Well. It's been quite a little journey I've been on these last few months.
After having an uncle and one of the best dogs I have ever owned, pass away from old age, something came over me
telling me it was time for a change. I sold my stake in the studio and became a purely free lance engineer - working
on only the projects I WANTED to work on.
I embraced my trading with a new found gusto I had only experienced when I was young man starting out in the music industry.
Around the clock - eating little and sleeping less. Only live trading. Taking only the setups I had watched developing for
So, it looks like I'm well into my second career. The training is over and I am now a journeyman. The learning is never over, of course, as there are always new, subtle little wrinkles in the markets.
I have started a new technical journal, which is merely a folder on my computer desk top containing screenshots of
PA tendencies. This is the only edge I have. Tendencies. If price moves in one fashion, a certain result is expected.
I am a reversal trader. Whether it be micro or macro in scale. There is a point in every Price move where the other side
takes control. My job is to know EXACTLY where this is. Within 5 ticks for lighter volume and 10 ticks for high volume.
This is the point of maximum RR. Is this not our goal as traders? With my, now, years of screen time with Japanese Candlestick patterns and freshly armed with the wonderful MP DOM and Reconstructed Tape from @DionysusToast
at Jigsaw trading (thanks for all your help, Pete), I can make very astute bets at these areas.
Stops are tight and targets could be hundreds of ticks away.
All my trades start with one car and the farthest reasonable target. I take what the market gives. Many times it is
just a scalp. less times a BE, but rarely a full stop out. But sometimes I get in at ground zero on a perfect trend. Wonderfully spaced HH's and HL's scaling in at every PB until I reach the main destination.
There is no better feeling than having two or three cars locked in with a little profit and looking to add more.
So each weekend I browse through the screenshots I have saved, absorbing the little notes embedded in each.
What is the best way to enter on an extreme BO? Yes, my days of watching them pass are over - too afraid of the
massive volume to enter - the DOM and Tape screaming past in capitalistic nirvana
What is the best way to manage a grinding trend or pure sideways consolidation? Light volume? Heavy Volume?
Normal Volume? News releases? The Open, The Close , Lunch time, after hours.
Each Volume set and time of day have their own character. It is now my job to find and document every nuance a market could possibly have and have a course of action for each.
I will not sit on the sidelines because I am UNCOMFORTABLE with the
So now that my most beloved study of the technicals update is over, it is time for me to discuss my least favorite thing.
Having to stay alive and healthy while trading.
I have come from perhaps one the most input intensive professions ( lot's of people, loud music , editing etc...)
to perhaps the least - no people, no conversation - just you and the markets. I must say. I went off the deep end a
couple of times and almost snapped.
The cause? Lack of nutrition and sleep.
When I was in the music business full time, food was either brought in, or I went out to eat. The portions were
substantial and I could reload my blood sugar to the max. Lack of sleep could be managed as long as you were
When trading, time flies by so quickly, I forget to eat. Or, I just eat like a bowl of cereal or a protein shake ,
some nuts or dried fruit. Now, I'm not used to eating like Euell Gibbons. The resulting constant state of Lowish blood
sugar would leave me in a type of indecisive stuper - unable to pull the trigger on trades. I would let pefectly fine
setups come and go, only noticing in hind sight.
So the main purpose of this futures.io (formerly BMT) journal will now be to discuss how to live as a trader.
I'm thinking about breaking out the old crock pot and making meals that would last throughout the week.
That way, I could have at least one solid meal a day. I appear to need this.
I have come up with following. Pot Roast w/ potatoes and carrots
Red Beans and Rice
These are the hardy type of meals I have eaten all my life.
Do you guys have any other crock pot ideas that are a little more modern and healthy ?
Or, actually any type of food that can be prepared in bulk batches.
If I'm away from the charts, I want to be either sleeping or outside with the horses.
...that brings up something else...
When do you sleep when the Asian, European and US markets have there own separate sets of opportunities?
So this is where I am.
How do you balance Life with Trading, the latter being my main career now, but the former in need of
keeping in a quality form to enjoy on'es time on this blue orb.
