Keep Calm and Don't Move Your Stops.....

A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning!

The Purpose of Life is Joy!!

Friday, April 28, 2017


Another death by a thousand cuts. This week I hit a new equity high in my account. I am grateful for that. Then yesterday and today, it seemed as though I couldn't do anything right and gave back 60 total ticks off that equity high. When this happens, I know I have probably started doing something new and perhaps haven't realized it yet. I thought about this today after I was done and I came up with a couple of ideas.

1. Last week I started trading size. Suddenly I had clarity and focus about where I wanted to initiate a trade. This week I went back to 1 and 2 lots trades and I know for certain I have had a sense of devil may with regard to risk. This is an account killer. Trading a one lot makes me feel like "oh well, its just one lot, I can afford to gamble a bit here" which leads to chasing, over trading and other bad habits.

2. I'm certain I had a feeling of invincibility after last weeks near heroic efforts. A god complex in any situation is deadly. Today I no longer have anything remotely resembling a god complex. Humble pie tastes like chicken if you eat enough of it.

3. I was far more impatient these last couple of days for some reason. I didn't want to wait for a set up nor did I want to wait for a pay off although I did actually wait a long time for several of the trades to work out. But there was plenty of instances where I closed a trade way to soon because it did not instantly start working in my favor only to have them eventually work out.

4. I normally wait for some kind of confirmation. This usually means a bar that has closed in my favor after reaching a support or resistance area. I've been comfortable with the risk this confirmation entails. However, lately, I've been wanting to get in earlier so I have been going in with limit orders exactly at the levels I wanted. I have gotten run over A LOT doing this. The confirmation trade normally has some momentum behind it where the limit order usually has momentum against it. A famous trader once said something like, limit orders guarantee you get filled on 100% of the losers and perhaps only 50% of the winners. I found this to be true this week. Several times I had limit orders resting at specific levels only to see price print those levels and not fill my order only to see that trade work out. But 100% of the losers were filled. I may need to reassess my use of this kind of order entry.

5. Another thing is my use of the modified Ichimoku indicator. Its a crutch just like anything else, however, I did have my best week ever using this indicator last week. I will review my use of it this weekend in light of this weeks results. However, I don't think it was the indicator. I think it was in part my use of it combined with all the other items listed above. However, should I elect to continue using it and I probably will, I will have a written plan regarding its use before resuming trading again.

6. I also started using the 1 minute time frame due to the very narrow ranges we've seen over the last few weeks. Once it opened up just a little, I kept using this. I'm not sure if this is an issue or not but I remember listening to a vendor one time talking about using smaller time frames and small tick charts. He said "be sure not to get sucked into the tick chart vortex. Keep the big picture in mind". He was trying to drive home the point of only using the tick chart as an entry tool at or near the big picture levels. Perhaps I should try that as well!!

With near 100% certainty, I think items 1, 2 and 3 above are responsible for 95% of the poor results over the last two days. With a bit more patience, some of the limit order trades would have worked out better thereby lessening the impact of the limit in losers. I would need to do a detailed analysis of this to make sure and perhaps I will but without overcoming 1,2 and 3, the analysis will only confirm what I already think I know.

On an entirely different note, I had what I think is called a lucid dream last night. It was extremely vivid, I knew I was dreaming, I had control over certain aspects of the dream or at least my responses to certain external inputs, I experienced the emotions and feelings with incredible intensity and I remembered nearly every detail when I awoke. Parts of the dream were quite dramatic and were fear inducing. I told my wife I've never felt fear like that. It was a physical thing and yet when I woke up from the dream, I was calm and fearless even though my body's response to the fear was typical. I was sweating like crazy.

I have no idea what that was all about but it was the strangest thing that has happened to me in a long long time.

I have a weekend with nearly nothing to do for once in a long time. I plan on using it to review my trading in detail, come up with some conclusions and make course corrections. If any of this is worth sharing, I will post it next week.