Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Notes - Wastebasket Day

4:00pm I'll keep today's diary entry brief as I got distracted during the mid-morning drop with size and bungled my way to a major wastebasket day ... as in, today goes immediately in the trash can and is already forgotten. The scoresheet when posted will show more red than a bed of roses, and will accurately reflect a day when I simply didn't have anything close to my game face on.

If you're new to this trek, welcome to the human element, and I hope this puts to rest once and for all the notion that I can forever escape the pain that will always be part of this biz. And for those asking me to change how I write my notes, please keep in mind the blog remains my personal diary and the only reason I openly share it is so those looking over my shoulder can catch a glimpse as to the reality that exists behind what is too often clouded by industry smoke and mirrors. I've always said I'll share the good, bad, and ugly ... and today was a capital "U".

Today was also strong reinforcement that this biz is so much more than about technical analysis. Trading is a mental sport -- nothing more, nothing less -- and is primarily about the execution. The charts today were clear. Very clear. Crystal clear. My head on the other hand was simply elsewhere.

I've often said trading results do one thing ... they buy or sell time.

So, I'm a couple of weeks younger today.

The 30-day streak is officially over, yet tomorrow is a new day and the ticker says we have 324 days before the score matters.

Have a pleasant evening.


momo said...

Hey Don,
rest assured, you're not the only one who had his head up his rear. In spite of better knowledge, I did exactly the opposite of what I "normally" do on trend days, which is go WITH the trend, instead of fighting it. It was a painful reminder of how easy it is to slip into a devastating frame of mind which can make you feel like a first grader in trading school. If only the tuition fees weren't so damn expensive and the psychological repercussions less debilitating..! hopefully a reminder to get back to my personal rule book which has helped me achieve the best 5 months in my trading career and not the beginning of a slump which seemed to have started last Wednesday. Will try and adopt your policy of "forgetting today" on this occasion for sure!

Unknown said...

It was a frustrating day for me as well. More so for not doing anything even when I was confident on the days direction. I had a gut feeling that the market was going to selloff on the news plus the Spinning Top candle kind of gave a heads-up. But my head wasn't into it either because I didn't get any sleep last night (I had a sick dog that kept me up).

Anyway, thanks for the honesty. It makes me feel a little better, when even the pros have a rough day.

Keep up the good fight. Hopefully we'll get it right at some point this year (hopefully soon) otherwise I'm going to have to find a job.


Being said...

Hi Don,

Love what you do just the way you're doing it, don't need to change a thing, not even yr socks. ( Whew ! )

Readers might want to consider what a rare blog yours is: a place to read the thoughts of a hugely successful trader with no "buy my newsletter" trap door.

rgds, EK

Get In Get Out said...


I am with you 100% that trading is a mental sport & all about the execution. Today as you said the charts were extremely clear with a perfect example of 2 head & shoulder technical moves. 1st shoulder at 9:34 2nd shoulder signaling the downside at 10:13 and completly missed the move and suffored a good few days of losses for seeing the move after it happened. Then a 2nd mini head & shoulders from 11:14-11:31 to signal a 2nd down move & missed that also as I was not mentally there. Followed by a intra day double top signaled by two letter MM's back to back starting at 2:30-3:13 to miss the move again. I take this day as a huge expensive learning curve. Cheers

db said...

You know how you feel when you have a brand new car and you know it is going to get dinged at some point....but you do all the things you can to avoid that day...and then it happens.

And there is almost relief because, now that is past you..

RONIN said...

Hey Don:

Ronin here. Always here to give you the sports talk... You fumbled... You lost the ball... Regroup and hit them back. Never give up. You lost a battle. Focus on the WAR!

Email me.



Unknown said...


And I thought I was the only idiot too...

And I would of gone all-in on u doing well- that would of send me to the rail - OMG, that Human element came into play full force.

I didnt lose or win but i mishandaled/missed ALL those crystal clear trades and i got so angry:(

But your right, TOMORROW is a new day:)


Default said...

Hey Don even Mandalay Bay has bad days

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing Don,

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It is all part of this biz and we all need to contantly remember that the good is WAY better than the bad and the ugly over time, as long as we keep our head on straight. It's important for all the readers (especially the new traders) to understand that the profits available in trading are acheivable over TIME, and that accepting the psycholigally difficult days (and yes mistakes), is what successful traders must do.

Don, you are offering for free on this blog what many others charge $400 or more per month for.

Thanks again and please keep it coming!

Mike P.