Saturday, March 21, 2009

** VIDEO ** The Weekend Trader

Today, I try to put my recent performance in perspective, and discuss the importance of focus for me (yes, I won't forget February 10), my thoughts on varying sizes using Friday's trade as an example, perspectives on hitting rock bottom, and a "still being planned" upcoming get-together once the weather warms up here on the New England coast.

btw, if you're not in the Northeast but would still be interested in attending such an event (no cost aside from what a facility might run us, meals, etc.) please let me know via a comment so I can gauge the general interest. Please note it would not be a teaching weekend ... rather it would simply be joining as a group to share stories, have some fun, etc. If you've previously expressed interest via the local Boston area group, you don't need to respond.

Enjoy the weekend.


Jason S said...

I'm in the midwest and it would be definitely worth the trip if I could find a cheap airfare. A little poker would be nice as It's impossible to find any games locally.

Severino said...

Hello Don,

I was curious to what had the most influence on developing your style as a “short-term trader”. Was it that the market oscillates more then it trends, or did it have more to do with your make up?

Also If you do not mind, was there an epiphany moment for you or just the grind of time?

Thank you,


Don Miller said...

Sev -

I think there's an epiphany moment every day you trade.

Experience undoubtedly had the largest influence ... which crystalized both my strengths and weaknesses over time.


Madison said...

Don, thanks for the video - very helpful to hear that my hitting rock-bottom is a good thing! It's nice for my brain to hear something positive regarding the funk I've been in lately. Great perspective for me to challenge the tapes that usually play in my mind, and sadly I've been believing that garbage and getting more down on myself everyday. I am brought to knees again and again by my sincere quest to become a better trader. My prayer has been to be made whole on all levels, emotionally, spiritually, physically, as well as financially - all with the bottom line of "God's will be done, by me, in me, through me and around me at all times". I trust something positive is at work in my life, even though the financial losses have been mounting. The one positive thing is that I am losing less money, even though I am net negative so far.
Living in California, my sleep patterns are completely thrown off, as I need to be awake by 4 am to be ready to trade the open at 6:30 PST - so most days I haven't been able to sleep more than 4 hours a night. I keep trying to get to bed earlier so I can get more sleep, but most of time it doesn't work well, and often I can't sleep because of how upset I am at myself. So I'm adding to prayers to consistently get a good night's sleep. I bring all this up because last Wednesday I had the worst trading day of my life, because I was operating on only 2 hours sleep the night before. Painful lesson learned = never trade when I am sleep-deprived and not functioning with good brainpower. I've heard other traders talk about not trading when they're not feeling right. Now I know why!
Anyway, I can't tell you how therapeutic it is for me to vent this way - no editing, and laying it out there.

Again, many thanks for providing the space for me to communicate my feelings, without judgement or consequences.

Have a great weekend.

Don Miller said...

Madison -

Consider it vented.

I vividly remember the night this business literally brought me to my knees and tears. It wasn't pleasant, but in hindsight it was absoultely necessary.

I have to believe that most of the few who have reached certain levels in their profession or lives had to experience AND survive the heartache, which perhaps is why so few ever reach their fullest potential or attain bold goals that the majority wouldn't dare to attempt.

I of course have no magic words or solutions, yet do know with conviction that there are powerful forces constantly at work in our lives that we can't see ... whether it's the Bamboo roots doing their thing completely unseen or something similar.

I encourage you to read the last couple of paragraphs from last year's final "Night to Dance" post, which as I said recently was always meant as a boost for others.

And while I don't normally openly discuss my faith, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind "Whose" hand has been at work in my life ... especially during the tough times and often despite my stubborness and attempt to go it alone.

Don't be afraid to lean hard on that "Rock" at the bottom. There may be a reason that you uncovered it.


Lord Tedders said...


I just found your site through Jule's blog.

Watching your videos is a great insight into what a greater trader is thinking.

I myself am and have been struggling from moving from "competency" to "expertise". I've had periods of time where I thought I had broken through, but I've always come back to being a break even trader.

As you mentioned, sustained expertise is difficult to perpetuate. I enjoy hearing your thoughts on how you motivate yourself to greater success.


fchris said...

Hi Don,

I heard you are coming to the LBR room for a presentation. I wanted to throw in my 2 cents -- can you spend a minute or 2 on some specific 'tick reads/patterns' that have been working for you?? ie, a new negative tick high on day and pullback to zero -- or a higher low in ticks with lower low in price -- or if ticks are just used to fine-tune another pattern etc.... thanks so much in advance.

Anonymous said...


First off, ive always enjoyed your work. i think it really gets to the heart of what trading is about.

you mentioned hating looking back at past trades. i have the same tendency. i always do an after action review, but before i get started i absolutely hate the thought. doesnt matter if i had a string of wins or losses, just never liked harping on the past. yet, its kind of like doing your work before you play, just something that needs to be done.

As for the comment about the other trader-madison-hitting rock bottom; i think youre spot on. its needed. live has corrections just like the markets. once you find that bottom you might chop around for a little bit but then it works as a nice launching pad.


If youre reading this, i too trade out of California so i know what you mean about sleeping patterns. i used to get up at 5am to get ready to trade. it wasnt working for me, so i stopped. i dont trade the first 30 min anymore (and am better for it), and i trade much more forex now. this allows me to trade Asian trading, and when im up late ill scalp during the Euro open.

Maybe those solutions arent for you, but just some food for thought on how ive attempted to tackle that problem. Best of luck to ya.

Don Miller said...

Note: The following post was submitted by Brian Hunter, and I've excluded his address and phone # for privacy purposes.


Hi Don,

Although I haven't commented till now, I have been following your blog since December and enjoy reading it immensely. Your recent post pretty much sums it up when you say things all come down to focus or lack thereof, couldn't be truer. I am a small business owner living in Central Connecticut and thought perhaps a Northeast Traders Group meeting could be held at one of our 2 casino's. I have contacts at both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods and could make a couple calls to check on pricing(possibly discounted) for one of their meeting rooms or maybe even a suite in one of the hotels. Furthermore, I am in the audio visual business and would be more than happy to provide at no cost AV presentation equipment should it be necessary. Not sure how many people would attend? And after trade talk there's always entertainment available in one of the poker rooms. Your thoughts?

Best Regards,
Brian Hunter


Sounds like a possible plan Brian. Let's do some thinking at our respective ends and reconnect.


leon t said...

don: don't know if it's in keeping with the blog's policy or not. however, i have you emini cds , and yes, i'd be interested in seeing what you do now. so post when, and most important, how much. hope your mother's well.

leon t said...

don : i missed the writing in red , plus i hadn't watched the video when i sent my comment. still would like to find out what has changed since the eminis dvd. forget the how much part. same comment as to your mom.

steve said...

All, just an opinion here, your time zone has nothing to do with trading results. Some of the best traders I follow are on Pacific time zones. And Eastern. And Singapore. And Greenwich. And even Hawaii!