just another journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by xtraderx, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. xtraderx


    Thought i would start a journal here b/c 1) i have sloppy handwriting and cant even read my own notes and thusly never review them 2) perhaps writing in a semi-public forum will hold me to some type of standard, and be more honest w/ myself
    3) although i dont expect anyone to read these, if someone gets really bored and happens to stumble upon it any feedback is appreciated.

    A couple notes regarding my style: i have no style.

    Ok, seriously, i would be nice to have one style that just rakes in the cash day in and day out, but until then i employ many strategies depending on the kind of day, and what seems to be working, but for the most part do opening's, MOC's, relative strength, always look for momentum plays, particularly with sectors, scalps, and pairs. when i do pairs they are ususally 1 day to a week, never long term pair investing, and every day i stick to a few bread and butter stocks and read tape...i trade in 500-1000s lots and my positions dont exceed 2000s, at least not yet.
    i dont use any technicals (so glas i got away from that) other than just being aware of S/R, i only look at charts during the day as a cheat sheet or for an unfamiliar stock, rather i look at raw data and remember what happens at what price levels.
    i always watch the s&p minis with a tick and 1 minute chart (the only chart open on my screens)

    a littel background:
    i have been activley trading for about three years, intraday until the PDT, then had to adapt to a swing style, but since i am back to intraday only for about 6 months now that i am better capitalized.
    i averaged about a 3% rate of return per month during my swing days and since switching back to intra-day, after initially taking some lumps, i am back to profitable the past four months. i would love trading to be my sole source of income but until then (maybe this will help) i also run another business to supplement income. Thank you anyone who has read to this point or reads beyond and any comments are appreciated, maybe we can both learn something.
  2. xtraderx


    thought i would start out on a positive note and log yesterday, b/c it was a good day, cleared $500. i fugure i need to be averaging about $500-1000/day on the good days (and of course have more of them) to make a decent living.
    its funny on the good days you dont have much to write b/c everything just seems natural and clicks. i'd say the best thing i did was to be very selective and patient with my trades; (my weaknesses are overtrading and no patience) i have been finding soemtimes to take a breather after knocking down a nice trade instead of jumping into something else, helps preserve my profits keep me focused and selective.
    the only negative is i gave some back into the close when i got a little stubborn, esp. since i have been moslty losing on the closes the past week, no much reason when i was up over $700.

  3. xtraderx


    disappointing day, although the big gap days can be difficult... but i felt there was ample oppurtunity to play the morning momentum and make at least 1/4 to a 1/2 point.
    had a solid opening, made soem scalps, dabbled a little in the bio-tech momentum, but couldnt avoid the big loser letting a short TGT 1000s on the open get away from me and lost 1/2 point walking that fine line between patience and stubborness... could have been worse if i didnt throw the WMT crutch on but that one loser was still the difference on the day...

    scratch day.
  4. xtraderx


    pretty solid day, decent opening, played the gap and fill... after open it looked to be pretty choppy so i favored using scalps and specialist style for some small profits but looked to be the tool.
    got in on the afternoon breakout, but felt i didnt press it enough, only made 1/4 points vs. 1/2 points, even though my gut was telling me to press it...this is another weakness, not trusting my trading instincts i have developed, and squeezing out more profits when the oppurtunity presents itself.... however no complaints, i wanted to book the profits, was happy where i was at, esp. b/c i was feeling a little lucky i made 70 cents on MO. and maybe i wasnt too wrong b/c we rolled over, but nonetheless i left some money on the table.
    was a little disappointed i didnt stick with the biotech momo today after being all over it yesterday, guess i didnt need to look for a trade, i was playing the RS in retail, but i have bad habit of abandoning trends too soon and not milking them for all their worth.
    missed the momentum selloff into the close, rather i went back to scalps, mostly from the short side, reading the tape...b/c was still being cautious and booking profits b/c i have been having trouble with the close, furthermore the stocks i was trading were relative strong so didnt want to get too aggressive short, maybe a case of being over protective of profits, but today it didnt make much difference. no complaints

  5. xtraderx


    Had tech problems in the morning but still managed a good morning, then again faveored the scalp in these small range choppy days....
    little disappointed, i was going to take off the afternoon to do some errands b.c it was slow and choppy anyway and Fri. a lot of tiem is uneventful, and gave soem profits back paying spreads and commisiions this afternoon...been considering taking fri. afternoon off as policy b/c this, my golf game could sure use it, but lately in this news driven market anything can happen and dont want to miss out.

