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What is your single biggest weakness?


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What is your single biggest weakness?

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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New poll, thanks to @snax:

What is your trading weakness?

Please vote and discuss. I'm limiting the options to just one selection so you must choose your single biggest weakness.

What is your single biggest weakness?

Total votes: 615
 


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  #2 (permalink)
 snax 
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I voted for "Holding my winners". I track my trades and I pay attention to both maximum favorable excursion as well as what was the market telling me via price action while I was in the trade.

I've done a lot of soul-searching this week and I've found the underlying root cause to be greed and the fear of losing money. One of the hallmarks of this problem for me is that no matter how overwhelming the case for me to hold, I always think price is about to turn against me and hit my stop.

Its gone on for far too long so my action plan to overcome this self-limiting behavior is to use the MYM and focus on tackling this single issue above all else. I'm using 3 contracts in either an all-in/scale-out strategy or, if trading outside-in or something, scaling-in 1-3 contracts. I want to hold at least one contract for at least 1R. The goal is to develop the ability to adapt to the market while i'm in the trade and learn to add on to a winning trade if the price action calls for me to do so.

This has been an iterative process, I've failed multiple times at attempting this, but with each failure I learn a little more so I'm looking forward to tackling this issue and overcoming it once and for all!

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  #3 (permalink)
 JMAL 
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My vote, insufficient time to trade. Only time to trade normal trading hours is when I get the day off work or when I’m on vacation. Have always felt if I had more real hands on time I might be trading full time. Then again maybe it has saved me from loosing countless trading accounts while learning.

Don't let Fear, Greed and Gambling overRule
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  #4 (permalink)
 Skidboot 
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From the REMINISCENCES - Page 129 ... I can can relate to this often... wish to correct this..."The cotton showed me a loss and I kept it. The wheat showed me a profit
and I sold it out. It was an utterly foolish play, but all I can say in extenuation is that it wasn't really my deal"

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  #5 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
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I believe my biggest weakness right now is impulsiveness. If I waited only for perfect entries my win rate would no doubt climb. As it is I rely on money management and a high hit rate for my tiny edge so any improvement in that area would do wonders.

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  #6 (permalink)
 12344321 
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My vote was also 'insufficient time to trade'. I like the RTH hours, but I live in New Zealand and currently 10am EST is 2am NZT. I try to trade each day, but my current shift pattern means this isn't always possible. Summer will be better because the time difference moves 2hrs with daylight saving's which will change 10am EST to 4am NZT (daylight saving means NZT and EST move one hour in opposite directions so there is a two hour difference).

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  #7 (permalink)
 Scalpingtrader 
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I'm coming from A "losers get out of hand", which luckily seems to have past. Now I am tackling B "holding winners longer".

Imho this is the typical rotation, the first one building fear and all sorts of mental assocuations with an open position, making the latter that much more difficult the longer you're not able to fix A.

If I were to hold a beginning traders hand, I would 100% focus on A first, to ensure survival of the account. B then really is where the account growth lies (unless you are in the rare breed of high% scalpers - but even Mack of PATs fame says again and again that the runners are what really shifts the numbers. Many choose to ignore this bit.)

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  #8 (permalink)
 Fluid Fox 
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I've mentioned this quite a bit, but my single biggest weakness right now is not adapting to / not accepting changing market conditions or trading improbable outcomes stubbornly in the hopes of getting a big winner.

I think adaptation is a function of mindfulness, a healthy dose of caution, and a real attempt at or interest of objective analysis to try to understand what is happening now to infer what a given market is likely to do next.

Some of my trades are less coherently constructed or taken in an environment I didn't fully attempt to understand, or I understood what was likely to happen and opted for the bad trade anyway. This would be taking a breakout trade on a range day because of a hunch, without seeing the increase in momentum, delta, etc., etc.

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  #9 (permalink)
 LastDino 
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Not trading enough. Wasted almost too much time on altering systems and demo's instead of putting in trades.

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  #10 (permalink)
 Bionan 
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snax View Post
I voted for "Holding my winners". I track my trades and I pay attention to both maximum favorable excursion as well as what was the market telling me via price action while I was in the trade.

I've done a lot of soul-searching this week and I've found the underlying root cause to be greed and the fear of losing money. One of the hallmarks of this problem for me is that no matter how overwhelming the case for me to hold, I always think price is about to turn against me and hit my stop.

Its gone on for far too long so my action plan to overcome this self-limiting behavior is to use the MYM and focus on tackling this single issue above all else. I'm using 3 contracts in either an all-in/scale-out strategy or, if trading outside-in or something, scaling-in 1-3 contracts. I want to hold at least one contract for at least 1R. The goal is to develop the ability to adapt to the market while i'm in the trade and learn to add on to a winning trade if the price action calls for me to do so.

This has been an iterative process, I've failed multiple times at attempting this, but with each failure I learn a little more so I'm looking forward to tackling this issue and overcoming it once and for all!

I could have written this post word for word, except that I am using 2 positions of micro contracts for position sizing flexibility instead of 3 positions. I am taking 1 off at 1 ATR or using price action and pivots. The problem I am finding is that when I scalp I should have swung, and when I resist the urge to take quick profits a d hold onto the runner, I end up with bigger losses and should have taken the quick profits.

I think bottom line is that I need to do a better job of reading whether the market is in a trending state or in a reversal state. At this point I am buying well and making few mistakes. It's all trade management.

