An imaginary post-game interview with trader Grove Under...
Interviewer: Grove, what happened today?
Grove Under: I got crushed.
Interviewer: Oh, I see. What would you say was the primary cause of getting crushed?
GU: I had a bad day.
Interviewer: Okay...any other specifics you can give to explain what happened?
After unintentionally trading my live account yesterday, I decided to intentionally start
trading my live account today. So I guess I was a little too "amped."
Interviewer: Amped? Well, any other particular insights you can offer? Such as from your typical list of "excuses"?
Well, I actually felt good today mentally and physically and truly
believed that I could get through this day with a solid performance,
even after a tough start with a full stop loss. And I'm still feeling
generally positive, even with the mediocre outcome.
But since you asked about my excuses, I spent much of the morning pretty
amped and trying to force trades, just so I can see how the fills are
with the live vs. SIM account. I also had some nervous energy from
finally starting to play the real game.
And having a big loss on the first trade of the is also a weakness for me -- it usually triggers revenge type behavior. All those factors cascaded into a mini-death spiral resulting in 33 trades, many that were not part of the system. Yes, rogue trades.
Interviewer: Oh, it sounds like you sure did go overboard. How did Renato's DS system and the trading room do?
The DS system had the first full stop loss in something like 16 or so
trades. Even Renato and others in the room said this was a tough market
to trade today. If you don't recognize a trend day early enough, you pay dearly in more ways than just money.
But Renato had less than a handful of calls that ended
up being being slightly positive by the end of the day, even after the full stop loss. He did a great
job navigating the calls. Many others in the room had a small loss to
Interviewer: And how did you specifically do?
GU: Oh, I ended up, ummm.... [unintelligible]
Interviewer: Excuse me, Grove, are you still there?
GU: Yes, I'm here.
Interviewer: What was your performance today?
GU: Uh...I was down -$950 gross. Real money. On the bright side, it was less than 10 points per contract [sarcasm]. And with 33 trades on 2 contracts, let's just say my broker is happy with their commissions.
OUCH!! Didn't you just have a big "solid day" on your fantasy SIM account to
start off November? And after yesterday's botch-up, weren't you going
to "step up your game" during GAME TIME today?!?!
GU: Easy...don't rub it in.
let's put it another way. How are you going recover from this
devastating setback on both your trading account as well as from all the pain from deep within the depths of your
GU: Huh? In the big scheme of things, this wasn't a
disaster. We're talking about a 6% loss on the portfolio, which is
nothing to sneeze at, but it's far from blowing up the account. I've
definitely had worse days.
Now it's a matter of getting down to the
basics and waiting for the markets to come to me, for the setups that I know work over time. It's as simple as that.
One point that helps me to move on
is recalling how Michael Jordan would usually recover and have a strong
game after a mediocre one. I truly believe it's the ability to recover
from setbacks, such as this, that will help define how well I will
succeed in the future.
Interviewer: Any other final thoughts?
Mistakes made, lessons learned. This isn't the first bad day, and it
won't be the last. And now that I got all this "what will the fills
from trading the live account be like" out of my system, it's another
thing out of the way.
And yes, it's time once again for me to "step up
my game." Let's do it!
* * * **
Thursday, November 3
Total gross profits: -$950.00
Total trades: 33
Accuracy: 48.3% (excludes 4 scratch)
Contracts per trade: 2
NOTES: A tough, choppy, slowly creeping trend day that ended up being a chopfest for yours truly on the first day of intentionally trading the live account. The ES opened gap up, went down to fill the gap, and gradually stepped higher throughout the day.
In order to gain the sense of fills, there were many pressed trades that should not have been made, as well as many trades where I manually exited at breakeven or at a loss, when they eventually made their +2.00 targets had I just let them go. If I had selected a profit target of 1.50, it would also have changed the outcome significantly in a positive direction. And during the final hour, it's clearly evident on the P&L how I tried to force my way out of with less than favorable trade executions.