how long does it take?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by daytraderpete, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. After being a daytrader for 3 yrs. Reading (literally) hundreds of books on trading, sitting with many types of traders and being a memeber of all the chat rooms at one point or another.......

    I finally have a trading plan that is "MINE", bits and pieces from all of the above, one that I believe in. One that I take every signal that is presented. This moment and process took me much, much longer than I expected it to. I never realized how my inconsistencies in my trading were a direct result of not having a written plan to follow. I thought I had a plan with rules in my head, until I tried writing them down, when it took me a month to do, I knew I needed to take a step back. This took place about 3 months ago, and although my P&L has been stagnant during this time, I knew to ensure long term success, I had to develop a plan with an edge that was mine. The edge didn't have to be a big one, just one I believed in and could occur with enough regularity to make a living.

    The plan and signals aren't complex:

    * entry and exit signals (for me tests and retracements on multiple intra day time frames) / the hardest part here was exit signals for profit targets
    *trend identification, or lack there of
    *money management and capital allocation
    *To trade very aggressively when the time frames I trade are a blatant long or short (to make up for all those small losses)/ to not trade very much when there are no "clean" signals
    * when and how often to take time off to recharge myself or to reward myself
    * progress review

    I feel like I am a baseball player who has spent the last 3 months breaking a new glove, and now it is perfect for me to trust in a game every day. I am now at the point of "there is my signal, execute the trade,this is where I am wrong, this is my profit objective......let the market unfold.

    I guess my question to everyone is : To those of you who have a written plan and every day go to the market with a belief in your edge:
    How long did it take to develop an edge that was "yours?"
    Do you now feel like a "professional" running a money management business? (my metaphor I use)
  2. nitro


    My first plan geled at about three months. The second "AHA!" came at a little less than a year.

    Today, I have so many ideas that I want to pursue that I would not have a life if I gave them the time and effort they deserve. IMHO, the key is to always keep growing and learning, without it letting it confuse what is currently working for you.

  3. funky


    about 3 1/2 months. you're right, once you can write the rules down and explain it to someone else, you are on your way. i am now at the stage of being able to follow my rules. it is a trust thing and most importantly it is an experience thing. the more you trade, the bigger the picture you will see. once you can see the forest from the trees, your trading will improve dramatically.

    ever wonder why it is so easy to look back at charts and pick out your trades? its because it forces you to see the bigger picture. when you are trading during the day, you MUST find a way to enforce this view. i am currently trying to narrow my trading to a few select times during the day -- effectively 'closing business' during the slow periods. i noticed that the longer i'm sitting at the computer screen staring, the easier my discipline breaks down. by only trading certain times, i will give myself time to clear my head, refocus my strategy, and execute the way i should.

    good luck!
  4. This is very true. I use the dead zone periods to look at things that are not in my immediat attention during the more active hours of the trading day. Staring at the same chart while there are no obvious setups just adds frustration and is simply boring. You don't wan't to be in this situation in the middle of the day. Besides, Those are the best times to look at some other data that can effect the market as a whole.

    TM Trader
  5. Wow,

    U guys are fast at it. It took me 7 years of study to get to that A-Ha" point. I'm still learning and there's just so many things to learn. I still think I'm a newbie.


    Good luck!!

  6. Atlantic


    good idea. most of the days the first 2 hours are the best ones anyway. and especially for a new trader who is not yet consistently profitable - what sense would it make for him to trade all the day every day? none i'd say.
  7. Personally, the "A-Ha----" point was when I confirmed what I've been reading...

    See... when I first started, I just took what the books were saying, like Market Wizard. You soon get to a point where you actually start sensing and confirming what you have read in those books.

    As trend says, you hear something, you try something and you confirm something. Then that something becomes a little bit a part of you.
  8. Kap


    The first two hours is where the action is 80% of the time, the rest of the day constitutes the folk who missed the move hoping for a repeat performance, or fighting for the remaining scraps to get them back in the black... but then again I do enjoy squeezing the shorts into the close :p
  9. EGOT


    Great post, good concepts for anyone wanting to succeed.

    It took me 3 yrs to develop a system, and another year + to get past everything else I had learned so I could follow the system with complete trust.
  10. jessie


    I must be slow. It took me about 10 years and 4 or 5 blown accounts before I had a few years of consistent profitability, and it felt like a business. Mostly, that was the result of it taking me that long to develop the discipline that I have now, it really had nothing to do with finding a better trading system.
    #10     Aug 4, 2003