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Refining my STRATEGY, Eliminating FEAR and Instilling DISCIPLINE.


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Refining my STRATEGY, Eliminating FEAR and Instilling DISCIPLINE.

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  #61 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
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Oops, got the wrong date -this was for Tuesday, April 5th:

I haven't enjoyed trading CL the last several days. It's been very choppy.

However, these "bad" days like provide me with a lot of confidence and hope, because they make me realize that I can trade during sideways price action and not lose a substantial amount of money. In the past, I have logged some days in CL, luckily in SIM, where I would lose my shirt on days like these; now I am managing to do ok which something I really needed to experience.


Feelings about trading today:
Even though I only had 4 trades, I felt like I was a frantic scalper today instead of an intra-day trader I normally consider myself to be. Felt on edge all day and was contemplating switching instruments.

Was getting bored waiting for an opportunity to enter the market, and yet when a signal came in, I would hesitate far too long before jumping in. This would be easier to get over if my hesitation did not sometimes help me avoid certain trades that would have turned out negatively (had I entered instantly). This is one of those "getting rewarded for doing the wrong thing" in trading.



P/L: +10, -15, +16, +19 ticks in CL

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  #62 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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TriggerShy View Post
I am very glad that I started this journal. I did not follow the guidelines I set out in the first post and I changed the format several times. There were days where I did not see any value in what I was posting, (and I am sure you guys still don't, haha) but then towards the end, once I started posting my 1 minute charts, I realized the usefulness of journaling.

The document of sample setup pictures with notes I wanted to create, but was procrastinating on because the task of copying, pasting and analyzing past charts seemed so daunting, no longer needs any work; this journal has become that document.

Had it not been for the contest, I am certain I would have missed several days of posting, especially during the first two weeks, which would have maybe even led to me abandoning this journal completely. Mike's contest helped me stick to my discipline of writing about my trading every day, which turned out to be very useful to me.

No, I haven't overcome my fear of pulling the trigger on trades, but I have become more confident in my trading strategy, which I believe is a good first step. It is starting to sink in that I can be consistently profitable even without a perfect strategy/system. Although it is an extremely slow process, I believe I am on the right track.

I still have a lot to work on. I am hereby committing to posting for another month at the very minimum. I will re-evaluate at the end of April again. As always, your tips, comments and suggestions are appreciated.


Main objectives for April:

Focus on the big picture instead of scalping for pennies (as I sometimes do) by minding the 5 minute chart.

Take note of ideal stop loss placements on charts.

Awesome job! Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to your journal in April, and your next end-of-month summary

Mike

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  #63 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 117 given, 126 received


Got to the computer early today, at 4AM (7 Eastern) because I could only watch the market till 9AM, but did not take my first trade in CL till 7:40AM. Was in the market most of the time after that till I had to leave.

What a disaster of a trading day. Over-traded and took trades without waiting for a good entry signal, and to make matters worse, would move my stops and get stopped out too early, right before price would go in my direction.

Lessons learned today:

Moving my stops too early does not reduce my risk -it stops me out! My loss aversion tendencies caused me to move my stops several times today. I have to remember that the best placement for stops is at a level that would invalidate the entry.

It might not be a bad idea to do some relaxation exercises right before trading and to have some sort of a routine, involving visualizations and rule reading, in the morning to get me in the right state of mind. I think I was a little stressed about leaving the computer on time, and also about not being able to trade later.



CL P/L: -$320
(8 Trades. Did not mark all of my scalps on the chart -wish it would do it for me automatically.)

ES P/L: +$200
(Only 1 trade, right before 7:40AM)



---The contest definitively did a good job of motivating me to post my journal before end of day. I almost blew off posting this since it should have been done yesterday... My discipline and motivation is wavering and worst of all -it's showing in my results!

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  #64 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 117 given, 126 received

I should really get fired for today. That's the problem with being your own boss -slacking on the job is tolerated and dwindling discipline is overlooked until a day like today when it all blows up in your face. What a disgrace.

I have been getting up at 4 AM lately instead of my usual 5:45AM which would be ok to a normal person, but considering I am a night owl I should have seen this coming. Surely I knew there would come a day, very soon, when I would stay up too late and say to myself "might as well stay up now, since I have to get up soon anyway." Only a fellow nighthawk could understand this line of thinking. So for two days now I have been staying up overnight, watching the market and then going to sleep during the day, getting up at night. It's not like I have a job to go to and I live on the West Coast. I figured I would just fix up my schedule over the weekend, no big deal, it's not the first time...

