My Trading Issues - Pyschological & Methods

Discussion in 'Journals' started by WongKokHoong, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Since I do not have a trading mentor and none around me seemed to be trading the same methology/same instruments I don't think I can turn to anyone so I decide to start a thread here. Perhaps not the wisest of things to do well but ..

    I used to hold a full-time job and was drabbling in trading futures and have some success for a number of years (I was holding positions) so this year I have decided to turn "pro". I set aside some living expenses and some trading capital and started day-trading about 3.5 months again.

    And these are the issues I have encountered.

    Pyschological Issues -

    Besides the usual can't let-profits-run-and-cut-losses fast (though I think I getting more proficent in this), I think the biggest issue I faced is the fustration, and perhaps fear - because living in Singapore is not cheap and though I have set aside enough living expenses it is very painful to see your savings dwindling and you have no other source of income. Worst in my case I am the only breadwinner in my family - and so the stress just adds up. But the good thing is - I am getting numb about all those sleepless nights and moments of panic - and right now, I am just trying to focus on my methods.

    A side-note: for those who wants to lose weight? Try day-trading for a living ... almost guarantee for you to lose those inches around the waist. The only drawback, it can be quite expensive.

    So it has been more than 3 months and when I started I am less than prepared. I was trying out my methods real-time with real money but trading very small. But still the small losses added up, and as I try to capture good trades everyday it has been a truly long winding process. It has been affecting my confidence - the proverbial Death by a Thousand Cuts. Guess this is where the tenacity comes in - but errrr ...

    So a reminder. Sort out your method, try it with real money in real time before you turn pro. Simple logical advice - in my case it was quite tough because of family commitments and a 60-odd-hour work week. So, if you can, get prepared as best as you can. It would save you some grief, and put you under less pressure.

    Another thing: I think we have to be very realistic of what the markets can offer us. First it takes time to learn the nuances. So far, from what I heard from some pro-traders, this learning curve will take around 6 months in the least.There was one who did it in 3 months, and another spent 3 years (he must really wanted it). Second, be realistic about what your goals ... trade small, get more and more consistent in your execution - i mean, we can't expect from jump from crawling to running in short 3 months or something (I am guilty of this and sometimes put too much pressure onto myself).

    Last thing: I read in a book - I think is Invisble Hands. The floor trader interviewed said the only thing about this business is ... I have to learn how to take a loss. And I think he means beyond respecting your stop losses. More importanlyt, from whatever limited experience I have. This means, accepting a losing trade, and MOVE ON to the next one. I am guilty of this, after doing a dumb impulsive trade or missing a trade I kick myself so hard and sometimes I actually get real angry. Perhaps I seriously lack the emtional make-up of a good trader, but most times I find myself getting angry and then in a rush to "make up" for them I went to do stupid things and make more losses ... I am still trying to learn moving on ... I have tried breathing exercises but .. ha.. well ..


    I think I am best described as a price-action trader. I look at 1-min, 5-min, on mainly commodities and FX. I think I am best at trading breakouts, and breakout pullbacks (buying the retracement in a bull, looking for what is called pre-breakout tension etc). So far, the method works best during the beginning of the day ... and is especially successful as markets moved from dreary pre-session slow trading and rocked into life. For the past 2 -3 weeks, I have been able to capture 1 a day (not enough), and there are perhaps a handful of chances each day across the different commodities/FX. So first issue, I have not been able to capture more of these ....

    Then should I be able to catch one. Inevitably later in the middle of the day when prices are hugging the 1-min or 5-min 20-EMA, I tried the same strategies. On a good day, I lost half of what I make, and some days I lost that and more and then I get into a frenzy .. and well, you know the rest of the story. And then evil cycle of trying to get back starts again and I make dumb trades ..

    So, back to the death by a thousand cuts again.

    Now I honestly asking myself how long I can hold up - the good thing (or really bad) is that things aren't going too well in my old industry and so even if I want to go back trying to get a job I can't do it tomorrow .. so I guess, the only thing for me to do .. is to keep going.

    hope you have as much fun reading this as I have writing it (so I get away from trading the weavy markets ahead of FOMC)
  2. I was watching an episode of House Hunters International where this family was relocating from America to Singapore and I was shocked at how expensive everything was! These small 1 bedroom units were like US$2,000+ per month. I mean, they were nice, but that's expensive!

    I think they also said Singapore law prevents foreigners from owning real estate so they had to rent.

    I know this is unrelated to your post, but your comment about Singapore being expensive reminded me of that episode I saw.
  3. hey ...

    yeah. whole city flushed with liquidity .. and yes foreigners can buy most properties here but they are slapped with addit buyer tax of 10% .. move was done because so much hot $ was flowing in .. from the rich in Asia and elsewhere ..

    there is another interesting aspect about Singapore. If you need to buy a car, the import tax is 110%. And on top of that you will need to purchase a licence to use the car for 10 years. Price is decided by auction process ... the transacted price for a Open cartegory was like at least 70k usd ...