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  #11 (permalink)
 redneck4Christ 
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Sandpaddict View Post
I believe my biggest weakness right now is impulsiveness. If I waited only for perfect entries my win rate would no doubt climb. As it is I rely on money management and a high hit rate for my tiny edge so any improvement in that area would do wonders.

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My thoughts are similar. The word, "compulsiveness" came to mind to describe my malady but "impulsive" seems to cover it pretty well. As much as I hate to admit it, "lack of discipline" is the main malady that I need to own and work on.

I have had days where I went past my draw-down limit and clawed my way back to profitability. On other days, in a similar situation, I have dug a deeper hole.

On the other hand, if I am up, my mind's eye sees that as a cushion to assume more risk and I end up giving it all back.

I have a plan but then I see something too good not to jump on and/or a new idea for an edge comes to mind and a current price move looks like a good time and place to vet it.

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  #12 (permalink)
 SMCJB 
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Definitely ‘Insufficient Time to Trade’. Although I trade about 45 hours a week if I had more time I would do even more.

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  #13 (permalink)
 Salao 
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I have been trading futures for a year and a half and for most of that time my biggest weakness was related to all the false beliefs that I initially had about trading. As I straighten that mess out and increase my technical knowledge, let's just say I am becoming pretty aware of the psychological challenges associated with overconfidence, greed, fear, and frustration. . It's the next frontier of my journey. Although I am still on the lookout for false beliefs. .

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 BubbityDog 
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Voted for "Holding my winners" as I tend to get out too early, often against plan.

Sometimes scratching a trade saves my butt, but that only builds bad habits... I've actually gone through and done the math against take profit price targets and can find entire groups of trades where a loss would have been a winner, winners would have been much greater, or losses would have been much less. Yet even knowing the math, mentally it's hard for me to stay in.

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 Daytrader999 
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I voted for 'Losers get out of control', because especially in such a volatile market like NQ I tend to move my stops quite a bit more out of the way than I should...but I'm still working on it !

On the other hand, I mostly use fixed targets, and sometimes I leave money on the table...but this is only my 2nd weakness.

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
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 YogaTrading 
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redneck4Christ View Post
My thoughts are similar. The word, "compulsiveness" came to mind to describe my malady but "impulsive" seems to cover it pretty well. As much as I hate to admit it, "lack of discipline" is the main malady that I need to own and work on.

I have had days where I went past my draw-down limit and clawed my way back to profitability. On other days, in a similar situation, I have dug a deeper hole.

On the other hand, if I am up, my mind's eye sees that as a cushion to assume more risk and I end up giving it all back.

I have a plan but then I see something too good not to jump on and/or a new idea for an edge comes to mind and a current price move looks like a good time and place to vet it.



My speculation is that your "thoughts" are familiar to a lot of traders. The word, "compulsiveness" describes a personality characteristic that can be deemed as our nemesis as traders. "impulsive" actions can destroy a trader, as my own experience has shown, by blowing up accounts. The fact that you hate to admit it, "having a lack of discipline" but are expressing it, is where traders begin to adapt to change, but first you have to admit it..kudos on that.

I recently came to own my own "discipline" issue and have been trying to figure out my way of developing a strategy to combat it. I am not sure as a trader "compulsiveness" totally goes away. This could be one of the hardest issues I've come to face. I am starting to realize the Market is an ever-flowing stream of money, and it is just there like a river, and it generates an enormous amount of excitement, as a fisherman gets when he sits on top of a large school of fish, and thinks how quickly can I catch them, how many can I catch? even though he knows there will be other fishing days, at that moment all logic goes out the window. This triggers me the same, to feel like I can just keep making money. I have come to see the ever-flowing river of money as a trap. How do I engage it without allowing my compulsiveness to take over.? Million dollar question.

For the sake of this conversation, I will share my own impulsive behavior control theory, and if I could get some feedback from some of the more advanced traders, I would be grateful.

I've come to recognize for my self, that I have to have a very defined window to engage with the market (River) and that window of time can not be broken, as it also plays into the statistical edge. So I created a defined window of time, Tues, Wed, Thurs..only...8:30 am to 12 noon CST only. I can only take 7 trades a day (fishing limit) and I can only take 3 losers in a row. (loss limit) Now the way I manage that window of time and what I do and how I do it is driven by my trade plan, which requires another level of discipline and control.

Having discipline at very specific moments of time, for me, seems a better way to handle my impulsivity, long term. (Practice Practice)
I can maintain my control and focus during the window of time, it seems better suited than figuring out how to change my impulsiveness across 5 days and 24 hrs of potential trade opportunities, which is what drives the impulsiveness, knowing I can sit in front of my computer and engage the river of money.

My trade plan is pretty solid, what I've learned is if I reduce the amount of trading time down, it helps me to focus on taking trades inside my plan, stop looking at all the potential other trades the brain will create because it thinks it has an endless amount of time. No it does not anymore. It has 7 trades only and only 3 days.

I am using an ATM to engage the market, stops are set and targets are set, is it perfect, no, does it need to be perfect, no.....it needs to be consistent on a level that produces a profit. That consistency will show up much more clear (or not) if I control the window of time I engage the river of financial opportunity, which is so overwhelming at times.

The other issue I have had to address as a trader, is I think trading will give me freedom, but in reality, I do not take advantage of that because I will sit in front of the computer 8 hrs a day and then study into the wee hours of the night...In my mind this is detrimental.
The defined window of time to trade is needed or I will never leave the house, it becomes a trap.