...Well I started getting super sleepy after my last trade around 8:05AM (11AM Eastern time) so I turned up my volume and laid down on my sofa thinking I would watch my screen from there and get up if I heard an entry signal. By 9:30 I had fallen asleep and once my screen automatically turned it self off due to my power saving settings, my audio signal notifications no longer went off. I woke up a few times, but not hearing any signals, I assumed CL was having a another narrow range day. Yes, I managed to miss a 1.7 point move after complaining how CL has slowed and narrowed down lately! A big fat F for today!!

I really need to be stricter with myself. I mean would it have been so difficult to get some caffeine in me and just force myself to be alert for the last trading day of the week? It's not uncommon for me to be up for more than 24 hours. Of course I'll try to flip my schedule around to be ready for Monday morning, but this will, no doubt, happen to me sometime soon again. It's not like I will suddenly just become a morning person, not by next week anyway, so I need to have strategies to deal with such setbacks.

New rule: No sleeping between 6AM and 11:30AM EVER, no matter what!
Consequence of not following this rule: no food for 24 hours from the time I wake up after missing the market.
Not to worry, I won't be starving myself -hopefully that won't be necessary if I keep a good sleeping schedule, plus holding a fast once in a while will be good for this constant eater anyways.


Lessons learned today:

It's always worth it to watch the market all day -you never know when it will pick up. Early today it looked like CL wasn't gonna go anywhere quickly: another narrow range day, but then... well you know the rest.



P/L: -8, +10, +15 ticks in CL

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  #65 (permalink)
bwasi
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 
 
Posts: 31 since Nov 2009
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change your computer setting to ' on '....during tradin the trader should not sleep and that including his computer...

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  #66 (permalink)
 bobarian 
whitestone, new york
 
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TriggerShy View Post
I should really get fired for today. That's the problem with being your own boss -slacking on the job is tolerated and dwindling discipline is overlooked until a day like today when it all blows up in your face. What a disgrace.

I have been getting up at 4 AM lately instead of my usual 5:45AM which would be ok to a normal person, but considering I am a night owl I should have seen this coming. Surely I knew there would come a day, very soon, when I would stay up too late and say to myself "might as well stay up now, since I have to get up soon anyway." Only a fellow nighthawk could understand this line of thinking. So for two days now I have been staying up overnight, watching the market and then going to sleep during the day, getting up at night. It's not like I have a job to go to and I live on the West Coast. I figured I would just fix up my schedule over the weekend, no big deal, it's not the first time...

...Well I started getting super sleepy after my last trade around 8:05AM (11AM Eastern time) so I turned up my volume and laid down on my sofa thinking I would watch my screen from there and get up if I heard an entry signal. By 9:30 I had fallen asleep and once my screen automatically turned it self off due to my power saving settings, my audio signal notifications no longer went off. I woke up a few times, but not hearing any signals, I assumed CL was having a another narrow range day. Yes, I managed to miss a 1.7 point move after complaining how CL has slowed and narrowed down lately! A big fat F for today!!

I really need to be stricter with myself. I mean would it have been so difficult to get some caffeine in me and just force myself to be alert for the last trading day of the week? It's not uncommon for me to be up for more than 24 hours. Of course I'll try to flip my schedule around to be ready for Monday morning, but this will, no doubt, happen to me sometime soon again. It's not like I will suddenly just become a morning person, not by next week anyway, so I need to have strategies to deal with such setbacks.

New rule: No sleeping between 6AM and 11:30AM EVER, no matter what!
Consequence of not following this rule: no food for 24 hours from the time I wake up after missing the market.
Not to worry, I won't be starving myself -hopefully that won't be necessary if I keep a good sleeping schedule, plus holding a fast once in a while will be good for this constant eater anyways.


Lessons learned today:

It's always worth it to watch the market all day -you never know when it will pick up. Early today it looked like CL wasn't gonna go anywhere quickly: another narrow range day, but then... well you know the rest.



