Trading to NOT LOSE vs Trading to Win

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by trader99, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. trader99

    trader99

    After a nice day yesterday, today I was trading to "not lose" vs trading to win mentality yesterday. I was more conservative though my signals still said to stay in.

    I bought NQ and CL then got shaken out. Cut losses fast(which is good), but then it rebounded to the point where I would have exited for a nice profits.

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Luckily, I'm still up due to other positions etc. I think going long has been a struggle for me for a long time. At least for index futures. In prior years, I was just countertrend and tried to short the highs. I lost a bundle on super rally days!

    Fortunately, I like to report I have gotten rid of that countertrend diseas to the benefit of my account's P&L and health! haha. Looking back, it seemed so stupid beyond imagination. It was a phase.

    Nowadays, I don't countertrend anymore unless there's a clear signal.
    I can buy breakouts(at least in GC). But I'm bad at buying breakouts on NQ. I would exit at the slightest pullbacks.

    In terms of improvements, it has been day vs night when comparing the way I think about markets nowadays vs before.

    But I still haven't master riding the intraday trend of NQs, etc. Last night I was even thinking today will be the rebound day so I just buy and hold. But I didn't act on it because I was too focused on the micro fluctuations.

    Also I was playing too tight. Yesterday I was in a different mindset. I was saying let's go for it and trusted my signals more.

    Trading on sim has helped me overcome a lot of my short biases. Thanks goodness.

    What else do I need to do to take it to the next level?

    I mean not losing money is a good start. Making small steady gains are good. But on a day like today I should have killed it. I mean I do get occasional huge wins.


    trader99
     
  2. Seaweed

    Seaweed

    To be honest, I have no idea what your problem is and I almost suspect that you are trolling. You post how every single day ends well, even if it started out rough. You have no problem adding lots of contracts, even if they are only the micros, and you have been here since 2002.

    Now I see that you say trading SIM has helped you, and not sure if this means all of the trading in the past few months has been SIM or live.

    But honestly, if we are to believe all your other posts where every day ended well for you, I don't see why you're asking anyone else for help. It sounds like you're saying you want to make 100 NQ points because you're tired of only making 20. Most guys here would kill to make 20 day after day.

    But in order to make this post constructive, here is my personal advice. If all your other postings are factual, and you finish in the green practically every single day, you don't need to do anything else other than increase contracts. How often does a day like today happen? Its quite rare to have a trend day, either long or short.

    So the question is, do you design a system to take advantage of rare days, like today, or a system that gets you positive most days, which is what it seems you have. If you hold for bigger targets, which you say you want to do, then realize on many days, this won't be possible and you will either end flat or down. Predicting which days will be good days to hold and which will be good days to take small profits is not an easy task. I just don't think you can be a master of all the different styles. Count your lucky stars if you have a system that makes it easy for you (which you seem to claim each time you talked about making over $100 with just the micros), switch over to the full contract, make over 1k per day, and stop with this greed nonsense. The greed will kill you if you think you can take the entire range offered today and also maximize on the smaller movements on quiet days.
     
    Illini Trader, Overnight and trader99 like this.
  3. trader99

    trader99

    hi Seaweed,

    Thanks for responding and your honest assessment and perspective. No, I'm NOT trolling. And I'm trading live!

    My mo is always getting better and improving. I always try to find ways to improve. Even micro edges that get me out faster when things turn or get in a few ticks better. These micro edges are useful. I think they can add up if I was doing 5 full lots! Which I'm not there yet.

    I was trading MNQs. Now I switched over to NQs and I think that's why I can't take the heat and get shaken out easily. Maybe I should stick with MNQs some more before scaling up.

    You wrote, "If you hold for bigger targets, which you say you want to do, then realize on many days, this won't be possible and you will either end flat or down. Predicting which days will be good days to hold and which will be good days to take small profits is not an easy task. I just don't think you can be a master of all the different styles. Count your lucky stars if you have a system that makes it easy for you (which you seem to claim each time you talked about making over $100 with just the micros)"

    Thanks for your perspective! So easy to forget how far I've gone and improved. I know what you mean. I feel like classic trend following would have kept me in most of the ride. But on non-trend day I would have given up alot of open profits. This is one of the hardest quandry to solve in trading. How to determine a super trendy day vs a normal day.

    You wrote,"It sounds like you're saying you want to make 100 NQ points because you're tired of only making 20. Most guys here would kill to make 20 day after day."

    Thanks for the perspective. It wasn't that long ago that on trendy days like this I would be totally destroyed and run over like road kill due to my tendency to countertrend trade and short the highs and NOT cut losses. Today, I was just down slightly(basically scratch) on the NQs. That in itself is ORDERS of magnitude better than where I was even a year ago! That simple change in bad trading habit(countertrend) has saved me a lot of $ and heartaches.

    This week's downward move I would have killed me too in the old days. Feb 5, 2018 was an infamous day of pain for me. I was down 100 NQ points in one of the trades trying to buy the bottom in unconscious automatic fashion. All due to countertrend trading bad bias and habit. Nowadays, I actually made some money shorting the last few days and also reversing and going long too. But they were still not 50-100 NQ points that I feel I "should" have made.

    Yes, to be honest I was hoping to make 50-60 NQ pts. not a 100. Maybe 100 cumulatively on a super good day. But I ended up scratch. I made a few points here and there then it got wiped out by a reversal that I got out early that then proceeded to rally hard afterwards.

    I'm working on it. Maybe on day I can report on here I can pull out 40-60 NQ points on a good trend day. On a normal day pull out multiple 10-20pts. But cumulatively, my goal is to pull out 50 points a day consistently. Not there yet...

    I trade NQ, NG, CL, GC and options today. So it was hard to pull out 100 NQ points when I was focused on 3 other instruments. But I am glad I did b/c my options bailed me out of the small NQ loss. So still up on the day. Whew.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    Seaweed likes this.
  4. maxinger

    maxinger

    right mister.
    Must change
    'trade not to lose' to 'trade to earn tons of money'.

    The mindfulness, the conscious thinking is very important especially in trading.


    also if we think
    - market is lousy
    - today will be difficult trading day
    - I must avoid losing lots of money
    ...
    Then high chance we will lose money.


    and if we think
    - market will be great
    - everday is a good trading day
    - I will earn tons of money
    ...
    Then high chance we will earn money.
     
    trader99 likes this.
  5. I believe you are only half way through to become a successful trader and there are still much works to do. Your next move should be focusing on categorizing your setups. For example, setup A is a small setup where you must exit once it captures 2-point, setup B is a somewhat bigger setup where you exit after 4-point and etc...

    Assuming you have a setup E which is a large setup that works over and over to help you capture >20 points where this setup only triggers once or twice a week. You would definitely hold as long as you can until your signals say otherwise. Doing so, you will avoid sitting out for the whole day as well as getting emotional due to missing a big rally and hence, you begin to find all kind of reasons to make a counter trend trade which is how you lose very often.

    Most people would dismiss my above statements and call me bluffing, but in reality, they have no clue that this is how it works to become a consistent profitable trader. I don't have every setup to capture every move from market, but only few that could help me to make few hundred $$$ a day or few thousand $$$ on a day like yesterday which only happens once or twice a week. These setups take me years with ton of trades to make them work consistently. That's how I found my 'aha moment'.

    P.S. I already set aside enough money for retirement which is why I rarely trade xx-lot to get rich fast. 2 to 4 lots per trade to capture few hundred $$$ a day is all I'm comfortable with and I trade 2 accounts at the same time for both of us.
     
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  6. Disagree with your premise. Good trading is not about either.

    When you learn better, "I should take this __________ trade, and I understand why"... and do it with discipline and stops.... then you will be trading better and "trading to win". When you've learned to trade "better enough", you will catch more of what you're "supposed to" and not take big losses. Learn to trade well, and the money will come.

    It's ALWAYS about "First, not making big mistakes to lose a lot of money".
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  7. trader99

    trader99

    Agreed. I'm glad I no longer suffer from catastrophic losses on super trendy days. That used to be my Achille's heels. I was always one supertrend day from a blowup due to my countertrend nature. Sad but true.

    Nowadays, I don't suffer from catastrophic losses on super trendy days. I make a little or at least lose very little. basically flat. But there will come a day when I change my mindset again and participate fully on supertrendy days and cash in big. That's just the evolution of my trading development.

    Today in a different mindset, I was able to capture decent moves in CL. Now if only I can do the same for NQs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  8. i have the mindset of trading to lose - let me explain - i trade with a large stop in place - when i trade all i really care about is hitting that stop. by focusing on losing that trade the results are opposite of when i used to have expectations to win. i know it may seem crazy but i want to lose and that's all i think about except when i am forced to take action to exit a winning trade. i can't wait to exit a profitable trade so i can get back and focus once more on my potential loss. inverted thinkers make money the riches are in the opposite direction of the sheep.
     
  9. Seaweed

    Seaweed

    My personal opinion is that you're trading too much stuff. I really don't see how you can watch these different, uncorrelated instruments and still try to day trade them. I only watch ES/NQ.

    I also think that to say you want to pull 50 points out consistently is really quite short sighted. There is no way to predict what the day will give, and I'm sure you know this as well.

    Perhaps these discussions would go easier if you shared some charts of where your trades are. But absent that, its fairly easy to see what you should do with regards to wanting to hold longer. Just look at your trades, lets say past 100 trades, and count how many would hit 20 points profit, 50 points profit, etc. (before hitting a fixed stop) The win rate will drastically go down of course for the higher number of points you hope to gain. But if you see that there are at least a few in there, then perhaps it will make more sense to hold longer.

    If lets say you have 3 winners for 10 points now, but just one of these went 50 points, then obviously 1x50 points is bigger than 3x10 points. But psychologically, you will have to put up with more break even trades, and the pain of having a nice profit and watching it slip away. There will be no way to predict where your 50+ point winners will be, so you just have to put your trades on and leave the targets alone to either hit, or stop you out. And of course not be in any way damaged and prevented from putting on the next trade.
     
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  10. trader99

    trader99


    Yes, you are correct. I'm researching into exactly what you are saying. A lot of time it's not a runner. So I'm good at catching small 2-5 pts moves with the occasional 10pts move. I need another level of details and clasifications that say this will be a 2pts move and this has a higher chance of being a runner.

    You wrote,"P.S. I already set aside enough money for retirement which is why I rarely trade xx-lot to get rich fast. 2 to 4 lots per trade to capture few hundred $$$ a day is all I'm comfortable with and I trade 2 accounts at the same time for both of us.["

    I traded CL very profitably today even on 1 lots. I'm beginning to realize I have what entrepreneurs call an "infinite runway" now. I've been pretty consistently banging out hundreds everyday or more with just 1 lots. So scaling up it can be a nice cash machine. :)

    Also, I think it's the wrong approach to try to capture 100pts on NQ. Those are rare days! Usually you need fundamentally or news driven events for big moves. That's why individual stocks are better for big moves. Or news days. Today some news came out for CL and it has really nice moves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
    #10     Jun 5, 2019