Will a journal make a difference...

Discussion in 'Journals' started by 88years, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. 88years

    88years

    I've been trading full-time for 8 months now in small amounts, attempting to create a profitable method so that I can start using more capital. I've won some and lost some but ultimately I just can't stay consistently profitable... ARGH!!

    Every time it seems like I've worked out a consistent trading plan, and my profits seem to be growing steadily, I'll lose everything in one retarded trade or a series of stupid trades. It's like I'm slowly picking up pennies here and there day after day, and then one day I'll accidentally knock the entire bag of pennies over and into the sea because of my incompetency.

    What is wrong with me.

    I have a few ideas:

    1) Profit targets for my previous trading plans have been too small, hence, a series of losses will easily wipe out any profits
    2) Over trading, hence, too much profits being forked over as commission.
    3) I haven't overcome that psychological barrier to profitable trading yet; greed and impatience are my pain points
    4) I have no journal

    Thus, I've decided to completely re-vamp my trading plan to address all 4 issues that I have.

    Change #1:
    I shall only go for high risk-to-reward trades. No more quick exits for small pocket change. I will only trade on 15-min or above time frames. This should improve my profit targets.

    Change #2:
    I shall not trade any particular stock more than once per day. Once I exit, I will not enter the same stock for the day. This should curb by over trading habits.

    Change #3:
    I shall set alerts and not look at the chart unless alerted. I will not try to beat my own system. This should control my greed and impatience, and hopefully prevent any detrimental emotional influences.

    Change #4:
    I shall start a journal.

    And so I begin....
     
  2. 88years

    88years

    10:40am Buy 100 MET 25.97
    11:32am Sell 100 MET 25.65 (-0.32)
    -$42

    12:30am Buy 100 TNA 22.49
    2:23pm Sell 100 TNA 22.64 (+0.15)
    +$5

    12:43pm Short 100 FAZ 13.86
    3:30pm Cover 100 FAZ 11.97 (+1.89)
    +179

    ------------
    +$142
     
  3. 88years

    88years

    10:38am Short 200 CRZO 11.46
    12:44pm Cover 200 CRZO 11.50 (-0.04)
    -$18

    11:23am Buy 200 M 12.42
    2:40pm Sell 100 M 12.72 (+0.30)
    3:28pm Sell 100 M 12.89 (+0.47)
    +$62

    11:30am Buy 200 STLD 10.50
    12:29pm Sell 100 STLD 10.85 (+0.35)
    3:35pm Sell 100 STLD 11.25 (+0.75)
    +$95

    11:34am Short 200 CTV 17.09
    12:31pm Cover 200 CTV 17.27 (-0.18)
    -$28

    ------------
    +$111

    month: +$253
     
  4. 88years

    88years

    11:23am Buy 200 FAZ 9.87
    12:43pm Sell 100 FAZ 10.38 (+0.51)
    1:34pm Sell 100 FAZ 10.42 (+0.55)
    +$91

    ------------
    +$91

    month: +$344
     
  5. You''re paying way too much in commissions. Try InteractiveBrokers (or anyone else as low) at 1/2 a ct per 100 shares (minimum $1 per ticket). That extra $9 per trade that you're giving up will really add up if you're active.
     
  6. 88years

    88years

    You're right. Considering I've made 19 trades in the past 3 days, that was $171 extra in commissions that I've paid....which is almost 50% of my total profit so far!

    *sigh*...

    Unfortunately, I've allocated only $10000 of it's-ok-if-I-lose-it-all money to this daytrading endeavor, as I don't want to commit more capital until I'm more certain that what I'm doing is not just luck.

    My current broker does not enforce the $25k PDT rule (in Canada). Interactive Brokers does, so I'd have to commit another $15k if I switch.

    However, commission is eating up a significant portion of my profits, with the current way that I'm trading.

    Hmm...I'll have to think about this.

    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  7. Firstly, Best of luck to you.

    There is more to brokers than just commission. You may be with a broker that is your counter party and you could also be losing the spread on each trade which could be costing you a lot more.

    I am not here to chearlead IB but I do use them and they are like the McDonalds of trading. Cheap in price and service.

    Again best of luck

    RW
     
  8. anita883

    anita883

    your on the right track . u need to get funded enough to go to IB or another brokerage to get .005 cents a share. keep up the journal. trade the same,
    remember - trading you have to controll risk management.
    STOP out .
    trading requires stopping out 4 out of 10 trades or more.
    concistency is realizing you are wrong and getting out.
    we have to follow our rules 99.9 percent of the time . that is where we go wrong .
    many traders ,including me , build up our account the same and then fail on a series of bad mistakes. kinda like walking on top of a fence and falling off after awhile.
     
  9. 88years

    88years

    Got mostly stopped out today...

    10:38am Short 200 M 11.65
    11:35am Cover 200 M 11.58 (+0.07)
    +$4

    10:47am Short 200 PFG 12.93
    11:06am Cover 100 PFG 12.58 (+0.35)
    11:31am Cover 100 PFG 12.77 (+0.16)
    +$36

    10:51am Buy 200 FAZ 11.25
    11:07am Sell 100 FAZ 11.55 (+0.30)
    11:58am Sell 100 FAZ 10.98 (-0.27)
    -$12

    ------------
    +$28

    month: +$372
     
  10. 88years

    88years

    Well, I do love McDonalds =)

    Thanks, I'll look into switching over to IB. I'm a little worried about putting $15k more into trading and how that will affect me psychologically, but if I'm going to be actively trading, the commissions and slippage will kill me, as it seems to be adding up already.
     
    #10     Apr 15, 2009