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My journaled journey to success
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My journaled journey to success

  #31 (permalink)
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Friday the 13th

Scary day in the trenches. I started out the day well. Managed my trades. Only took one loss and as a result was sitting on $339. A bit short of my goal of $500. The morning trading time was over. Not bad...but I wanted more. Just a bit. One more trade would put me over. So.....right before lunch (a bad time to trade and I know it!) I have a losing trade...then another...then another...now I am in a panic...trade as fast as you can...I am down $485...if I get this one I will be only down $100...if I lose I will be down almost $1000........aaaaaeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh.......STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Walk away! Go to lunch! Came back settled down.

Back from lunch. Got into a valid trade that lasted for 58 minutes (this is ridiculous AND dangerous, but it was a good trade and I just had to sit there). Made some money, but the market is clsoing soon. Fear, panic, temptation to do crazy stuff rattling around in my head...

Went to the 6E, entered a trade. Then I asked myself (and my Skype trading buddies) "What am I doing trading the 6E? This is not my realm of expertiese! This is not part of my trading plan. I don't even know where to put my stops." I got out of the trade with a tick gain on three contracts and went back to where I belonged. One more trade and I am positive. Quit! $140 in the black. Whew!!

I contemplated NOT journaling the whole story. After all, there are people watching my blog. People I know. People who know me. People I have come to know in this forum. If I tell them that I made mistakes and lost money...what will they think? I know what they'll think...

"I told you he should have quit that day trading nonsence and get a real job! Now look at him. And this guy has three college degrees and years of management experience. What is he doing messing around with that 'gambling' stuff?"

Sigh.......

This journal is for me. I hope people will take something away from it, but it's not for them. It's for me. If I am not truthful with myself, I will not be successful. I will be telling myself everything is okay, when it's not! So, being honest means facing the good with the bad.

In retrospect, it was a net negative for the week. Even with this week, I have averaged over a thousand dollars a week and the first week was only one day. I'm okay. My method is okay. Slow down. Take some time off. Think positive thoughts. Trade smart Monday and take this week's lesson with you. You can do this. Remember, you don't HAVE to go live on the 23rd. If it is not working, hang back. If you can get a handle on your emotions, then go for it.

I added my error chart I made and a snapshot of my graphs.

G

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day-1.png   My journaled journey to success-trade-day-2.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png   My journaled journey to success-cl-graphs.png   My journaled journey to success-cl-errors.png  

Last edited by gordo; August 13th, 2010 at 06:43 PM.
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  #32 (permalink)
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G,

Good job for posting the details. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. Often times, this is the case.

You cannot learn from your mistakes if you ignore them. By documenting them, and telling the world, you now have accountability. Accountability is what most traders desperately need, and hugely lack.

In short, you are doing a good job. You are learning every day. You should step back on a daily, or at minimum weekly basis, and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You cannot perform this analysis if the data is incomplete, so it is necessary to accurately record all your mistakes, not just your successes. Mistakes have a way of quickly disappearing from the mind, that is why it is so incredibly necessary to document them instantly, while things are still very fresh 'in the moment'.

For this reason, it is why I always clearly suggest you document "why did you enter here?" "why did you exit here?" as an absolute minimum. When you are honest with yourself, like for instance the 6E trade, and write that down, as well as other things, patterns will emerge. You will find things you cannot find otherwise without this process.

I also highly recommend @Bacon's decision matrix.

Once you have your strengths and weaknesses on a daily/weekly level, you need to take action. Make a very specific plan of action to strengthen everything, correcting your weaknesses. As an example, if your weakness is to over trade, then a very specific plan of action would be "I will not, under any circumstances, take more than 3 trades today". Repeat this process as long as necessary, until you no longer consider over trading a weakness.

I find that from the strengths and weaknesses perspective, the rules I establish are primarily to battle against weaknesses. However, in the morning of each trading day, I focus on my strengths. Some ways to do this, for me, include taking a shower, having breakfast, and allowing 1 hour to answer emails and private messages before placing a trade. I also mark up my charts, identify key areas, and then often I will just sit calmly, close my eyes, place my butt all the way back in my chair, feet firmly on the ground, hand on the mouse, and sit for a minute while I remind myself of being calm, focused, and precise in my execution of trades in the next few hours.

Mike

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  #33 (permalink)
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Mike

I want to thank you very much for your inspiring words. They mean a great deal to me. Thank you.

G

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  #34 (permalink)
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Big day for me. I am in my last week of testing before I return to the land of the live. [I always felt live (opposite of dead) and live (opposite of sim) should be spelled different...just a stray thought.]

