Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Notes - Talk to Me Goose!

4:00pm Who can forget this great exchange from Top Gun, which is hitting home big-time with me right now.

Early in movie during training:
Jester (speaking to Maverick): That was some of the best flying I've seen to date ... right up to the part where you got killed. You never, never leave your wingman.

Goose: It's not your flying, it's your attitude. The enemy's dangerous, but right now you're worse. Dangerous and foolish. Whose side are you on?
Maverick: That was stupid, I know better than that. That will never happen again.

Later ... in real combat action:
Merlin: A MiG's coming round on our tail.
Maverick: I can't leave Ice.
Merlin: He's gonna get behind us!
Maverick: I'm not leaving my wingman! I'm on his tail. I'm going for the shot right now. Roger, engaged! I've got radar lock. I'm taking the shot. Fire! Bingo!

Trading translation?

After Wednesday's trade:
Jester (speaking to Trader Don): That was some of the best trading I've seen to date (describing the last 15 months) ... right up to the part where you got complacent and soft. You never, never rest on your laurels.
Goose: It's not your trading, it's your attitude. The enemy's dangerous, but right now you're worse. Dangerous and foolish. Whose side are you on?
Don: That was stupid, I know better than that. That will never happen again.

Thursday ... in real trading action:
Merlin: Another scary trading pace day is before us.
Don: I'm ready.
Merlin: It's gonna be tricky ... might as well sleep in.
Don: I'm not sleeping in. I'm waking at 3:30am ET to watch the Europe and U.S. session for a few clean shots. I'm on the retail trader's tail. I'm going for the shot right now. Roger, engaged! I've got radar lock. I'm taking the shot.
Fire! Bingo!

Yea, it's corny as hell. However it's entirely accurate.

It's accurate because today wasn't easy for me. Despite the expected morning oscillations after yesterday's strong closing trend and my strong comfort with the likely overnight and opening setups, I was mentally fighting it given my recent lackluster attitude and failure to adapt to the new market pace. (btw, remember the hard time I initially had adapting to the 2008 "VIX over 50" pace?? Took me a few days if I recall.)

And I had to motivate myself to wake for the Globex session (which in my view had the best volatile pace and high % setup of the day with ES ever-so-briefly touching down near yesterday's support around 40), and then -- most importantly -- take the damn shots when called for ... and not before.

And while I did so far from cleanly and sub-obtimized some of the early Globex sequences, today was a "must have" day to avoid the first consecutive two-day losing streak in more than four months which would be a mini-crisis for me.

The good news is even after a +$14K comeback day with a solid +$17K gross on ES, I'm still mad.

This is Maverick requesting a fly-by.

btw, if you have't figured it out yet, I've obviously chosen solution option #1 (for now) noted in last night's "venting" post. Thanks for respecting my privacy for one night.

Poker night tonight. After that, I do need some sleep!

8 comments:

traderboy said...

Excellent combat Don! Congrats on the fine trading day.

traderboy

My Trading Edge said...

Hi Don, what time do you usually go to sleep and how much sleep do you require to remain alert and focused for an entire trading day?

Don Miller said...

Trading Edge -

I'd say I'm usually asleep by 10:30pm ET and awake naturally around 6-7am ... unless I force myself up as I did today.

Sometimes I'll nap in the early evening and then catch the other half from 1am-5am.

As far as how much sleep I require to remain alert, it's hard to gauge but the answer probably is "not much", as I figure that's what weekends are for.

Most days though, my brain is pretty well fried by 2:30pm ET regardless of how much sleep I've had.

Don

Barefoot Trader said...

"To a wise man every day is a new life". Unknown, Source

Lisa said...

I enjoy your blog, because I can relate. I took a few weeks off, after deciding I was suffering trader burn-out. Back at it now and feel much better! Hang in there :)

Lord Tedders said...

Don,

Your knocking me out with your focus! Stay mad (or whatever it takes).

If I catch myself getting lazy throughout the trading day I can totally hear your voice in my head telling me don't get complacent!

LT

MilesT said...

"Talk to me Goose"
You brought a big smile to my face...that is one of my favorite lines to use when I am in an unsure position. Picture the #1 tee box, looking down at a long narrow fareway while foursomes are stacked behind you waiting to tee off.

Thanks for letting us watch you "play" everyday.

I was wondering if you employ any type of exercise program in your daily routine.

Miles

Don Miller said...

MilesT -

Yea, that's one of my favorite movies ever ... I could do a week of analogy posts to trading with it, especially the part when Maverick couldn't mentally "engage".

In terms of exercise, that's the absolute worst part of my life right now and needs a lot of work.

It's on my list :-).

Don