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Greg

Greg L's Trading Journal - Full Transparency 2019 Live

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Hey Everyone

I'm going to start posting my daily trades here. I joined this community in March 2018. I did sim for 4 months. Went live in July. Loss $3,000 in 10 days. Went live again in August. Loss $1,000 in 10 days. Went live again in October and I'm still currently trading with that buy in. I haven't been profitable and I am down to about $300 above PDT. 

Every day I will post my P&L and Tradervue Dashboard, and I plan to post any relevant/interesting trades that I've taken. 

I'm not the best trader, but like many people here, my biggest problem is self control and discipline. The Good days are ok. The bad days have been extra bad.  I've finally realized my limitations on my self control and I have increased my DAS Risk controls.

My current settings:

Max Daily Loss: $200

Max Pos Loss: $80

Max Shares traded a day: 4,000

Goal is $150

If I my P&L hits $120 in a day, my max drawdown is 20%. 

My trading is cut off at 12pm

Auto Stop on Max Position Loss and Max Daily Loss. 

I've implemented these slowly throughout the past month. I originally started with just the Max daily loss, until I began to double down and let my big losers run and run and run because I wasn't ready to end my day and then it got to a point, that the loss was so significant that I couldn't exit the trade and had to pray for a reversal. It didn't always come. 

I've had to implement the Max shares traded and max drawdown, because I've let too many winnings day turn into losing days, mostly by overtrading. The 4,000 shares and 12pm cut off time is my way to combat my overtrading. It is still very easy to overtrade when you are trading 100 shares at a time, but I felt this was the best balance considering I do take 300 shares or so at a time on MU/AMD. I didn't want an AMD day to be cut short because of this limit.  

 

Some of the problems that I currently deal with:

Walking Away -  I  have a hard time walking away when I am losing. Often times, I finally quit when Das Stops me Out. This will be one of the things that I report on daily. 

Stopping Out/Doubling Down - This used to be one of my bigger problems. Again, I hated to lose, so I will let me losers run or double down on my position to try and get out at break even. It works until it doesn't. I've been better at not doubling down with the Pos Max Loss with Auto Stop. 

Overtrading - My problem since the very beginning. When I first started trading, I didn't have a stopping out problem,  I just had an overtrading problem. If anything I had the problem of stopping out too quickly. I tried to implement a trade limit for myself, but then I started letting my losers run a little because it was one of my limited trades for the day. I still let trades run (not as bad as before) , and I still overtrade on a daily basis. I probably average about 12-15 trades a day. 

Taking Bad Setups - Another issue that I've been working on is my patience and taking better setups. The emotions get to me at times, and I will trade to just be in a trade. Sometimes as soon as I exit a trade, I will find a reason to enter a new one. 

Short Bias - I have an extreme short Bias. Since Oct 2018, 80% of my trades have been short. 

Relying too heavily on the 1 min chart - This one, I've been getting better at and its really helped.  I used to trade solely off the 1 min chart and at times I still do. Less often than before. 

 

These are the problems that I deal with on daily basis. Going to fix all of these on my way to becoming a profitable and consistent trader.  I'm going to be documenting my journey to make trading my full time career. 

 

I would happily accept any questions, feedback, or critiques. So please feel free to chime in. If there are any particular trades of mine that I didn't share for the day, that you might want to see, feel free to let me know. 

 

Edited by Greg
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Jan 11th 

P&L After Commissions: +3

Trades: 17

Shorts:  15/17 88% 

Did I Walk Away On My Own: No - Max Share Limit Stop Out 

Not my best trading day, not my worst. Basically broke even on the day. Had some good trades where I let them run a little too long, and didn't take enough profit. I really want to practice sitting in a winning trade. I was probably hoping for a bigger move than what the charts were showing. Gotta take what the market gives.

 

I traded very quickly in the first 30 min. I entered AAPL 4 times. Lost a little bit of control at the 11 O'clock hour. I was in 3 trades at one time, which is definitely too much for me. 

 

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Got chopped up in the morning fairly good. AAPL couldn't find a direction and I couldn't leave it alone. I really shouldn't have taken the first AAPL trade long. No real reason to be in that one. When it actually did break under the 50SMA, I wanted to take it short. There were no MAs on the 1 min or 5 min below that, so I really though it could have moved. Got stopped out then reentered and stopped out again. Saw it break under VWAP one final time and took it short. Couldn't break $153 and I got out. 