I am throwing this out on the table for discussion, to ask for advice from those who are consistent on the profitable side, I can address being consistent on the losing side....so no comments needed there......but from the minds of profitable traders what else can I add?

Am I seeing this the right way? what else could make a shift in my mind's ability to control my impulsivity?

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  #17 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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redneck4Christ View Post
My thoughts are similar. The word, "compulsiveness" came to mind to describe my malady but "impulsive" seems to cover it pretty well. As much as I hate to admit it, "lack of discipline" is the main malady that I need to own and work on.

I have had days where I went past my draw-down limit and clawed my way back to profitability. On other days, in a similar situation, I have dug a deeper hole.

On the other hand, if I am up, my mind's eye sees that as a cushion to assume more risk and I end up giving it all back.

I have a plan but then I see something too good not to jump on and/or a new idea for an edge comes to mind and a current price move looks like a good time and place to vet it.


Remember that even the best trades only have about a 60% probability, because any more than that, there would be nobody to take the other side of the trade. Likely there is an institution on the other side, and what institution would take a 30% probability trade? Be skeptical of any trade which looks too good to pass on.

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  #18 (permalink)
soumen
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mine is insufficient trading capital but I am not sure if one can call it weakness, its rather a blocking factor. It's like game of poker, if you were holding a pair of JJ and the flop had Q or anything higher they would act as blocker and not let you raise in a community pot (by the way the general term blocker means something else in poker which I think is useless). Therefore I wish I had a weakness.

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  #19 (permalink)
 Mabi 
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Mine is insufficient trading capital and others. To replace my current salary i would need 3 times more trading capital then i have today to be trading for a living. All thought i am not sure i would like to do that anyway since trading is a lonely business and going to a daily workplace, business trips, challenging engineering and meeting people everyday is really nice. So it will have to wait until i retire then i be trading full time in the mean time it is a great thing and even if i am averaging 50% per year on the funds i am trading i spend that and more on just trading buying servers, tools and on 3 rd party programming skills hunting for the holy automatic grail.. hehe

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  #20 (permalink)
 addchild 
Bay Area California
 
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SMCJB View Post
Definitely ‘Insufficient Time to Trade’. Although I trade about 45 hours a week if I had more time I would do even more.



Would more time at the desk actually translate to more pnl? Why not automate more of your trade?


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  #21 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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addchild View Post
Would more time at the desk actually translate to more pnl? Why not automate more of your trade?


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Would you run an automation unattended? Even with a good strategy, it seems like there are too many things that could go wrong. I could run an automated strategy from entry to exit, and I have thought about this, but I don't think I would be comfortable doing it for day trading.

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  #22 (permalink)
 addchild 
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Bionan View Post
Would you run an automation unattended? Even with a good strategy, it seems like there are too many things that could go wrong. I could run an automated strategy from entry to exit, and I have thought about this, but I don't think I would be comfortable doing it for day trading.

This probably belongs in a different thread.

Entirely unattended, no. But I am willing to let software supervise things for limited periods of time (a few hours at most) with very fixed parameters.

But you are right, there are lots of things that can and do go wrong and you need to be very careful.

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  #23 (permalink)
 Pa Dax 
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YogaTrading View Post
Having discipline at very specific moments of time, for me, seems a better way to handle my impulsivity, long term. (Practice Practice)
I can maintain my control and focus during the window of time, it seems better suited than figuring out how to change my impulsiveness across 5 days and 24 hrs of potential trade opportunities, which is what drives the impulsiveness, knowing I can sit in front of my computer and engage the river of money.

[...]

The other issue I have had to address as a trader, is I think trading will give me freedom, but in reality, I do not take advantage of that because I will sit in front of the computer 8 hrs a day and then study into the wee hours of the night...In my mind this is detrimental.
The defined window of time to trade is needed or I will never leave the house, it becomes a trap.

I am throwing this out on the table for discussion, to ask for advice from those who are consistent on the profitable side, I can address being consistent on the losing side....so no comments needed there......but from the minds of profitable traders what else can I add?

Am I seeing this the right way? what else could make a shift in my mind's ability to control my impulsivity?

Hey @YogaTrading - totally feel this the same way. When I got profitable, after a while it created a void in my life. Like in the years before I could spend 20 hours a day reading, learning, analyzing all this stuff. And at some point that goes away. It went away for me cause all I read now is stuff that I know doesn't work for me or I recognize it to be total b.s.
Also, as you say, I know for myself that all the money I need to get is in the first 2 hours of the open. But what to do with the rest of the day all of a sudden. Now that the freedom is there, it feels kind of hard to grab it. So I stop trading and still have the chart on in the background when I'm cooking dinner and I'm still looking at set-ups lol. And in fact, I really enjoy doing so.
Sort of feels as if when the market is done getting your money it wants something else from you so it now requires you to put in continuous discipline and trading actually becomes much more boring. Nowadays I wait for the open (which is 3.30 pm my time), I do my thing for an hour or two and I'm done. This is what my performance indicates I should be doing instead of keep trading, get tired, make mistakes, trade overnight and all that stuff. It's the most simple thing but incredibly hard sometimes to maintain the discipline while the market is only a mouse click away.

