But there was a trade on the DS alert late morning that stopped out, and for whatever reason, that knocked me out of the rhythm. The DS is expected to have at least 2 losses for every 10 trades, so having a loss isn't unexpected. But this was one of those trades where *I* did not set the original stop properly thinking it wouldn't get all the way down there, so I was scrambling around trying to adjust it as it started to go against me.
After the loss, a small shift in my mindset was triggered. The next few trades were not necessarily hit 'em out of the park revenge attempts, but the voice in my mind to make up the loss quickly was getting louder. "You gotta go back in there and and get it back!" This began to corrupt my discipline, made me anticipate entries, and I started to see setups that were not really there.
A slow and gradual meltdown
Every trade I entered started to go against me almost immediately, and instead of taking this as a warning sign to regroup, I began to start looking for even more trades -- I had to get back into a trade.
I ended up taking some breaks to cool down, but once again, all I could think was -- I needed to get back on board a trade. The wheels started to wobble, and they finally fell off. This ended up being one of my worst days.
The worst part
Sure, I feel embarrassed by my performance. And sure, I feel like I'm walking around with my tail between my legs.
But here's the worst part -- many people cared enough to take the time to send me great actionable advice and suggestions that would have prevented a day such as today, and I did not act. I feel as though I let those people down and ignored them. Far from it, I am a person who listens to what others say, takes them to heart, and acts on them -- which explains why I feel this way.
Saving grace? This game is far from over, and there is still time to implement the great suggestions. You can count on that.
As of tomorrow, my live account will be under full lockdown. It's back to SIM, 100% for all trades. My live account has suffered another direct hit, but I am far from being out of the game. My decision to allocate $10k/contract has kept me well in the game. In the past 7 months since I've started trading full time, I've experienced this a situation a few times, and knowing when to call a TIME OUT is critical.
I'll need to work on the criteria to remove the lockdown, but it will have some element of how close are my actual executions vs. the signals from the system.
Monday, November 7
Total gross profits: -x,xxx,xx [Too embarrassed to disclose, but I WILL eventually]
Total trades: 29
Accuracy: 27.6% [Wow, very obvious how rogue trades were involved]
Contracts per trade: 2
NOTES: Another gap up day, but one that filled the gap and continued lower to test the PP pivot, then an extended 1-2-3 / consolidation reversal pattern formed to go higher. As the bottom was forming, the Berlusconi news popped the market higher, and then steadily crept up to close at the highs of the day. In hindsight, it wasn't that different of a day, but my approach after a solid morning session ended up being a huge FAIL.
So it didn't work this first go around with the $ES_F, but what did I learn?
- Know your tilt triggers -- An oldie but goodie. After the first loss (or first few losses) of the day, my first reaction is to go back in and try to get it back quickly. This results in revenge trading and overtrading. And getting in one rogue trade makes taking the next rogue trade that much easier. It is critical that I wait for a good setup for the first trade.
- Pulling the trigger -- I have no problems pulling the trigger after a loss. In fact, I have a problem pulling the trigger too often after a loss. I'll need to find ways to minimize this.
- SIM vs. live -- I knew to expect differences, and yes there were, especially with the fills. But what I didn't anticipate was my psychological reaction to the differences. When I see trades that hits my +2.00 ES target but don't fill, there have been many instances where I let them go to a full stop loss. And worse of all, I did not prepare properly to determine how I would handle those situations. This happened a lot more often than expected, and was a trigger in some cases for non-plan trades.
- Weekly goals - I need a very
solid and crisp plan on what my strategy and goals will be every week. I
have mixed too many apples and oranges together with regards to my trading plan. When given a specific task, I deliver, so it's time start doing this again.
- HUGE opportunities - The more time I spend time in the
DS chatroom and study the system, the more it becomes clear that DS and
the variations to better suit your personality can really
provide some really huge opportunities. And as you grow, the ES market is very
liquid, so the fills will not usually be an issue for the retail
trader. Therefore, the more I see this system in action, the more I realize the
enormous potential. That's what keeps me going.