One thing that I'm trying to work on is not stopping out right away as  soon as the trade goes against me. On the third trade , I did try and hold. I do a better job holding later on in the day when the moves are less volatile, but I do go get scared out easily inthe morning. 

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I really really like this FB trade. I love taking trades when they break either the 50SMA or 200SMA. I really should be solely focusing on these types of moves, because they have been the best for me. Everything about this looked weak to me. Bounced off the 200SMA With long upper wicks. Broke Below VWAP and the 50SMA. I didn't see any sort of buying pressure. Took first profit at PM low and whole number $143. I'm not really sure why I took the second profit there. Not a bad profit taking point considering the stock pulled back a little, but I can't explain exactly why. Took some more after it pulled back to $143. I was starting to sense some strength, but I didn't want to jump the gun on a early exit. Got rid of the rest when it broke above $143.  I only made $26 on 100 shares, I was hoping to get a little more on it. 

 

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This GM trade was fairly good. I like the R/R and how proud of me holding through the pullback and getting out at the right time. Again I like to take trades near a SMA. In this case when it broke the 50SMA and then bounced back,  I like to get as close to the MA as possible and I feel the R/R is pretty good. In this case, it did go about 10 cents against me, which is a little more than I wanted, but I held through. Took profit at VWAP and some more a little past VWAP. IT came back to my entry, but I knew I had the 50SMA to act as resistance there so I held. If It did break, I would have taken the loss on the final shares, but I'm ok with that. It dropped back down and I decided to get out fully because I didnt think it would break below since it held VWAP all day. 

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One of the trades that I'm not proud of for today. Actually made some money on it. I took  FB short when it came back to test VWAP and the 50SMA. I didn't think it would blow through the VWAP so easily. In the minute I was down about $40 on my 100 shares. It was not good to hold through the way that I did. I also a few opportunities over the next few minutes to exit for a $20 loss. I did see the resistance on the 5 min, so I broke my rules and took a partial portion. Shorted 50 more shares. Sold some when it came down, and I had the opportunity to get out for a slight profit when it briefly broke under VWAP. I did not exit, and it came back up. I was going to exit if it would have held above the 200SMA on the 1 min. It couldn't do that and came back down. Took a partial then exited fully. 

Very poor trading on my part. I broke my stop loss, and I broke my rule of getting out at break even if I have doubled down on my position. I should have exited at the 10:41 candle. 

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I really liked this MU trade at the time. I must have seen weakness on the Bid/Ask and Time and Sales in addition to the PDC bounce .I took it short and it paid off very quickly. Each cover is 1/3rd of my position and I held through the pullback. It couldn't stay above the PDC and when I saw it couldn't go lower and break the 5 min 9ema and actually stayed above the EMAs on the 1 min, I decided to exit. 

The general rule is that you exit a trade you have taken profit on when it comes back to your entry. I didn't do that because I had the PDC and the Previous day mark. I felt I had the resistance on my side. I'm 50/50 on how I feel about it. Knowing me, I would have some stop loss creep. First I let it pass my entry point, then its a few cents pass PDC so I let test that, then its a few cents away from the previous day mark, then its a few cents away from the whole dollar $36. So its very possible that if the stock kept going, I don't 100% know if I would have stopped out.  That is one of the issues that I have experienced before. 

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These last two trades were very poorly executed. I am usually ok with my entry decision most of the time, but I do need to work on my exits and letting go of my biases. Huge engulfing 5 min. Made a reverse ABCD under all MAs. I didn't see any strength at all, so I took it short. Took my first profit at $143. It was holding $143. I thought if it could finally break it, it would plunge down. It held every time it tested it and then popped up on me above all MAs. I still had my short bias and really wanted the stock to break down. I added to my position short, I had a full position again. My new entry price was right where the MAs crossed. I should have exited. If I wasn't in this trade, I would have seen it as a long. I love taking trades when they break the SMA and retest. That in my mind is the perfect entry. Should have exited fully there. Held out longer and lost my gains on this trade. 

