cold feet after a successful period

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by kenten, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. kenten


    i have been trading stocks as a hobby for a long time, probably longer than 10 years. probably i am breaking even for these period.
    Last year i took an interest in the futures. I studied a lot , created some number of trading systems. tried some live. At the end i decided on a system. From the year end i employed this particular system.
    My system required me to be on the market all the time . I adjusted my daily routine as not to look at the prices after market close . Being on position overnight was the biggest cause of stress.
    At the beginning i was following the system every step, then started to make some adjustments . These interventions didn't cause much harm, in fact some were very profitable. After five months i had a good profit .
    Then Last month i had some health problems , had to close positions to attend some procedures. all went well but after returning i had difficulty starting a position or sitting on it overnight. i tried to make some changes with no success.
    Now i feel i am scared to enter and carry positions all the time. I think i need to make some adjustments psychologically. But don't know what.
    I am here for comments and ideas.
    Before the break I had reached a round number position wise. I remember reading some book about that ( probably Ari Kiev's)
    Anyone experienced similar things , any comments will be most valuable.

    p.s. i trade local indice futures, my system works just on that. so i am not here for selling anything , just for the insight.
  2. there is something i was told is the "due theory" exactly what you should be afraid of. take your performance and put the data into a spread sheet then plot the data and apply a standard deviation on it. if it is above 1.5 then start worrying until it hits 2.5 and then stop trading. it may have gone on to 4.5 but odds are it will plummet to - 1.5 and beyond faster than you know.
  3. kenten


    I am least worried about the expectation of the system. This 5 months i executed over 200 trades. The result is parallel to the backtesting results. Profit is a little less than what the program computes . The difference is solely because of slippage and my interventions.
    Perhaps i should change the money management rules towards less margin. Tried that and i am worried that i may be loosing some opportunity .
    Maybe time will heal it or i am no trader material and my "due" will catch up with me.
  4. dude sounds perfect to me - a system should slightly under perform its testing. - learn if you didnt better things buy intervening then stay the hell out of the kitchen.

    your making money stupid guy - others would kill to be there.

    in fact if can play the game and BREAK EVEN your a winner !!!!!
  5. I may be seeing this happen as we speak, early this morning my best algo bought a bunch of Euros (after I increased risk last night).
  6. kenten


    At some point in April, I lost %25 of the portfolio . Coincidentally after one week it went back to a new high. But it was a bad experience. I remember comparing my monthly income from day job to the loss and hating myself :-(

    now i am making a reading list about the topic.
  7. pspr


    Trade smaller until you are down to your comfort zone. You can make 100% multiple times and still be in the game but it only takes one 100% loss and you are done.
  8. Podimer


    i know how you feel as i am just getting over a similar problem, making relatively great money for 6 months then giving most of it back in a couple. after that, had been "gunshy" until, like the poster above said, i started with small positions then slowly started increasing the size but never more than would frrrrreak me out if the position moved against me thus i would not get shaken out when my trading plan was still intact.

    i am thinking that you are trading the index futures, like ES? if so, and i am not sure where your account $ is, but even 1 contract may be a lot if you have to hold overnight and it gaps whilst you sleep, etc. if this is the case and the commissions are not too crazy, just try it with smaller amounts of SPY (the s&p 500 etf with one ES contract the equivalent of 500 shares SPY). if your plan involves scaling in and out of your positions, this should work and if you have to hold overnight, you could always hedge your position with SDS (right now, a good hedge is about 90 SDS:100 SPY). might help you sleep better unless your system is based on the gaps, in which case, i have no idea what to tell you.

    another possibility is that since this may be your only or primary source of income, that will make your trading success TOO important thus way stressful. if so, you might consider doing something on the side to at least make sure the bills are paid, etc. if you have kids, as well, then...well...again, i don't know what to tell you.

    anyway bro, best of luck with getting a little peace of mind and with that, a lot of profits:D
  9. kenten


    after withdrawing half of the account , using half the margin i started again. it has been 3 week and its going good. today i got the biggest drawdown and i am surprised to find myself ok with it.
    thanks to all who replied and offered advice
  10. Lucrum


    No personal experience myself of course, but I did ask my wife for you.

    She recommends thick wool socks, and a Luke warm douche.
    #10     Aug 27, 2009