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 YogaTrading 
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Pa Dax View Post
Hey @YogaTrading - totally feel this the same way. When I got profitable, after a while it created a void in my life. Like in the years before I could spend 20 hours a day reading, learning, analyzing all this stuff. And at some point that goes away. It went away for me cause all I read now is stuff that I know doesn't work for me or I recognize it to be total b.s.
Also, as you say, I know for myself that all the money I need to get is in the first 2 hours of the open. But what to do with the rest of the day all of a sudden. Now that the freedom is there, it feels kind of hard to grab it. So I stop trading and still have the chart on in the background when I'm cooking dinner and I'm still looking at set-ups lol. And in fact, I really enjoy doing so.
Sort of feels as if when the market is done getting your money it wants something else from you so it now requires you to put in continuous discipline and trading actually becomes much more boring. Nowadays I wait for the open (which is 3.30 pm my time), I do my thing for an hour or two and I'm done. This is what my performance indicates I should be doing instead of keep trading, get tired, make mistakes, trade overnight, and all that stuff. It's the most simple thing but incredibly hard sometimes to maintain the discipline while the market is only a mouse click away.

Thanks, Pa Dax
It really requires me to ask Why am I taking this journey? if it does not produce a better lifestyle.
so being sure it does requires an alternate plan.. Like not sitting in front of computers

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  #25 (permalink)
 YogaTrading 
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
 
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JMAL View Post
My vote, insufficient time to trade. Only time to trade normal trading hours is when I get the day off work or when I’m on vacation. I have always felt if I had more real hands on time I might be trading full time. Then again maybe it has saved me from loosing countless trading accounts while learning.

Truth ........It has saved you from your potential impulsivity.

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  #26 (permalink)
 SMCJB 
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
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SMCJB View Post
Definitely ‘Insufficient Time to Trade’. Although I trade about 45 hours a week if I had more time I would do even more.


addchild View Post
Would more time at the desk actually translate to more pnl?

The honest answer is I wouldn't know until I tried it. I would say 60% of business is crude, that wouldn't change. 25% of my business is Natural Gas. Some of the opportunities have got away from me as I don't have time to chase low value things. The real key is the other 15%. At least one of the things I do has potential in other markets. But would it work? Bigger problem is I'm already trading to much. For example today I was super busy in NG, so wasn't paying as much attention to CL as normal. As it happened don't think I missed much but if I had been busy in both there is only so much you can watch.

But answering the question, I think yes!


addchild View Post
Why not automate more of your trade?

I've automated a lot, but it really isn't as hands off as it could be. Why not then? Well two main reasons. 1) I trade a lot in less liquid markets. There's a big difference between 105/106 and 100/111 or even 90/121 but an algo sees 105.5 value in all three! 2) Some of what I do I'm competing with others, some who are a lot faster than me. Hence the problem becomes managing the out trades. Not easy to do in fully automated in illiquid markets!

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  #27 (permalink)
 vmodus 
Legendary Systematic Algo Trader
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I chose 'time', as my trading income is not near the income I can make in the same amount of time in my other business. It is a paradox which would take too long to explain, so I'll leave it at that.

I have learned, by my nature, that I have to be totally focused on trading when I am doing it. Automation of my trading eases this burden somewhat, but I'm not at a point where I can do both. One thing I can do is to keep learning, broadening my knowledge, and developing skills outside of my normal working hours.

~vmodus

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  #28 (permalink)
 gigwam 
Toronto, Canada
 
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My biggest weakness which I'm working really really hard at is patience. Patience for that A+ setup that I have no doubts about and will easily take anytime.

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  #29 (permalink)
 redneck4Christ 
Vancouver, WA
 
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Bionan View Post
Remember that even the best trades only have about a 60% probability, because any more than that, there would be nobody to take the other side of the trade. Likely there is an institution on the other side, and what institution would take a 30% probability trade? Be skeptical of any trade which looks too good to pass on.

I don't know about that. I think you are right about the best traders with the deepest pockets. But, in retrospect, I can see I have taken the other side in some pretty raggedy, low probability trades, thereby doing my part to increase somebody else's chances of picking my pocket.

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 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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redneck4Christ View Post
I don't know about that. I think you are right about the best traders with the deepest pockets. But, in retrospect, I can see I have taken the other side in some pretty raggedy, low probability trades, thereby doing my part to increase somebody else's chances of picking my pocket.

90+% of ES trade volume is by institutions. So its likely that the person on the other side of the trade is a computer. Computers don't make mistakes unless they are programmed to do so. Considering all the different time frames, trading styles, and objectives, it is also a good possibility that the person on the other side will make money, even if you do. It's a fallacy that trading is a zero sum game. You could be buying for a 240 minute swing from a trader who just profited from a 5 minute short scalp. You can both make money. The trader on the other side may have a wide stop with multiple scale-ins, so even if he shorted at the wrong time, his trade could still be profitable. Most reasonable trades, if managed properly, and unemotionally (that computer again), can at least break even.

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  #31 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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gigwam View Post
My biggest weakness which I'm working really really hard at is patience. Patience for that A+ setup that I have no doubts about and will easily take anytime.

Does such a trade exist? As I said earlier, it a setup looks perfect, something is probably wrong with it. Otherwise, who would take the other side?

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  #32 (permalink)
 gigwam 
Toronto, Canada
 
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Bionan View Post
Does such a trade exist? As I said earlier, it a setup looks perfect, something is probably wrong with it. Otherwise, who would take the other side?

