The best way to stop the cycle and get on the right path is by setting some very attainable goals in the beginning.
If your biggest mistake is not taking all the signals, then you could take a baby step like "I will take every signal between 8am and 9am today, with no exception, no matter what".
Now, at the end of the day if you failed to do that, then you have to ask yourself why. If it is because your plan/signals are impossible, then your plan needs adjustment. But if it is because you just poorly executed, then you should repeat the process each day until you are nailing it perfectly every day for a couple of weeks, then you can move on to another goal.
The whole point is just break it up into smaller chunks. Focus on one or two chunks at a time, and set the goals so they are very, very reasonable and attainable. You can increase the difficulty of the goals over time after you've mastered the basic and intermediate versions of the goal.
Record your progress daily. I recommend grading on a A-F scale and not focusing on anything else until you have at least a week worth of more A's and B's than C's and F's.
Also remember, this isn't about net profit. The goal was to take every signal between 8am and 9am, it makes no difference if they are profitable. If fear comes into play (stop loss), then your plan is unattainable and will continue to be unattainable until you are no longer afraid. Reduce lot size, change instruments, or stop trading until you can increase your discretionary trading income until you are no longer afraid to follow a "chunk" of a rule like my example.
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.
The following 5 users say Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
Can you involve your family/close friend in what you are trying to do?
Are you accountable to your family for your trading losses/profits?
If so, be completely honest with them about your 'failures'....especially not being able to trade all your signals...maybe you can teach them how to trade the signals and sit back and let them do it for you when you feel you are not going to take the trade. Nothing wrong to admit to your 'failures'...you will learn from them and you will have support to minimize those occurrences in the future.
You will then be prevented from 'cherry picking' because you are then going to have to explain and justify why it was that you did not want to follow through with the trade...
You are going to look silly either way ,to yourself or your supporters,...so LET THE TRADE HAPPEN!!!
There will be a result and you have absolutely NO IDEA what that is going to be so....LET THE TRADE HAPPEN..
There is NO right or wrong....it is just a trade...LET THE TRADE HAPPEN...
The following 2 users say Thank You to Family Trader for this post:
Yes I agree, I always thought I should just try to automate my strategy to remove my doubts from being able to interfere. I tried several years ago, but did not have enough skills to do so.
Couple of days ago I actually downloaded NinjaTrader again and got as far as coding about 80% of my (entry) strategy in about 4 hours. Could not figure out the rest. Then I realized that I am probably getting over my head as I will most likely not know how to code the exits and stops and cancellations. I am not sure how much further I can get with NinjaTrader (or any other automation platform) even if I devote more time to it given my limited programming skills.
I am afraid that I might do more damage with an automated system since it requires programed actions for several different scenarios and I very likely don't have the necessary knowledge to do it properly.
Like I said, I haven't given NinjaTrader enough hours yet, so I might still play around with it to see if I can figure out how to program the rest of my strategy.
Yes, this is my back-up plan, but my EGO is refusing to admit defeat just yet.
My brother plays poker for a living and knows about my paralysis. We have just recently realized how similar our issues are, so talking to him actually helps a lot. Our new years resolution was to get together regularly for "staff meetings" to discuss our respective issues and plans.
He did not know, but several years ago I decided that if I cannot bring myself to trade my strategy successfully, that I will have him execute the trades for me. Ever since then I have been making sure to document my strategy, settings, any changes and rules just in case someone else will need to follow them someday. I actually used to be paranoid about something happening to me and my strategy going to waste. Now I know, that even though it took me some time to build the strategy, that I could easily build a new one now and therefore anyone else is capable of building a successful one in reasonable time and that the bigger issue is psychology.
Naturally, I don't want to give up and want to be the one that makes this work, and thankfully I haven't been forced financially to give up yet. However, if I don't become consistently profitable soon, I might just be forced to stomp my ego and relinquish control. Having read so many books on trading and watched the market for so many years I am not ready to accept that I can't follow my own strategy and just trade.
No strategy is perfect,but it can be traded provided you have reasonably sound money management controls.
It may be that you recognize your strategy as being sound, but feel you do not have 'control' and, therefore ,suspect that it is not as sound as you would like...hence your reluctance to trade ALL the signals.You may recognize its vulnerability,but cannot find the ideal solution to overcome that weakness.
Hope what I am about to write is not too harsh...
There is something in your strategy that you are not comfortable with and yet it continues to well....
There is one thing you need to admit to...are you passionate about trading or simply living in the 'glory' of having developed a sound strategy?
You don't want to trade for 'fear' (not fact) you may find the strategy is not successful in real time and your ego will be bruised for all the time you have devoted to it...
It is also possible you simply DON'T LIKE trading....period....
Some don't , so seek alternatives to implement your strategy.You will still have control and you will be able to move forward...
The following 3 users say Thank You to Family Trader for this post:
Having had losses that were way over my stop limit, yes of course my previous losses sustained partly due to my inability (or unwillingness) to stick to stops has contributed to my feelings of trading inadequacy. I do believe that part of the reason I am hesitant to enter the market is due to my fear of
- my stop loss not being executed
- the market turning against me before I could even enter a stop loss
- deciding to keep a "mental stop" and having the market turn against me so far that I become frozen
I have had all of the above happen to me at one point or another and I am sure that in the back of my head I am worried that one of those things will happen on the very next trade I take.
Yes, up until very recently I always felt the need to work on my strategy, to modify my rules for stops, to change my colors, add to my possible exit criteria.... I felt I was missing something.... something that will help me narrow down my entry signals to only the most ideal times and perfect the strategy, hahaha.
I think about this often. Maybe I am not cut out to be a trader... boo hoo hooo. However, after SIM trading for a while I always gain my confidence back, get new ideas for improving my trading plan and question why I would want to do anything else given the potential income and lifestyle freedom. Round and round I go .
I still feel confident that I will figure this out.
After market close yesterday I finally started working on something I initially started in January.
I watch the market every day; I figure even if I don't pull the trigger at least I am learning and seeing how my strategy works. However to get extra practice, after-hours I would move my charts to the left and move the slider slowly to the right to "replay" the day slowly and try to enter and exit the market correctly based on my signals. I have been meaning to do this since switching to Futures, but have done very very little of it, relying mostly on just watching in real time only.
So today I finally went over the charts. Some people perhaps call this analyzing historical charts, I call it "charting." I don't know why, I always try to get out of doing this, like it is some tedious chore, and yet once I get to it I find it not only enjoyable but also very informative.
Anyway, what I have been working on is compiling a document with screen-shots examples of my chart signals with my analysis and explanations written down on each of them. I wanted to have this document so that I could go over it frequently as a form of practice; a kind of a "how to book" of my strategy. It is not my trading plan, but rather picture examples of false signals, strong signals and when it's ok to wait out a trade and why. So far I have only 6 pages with explanations, but plan to add to it. I know real-time SIM trading is better, but I thought his would be good as a visual preparedness before market open "Here, this is what you are looking for and what you need to avoid, scan it for 5 minutes, and GO."
Not sure how helpful this document will be, but working on it made me excited for today's open...