Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Notes - "Considering ..."

4:00pm Well, considering (1) ES was rangebound most of the day (I don't trade ranges well), (2) today was a Monday (lest we forget my atrocious 2008 Monday statistics), (3) ES had a false post-2pm breakout of a tight range (a time of day when breakouts are often strong as traders return from lunch), (4) ES often had what I would call a "spikey" rhythm that shook small-timeframe trend traders, (5) it was one of the few days during the year where the market really never found a solid 5-min rhythm, and (6) the intraday 15-min VIX spent most of the day on the fence and thus provided little guidance ... I'm not quite sure how I ended the day in the black, albeit minimally.

I did get chopped up a bit midday and my win/loss (which I don't track) was likely pretty poor, but the 10:00 - 10:15am and 1:45 - 2:05pm long sequences apparently were enough to offset the cost of the midday chop. Interestingly enough, my last trade execution was a wholesale ES long exit at 934.25 on the ask at 2:05:35pm, which turned out to be the day's high, and I was hesitant on buying a subsequent pullback as -- for lack of a better description -- it just didn't feel right. In hindsight, I was probably more lucky on that read than anything as I would have sat out the extension ... yet the breakout volume and intensity seemed to be lacking.

And while I'm still working on a daily grading scorecard, I'd grade the "staying out of trouble" aspect pretty high today. I'm also satisfied that I didn't incur many 1st day-of-year jitters in terms of not trading at all, although I kept it pretty light at 1,360 contracts (680 x 2). I really considered today the first day of 2009 as most were gone last Friday. The daily P&L of course will be highly irrelevant for a while as we just completed a whopping 0.4% of the trading year ... thus my desire to begin the year with a non-financial scorecard.

All in all, there were no sprained ankles on this first step of the new journey, and I'll take that as a small psychological win.

7:19pm I'll post some thoughts on a great read suggested by Ziad in Sunday's post shortly.


E-Mini Player said...

Don, was this with the $60K account? If so, on average, how much size are you putting on with this (relatively) small account?

E-Mini Player said...

One more thing, posting the daily P&L would be helpful to see how much can be made with a $60K account. Thanks!

Don Miller said...

Hi E-Mini -

No, I'm actually moving some funds around (wired some today) to get that all set.

With respect to $$, I'm really trying not to focus on daily figures this early in the year, which is the reason I'm pursuing the grading matrix.

Perhaps reviewing and discussing it weekly might make sense though.

For now, I just want to stay focused on the skill, find some sort of a rhythm as the new year unfolds, and let the $$ take care of themselves over time.


az said...

Hi Don,

Is that possible you can publish the real trades detail? I saw article talking about that and link to your blob, but I haven't found it.

By the way, what a stellar, unbelievable performance, just mesmerizing to me.


Don Miller said...

Hi az -

I don't document most trades in my journal for a few reasons ... primariy because I view the day as a single "trade" and want to mentally place as little importance on individual trades as possible to keep my eyes looking ahead and keep the month & year in perspective.

Another reason is because I often manage my risk with repeated entries, scratches, re-entries, and heavy scaling in and out. Such a style, combined with simply providing liquidity at times as member of the Merc, would render lookbacks at many specific trades (what I'd call "trade sequences") pretty meaningless for me.

I suppose said another way, I try to mirror a pitcher that strives to mentally forget the last pitch and simply focus on the next one.

Having said that, I'll sometimes make notes on specific sequences (both taken and missed) if I want to reinforce a concept in my brain, and will also document a running timestamped commentary at times that does reference actual entries and exits if I feel I need to ramp up my focus by making notes as I trade.