Today was good, bad, not so good, not so bad. I was up to $479 after two trades. Stop? No...greedy...wanted $500+. Result? <$150> then back to $99 and then back to <$215> then back to $399.....stop? Trade again? STOP!!! Are you crazy??!!?? Tough day in the hood today. There was not much volume and I over traded. I included a screen shot from 10:30-11:30. I made 8 of my 12 trades then. I was chasing the price action. This is not a screen shot of hope but of desperation.

What I am encouraged with is I was able to recover from such a siginificant loss. I would never have been able to recover from that in the ES. There just isn't the movement to make it happen. I also think I am getting a bit smartere in my trading. When I first started trading live, I would get to a point where I was just trading to trade. I actually felt a sense of relief losing money. I know that sounds sadistic, but it was true. I didn't feel right if I made a 'one and done' trade. I felt cheated. So I would continue trading until I had lost a bunch of money. I don't get that feeling any more, but I think it is still somewhat there when I start to over trade.

Anyway, another profitable day and I feel good about things.
G

P.S. I updated my cake album

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png  
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  #35 (permalink)
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Futures Edge on FIO
Man, the CL has been tough this week! It isn't trending very nice and the moves are very small. That being said, another good day in the trenches for me. I think today was a red letter day in that I made a mistake, recognized it, recovered, made my money and had enough sense to QUIT! Not bad for me.

My mistake? Traded against a double top. I recognized it, but my indicators said "Don't believe it!" So I didn't and well, -30 cents later, I am in the whole! Two good trades after that, and I am done for the day. My chart today has all my trades, all three that is and I added a few comments.

I am feeling good. I am trading SIM with the same intensity and concern (which is like anxiety, but we don't like to use that word) as if I was trading LIVE. That makes me feel good because I have learned to treat SIM the same as LIVE. By doing that, I sould have an easier transition when I go to next week.

I attended a bit of a seminar this morning. I think the guy was selling snake oil. I detected a slight odor during the seminar. It was supposed to be training, but he spent the first hour selling his 'one of a kind, no one else has this, I'm the only one, you can't figure it out becasue you are not as smart as me' system. I am going to pass. I still like to watch and try to learn, because everybody knows something and this is about understanding the market, not so much knowing everything. This guy is dabbling in the market. He represents a certain following and a certain philosphy. I just want to see what he is all about. Now with regards to his price, he is raising his price until people won't buy his product any more and then going to back off of that. That is pretty great that he can make as much on one sale as it takes me to make in two weeks.

I am averaging $265 a day, clear. Not bad. Now can I keep it up? I certainly think so, and with all the great people on futures.io (formerly BMT), I'm certain of it.

G

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png  
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  #36 (permalink)
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What a day. I don't even want to write in my journal today. I just want to stick my head in the sand and hope everything gets better. My sin for the day? Moving my stop. I did this trading live in my previous live stretch. It ended up costing me thousands!!! Yes, thousands!!! "Mama always said, stupid is...". What did I do today? Had some tough trades. Up and down and at lunchtime I was up $54. Then I took a loser, followed by another one that was going to lose. I couldn't take it. After all my super fine trading record was at stake! How could I take two losses? Buck...be a man and follow your plan! Well I settled on putting the stop at 50 (yes 50) above my entry. I put my target at 10 above my target. Either way, I will take the loss. The result? I took a 50-tick loss on three contracts. Serves me right! I am not going to trade any more today. I need to refocus. This is not a good time to be going into a live week with this kind of trading attitude. I am over my limit for loss in a single trading day, I need to get my act together and start fresh.

I am concerned with my losses. I spoke earlier about feeling almost good when I lost. I know I should feel bad, but it was like these people you see on TV that only feel good when they are hurting themselves. I'm not suicidal or anything and please don't call 911 for this weirdo in Kansas who is going to kill himself. It just seems odd.

I think I got pulled into the trap of thinking it couldn't go any higher than this...Lesson #1, price does what price wants to do. If it's at the high of the day and it wants to go higher, it will. If price wants to travel from the low of the day up 200-ticks to get where its going, than it will. Welcome to trading the CL! After all, isnít that why I want to trade this beast?

So if I go back over the last few days, I come to the conclusion that I am not ready to trade live. After all, what difference will one week make in going live? None! A cooler head must prevail. Why do I want to push to go live? Because I am getting very good at putting the date off and looking for a new Ďmethodí that is guaranteed to bring GREAT results. I have a good system. I just have not followed it well. I am including my standard sheets. Why, for me to remember.

