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Zen & the Art of The Small Account


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Zen & the Art of The Small Account

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  #281 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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Hapster View Post
Well, if you're going to trade for you and not for anyone else, why make the comment up at the top of your post that you've felt compelled to prove to the readers of the thread that you can trade?

Just sayin'.....

Hence why I quietly trade my own account and don't post much -- if at all lately, actually...

Cheers... Hap

Really, really good point. To answer the question in a round about way, the journal started as a way to be accountable to myself, then I started feeling the pressure to please and to prove. This was gradual and I did not notice right away. I'm kinda glad it happened actually, its a valuable lesson in being responsible for yourself and not trying to please others.

So thats why I've stopped posting a chart every day and why I will only be posting stats on Friday, I still keep them daily of course but no need to have every day subjected to microscopic scrutiny. At the end of the week, are you profitable for the week? That is the real question I think.

Now that I've come to this realization, I don't feel compelled to post right away every day and I don't really feel it necessary to post every day at all, just when something cool happens or I learn something important. I am posting every day because I have not found a suitable replacement yet, I do have a blog on blogspot but I hate posting there as its a bit cumbersome for me and the thread here is super easy. I have written in Microsoft One Note before and I like that and will probably go back to it soon and just do a weekly post or something like that here on the thread.

Since my thread is not a "how to" thread like some of the others, and I am not a programmer, I suspect it will die out pretty quick once I do that.

Anyway, thanks for the observation. Its right on.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #282 (permalink)
 Gary 
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AZ,

A few quick questions to get you thinking:

1. Did you have a system which worked consistently for a decent period of time on SIM? (I think the answer is yes)
2. Did you then trade this system as you did on SIM when switching to live/cash? (I think the answer is no)
3. Based on the answers to the above questions. Do you think you should change a. The system or b. Yourself and the way you trade the system on cash.

I believe you have something which many people do not, which is a journal with statistics that tell you that you have/had a system which worked well when it was traded like it should be. My personal belief is that you are trying to find reasons/justification to why you were not making money on live/cash, and you seem to be straying away from what I believe is the number one reason. Your ability to trade it like you were on SIM. I have been there, done that. Put the focus back on you, stick with something. Don't look for reasons to justify changing your charts/system once again.

Now, when you trade your system on cash just like you did on SIM, and still are not making money consistently, then now you have a reason to look to fine tune the system. But, my belief is you have yet to get even close to doing this for any consistent period of time.

I think you agreed when I said something along the lines of anyone can pick any chart/time frame/indicator, etc, and if they stick with it for a long enough period of time, track statistics, and get the mental game in line, they can and will make money. Period. Doesn't matter what set of indicators. Again, it is all about your experience viewing the market with a set of tools to help you recognize certain patterns that play out. Experience with the same chart/indicators.

Tell me how I am wrong with you; but really, stop, and ask yourself, think hard, where does your focus need to be? On, 'getting back to basics' / changing your chart again / changing the indicators back to whatever time / etc etc.. or you, and the mental game, and the experience sticking with the same chart/indicators and tracking statistics to help you build a money management plan around the patterns you are seeing with enough screen time.

When people lose money, they want to find a reason as to why it wasn't them, or at least not them at the core of the problem. They want to find an easy answer, like "I just need to get back to basics" or just need to "blah blah". The real answer and the most difficult is you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are not ready psychologically to handle the real money like you are in SIM. It is hard to accept, but it is the truth for so many. Your mind is still filtering information based on the simple fact that you are risking real money. You will look for an easy way out to not blame yourself. Everyone hates being wrong. What helps you get ready? You know this already. It is starting a journal, tracking statistics, trading on SIM, building confidence. You've done this part. Now, once this is done, you're making money consistently on SIM. Next step: live cash. You go live, your system no longer works. Is it your system or you? I bet you 9 times out of 10 you are not taking the same trades you were on SIM or you are cutting your winners off quickly and of course taking many full stops. It is NOT THE SYSTEM. It IS YOU.

So, again, where does your focus need to be? I think you know the answer, the question is, what will you do next?

