November Trading Journals

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Hitman, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. Hitman


    October was the text book example of how should I play each and every month, by averaging less than one down day per week and play suffocating defense as I lost a combined $1000 across the four losses. A huge step-up from the abysmal September (a month I should have scored huge in and instead came up empty), as I finished the month on a hot 7 games winning streak and a four digit win to wrap it up. Best of all, I kept my composure through the entire month, as I never had a single emotional collapse that I experience on a monthly basis (get really frustrated and churn myself into a blow out into the close).

    While it was my third biggest month of the year, when it comes to composure and self-control, it was my best month of the year. This is exactly how I would like to control my emotion when trading, and I look to extend it into November, albeit with slightly increased size, aggression and holding time when I am in the money.

    I am up 57K for the year and with two months to go I have a solid shot at the lower range of my estimation (70K), composure, the most important aspect of my game is to be up every day no matter how little, and minimize the damage when I am experiencing cold shooting, the big games will come, eventually.

    October / September

    P&L Before Commissions: 16876 / 7075
    P&L After Commissions: 8838 / 945
    Shooting %: 50.00% / 47.06
    Cents Per Share: 0.069 / 0.036
    Volume Each Way: 243700 / 196200
    W/L: 19-4 / 8-8
  2. Hitman


    Hit List Moment

    The darkest hours . . .


    The trading week mercifully came to a conclusion, this has been the single most painful week in my entire career (trading + IT), I am down $23, $200, $300, $60, and $200 today, for a total of $800. Overall, I am down $1700, and $700 into firm capital. The pain has been absolutely unbearable, I couldn't gather myself to hit the gym all week, and my confidence has been shaken, fear took control of me, and every morning I would go up in P&L only to crash back down hard.

    "If you don't know who you are, Wall Street is one of the most expensive place to find out . . . " What a great line, my biggest issue is that I am a jack of all trades, master of none. I do not have a single trading system that I can rely on, that I have confidence upon, that I can go to over and over again. I have a whole bunch of trading strategies and none of them seem to work reliably at all.

    Last week, when I switched to 200 shares and my tape and chart game seemed to gel, thne this week, boom, everything blown up. This week I have been completely out of sync with this market.

    I traded mainly 100 share blocks today, and I was still down $200, the stochastics game can be VERY effective in the right hands, it will never be as effective as its Nasdaq original (with Level 2 screens, not to mention NYSE stocks have smaller swings, so the risk/reward ratio is not quite as good) but it gets the job done. Like an idiot I jumped into long trades without strong BID support and with the sector index freefalling just because the stochastics say buy . . . My stochastic longs worked well with stocks in strong sectors (utility and drugs), yet I was too afraid to hold on to them . . .

    I should have used a lot more stochastic sell plays today, Yclept is precisely correct in that many times I am staring at a tree and can't see the forest. It shouldn't be this tough today. I had good trades that would have brought 1 or 2 point profits with me only taking 1/8 and 1/4's . . . It has been a total mess, nothing and absolutely nothing worked for me, next week will be fresh . . . . I absolutely MUST hold on to positions for longer time periods than a few minutes, I absolutely MUST allow a winning position to pull back against me, so I can stay in the trade for bigger gains, I am getting too nervous, too fearful, too frustrated to make clear precise decisions. I just found out that I get out of positions faster than the fastest senior trader in my area, as long as the chart (trend) looks good, I must be willing to ignore some of the tape action, the specialists have been eating me alive, on some occassions I can outsmart them, but the vast majority of the times they eat my lunch . . . Either they shake me out of a winning position so I get to watch a stock I just got out of rocket higher, or they setup a trap and I fall right into it.

    Will, forget big profits, if I can stay even through next week I will be very happy, then I can start to think about profits. I can't think about make other people bleed, if I am bleeding to death myself . . .

    I need to trade slower, I am too concerned about small chips and I am trading at a very poor risk/reward ratio. The way I am chipping there is no way I can trade multiple positions, even if I get really good at it I will forever be a chipper, the lowest class of day traders, I have to be more comfortable with holding on to positions, how the hell am I going to trade 6 positions at once if all I do is chipping?

