Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To coast, or not to coast...

Total gross profits:  $225.00  +4.50 ES points
Total trades:  3
Accuracy:  66.7%
Execution score: 100.00%
Opportunity cost: $0.00

I wouldn't categorize today as a true or very strong trend day, since the moves during the regular trading hours were more of a stair step or grind lower.  

Most of the "trend day" took place during the overnight Asia session, as well as just about an hour prior to the NY cash open.  That's good, because in general, I don't do as well on trend days.

I was fortunate to catch a few moves today during the morning session.  I exited my 3rd and last trade of the day by 10:30 AM, and ended up with an "average" profitable day.  But as I look back, I can't help but wonder if I'm limiting my upside, since I seem to go into a "coasting" mode after I reach about +4 in profits. 

...or not coasting
However, if I was down for the day, I probably would have continued to be on watch, and would have continued to pull the trigger, taking trades until the final minutes of the day.  This is the type of attitude that really helps to create those "comeback" days, where I dig myself out from -8 ES point days over the afternoon.

There's "that voice" in my head which says, "Hey, you're up a solid +4 [or whatever] today, don't risk it.  Just take it easy.  Those little crumbs add up by the end of the week and month!"

But then again, on a day like today when I'm reading the markets relatively well, I can't help but wonder if I shouldn't really continue to push the petal to the metal and fight until the end, just like those comeback days.

...for now
Starting on March 1st, for the next 20 trades, my goal is to reestablish my discipline by going for singles (i.e. all out at +2 profit targets).  I'm about 12 trades into my goal, and most importantly, my execution score is currently 100%, which means I'm following my plan.  Right now, execution score is my top priority, nothing else matters.

Ultimately, my goal is to maintain rock solid discipline and continue to execute per my trading plan, so that it turns it into a habit that will be very difficult to break.  Sure, my trading plan will change and evolve over time, but to know that I have the ability to properly execute what's in my trading plan will give me the confidence to scale up.

I consider this 20 trade exercise as part of the ongoing process where I am earning my right to trade bigger.  Once I get through the 20 trades, I will evaluate my performance in greater detail, and will address other concerns -- such as whether I am leaving a profits on the table after reaching a certain profits for the day.  And also, help to determine when I should start scaling up.

Until then, I will continue to do my very best to execute my trading plan well -- full speed ahead!


Tomross58 said...

Hey Grove,

Very good discipline yesterday for you. I think yesterday could very easily have been a day to over trade but you did well. I didnt over trade but had a couple losers and was down on the day. Had an opportunity to get it back but miss managed my trade. It didnt occur what I did wrong until it was over. 3 good weeks in Feb and last week and a half I have gotten off course and now I see why.
Now to do what I was doing before and get back on track.
I did want to ask you if you are primarily using the 10 and 30 min charts with the 377 tick? And is that where you are finding most of your levels. I would like to condense my charts a little by how many I follow but I dont want to lose a good rythem that I think Rena has taught with his style. After a while things seem to come as almost second nature,,,,,,except trade management,,,lol,,,,but that will come.
Anyway,,,good to see you did well in a down trend day which is as you mentioned something we dont do well with. Lets continue to make progress.


Grove Under said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the good words, really appreciate it. Part of the "trick" in this business seems to be to just keep doing what works, consistently. And more importantly, to be able to know whether you're the one that's drifting from the plan, or whether it's just the markets are going through their usual cycle of changes. So much easier said than done!

Right now, I'm still primarily using the 30m with 377t, just as Renato recommended. But I'm also still using the higher timeframes, since they work so well. But I admit, I'm still fine tuning my overall process, although it seems like I'm getting closer to a good place.

Keep up the studies and self evaluation, I'm very impressed you made it through 3 good weeks -- sounds like you're making good progress!