 

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This last trade was just bad. I saw GM holding $37.50 and under the 50SMA. I took it short. I immediately saw a lot of buying at the $37.50 price. It filled the times sale for about 10 seconds. I hesistated on the exit because I was nearing my 4000 share limit for the day I basically knew if I got out here I would be done. That was so so bad on my part. I should not be taking that into effect. I have since removed share count from the account window to avoid this problem in the future. This popped up on me, came back a little and sold 2/3rds of my position. Wanted to sell the rest at break even. I was watching my own P&L on the interactive brokers app. I didn't want to end up red. I only had 100 shares left and unfortunately, I told myself I would just wait for it to come back or exit when I am $20 down. I traded my P&L on this one and I traded my Risk control limits. Not Good 

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Overall, an ok day of trading. Very sloppy at times. I have a lot to work on. I feel my entries and trades are good for the most part. I do gamble sometimes on my entries and I do need to keep the amount of trades down. 

 

Edited by Greg

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22 hours ago, Greg said:

Some of the problems that I currently deal with:

Walking Away -  I  have a hard time walking away when I am losing. Often times, I finally quit when Das Stops me Out. This will be one of the things that I report on daily. 

Stopping Out/Doubling Down - This used to be one of my bigger problems. Again, I hated to lose, so I will let me losers run or double down on my position to try and get out at break even. It works until it doesn't. I've been better at not doubling down with the Pos Max Loss with Auto Stop. 

Overtrading - My problem since the very beginning. When I first started trading, I didn't have a stopping out problem,  I just had an overtrading problem. If anything I had the problem of stopping out too quickly. I tried to implement a trade limit for myself, but then I started letting my losers run a little because it was one of my limited trades for the day. I still let trades run (not as bad as before) , and I still overtrade on a daily basis. I probably average about 12-15 trades a day. 

Taking Bad Setups - Another issue that I've been working on is my patience and taking better setups. The emotions get to me at times, and I will trade to just be in a trade. Sometimes as soon as I exit a trade, I will find a reason to enter a new one. 

Short Bias - I have an extreme short Bias. Since Oct 2018, 80% of my trades have been short. 

Relying too heavily on the 1 min chart - This one, I've been getting better at and its really helped.  I used to trade solely off the 1 min chart and at times I still do. Less often than before. 

 

 

The walking away and not over trading is particularly difficult for me as well. i know in my head what i need to do but i just get steamrolled by my emotions and do the bonehead thing instead of the prudent thing. i think that's the main reason why trading is so difficult. i've been thinking a lot about what Mark Douglas says in trading in the zone that I have to slowly diffuse the habits that are holding me back from being consistent and slowly infuse good habits. the only way to do that is work everyday on the  things I can control but also realize that these habits have been with us our entire life so they're not going away easy and to not be too hard on myself when i make a mistake. 

Maybe pick one specific issue to work on and dedicate six weeks to that task? Go easy on your goal as well for example, 75% of the time i will get out of a losing trade instead of doubling down and then track that specific goal to see if you're making an improvement.

Right now for myself i am working on stepping away when i'm losing so after my first loss i'm working on logging that trade and seeing what i did wrong instead of jumping right back in the market and then if i lose again taking a 5min break to calm down. you can see in my trade journal that i did not do that Thursday and i hit max loss and that's ok, there's always going to be set backs on the road to improvement. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mark D. said:

 

The walking away and not over trading is particularly difficult for me as well. i know in my head what i need to do but i just get steamrolled by my emotions and do the bonehead thing instead of the prudent thing. i think that's the main reason why trading is so difficult. i've been thinking a lot about what Mark Douglas says in trading in the zone that I have to slowly diffuse the habits that are holding me back from being consistent and slowly infuse good habits. the only way to do that is work everyday on the  things I can control but also realize that these habits have been with us our entire life so they're not going away easy and to not be too hard on myself when i make a mistake. 

Maybe pick one specific issue to work on and dedicate six weeks to that task? Go easy on your goal as well for example, 75% of the time i will get out of a losing trade instead of doubling down and then track that specific goal to see if you're making an improvement.

Right now for myself i am working on stepping away when i'm losing so after my first loss i'm working on logging that trade and seeing what i did wrong instead of jumping right back in the market and then if i lose again taking a 5min break to calm down. you can see in my trade journal that i did not do that Thursday and i hit max loss and that's ok, there's always going to be set backs on the road to improvement. 

 

I picture/visualize it for myself this way: we harbor two creatures in us...one mostly controls decisions that get made "on the fly" the other is responsible for "deliberative thinking" but that creature is also lazy and easily overrun by the impulsive creature in us. We need to retool/train the lazy creature not to be overrun by the impulsive creature.

