January Trading Journals

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Hitman, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Hitman


    December was a fitting conclusion to what was my first profitable month in professional trading. I was able to overcome an early 3 games losing streak and put together a flawless pay period as I ended the year on a 13 games winning streak.

    I have many expectations for this year, as my goal is to hit six figures this year, from my own trading alone. I would like to maintain my current shooting percentage (52%) but increase my volume. Last but not least, I need to maintain my consistency, and average no more than one down day per week in non-summer months.

    I would also like to have 10 profitable traders on my team by the end of the year (net positive). Santa was kind to me and dropped me an incredible opportunity in a management position, something I have never expected, at least not this early in my career. I will give it my 100% effort.

    I must keep my aggression and realize the simple truth that, it doesn't matter how hard you push along the way, the only thing matters is whether you have enough left in the tank for the finish. A trader is most vulnerable early in his career, as this year I absolutely must step up to the plate and prove that last year was not a fluke, that I can at least repeat my performance. My 2001 performance will be the ultimate benchmark. If I can beat it by a substantial margin, I would have finally arrived.

    December / November

    P&L Before Commissions: 16943 / 15183
    P&L After Commissions: 6913 / 8838
    Shooting %: 54.85% / 53.21%
    Cent Per Share: 0.067 / 0.051
    Volume Each Way: 257400 / 292700
    W/L: 18-3/18-4
  2. Hitman


    Hit List Moment:


    The game that I shouldn't have lost. The game that made me realize that I should trade some tier 2's in addition to tier 1's. The surprise Fed rate cut.

    January 2001

    The new year is turning into a nightmare. Two games into the January season I am already stressed out over the inability to make plays. The only bright spot is that my share limit has been pumped to 400 shares, but what a nightmare this has been.

    Once again, I completed the daily goal for January ($100) on the very first trade, and once again, I closed the day down more than $200. Worst of all, I am simply not scoring on trades that I am supposed to score on. This afternoon was a prime example, I caught so many great trades and just didn't take them or got shaken out early, after missing the dramatic move I was completely frustrated.

    5200 shares, 2 stocks, -$42.75 before commissions, -$205.20 after, this is giving me a very bitter taste in my mouth. What should have been money in the bag turned into a disaster. Actually, I shouldn't complain, just two minutes before the Fed. announcement I was shorting IBM and didn't get my order filled, had it got filled, I would have been killed, as simple as that. I was casually trading and taking my scalps, and all of a sudden futures ripped. Took Jay's advice and sticking to a VERY small basket of stocks that I actually trade well. I have lost money on IBM like 1 out of the last 10 sessions, I just feel very comfortable trading it, it is liquid and swings well, so I am taking that as my number one basket stock. I am also learning to trade EMC, hoping to make it my number two basket stock. The idea is you trade a stock over and over so you really know what the specialist is going to do, and I believe I already have that in IBM. Looking for more stocks like IBM and trying to develop a "personal ATM machine" as Jay puts it, when I really become consistent with that stock.

    Opened the day with a short in IBM, stock went up way too much and with futures coming down, no brainer there. 300 shares at 86 9/16, out 100 at 7/16, 200 at 1/16, 3/8 a piece. Not aggressive enough and didn't get back in on the long side on the next signal, missed a chunky run-up. Shorted again at 87 15/16, out 100 shares at 11/16, out other 100 at 88 1/8 for flat. Then, I have no idea what I was thinking, took a position in EMC before the cross-over actually occurred and just rode it down and took a full point loss on 200 shares. Hello? The way I trade EMC, as soon as it ticks against me I would look for exit, how the hell did I let a full point loss happen (it wasn't gapping down).

    Pathetic fill on a market order, lost 1/8 on 300 shares of IBM. Flat on next trade of IBM. Shorted 300 shares of IBM for a 1/8 scalp (surprisingly, my morning winners were all shorts). Down $150 so far. In dead zone I just chipped on 100 shares, trying to build some confidence, and cut that deficit by half by the time the Fed. meeting came out. This event ruined my rthyme, ruined the charts, and most importantly, ruined the way my basket stocks trade. All of a sudden we are talking huge volume and large blocks. Still, managed to make a few small scalps on shorts, if I held on to any one of them for more than a few seconds, I would have scored very nice gains, but with the market going up the way it did, I just couldn't bear the pressure.