P/L: -8, +10, +15 ticks in CL

hello, been enjoying your journal for a few weeks.i remember a few years ago, when i would pass on trades(for no reason) i would punish myself , by doing 100 situps at the gym for each one...it got out of hand, some days doing 300 or 400 situps, my punishment..this didnt really help.but my abs were good!!
you keep referring to yourself as a night owl.are the activities you are doing during the late hours important? if not, just consider prioritizing your trading, and accept the fact , that you want to be awake to make $.its obvious , by your journal, that you can make $.the fear of taking entries will get easier as you get more confident..there is no other solution.and besides, most traders, even veterans, still have some discomfort when they trade...the difference, is they manage it.its ok to be uneasy , just as long as you follow thru with your strategy.believe me , you are not alone , with what you are going thru.we all have to address it, at some point.
i dont typically reply to other journals,as i realize this is a very personal path.your journal has helped me, and reinforces my belief, that in my method, if there is a setup that is takeable, just take it.often, there are trades that i pass on, and , in review, there is the trade, that i didnt take, and it worked.if the setup is 70 to 80% successful, that means i need to take every one, to take advantage.in big mikes last webinar that he gave, he goes over this..if you havent listened to it, definately do.he talks about the 4 stops in a row, then he passes on the next 3, which would have made him green for the day..keep up the hard work.
i would think it hypocritcal, if i commented on your journal, without having one myself.my journal is called bobs quest to attain consistency..ive been doing it for almost a month, and i think it helps me alot.i look back on the entries just from a few weeks ago, and i see myself getting more dialed in.for now, i am a scalper at heart, and am only looking for 6 ticks.each week ,i post [email protected], and although still negative, the results are much better, and each week is better.it seems like the missed trades, and the bad executions really make the difference.
i look forward to reading about your progress, and just remember, the journal you are creating is not only helping you, but others too!
thanks, bob maughan

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  #67 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
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bobarian View Post
hello, been enjoying your journal for a few weeks.

Yay! I knew I had a reader somewhere out there! Haha, thanks.

bobarian View Post
i remember a few years ago, when i would pass on trades(for no reason) i would punish myself , by doing 100 situps at the gym for each one...it got out of hand, some days doing 300 or 400 situps, my punishment..this didnt really help.but my abs were good!!

This is my first time trying to use some sort of re-inforcer. I have always hated missing market hours, no matter the reason and never needed any sort of push regardless of how little sleep I would get.
However, as soon as I wrote "new rule" I thought if I actually have to think about this now and write it down then maybe I also need a consequence for not following through.



bobarian View Post
you keep referring to yourself as a night owl.are the activities you are doing during the late hours important? if not, just consider prioritizing your trading, and accept the fact , that you want to be awake to make $.

I know, I know, your words sound so logical to me and I agree with them.

A few years ago I was in the zone and trading pretty well. I wasn't making a lot of money though due to this part of my trading plan:


Yes, I had to paper trade several times a week simply because I was just too exhausted to trade live. In my journal I wrote:

Problem: Not making enough money due to my screwed up sleeping schedule
Solution: Become a morning person.

It seems so simple: just change what I am doing to get the results I need. Yet I have been struggling with my sleeping patterns for years. I naturally gravitate towards night hours, no matter which time zone I am in. I don't know how to fix this nuisance, it's something very ingrained and I am not the only one in my family that has this problem.

I recently figured out part of the issue; I need close to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel refreshed (I envy those that get by on 6 hours of sleep a night) and I have a tendency to want to be awake for 16 to 18 hours at a time. Obviously this is incompatible with a 24 hour clock. In bed for 9 hours and awake for even just 16 hours equals 25 hours; and this is exactly what happens: I go to sleep an hour or two later each night until I go all around the clock. For a while I would force myself to sleep only 8 hours a day (& feeling tired all day, lol) so that I would be sleepy at the same time each night, but then I would always crash for 12 hours on the weekend and ruin my schedule again.

Is there an obvious solution to this problem that is eluding me? I don't know



bobarian View Post
... most traders, even veterans, still have some discomfort when they trade...the difference, is they manage it.its ok to be uneasy , just as long as you follow thru with your strategy.believe me , you are not alone , with what you are going thru.we all have to address it, at some point.

i dont typically reply to other journals,as i realize this is a very personal path.your journal has helped me, and reinforces my belief, that in my method, if there is a setup that is takeable, just take it.often, there are trades that i pass on, and , in review, there is the trade, that i didnt take, and it worked.if the setup is 70 to 80% successful, that means i need to take every one, to take advantage.

