Anyone trade better when you're down?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by futures_shark, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. I've been noticing a disturbing trend in my trading. I seem to trade better when I'm down, once I start getting into profits my hesitation to trade increases exponentially.

    for example, today I sold a 5 lot at 81 in the bund and the market ran up 6 ticks on me. usually I get out at -2 or 3, but based on my strategy I thought it was highly probably that the market would return to this level so I left it on while I continued to trade (short only).

    I made a total of 12 ticks on 6 trades while waiting 2.5 hours for the market to return to this level. And then when it finally did return I ended up taking the original trade off for a -2 tick loser. The market went exactly where I thought it would which would have given me a +2 winner on the original trade but I exited because my P&L was at a new record (positive) for the day.

    I thinking maybe my concentration or focus increases when I'm down and that's why I seem to trade better.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this?
  2. StreamlineTrade

    StreamlineTrade Guest

    So you can make profits then.

    What is different between when you win and when you lose?

    I don't know the answer, but I'd be interested in your thoughts.
  3. its called concentration and focus.

    the same thing happens in chess when you lose a piece/material. you always play harder after
  4. Pabst


    When a trader is even or up on the day and he has a winning open position, what's his usual mindset? Nine times out of ten it's something along the lines of "when/where can I take my safe, bankable profit"? Conversely when one is down money the process is, "how much do I need this thing to run my way in order to get my prior loss back"? Most traders (discretionary) will sit with losers further against them than winners with them. However there comes a point psychologically when a trader says "I need to RIDE a winner if I'm to get this money back".

    In other words many traders p/l looks like this. +5, +1, +3, -8, +1, +3, +2, -6, ect. Many of those +3's had the potential to be +10's but as soon as it went from +6 back to +3 we bail with the 3 tick profit. However if one is -19 on the day and now a trade is "working" it may become an all or nothing proposition. Perhaps now you're finally in at a good level and in desperation you let it run full course. And of course afterwords you're asking yourself, "why is it that I only hold a winner for twenty ticks when I'm already down"?
  5. When I lose small I'm telling myself it's OK because I KNOW that I can make it back. because I've done it before and there are still X number of hours left in the day.

    When I lose big I'm thinking my trading career is over if I don't fix this TODAY.

    When I win I get greedy and don't want to give up new profits. It's like I value profits I just made more than the money in my account. However, the week before last I was already up a bit in my account from prior days and then I lost it all on a stupid trade; instead of focusing and making it back I got pissed off with myself and quit for the account was just under break even.

    I think there are some defective programs running in my sub-conscious and I'm trying to identify them and debug them.

    Pabst, your absolutely right and I do need to ride winners more often but that's not what happens when I'm down. I'm still taking only 1-4 ticks just more often and with less hesitation.
  6. Holmes


    This is a signal of inexperience.

    You start off, have some winners and then start to think that things are going well so you are letting down your guard and take trades that you should not have gotten into in the first place.

    When the DD hits then you become very carefull and start taking only the best setups.

    Once you have done thousands of trades then you will get less and less affected by your ups/downs.

    Suggest to take the P/L of your trading screen and do not peek at it until the trading day is over.

    Second thing to do is keep a record of your trades and anylise carefully where your winners / loosers are over time. You may well find that you are getting caught in the midday doldrums which are notorius for chopping the goats up.

  7. You can continue to believe you trade better when you're down, until the day comes when you keep pushing past the point of no return -- I wouldn't want to foster that belief if I were you.
  8. Just shows how inconsistent you are with your trading...
  9. Mr B

    Mr B

    deliberately set my p/l to -30 and trade my way up to 0 (which is +30) in real life. then reset to -30 again.

    it works but I can't venture why.