A perfect trade according to your rules and setup. Also, the institution taking the other side is not always trying to scalp, there are many reasons to take a trade, hedging, etc.

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  #33 (permalink)
 Airsoftor 
Ladysmith BC, Canada
 
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redneck4Christ View Post
My thoughts are similar. The word, "compulsiveness" came to mind to describe my malady but "impulsive" seems to cover it pretty well. As much as I hate to admit it, "lack of discipline" is the main malady that I need to own and work on.

I have had days where I went past my draw-down limit and clawed my way back to profitability. On other days, in a similar situation, I have dug a deeper hole.

On the other hand, if I am up, my mind's eye sees that as a cushion to assume more risk and I end up giving it all back.

I have a plan but then I see something too good not to jump on and/or a new idea for an edge comes to mind and a current price move looks like a good time and place to vet it.

I can never figure where to put my Trail Stops

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  #34 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
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BubbityDog View Post
Voted for "Holding my winners" as I tend to get out too early, often against plan.

Sometimes scratching a trade saves my butt, but that only builds bad habits... I've actually gone through and done the math against take profit price targets and can find entire groups of trades where a loss would have been a winner, winners would have been much greater, or losses would have been much less. Yet even knowing the math, mentally it's hard for me to stay in.

Hi BubbityDog. I think this is a universal problem for all traders.

What I do. And this is just me. If I have a target I NEVER bring it closer IF I'm in profit. If you see my journal of charts you'll see that. Ill move it away for MORE points but of course that directly effects probability but again if IN profit I DO NOT move closer to get out early as YOU NEED THOSE WINNERS to offset losers.

Good trading to you. Hope this helps.

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  #35 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
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Daytrader999 View Post
I voted for 'Losers get out of control', because especially in such a volatile market like NQ I tend to move my stops quite a bit more out of the way than I should...but I'm still working on it !

On the other hand, I mostly use fixed targets, and sometimes I leave money on the table...but this is only my 2nd weakness.

Hello Daytrader999.

The BIGGEST improvement I've ever made in my trading was deciding to NEVER AGAIN take outsized losses... EVER!!!

I'm only human and have done it a few times but my goal is still to NEVER do it again... NEVER!

It is an account destroyer and a psychological killer!!

Your wins are only in relation to your losses and vice versa so your winners have to be LARGER or more frequent than your losses.

Of course its ALL easier said then done.

Good luck Daytrader999!

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  #36 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
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Sandpaddict View Post
Hello Daytrader999.

The BIGGEST improvement I've ever made in my trading was deciding to NEVER AGAIN take outsized losses... EVER!!!

I'm only human and have done it a few times but my goal is still to NEVER do it again... NEVER!

It is an account destroyer and a psychological killer!!

Your wins are only in relation to your losses and vice versa so your winners have to be LARGER or more frequent than your losses.

Of course its ALL easier said then done.

Good luck Daytrader999!

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Thanks, I can't agree more ! Since I (nearly) came over this big issue, my trading AND my account pnl significantly approved...

And when I go through my stats, I'm almost always way better off by going all-in and all-out and taking profit on my pre-defined targets.

Of course I know that you can make more / big money by catching runners, but in my case I'm much more consistent AND profitable by taking my 'bread & butter' trades and take my share when the market presents it to me...but of course this depends on every trader's personal style and psychology.

Good trading to you as well !

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
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  #37 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
Langley
 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Thanks, I can't agree more ! Since I (nearly) came over this big issue, my trading AND my account pnl significantly approved...

And when I go through my stats, I'm almost always way better off by going all-in and all-out and taking profit on my pre-defined targets.

Of course I know that you can make more / big money by catching runners, but in my case I'm much more consistent AND profitable by taking my 'bread & butter' trades and take my share when the market presents it to me...but of course this depends on every trader's personal style and psychology.

Good trading to you as well !

Yeup totally agree.

This is the ONLY style I've ever been profitable at. If you look at my journal you'll see the same.

Today was an absolute perfect example of that. Im not sure how many trades I took... more than a dozen but if you look they are all either at profit taking at small defined areas or I managed my losses, including I believe, TWO FULL STOPS.

But I TOOK THOSE FULL STOPS WITHOUT QUESTION!!!

I ended the day with profit of 9.4 points after comm and slippage so pretty happy with the day. But again I fully took all stops!

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  #38 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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Daytrader999 View Post
I voted for 'Losers get out of control', because especially in such a volatile market like NQ I tend to move my stops quite a bit more out of the way than I should...but I'm still working on it !

On the other hand, I mostly use fixed targets, and sometimes I leave money on the table...but this is only my 2nd weakness.

Nothing wrong with wider stops as long as you decrease your position size accordingly. I use SharkIndicators Blackbird with NinjaTrader (not a commercial for either). One of the things I like about Blackbird is that I can define the max risk per trade (currently 1% of the account balance), set my stop location and profit targets, if any, prior to executing the trade, and have Blackbird automatically adjust my position size. It will also show me my risk and profit potential for each trade. Lately the market has required larger stops, so I can set them far away, even allowing enough room far a scale in, and let the software do the math.

