Is this a discipline problem?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Lobster, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Coming into this morning I was short 1 ES, and I didn't want to have this risk at 8:30, so I decided to either cover the ES or sell one ZN. At about 8:15 I decided to short a ZN instead of covering the ES. I was waiting for a good entry point, and a few came and went, then it was getting close to 8:30, and to be honest, I don't remember why exactly I did not short the ZN before the news came out. I remember counting down the seconds, but for some reason I didn't take action. My strategy would have worked perfectly, and I would have made about $400 instead of losing $600, which is of course what happened.

    Since then, I have been trading normally, I did short the ZN at 8:36, covered the ES and went long, shorted the ZN a few times, went long ZN a couple of times, long ES a few times (all one-lots of course), didn't do much in the afternoon, because I was suspecting the ES would come back down, but I don't trade against the trend of the day in such a case, so that meant sitting on the side lines.

    All in all, it has been a good day, I am satisfied with the way I traded, except of course the mysterious outage my brain must have had before 8:30. My total P/L since 8:29 is about negative 200 bucks, which means (for my style) I would have had an above average day if I add the $1000 my little indiscretion cost me.

    Now first of all, those of you who hate me or would hate me if their superior mental capabilities did not prevent them from feeling any form of hatred, feel free to gloat. I deserve it.

    Secondly, has anyone had a similar experience? I know I have been having the usual problems with discipline we all must have had at some point, keeping losers too long, overtrading, etc. But I have never had an experience like today, where I decide on a strategy and simply fail to execute it without even remembering the reason. Is this at all a discipline problem, or am I just a moron? Could it be something like ADD or ADHD? I remember being very focussed on the computer screen and listening to CNBC. I didn't turn away or fall asleep, I just didn't execute the trade. All you Sigmund Freud wannabes, please analyze!
     
  2. nkhoi

    nkhoi Moderator

    since you focus on it so much your brain think you already shorted ZN.
     
  3. This might be true. I remember leaning back contently and watching ZN drop for a few seconds, before I realized I wasn't actually short.
     
  4.  
  5. Actually, it's more like when I'm right I make $80 and when I'm wrong I lose $200. But this is a huge generalization. I do have $500 winners from time to time, and I am seldom wrong. This is because I am often semi-wrong, which produces a result of anywhere between negative $50 and positive $50.
     
  6. T-REX

    T-REX

    I think that you know the difference between how you feel about the market & what you think about the market.

    case point: Yesterday I talked MUCH sh*t about shorting the market today. However, this morning when I published my FORECAST I had NO SIGNAL to short what so ever. I've learned to trade my system NO MATTER WHAT! It has saved me time & time again.

    bottom line: THINK WHAT YOU WANT & SAY WHAT YOU WANT about the market.......but.......TRADE YOUR SYSTEM REGARDLESS!

    :)
     
  7. Albert

    Albert

    I don't think you have a discipline problem. You have an organization problem. Do you keep a notebook in front of you while you are trading?
    Every trade and/or setup gets recorded and whether you act on it or not gets recorded too. System traders say take every trade. I don't believe you can do that with every type of system, especially in your case as your intuition seems to be your system.
    To counter that problem you need feedback to hone your intuition, and that feedback comes from your notes.
    Al
     
  8. PetaDollar

    PetaDollar Moderator

    How about this for a possible explanation:

    You decided to hedge, you knew it was the right thing to do.
    But you've been listening to the Dems bash the economy for some time now. They have you at least wondering.

    Jobs report... it's going to be pathetic... the market's going to tank..

    Instead of the hedge you went for the big bucks. You went for the throat but you don't want to admit it to yourself. You prefer your self image as a logical, cold, low risk trader. But you've got that little man inside if you that we all have. You know, the little guy with the fistfull of cash in each hand, with that evil laugh. This morning you wanted to be like him.

    Would you be writing about a lack of discipline if the market tanked and you made a grand?
     
  9. Thank you. I believe this is the answer I was looking for. How could I have been so blind? It was simple greed. Case closed.