Thursday, April 26, 2012

$EURUSD - stopped out to the tick

After only several hours, the swing short $EURUSD from 1.3231 was stopped out to the tick for a -31 pip loss.  I got the high print of the day so far.  Better luck next time!
EURUSD 1 min chart

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

$EURUSD charts - short entry at 1.3231

Charts with explanation of short entry at 1.3231:

It starts at the daily chart level, where a confluence of a trendline, 61.8% retracement, and price takes place.
EURUSD daily
At the timeframe to help trigger the order, there's another connect 2 points and extend trendline in confluence with an overbought stochastics indicator.
EURUSD 15 minute
Historically, these swing trades get stopped out more than 50% of the time at my original stop, especially with the relatively tight stops I use in relation to the target objectives.  Since I'm usually targeting a profit of around 10R (R=initial stop loss amount), the numbers work out even if I'm wrong often.

Closed $AUDUSD for +207 pips

After nearly 1 month, the AUDUSD short I entered on 3/26 was exited yesterday for a profit of +207 pips.  Based on my initial risk of 40 pips, this trade returned about 5.1R. 

The 1.0250 area provided solid support, even after relatively bad economic news released late Monday night, which indicated to me that there was a decent amount of strength supporting this pair.

While the +207 pips initial sounds like respectable outcome, this trade was held for nearly a month, so another way of looking at this is that it didn't quite average +10 pips a day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update: $AUDUSD short from 3/26

Hard to believe I haven't been shaken out of the $AUDUSD swing short at 1.0521 from 3/26, but assuming I don't jinx myself due to this post and get stopped out within minutes once this post goes live, I'll continue to hold this until I get a clear signal that the move is over or until it approaches one of the targets in my original post.
$AUDUSD - 240m chart
One thought I had based on the chart above is how relatively large the swings have been (> 100 pips) since I entered this trade (nice opportunity), vs. the absolute P&L I currently have.  On a risk/return basis, I'm over 4R on this trade (currently about +175 pips, original risk = 40 pips) and was as high as 7.5R at one time.

When I look at all the swings, they add up to well over 1,000 pips, so I can't help but think what if I was able to capture just 25% of those moves?  Yes, probably faulty thinking, especially since I could have been stopped out within minutes once I entered this trade, or perhaps this could have dropped nearly straight down to parity instead of going somewhat sideways.  But I can't help but imagine the possibilities.

Not yet ready for prime time

This week had a lot more family related challenges than usual, including a sick kid as well as having to be a single parent.  And whenever I'm in single parent mode, I do my best not to trade at all.  I've had too many bad experiences in the past.

However, I did get a few trades in yesterday (tisk, tisk) and I did something I've never really done before.  After reading Denise Shull's book Market Mind Games about really doing your best to feel your emotions, I did that -- especially when I got into the impulsive (revenge) state of mind.

And wow, not sure what happened, but it sure did touch a nerve.

In the relatively short time I traded, I had a few semi-revenge related trades.  And although my loss for the day yesterday was far from the worst, it was probably one of the worse days I've ever had in terms of how I felt.  Strong feelings lingered on well into the evening.  It was not pleasant.

Opening myself up to really feel what's going on seems to have opened up a can of worms.  Perhaps I've been repressing my feeling for far too long? 

I can only hope that this is one of the first steps to transform myself into an effective trader.  Similar to the various states that water goes through -- ice, water, steam, water, ice -- I believe in the end, it's good to shake up and really change my mental state of mind and being so that I can better explore what's there, shape it, and put it back in better condition.

What does this all mean? 

My mental game is not ready for prime time.  No matter how many great trading strategies I'm knowledgeable about, if I can not maintain the proper state of mind, I will not be able to execution the strategy properly. 

There have been many instances where Renato would call out one great trade after another based on his Diamond Setups system, and I would either be too selective on which signals to take, or mismanage them once entered.

I have tons of data via my trading journal on Tradervue of all the revenge trades I have taken and it's clear to see the significant harm I've done to my P&L on those trades alone.  This simply shows a great lack of respect for my money trading. 

Believe it or not, I actually used to do better back in the days when I was playing blackjack, since I respected and feared the casinos!  If I can simply cut just half of my revenge trades, I would be a halfway decent trader.

