Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back to the drawing board

Well, that didn't last long.  My plan was to focus strictly on only two simple metrics: 1) A max of 3 trades per day and 2) limit profit targets to +2.00 ES points.  P&L wasn't supposed to matter.  I didn't even last 2 weeks before I had a big blow up of my goals.  I had a couple days last week with around 30 trades.  What a disappointment.
Week ending Oct 12 / From journal
It was like asking someone who loves and eats a chocolate bar every day to suddenly being allowed to eat only 1 tiny square after getting a job at a chocolate factory surrounded by thousands of bars.  Or someone who drinks 3 cups of coffee a day, to cut back to 1/4 cup.  And whatever other example you can come up with.  Not impossible, but very difficult.  And very much subject to the binge effect.

Then there are those days, like Friday, when I felt I was in such tune with the markets under unusual conditions.  I had barely 4 1/2 hours of sleep and felt emotionally "hollow".  I was also on cough medicine, both huge warning signs.  However, the lack of sleep and cough medication was a strange combination -- one which required me to only interpret and act based on what I saw on the charts, with very little emotion or mental chatter. 

Instead of looking only for setups, I also kept talking about the markets from a "story line" and "contextual" perspective, from both the bull and bear viewpoints.  That was different.  For example, when the better than expected Prelim U of M news came out at 9:55 ET on Friday morning, the market moved strongly higher with initiative buying. 

But something happened.  The market could not continue higher and began to stall.  Price action didn't jive with the better than expected news.  So when one of my favorite bearish chart pattern appeared, it screamed SHORT! 

There were many of these types of moments on Friday, and maybe that's one of the reasons why I keep trading with hope. 

Trading only a single contract, my MFE (Maximum Favorable Excursion) for all my trades on Friday was almost 28 ES points, double the RTH daily range.  Yes, it's not very likely to close out anywhere near 100% of your MAE.  But I ended up with about 1/3 of it which is so-so, but came oh so close to booking about 1/2 of it of my total MAE. 

Something was definitely different about Friday and I really hope it wasn't due to the effects from my cough medicine, because I'd rather not become some sort of cough medication addict to improve my trading!  So was it just a lucky day?  Was it just some false hope, like a slot machine that pays off just enough to keep you sitting around longer to ultimately lose everything?  Or was it an glimpse of more progress to come?

This weekend, I went back to review my blog entries from a year ago.  At first, it was disappointing to see that I've been essentially working on the same key issues back then as I am now.  Same story over and over and over again.  I feel like I've been spinning my wheels for an entire year. 

But the successful method I've been using for my forex swing trades have essentially remained unchanged.  And on another positive note, I do believe I'm wiser and better educated now from regarding trading methodologies vs. a year ago.  However, being smarter means nothing when a weak mental game prevents proper execution of trading methodology.

All of this raises even more questions.  I'll take some more time reviewing my journal entries from a year ago, to help understand what I did or did not do over the past year to address and take better control of my issues.  It's back to the drawing board.

In the past year, I also realize that my psychological capital has been hit much harder than my financial capital, but my will to succeed continues to burn strong. 


TST said...

1)left chart showed that lesser # will make more $ - simply because it forced you to trade only HQ higher quality set ups. Your mental setup - only the best setups - it certainly helped you here.

2) right chart : You shorted at good points but the risk was higher as market possibly form a triangle/wedge... even though it were LLL Lower Low level . Yellow oval mark is HQ setup ..Why ? because it is 'InsideBar' setup at LLL and the possibility of triangle is eliminated.

3)Your cough meds possible loosen up the mind, but actually its the market that give you the move. You can put the cough med bottle at trading desk to hooked the mind for good luck :) This is a proven mind strategy.

4)Pardon me, if you keep wrote "Back to drawing board " it will signal your brain to go back"..and this kind thinking will keep you in circle...No...Keep go forward, cause you really forward now...don't forget " trade only the best set up ".

Grove Under said...

Your point #4 is really a good one. You're absolutely correct that I'm not writing in a way that's conducive to progress.

I will work on my mental game and outlook to take on more progressive approach. Great comments, thanks!

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