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Gary

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  #283 (permalink)
 mahlonhersh 
Arizona
 
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Gary,

Very well stated.

Mahlon

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  #284 (permalink)
 Laserdan 
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Yes Gary, very well stated indeed.

Laserdan
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  #285 (permalink)
 jagui 
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That's why demo is useless: the man behind the system is 95% of the system. In demo you're not testing the man, so you're testing only 5% of the system.

I suggest to only trade live. Today there are many cfd or forex brokers where you can start by trading cents or dollars.

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  #286 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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Gary View Post
AZ,

A few quick questions to get you thinking:

1. Did you have a system which worked consistently for a decent period of time on SIM? (I think the answer is yes)
2. Did you then trade this system as you did on SIM when switching to live/cash? (I think the answer is no)
3. Based on the answers to the above questions. Do you think you should change a. The system or b. Yourself and the way you trade the system on cash.

I believe you have something which many people do not, which is a journal with statistics that tell you that you have/had a system which worked well when it was traded like it should be. My personal belief is that you are trying to find reasons/justification to why you were not making money on live/cash, and you seem to be straying away from what I believe is the number one reason. Your ability to trade it like you were on SIM. I have been there, done that. Put the focus back on you, stick with something. Don't look for reasons to justify changing your charts/system once again.

Now, when you trade your system on cash just like you did on SIM, and still are not making money consistently, then now you have a reason to look to fine tune the system. But, my belief is you have yet to get even close to doing this for any consistent period of time.

I think you agreed when I said something along the lines of anyone can pick any chart/time frame/indicator, etc, and if they stick with it for a long enough period of time, track statistics, and get the mental game in line, they can and will make money. Period. Doesn't matter what set of indicators. Again, it is all about your experience viewing the market with a set of tools to help you recognize certain patterns that play out. Experience with the same chart/indicators.

Tell me how I am wrong with you; but really, stop, and ask yourself, think hard, where does your focus need to be? On, 'getting back to basics' / changing your chart again / changing the indicators back to whatever time / etc etc.. or you, and the mental game, and the experience sticking with the same chart/indicators and tracking statistics to help you build a money management plan around the patterns you are seeing with enough screen time.

When people lose money, they want to find a reason as to why it wasn't them, or at least not them at the core of the problem. They want to find an easy answer, like "I just need to get back to basics" or just need to "blah blah". The real answer and the most difficult is you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing. You are not ready psychologically to handle the real money like you are in SIM. It is hard to accept, but it is the truth for so many. Your mind is still filtering information based on the simple fact that you are risking real money. You will look for an easy way out to not blame yourself. Everyone hates being wrong. What helps you get ready? You know this already. It is starting a journal, tracking statistics, trading on SIM, building confidence. You've done this part. Now, once this is done, you're making money consistently on SIM. Next step: live cash. You go live, your system no longer works. Is it your system or you? I bet you 9 times out of 10 you are not taking the same trades you were on SIM or you are cutting your winners off quickly and of course taking many full stops. It is NOT THE SYSTEM. It IS YOU.

So, again, where does your focus need to be? I think you know the answer, the question is, what will you do next?

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Gary

Once again, you have managed to hit the nail on the head without hitting the guy holding the nail. Thanks again for the reminder that concentration on oneself is the key.

To answer the questions above:

1) Yes I did....
2) I have no idea but probably not.
3) The answer is obvious...its me.....

I do have the stats to back me up. I do know what I "need" to do.

As to what's next?

1) No more chart changes. Which is fine since I have been using the same one for more than a month. I made some small changes after the July challenge was over and have been tweaking entries and exits for the most part this month. Yes I did add two indies designed to be both a chop filter and show better entries around my trading zones.

2) Recognize my money is "scared money" and this is very difficult to trade but not impossible.

3) The only trading "education" I may participate in from now on is mental preparation and money management concepts.

4) Be patient. The trades I want will set up. DO NOT take marginal trades. I know what the high pay off trades are.

5) Hold the trades until they are finished.

6) No more sim

I've been away from the computer three days this week after trading. This has been a huge energy booster for me. Instead of spending all day marinating in what went wrong or what i could/shoulda done better, I've been engaged in other activities. I've enjoyed it immensely and will continue this from now on.

