Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Notes - Slow Drip Day

4:00pm Most who have known me over the years know I don't trade much or make much of my keep on slow drip trend days like today, as I'm simply not an "Enter and Hold for the Day" guy. Never have been, never will, never care to be. And while I was able to short the 10am retracement, which provided the bulk of today's modest chip gain, I'll give today to the swing traders short the market and prepare for tomorrow's possible oscillation morning.

No question there was a buyer's strike today, and I had little interest in contra-trend longs given the slow drip pace amidst the climbing VIX, although it seems a whole lot of traders on both sides remain on the sidelines as volume and pace thus far early in the year continues to be less than stellar. At this end, my personal volume continues to lag significantly behind my 2008 average, which I expect will pick up as the year moves on.

Please note I've moved the current week's performance scorecard to the left hand margin to save space and so I don't have to keep showing it in each blog post. I'll update it at the end of each trading day.


MK said...

Hi Don,

I've been thinking about your comments with regards to the danger in grading the scorecard green seeing as you seem to trade best when pissed off. Just speaking for myself here, but I get really pissed off at my trading when I review in detail any area that I didn't do well in. For example, if you were unhappy with your entries for the day and felt you kept getting in too early. At the end of the day, I'd do an exercise like you did with that chart of your trades a few posts ago. I'm not sure why this works in getting me annoyed with my results - maybe it is the fact that it takes some time to do and the whole time I'm focusing, in great detail on what I could have done better in a particular area. The constant, focused reminder of the errors.

I can see how you could need something to ground you and keep you humble after a few days of being a green machine. Maybe something like this can help, without sacrificing the true score of green at the expensive of trying to stay in your motivated state (pissed off) for tomorrow.

With kind regards,

Don Miller said...

MK -

Yes, I've been thinking similarly. Like any decent athlete or coach, finding something to motivate oneself -- even if simply manufactured or completely and purposely blown out of proportion -- can often help.

I'm definitely lacking that pi$$ed off feeling so far in 2009, and need to recapture that feeling again before it takes a real hard hit to wake me up.


E-Mini Player said...

Don, I'll be a good friend and let you wire $20k over to me which you can treat as a "loss" to get you in the pissed off state, if that helps ;)

Btw, any plans to bring back the Wednesday evening live chat? That was fun the couple of times we did it. I've stopped trading on the train; it was way too distracting. I now check the markets from the office as I get time throughout the day.

Don Miller said...

E-Mini -

Cute :-). No plans to return the chat for now ... somewhat enjoying my free time these days, but stay tuned.


Frontloader said...

Hi Don,
Thanks for the great blog, i have been firing away at ES for about 12mnths now with relativley little success, i am full time futures trader in South Africa making a living off our futures market, my interest in learning the ES is the volume, our local futures market averages 40k contracts a day so the upside for profit is capped. I am a scalper like you but i think i have been looking for profits that are to large, your chart of trades the other day interested me tremendously, what are you typicaly looking for in a trade, 3,4 ticks?

Don Miller said...

Hi Steve -

Just depends on the action. I never really have a preset '# of ticks' figure.

If the market is stretched and I'm trading contra-trend, then my holds tend to be relatively short and my tolerance for risk tighter (unless it's enormously stretched like it was last fall over and over again ... remember those 10 point "scalps"). And I'm typically looking to exit as the market returns toward its trend channel or support.

If I'm trading with the trend, I tend to exit into the retail flow as the trend continuation begins again.

As I've always said though, there are many ways to do this and no right answer.

Best wishes.