temptations to stray from out discipline in the short term.

As Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never, never give up".

AZ
I saw one of your entries about the book early last week and I ordered it. It has shipped and I am waiting for it. I fully understand that you can't hold yourself to a standard of perfection. In the navy nuclear world, you strive for it (everyone wants to be perfect while operating a nuclear plant right?) but people make mistakes, equipment fails, so things never go perfectly. But when things go wrong, you look at what happened to see if the issue was procedural, a personal error, a design error, equipment failure, or what. You look for the fundamental issue and address it.

I have looked at my trades to see if I can understand my fundamental issue, and I think I see it. Most of my losers, and some of my winners, were trades I never should have been in. My self-discipline broke down. The reviews that spotted the mistakes also pointed out strengths. The methods of defining the entries are good, the guidelines that go with those entries are good, and profits flow if the guidelines are followed. As long as the method is good, it does not matter what the method is....whether it be the inside bar technique, the ergodic technique, price action breakouts/breakdowns.....or what type of chart is used....time, range, or tick....or what time frame is used.....I have proved to myself I can trade different techniques, chart types, and time frames successfully, albeit for only a short period of time. Then my self-discipline issues arise, and I give back to the market.

To use your golf analogy, I am not looking for a different club, ball, course, or even gameplan. I accept I have the tools I need to be successful. But I recognize I am not using the tools well. Every professional golfer knows what to do, but sometimes they too have to regroup to gain their mojo.

I am looking inward, not outward, to correct a fundamental issue in my life as well as my trading.
Papa15

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  #337 (permalink)
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I've been following a number a journals for some time now, and it's interesting to see what a similar
path we are all taking. At some point, trading gets compared to life. I know my life has turned for the
better due to trading, ( although certainly not financially at this point )

I have improved on several things since picking up trading, mainly my temper and patience.

For these reasons alone, I will always have trading in my life in some capacity.

...let the journey continue.


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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tderrick View Post
I've been following a number a journals for some time now, and it's interesting to see what a similar
path we are all taking. At some point, trading gets compared to life. I know my life has turned for the
better due to trading, ( although certainly not financially at this point )

I have improved on several things since picking up trading, mainly my temper and patience.

For these reasons alone, I will always have trading in my life in some capacity.

...let the journey continue.

I have found this to be true for me as well.....patience being the main one at this point.....but I have noticed I tend to think about things in terms of how it reflects trading....in other words, everything is a trade. When we go to the store, its a trade of money for goods. When I fight with my wife, its a trade of peace and quiet for the privilege of being right! You get the idea.

I'm ready to begin the next phase....the one where I am consistently profitable. As a person, I am in a better place mentally and spiritually than I have been in a long time. Its time to take things to the next level.

Papa15, thanks for being so transparent with your journey. Its a mirror for all of us.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #339 (permalink)
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4.) Everything Is Connected. Whether you are studying baseball, checkers, trees, wars – all contain patterns similar to the patterns we see every day in trading. Sometimes the best way to get perspective on your trading is to study something seemingly unrelated and to then consider the analogies.

-jamesaltucher.com

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Mike
Attached is a chart showing 3 lack of self discipline issues.
Papa15

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Papa's Trading Journal-3-mistakes-3-25-11.png  
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