    Too much pain, I am ashamed to call her this weekend, I am embarassed humiliated, humbled, dominated, schooled. There is no way a princess will choose a frog like this. I am inferior, just not good enough for her. Fortunately I still have enough ammo to last a year without any income, that won't last forever however, if I lose, I'm going to leave New York and leave her forever, too much pain here, I would have broke the promise and I will never be able to face her again, holding her in my arms will forever be a fantasy that will burn with me in hell . . .

    Strange thoughts . . . I didn't know I can think of so many things after a brutal trading day. Next week I will look to make a come back. I will trade 100 shares but hold on to positions longer . . .
  3. Commisso

    Commisso Guest


    Congrats on a solid month!

    PEACE and good trading,
  4. Hitman,

    Well done, looks like you've come a long way from a year ago.
  5. Regardless of whether we have the same style as Hitman or not, we can all be inspired by this young guy, who started as a rookie and is developing into a top notch trader. Well done Hitman, keep up the great work.
  6. Hitman


    Very cold game for me to open up the month. While I managed to squeeze out a small win thanks to the huge rally, the only thing worse than this is a down day, but it did allow me to extend my winning streak into 8 straight games. 15800 shares each way on 7 of 17 shooting, +450 before commissions, +21 after, 1 bullet.

    Pre-Market: MSFT news, nothing really impressed me . . . FMC beat earnings and I was bullish on CEX . . .

    9:30: Took PX at 47.1 and out for a dime loss, took PPG at 48.95 and out for almost half a point damage across 400 shares (I knew I was chasing it hence didn't take too much), CEX was up 1% as soon as the market opened that's why I thought I had a chance. CVC had a hammer on the daily and bounced off low bollinger and I saw a BID so I bought in, out for flat just churned away commissions on that one.

    9:46: I was bullish on energy, but they started tanking and I took DO bottompick at 27 (yesterday's low), a touch too early as he went down an extra quarter before he rebounded, I got out for flat but failed to catch him again when he moved back up. Had SLB at 47 and out for flat as it went down another half a point. But the exit of those two positions made me exit HP at 30.60, which had a hidden buyer and was yesterday's low (support), and it shot up 1 point from there (I thought it would break yesterday's low like other stocks in the sector, and the index for that matter).

    10:00: I put up a bullet on LXK as it was close to yesterday's high and futures came in as NAPM numbers came out. Churned in him and I took quite a few small losses in him (wish I went long instead). I knew I was getting desperate and I knew it was a bad sign. I slowed down, tried to regain my composure, my P&L was all red, zero winner this morning.

    10:30: Best trades of the day, took TYC for a pair of quarter scalps on 1000 shares, and took some AHC on OIX rally, out of AHC a small profit as he scared me with a sudden drop back to .50 after hitting .90 . . . Took some KSS at 55, very very poor exit, out for flat almost, a little more confidence (too bad I was having a really bad morning) would have gone a long way with that trade.

    11:00: Took some ROH on CEX move, closed position for flat as I decided to take a break, futures ran up another leg which I missed, but I was really really cold . . .

    2:05: Took some BJ for a quarter point move, but lost 15 cents in CRA as it failed to rally with BTK. Took a little SGY on OSX pop and it went nowhere. Futures had a potential double top and from experience I knew it is fake when the market is so strong, but for some reason I took some really light short positions "just in case", and it really hurted as I didn't take enough long positions into the close.

    3:20: Took TYC and GE, dime scalp on TYC breakout of 50, 20 cents scalp on GE, but lost a dime on DOX as it didn't go up with futures. I was up $20, and I knew I couldn't make much more than that, it was time to fold it up and keep the psychological edge for tommorrow's game . . .
  7. sallyboy

    sallyboy Guest


    Regardless of how our trading strategies may differ, your journals eloquently state the wide range of emotions that we go through as traders........especially as new and aspiring traders. I enjoy reading your journals (and the archives since I only joined ET in August 2001) and can see that you've come a long way not only in your actual trading but more importantly your trading character. I have gone through many of these same emotions, having seen the depths of my inner being and having seen myself struggle through knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Tuition at Wall Street University is very expensive; unfortunately there is no graduation day which can set you free from the hard time spent in class. Not that a trader will ever stop learning and evolving but there comes a point where there's been enough schooling that should be put behind us so we can focus on the future fresh and new. The closest I've ever seen to this is the fresh start your colleague at Worldco got when his account was reset to zero. Now that's clearing the slate. BTW, is he still doing as well as you told us he was after the restart?

