Frosty's Part Time Trading Journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by frostengine, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Normally I only trade automated strategies. However, occasionally I get a wild hair and decide to do some discretionary trading. These times are very productive considering I normally get my auto trading ideas from these adventures.

    However, they almost always end up badly. I will have several days or a few weeks where I consistently make money then I lose focus and get overconfident.. next thing I know BAM I get wiped out on a few bad trades and stop my discretionary trading.

    The purpose of this journal is to try and keep me focused. By documenting feelings I have, and the times I notice myself getting lazy or over confident it may help me stay away from the dreaded blow ups that always result.

    I have a full time day job, but luckily the job allows me to glance at charts here and there and make my trades.
    Since I am only trading part time throughout the day, my goal will be to make an AVERAGE of $150 per day per YM contract. For now I am only trading 1 contract at a time. Some days I will not trade at all if I am busy with my real job.

    Yesterday was my first day "back on the wagon" so to speak. I made 5 trades for +$200. Today, I made 10 trades for +$136...

    After going through these "adventures" probably close to 15 to 20 separate times over the years, I am fairly familiar with the mistakes I always start making that lead to ruin.

    Today I could already see myself making these 3 mistakes...

    #1 Forcing trades. I made 10 trades today, that is way too many for what I aim to do. Since i am only looking at the screen part time throughout the day, every time I look I feel the urge to "make something happen". I need to resist that urge and wait until I see my setups.

    #2 Holding out past my stops. There were 3 trades today where I held on past my stopping point because I got "shell shocked". 2 of the trades recovered and I got out for a scratch. 1 of them I ended up eventually exiting near my original stop point. I survived it today, but eventually it will catch me again and lead to my blow up.

    #3 Jittery. Due to the few trades that went against me a bit and I didn't stop myself out when I should, it left me feeling jittery on my other trades. This caused me to jump out on small profits instead of waiting for my targets due to fear of it reversing.

    Not a good start when I am only the second day in and already making the same mistakes that have plagued me in the past. With any luck this journal will help me to admit to myself i'm making the mistakes and correct them before they cost me.

    *An Observation*
    I have noticed this in the past, and I am seeing it again the past 2 days. My first few trades of the day are almost ALWAYS losers. I always seem to start in a hole of about $100 before I turn around and start making money for the day. I have yet to figure out what causes this trend. Its not the time of the day, because some days my first trade will be early others not until around lunch, yet the same result. I "think" it may have something to do with the "forcing the trade" problem. Where I am just excited to get started with some trades that I rush in....

    Thanks in advanced for any comments or words of encouragement. Hopefully this won't be a short lived journal, but if its anything like my past day trading adventures it might.
  2. First trade booked today: Bought at 8258 sold at 8278 for +$96 after comissions

    i felt pretty good on this trade. I almost jumped in at the wrong time due to my "need to make something happen" urge, but I held out. Then I almost was too finicky, but I remembered what I wrote yesterday and fought that urge off as well. Decent start today.
  3. Second trade, bought 8253 sold 8255.

    This was almost a bad trade, it came VERY close to hitting my stop... Then when it got back to around my original entry price, I felt the reason I had for getting in was no longer there so I got out for basically a scratch.

    Might turn out to be one of those trades I kick myself afterwords as I see how much I missed out on by getting out where I did. My exit was borderline being finicky... but I no longer had confidence in the trade, so better to get out and wait until my next setup.
  4. Well those of you waiting for the blow up, one of the mini blow ups arrived.

    Bought at: 8243 sold at 8148...

    Wiped out all the gains I have had the past 3 days like usual. I did everything wrong on this trade... Took the trade right before something I had to do so I coudln't watch it.. took the trade just because I wanted to trade, not because I had a setup.... watched it bypass my stop.. then it came back to almost breakeven.. and got greedy and held on, then watched it bypass my stop again..... then watched it keep melting down before I finally reacted.. was "shell shocked"...

    I just have no discipline..
  5. Hang in there frosty, when i read your posts its kind of scary cause i have made the exact same misteaks in the past and i mean exactly the same misteaks. I found that putting fixed or trailing stops was a big help to take the decision out of my hands as to when to exit when the trade has gone against me. Another thing that helped me was to stop trading for 30 min after any trade went against me so that i would not have the urge to revenge trade.
  6. Miragers, thanks for the support..

    Just made another trade to try and get back on the wagon. This trade went pretty well... I saw my support point, made the trade.. Road it up from 8078 to 8099 for a gain of around $100.

    The one problem i had with this trade is towards the end of it I got real jittery... a big blow up lost will do that to me, will make me jittery for a while.. so I think i got out too soon...

    Total for the day: +96, +5,-$480,+$100=-$279

    At least I am back to slightly green for the week.... I have to avoid any more blow ups for a while...
  7. Oh one thing that helped me talk myself out of those "i gotta do something" trades was to say to myself: Would I still make this trade if i was going to do it with an options contract?
  8. WOW, I am deffinetly trading scared right now... didn't hold that one but for 15 or 20 seconds... I have got to get this finicky trading under control.. bought at 8110 sold at 8122 for a +$55
  9. Another trade for not much more than a scratch... got in at 8151.. road it down close to my stop,but as I expected there was good support in that area, so it flew back up and made its second attempt at going green.. I went into the money for close to 100.... then it looked like it may have been failing a second time, so I jumped out for a scratch at 8154.. which gives me roughly +$10 after commission

    kicking myself for how I played this one at the end

    EDIT: And it looks like I got shaken out. as it was able to go green after... The more I reflect on the trade however, I am not too disappointed. I did what I had to do at the time, impossible to know for sure that it was going to make a third attempt and succeed...
  10. This should be renamed the pathetic journal ;)..... Just got hit again, went long at 8179, got out at 8144....

    we had good momentum, saw a little pullback.. went long with my stop around the area it broke out trying to go positive a few minutes before... i held out on executing my stop for an extra 10 points.. but finally did so...

    I think part of this trade was frustration of getting out too early on the last one...

    I should probably chill out for the rest of the day... but thats easier said than done

    EDIT: of course right after doing my stop it rebounds back up.. figures ;)
    #10     Jan 16, 2009