Can't Get Back On The Horse

Discussion in 'Options' started by Arnie Guitar, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. I stopped trading options a few years back. For a little over a year after retirement I supported myself trading them. Mostly Iron Condors, or one sided vertical spreads. I stopped for several reasons...but the biggest one was that it was too mentally draining, I had to take a break.

    Now I've been trying to get back up to speed...even had some orders ready to go, but couldn't press the "submit" button. I'm retired, and thinking maybe my older age of 53 is making me less willing to take any risks.

    Don't really know if I'm looking for an answer from anyone here, just thinking out loud. :confused:
  2. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

    time to go woodie, open a trading club.
  3. 53 and retired, you are way ahead of the game...dont f**k it up. That's just my advice, but you are perhaps much wiser than me. good luck
  4. If you no longer enjoy it, then find something else to do. Or change your strategies to ease the stress. Or change markets. I just finished my worst year trading s&p 500 emini futures options. I used IB's with reverse gamma scalping or bull put spreads all year. Barely eked out a profit. If I didn't scalp, losses would have been much higher. I am very discouraged, and I have wanted to quit many times this year. My wife encouraged me not to give up. This is someone who is risk averse. I have been trading the s&p emini for over 6 years and enjoyed it. I have switched up techniques and strategies and profited. This past year--frustrating. So, I am spending the rest of the year exploring other markets and other strategies that I used in the past. I hate to quit, especially something I enjoy--but have gotten terrible results.
  5. I'm in a similar boat - not yet 60, retired, risk averse and paying the bills from trading. For most of 12/07 to 7/09 I was trading high frequency (retail not HFT), often putting in 12-14 hour days. I had two stellar years, the likes of which I hope to see again in my lifetime... but I was so mentally fried that I had to take a break. So I took a break.

    If you recognize that you're not 100% into the game, you shouldn't be in it. As Yogi Berra said, “95% of this game is half mental.”
  6. This has been a very frustrating, modest profit year and I think that feeling is compunded by the fact that the 2 previous years were a trader's dream. I too am exploring other strategies that I used in the past because what worked for me for 2 years has gone flat.

    Sometimes I find myself itching to pull the trigger, looking to capture the glory of '08-09 but I don't because it's just not there this year. So I pick my spots and scalp what I can. I'm sure that many are doing well because there are always things moving in the market but the risk averse strategies I pursue are just not yielding enough take on any kind of size. Well, maybe next year? :)
  7. the1


    What kind of position size are you putting on? Dial it down to whatever size allows you to execute it. I've been shaken a number of times, for a variety of reasons. The way I overcame it was to put on the smallest possible size I could.
  8. Well, I followed your advice, on Tuesday I opened a simple position, a vertical put out of the money. It was a -5 $SPX.X Dec 23 1235p/+5 $SPX.X Dec 23 1225p, .35 credit spread, $157.51 profit...what I used to call a "base hit". It felt pretty good.

    I think even though I have some prior experience, the advice to crawl before I walk, and walk before I run after a long absence was good.

    Thank you,

  9. sumfuka


    If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.

    - Sun Tzu

    Good Luck :)
  10. Stay humble, I've just been lucky.
    Stay humble, I've just been lucky....

    I've taken a couple positions every week and no losers, doing great. This week I'm sitting on a 1220/1210 vert put position, looks like another winner.

    Maybe this should be in the psychology section, but I find myself reminding myself that I'm not that smart, just lucky. All of the positions have been vertical put spreads well OTM on the S&P500. I look at the charts, listen to the pundits...Don't really know where I'm going with all of this, just thinking out loud...I was tempted to write OTM vertical calls too, but that chart is pretty scary. Everyone and his brother is calling for an S&P correction, but it keeps rolling along. I find myself reciting all of the standard sayings..."The trend is your friend", "Don't fight the tape", "Bulls and Bears can make money, hogs can't, don't be greedy", etc, etc, etc...

    I'm trying to keep the Ferrari out of my head...:p

    Seriously, the main thing on my mind right now staying humble. I'd like a multiple monitor setup...but then again the market wore me out last time, and I think that much immersion would be detrimental, maybe keeping a casual eye on things is the way to go...who knows?

    Stay humble, I've just been lucky.
    Stay humble, I've just been lucky...
    #10     Jan 17, 2011