Thursday, April 19, 2012

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...

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