I recommend this book by Daniel Kahneman....Kahneman won a Nobel prize in behavioural economics for research on the two major forces in the brain that dictate decision making....intuitive vs deliberative thinking. It's very useful to understand the brains impact on impulse and biased trading.
 
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking fast and thinking slow

 

Another good read is a book written by Anni Duke ... Anni Duke is a professional poker player who talks about how to think in terms of  bets and statistics of making good and bad calls. Those who play poker might agree there's a few "decision making" similarities between poker and trading. Like traders poker players have to quickly make decisions (fold, call, bet or raise) when confronted with complex decisions. They too have to learn to tame the impulsive creature they harbor...

Anni Duke: Thinking in bets
 
 
 
 
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On 1/12/2019 at 2:33 PM, Marek said:

I picture/visualize it for myself this way: we harbor two creatures in us...one mostly controls decisions that get made "on the fly" the other is responsible for "deliberative thinking" but that creature is also lazy and easily overrun by the impulsive creature in us. We need to retool/train the lazy creature not to be overrun by the impulsive creature.

I recommend this book by Daniel Kahneman....Kahneman won a Nobel prize in behavioural economics for research on the two major forces in the brain that dictate decision making....intuitive vs deliberative thinking. It's very useful to understand the brains impact on impulse and biased trading.
 
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking fast and thinking slow

 

Another good read is a book written by Anni Duke ... Anni Duke is a professional poker player who talks about how to think in terms of  bets and statistics of making good and bad calls. Those who play poker might agree there's a few "decision making" similarities between poker and trading. Like traders poker players have to quickly make decisions (fold, call, bet or raise) when confronted with complex decisions. They too have to learn to tame the impulsive creature they harbor...

Anni Duke: Thinking in bets
 
 
 
 

thanks Marek, i'll check those out

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Quick Update: I didn't forget about this thread. I've been out these past two days. Our little baby girl arrived 2 and a half weeks early! 😁  (Pic coming soon) So I've been quite busy.  Not sure of my schedule for this week, but will post if I trade.

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:38 AM, Greg said:

Relying too heavily on the 1 min chart - This one, I've been getting better at and its really helped.  I used to trade solely off the 1 min chart and at times I still do. Less often than before. 

Greg,

I have that problem to, so I created a rule for myself. Rule 15 "Do not trade the 1 minute chart candles as if they are 5 minute chart candles". Similar to you, I joined in March, but didn't start trading live until November. I had a few months of just learning before I went into sim. 

I was wondering what specific edge (strategy) are you trading?

For the past three weeks, I made it a goal that I will only trade a 15 min Opening range if it meets my 2:1 reward/risk, 2 of 3 indicators, and 3 of 4 confirmations. What I have found is that when this trading criteria is met the stock has a higher probability to move in my direction. I also noticed, I am more comfortable before, during, and after the trade, because I am more focused on the trading skills than the money. Since than I have notice my net equity curve is finally going in the right direction.

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15 hours ago, Greg said:

Quick Update: I didn't forget about this thread. I've been out these past two days. Our little baby girl arrived 2 and a half weeks early! 😁  (Pic coming soon) So I've been quite busy.  Not sure of my schedule for this week, but will post if I trade.

congrats!

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Jan 16th

P&L After Commissions: $18 

Trades:  9 

Short: 8/9 (88%)

Did I walk away on my own: Yes 

 

As you can see, This was a great day, turned into a break even day. I had a realized P&L of about $100 at one point and my max realized and unrealized reached $175ish. My biggest issue today was trade management. I normally love my entries that I take and today is no different. I did have one really bad entry, I just didn't do good profit taking. As you can see in the trade overview, my SQ trade turned from $40 to -$7. My GS winner turned from $80 to $1. 

The $GS trade tilted me and I went a little crazy with my trades after that. Loss the last 3 trades and about $60 to end the day. 

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1. $SQ

First trade was SQ. This was an ok trade. The entry was great, it never really went against me. The R/R was minimal. It was 2/1 at best. The stock dropped as I wanted it to, i just wanted more than VWAP and the 200SMA, both which were great spots to take profit. In my mind I wanted the LOD and I was working on my patience so I decided to just hold and wait. It probably wasn't the best move since it had to break VWAP, 200SMA and PDC. There was just too much support and plenty of profit taking points along the way for me to expect it to make a quick and easy move to LOD. 

