Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recap: $SODA and $TNA - A tale of two strategies

Being a trader can mean a lot of different things.  Every day trader has a different style, and as an example, what's considered overtrading for one could be standard operating procedures for another.  There is no right or wrong, and as I have read countless times, it's important to find the style that works best for you.

Dr. Brett has written that many beginning traders generally have the process of discovering your trading style backwards.  In the educational process for doctors, a student will go through intensive rounds of training in a wide variety of subject areas, which then help them decide which area of specialization is best for their interests and strengths.

But on the other hand, beginning traders will generally jump into one or a few different trading style, and then try their best to make it work in a not so strategic manner.  Therefore, swing traders may never try learning how to scalp (too drastic of a change), and vice versa.  This leaves open a good possibility that you may never have had the opportunity to find the trading style that best fits your personality.

I'm still finding my way, so here are two of the day trading strategies I used which were quite diametrically opposed in nature:
  • A "typical" day trade -  Used a setup that's a part of my standard plan, but I really kept the stops wide and didn't set any profit targets.  See SODA.
  • Scalping -- Went down to a 1 min alongside a 5 min chart, as well as the $TICK index.  Also used TradeStations matrix, which is similar to a Level 2 screen.  See TNA.
Both provided very good learning experiences and I'll continue to analyze these trades over the coming days.

    SODA - Sold under 15th 5min bar.  This was a variation of the pullback to the retracement zone trade.  Exited and then resold higher at top of the 14:00 bar.  Fortunate to catch a stock that trended strong with little pain, and so I caught a big chunk of the ride.

     TNA - 103 round trip trades (206 total trades)
    As mentioned earlier, I actually made a conscious decision to scalp this, and I used 100 shares to try and minimize damage.  I still lost several hundred dollars (small losses and commissions really add up, and it was a good commission day for TradeStation!), but it was a very good learning exercise that will provide a lot of insight for the future.  In some ways, I had to get it out of my system -- I had to touch the fire and see if I got burned.  But more importantly, I had to try to see if it is something that clicked with my personality...

    No comments: