Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Notes - The End is in Sight

1:00pm It's been a relatively quiet day thus far (of course every time I say that the market goes nuts), and I haven't been particularly on my game today despite the normal morning-after-trend action as I've found the pace to a bit awkward. That's my excuse anyway.

Nevertheless, the day is a plus thus far with a modest +$9K chip gain due in part to some decent 3am-5am DAX and FESX sequences shorting off yesterday's resistance, and I'm officially in the "don't do anything stupid over the next 3 hours that would cause you to stew all weekend" mode. I can tell you some horror stories from early in my career about ruined weekends, but we'll leave that for another time.

Both Europe and the U.S. hit initial resistance at yesterday's key trendlines, although as is often the case the markets didn't make it particularly easy with some headfakes which required conviction to stay in the trades. Some stops and re-entries at this end are another partial cause for the modest day's gain. There was also a nice Europe opportunity around 7am ET, but the man has to shower some time, and that's about all I'll say on that.

The hourly downtrend remains in tact for now, and all I've been doing for the last hour or so is providing light liquidity with teeny 15 lot sizes, grabbing 1/2 point here and there. On the other hand, the 5 & 15 minute charts which were power houses yesterday have been pretty useless as is usually the case on the next day. The name of the game is always finding the market's pulse, and again day 2 is often the opposite of day 1 (in part because of poor traders who try to trade day 2 like day 1 after they're ticked at missing day 1 ... thus losing on both days!)

2:55pm Going to call it quits as I still can't quite match today's rhythm and things are getting a bit wild. Nudged the count to +$10K on the day and +$42K for the week, and am taking my chips off the table.

All in all, an acceptable start to this year's final table.

7 1/2 weeks to go, which will include a couple of Holiday weeks with suspect volume and opportunity. The end of the race is in clear sight and I'm now slightly ahead of the French guy to my right and ahead of record time as we sprint for the finish. The breathing is definitely labored and I continue to run largely on momentum and adrenaline. But I have to win. I have to outrace and outsmart him over the remaining laps.

No one ever said a 52-week million dollar race would be easy, and I've discovered a new found respect along the way for every self-made millionaire that's ever made it. It's work. At lot of work. A llllotttt of work. We want it to be easy, but it never is. You have to work harder than 99.99% of everyone else and want it even harder. In prior years, I didn't have the necessary sustained fortitude. This year, I committed to no excuses. Failure remains no option.

Who'd have thunk a 47-year old would be leading the race at this point.

But it's not over yet.

Not for another 7 1/2 weeks.


YM-Trader said...

What race? And who's the French guy? You make 47 years old seem like over-the-hill. I hope not. I'm 53 and trying hard to live up to my motto "Don't get older, get better". From what I read you are certainly getting better. I'd better not see you standing in line at 4;30 for the early bird dinner at MCL.

Don Miller said...

Chuck -

My reference is to this past Olympic where the U.S. passed the French relay team in the final seconds.

I've used that throughout the blog as a reference for never-say-die come-from-behind mentality.

47 isn't old ... but in an industry full of 20 and 30 somethings with more speed and agility, trading is a tough battlefield.

I'll go for experience :-)


Anonymous said...


I am 36 going on 60.... it feels that way sometimes. A question regarding the use of the NYSE TICK, please. Do you use the extreme readings to help with optimal entries after you determined your entry... i.e you want to get long and wait for the TICk to find you an optimal area to junp in? Also do you use the extremes to exit?



Anonymous said...

Godspeed my friend

Don Miller said...

Ronin -

I guess it depends on what the market is doing.

First, it's a general baromoter for strength .. i.e. if the TICK is spending most of its time above zero (rare these days) and intraday trends are up, pullbacks in the TICk toward zero or slightly negative often accompany price drops to trend supports so I'll consider going long or covering shorts. And vice versa if the TICK is spending most of its time below zero.

Extreme readings (+/- 1000 or more) can certainly help guide entries or exits as well, although given my style which is to look for the high % wholesale trade, it's usually more for contra-trend entries (under the right circumstances based on other indicators) as it's doubtful I'd still be holding "with the trend" trades by that time as I'd likely be long gone.

As with anything, it's only one indicator and the others (price trend, VIX, etc.) are equally important, so it's the complete story which is key.