12/10/06 I had a little revelation this week â when daytrading futures and using a platform that allows you to watch tick by tick and hit the flatten button instantly â this can be more of a distraction than anything else. My problem arises in that I noticed when I traded stocks/options through a website-based system that I would get my stop, profit target in place, and then be patient. With futures and daytrading them, I find that staring at the DOM's moving tick by tick can do more harm than good. It's way too easy to hit the flatten button and then watch the trade move in your favor. I guess for me, looking back at the last year and then some, this hit me like a ton of bricks this past week. My current plan is to: 1) Eliminate as many P&L's as possible on my DOM's. I was running an unrealized P&L, current P&L, and P&L of all trades on EACH DOM, plus a main P&L of all trades. These numbers of course changed tick-by-tick on each trade as I stared at themâ¦ 2) When in a trade, cover up the one P&L that is running so that I can just focus on the trade itself. 3) Follow my rules and be patient. Part of the problem going forward is going to be #3. I am way too quick to hit that flatten button. If nothing else, at least I know this. Since I am not a scalper, I can afford to get into the trade, place the stop and profit target(s) and then be patient. As much as we all would love for our profit targets to be hit instantly, it just does not happen in real trading. The goal of this journal will be simple â to document my progress in this area. This is NOT going to be a signal calling journal or details of trading methodologies. This journal will be more of a psychological trading journal, which I think is one of the most difficult parts of trading â what goes on in your head during a trade. I hope that by documenting this progress I can stick to my âsimpleâ plan of âP&L managementâ. Here is a little background information on my trading: â¢ I daytrade futures. I am currently trading the ES, NQ, ER2, QM and EC. Now that TradeStation has DAX and STOXX data, I am just waiting for my broker to have access to these markets as well. â¢ I trade manually. Call me old fashioned, but I like to manage the trade myself as I do not have 100% confidence in letting a computer program do this for me. I realize that a computer program may eliminate the problem that I am facing, but I want to correct this myself. I do not want to become reliant on a computer program that someone else built for me. The whole reason I got into trading was to be become 100% self-reliant. I am very comfortable knowing that I control the trading and that I run the âprogramâ. â¢ While I am a âdaytraderâ, I am not a scalper. Trades can last for minutes to over an hour. Up to this point, most trades have lasted under 10 minutes. And that is not b/c my profit target was hit. It was b/c I was impatient and would hit the flatten button (and then watch many, many trades hit the initial profit target). â¢ The reason I need to be patient boils down to keeping my risk-to-reward to my advantage. Before entering a trade, I run my risk-to-reward projections and if it passes, take the trade. Well, that analysis is only so good if you allow the trade the opportunity to hit your profit target. As soon as you alter that, the ratio is useless. What do you think and any suggestions? I will do my best to update this journal at the end of days when trading takes place. I do not trade every day, so there could be day(s) without new posts.