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2. $AAPL - Dum Dum Gamble of the Day

This trade was disgusting. I take risky reversals more than I should, but this one was just dumb. No real signs of a reversal, I got a bad fill and I regretted instantly. It instantly popped up on me.  Stopped out, terrible terrible trade. 

 

What I did see was lower highs and lower lows on the 1 min, but that alone is no reason to take this trade. 

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3.  $FB

The big winner of the day. Clearly pushed off VWAP and the price action looked weak as well. Normally I take 100 shares but I really liked this so I took 150 shares. Rode this one down for a $1.30 gain. I did get scared at the third profit taking, and at the end of the trade, I basically said that it was good enough and exited the trade. 

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4 $AAPL

This is one of the risky reversals that I am ok with it. There isn't a lot of confirmation that this a reversal, but it does work out enough for me. I take it short when it breaks down under the 9ema. I like it to consolidate a little between the 9ema and 20 and I try to take it as close to the 9 as possible. I saw this and it right away looked like a short. Took it short and rode it down. I would have settled for VWAP, but it did break down a little farther which of course I am happy with. 

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5. & 6. $GS

Probably should have called it after the AAPL trade, but got a little greedy. Took two trades on $GS. The first trade was where I looked to take the reversal. Broke the 9ema and consolidated under it. I have no problems with the entry even though it didn't work. I did stop out a little late, but it just didnt look truly strong to me. 

Trade 6 is what tilted me. I took a really great entry. Setup wise it wasn't great, but I saw something in the price action that indicated it was a short. I trusted it and took it. Made a huge drop. Took some profits. Dropped again, broke the 50SMA and got stuck at around $190. I was hoping for it to drop to VWAP and I was working on my patience/holds. It bounced back up to the 50SMA and that is where I normally would take this short if I wasn't already in the trade, so I added a small share size to my position. I did exit the small share size when it tested $190 again. I had my sights set on VWAP around $189 and I was blind to the price action,  Again I expected the stock to do something instead of letting it do its thing and taking what it gives. 

It did creep back up to the 50SMA and then broke. My stop was above the 50SMA, so I had my opportunity to get out for a small profit. I just didn't and I let this turn from a $80 winner to a $1 winner.  

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7 & 8 $AAPL

I then decided that was enough for the day, I'm not sure of the P&L but it was around $90 for the day. I left to get ready and go brush my teeth, but for whatever reason I decided to check back and see what was happening in the market. I saw that AAPL was doing one of my favorite setups. It broke VWAP and the 50SMA and I love taking a stock when it goes to retest it. I didn't get a great entry so I decided to add to my position when it tested back right at the 50. I then had too many shares that I felt comfortable with, but I wanted to trust the setup. The stock couldn't break $155 and dropped on me. I exited when it broke below the 50SMA. 

Again it gave me my setup just on the otherside, so I did a position swap. I was now short. It continued to drop and I took decent profit along the way. It did pop up back to the resistance and I decided to add back the shares that I covered. It popped up again and I exited at VWAP. So I let a winner turn into a loser by added to my position and not stopping out when a winning stock got back to my break even. 

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9. $MU

The last $MU trade was just a gambling. No reason to be in it. I had a super tight stop loss, but stop loss creeped on that one. Exited and then I really called it quits. Not posting the picture because I dont want to be posting every trade. 

 

 

I dont plan to post all of my trades and today I posted 8/9. I felt that all that I've posted are fairly relevant. There is something important/a lesson to be learned in each of these. 

My trading style is different than most, but I'm going to make it work for me. I trade off the 1 min, but am trying to incorporate the 5 min more. But I do trade the 1 min first. My entries were fine, the trades moved in my direction, I just mismanaged them. I had 1 big homerun with FB and I tried a few other times to swing for the fences and instead I struck out. I let my winners turn in to losers. Trading is all about balance and today I didn't have the balance. I didn't take what the stock gave, I instead waited for what I imagined or expected it do. 

 

 

2019-01-16 18_48_43-Epic Pen.png

Edited by Greg

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On 1/12/2019 at 11:33 AM, Marek said:

I picture/visualize it for myself this way: we harbor two creatures in us...one mostly controls decisions that get made "on the fly" the other is responsible for "deliberative thinking" but that creature is also lazy and easily overrun by the impulsive creature in us. We need to retool/train the lazy creature not to be overrun by the impulsive creature.