So once again, it's time to continue what I was doing on Spring break and to reevaluate everything I'm doing, create a plan, and follow that plan to achieve my goal of becoming a consistently profitable trader. 

One year down, many more to go...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Psudo-extended Spring break

My Spring break was extended inadvertently, since my son got sick and had to get picked up from daycare yesterday.  Since I missed a fill earlier yesterday morning, I ended up with no trades for Monday.  And today, I had to be the babysitter.  But as is the case with little children, he quickly recovered and was just fine today. 

One of my guidelines is that when these types of family situations take place, I should highly avoid trading.  I should just leave the computer off.  Or at least just trade on SIM.

But I didn't.

First of all, it wasn't a bad ending and I actually did end up doing OK for the day (+5.25 ES points), but at this time, I'm not going to count this day as a valid day.  For whatever reasons, it just seems like I should not have traded today.  Maybe I'm being too tough, so I'll let this simmer in my mind for a bit.

I spent about 30 minutes in the morning actively watching the markets while babysitting, and got stopped out trying to short the move up.  Then, I sensed a trend day about an hour after the open.  I flipped into trend day strategy mode, saw a bull flag, bought it, and headed out to lunch.

As soon as we came back and my son went to take a nap, I fired up the computer and spent a little more time monitoring the markets and ended up exiting the long position just about near the close of the day.  Wish it was this easy all the time.

Although I didn't have much screen time today, I did have some interesting highlights:
  • When I did sense a potential semi-revenge emotion after getting stopped out, I really tried my best to really feel and understand the emotions I was experiencing.  It was a way of really trying to accept and hear what my mind was telling me. 
  • While under stress, I also did my best to listen and to try and make the distinction between impulsive (revenge) vs intuitive (subconscious memory) suggestions by my mind.  Impulsive trades then to come quickly from a fast moving mind, while intuitive trade idea seem to be much slower, calmer and enveloping of the my soul.
  • This brings up another point, perhaps my trading plan is too rigid with regards to setups being too specific and rule bound for my particular personality.  For example, even trying to write down and explain how to switch between trend vs. range day setups, will likely be quite difficult. Guidelines may be a better tactic.
  • However, my trading plan will always be rigid with regards to risk management.  That's an area that does not have much room for negotiations. 
  • And maybe I'm onto something with regards to making less trading decisions per day.  Similar to limiting the number of pitches from a baseball pitcher or minutes played by a basketball player -- we all have our sweet spots.  This can be accomplished by either limiting myself to trading higher timeframes, and/or by trading lower timeframes for very limited periods.
And on a slightly different note, tomorrow is my first yoga class during the lunch hour.  Not sure what to expect or if this will even improve my trading, if at all.  In the worse case scenario, at least I'll be more more flexible, yeah?  As always, I will continue to experiment with various ways to improve myself and then track to see how they are working. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

End of Spring break, beginning of a new dawn

As Spring break comes to an end, it's now time for a new dawn.  It's time to start the engines back up and to get back into the groove of the markets with a new outlook.

One of my key goals was to not trade and to not even follow the markets.  But I have to admit, I had mixed results. 

Although I did not trade, I did start to put on some SIM trades starting Thursday night and a few trades on Friday.  However, I only focused about 20% of my time on the markets and ended up having one of my best SIM days ever.  In hindsight, I think there was a reason for that.

KEY GOALS DURING THE BREAK

MIND
  • Read (or re-read) the following books on increasing my mental game:
    • Heads Up Baseball by Ken Ravizza and Tom Hanson
    • Inner Voice of Trading by Michael Martin
    • Market Mind Games by Denise Shull
    • High Performance Trading by Steve Ward
  • I'm finally beginning to understand why I have run into many of the psychological challenges from trading (primarily revenge trading)
    • One of the very interesting exercises Denise Shull recommends is one in which makes you think back your childhood, as well as your relationship with your mother and father.  I'll need much more time to really dig into those.
    • So my understanding and control is far from complete -- I've only just begun that journey, and it may take a lifetime to master.
  • Simply becoming aware of your emotions and recording them is key.  That then becomes a new data source, arguably more important than price!
BODY
  • Increase my physical health
    • Continued to attend cardio classes, at least 2-3 times a week.
    • Made a commitment by signing up for yoga classes 2 days a week during lunch.
  • Improve my diet
    • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables, partially by juicing, as well as new grocery lists.
SOUL
  • (Re)discover other passions and interests outside of trading
    • I don't have a good counterbalance to trading.  So finding those other interesting may take longer time, but it is critical to my mental well being that I have a somewhat good balance of interests.
  • Clarify higher level goals and reasons for why I trade
    • Most of these goals eventually revolve around my family.  But I did not spend enough time during my break to clarify these goals to the level of detail that becomes crystal clear and invokes the properly level of emotion.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I was surprised that I didn't have enough time during this prior week to accomplish the many other goals that I had planned. 