How do you keep yourself from going mad due to sensory deprivation. Will I become one of those
strange old men who go to town once a month for supplies and acts like he is about to have
a nervous breakdown from the sounds of the city?
I live in the country.
Deep in the country.
I rarely hear a car pass.
I never see another person except for my wife.
Although this was heaven for the first month or two, it's started to take it's toll. You simply start going nuts!!
So, in summation ....
The alure of trading is exciting and romantic to all who pursue it.
Be very careful what you wish for.
As with every profession, it has it's drawback's.
The reality of trading is that is more of a marathon and boring than Exiting and Romantic.
The benefits of trading for a living thus far? The income potential is massive.
I have saved Thousands of $$$ in gasoline by not commuting to Nashville.
The drawbacks to trading? ...... everything else.
As I learn to balance life with trading, I'm sure my viewpoint will improve.
All in all, for an old music guy, it's the perfect job.
"Life On The Edge of SR"
The following 12 users say Thank You to tderrick for this post:
I used to trade same way at the start 4 years back trading whole day watching screens every few mins the low point was when i was sleep i used to have screens open and used to wake up every hour or so just to check on the trade or worse not to meet one , thing was i got burned mentally physically it was just not working .. then i had to change to make trading work for me .. this is what i did ..
Shifted my trading time zones to fix 90 mins during London and 90 mins during us open that's it if i got a setup during those zone great if not moved on but majority of setups for swing happened during those time zones. Started using Limit orders for setups Which were setting up but not yet ready for execution.
Monitoring trades:- From watching trades every few mins i reduced it to watching Them every 2-3 hours .
Increased number of instruments i was watching so i could get more setups during my trading hours.
Also using price alarms might help you if you are scouting a certain price.
At start this will be tough specially because you are trading round the clock right now .. but this will increase ur profits and also improve your trading .. give it a thought
Regarding food :- Try to get more vegetables in your diet and also they can be steamed or cooked and stored for a week and also they are good meal in between trading.
I wish you all the best for this new path and hope you find your rhythm and make it work in a healthy manner .. Best of luck.
Last edited by jinhar; March 2nd, 2013 at 09:30 AM.
The following user says Thank You to jinhar for this post:
I want to congratulate you on your move to full time trader! That is amazing, following your dream, and turning it into reality!
...sounds like you will still have to find some balance though...have you thought about some exercise? (it really clears my head and gets all the screen funk flushed)...what about spending some time cooking more healthy meals, aside from the crockpot? (I usually prep my meals on sunday so I got most of the week covered and it's a great release... for me anyway) Most traders I know diets suck!
- this is not advice I am giving...just some thoughts on what has helped me when I am trading.
and I too am thinking of going the full time trader route. My 5 years of Afghanistan flying has come to an end...I truly love flying (and yes it was exciting to say the least) but I feel I'm ready for a new direction, tough to lay down your wings though I gotta tell ya.
Either way bro, I want to congratulate you and wish you all the best! I'm sure it was a tough, long and drawn out decision... I know you'll do great!
I have to get a futures.io (formerly BMT) plug in here too....all you need. period. I can't imagine trading without Big Mikes!
When you're the only gunner, stick to your guns.
AJ you're a RockStar!
The following 3 users say Thank You to Devil Man for this post:
Awesome stuff AJ, congrats on taking the leap both with the studio and your trading.
I wanted to mention the health issues. First I bought one of these, http://www.amazon.com/Nutri-Bullet-NBR-12-12-Piece-Hi-Speed/dp/B007TIE0GQ/ref=sr...8-1&keywords=nutribullet and started using it for breakfast and lunch. I started 30 days ago. Lost 10 pounds, more energy, and most importantly, my low sugar episodes disappeared completely. I have gone through a period of withdrawal from more sugary foods which caused some pretty severe headaches but those are almost gone now and I also find I don't need as much "regular" food when I do eat a meal. I hate cooking breakfast and fixing lunch every day and so this little machine has been a godsend. Easy to use, easy to clean.....I haven't missed the normal breakfast and lunch food either.
