Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is it SIM or is it LIVE?

One quick moral to the story I have to share, without even telling a story first is -- you should avoid operating heavy machinery (and especially trading) when under the weather or if your mind is scrambled and not feeling so clear.  OK.  Then add the FOMC announcement dimension to the mix, creating a FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) loaded trading environment, and that makes for a dangerous combination. 

Therefore, I said to myself early that it's a good day to take it easy and be very cautious -- just sit back and watch unless a really great opportunity comes up (i.e. Renato gives an alert). 

Do I always listen to myself?  No, I'm still working on that, so moving on...

The other important item of discussion is that you should always be aware of how to log into your SIM account vs your LIVE account.  Tonight, when I went to download my trades to update my Tradervue trading journal (which by the way, now supports OpenECry), I realized that I was logged into my live account the entire day.  Oh.

I didn't even notice it during the day...Not even once...After 7 hours of starting at my screens...And even after executing a over half a dozen trades.  Did I already say how you should avoid trading when...

I still remember complaining to everyone about my first trade, which went up as high as +1.75 (not quite reaching my +2.00 target order), that it doesn't really count because I got a SIM fantasy fill.  My order was to buy was at 1235.00 limit and the price never broke below that bid (ensuring a fill on a limit order).  So I assumed this was yet another SIM ploy to make me feel good so that I finally start trading live and begin paying real commissions.

I knew I would feel a bit "dirty" telling other I booked profits on a fill that would not have been very likely, so I ended up raised my stop to b/e and let it get stopped out -- made my conscious feel better, at least at that time.  I also noticed some other limit orders taking a bit longer to fill and thought "Wow, they must have changed the SIM parameters to make it seem more real!"  Well, it sure wasn't "they" that did it.

Now the question I need to consider since the seal has been broken I just move forward with trading it GAME ON!?!  And if so, why couldn't I have started yesterday when I had a nice solid day?  I'm going to sleep on it and decide tomorrow, with hopefully a clear mind.

Wednesday, November 2
Total gross profits:  -$25.00
Total trades:  7
Accuracy:  40% (excludes 2 scratchs)
Contracts per trade: 2

NOTES:  FOMC days generally tend to raise a trader's FUD in anticipation of the news.  So I was being extra cautious and had 1 trade before lunch (as described above).  In the final 30 minutes, well past the FOMC hype, I had 4 trades (out of 7 total).  There were some great +2.00 scalp opportunities in addition to Rena's calls (I think he had 3 or 4 calls today, all positive assuming aggressive entry criteria) that I missed fills or botched during the morning and early afternoon due to being overly cautious.

So instead of being up +6 to +8 points by the afternoon, I was essentially flat.  In hindsight, I felt the pressure to press some trades in the late afternoon to "make up" lost ground, and was very fortunate that this incident didn't blow up and result in much damage.  The cumulative P&L curve in the afternoon speaks for itself.

Well, that's enough drama for a day that should have been quite uneventful!


Attitude Trader said...

LOL! Sorry that it ended in a loss, but glad it was small. I'm very careful about that myself. My platform has different sim and live colors for the backgrounds of all the windows so it's really obvious whether I'm on sim or not.

But it would be easy for me to do the same thing. It's kind of like when I go out for my walk in the afternoon. It seems like it's always after I get out the door that I'm checking to see if I have my pants/shorts on...

Grove Under said...

Hi Attitude:
Ha ha! I totally understand what you mean.

Great idea on having a different color background color! Although I don't think TradeStation can do that, unfortunately.

But there's a bright green highlighted box that shows up pretty clearly when you're on the live account, so it just goes to show you how out of it I was yesterday.

Tomross58 said...

Hey Grove,,

Interesting day to say the least,,,Thanks for the offer to help out when I get up and running. I followed as much as I could without live charts but was able to get a day in watching the chat. Of course I am lost and am re-reading the set-ups again but I got my feet wet. I saw that Rena said this may be the toughest trading day he has seen in almost 4 months. I will definately go on sim for a while and compile some numbers for myself and try and take it one trade at a time. Lots to see and learn and thanks for your help. Talk soon


Grove Under said...

Hi Tom:
Yes, you sure did pick one doozy of a day to start in the room, that's for sure. What will help a lot is when you get your charts setup properly, it'll be much easier to follow along!