But one big takeaway seems to be that by removing myself from the markets and reducing the number of trading decisions during the day, I will stay better "centered" so that I can better understand and listen to my emotional state of being. 

If my SIM experience on Friday was any indication of how trading could be from the mental perspective, I believe it will increase my overall success rate on all key metrics -- especially by NOT taking those dreaded and impulsive revenge trades. 

Now it's time to consistently put all the pieces into action, brick by brick, day by day...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Going dark - back in a week

I will not be trading next week, so this blog will likely be going dark during that time.  It's also a good time to take a break, given my focus on fatigue and mental meltdowns recently which has also resulted in losses. 

It has been about a year since I started trading full time, so reflecting on what I have learned and to recognize the progress I have made during this tough journey also seems timely.

One area of interest is the performance of my forex swing trading account vs. ES daytrading.  Assuming my open AUDUSD swing is closed now, I'm up around 150% net on that account since the beginning of the year.

However, both my ES daytrading accounts are down a combined 15% net (commissions and revenge trading are the biggest factors) since the beginning of the year.  There are other reasons for this disparity between my forex and ES accounts, but they are mostly psychological.

I will also need to develop longer term trading goals and work my way down to shorter term goals are in alignment.  Somewhere along the way, especially with challenges to my mental game, I've clearly lost my sense of the bigger picture.  Time to revisit.

So without the high intensity required for trading next week, I will be able to give deeper focus and thought to these and other bigger picture topics.  When I return, I will restart with clarity, purpose and a renewed mission.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The fatigue factor

Total gross profits:  $-75.00  -1.50 ES points
Total trades:  17 [4 scratch]
Accuracy:  46.2%
Execution score: tbd%
Opportunity cost: $tbd 

Today was yet another day where I had a "no-duhhh" moment.  Although I've been daytrading nearly a year now, it's only today that I realized I can't trade without having a meaningful break during the trading day. 

But maybe it's because I got a bit less sleep than usual for the 2nd night in a row, I really felt the effect of fatigue today.  I was trading nearly non-stop from 8:30 AM until 4:15 PM, with maybe a few minute break several times throughout the day. 

I was doing fine in the morning and felt pretty good about trading with the new setups in my trading plan.  My performance in the morning to the early afternoon wasn't bad, and there were some more errors than usual with some of the scalp setups I tried out.  But as the afternoon progressed, I realized that my ability to make decisions and to interpret the charts for signals began to diminish.

My vision turned into tunnel vision, the wheels started to wobble, and I caught myself moving my trailing stops in much sooner and tighter than usual.  I started to tune out the rest of the world.  And before you know it, a +5.00 ES points day that was pretty much locked up in the final hour turned into a -1.50 loss in practically minutes. 

My tired mind said to go for a strong finish into the close with profits after having a few frustrating breakeven trades, I listened, and I doubled up.  However, instead of having a strong finish, it turned into a wipeout of my profits for the day.  The ultimate ANTI-comeback day.  Casino style gambling at its finest.

At least I realized what took place today and how most of my revenge trading has taken place late in the afternoon, most notably in the 3:00 PM hour.  I now realize that fatigue is one key trigger to rogue and revenge trading.  Now that I'm aware of this, I will take steps to control this situation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Roller coaster day and change to trading plan

Total gross profits:  $137.50  +2.75 ES points
Total trades:  10 [1 scratch]
Accuracy:  44.4%
Execution score: 65%
Opportunity cost: $-200  -4.00 ES points
  <- A rogue trade was favorable

Today was a roller coaster of a day and I was fortunate to catch 2 decent moves. 

One was rogue, based on my "hunch", likely from reviewing so many charts in the past, and the other was a near perfect short setup just before the FOMC minutes were released.  Both only scored half credit for my execution score, since I let them run for more than +2.00 ES points. 
  