As to the rest, I suggest finding a hobby, take some classes, volunteering at the local shelter or food bank or perhaps your church...anything to get the focus of yourself and onto someone or or something else. I've also pretty much set my trading hours at the first 90-120 minutes of the day and thats it. It either happens or it doesn't. The rest of the time I go do something else. Otherwise you can spend 24/7 at the charts and thats not healthy from a number of perspectives.
Again, congrats, its been a long time coming....
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following 6 users say Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
I made a similar decision around 6 years ago. I quit my very well paying, very "cushy" 7-year day job where I could more or less do anything I wanted as the VP. It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, because I thought that job was too good to lose. But honestly, it was killing me inside instead. It turns out I really hated the job and once I finally got free from it, the change was nothing short of miraculous. I could really see what it was doing to me once I got far enough away from it.
I then started on the journey of truly learning who I was. It was a long and difficult journey but I wouldn't change a thing.
Good luck with your journey -- "journeyman"!
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.
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The following 5 users say Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
I forgot to mention I still eat a reasonable meal at night. (Mexican, Pizza, etc.....) however, I can't eat near as much as before. I start a gym thing on Tuesdays and Thursdays this coming week as well. In some ways, not looking forward to it but at the same time, I think its gonna end up being really good for me.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following user says Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
I'm running some MR this weekend to regain some confidence after a draw down week.
I'll post a few of these over the next few days to observe what I'm doing and perhaps get a few suggestions from the crew. After I think I've returned to the MOJO Zone, I will continue posting live trades to make myself more accountable.
I plan to have the psyche back in good form for live action again on Monday. I'm, also, not a afraid to pull the plug
if I have any lapse of confidence. My goal is to protect my account at all costs - even if that means taking some time
This is my first Draw Down period and it is no picnic. My confidence has taken a hit and I've gotten a bit
I have been shooting from the hip and not logging trades or keeping track of anything I do, really.
That worked for a while, but I have become too haphazard in my approach and a bit too cowboy.
So, I think, coming back to a Log / journal will slow me down a bit if only for the reason as I will take less
trades as it is a PITA to type all this stuff in.
So, from now on, a reason for every trade that is a bit more strategic and switching the focus back on catching
the moves within a Range.
Total Trades Winners Full Stop Partial Stop BE
6 5 1
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Entry on PB to vwap / ma confluence Scale in on favorable signs. I can never resist a small doji star in the ETH Car 1- 5 ticks
Car 2- 7 ticks
Limit order placed at LOD after POC shift down and chatter on DOM / also CPivot
Target- top of current range and then observe PA
I'm just can't pass up a scalp of a Doji wick / exit at DOM cue
Long on logical PB for a reversal / DOM - PA - SR line confirmation
Stop moved tight - 50 / 50 area
Good move signals target move to strong test of vwap / hourly chart PA zone
No hesitation at vwap cross / target move to DP
8 ticks locked in
Jeez I miss PA like this.... This week was tough. I may just sit out more in the future and wait for
lovely, readable PA like this.
DP hit - 21 ticks
Price moves through DP - rats ... maybe my nemesis of an early exit.
No - price pulls back a bit
I have yet to master exits
This One was handled nicely with Good PA and the pressure off
A great PB to vwap / ma / wick formation confluence.
Looking for larger target with this, perhaps being a real PB of a larger move.
BE +1 as price approaches DP
1 point locked in on break of DP
Y close crushed and stopped out on PB of touch of Y close
Reflex entry on PB to Y close / Y High target
Hourly SR may stand in the way
Big Volume comes in - Top of the range - sellers
POC shift up
could be the end of the line
giving stop a bit more room in case of test of Yclose
PB appears natural
stop should be safe if continuation
3:22am cst - London town in full swing
stop 2 ticks below Y close in jeopardy
test of Y close
stopped out -3
I should have played the top of the range for a stronger Pull back and gone short.
signs- POC shift with huge volume / top of range
That's good for today .... good confidence builder with a perfect daily target goal
Let's try again tomorrow
"Life On The Edge of SR"
The following 4 users say Thank You to tderrick for this post:
I think that must be the key, what you say there. It reminds me of a quote out of Market Wizards, something like "My job is to wait until I see cash lying on the floor, and then I go over and pick it up".
Good to see you're back on your journal again.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
The following 2 users say Thank You to Adamus for this post: