Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Par For the Course

4:00pm While we still have a looooooong way to go in this 2009 race, suffice it to say should I indeed achieve the feat of back-to-back $1M years, I may personally rank such an accomplishment this year higher than last year's +$1.6M in terms of challenge for a number of reasons I've hinted at this year in terms of motivation & drive, reduction of hours staring at the screen (all but cutting out 3am-7am Europe), etc.

And today was a repeat theme of recent weeks in terms of sub-optimizing opportunities a bit (despite a decent pace and range) and banking another sub-five figure day ... +$6K in today's case ... which is really starting to gnaw at me as I need to start sprinkling in a few decent darker green scores soon. Sort of like shooting par after par on the course where you have to sprinkle in birdies and eagles to more than offset the occasional expected bogeys and double-bogeys.

And so despite the April mental respite, we enter May thus far with more of the same uninspiring "sleepwalking" performances that have typified far too much of '09 at this end.

Note to onlookers: If you think you're tired of hearing this, think about how I feel writing and living it!

So I have to continue to decide whether I want to be the pre-2009 Tiger or 2009 version who's still working the kinks out.

Pars won't cut it.


Unknown said...

Hi Don,

Do you mind sharing where your gain came from today? Knowing your style, my guess is at least some of it came from the unsustainable tick (+1300) this afternoon, but just curious.



Don Miller said...

Hi Mike -

It was pretty much scattered throughout the day via tight pullback and spike fade clips ... I don't recall any particular sequence contributing more than another.


ryan said...

Wish I could've been home today. Loved the opening, but didn't get to trade it.

Learned how to trade over the last year and I'm more inclined to short. I'm still getting used to spotting long setups and over my fear of jumping on them.

Hope you undershoot Tiger by a couple this year.


Sam said...

Been reading your blog since early '09, so I know your trading style.

Here's what I don't get: No matter how motivated you are, how do you expect to hit home runs when the market doesn't support your style of trading?

You look for pullbacks and emotional extremes but we have quietened down since last year (look at the VIX!) and the market seems weird and sluggish and not at all conducive.

So no matter how much you will yourself or berate your trading, the market doesn't seem to support it. Do you not see this?

P.S All of the above was not meant to be criticism, just some feedback. I have nothing but respect for your trading.

Don Miller said...

Sam -

Great comments (you know me via the blog all too well) ... and yes, I undoubtedly see the changes you describe as was the case in many prior years.

Yet while I don't expect home runs, I do expect doubles and an occasional triple regardless of action (we're traders and have to adapt), and feel the difference between the singles I'm hitting and the absent extra-base hits is largely a function of complacency.

Sizing is part of the issue as I typically lessen size when conviction is lacking, which coupled with decreased volatility, results in fewer wild P&L swings, yet of course caps income. (I know some do the exact opposite. ... there of course being no right or wrong.)

Having said all that, a good part of the "berating" is frankly an intentional psychological ploy at this end to try to maintain an edge. It's simply who I am and my way of trying to stay driven to achieve peak performance.

Great dialogue and it got me thinking, and I'll likely follow up in tomorrow's post.


TheRumpledOne said...

Hey Don:

Remember what you wrote about the hare and the tortoise. Steady as she goes.

Niklas Kolster said...


Been enjoying your blog for a short while.

If you are having motivational challenges etc.

Why dont you look at position sizing so that you have your start-trading capital at the start of year.

Then trade with normal stake for a while and when there is buffer above the start capital you start using insane leverage on this buffer to really hit it big.

If losses are encountered, bet-size is again reduced to protect the starting capital.

I'm sure you have thought this trough and have some reasons for it, but this is the way I have started approaching position sizing in my relatively short trading career.

Don Miller said...

Plunger -

Not going to adjust a decade-proven strategy. No tinkering needed aside from simply deciding how hard to push myself right now.