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  #39 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
Langley
 
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Bionan View Post
Nothing wrong with wider stops as long as you decrease your position size accordingly. I use SharkIndicators Blackbird with NinjaTrader (not a commercial for either). One of the things I like about Blackbird is that I can define the max risk per trade (currently 1% of the account balance), set my stop location and profit targets, if any, prior to executing the trade, and have Blackbird automatically adjust my position size. It will also show me my risk and profit potential for each trade. Lately the market has required larger stops, so I can set them far away, even allowing enough room far a scale in, and let the software do the math.

I've never heard of that feature that does that right on your platform. That's pretty sweet actually. I trade so frequently I have to set less often than I'd like, like daily. Be really nice even to see what the numbers say per trade as account grows and shrinks. Hopefully grows

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  #40 (permalink)
 Daytrader999 
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
Experience: Advanced
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Bionan View Post
Nothing wrong with wider stops as long as you decrease your position size accordingly. I use SharkIndicators Blackbird with NinjaTrader (not a commercial for either). One of the things I like about Blackbird is that I can define the max risk per trade (currently 1% of the account balance), set my stop location and profit targets, if any, prior to executing the trade, and have Blackbird automatically adjust my position size. It will also show me my risk and profit potential for each trade. Lately the market has required larger stops, so I can set them far away, even allowing enough room far a scale in, and let the software do the math.

Thanks, I know that you can manage your risk properly with Blackbird.

What I was talking about is moving your stop AFTER you got in the trade AND then moving it too far out of the way. So as a result, your risk and money management parameter don't match your position size (and account size) anymore...

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
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  #41 (permalink)
 PK2020 
Phoenix AZ USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Hi Folks,

Trying to choose my biggest weakness was difficult because I have so many. I selected losing control of losers, I think.
Lately, however, I have been doing better on that score. Basically, I run a few different ATM strategies and when one gets hit and I am in the trade,
I will watch carefully and close my stop in relation to what I feel the price action is doing. I do have the fear of losing money (managing trading account) so I will manually tighten the stop if the trade looks to be losing momentum. The balance I try to achieve is not tighten to quickly/too much that you get stopped out on a down/up spike. If the trade is going in my direction, and getting close to my target, I will move the target away somewhat. However, I get the stop ready to close me out if it takes a dive. At that point, I usually will be at breakeven or better with the stop.
This works fairly well, but I realize I need better discipline on a more consistent basis.

Just for background, I am still trading in SIM on NinjaTrader. I'm still learning the platform, a bit of a slow process. I will be buying a lifetime license this week as I am committed to doing this. I've done well in the past with equities and options, but this futures area is quite the beast. Frankly, I've attempted various difficult endeavors in my life, but this is, for me, the most challenging. The challenge is such that I feel the
knowledge necessary to be successful is akin to trying to find the bottom of a bottomless pit! I am studying like never before and this brings me to something I want to say: This forum and this thread in particular, is, in a word, OUTSTANDING! The wealth of knowledge here is astounding and, even more than that, is the unselfish attitude of the members to willingly share their VAST store of knowledge and experience. It blows me away. For me, this thread is a Godsend, in that it shows me there are many out there like me who are having doubts and fears about what this Futures trading thing is all about. I do not feel so all alone!!!
Thanks everybody!!



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  #42 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Thanks, I know that you can manage your risk properly with Blackbird.

What I was talking about is moving your stop AFTER you got in the trade AND then moving it too far out of the way. So as a result, your risk and money management parameter don't match your position size (and account size) anymore...

I've done that too, mostly before I automated my risk management. My problem now is not moving stops. It's misreading price action on the 5 Minute ES bars and jumping out too early. I have PT's at 1 ATR and 2 ATR, and I have trouble staying with the trade that long, especially in sideways markets. I tend to think in ticks, so I still tend to exit after 4 to 8 ticks. Not enough to profit properly after the occasional stop out.

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soumen
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PK2020 View Post
Hi Folks,

Trying to choose my biggest weakness was difficult because I have so many. I selected losing control of losers, I think.
Lately, however, I have been doing better on that score. Basically, I run a few different ATM strategies and when one gets hit and I am in the trade,
I will watch carefully and close my stop in relation to what I feel the price action is doing. I do have the fear of losing money (managing trading account) so I will manually tighten the stop if the trade looks to be losing momentum. The balance I try to achieve is not tighten to quickly/too much that you get stopped out on a down/up spike. If the trade is going in my direction, and getting close to my target, I will move the target away somewhat. However, I get the stop ready to close me out if it takes a dive. At that point, I usually will be at breakeven or better with the stop.
This works fairly well, but I realize I need better discipline on a more consistent basis.

Just for background, I am still trading in SIM on NinjaTrader. I'm still learning the platform, a bit of a slow process. I will be buying a lifetime license this week as I am committed to doing this. I've done well in the past with equities and options, but this futures area is quite the beast. Frankly, I've attempted various difficult endeavors in my life, but this is, for me, the most challenging. The challenge is such that I feel the
knowledge necessary to be successful is akin to trying to find the bottom of a bottomless pit! I am studying like never before and this brings me to something I want to say: This forum and this thread in particular, is, in a word, OUTSTANDING! The wealth of knowledge here is astounding and, even more than that, is the unselfish attitude of the members to willingly share their VAST store of knowledge and experience. It blows me away. For me, this thread is a Godsend, in that it shows me there are many out there like me who are having doubts and fears about what this Futures trading thing is all about. I do not feel so all alone!!!
Thanks everybody!!



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You should also consider ETFs to trade. They are now available for every instrument.