I recommend this book by Daniel Kahneman....Kahneman won a Nobel prize in behavioural economics for research on the two major forces in the brain that dictate decision making....intuitive vs deliberative thinking. It's very useful to understand the brains impact on impulse and biased trading.
 
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking fast and thinking slow

 

Another good read is a book written by Anni Duke ... Anni Duke is a professional poker player who talks about how to think in terms of  bets and statistics of making good and bad calls. Those who play poker might agree there's a few "decision making" similarities between poker and trading. Like traders poker players have to quickly make decisions (fold, call, bet or raise) when confronted with complex decisions. They too have to learn to tame the impulsive creature they harbor...

Anni Duke: Thinking in bets
 
 
 
 

Marek, I have to check those out. I 100% agree with the two creatures inside of us. For me when the emotional trader comes out, I cannot stop it. I will overtrade and take any trade I can to get my money back. 

I've realized that once Im overtrading, I will not go back to my rational self. I need to somehow get myself away from the computer and I need to close DAS. If I have DAS open I will check it and I will see something that I like, whether its a good setup or not, I will see it as a good setup and get in. I throw out all the rules when I lose control. And once that guy comes out for the day, he doesn't go away. The rational thinking is gone until tomorrow. Luckily it always seems to reset each day, and I haven't had problems carryinv over to the beginning of the next trading day. 

I can't switch trading personalities once the emotional trader comes out. So I am working on learning how to walk away when I do feel that way. The emotional trader usually doesn't come out before 10:30 for me. Rarely ever does the rational trader lose the battle before that time. My risk control of cutting off my trading at 12pm is to keep the emotional trader somewhat in check. 

The second thing I'm doing is finding out what triggers the emotional trader to come out. Surprisingly it isn't starting my day off with losses, that bring out that trader most often.  Of course sometimes I can lose the first few trades of the day, but the emotional trader doesn't fully take over at that time. The time the emotional trader comes out is when I am green enough for the day and I have checked my P&L. It is then when I lose gains that I feel I've earned,  that beast from within comes out. 

Today is a perfect example of that. I messed up my GS trade and I continued to trade and gave away my money.  I am working on identify the trigger that brings out the emotional problems and cutting myself off before then. Today I attempted to walk away and brush my teeth, but I as soon as I started brushing, I went back to my computer to check. I literally took a trade with toothpaste in my mouth. 

Even though my thinking is backwards of what is my money, (losing at the beginning of the day is really losing my money vs losing realized gains for that day) I have figured out what sets me off the most. That is the first step in controlling. I found where the emotional monster lives, but can I go into the cave and destroy it? 

 

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3 hours ago, Greg said:

Marek, I have to check those out. I 100% agree with the two creatures inside of us. For me when the emotional trader comes out, I cannot stop it. I will overtrade and take any trade I can to get my money back. 

I've realized that once Im overtrading, I will not go back to my rational self. I need to somehow get myself away from the computer and I need to close DAS. If I have DAS open I will check it and I will see something that I like, whether its a good setup or not, I will see it as a good setup and get in. I throw out all the rules when I lose control. And once that guy comes out for the day, he doesn't go away. The rational thinking is gone until tomorrow. Luckily it always seems to reset each day, and I haven't had problems carryinv over to the beginning of the next trading day. 

I can't switch trading personalities once the emotional trader comes out. So I am working on learning how to walk away when I do feel that way. The emotional trader usually doesn't come out before 10:30 for me. Rarely ever does the rational trader lose the battle before that time. My risk control of cutting off my trading at 12pm is to keep the emotional trader somewhat in check. 

The second thing I'm doing is finding out what triggers the emotional trader to come out. Surprisingly it isn't starting my day off with losses, that bring out that trader most often.  Of course sometimes I can lose the first few trades of the day, but the emotional trader doesn't fully take over at that time. The time the emotional trader comes out is when I am green enough for the day and I have checked my P&L. It is then when I lose gains that I feel I've earned,  that beast from within comes out. 

Today is a perfect example of that. I messed up my GS trade and I continued to trade and gave away my money.  I am working on identify the trigger that brings out the emotional problems and cutting myself off before then. Today I attempted to walk away and brush my teeth, but I as soon as I started brushing, I went back to my computer to check. I literally took a trade with toothpaste in my mouth. 

Even though my thinking is backwards of what is my money, (losing at the beginning of the day is really losing my money vs losing realized gains for that day) I have figured out what sets me off the most. That is the first step in controlling. I found where the emotional monster lives, but can I go into the cave and destroy it? 

