Sunday, December 18, 2011

The jack broke while changing the tire, but I ended up OK

Friday, December 16

Total gross profits:  -($37.50)  -0.75 ES points
Total trades:  22  [2 scratch]
Accuracy:  50.0%
Execution score:  TBD
Opportunity cost: $ TBD

As I was putting the "tire" back on the car today from my ugly day yesterday (Thursday, 12/15), I thought I was making good progress. But then, the "jack" broke and the car came crashing down with a thud. Luckily, I didn't get hurt, regrouped, and ended the day about the same place as I started (excluding commissions).

I was up +4 (I'm back!), then torn up by a nearly -12 run (I'm not!), scrambled to gain nearly +8 points in less than 2 hours, and ended the day just about breakeven (phew!). A little roller coaster ride.

All the while, Renato made a call to short the high of the day (yes, once again) in the morning, and if you scaled out and held a runner until the close, you got at least +13 or more on the final contract. He had a nice, relaxing day before the weekend. Yet another impressive winning week for him.

This "digging out of the hole" trading reminded me of days when I was trading stocks several months ago. More often than not, I would start the day on a bad note and scramble my way back to breakeven. As noted in the prior post from a few months ago, I have a different mindset when trading from a position of having profits vs. being deep in the red with back against the wall. This is something I will continue to address, since there's something going on there.

  • Opex in December, low volume choppy semi-holiday feeling day. Does it really matter one way or another? Just trade what you see, right?
  • I have a tendency to get tired and sloppy starting around lunchtime. This causes stupid mistakes.
  • When the ES started to tank during lunchtime and it felt somewhat fake and lame news driven, my mindset became "get in on the action and fade the move!"
  • Did I mention how I tend to make stupid mistakes around lunch?
  • Am I done with my Christmas shopping yet?
  • I'm trying to learn to fish in a way that fits my style, that's why it's hard for me to blindly follow Renato's (very successful) Diamond Setups alerts.
  • When I follow my trading plan, everything feels simple and straightforward. It's almost mindless and businesslike to follow the process. And isn't this interesting, although it seems like I miss out on a lot -- results are generally good and stable.
  • When trading rogue based on instincts, it demands much more mental focus and energy beyond just execution. Results can be much more volatile (usually to the negative side).
  • When push comes to shove and I'm up against the wall, I don't get scared, and I don't give up. Historically, my scrambling has worked much more often than not.  
  • But what if it doesn't work?  Will I stop trying, when my account is at ZERO?
  • What am I scared of? We'll be having 5 people (including in-laws) staying with us for a week over the holidays. Probably will NOT be trading during that time.
  • Screen time and intensive trade reviews -- no other substitute for learning how to trade. My directions to trade have finally become IKEA like.
  • Supreme control over my mental chatter (i.e. "Gambler Grove") and only doing what's right -- this will be my holy grail. Biggest challenge now (and likely forever).
  • Interesting thought - without a good breakfast and lunch, I lose energy and don't trade well. Need to track, but I think there's something there.
  • Another interesting thought - when I exercise during the morning, I do better. Also need to track.
  • I can feel it -- 2012 will be a great year.

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