Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great video by Mike Bellafiore regarding how you bridge the gap between knowing a setup, but then executing the trade properly.  After the fact and when the markets are closed, it's always easy to play armchair trader and see exactly where you should have entered, placed your stops, exited, etc.  But at the heat of the moment, it's easy to lose sight of the "obvious" tells of a setup. 

Here's a comment I left:
The point you make of the gap between domain knowledge (understanding a setup or pattern) vs. executing it profitably is something I am very familiar with (I'm about 4 months into fulltime daytrading).

It's a terrible feeling when you know what's going to happen, but you still get suboptimal results on your execution. Or worse, losing money on a trade that ends up doing just what you had expected. Ugh.

Thanks for the great tips on how to close the gap. So far, I've found keeping a journal very effective. One metric I track is the "opportunity costs" (what I could have made/avoidance of a loss) of a trade I executed less than optimal or should not have even taken.

It can be quite surprising/shocking to see, but a great way to learn and to keep motivated (I can see the potential of what could have been). A good day for me is if my opportunity costs are minimal or non-existent, since that means I followed my strategy well. I still have a lot of work to do, but I love the challenge.
I have to keep in mind that even with a lot of experience and understanding I have with technical analysis of the markets, daytrading is highly execution dependent and you have to think fast.  This takes time to learn, but at least I'm building a good foundation of tools and techniques to improve myself. 

Trading can be extremely frustrating and demoralizing, especially on days when things don't go well.  But I can honestly say that I'm enjoying the journey and look forward to the challenge ahead!

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