  6. xtraderx


    big gap up and drifted all day into a big selloff into the close....
    solid opening then made a little more scalping for rest of morning only a little better .500. not much action in the morning through teh afternoon, probably should have sat out more, but was afraid of missing a move...certainly didnt want to short strong market and strong stocks, but in retro of course that was ideal...
    made the cardinal sin of taking some big long positions right into lunch in a downward drift, both were losers...
    in afternoon sat out waiting for bounce at they key times that never came... at the last hour i felt i missed most the downside but when no bounce came with the afternoon crowd i finally went short and was rewarded pretty nicely, made up for my earlier losers and made a little... the lesson here i suppose is milk that trend for everything its worth, many times a miss the move b/c i dotn want to chase but take a shot or two at particularly when its a volatile big move kind a game, and not so much during uneventful range days... maybe take a shot with the drift trend, i had the short on at teh top and scalped it, my stock sold a full point and i "only" caught 1/2 point, would like ot get 2/3 the move.

    poor: overtraded, especially in the deadzones, but at least i caught the big move, could have shown a little more patience to get more a move, had "the money" short on at the end of day, market was only going down all day, why not hold, but at least had the presence of mind to re-enter and not fall into the "it cant go any lower" trap

    good: opening, milked the trend into close, did not get opinionated on price levels

  7. xtraderx


    forgot to post for yesterday i put a small pair on at the close after watching this pair bounce 3x from this level... opened up 1/2 point in my favor so i booked the profit...(maybe too soon but this is my weakness in pairs not having patience to hold, but i only trade tehm as a day or two now for a smaller move so i am ok with this til i learn this style)
    pretty uneventful and choppy, mostly scalped, overtraded a little in context of how slow it was, but i stayed away from the deadzone...
    near catastrophe today, was short a, at the time, weak stock, as the spoos were falling, saw buying activity and the buyer took it a 1/2 point against me as the spoos kept dropping... prob., and in most cases should recognize this and cover and maybe flip first chance, but got a little stubborn and opinionated on price level, added to it 3x, and was short 2000s and down about 4-500 on that position with a long crutch of 1000s that was flat...
    i did get teh last short on at the top, showed enough patience, and it finally came in, and i coverd at great time actually made some on the pos. but i dont want to make a habit of this, and i generally only add once, but i feel handled it very responsibly and well...(plus this is my B&B stock) i have done well in similar squeezes lately where i added and traded out of a loser to at least flat so i dont know if i am getting more skilled at this or lucky... maybe little of both but it sure would be less stressfull and profitable to cover the loss and get on the good side... but in retro it was a tough one and i handled it well but again i dont want to get into that habit thinking i can always get away with that... the other problem with this, i covered at the best spot to get flat which would have been the ideal entry the other way... i do this often my exit to a loser is the best entry the other way, i need to be on the right side and flip sooner, not get so stubborn and opinioned.. and i would make a heck of a lot more ( as if its that easy)
    another downer was i took my long crutch off at flat after i covered my short, a second before the move to watch it jump 1/2 point in about three trades... although i did get a sweet short off at the end of the move up, "coulda" made more and have been on the good side...

    stayed about even and made a little scalping rest of day, made a good short into close and ended up OK

    good: handled the squeeze well, was responsible when adding to the loser, avoided deadzone, showed better patience with a short at the close and instead of scalping it, (knowing this is time where a bigger move would occur) waited to see a move, covered in the last minute for a 1/4 point

    bad: opinonated with price levels, stubborn with a loser and pushing my luck with it, wasnt flexible enough to flip in the morning, overtraded a little worrying about missing a move (need to be more selective)

    another note, on the good side, i am pleased with my flexibiltiy, switching back in forth from a scalp style to a momentum stlye at the right times, in the past i get into a habit of scalping everything and then cover way too early when i big move comes... b/c its been choppy and narrow last few days i scalp a lot but show presence of mind and flexibility to go with momo last couple days and show patience into the close when the bigger moves came....

