My Goal for 2007: Break-Even

Discussion in 'Journals' started by datamerc, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. As ambitious as it may not sound, it is my goal to simply break-even by the end of this year. I am starting this journal because I need more discipline. I want this journal to be the person I report to at the end of the day (rather than my wife - I don't need that stress) with my trades and limit the stupid mistakes that have cost me so much in the past.

    A little background...
    I began trading (forex) in September 2005 and love it for the opportunities and challenges. Since I began, I have been good about keeping records of my trades. There have been times at which I become very disappointed in myself, but I never blame the market or fool myself with excuses; and the many losing months are just a cost of my education. I have tried many different ways of trading forex, and have become comfortable with what I feel is my edge.

    What I trade...
    I have a full time job and a family, so I limit my trading hours to 4am-7am CST Monday through Friday, except on Wednesdays when I can watch all day. I trade spot EURUSD and USDJPY off the 3 & 9 minute charts using IB's TWS and Sierra Chart. The size of my positions and maximum daily loss is based on my account balance. My system usually only gives me a few trades everyday.

    Where I have failed...
    I prefer the short-term trades and that is how I have setup my system. I have had plenty of winning months, but the only thing that has really slaughtered my equity is opening foolish positions and not getting out. I sometimes have put on these "lotto ticket" trades and walk away. I end up adding to the loser because it has just gone way beyond my daily/weekly loss limit. It has been these trades that have taken massive amounts of capital away from my account. More often than not, I have been able to get out of these trades after a few days (with hoping and wishing). But getting out of them successfully is more of a curse than blessing. Because of my last huge loss, I have stopped trading for a while and decided to start this journal. I will begin again on May 1st.

    I will become a consistently successful trader - I just need to get there before my account dries up.

    Thank you for reading.
  2. neke


    You got it. Keeping records is the key. That turned my trading around dramatically. I started noticing patterns and strategies that were costing me. Once I de-emphasised them and started focusing on what I do well, my results became profitable.
  3. Just like the "first do no harm" principle a first principle for recovering traders could be "first stop making errors." So I like your "don't have to make any money" starting point.

    For a long time I gave away too much of my daily winnings by taking retrospectively foolish trades. I spent a lot of time trying to fix my mind with various approaches but with little effect. In the end I gave up trying to fix my mind and cut out 90% of those trades by changing what was displayed on my screen - this removed the cues for those "automatic" trades.

    This has made me a fan of fixing the system so that your mind doesn't have to be so good to be effective. Does your system have stop losses? Can you use a tool that places a stop loss at the same time?
  4. I appreciate your support everyone.

    Hi Kiwi - Under the rules of my system, there is a 5 pip stop on every position (but I actually have to get out of the position myself).
    As for software, I get in/out at market using the "FX Trader" in TWS. I have considered using ButtonTrader because it allows a max position/daily loss to be set (this would be a nice feature to be built into TWS).

    When I'm sitting at the trading screens, I do okay following the rules. And I try to avoid reading or watching all the market commentary because it tends to distort my view of what the prices are actually telling me. I trade between bollinger bands, so each position gets me 8-15 pips on average; but sometimes I will get an overwhelming urge to try and get 80 pips on a position by just opening it walking away (this is what I call a "lotto ticket" - get rich from luck, not skill). This doesn't happen as much as when I first started trading, before it was once every couple weeks. With the positive reinforcement of my system, I have reduced this foolishness to only every couple months.

  5. 5/1/2007
    +$63.93, 3 trades (2W, 1S)
    EURUSD: +3/16
    USDJPY: +8/15

    B - I was maybe a bit too cautious on the first day back after my forced hiatus. Was only able to trade two hours this morning. Total of 3 trades, 2 winners and 1 scratch. Got 3 pips out of EURUSD 16 point range (difference between high and low during the time I was watching). Got 8 pips out of USDJPY from 15.
  6. 5/2/2007
    +$163.95, 5 trades (5W)
    EURUSD: +7/37
    USDJPY: +21/30

    B - IB backfill wasn't working so my SC indicators weren't accurate - flying blind most part of the morning. Not feeling that great - so stopped early before screwing up too bad.
  7. 5/3/2007
    +$66.60, 3 trades (3W)
    EURUSD: +10/8

    C - IB backfill still wasn't working today - just did some scalping. Probably shouldn't of even traded without my system indicators not working (reason for lower grade today) and the extremely tight range in EURUSD.
  8. 5/4/2007
    No trades today. IB backfill still not working.
  9. 5/7/2007
    +$46.01, 4 trades (3W, 1S)
    EURUSD: +6/12
    USDJPY: +4/8

    C - There wasn't much movement this morning. Unable to use system rules since IB backfill still not seeming to work (sent in ticket this morning to see about getting this resolved).
  10. 5/8/2007
    +$91.35, 4 trades (4W)
    EURUSD: +7.5/26
    USDJPY: +11/30

    B - Held most positions to targets, although missed out on a couple good moves. IB backfill still not working.
    #10     May 8, 2007