    The final hour was best described as "missed opportunities", can't tell you how many of them I missed on my basket stocks, I would like to forget this session as it took my net P&L to a new low at -$4400. Why am I playing so poorly is beyond my imagination, most people at my firm made really nice profits today.

    Just got apporoved for 400 shares, 4 positions, time to re-think my strategy and use the other 3 positions for swing plays.
  3. Hitman


    It was freezing outside and wind hit my face like a razor blade. I was stuck in the train this morning and walked into the office the exact same second that opening bell went off. I was cold, I was ice cold, and I could not immediately focus myself. Still, since my forte has always been "trade what you see", I decided to take it slow and see what happens. I sure as hell didn't mean to be slow when it comes to cutting losers short.

    As fate has it, I lost 1.25 point on my first trade of 2002 and the pain went too deep for me to recover. By 10AM I was looking at a nightmare of a blotter, zero winners and down a grand. Worst of all, there were outstanding opportunities today, and I almost banged against my head against the wall because I just couldn't focus effectively. I was slow on everything. I hit myself on the head a few times because I can't think clearly.

    Fortunately, I defrosted just in time to make a few shots, and while I could not save my winning streak, the damage was under control. 16000 shares on 5 of 12 shooting, +189 before commissions, -403 after, 4 bullets. The firm's stats were outstanding, the market had excellent volatility, and tommorrow I must put myself in black for the year.

    Pre-Market: As I got stuck on the train, I was extremely upset because I knew there would be news galore to kick off the new year. Sure as hell wish I saw the energy downgrades this morning.

    9:30: DNA opened up 90 cents, I told myself "free money", and I went for a bullet. Somehow, some way, I cancelled the bullet when he went down a quarter because it was one of my bigger losers on Friday when I had a bullet on him. Why did I forget that on Friday my bullet would have worked wonders, just that he made a squeeze and I was suckered into flipping before he tanked it for good? And even worse, when it came back to around unchanged I went for a "bounce off the unchanged" as BTK squeezed. That was a legit play, except it didn't work and I did not get out immediately like I usually do, on one down tick. I sat there and watched the thing go against me for 1.25 point before I tapped out, which of course was the intraday low. My brain was slow, it is vital that I get in the office with at least half an hour to warm up, and I mean literally, warm-up, in this kind of weather. My fingers were frozen and I can't believe I didn't sell it. That was a gift and somehow instead of hopping on for a ride I slipped in front of the truck like a deer in head light. And I had many many ticks to get out.

    9:45: Financials sold off. Went for bullets in AXP (churned and wasted), MXT. The second my MXT bullet got confirmed he tanked 35 cents in one print. Not willing to chase I watched him tanking another half a point, and I went short there, bam squeezed for a 20 cents loss and churned him all day. Lost commissions but got bullet cost back. CTX tanked and I went for home builder bullets in DHI/SPF, scored half a point a piece but they weren't smooth and I had to pare out a lot, hence I could not keep the full position for that half point move which would have brought me back for sure. Spend most of the morning trading those bullets, and I was down just $300, that certainly got a sigh of relief from me.

    11:15: When the oil index is down 4%, don't even try to bottom pick stuff. I did and I managed to go flat on SGY but lost 10-15 cents in BJS/GSF. I was down $500 again.

    2:00: Financials were weak, technology was strong, seeing how financials were bottoming I went for the long side. Unfortunately I could not make much out of that rally, churned myself in LSI, did get a quarter out of LAB, but my DOX which had some big prints and I went size in didn't work. When the 3:30 rally kicked in I immediately realized that I was in some really bad stocks because the futures wasn't that strong, and I needed higher tier stocks.

    Can't wait for tommorrow's open, I can not afford to put myself into any sort of deficit to start the year, gotta start winning again. Physically I haven't been at 100%, and a weaker body made the mind weaker, I have to hit the gym more now the holiday is over, as I skipped it entirely this past two weeks.
  4. Hitman


    The morning energy move cost me what could have been a great opportunity to rebound from yesterday's losses. Refused to open the new year with back-to-back losses and I managed to slip into the black in final minutes. 23100 shares each way on 6 of 15 shooting, +633 before commissions, +15 after, 2 bullets.

    I have blew two games so far, I can not afford to slip up here. This month feels like the start I had back in September when the market was sensational and somehow someway I could not score. I need to move things in the right direction tommorrow.