I will bring 100% focus to the trading and debrief session and then done for the day. Trading is NOT my life, it facilitates my life. I had made a plan to do this and only partially succeeded but that showed me how valuable getting away from the computer really is. So from now on, it will be part of the daily routine.


Once again, thanks Gary......

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #287 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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jagui View Post
That's why demo is useless: the man behind the system is 95% of the system. In demo you're not testing the man, so you're testing only 5% of the system.

I suggest to only trade live. Today there are many cfd or forex brokers where you can start by trading cents or dollars.

Ouch, this one hurts....because its true. I really needed to hear this. Thanks so much for the excellent advice. I will be turning off my sim account as of today. I never thought of it like this.

I used to tell my employees to after they'd had enough training to just jump out of the nest and grow their wings on the way down.

Tuesday, I jump from the nest. I am burning the "sim bridge" behind me. Look at me, mixing metaphors again. But the truth is, making the emotional and mental commitment to real money could very well be what I am missing.

I will take the weekend and come to grips with no more sim and then Tuesday, only real money.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #288 (permalink)
 jagui 
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Another thing which may help, is to stop seeing trading as testing. Many think they're doing a testing period and that the real trading will begin after the testing. The problem of thinking this way is that testing never ends. One will never be completely satisfied of his trading and therefore he will never feel ready to "really start".

Another problem is that testing leave room for errors because one is supposed to do "trial and error" => the trader will not do his best to avoid common mistakes, because in his mind he is justified by the fact that he is "testing".

I think the way is to simply start without mental self-imposed limitation, and to costantly improve along the way. I am a trader right now and I will be better month after month.

The correct frame of mind is to threat trading like a common job. When working, you cannot test anything, if you do common mistakes the boss will kick your butt, and when you improve, he may give you an extra benefit.

Bank traders or fund traders have their managers looking over their shoulders, this is their biggest advantage. They know what they have to do and they just do it, otherwise the managers step in and... you know what.

It is useful when trading to look at yourself with your (virtual) manager's eyes. Imagine you are the manager watching this bank trader trade...

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  #289 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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jagui View Post
Another thing which may help, is to stop seeing trading as testing. Many think they're doing a testing period and that the real trading will begin after the testing. The problem of thinking this way is that testing never ends. One will never be completely satisfied of his trading and therefore he will never feel ready to "really start".

Another problem is that testing leave room for errors because one is supposed to do "trial and error" => the trader will not do his best to avoid common mistakes, because in his mind he is justified by the fact that he is "testing".

I think the way is to simply start without mental self-imposed limitation, and to costantly improve along the way. I am a trader right now and I will be better month after month.

The correct frame of mind is to threat trading like a common job. When working, you cannot test anything, if you do common mistakes the boss will kick your butt, and when you improve, he may give you an extra benefit.

Bank traders or fund traders have their managers looking over their shoulders, this is their biggest advantage. They know what they have to do and they just do it, otherwise the managers step in and... you know what.

It is useful when trading to look at yourself with your (virtual) manager's eyes. Imagine you are the manager watching this bank trader trade...

Another excellent idea. Testing only really works in the real world anyway. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. New Coke is a great example. In the lab, it was fine, in the market, it bombed.

My "common" job is to find and take high R:R trades based on my "bosses" definition of what that looks like and hold them til they are done. Thats it.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Started this thread
 
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  #290 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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aztrader9 View Post
As to what's next?

1) No more chart changes. Which is fine since I have been using the same one for more than a month. I made some small changes after the July challenge was over and have been tweaking entries and exits for the most part this month. Yes I did add two indies designed to be both a chop filter and show better entries around my trading zones.

2) Recognize my money is "scared money" and this is very difficult to trade but not impossible.

3) The only trading "education" I may participate in from now on is mental preparation and money management concepts.

4) Be patient. The trades I want will set up. DO NOT take marginal trades. I know what the high pay off trades are.

5) Hold the trades until they are finished.

6) No more sim

Sounds like a good list to put in a signature, so with each post it serves as a reminder...

Mike

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