  8. xtraderx


    putting some thought into why and how i have been handling losers and tough situations so well, trading out of them for flat or profit and avoiding the fiasco. for example today i felt in control for the most part up until the end where i was feeling it slip, althuugh i was not going to let it get any further out of hand, i was at my limits.
    a lot of what i do different now when, i.e. i get stuck in a squeeze or a rough spot, i dotn add right away, i ued to be tempted to add the first move up and every 10 cents after that, instead a show patinece, see wht its goign to do, read teh tape, loof at its group, what are the spoos doing, etc.. then strategically add when appropriate.
    however i was reminded of a pertinent instinct i feel i developed. when i started trading, countless times i paniced and sold or bought the top/bottom... like a lab rat getting electrocuted enough times, the relevation came... one day i sold a long for a big loss and recognized my panic and it clicked that i paniced and the light went on, and i thought, i have seen and felt this enought times this HAS to be close to the bottom if not the bottom, i immediately boughth back 2x as much and it was the dead bottom of the day, made a nice trade...
    i now listen to my gut and instead of a panic, i "feel" its close to a bottom/top along with the other signals and how the tape looks of course... its a good "safety device" but i dont know if this is a posiitve traders instinct helping me or am i playing with fire here and subjecting myself to risk, i'd liek to think it s the former because in retro its always easy to look at the trade and say why didnt i get out, and thats the first line of defense to cut that loser immediately and even on the best day ideally that cuts 90% of losers, but b/c nobody is perfect, how i deal with that remaing 10% can make the difference on the day...
    or maybe this is just my personal head game, but would love to know a seasoned succesful trader's perspective on this if i am developing into a trader or playing mind games with myself.... bottom line is i am making more money and avoided more losses b/c of this and i think that bottom line is tru test.

    persoanl head gamepsych, no thyself, trade signal when panic
  9. xtraderx


    traded like crap today but ill take it for a scratch... lets see, overtraded, gto too opinionated on price levels, traded deadzones, got real whipped around by mm's late day by small b/out in spoos, tries to play the momentum of the afternoon bounce after the selloff but wasnt much there and overtraded and payed a lot of spreads, bought tops and sold bottoms....
    had a crutch on from a long go bad bad but kept it biased to the long side during the sell off... regressed into that frantic scalping when i was paying the spreads... was almost lost between styles of scalps, momentum, and pairs.... i realize now i was being opinionated and wsnt reading the tape or the market, indicators, sectors, RS etc....
    was down but saved myself with a short, when i finally got it right, and made 1/2 point into close... showed the patience of a samauri warrior (whatever teh hell taht means).... was only a dime in the money, instead of taking the scalp while spoos were selling, i waited, had to wait til almost eh last tick of the day for it to crack... was prepared ot hedge and hold and had to cover after the close, felt there was downside tommorrow but i will book the 1/2 point...
    made huge mistake in morning losign track of a resting buy order, preoccupied with news and watching sadam statue fall, by tiem i realized it... but in context its first mistake in long time, still have about a 99% fielding percent... dont let it happen again.
    aside form the fact that it was supposed to cover a short i took a diem on to watch it fall 3/4 point in 20 mins... PATIENCE liek you had at the close!!! not every day can be a winner but woulda coulda shoulda had a great day if i just avoided that morning mistake, and not overtraded, esp. in the deadzone!! it was that close... some days all it takes is a few mistakes or small losers on the ,argin to make all the difference... i think being on the right side of this equation is a big part of why i am profitable the last few months.

  10. xtraderx


    golfed today with the fellas, didnt trade much, missed HUGE move in TGT while i was at gym... damn, always happens, but i have a pair on short 1000s of TGT at 31.98 and long WMT at 54.25... also long PRG with a point profit....
    playe dopen very well selling weakness in select group but AGAIN overtraded when not much happening
    #10     Apr 11, 2003