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  #44 (permalink)
 Bionan 
Palm Harbor, Florida/USA
 
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Sandpaddict View Post
I've never heard of that feature that does that right on your platform. That's pretty sweet actually. I trade so frequently I have to set less often than I'd like, like daily. Be really nice even to see what the numbers say per trade as account grows and shrinks. Hopefully grows

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Actually it is nice. Blackbird has a "Plan Long" nand Plan Short" feature. When you select it, Blackbird places the PT and SL lines on the chart based on your current trade management strategy. You can adjust these settings and see the P&L and R:R prior to taking the trsde. You can also have the targets move with th e price. It only takes seconds to do. Then when you press the execute button they lock I to place. Of course, you can still adjust the any time after taking the trade, which, if I recall properly, can be an issue for a NinjaTrader ATM.

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  #45 (permalink)
 Sandpaddict 
Langley
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Bionan View Post
Actually it is nice. Blackbird has a "Plan Long" nand Plan Short" feature. When you select it, Blackbird places the PT and SL lines on the chart based on your current trade management strategy. You can adjust these settings and see the P&L and R:R prior to taking the trsde. You can also have the targets move with th e price. It only takes seconds to do. Then when you press the execute button they lock I to place. Of course, you can still adjust the any time after taking the trade, which, if I recall properly, can be an issue for a NinjaTrader ATM.

Nice. I'm not a Ninja guy but I just want that. Lol. I seen FT71 use some software that told you your MFE, MAE, time in trade ect... all realtime. It was awesome. Combine all this... Wow.

Thank you



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  #46 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
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I could have said "Yes" to most of these, but "Losers get out of control" wins hands-down.

Taking that loss when it's small is really, really hard. It doesn't help that many times a stop will be hit and then price will just turn around and keep going the way I expected, but without me. The fact that this can and does happen can overwhelm my judgment when it doesn't do that, and I end up with a loss that gets too big. This will usually be after a few "early" stop-outs that convince me I should let the trade have "more room."

I think that taking that big loss, when it comes, outweighs all the times when the stop got me out too soon.

Also, it scrambles my brain, which leads to more lapses of judgment and more losses.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #47 (permalink)
 redneck4Christ 
Vancouver, WA
 
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bobwest View Post
I could have said "Yes" to most of these, but "Losers get out of control" wins hands-down.

Taking that loss when it's small is really, really hard. It doesn't help that many times a stop will be hit and then price will just turn around and keep going the way I expected, but without me. The fact that this can and does happen can overwhelm my judgment when it doesn't do that, and I end up with a loss that gets too big. This will usually be after a few "early" stop-outs that convince me I should let the trade have "more room."

I think that taking that big loss, when it comes, outweighs all the times when the stop got me out too soon.

Also, it scrambles my brain, which leads to more lapses of judgment and more losses.

Bob.

You hit the nail on the head for me as well, Bob -- well said! Like moths to a flame...

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 PaperTrader 
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Big Mike View Post
New poll, thanks to @snax:

What is your trading weakness?

Please vote and discuss. I'm limiting the options to just one selection so you must choose your single biggest weakness.



If you have ideas for a new poll, please share them here:



Mike

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 Sandpaddict 
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BubbityDog View Post
Voted for "Holding my winners" as I tend to get out too early, often against plan.

Sometimes scratching a trade saves my butt, but that only builds bad habits... I've actually gone through and done the math against take profit price targets and can find entire groups of trades where a loss would have been a winner, winners would have been much greater, or losses would have been much less. Yet even knowing the math, mentally it's hard for me to stay in.

The two things that lead to me being consistently profitable ON THE SIM (not so much in the live markets yet but im working on it) is never taking a loss greater than what it was when I put the trade on AND if in profit let it go till it hits the PT or I manage my loss. Not that it's easy.



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 Sandpaddict 
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Bionan View Post
Does such a trade exist? As I said earlier, it a setup looks perfect, something is probably wrong with it. Otherwise, who would take the other side?

A trade exists as long as there is a buyer and a seller. Your setup is not everyone's setup.

This is clearly Al brooks talk but I think it's a little out of context as he's talking about probabilities not actual trades. And where he IS talking about actual trades he's saying there's no free lunch so if your going to get high probably they, the other side, gets good R/R. Or vice versa.

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 Sandpaddict 
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bobwest View Post
I could have said "Yes" to most of these, but "Losers get out of control" wins hands-down.

Taking that loss when it's small is really, really hard. It doesn't help that many times a stop will be hit and then price will just turn around and keep going the way I expected, but without me. The fact that this can and does happen can overwhelm my judgment when it doesn't do that, and I end up with a loss that gets too big. This will usually be after a few "early" stop-outs that convince me I should let the trade have "more room."

I think that taking that big loss, when it comes, outweighs all the times when the stop got me out too soon.

Also, it scrambles my brain, which leads to more lapses of judgment and more losses.

Bob.

Totally agree with you on this one too bobwest!

I find OUTSIZED losses are account destroying. They are not only devastating to your account balance they are psychologically devastating! And that can be far worse especially since your MORE likely to do it again!

I have only one ABSOLUTE rule and its at least kept me from losing so much that I can't trade anymore and its NEVER moving my stop away from where I decided before the trade!

Also taking many small losses has another benefit in that it enables you to be able to think more objectively again once you exit each trade.

Good luck trading to all!



