Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Notes - Feeling "Right"

4:00pm I'm getting close. For the first time this year, I feel my focus and energy level are such that it's only a matter of time before I finally break the frickin' $20K daily mark that I nailed 26 times in 2008. I can feel it, smell it, taste it ... you name it. I also feel I may have finally located my 2009 sea legs.

Today I was close ... very close ... as I was on strong alert for the tight coil breakout, and for the most part traded it well except for some wholesale long foul balls toward the bottom of the afternoon plummet. After testing the water a few times with small size, I traded the initial break well, along with the first major retracements toward both 5-min and 15-min resistance (see charts; click to enlarge). I passed on the final 3:40 - 4:00pm extension as the action was getting whippy, I was getting tired, and thus preferred to be cautious in light of expiration Friday. If you nailed it, congrats. The top chart also shows a bit of how I trade in terms of varying sizes for "probe trade" vs. setups that have more confirmation.

The result was a solid +$18K day (ES gross was +$19.7K) for the best net of the year to end a decent +$47K week. Maybe I really did need that Monday scratch to begin the next run.

OK, so one day doesn't make a year. Yet today, all I can say is that once the range broke, everything felt "right". And while I traded it far from perfectly and the pace at times was less than stellar, I'll take an imperfect win any day.

Now where did I put that Bamboo fertilizer?

Look for The Weekend Trader over the weekend as usual, and likely a video.


E-Mini Player said...

Awesome job Don! Nicely done...I'm looking forward to seeing some $30K+ days from you in the near future :) Have a nice weekend!

James Stollenwerck said...

It's nice to see results from the jump in size you've been talking about.

Trader's Life said...

Hi Don,

First of all, nice job today! There was not alot of action during the day and still you manage to make sch big winners...Thumbs up.
I was wondering how you traded in the beginning. I see you are scaling in alot. But if you trade max 2 lots how would you approach this method?



Don Miller said...

Sebastian -

I've always found multiples of 3 seem to work best ... not sure why, but perhaps being able to leave that third one on if there's more potential has seemed to help over the years.

But whether it's a multiple of 2,3 or 4, scaling in and out has always helped me counteract the lack of precision in terms of both the market and my execution.


Max Ghello said...

Hi Don,

You've read the book "Zen in the Art of Archery"?

and another question:

which book you think has been most useful for your goal, mind and trade all these years?

thank you very much!


Don Miller said...

Hi Max -

No, I haven't read that book, but you've reminded me that it's something I should do and I'm going ahead and ordering it.

My top three influential trading books have been Brett Steenbarger's "The Psychology of Trading", Bob Rotella's "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect", and Larry Phillips' "The Tao of Poker".


Unknown said...


Thanks for your input--as always, it is appreciated. You are right about hitting rock bottom: thank God there's a rock there! Once you look around and say "Oh, this as bad as it gets?", then you realize that there is very little to fear anymore. And I really think that overcoming fear is one of the several major obstacles one must overcome on the way to becoming a consistent, successful trader. This is not to say that one does not have to have a healthy respect for the market, along with a risk-controlled approach, because this is important. However,I beleive that letting go of overwhelming fear of loss and failure is a must to reach a level of proficiency such as where you are at. I believe that Douglas, Steenbarger, and Van Tharp have all written about how when one focuses too much on fear (i.e. of loss) then we tend to actually create the situation that we are fearful of in the first place. Seen in this light, it actually makes sense that most successful traders have hit "rock bottom" at least once in their careers--perhaps it is necessary to actually face the demons of fear at rock bottom and realize that life goes on! In fact, I am GRATEFUL for hitting rock bottom recently, for without that experience, I may not have become the trader that I am about to be over the next several years.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike P.

Trader Kevin said...

My top three influential trading books have been Brett Steenbarger's "The Psychology of Trading"...Don, have you ever used Market Delta? Dr. Brett talks about it quite a bit on TraderFeed.

Don Miller said...

Kevin -

Nope. That would be paralysis by overanalysis for me.

Simplicity rules.