Trading plan oversight
And speaking of which, the execution score was not so great once again, but much of this is based on an oversight that I really didn't realize until today.  I have yet to update my trading plan to include some new setups, so every time I take one of those trades, it counts against my execution score.

This could have created some unintended subconscious impacts, since in my mind, those setups were not "official" trades, and the stats have shown that they are effective.  Therefore, I always felt that I was doing something wrong when I took those particular setups.

I'm making them official
Therefore, I'm going to add those new setups to my trading plan and make them "official" and acceptable to trade.  Let's see if this helps curtail some of the temper tantrums (i.e. revenge and rogue trades) by recognizing and acknowledging my subconscious personalities and monkeys that they have been heard and that their voices count!

However, the only problem might be if I have too many different setups, and begin to get too overwhelmed with too many setups.  So that will be something I will monitor closely. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

How many warning flags does it take?

Total gross profits:  $-825.00  -16.50 ES points
Total trades:  10 [1 scratch]
Accuracy:  11.1%
Execution score: 27.2%
Opportunity cost: $+625.00  +12.50 ES points
   <-  It should have been
         about a -4.00 day

Late last week on short notice, my mother's burial was scheduled for today due to some botched up planning by the cemetery.  Unfortunately, I couldn't fly across the country at the last minute due to my family, which is probably something my mother would have wholeheartedly supported.  But still, it's not a good feeling to miss out on something like that.  Warning flag.

Early this morning, I saw a setup that ended up working but couldn't take it since it was the time to get the kids ready.  Of course, it worked.  And after I returned from working out and was getting my charts setup, I saw another setup or two that worked.  It was a good to know I was seeing setups that worked and was feeling confident for a solid day, although there was a slight sense of missing out.  Warning flag.

But then it appeared that a trend day up was starting as potential signals came up to short the market.  I kept saying this looks bullish, but kept shorting.  I couldn't pass them up, because they were valid signals, as well as my fear of missing out.  Internal conflicts.  Warning flag.

Before you know it, I had 2 full stop losses and I said I should quit here after being down about -4.50 ES points.  They were based on valid signals per my plan, but I wasn't pleased.  Warning flag.

I entered another trade and yes, it was a short against the trend, and I started to say shortly thereafter how it looked bullish.  Around this time, my sister called distraught about my mother's burial service -- the funeral home gave us the wrong urn -- it wasn't the ashes of my mom.  Ooops!  Warning flag.

Fast forward to about 3:10 PM, when I exited a 2 hour short trade with a small loss -- only 2 ticks below the high of the day.  Ugh.  Had I kept my original stop, I would have been fine.  Yet another warning flag.

OK...deep breath...no revenge trades, no rogue trades, no revenge trades, no rogue trades...


At 3:12 PM, I went long for the first time.  And I kept scaling in and getting stopped out.  At 3:30 PM, I got a sell signal, didn't want to believe it, and kept buying, even when the critical swing low got taken out. 

After missing the buy side all day, I must have been trying to make up for lost profits.  After I finally scaled out and went even, this one revenge trade campaign cost me -8.25 ES points, and my opportunity cost on this single trade was a whopping +10.00 ES points.  Crushing.  That might just be an all time record.

So, did the personal issues at hand help make this trading situation worse?  Perhaps.  Maybe I was taking out my frustrations at the market.  But had I done well, I could also have said that I was bolstered by the personal issues and how I rose to the occasion on yet another comeback.

But the bottom line is that this was a day where there were enough warning flags, one after another, to either not trade at all or to just stop early.  Instead, I didn't listen to my inner voice.  How many flags does it take to make me change my behavior?  I must to do a better job of self-managing myself, otherwise I will have a short trading career.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Deep dive trading journal analysis - March 2012

As I was wallowing in my rogue trading day hangover earlier this weekend wondering what I'm going to do next, I realized a big gap in my overall trading process.  I wasn't doing my homework of reviewing and analyzing my trades via my trading journal.

I got somewhat lazy and didn't even realize it.  I have been diligently adding tags and notes to each one of my trading entries in my Tradervue online trading journal, but I wasn't going back and analyzing which setups were working and which were not.  I had yet another one of those "no duhhhh" moments.

