Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Splish Splash

4:00pm I actually thought about doing an April Fool's post, but then the market played its own sort of prank with the gap and trap while the TT server (their end, not mine) went down in the morning for the first time in about a year. Thankfully, I wasn't heavy at the time, although it definitely cost me an opportunity loss and some loss of focus, along with some small change in an actual loss. No biggie ... goes with the business.

So today essentially turned out to be a bit of a Survivor episode at this end, as I found myself scampering to get some kind of a game on in the afternoon session where I was able to piece together some trades for a +$7K chip gain on this first stroke of the second lap. btw, please see comments to yesterday's post for an interesting discussion on my preference for chip stack terms.

I actually felt my reads were strong all day, including believing the attempted PM selloff wouldn't amount to much as the market seldom does the same thing two days in a row, and aside from missing the early moonshot as I was trading Europe overnight and didn't make the transition to the U.S. as well as I would have liked, did as well as I could given the conditions.

And frankly, the silly countdown clock to the left helped me keep the session in perspective as I was waiting for the servers to restart. 274 days is a looong time. My broker is of course always on standby for me, but that's for an emerergency out only, and you certainly can't trade sequences that way.

So consider this morning some water splashed in my face on the turn.

No biggie ... hand me the goggles as we have a looooong way to go and I need to find and catch Alain Bernard.


pranz said...

Is there something you do when your running bad. I ve had an awful month of March and the 1st day of April did not start much better. Seems like you never have a losing day so might be tough for you to answer. I ve already lowered my size and I feel like my confidence is begginning to waver. Any ideas? Thanks Don

Don Miller said...

Sorry to hear pranz.

Tough to answer only because there are so many variables ... trading style, market, mindset, etc.

For me, I just look for ways to get my confidence back as quickly as possible, even if it requires closing the next trade, sequence, or day profitable by a buck. [For me, it's a sequence so that I get it back as quickly as possible within the same day.]

Also assuming you've been profitable in the past and are using a good strategy with probability in your favor, you might want to look to see if you've developed a hitch in your swing ... like adding to losers, not taking every setup (and thus not letting probability determine whether it's right or wrong), trusting others vs. yourself, etc.

I often try to hack my way out of a slump, but that's me.


momo said...

Hey don, since you use xtrader, how do you keep track of your trading stats such as those you discussed yesterday?
Since xtrader doesn't seem to be too helpful in doing the crunching do you do it all manually or how do you keep track of it all?

Don Miller said...

Hi Moritz -

The financial data -- really the only data I care about -- comes from Quicken where at the end of each day I enter gross gains & losses (by product), as well as commissions (in total). So all I have to do to get finance data at any point in time is run a canned report.

The # days win/loss is a simple abacus count of Quicken line items, and the financial win/loss data is simply gross daily gains divided by gross daily losses, again based on the Quicken data.

Years ago, I used to be somewhat interested in trading statistics, and fell into the newbie trap of having really good trade data with crappy results.

I only care about the results.

Hope that helps.


JNM said...

I had a couple questions regarding the items below.

The $3,231 for Feb reflected $2,200 CME Lease and $1,031 quote and trading platform fees.

What benfit and advantage do you get by having the CME Lease?

What benifit do you have with your trading platform and quote?

Thanks for sharing ur valuable insights

Don Miller said...


Lower transaction costs for the CME membership (see membership section) and the ability to enter split second orders directly to Globex with redundant charting for the platform and quote fees.


Tomb69 said...

Its interesting to see that your March nett of about $210k translates into about $4.50 profit per contract. Do you have a policy of always giving up the edge on entry or always not? This looks like having quite an effect on your p&l

Don Miller said...

Tomb -

Respectfully, as I've stated throughout the blog, doing profit per contract analysis is a completely meaningless exercise.

Please refer to past posts and discussions on why the volume is so high with resepct to providing market liquidity and frequent risk-managing scratches and re-entries.

"Edge" is the last problem I'll ever have.


Lord Tedders said...


Can you clarify on that last comment "edge is the last problem you'll ever have".

That's a bold assertion. Is that because you are your edge and hence can adapt? I've always been told that edge is temporary in this industry. I wish I could feel as confident about my edge as you do.


Don Miller said...

Lord Tedders -



Lord Tedders said...


Based on your response, I would guess that my hunch is correct.

I am the "Edge".

I'll need to frame that on my wall until I believe it.

Should either make me the world's greatest trader, or the guitarist for U2 ;)