Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Watch Out

4:00pm Warning: Those that are new to trading or who haven't quite yet "gotten" the overall concept of this business will likely not be able to relate to today's post. I say that because many still think this business is only about charts and patterns, which were pretty evident today.

Dear Diary -

Suffice it to say that I'm in a major battle with myself right now as I'm having a significant challenge staying motivated and rediscovering the tenacity that's needed every day in this biz. Today's sloppy/late/early (choose one) execution and -$12K double bogey was the result of one thing and one thing only ... a complacent/sloppy/sleeping in/hesitating/ambivalent (again choose one or more ... they all apply) attitude that affected two sequences.

Sure the market's rhythm has changed and I do best when trader emotion is prevalent in the pace of the action ... which it isn't ... and suck in sardine can trading ranges, yet the rhythm always changes and our ongoing job is to recognize it on a daily basis and simply react. As I've said before, the finger always points one way -- inward.

The good news is I closed with a strong trade and the loss can be offset by a single solid trade sequence ... today of course ranks as the second real loss of the year, although it could have been far worse. Remember the only score I care about is that on 12/31.

The bad news and reality is that I'm fighting the fight of my trading life right now, essentially treading water with gains offsetting losses, and for the moment too often trading like a rookie on the retail side of the trade.

And I'm frankly beginning to wonder -- despite the ongoing fictitious draw chart that's posted all over my office -- if the reality of hundreds of thousands of trades and millions of dollars in results are beginning to mentally overpower that and other motivational tools I've surrounded myself with.

Clearly, the drive isn't there right now. I'm sleeping far too well and don't like it.

So I have a few options:

- Continue to plow ahead and just "get through this";
- Take a real vacation for the first time in years and don't even think about trading for a month (my fear of course is restarting the engine again afterwards ... and you know how I feel about that!);
- Go into even deeper isolation mode and let the diary go black for a short while (yes, I'm considering it, although it still remains one of the key motivational tools, so let's not toss the baby out with the bath water Don);
Resurrect the "trade for charity" idea ala Barry Greenstein to try to find a reason to increase the "cause" factor (Lord knows I don't need the money).

The option I don't want, is a -$90K chip hit such as last fall's that I apparently needed to wake me up into the subsequent $700K 3-month run.

Please, no "advice" gang ... btw, I'm not allowing comments on today's diary entry as I'm going into isolation chamber mode ... as with everything in trading, there's no one-size-fits-all answer and every successful trader on this planet has to discover his/her own way and work things like this out from time to time. Again, newer or unsuccessful traders likely won't "get" this and think making significant sums is a smooth road. And "gurus" of course who never disclose their results never have losses.

Mike Matasow would say, "I've lost my heart".

He might be right ... at least for the moment.

Yup, I'm finally pi$$ed again and won't sleep well tonight.

And if history is a guide, you won't want to be in my path tonight ... or on the other side of my upcoming trades.