Over the past year, I have updated over 2,000 records in my Tradervue trading journal.  The majority of the trades have been evaluated and updated with specific tags which provide the ability for me to use Tradervue to quickly slice and dice various types of reports and analysis on my trading performance. 

I started performing this type of analysis using Tradervue for my equity trades last year to discovery my strengths, but since switching over to trading futures in October, my transition to update the tags on my trading record was a little slow.  I wasn't sure how to tag the records since the trading methodology between stocks and futures were so different. 

But now that I have stabilized around a certain trading style over the past several months, I'm finally able to update my trading records effectively in a way that can generate meaningful reports and metrics.  So this weekend, I started to crank out the preliminary numbers, starting with March 2012.

I am taking the first big step in doing some meaningful homework, so that I can begin trading based on probabilities and gain confidence.  Big credit goes to FT71 on hammering home that concept based on his great webinars and his Vankar Trading brokerage service, as well as to Chris, Matt, and Cindy for constant feedback and reinforcement.  I think I'm finally starting to "get it" through my thick skill, although I know I still have a long journey ahead.

High level trading statistics
All of the output below was generated with Tradervue with the results output to Excel.  The setups that begin with "30m..." are setups based on Renato's Diamond Setups system.  It's clear to see that he has taught me a system capable of generated solid performance, assuming I have the discipline to "simply" follow the plan. 

To see the Legend, please see the report under the "Additional Details" section below.
And here's the summary of the "P&L killer" (NOTE: The Revenge/Rogue tags are not mutually exclusive so there IS some overlap.  Therefore, aggregating the results is not valid.)

Summary - the DENSE version
  • DISCLAIMER:  My trades have a lot of selection bias -- there are many trades that I do NOT take because I'm either not around, or I see some sort of conflict with another timeframe, or...  Therefore, these results are a reflection of my particular style and tendencies, and other traders using the same methodology may or may not experience the same outcomes.
  • My sample size for March is relatively small (n=113); I know there are some data entry errors; and there is overlap of certain tags/setups/metric; so take with some grain of salt!  Consider this "relative" comparisons and analysis.
  • I could have had a somewhat profitable month with gains of about $700 gross / +14.00 ES points over 66 trades, if I followed my trading plan (Followed plan = YES and YES/NO). 
  • However, the 30mDS7 setup was one particular setup that just didn't work well.  It lost -$637.50 / -12.75 ES points over 11 trades.  I had no idea.  Renato has always said he doesn't like the DS7 setups to enter trades except on higher timeframes -- I should have listened!  (Thick skull syndrome)
  • Excluding the 30mDS7 setup, it would have been a respectable month following the plan with profits of $1,587.50 / +31.75 ES points over 50 trades.
  • The new setups I took (TL, C2E, and SCALP) had a negative impact on my execution score since they are not a part of my trading plan.  But they generally did pretty well and generated $+1212.50 / +24.25 ES points over 31 trades (note that some of these also overlapped with the 30m setups). 
  • The new setups group was also included in the Followed Plan = NO. Therefore, that category would have been much worse without these profitable trades (see Revenge and Rogue trades for a better figure on what happens with the plan is not followed...$-1912.50 / -38.25 ES points over 43 trades!).
  • Renato started to teach scalp trades in his Diamond Setups room last week and they did surprisingly well.  However, note that I didn't exit with a profit at +1.00 for every trade as per his rules, so my average profits might be slightly higher.  But the 88.9% accuracy was surprisingly high.
  • Revenge and Rogue trades KILLED my performance.  Sure, there were a few good winners in there that tricked my mind to keep taking them.  But overall, as a group, they stank REALLY BAD.  Same issue I had last summer.
Summary - the SIMPLE version 
  • YMMV (your millage may vary) 
  • Don't take setups in red font, they are not good for me 
  • Take setups in green font, they reflect my strengths and are good for me Remember that these setups can easily scale up to 50-100 ES contracts or more 
  • When I get the urge to go rogue/revenge, run a report on Tradervue of all those yuck trades, and take deep breaths.  Or just take a few shots of J├Ągermeister and call it a day. 
  • Keep doing this homework on my stats for constant reinforcement, at least once every 2 weeks
Additional Details
This report also breaks down summary results earlier by the particular type of setup that took place (first touch, retouch, reverse play).

One observation I'll closely watch is how well the "Reverse Play" setup worked in comparison to others.  I've always had a feeling they worked well, and now I have some limited stats to prove it.

