Monday, December 5, 2011

Back trading live and it's a scratch day

P&L shows loss on the 5min bar after I had already exited the position.
Monday, December 5
Total gross profits:  $0.00
Total trades:  4  [2 scratch]
Accuracy:  50.0%
Contracts per trade: 1

NOTES:  First day trading live since last month, and the gross P&L of $0 pretty much explains how most of my trading day went today.  Only 4 trades today, which is also unusual.

However, there were definitely some moments of action that moved the markets. A planned ISM news release at 10:00 AM moved things a tad, but it then chopped sideways in a 7.50 point range for several hours.   There was also unexpected news around 14:00 regarding the pending downgrades of 6 countries by S&P, which really woke the market up.

But for whatever reasons, I was not able to capitalize on the volatility. The chatroom was also pretty much close around break even or up a small amount today...that is, up until Renato made a final call to short that triggered around 15:00, made at least +7 to +9 ES points.  Since I'm only trading one contract and can't scale out, I had at least +1.50, got stopped out at breakeven, and then saw the market really tank.  Can't get 'em all!

Execution Review:

  • Of the 4 trades I took, the setup selection quality was good to excellent, and the trade management execution (moving stop orders) went well.  I'm satisfied with the results of the trades taken.
  • Even though there were a couple instances where I was stopped out at breakeven even after the trade was +1.50 to +1.75 profitable, I followed my rules.  I feel absolutely no remorse or disappointment that I did not close out with a profit vs. breakeven, because over time, learning to hold on through the shake outs will be more profitable (for example, when I start trading multiple contracts to scale out).
  • There were a few other good setups that I missed, but missing trades will be relatively normal and acceptable. What's absolutely critical is that I don't offset my missed trades by taking low quality setups.
  • Speaking of which, I did NOT overtrade, which was a BIG WIN today, especially since choppy periods have historically lured me in and chopped me up.
  • During the morning and through the lunch hour, I was bitching and complaining how everything was choppy, range is too narrow, how most setups were not "clean", etc. My plan is to wait for the close of the 30min bar to help determine the next course of action, and that was vital in keeping me out of overtrading trouble. One way I helped accomplish this was to leave the computer and return by the close of the 30min bar.
Today was a day when there weren't many "no-brainer" setups.  But for the first day back live, I'm glad that this type of day took place.  I'd rather have as many days with adverse market conditions to experience while I'm learning on SIM or trading small, so that I'll be better prepared in the future.


Matt said...

Sounds like today was a complete success. You waited for the right trades and took them, you may have gotten stopped out but you had the plan and you executed it. Break even, and losing days are part of trading and will happen no matter how good the plan is, the important thing is you didn't force the trades in your down time. Good Job!

Grove Under said...

Hi Matt,
Looking back on yesterday, it turned out to be one of those days where I still feel pretty good about my discipline. Especially given the difficult (as least to me) trading conditions.

Now I just need to bottle this up and keep up this same mindset over the long term. That'll be the big challenge I will overcome.

Thanks for the comment and support, much appreciated!

Tomross58 said...

Hey Grove,,

I think you had a very successful day. You didnt over trade or revenge trade and your P&L is intact. Give back markets money,,,,ok,,,,, we can live with that. And as you say the discipline you showed will serve you well when you add another contract. I am hearing a different Grove here, one more disciplined and patient. Great job, I hope I can do as well when I go live.


Grove Under said...

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the feedback. With the trading rules in place, I've been really excluding a lot of trades, both those that work and those that don't, and it's good that I can totally live with the outcome. The plan has really helped out, so it's a good sign that it matches with my way of thinking.

Great to see you're doing well on SIM, and that's going to really translate well when you go live! Thanks again.