April Trading Journals

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Hitman, Mar 29, 2002.

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  1. Hitman


    Excellent question, so here is the 100% honest answer.

    Currently, including myself, I have 10 guys on the squad and out of those 10, 4 are net positive YTD. As I said before, this is a very raw team with a young team leader, and there will be a lot of growing pains. Yet this is not a bad percentage.

    A look at one of the top 3 traders in my firm's stats, his team, with 20 traders, is quite a bit worse than ours in term of overall profitability (he has about 6 established producers, 4 of them at my level or better, 10 rookies, 4 breaking even's). This is one of the better teams in our firm.

    A look at another squad, whose team leader was up 250K last year, the leader is down substantially YTD, and there is ZERO YTD profitable traders on a team of 7.

    The truth is, this is a very tough market, and fortunately our owner fully understands the difficulty behind it, and I know the team will go on. I am doing whatever I can to be up every single day so guys won't lose faith in that they too can make money from this market.

    The question is whether the traders on my team have the will to stay in the game. My team has been in action for approximately 3 months, and so far I don't have anyone quitting on me (guys with substantial deficits already found a second job part time so they can keep on playing, now that is what I call EFFORT & HEART).

    Then again, statistically, by year end, I think I will be very lucky to keep 6 of the 9 traders of this current line-up (I will still be here, hopefully lol). No one can make another person a successful trader, and I don't care how good you are, it can't be done unless you are willing to trade for him during the day lol. My style of training consists of giving my blotter password to everyone on my team (and I did it way before I started to get hot, and of course, this becomes more and more valuable as I get better and better), they get to see my real time positions and P&L, and I will answer any question they have.

    When a new guy comes in I give him the training manual I wrote based on my experience (hopefully as I get better this manual will get better, and no please do not ask for it as I do not give this to anyone outside of my team), he starts off with 100 shares and basically just watches my trades while does his own. When I look through other people's trades I only point out the obvious mistakes (shorting something super strong, not cutting losers short), I leave most of the trades alone as it is both impractical and impossible to make everyone look at every single trade the way I do. And of course, I encourage experimentations of new strategies.

    One thing that I would like to improve on is to get this team playing together more. Unfortunately it is virtually impossible as guys have different backgrounds (some were home made heroes, some came from other firms) and different styles, and I don't think it is a good idea to throw them together and force them to trade off each other. I thought about throwing morning meetings out but I honestly don't know what hell I am going to talk about when the market is this choppy? "Guys buy oil stocks when the OSX index is going up?". I mean with the exception of daily charts and occassional news events I don't know what I will be trading each day, it is not like I can make more than 50/50 calls anyway. I did give everyone a briefing.com login so they can be up to speed on news. Yet there is nothing I can do to make it anything more than an everyone for themselve game given the situation.

    That said anytime I see an interesting strategy I send a group e-mail about it, needless to say Don's strategy is out but so far I don't think I have any believers yet as one guy lost money overall after 4 days, another barely up and didn't do it today.

    And ultimately, it is just a matter of whether the guy can get it before he taps out, some will make it, some won't, and my duty as a leader is to show them everything I know with no secret kept, and keep on getting fresh blood. It really is a very very hard job, as guys won't listen to you when they make money, and when they get smacked you can't really say anything because it will then really hurt their feelings. I have very thick skins myself but you can't expect that from everyone.

    Now, as for the financial aspect of this job, as of now I am down $1200 on the 9 guys I have but it is expected, as I promised them that I will treat them all to at least pizza if not something nicer when and if I finally get a quarterly check sometimes down the road for all of those efforts.

    Yet for a strange reason I don't think this is the hardest aspect of my job, as somewhat similar to the princess situation, at least I know what I have to do regardless of the result. I know I will endure whatever it takes in either situation and keep on working harder.

    I think the hardest pill to swallow would be the day you finally have some consistent performers on your squad that you really spend a tons of time with and he leaves you for another firm or starts his own team. I have seen this happen way too many times yet I don't know if there ever will be a solution for this, it is almost unfair to the team leader and now I understand why few give out everything they know and always keep some under their sleeves. It is almost a conflict of interest, you can make money if the guy makes money, he will make you more money if you teach him everything you know, yet when he makes a lot of money you will be in danger of losing him.

    Fortunately this is an issue I will have to deal with sometimes into the future, and regardless of the result I just want to make sure that no one can say I didn't treat them fairly, whether they make it or not, whether they stay with me or leave me :) I always tell them everything I know and I intend to stay that way, even if I will inevitably lose someone at some point.

    It is a huge challenge, and I live for this type of challenges. It also feels even more satisfying when you are on a winning streak when your guys are looking at you for direction, and extra frustrating when you are trying to carry this team and inspire them with some solid plays (like in early January).

