I survived nearly 2 weeks of back to back family visitors, then being a single parent of my very young children for 5 days while my wife was out of town. And as luck would have it, shortly after she left, we all became sick to various degrees. All I can say is that it's over and that it was a "character building experience."
Repeating the Same Mistakes, Again and Again...
past couple weeks, I did manage to find a few hours here and there to
watch the markets and to trade. But this is when I realized that things
have really gone astray. I was repeating some of the same patterns
over and over again, until finally, I tried to really change things up and went to TNA/TZA once again, and overtraded even more than usual (if that's even possible for me to say) again.
Unlike most of the other times I was able to trade TNA/TZA to recover from a loss,
this time I ended up with a relatively bad loss in very short
time. In many ways, I was using trading/overtrading as an outlet
for my frustrations in life, and my limited time to trade was also an
incentive to try and force a killer trade before time ran out.
Absolutely the wrong frame of mind for trading and absolutely the
wrong way to trade. Yes, this time I really changed things up, but for
the worse. Addictive, vindictive, and gambling behavior at its finest. Sickening.
Chasing Success and Finding My Niche
As I began to try and understand what's going on in the middle of all this turmoil, I listened to an interview Trader-X gave to traderinterviews.com back in May of 2007. One of the points he spoke about was "Chasing Success", which was also a classic post he wrote in September and again in November
of 2006. The message is essentially to focus on a single method, stick
with it, and don't expand on it until you get good at it. And oh yeah,
I also read Dr. Brett's book on Enhancing Trader Performance, and a
key point he made was that we all need to find our niche in trading. If
you're naturally inclined to be a swing trader using a mechanical
system, it's likely that you're not going to do well as a scalp trader
reading the tape no matter how hard you try and stick with it. And
vice versa. A trader has to find the method that works best for their
personality and strengths. In some cases, it takes years of "Chasing
Success" before someone finds their niche. But sadly, most will lose
all their money before they find their niche.
In Need of More Change
I refuse to become another losing trader
that quits. I know passion and hard
work alone won't get me there. I know I have the technical knowledge to
be successful. I know what needs to be done to be successful. But I
need more structure and discipline. I need someone to help guide me. I need an even bigger change with what I've been doing, because it isn't working.
I realized that I needed some sort of mentor or maybe join some sort
of chat room that would help me to focus. I would loved to have joined the great training program at SMB Capital, but I just can't commit the time at this stage in life, perhaps another time. I was very close to signing
up with one of several chatrooms that focus on stocks, but the only
problem was, they focus on stocks. My rationale was, perhaps it would
be too easy for me to get back to my old ways if I continued to trade
stocks. I've been traumatized by stocks, so I needed to get away for a while and focus on a
single or very limited number of non-stock securities.
Last month, I made a 10% return on my small forex trading portfolio,
so I thought about sticking with that asset class. My methods there
seem to work well, so why not stay with it and size up? But I felt
that's not the area I needed or wanted help.
I also know some traders do quite well focusing on just the SPY or ES
minis and make 7 figures a year. But SPY's are executed just like
stocks, and that isn't a good idea since I needed to prevent the
temptation to trade some other stock while waiting for a setup.
However, I was open to studying the e-mini after watching several folks
on Twitter do well week after week trading only that security.
Discovered Through Serendipity
As I was surfing through Twitter, I randomly
came across @RenaTrader mentioned as a must follow by someone who is
generally quite blunt about what he thinks of others. I had never heard
of @RenaTrader, but since he was included with must follows of other people I
respected, this carried weight. The key point made was that
@RenaTrader was one of the most transparent on the stream with his ES
trades, and that he is one of the few that made their subscribers
So I went to Renato's website, http://www.diamondsetups.com as well as his blog, http://www.renatrader.com
looked around, liked what I saw and signed up. I really liked his
story as a prior diamond dealer, entrepreneur, and how open he was about
his experience chasing success for several years -- losing considerable
money (6+ figures) before he found his winning ways. I also liked his
track record of being consistently profitable (indication of discipline)
over the past year with a high winning percentage rate. He also makes
it quite clear that he DOES have losing trades, which is something most
other services don't seem to make as explicit.
Renato primarily covers the ES, USDCAD, EURUSD, and CL, so that was
another match on my search criteria -- he didn't trade individual
stocks. The cost is a one time $345 to learn his entire system and to
join his chatroom,
which seemed a little inexpensive to me (also mentioned by many others
in his testimonials). He also appeared to be a positive person (without
being over the top bubbly) with patience -- good signs of a teacher, and has several thousand followers on Twitter.
So with my recent trading challenges and what I was seeking, why not try
Going Well So Far
I joined Wednesday mid-day last week,
began studying his setups and rules, and got the feel for his chatroom.
The voice that you read on his blog, website, and Twitter is
essentially what you get in his chatroom. No bait and switch there, so
that's another big thumbs up.
I then spent a full day Thursday and Friday in the chatroom and made
some trades on my sim account based on his calls. It will likely take a
few more weeks of intense studying to really get the hang of it. But
so far, I have nothing but really good vibes from both Renato and the
With regards to the learning curve, I believe I have a big advantage
-- Renato's method of using Fib levels is similar to a method I
used to trade Swiss Franc and Deutsche Mark futures back in
the '90. So it's something I have always believed in. But my method never evolved to a point where it turned into a sound trading
system. If it was successful way back then, I probably wouldn't be writing this blog today!
However, Renato's methodology is much more explicit with regards to
rules around risk management and trade management -- that is key. Just
because you know a certain level is significant doesn't mean you can
make consistent money. You need a tactic around it, and this is where
Rena's system helps significantly.
Oh, and my performance on Thursday and Friday on the sim account?
Trading 2 contracts, scaling out half after 1.5 pts, I made about 12 pts
each day. Even including some mistakes as well as missing some good
trades, I was about 60-70% accurate. And I left a LOT of money on the
Those were somewhat extraordinary days with regards to volatility, so
I'm not counting my chickens yet. Two days is nothing, so we'll see in
two weeks or two months how everything is progressing. It's still very
early in my journey and I have a lot of studying to do.
I'm feeling much more positive as my New Beginning starts and in some
ways, I feel as if I've returned to my roots and my niche with Renato's
system. I'm not abandoning stocks -- I'll continue to track
setups, but I'm taking a break from trading them. So my focus over the next month will be to learn as much as I can from Renato, see whether his system fits my personality, and then evaluate whether I can finally stop "Chasing Success."
More updates soon as I settle back to a "normal" trading life.