Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Still a Noob

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For the past month or two, I have been working hard on cutting down on my overtrading habits, developing a trading plan for the day and cultivating enough discipline to stick to the plan, and of course, improving upon my patience.

I thought I had improved in these areas, and up until today, revelled in that illusion. But today, I discovered that I am still a noob stuck at the beginners level when it comes to trading futures.
Today was a trend day in the indicies. Of course, no one knew that at the beginning of the session, but as the morning progressed, it became more and more clear that it would be a trend day.

I had two chances to partake in this trend day. In the first opportunity, I went short based on the double top formation. The call was correct, even though the entry may have been a bit early. Unfortunately, as soon as the trade went in my favour, I basically wanted to protect my profits.

In the second opportunity, I was impatient with letting the trade develop. It dropped down to a support level @1538, and ran back up to my short entry @1540, but never took out my initial stop, or even my revised stop, for that matter.

So had I left the trade in place, with the original stops, I would be sitting pretty. Instead, now I have to write about what I did wrong, think about what I could do differently the next time, and try to accept the bitterness of this pill that I have to swallow. I don't know what it is about me that makes me want to take profits so soon. I really thought I had progressed past the noob stage, but apparently I have not.

This market has absolutely no room for self-pity, so I'll probably spend the rest of tonight accepting the fact that I am still a noob. I might take tomorrow off to regroup, and refresh my mind (unless we get another big trend day).


Tyro said...

I feel ya, P. Hopefully your head is clearer than you say here. After weeks of chop, scalpers have been thriving while trend traders have been killed or stepping aside. No surprise then that many of us get caught unaware when the market does something unusual. I'd bet that playing things tight has saved you money over the past few weeks so instead of beating yourself up for using what was a winning strategy, ask if there's anything which could have told you that today was going to be different.

If you can figure that out and remember it for next time, then what's the problem? Market is still there tomorrow and your risk management means that you still have money to play with tomorrow. Gambling, busting stops, and blowups are the real noob behaviour - you're a skilled beginner like most of us! Congrats!

Hope to see you at WallStreak tomorrow.

john said...

no advice the same time, i'm not going to say accept this either...what u are trying to do is something that would make every trader better...personally, i believe the great traders learn to recognize these days (as u did), and are able to follow thru...continue with that quest...there is too much money sitting there on days like this to accept mediocrity...i'm with u on that one phileo :-)

cya in wallstreak