    Good Luck to you and good trading!
  8. Hitman


    While I may be the only New Yorker who doesn't care about Baseball (Basketball for me) on those days, I do know that on a tough day like today 3 strikes you are out. While I managed to barely salvage my winning streak again today, I made 3 key mistakes that prevented me from a meaningful victory.

    20900 shares on 8 of 19 shooting, +725 before commissions, +48 after, 3 bullets.

    Pre-Market: I need to get to work earlier, lately a lot of investigations on various stations causing delays in New York subway. Got into the driver's seat with less than 2 minutes to the opening bell.

    9:30: CEX sell-off, bulleted PPG at 50 and covered for flat as futures reversed. Took CRA off the open as BTK was up and it gapped down, unlike last time where I made 1 point I only made a dime here. Took GS at 80.80 on XBD strength and I took a 70 cents profit as futures went up, didn't buy the pullback as futures came in, missed a potential 1 point move (but I don't consider it a strike since futures looked weak). Tried some LEH and out for flat, should have kept a little. OSX bounce, took a little DO long and out for a 20 cents loss.

    9:48: Energy looked weak and I put up BJS (which went down a very choppy half a point, and I only made a little money off him because he was somewhat strong), and SGY, somehow, someway, I bailed on my entire position when he started to hit an offer at 39.31, and I even tried to bottompick him. Somehow, someway, with a bullet in a stock that fell 2 points smooth as silk, I lost money in him. Very very bad execution there.

    10:12: Really choppy, really struggling, took a little DOX and out for flat.

    10:30: Saw a potential CEX breakout (yesterday's high), and took PPG at 50.48 (just 400 shares unfortunately) for a sweet 70 cents move, took FMC (again just 400 shares) for a 70 cents move, my best trades of the day and I had least size on them. There was no real BID supporting the move hence I was hesistating to buy more. Another big mistake, when a trade goes this smoothly (they went up on volume with almost no downtick), you gotta buy the dip, I didn't, left a point on the table. Still, I was up $500, I was ready to call it a day.

    11:00: Ouch, ouch, started to bottompick oil, as it has been a super strong sector lately, I took small positions (200-300 shares) and waited for confirmation, but those 200-300 shares add up when you take multiple positions. When OSX made the fake double bottom I had BHI, BJS, NE, DO, HP, SLB, combined for 1500-2000 shares, and I lost about 10-20 cents per stock, OUCH! Instantly erased my morning profit especially when I bought more by accident when I should have sold. Very annoying. This third mistake killed me as there were very little opportunities in the afternoon. Even 200-300 shares add-up when you are always looking to add more, always keep an eye on the overall situation as "just buy another hundred" can turn into a very serious position. I was down $200, and losing $700 in dead zone is simply unacceptable.

    2:00: Churned a LOT of GE, KSS (trading in a range and I just shorted near the top, bought near the low, of course I took tiny positions because when it does breakout to one end or the other it could be a huge move), AOL, LXK, IBM, even WHR. Many many fake moves, churned and churned, but I eventually scalped my way back above water. I should have made money in energy sell-off this morning with the 2 bullets I had, I should have bought more CEX and bought the dip, I should have went a lot lighter on energy bottom pick attempts. Just a very poorly executed game, then again I didn't have a great start in October either, time to pick up the pace next Monday.

    Managed to finished with $1800 this week, swept all five games, so still can't complain too hard . . . my performance is got a lot of room for improvement however . . .

    Sometimes I wish the market opens 7 days a week, helps me to reach my goal faster, eases the pain of missing her too . . .
  9. TonyOz


    LOL, I remember those days. I think you may earn the stockjunkie crown if you keep this up :)

    I used to hate the weekends and could not wait for Monday to come. Now, the weekends are a blessing, especially when you have a 3-year-old (almost 4).
  10. funny thing, I night be a junkie too...five yrs in the biz, one as a full time trader and i still want 7 days a week...but could anyone really handle that? We all need a break right? and they're well deserved. It's funny when my girlfriend comes home and says,"oh yeah, what did you do , sit in front of the computer all day?"
    If they only knew. How much of a challenge we face everyday. And how much we love it!
    "I don't know where we're going. and I don't know where we'll end up. But we're going real fast" DMX:D
    #10     Nov 2, 2001