    Kind of like the princess situation, when it is all said and done I just want her to admit it that I was the one who tried the hardest and I was the one who loved her the most . . .
    #31     Apr 2, 2002
  2. jammy


    Now, as for the financial aspect of this job, as of now I am down $1200 on the 9 guys I have but it is expected, as I promised them that I will treat them all to at least pizza if not something nicer when and if I finally get a quarterly check sometimes down the road for all of those efforts.

    You haven't recieved any payday this year yet?
    #32     Apr 3, 2002
  3. Hitman


    From the team, no.

    From my own trading, yes.
    #33     Apr 3, 2002
  4. axehawk


    What exactly do you get out of being a team leader? I know you get reduced commissions for yourself, but what else? Do you get a percentage once they go net postive? You say you're down $1200 on these guys; is that just on paper or does that money actually come out of your account?

    #34     Apr 3, 2002
  5. Hitman


    I get 6-8% of the commissions they generate for the firm, depend on the performance of course.

    Of course, they won't be generating commissions if as a group they are losing money to the market. As the way the deal works is I am responsible for 25-50% of the gross losses before I can see a dime from commission stream.

    Yes it is a paper loss as I will never have to be responsible for the losses, just that all of my efforts mean nothing if I don't get them trading profitably.
    #35     Apr 3, 2002
  6. saico


    Hitman, is there a way for non U.S. residents to trade at Worldco ? I afraid no, however your answer is very appreciated !

    May the trend be with you ! ;)

    #36     Apr 3, 2002
  7. Hitman


    Tied my career high of consecutive wins today with the 15th in a row. Unfortunately the lack of aggression and bullets for that matter made it a dry spell after 10:30.

    10700 shares each way on 13 of 18 shooting, +730 before commissions, +544 after, no bullets.

    Almost all of my trades are done from the long side as they are heavily tape based and unless I am willing to cough up the minimum 1000 shares (lowered from 1500 firm wide, I say about time) bullet cost my short side is a lot weaker. Hence I really struggle on big sell-off's like this.

    Pre-Market: Very positive news on DD (chemicals)

    9:30: The open strategy shined today but I could not execute properly. As the first fill of the day was UTX and I lost 23 cents on it, had it been a winner I would have definitely handled rest of my positions with a little more patience. Got 25 cents from TGT (left some on the table but ok), 18 cents from IP (waste), 16 cents from ONE, 5 cents from BA (HUGE WASTE!). +$300 after commissions.

    9:40: Took ROH at the low unfortunately I could not get a full lot filled, got just a quarter out of the move. Took some WDR / HOV and scratched when the factory numbers came out, lost 15 cents in FMC in the process.

    10:50: Expected an energy bounce with inventory news coming out so took KMI, SGY, NBL, BHI ("touch of love" sized) and ended up getting 10-15 cents a piece. Got just a quarter from MHO on home builder move, scratched CVG as my lone daily play (was expecting a "bitter sweet" Tony Oz reversal). Got 10 cents from LM on a broker bounce. I was up $670, not bad, not great.

    2:25: Very dumb mistake as despite of the mini war with Don on another thread on ET, I could not fight away the boredom. Yes the market sold off hard and fast yet I had no bullets and I know I don't trust it enough to be putting up any (well, in hindsight SPX/DJI/COMP all broke support levels today). One of the guys on my team loves trading gaps and NKE gapped up a whopping 1 point with futures selling off so I took just 300 shares short, lost 50 cents on that (did put on a pair trade via RBK to offset some of the damage).

    Team Stats:

    9 of 10 active traders
    57700 shares each way on 33 of 77 shooting (43%)
    +2477 before commissions (6 of 10 positive)
    +1010 after commissions (5 o 10 positive)

    Top 3 Symbols: BA, IP, CPS
    Bottom 3 Symbols: NKE, EOT, UTX
    #37     Apr 3, 2002
  8. Hitman


    Sorry Saico, currently Worldco does not accept non-U.S. residents.
    #38     Apr 3, 2002
  9. Don't get mad, but just a note to say that I certainly don't want any "war" with me to interfere with your trading....your performance "under fire" as you call it, has overshadowed most of the silly nonsense we go through...so keep it up.

    You comment on my number of posts...but perhaps Ishould comment on the number of words/paragraphs on your posts....(smiling).

    Your journals are valuable to you, and I am sure help your trading decisions...just like a person on a diet writes down what they eat ( I obviously don't!).

    We do have "non -U.S. residents" with our firm, just for the record....and we will happily send them back to WorldCo after they become citizens....

    Have a good evening!!
    #39     Apr 3, 2002
  10. axehawk


    LOL! I am busting my gut laughing! Priceless.

    #40     Apr 3, 2002
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