    Pre-Market: Crude oil price weakens and MER had some negative comments. The problem was yesterday they already fell a lot. Still, on any other day I would have played the energy sector exactly same way. Unfortunately in today's case, it cost me the great Nasdaq rally. DOW was upgraded but the CEX index is delisted, and I missed the incredible move in chemicals.

    9:30: Tried DNA again off the open, BTK reversed and I was out of 20 cents. Bulleted DO/GSF (which opened up 35 cents and I thought it was a gift). SLB/SII gapped down a lot and I was worried, and as soon as I saw them filling the gap I got out of my shorts immediately. Went long HP at the morning bottom print for half a point. Took SGY for 20 cents. Unfortunately my flip in GSF, which I mistakenly went for 1500 shares turned 15 cents against me and it hurted because it was my biggest position. Tried EOG and gave up another 20 cents as the energy crumbled under the selling pressure. On the way down I was able to utilize my DO bullet to scalp the stock but I never had the same size I did in the morning. GSF was choppy and I really churned and struggled in him. I thought he was a newbie specialist lol, but he sure as hell took my money today.

    9:45: Went long CCU at 50.50, had 1200 shares and was so happy when futures ripped and he spreaded 20 cents in my favor immediately. Unfortunately all the media companies (AOL/VIA) were down and I ended up losing money in him (pared some out for a profit, other half for a loss, but what hurted was I tried to bottompick him and lost 10 cents every attempt). Home builder rally and I took MDC for a half point. BZH for flat. Had no bullet to short them on the way down however. Bottompicked DHI and smacked for a small loss.

    2:30: Anticipating a rally went long MXT, LM, WDR, churned a lot on LM/WDR but scored 40 cents in WDR. Just very happy to win my first game in 2002, back-to-back losses for the year opener would have really hurted.

    Tommorrow I must do everything I can to go black for the year.
  5. Hitman


    This morning our firm installed an update for the order entry system which corrupted my system. The MIS guy had to re-install it and he finished it at literally the opening bell.

    I wish he never finished it, I wish I missed the entire open . . . I was very anxious to start trading as soon as he was done which led to rushed shots and there were a few minor changes to the order entry software (a few different clicks here and there) that slowed me down a little.

    Still, I ended up swallowing my worst defeat since September, and worst start in a month since May (which was my only down month last year). The critical mistake was when I DID NOT slow down the tempo of the game after I took some bad shots off the open. I was down a few hundred then I went berserk and took some very very uncharacteristic shots that I haven't took since I was a newbie.

    I am down $1700 for 2002 after three great trading days, the weekend will be extremely helpful to repair the psychological damage issued, and I will face a huge challenge next week as I try to get myself back in the game for 2002. I knew I was losing momentum at the end of that 13 games winning streak, but when I looked at my trades today I can't believe I made them. My seventh worst day ever.

    27200 shares each way on 8 of 22 shooting, -592 before commissions, -1308 after, 2 bullets. With this loss, I am the worst performer on my own team for 2002 in every single category.

    Pre-Market: APD upgrade made me think chemical follow through. Positive telecom news and a bunch of broker upgrades.

    9:30: I thought third time would be the charm and I went long in DNA off the open again, BTK went up and I thought it was good and I lost 20 cents again as he could not take out .60 and it was a trap. Went for PPG long on chemical strength and scored 40 cents which was my lone decent trade of the day. Missed the second leg completely of course. Took FMC on chemical strength and smacked for another 20 cents, he had an offer off the open, I usually wait for people to hit it but today I was so anxious and I took it anyway, a poorly rushed shot. Took PCS gap-down on XTC strength as I looked for a gap-fill, lost 20 cents. I was very slow with defense today and it was inexcusable.

    9:50: I started to anticipate a gap and trap, and I looked for shorts. Out of all stocks, I went for GS of XBD, strongest stock, strongest sector, that is like asking for trouble. With gap's if they don't fill it immediately it is no good. And I lost a quarter on my first try, 10 cents on my second try, and on my third try, I lost 90 cents on 500 shares (a small position). That blew the game open, wide open. In the mean time I went short AMD of SOX, shaken out for 20 cents loss then watched it came in. In chaos I thought IRF had an leg left in him (as well as SOX) and I went for a long, hit for a quarter. Worst of all I went for a "second leg" on home builders and lost 50 cents in DHI. It didn't even matter because by then I was hit too hard as I realized that I was probably going to lose a game that I really really needed with a $1200 deficit. Usually when I missed shots off the open I recognize my mistakes and I slow the game down, but today I wanted it so badly and it backfired and I knew I was pinned into the worst possible situation. Go with your biase (gap and trap), and if you are wrong just sit it out for a while and relax, flipping back and forth resulted in damage from both sides.