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  #52 (permalink)
 Bionan 
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Sandpaddict View Post
A trade exists as long as there is a buyer and a seller. Your setup is not everyone's setup.

This is clearly Al brooks talk but I think it's a little out of context as he's talking about probabilities not actual trades. And where he IS talking about actual trades he's saying there's no free lunch so if your going to get high probably they, the other side, gets good R/R. Or vice versa.

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You are correct on all points, except I think when he looks at probability, he is also considering actual trades. And it does make sense. I said in a previous post that all traders have different objectives, so it is entirely possible that those on both sides of the trade can make money with their obectives and time frames.

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Bionan View Post
You are correct on all points, except I think when he looks at probability, he is also considering actual trades. And it does make sense. I said in a previous post that all traders have different objectives, so it is entirely possible that those on both sides of the trade can make money with their obectives and time frames.

True. And you did point that out. Cheers.

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 mzelixon 
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Emotions guys,
Emotions.


Fear, greed, FOMO, all of that wrapped in one shitty package.

My strategy is simple....... price action, S/R levels, trend following.... a monkey could do it.

My fear of losing money or losing out on a trade.

OR more importantly my ADHD telling me I need to trade on impulse without even thinking about whether the setup is really good or not.

And this is what makes me a losing trader.

I'm working on it however, and I have enough determination to tell myself I will get through all of these psychological hurdles.

And if not I don't know... some people aren't meant to trade?
I'm not stupid.
But the market has eaten many intelligent people alive for the factors I've listed above.

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 Buscador 
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Airsoftor View Post
I can never figure where to put my Trail Stops

Airsoftor, I can relate to your dilemma.
I suffered with that same insecurity until decided to "not place stop trails"

Instead, I chose the closest logical S/R level and placed my target a couple of ticks before it.

The reason for me to use Trail Stops was to "maximize" the profit in that run but, in deed, that only happened in a minority of cases. Most of the time my trade was taken out at the trailing stop, whether it was large or small after long painful waiting periods. Much aggravation was the certain outcome of that strategy; profit? not so much.

I also studied that had I targeted and earlier S/R level I would be about financially equal to be taken out with the pull back on the trailing stop and I would have avoided all the uncertainty and aggravation of being waiting on a trade that did not happened my way. So, I decided to get my "bird in hand" instead, and let the rest of the flock fly away by targeting closest S/R levels.

Best decision I ever made.

Yes, I make more trades than I would have made otherwise but my blood pressure is pretty much low level all the time. And, I finish the day green.

I share this just as food for thought. After all, this is what this venue is all about.

Buscador

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Average Joe
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I made them all. Still struggling.

However, one of my trading buddies whom is doing well, how to talk him into taking on bigger leverage?

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 yogary 
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Different days and different answers and wish consistent problems..... would be simpler to seek solutions. One only.... emotions have too much power in trading futures.
Using various option chances, impatient for results to have a chance.
gary

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 moorookaman 
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For me it's over trading, I trade a PATs strategy and my goal is to try and wait for the one or two strongest set ups each day. However, in practice once I start watching the market rather than waiting for these set ups I tend to start micro analyzing the price action and forcing my trades onto the market rather than waiting for it to come to me.

I keep telling myself I need to be the hunter and not the prey - putting that to the test over the next two weeks with a Leeloo express evaluation.

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 Bionan 
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moorookaman View Post
For me it's over trading, I trade a PATs strategy and my goal is to try and wait for the one or two strongest set ups each day. However, in practice once I start watching the market rather than waiting for these set ups I tend to start micro analyzing the price action and forcing my trades onto the market rather than waiting for it to come to me.

I keep telling myself I need to be the hunter and not the prey - putting that to the test over the next two weeks with a Leeloo express evaluation.

I can't say I don't do that as well, but it's gotten a lot better once I started automating my setups. I still enter many of them manually, but the automation often chooses the setups.

Also, I have begun trading the Breakout of the 30 min opening range of the ES. That first trade is always automated, and it gives me more time to analyyze market conditions as to whether I want to trade long, short, or sideways the rest of the day.

Good luck.

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  #60 (permalink)
 lkomnick 
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I hold loser's too long. I can make many thousands, in a week, and give it back due to my bias. Been working on this for three years.

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 JoeDee 
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Bionan View Post
It's a fallacy that trading is a zero sum game.

I realize that this is getting away from the thread's question but it's important to understand that this is an uphill struggle with more prevailing forces (overheads) than just market dynamics and Buyers vs. Sellers.

Yes, it is a fallacy. But it's actually worse. It's a negative sum game when all the overheads are taken into account. Without that negative attribute, Exchanges, FCMs, IB's, software developers etc. etc. could not exist - but at least it would then be a zero sum game.


Bionan View Post
You could be buying for a 240 minute swing from a trader who just profited from a 5 minute short scalp. You can both make money. The trader on the other side may have a wide stop with multiple scale-ins, so even if he shorted at the wrong time, his trade could still be profitable.

You're describing one, non-zero sum 'trade' between one Buyer and one Seller and confusing it with zero sum 'game'.

While your example occurs many times every day, so too does.......

You could be LOSING on a 240 minute swing from a trader who just LOST from a 5 minute short scalp. You can both LOSE money. The trader on the other side may have TIGHT stops with multiple scale-ins, so even if he shorted at the RIGHT time, his trade could still be UN-profitable.

Those are a wash which means that it IS a zero sum game if not for the overheads.

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