There is also a legend in the report below.

Rogue trading day hangover - monkey was in control

Total gross profits:  $-250.00  -5.00 ES points
Total trades:  17 [2 scratch]
  <- Scalp mode but 
      mostly overtrading
Accuracy:  47.7%
Execution score: 38.2%
  <- 5 trades were rogue :(
Opportunity cost: $-150.00  -3.00 ES points 
  <- But did better by 
       breaking rules

Earlier on Friday morning before the trading day began, I caught my self thinking, I'm really going to crush it today and make some serious P&L.  I've been reading the markets well the past couple days, but I just wasn't executing well based on what was possible, so things were gonna change. 

Then I caught myself -- I'm thinking only of P&L, tisk tisk.  The best mindset is to know that I have to patiently wait for the right setups according to my trading plan and simply execute it well.  Still, there was a certain sense of anxiousness I couldn't ignore, but I thought I could maintain my cool.

I was treading water during the morning, doing relatively well from the execution perspective, until I got a full stop out on a valid setup.  It should have been something that was just another trade, but I took it personally.  A full stop loss is usually a trigger for bad behavior, especially if it's the first trade of the day, or if I get two full stop losses in a row.

The stop loss was a direct hit against my mission (and ego) to maximize my P&L.  Ooops, I'm not supposed to be thinking like that.  That's when I knew the wheels started to wobble, especially when I started to double up or scale into some trades.

At around 10:50 AM, I wrote notes on the high likelihood of a V bottom day with new HOD as long as 1396.00 holds.  Not sure why, but it was one of those subconscious calls.  Another read that ended up being "right" in hindsight.  I was long from 1397.50 but I got stopped out by a tick with a trailing stop that was way too tight -- one of my weaknesses.

Within minutes, I started going short against my bigger picture scenario, again and again.  I was shorting against a move that I thought was going to new HOD's.  Conflict.

HUH?!?  Then why did I keep shorting against my bigger picture view?

I really don't know why, other than to get back at the market for stopping me out by a tick?  And before you know it, I was down about -10 ES points.

It was comeback time. 

I made some progress, recovered about 8 points, so with 10 minutes left in the cash trading day, I was down only about -2 points at one point. 

Do I stop now, or see what I'm made of? 

Then I thought, it's a quarter end Friday, so we should see some fireworks at the close.  Gambler Grove was was clearly heard from way up in the peanut gallery.  And he had a few monkeys sitting next to him.

OK, bring it on.

On the very next trade, I double clicked the DOM by accident.  Dohhh!  I didn't have confirmation turned on and since I was entering a 2 contract order, I was suddenly in a 4 contract trade -- way over my risk plan. 

After seeing what price action was doing, it wasn't moving in my favor so I panicked, ejected.  Lost 2 ticks (for a total of -2.00 points) within seconds.  Thud!  Bad start to the comeback.  Ouch.

After a few more trades, I ended the day with a loss of -5.00 ES points.  Better than the -10 I was down earlier.  Worse than the -2 I had just a short time ago.  It just wasn't meant to be a glorious comeback day where I ended the day solidly green.

Now as I reflect with a "rouge trading day hangover", it's back to trying to figure out, why? And what's with all these banana peels around here?

Trading is conceptually very simple -- just wait for those setups that have a good edge and execute the trade according to plan, period.  I've done my homework to know there are certain setups that have an edge over time, so combine that with good money and risk management.  I've proven that my method works over stretches of 1 to 2 weeks, assuming I execute properly.

But what is it that keeps me from doing the right thing, consistently, all the time?  Are my expectation too high?  Is my trading plan for ES not suited to my personality?  Why is it that my "comeback mode" turns me into a different type of trader?  Or are my comeback days just an illusion?  Why do revenge trades keep coming back after I was sure I had them under control?  How come it feels like I continue to run into the same brick wall over and over and over again? 

What can I do to improve?

The mental aspect trading is one of the biggest challenges I have faced in of my life.  And that's what keeps me so motivated -- the tougher the challenge, the more I rise to the occasion.  Another weekend to reflect and figure out the plan for next week.

* * * * *
Addendum: Since writing the majority of this post on Friday night and Saturday morning, I've since discovered a big gap in my overall process.  This may also help to explain the recent shifts in execution scores and opportunity costs.  Still working on it.