The Tao of Publias

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by PubliasEnigma, Jul 12, 2002.

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  1. My question was really along the lines of this: I got into trading not for the money (although it helps) but for the things that trading did for me on a psychological level. Mainly, instant gratification. Black and white results (green or red), competition, it is a singular pursuit etc. I think I do well because it fits my personality more than because of my methods (chart reading etc) I like the self challenge of maintaining discipline. I only account to myself. Obviously I need a sound methodology or it is for shit but the key to my success is my motivation for trading not my probably ordinary tape reading skills...
    #31     Jul 24, 2002

  2. not true......I am also a fan
    #32     Jul 24, 2002
  3. Publias

    Publias Guest

    Well I can only speak for myself,BUT I would say at least 75% of my success is perpetuated by my internal state of being, rather than anything external such as charts, methods, money management, etc...

    My ability to detach myself from the micro-results of my trades,
    to not allow anything external (monetary results) to effect my inner calm and peace...

    My ability to stay patient and wait for my pitch, without any striving or forcing... To let the market come to me and then have the courage and will to pounce on her without even a hairbreadth's of a difference between the moment opportunity arises and the moment I strike!

    My ability to stay fluid while in a position... To see both sides of my position simultaneously without being attached emotionally to either side... To let go of a winning or losing position lightly once I feel the move has spontaneously fulfilled itself, but to hold on tightly when she has more to go...

    These are just a few of the internal virtues that account for my success as a trader... and they all are set in motion by my love and appreciation of her and the game she so graciously allows us to play...

    So yes Newatthis to answer your initial question I believe your internal motives (for lack of better word) are much much much more important than the external methods a trader employs...

    PEACE and goodtrading to you (and thankyou for the post)
    #33     Jul 24, 2002
  4. Kymar


    Why not tell us something - as specific as you can stand to share - about some of your most typical, or exceptional, or, best, typically exceptional trades?
    #34     Jul 24, 2002
  5. Expecting substance? Is that what Tao is all about? Does Webster really know? Are you sure there is no substance here to be found?
    #35     Jul 25, 2002
  6. Tao means "the way" in Cantonese
    #36     Jul 25, 2002
  7. Publias

    Publias Guest

    Kymar I appreciate your request to hear of some specific and exceptional trades, BUT to be completely honest I do not think many will gain from me sitting on these boards and beating on my chest...

    INSTEAD I will share with you and everyone else who frequents this board a major folly that occurred just yesterday...

    Just to give some background as to what I feel sparked this momentary lapse of reason;

    --->For the month of July my trading has been exceptional to say the least... I have had 2 (both of which were for a couple pts each) losing days in the last 16 and am net well over 200pts. for the month of July which equates to a nice healthy % return... This month has been VERY good to me with all the volatility, coupled with the solid moves to the downside<---

    BUT like the old proverbs say...
    'Pride goeth before destruction'
    'Smiles form the channels of future tears'

    Yesterday I felt the effects of my complacency and overconfidence coming to a head, I was out of synch and sloppy in the morning and found myself down 5 pts after a few trades soooooo I decided to pack it in... (if it is one thing that has been crucial to my success as a trader over the years it has been the ability to know when and when not I am in the flow and to act on it accordingly)

    Around 1 in the afternoon I did something that I rarely ever do and that is to come back and play after I have made a conscious decision to pack it in... I entered a short around this time at around the 900 area (906 to be exact) looking for a break and possible test of the lows... She was extremely choppy around the 905 to 915 zone as she deciphered who she wanted to accommodate, the bulls or the bears... finally it looked to me like she wanted to rise so I covered my short at 911 for a small 5 pt loss, at least I thought I did :eek:... Turns out that I did not buy to cover my position, but instead through my carelessness bought! (now anybody using the J-Trader platform knows that it is NOT easy to make that mistake when you are putting in your stop limits, for one screen is blue and one is red!) But the order was entered as sell stop so instead of covering I bought to put on a double position with avg in the 908 area... I watched the market rise to 920 and for some reason decided to sneak a peak at the Position screen just to see what the exact P&L is (which is very rare) and I see that I am short a double position with an avg of 8.5 which puts me at a little bit of a loss of over 20 pts... Now I know through my many years playing this game that the human mind and more precisely that of a trader is FALLIBLE and I know on a rational and intellectual level that the thing to do is to exit as soon as you see the mistake and ask questions later BUT for some reason I froze, I pause and indulged in something I rarely ever allow myself to which is conceptualize my 'impeccable' running P&L over the last 15 sessions or so and I say to myself nah fuck it I can trade my way out of it and make it somewhat respectable ...:eek: :(

