Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday Notes - It's Still Just a Job


Dear Diary,

Wowzer ... where do I start? Headfakes, broken intraday supports that were as solid as pudding, and failed intrday trend pullback attempts had me scrambling far more than I'd like (not that the market cares). Hand me the Dramamine.

OK, I ended modestly green at +$6K, but I had to work for it and ended the day off my intraday equity highs as I got a bit sloppy in the last 30-minutes expecting at least one of the afternoon supports to hold -- especially 770 (pudding again) -- and not going heavy enough on providing liquidity to the 2:00pm and 3:30pm panic buyers, so we'll call it the third winning ugly day in a row. At this rate, I consider myself long overdue for a home run after hitting singles and doubles for much of the last two months. And I actually thought I was on my way toward that today before the afternoon market "umpire" ruled that I had to go back to second.

I felt I traded the morning session fairly well considering I was looking for 760 to hold a bit longer than it did, before stopping and reversing hard on the 10:30am short pullback toward both 760 and the 5-minute trend line. And such was the trade of the day at this end that ended up being critical to offset some of the slop later in the day.

Obviously we continue to have bailout "noise" in the background that is causing the roller coaster action, although I continue to trade based on what I see and simply try to minimize the damage when what I expect doesn't happen.

So there it is again ... the good simply outweighing the bad in another day in crazy business. And while I'm sure many did far better today (although I imagine many got their bell rung), I seem to be morphing a bit into Michael Mizrachi -- a.k.a. the "Grinder" -- who makes his poker living by simply grinding out modest win after modest win that by the end of the tournament or year combine for a decent stack of chips. 37 out of 38 days now + ... I still don't get it.

And so with two days left in this second of twelve legs of the 2009 race, at this point I'm simply looking forward to March, which has traditionally been the one month during the year where I seem to find my sea legs and that often sets the pace for the remaining three quarters.

Today was also a good reminder that despite the glitz that too often accompanies this business (I've still never figured out why), it's still just a job.

A job that starts again tomorrow.


Unknown said...

News, news, news. You just hope you are on the right side of it. Got stomped in the morning as I thought the 60Min 10 Day MA would hold. Luckily I was on the right side of the afternoon trading (I'm starting to like the 1 min chart with the right MAs, can see nice little patterns forming)

So what happens tomorrow since we had that late afternoon sell off. Plus the 10 Day daily MA is rapidly approaching. Only the market knows.

Peter Coussement said...

Well done Don!

FYI: here you can find an overview of my ES trades (18 total, 1 loss, 4 break-even, 13 wins) today:



Don Miller said...

Nice going guys ... especially on a day like today.


pranz said...

you have made 14 k in the last two days and you seem upset.

Don Miller said...

Hi pranz -

I'm always in a state of "upset" ... check out much of the 2008 archive and you'll find it's what keeps me motivated. I'm extremely critical of my own trading and probably always will be ... and that's a good thing.

Plus, it's more the performance vs. the result ... and of course the result is relative depending on one's goal. Bottom line is I need to step up performance.


Unknown said...

Hi Don,
I thought the pace was tough today. By the way, this weekend I saw you at the traders expo. I learned some useful stuff. I enjoyed the conference. Nice job today.

B.S.trader said...

This being Don's personal journal, I cannot empathize with his bottom line results, but I can with his reflections on performance when there is or was missed opportinity, room for improvement, or downright acts of self sabotage involved in the trading day. This is a personal measurement of ones success and potentional bottom line results are largely a reflection of this measure.

Don, you have alluded to your past success in the corporate world before striking out as a trader. I often see new traders with very little past, sustained personal or business success expecting to experience it in trading. The discipline, skills and expectancy to succeed do not come naturally from studying or setting on a quest of learning to trade for a living. These are usually nurtured long before in other totally unrelated pursuits with measured results. This is a dose of reality any new or aspiring trader should reflect on before blindly starting out on this quest. The evolution of a trader begins long before you become a trader.

Peter Coussement said...

Hello Don,

Talking about performance. If you say you got +6K profit. May I know with how many chips you start playing each day?



Don Miller said...

Hi Peter -

I really don't consider starting chips that much ... see the "My Views on ROR" in the Key Post section in the lower left for an explanation on my bottom line philosophy and expectiations.

Obviously, I have a large account, but trade only a portion of it -- usually 15-60 contracts and sometimes heavier -- with the intent of generating an annual income or "salary".


Don Miller said...

Startrader -

Yes, that and life's experiences in general. I imagine that almost losing my wife a few years ago, dealing with a Type 1 diabetic daughter who was diagnosed at age 11, and having a significant health crisis myself when I was very young have all helped prepare me in unintended ways.

Plus, I'm simply ultra-competitive, which is why my wife won't play board games with me :-).


Don Miller said...

Severino -

In response to your private post, I'm a little confused but check the Tuesday Notes for your post and my response.

I do have a programmed filter in place for some crazies where I never see submitted comments anymore, but you're not on that list.