 

Greg, we all make the same mistakes...there's no quick remedy for this problem. The best way is to accept and embrace it...treat your other self like a child with bad habits that constantly needs positive reinforcement and reminders. This is why journaling and self reflection is so important. Constant embracement of the challenges forces the deliberative mind to interact with the impulsive mind and slowly retrains your brains decisions not to be hijacked by the impulse trader. I wish I could claim I had solved the problem for myself but cannot...however I am not in denial and think about it everytime problems arise and believe that will help me slowly become a better trader.

Mike D said it well here: 

"i've been thinking a lot about what Mark Douglas says in trading in the zone that I have to slowly diffuse the habits that are holding me back from being consistent and slowly infuse good habits. the only way to do that is work everyday on the  things I can control but also realize that these habits have been with us our entire life so they're not going away easy and to not be too hard on myself when i make a mistake."

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Jan 17th

P&L After Commissions: $3

Trades: 5

Shorts: 5/5 (100%)

Did I walk away on my Own: Yes

 

Just a choppy day in general or me. I woke up late, had a first tough night at home with the baby. Woke up at 10:11am EST. 7:11 PST my time. I didn't see a lot to trade as soon as I hopped out. I did go back and take a look at Andrew's watch list in the morning, but primarily looked at the usual suspects to trade (AAPL, MU, AMD, SQ)

Took one really bad trade and got chopped around SPY. 

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The really bad trade was with SQ. I took a risky entry and gambled with it. I saw that it hit VWAP/previous day support line many times this morning, but now that I thought it was past the 50SMA that it would break through that support. Dumb Trade in general. IT went against me, I didn't break stop loss. Had opportunities to get out for a $10-$15 loss, not sure why I didnt. Bad discipline on my part. Doubled down when it reached near the top and I was fortunate that the stock came back and tested VWAP one more time before taking off. Exited in 2 pieces. The first was a precautionary exit. l was ok exiting the whole trade there for a $20ish loss, but exited half because it looked weak. Took the other half for a $10 profit to break even on the trade. 

772597941_2019-01-1717_28_17-DASTraderPro.thumb.png.d9b4847f73668b2365cea9f398a0206a.png

 

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Greg, the following is just my feedback so I apologize in advance if it rubs you in the wrong way. I'm also only on sim so you could just totally disregard what I have to say if you want.

First of all, congrats on the baby! But having to taking care of a baby will directly increase your stress levels due to lack of quality sleep, and that would directly impact your ability to control your emotions and impulsiveness, so maybe it's best if you could find a way to ground yourself first before you start trading, whatever ways it might be (eg. meditation, deep long inhales and exhales, exercises, stretches, cold water on face etc)

In my opinion if you are still a developing trader, maybe it's best to stay away from mega caps, or stocks that are higher priced. Yes you might win once or twice, but most of the time you might get shaked out and your stop loss wouldn't be able to handle that (since their stop losses are so big), worst if you don't execute your stop loss. Maybe focusing on trading these stocks that you can't get good entries with is somehow fueling your current predicament?

I am interested in knowing what concrete plans you have in tackling these discipline problems? For me I have my journal in a detailed spreadsheet, explaining every trade I took the whys and what, and what I learned from that trade etc. Also like Carlos's journal, I write what I did well that day, and what needs improvement (instead of "what I did wrong"), and mood, etc. Every morning premarket I re read them, and remind myself what I need to control myself in doing the most and what my goals (skill and psychology-wise, not money) are for that day. I also limit myself now to $10-$50 stocks and small shares, just for the sake of practicing my skills, because there's no point in buying AAPL now if I'm not ready, and I won't even buy it if I go live tomorrow (well I could, but most likely I will get stopped multiple times and start a revenge trade cycle).

Again, I apologize for the blunt feedback, we all have a hard time to control the psychology part, but because I have experienced those moments and choices too, I just wanted to chime in. Good luck!

 

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2 hours ago, Greg said:

Doubled down when it reached near the top and I was fortunate that the stock came back and tested VWAP one more time before taking off.

Greg,

Just my recommendation, but be very cautious adding to a losing trade. Although it worked out for you this time it could have ran against you. Not sure if you watched Andrew's trade on Yelp a few months back, but it illustrates how adding to a losing trade can go really wrong.

 

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