Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday Notes - Inspired Peformance

5:00pm Well, it was far from perfect (it always is) ... yet I'll accept the end result after waking at 3am ET to nail the Europe morning-after-trend open, catching a nap, and then repeating the effort upon the the U.S. session open.

The backdrop for the day was of course the textbook morning-after-trend scenario, coupled with a very inspiring post and link from Vic last night that I watched just as Europe was opening (more on that below), which combined to help me put in one of my better performances in a while with a +$19K chip gain, including a solid DAX contribution.

The only major regret I have is not holding one of my 30 lots on the early ES retracement to 905 for one final push toward the overnight Globex high, yet I suppose that's like a Laker fan saying they beat Houston in seven games instead of six.

As for Vic's link, while the story of D.J. Gregory (pictured above) has been around for a while, I hadn't seen it and it quickly helped me to put my current health struggles (increasingly painful pinched nerves that have persisted despite various treatments and approaches) in perspective, be thankful for the health I do have, and momentarily put any pain out of my mind to simply focus on hitting the softball the market was likely to toss this morning. And therein lies the power of connecting via the blog as Vic unknowingly helped ramp up my aggression upon rising today.

And while I haven't talked about it much lately (purposely), it became clear to me after this morning's efforts that my focus over the last two months has undoubtedly been affected in part by the now two-month old nerve problem, which is really starting to pi$$ the heck out of me. Not an excuse by any stretch ... simply a clear fact.

And so today yet again reinforces the notions that (1) it's not how much the market moves, it's how much your P&L moves, and (2) as Herb Brooks would say "Play your game". I would add, "Know your strengths and weaknesses -- not the other guy's -- and play to your strengths. I have no problem whatever watching a monster trend move as it simply increases the probability of the day two setups. Some may disagree (swing traders of course have to ride the occasional trends to offset all of the frustrating chop losses), yet I know my strengths which include focusing on high-probability short-term sequences which fit my criteria, and am very comfortable in my own skin. OK, poor metaphor right now, but you get the point.

I imagine new onlookers -- and perhaps even some veterans of this blog -- viewing yesterday's post were thinking that I've completely gone soft and have lost all motivation to put in another million dollar performance. Yet like last year, time and time alone will again be the judge, and there's a reason that silly countdown clock to the left and the Svithjod Rock post exist, which is to remind all of us that a single day, week, or month means little in the larger picture. Most newer traders continue to lose sight of the power of P&L "time". The year is a loooong time and interim scores mean little except in aggregation. Don't focus on the P&L bricks ... visualize the building.

Steady as she goes everyone, even if it's with a limp.


NQJ said...


Charles said...

Thanks for the link to that vid Don...stories like those never get old, and almost always give me a few goose bumps to go with the inspiration.


steve said...

Nice job today, these day-after-trend days seem to be your favorite! Great comment on focusing on the building, not the bricks.

Sam said...

Another great post. You are an inspiration to us all! Was going through your past entries from last year and I feel I'm already cutting several years (and possibly some "tuition" $$$) from my learning curve.

I caught the low at ~906 in the AM too and rode it higher. Another easy trade was the short on high tick at 2.50pm. Profitable day.

One question: What made you quit your "regular" job and take up trading? Were you profitable before you started trading full-time?

Brian Hunter said...

Hi Don,

Still enjoy reading the blog daily.

Just a quick comment on your nerve problem. I suffered a neck injury years ago(snowmobiling)and it has nagged me ever since. I used to have a 1.5hr commute each way to work and this aggravated it even more. Someone suggested I remove my wallet from my back pocket (which was overloaded and not with $$$$) and doing so seemed to help alot. Sitting in front of the computer all day didn't help either. Not sure if you keep your wallet in your back pocket, which I'm sure has more $$$$ then mine:), but if you do, try removing it. While this won't solve your nerve problem it may eleviate some of the pain, just a thought. Check out this scene from Seinfeld, if nothing else it will give you a good laugh. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoPf98i8A0g Keep up the great blog...

Hope you feel better.

Brian Hunter

Brad said...

Hey Don,

I was specifically interested in your thoughts on the Europe trade after a US trend day and to what types of setups you see an edge in. Thanks a lot and as someone who trades ES futures and loves it more than anyone it's real refreshing to get your perspective. Hard to find out there. Good luck tomorrow.

Brad said...

I'm new to the blog and i've just found out you've talked about the trade after trend concept before. Please excuse my ignorance.

E said...

Outstanding $ day for you based on prior posts suggesting your preference for trending days rather than range days.

Wish I could turn it on and off like you overnight but I still need my beauty sleep.

Don Miller said...

Sam -

I could fill an entire blog addressing my transition to becoming a trader. Perhaps I'll do a video on it soon.

E -

Trends are fine, just not monster trend days as the day after is higher probability.


ES_Addict said...


Please consider a video about your transition to becoming a trader.

Would really enjoy hearing about your journey including the emotional swings, self doubt and resolve to be successful and what the turning point was for you from being trendless to discovering where your "wheelhouse" is.

I continue to mine the archives of your blog and taking notes. Wow, what a trail of gold nuggets!

Thank you again for letting us "look over your shoulder"!


Bluebear said...

Thanks many times over! I had not seen that film clip before...very inspirational.
Now regarding your nerve. You should really try disc decompression. I had a disc rupture in my neck last August, pain down my arm and numbness in two of my fingers. Went thru a series of 20 sessions using disc decompression and everything was cured and have not had a relapse. I live in the Dallas area, but there must be something similar in Boston. Of course now I have a problem with my hip/leg that I think is sciatic...just another hurdle.
Thanks for all the inspiration you are providing. Oh and I really would like to understand what the textbook "morning after trend day" trade is.