Logically I know I should act on every single entry signal because my strategy is profitable overall. On some other level though, I guess I don't believe that and therefore try and pick and choose my signals and, predictably, end up choosing the wrong ones. Worse, I know all of this and yet don't spring into action.

I know what holds me back the most is being rewarded for doing the wrong thing. I think about acting on a signal and then decide not to. The price moves against my signal and I pat myself on the back for having avoided a loss -negative behavior reinforced.

Often, my fear renders me completely inactive. I stare at the signals and hear them firing off, but don't even think about acting on them. I would hope that there aren't many other traders out there like that. Not ones that have devoted as many years to learning to trade as I have.



bobarian View Post
i would think it hypocritcal, if i commented on your journal, without having one myself.my journal is called bobs quest to attain consistency..ive been doing it for almost a month, and i think it helps me alot.

....i look forward to reading about your progress, and just remember, the journal you are creating is not only helping you, but others too!
thanks, bob maughan

Congrats on starting your journal here. Sometimes it feels silly, that I have a public journal instead of a private one just for myself, but forcing myself to write publicly about my trading has really improved my discipline for some reason. Go figure. Maybe I do need some form of a "boss" after all.

Thanks and good luck with your trading.
Here's to consistent profitability

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  #68 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
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I still have a shitty schedule, but at least I am fully awake during market hours, so I am happy about that -it's an improvement over last Friday.

I am very disappointed with how little I took out of the market today. CL moved over 3 points today and yet I just watched!! I took only two trades, one was a break-even, save the commission, and the other a 50 tick short.

Not sure why I did not trade more actively today. The signals were very clear -no ambiguity. I was rested and alert, but for some reason I did not not trust myself to enter the market. Today would have been an excellent day to slowly scale up size.

Lessons learned:

Consider also trading after-hours whenever there is a large move in CL during regular trading hours. I wish I had watched the market after hours as well, because it moved one point in one direction and then two points in the other.

When there are large moves in CL, the ES usually also has a wider range day -watch it for opportunities.


P/L: 0, +50 ticks in CL

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  #69 (permalink)
TriggerShy
BC, Canada
 
 
Posts: 81 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 117 given, 126 received

The alarm rang and I smiled. It felt good being awaken just in time for the opening. With my sleeping schedule back on track I was feeling very optimistic and jumped out of bed eagerly.

Only took two trades, with the second one being over with by 9:45am (12:45pm Eastern). I watched the market till closing though, marking up my charts with possible entries and stops; not sure why did not act on any signals anymore.


Lessons learned today:

It's not enough to be rested and alert in order to trade well. Focus and a firm commitment, at the start of the trading session, that all signals will be acted on needs to be in place.


Other than hesitating and therefore entering my trades late, as I usually do, there wasn't anything wrong with my trading today. I just seem to lack the hunger to get as much as possible out of the market. There should have been more than 2 trades today.

I am not sure what the cause of my inaction is: the fear of losing or lack of hunger, or which of the two is stronger.


P/L: +30, +40 ticks in CL


(Tuesday's P/L: 0)

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  #70 (permalink)
bwasi
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 
 
Posts: 31 since Nov 2009
Thanks: 16 given, 34 received



TriggerShy View Post
The alarm rang and I smiled. It felt good being awaken just in time for the opening. With my sleeping schedule back on track I was feeling very optimistic and jumped out of bed eagerly.

Only took two trades, with the second one being over with by 9:45am (12:45pm Eastern). I watched the market till closing though, marking up my charts with possible entries and stops; not sure why did not act on any signals anymore.


Lessons learned today:

It's not enough to be rested and alert in order to trade well. Focus and a firm commitment, at the start of the trading session, that all signals will be acted on needs to be in place.


Other than hesitating and therefore entering my trades late, as I usually do, there wasn't anything wrong with my trading today. I just seem to lack the hunger to get as much as possible out of the market. There should have been more than 2 trades today.

I am not sure what the cause of my inaction is: the fear of losing or lack of hunger, or which of the two is stronger.


P/L: +30, +40 ticks in CL


(Tuesday's P/L: 0)

I were frozen too on that day..
I looked for a complicated signal ...so when an easy signal came I ignored it

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