Refocus. Get back to doing what you KNOW works and stick to it. The return to live is now starting the week of August 30th. I can still do this. I can be a good trader. I must discipline myself. I know what it feels like to be a good trader. I know what it feels like to have traded well for the day. Just think where I could have been if I had not moved my stop. I might even have finished the day out positive. I need to take my lumps along with my wins. Plan my trade, trade my plan! This is a great learning day. I am still positive on my system. Make the time count. Quit chasing the newest craze, trade what you know. Today on this day, I am going to bury bad habits. I will have to pack the dirt down hard to make sure they donít come back up.

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png  

Last edited by gordo; August 18th, 2010 at 02:57 PM.
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  #37 (permalink)
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You need to practice taking losses and being wrong. With proper risk management, you can be wrong the majority of the time and still make very good money. Don't get so caught up in "right vs wrong", it matters little. All that matters is what you risk to be wrong, and what you are rewarded with for being right.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #38 (permalink)
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Posts: 160 since Nov 2009
Thanks: 129 given, 398 received

I completed a SERIOUS analysis of Black Wednesday. This was a lot of work, and certainly is not something I can afford the time to accomplish every day, but it was an interesting look back on the day. It helped me focus. Yesterday had lots of little errors, but the big one was moving my stop. When I did that, I destroyed all of the day's work and prevented myself from recovering. I can not move stops and be successful.

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Register to download File Type: docx Black Wednesday.docx (440.5 KB, 31 views)
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  #39 (permalink)
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Posts: 160 since Nov 2009
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The CL was really tough today. I had a hard time with the trading as I am sure a lot of people did. I am very proud of myself though...I only traded my trades. Yesterday's lesson did me some good. In addition, I only made two trades and the first trade wasn't until 1038! That is good for me. Very good. So I put my record and my trade in for attachments and am looking forward to another good day tomorrow.
G

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png  
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  #40 (permalink)
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Posts: 160 since Nov 2009
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Not a good day dollars wise, but not too bad mentally. I made a few errors in not following my trading plan and moving my stop. All of those errors resulted in loses. Even with all of that, I only lost $511. Yes, I lost again, but I am learning a GREAT deal.

I had one noteworthy trade that I have included in the thumbnails. It truly is almost picture perfect. The only downside of this trade was that I was delinquent getting into the trade.

I modified my trading record and replaced the 'Cost Per Dollar' column with a "Net Ticks Per Contract" column. I was thinking yesterday that I need a goal that does not change based on income. My goal is going to be 10 net ticks per contract. That way, if I decide to increase (or decrease) the number of contracts I am trading, I don't have to change my goal. Even though I will change the amount of money I am making, I can still track things the same on my DOM and in my head. [A sidenote. I do not put the dollars in the PnL window on my DOM. It affects the way I trade. I use the number of points which is independent of the number of contracts being traded. this keeps me from messing with my mind!]. I have been all over the map in the last month, and am currently at 5.09 net ticks per contract, but I think an average goal of 10 is very achievable.


In reviewing the week, here are my observations.
  • My error rate is higher than I want with the majority of the errors being to not trade my method. When I trade my method, I am more successful than when I try to force trades. I must stop moving my stop. Once I am in the trade, I need to let the ATM that I built run the trade.
  • I was brutily honest with myself in my daily entries. I did not hide my errors and fool myself into thinking things were good when they were not. This is a very positive step.
  • I was not financially profitable for the week. My net loss was $1,052.68 which is $210.54 per day.
  • I had three very good days and contiue to be a good trader when I stick to the plan.
Finally, I am looking at some trading plans on the site. I think it would be a good idea to develop my personal trading plan. I will think more about this one over the weekend.

Next week will be a good week for me. I am doing well overall, and I can be successful if I don't go stupid once a week.

G

P.S. I have been reading David_R's journal with great interest. There were two posts in there, one from David and one from Big Mike. They were talking about how not following your trading plan can be likened to an alcoholic or a smoker who has a desire to drink/smoke when they know they shouldn't. Those posts really spoke to me. I trade like that! I see things moving and I feel left out so I trade. Very revealing....very revealing! Lesson to learn: Develop the plan [yes write it down] and trade the plan!

Attached Thumbnails
My journaled journey to success-trade-day.png   My journaled journey to success-pnl.png   My journaled journey to success-cl-errors.png   My journaled journey to success-cl-graphs.png  

Last edited by gordo; August 20th, 2010 at 05:26 PM.
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