I need HELP

Discussion in 'Journals' started by quotetrader, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Hello Everyone-

    I am new to the EliteTrader forums. I decided to start a journal here in the hopes that I may get some help from experienced traders.. to possibly point out my mistakes and bad logic and get me on track.

    This week marked a bad point in my trading "career"

    My daytrading account fell below the $25,000 minimum and I got "the call" to add funds or no more daytrades for me.

    At this point, I'm taking a break, as I don't feel I know anything more than I did on Tuesday, when I made a fatal short that lost me $1000+ and put me under $25k

    So for now, my journal will consist of some examples of past trades and methods I was using- so that you all can get an idea of what I've been doing and hopefully point out to me where I've been going wrong.

    Thankfully, I've kept pretty good logs/notes of my recent trading, along with charts, etc So I plan to post it all here for your review.

    But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself and my history with trading.

    I've been dabbling in daytrading for about 10 years now, on and off.

    I first became interested in it around 1999 or so- I was trying to remember how it first caught my attention and I really can't remember.

    I opened a Datek account in 1999-2000 or so, and somewhere around that time started getting very interested in the notion of daytrading.

    Back then, there wasn't any good trading software that I could find that didn't cost a ton of money every month.

    There was the Datek order entry page thing, which I recall was very clunky.. and some external javascript based entry thing called "Da-Slinger" or something like that. Thats what I used in the beginning, and for my charts I used QuoteTracker which was free, and could create realtime charts from my Datek stream.

    During this period I was 100% in the dark. I had no idea what I was doing, complete guesswork.

    I lost some money, and rightfully so.

    A little bit later, Quotetracker came out with integrated trading, which meant I got rid of "dalslinger" and started entering orders right from Quotetracker.

    This worked pretty well from a technical standpoint, and its actually what i still use today.. I feel pretty comfortable with Quotetracker. Now that Datek is TDAmeritrade, they have teamed up with that broker and have a deal going where all the TD clients can get QT for free.

    However, at this time, even though my software had improved, I was still pretty much in the dark.

    I got the first Tony Oz book "The Stock Trader" and read it. I don't even remember how I found out about Tony Oz. Anyway, I tried to do the things he outline in the book.. but it didn't really work.

    Lost more money. Might have made some here and there, but as I kept going- it always went right back to the market with a little extra thrown on top.

    In the summer of 2000 I drove from Phoenix, Arizona to Orange County, California to attend a Tony Oz course.

    Myself and about 10-15 other people sat in a room in an office building and looked at charts projected on a wall. I recall the tech bubble had just burst and there was alot of commentary about it, as we looked at the Nasdaq index.

    Now I didn't learn how to trade from this course.. not at all. And the course wasn't cheap either.. and I had driven a long way to attend it.

    But I felt it was worth it for me.. and here's why:

    Being in that room with those traders (some of whom had some experience and seemed to know Tony) and listening to them discuss these chart patterns made me realize that there WAS a "logic" to daytrading. And that was the single piece of information I had come to find out..

    Was it simply "guessing" whether a stock would go up or down, or could you actually attain some skill and see things in the chart that would give you an advantage?

    Tony would flash a chart on the screen and a bunch of people would point out an ascending triangle, a breakout, loss of support, things like that. There seemed to be general agreement in what we were seeing in front of us. Tony would throw up a chart, and in a few moments laser-point to a "bear flag" or say "hmmm not seeing much here"

    That is what gave me the confidence to continue to pursue daytrading, and kindof sealed the deal for my obsession with one day being able to do this thing successfully.

    So I got back home, and tried trading some more. I sucked. Lost more money. I was trying to trade support/resistance, but I was no good.

    I was also trading with a small account- I can't remember how much, but not alot, and only 2x margin.. so maybe my positions were like 500 shares max, and I was hoping to see a 1.5 point move on my entries- stuff that never really happened for me.

    Next came Tony's second book, "Stock Trading Wizard" ..that one was better than the first, helped me a bit to see things a little clearer, but my trading still sucked.

    Nonetheless, I really had a thing for all these charts and the whole atmosphere of daytrading- I was hooked and still am and for some reason, after all these years and losses- I still have this affection for it, and want to keep coming back and get it right for once and for all.

    Fast forward a few years. I have moved from Phoenix, AZ to Melbourne Beach, Florida. I met a daytrader at the beach one day while attempting to learn how to surf. We become friends, and a little bit more clarity as to how it all works is achieved.

    The SEC $25,000 rule goes into effect and I tell my friend I'm out. I can't put together an account that big just to daytrade.. plus I'm concerned I'd lose it.

    A few years go by- no trading, but I'm still curious and read forums, etc.

    By now my 401k account, which is at TDAmeritrade, has gotten pretty big and I decide to do the occasional daytrade with it. Before I take the plunge, I signed up for a live market daytrading chat-room based course offered by Ken Calhoun called "TradingTheOpen"

    This really did help me. Things were being typed at lightning speed, but what was good about this chatroom for me was that I could watch live charts on my QuoteTracker setup, while reading what Ken had to say about them. Things like "here's our entry" and then maybe 3-5 minutes later, "looks like it stalling out.. time to exit"

    That showed me that before I was waiting way too long. I wasn't taking quick profits of $50, $100, $150 if the stock was losing steam.

    I printed out all the chat sessions and archived logs and poured over what was said each night- highlighting little things that had valueable information. I still have those printouts and there's still some good info in there.

    -That's all I have time for today. I will contiue this story in part2, which I will post soon.

    Hopefully you enjoy my tale ;)
  2. nysestocks

    nysestocks Guest

    That is a long post - I stopped after the first few lines!

    Post the chart of your losing $1000 trade if you want to learn a good lesson that you won't forget!