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. 

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