    Now I KNOW that a rally in an oversold market such as the one we had yesterday, that sparks around 2:30 has an exceptionably high likelihood of running into the close, but my attachment to my position and the expectation of getting out of this alive kept me in and totally distorted my perception of the market action... When she exploded over the highs and ran straight to 940 I was sitting on close to a 60pt loss on something that was only supposed to cost me 5! I added again at 940 and watched her move down to 930 BUT I did not cover because somehow I thought that I was going to get out of this... I held the triple lot right into the close and actually added 2 times at 45 and 50 even... So now I have positions at 906,11, 39.50, 45, & 50!!! Market closed on its highs at 53 and I now have between 4 and 4:15 to decide how the fuck Iam going to get out of this mess :( Before I knew it 4:15 came and I totally forgot that globex stops and now had to 5:15 to decide! Now I am totally fucked Im thinking because of the lack of liquidity that I would more than likely see in the after hrs, I would not be able to let out my line...

    What happened over the next 10 hrs was painful, not on a financial basis but on a psychological and spiritual level... "how could I lose control like that???:(" "After all these years I still show a total lack of discipline and respect for her"... I came to the conclusion that the human condition and that of a trader is more enigmatic than the fuckin Stonehenge... I was completely defeated and the only thing to do was to put my stops above the highs at around 55 and prey for a miracle in the overseas sessions... I sat staring at my screens and reading Edgar Allen Poe until around 2 when the ES started getting hit, around 3:30 or so with the NQ -15 in the overnight session I started letting out my line and was actually able to get close to 1/3 out under 40 before I had to watch her rise straight back to 48-50 level :(... I set my stops on the other 2/3'rds above 53 and crashed for 2 hrs... woke at 8:00 held to the open and got lucky and ended up actually up a few pts on the trade when all was said and done...
    which as a side note I wrote a check right away and mailed it to my cousin who could use it for college, because IT WAS NOT STAYING IN MY ACCOUNT!

    You guys know what happened next was only luck... I came damn close to getting my head handed to me and wiping out a months worth of work on just 1 trade... All because I did not want to accept that I had made an error... All because I did not want to take a 20 pt. loss for the session... I lost control and tried to stand upright against a creature with an indominitable will... While she was giving and forgiving this time she once again sent me a clear message!

    My motives for writing this long post is genuine... For all the new traders out there, you are going to make mistakes like selling more when you should be covering... If you play the game long enough this will be an inevitability... Do not fight it, just accept your fallibility, keep your head up and move on, for there will always be tomorrow... And probably the most important message of all is when things are goign extremely well for you and you feel like you can't do any wrong, that is when you are most likely to fuck up in a major way!

    I got lucky this time and over my career I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I have allowed myself to lose control like that, but I implore you not to stand upright and try to make it a battle of wills... you might get lucky like I did once or twice BUT eventually she will get you!

    #37     Jul 25, 2002
  8. Great post. Oh, and thanks for the check, cuz!
    #38     Jul 25, 2002
  9. Publias

    Publias Guest

    Thankyou Mr Subliminal and for what it is worth I enjoy your journal very much... some funny ish :p

    As for the check it was definately not staying in my account, that would be like my girl giving me head after I spit on her! It just dosen't add up :)

    PEACE and good trading,
    #39     Jul 25, 2002
  10. MrDinky


    Yup, been there done that! Don't beat yourself up too much though, since days like yesterday don't happen very often. It's been so easy to short the rallies that sometimes we need a wake-up call before we get too complacent and start thinking all this is easy.
    #40     Jul 25, 2002
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