    10:05: Thought it was a OSX bottom, went long HP/BHI/VTS and shaken out for flat. It was a very strange feeling because normally when it is this early in the game I still have confidence in myself that I will make something happen. OSX ran hard just like I anticipated and missed the low risk move.

    11:00: As I watched OSX hitting intraday high's I knew it was pretty much over. But I took some bounce off the bottom's on home builders and scored a pair of 15 cents scalps on TOL/CTX, and I tried BHI again this time scoring 50 cents from it, and I was down just $900 and I thought I had a chance to cut it down further.

    12:45: Talk about getting greedy, I took VTS again (which tanked later in the day, apparently some news is involved) and out for flat, tried BHI on a pullback, HP on a pullback. When both hit new high's I thought I would have cut it to $700 or so, but that was the high of OSX and the BID was gone and I was the bag holder all alone. I gave back 20 cents in BHI and lost 30 cents in HP (absolutely inexcusable as I was in the money by nearly a quarter).

    2:00: Went long CRA on BTK strength at 25, when something is down 3 day's in a row a very solid chance for a reversal, stock was strong all day, got 30 cents and missed the point. Took LEN on home builder rebound, out for flat watched it go up half a point. By then, I knew for a fact that I was not in this game, that my confidence was shattered and my brain stopped functioning. Mrs F bought me pizza and it tasted like cold hard rocks.

    3:00: Tried CCU on a dip, worked wonders as the stock was strong, even tho futures didn't move still took 15 cents out, which rubbed some more salt into my wound as it reminded me how stupid it was to short strong stocks. Tried CNI/SGY and out for flat again. Churned a little GSF/AGE and the game was over.

    A horrendous start for the New Year, I need a win on Monday, even if it is just $50. My defense was non-existent today and I most definitely need to be more patient with shot selection, I have been shooting 38% which is 17% lower than my December average.

    Step up to the plate and perform, it is my only option.
  6. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    To have missed as many shots and played inadequate defense as you did, yet to finish the day down only $592 (before commissions) shows your basic ability to be intact, your general instincts to be solid. Good trading on Monday, I'm sure you'll make up this week very quickly.
  7. Hitman,

    hang in there.. if you are down more than anyone on your team, when you pull out of this it will give them confidence.. so, there is even a silver lining in a couple bad days =).. next week will be better..

  8. Hitman


    A very hard game in a must win situation as I HAD to get this one to get some of my offense flowing. Fortunately I was able to hit a large percentage of my shots and got the much needed win after Friday's blown-out. 13600 shares each way on 6 of 9 shooting, +763 before commissions, +345 after, 2 bullets.

    Still down $1300 for 2002, the goal is to recover all of it by the end of this week, if I take it a game at a time, it is more than doable, but I must be a lot more selective in my shots and be ruthless on defense.

    Pre-Market: Positive news on energy stocks, very mixed news in BKX.

    9:30: Took P and out for flat. Got GSF for 20 cents. Had S on RLX strength and out for flat. Got EOG/NBL and scored 40 cents on NBL, 10 cents in EOG. Unfortunately I lost 30 cents in HP, so what looked like a good open turned flat and I almost started to get that "here we go again" feeling up my spine.

    9:55: Very poor bullet selection as I bulleted WFT and got just 15 cents out before the inevitable squeeze. Bulleted BSC on XBD sell-off and this stock was so strong today and kept on squeezing and including commissions it was my worst loser of the day at -$300. Anticipated the eventual OSX rebound and scored 40 cents a piece in GSF/NBL, got 30 cents out of HP and 20 cents out of BHI on a second leg. Market felt really choppy and BSC chopped me up, not willing to give back what was a must win game, I stopped early.
  9. Some nice trading there Hitman... today was a losing day for me... lost a couple of hundred bucks... not gonna kill me, but a waste of a day.
  10. must win and win!!!!

    i think i can learn something from it.
    #10     Jan 7, 2002