Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Notes - A Crowning Achievement

First, please forgive me for the post title pun, as I've closed up trading shop early on this textbook MATD to spend 90 joyous (not) minutes in the dentist chair so one of my chipped molars can get prepped for a gold crown. 

Don't you love how dentists call grinding a tooth down to its stub "prepped"? I call it torture.

Yet in a way, perhaps the title is fitting in that I've continued to catch a bit of a tailwind with my trading as the summer rhythms have been rather kind in terms of opportunity ... leaving our job to simply not throwing up all over ourselves in the process (great visual, huh?)

And while this month was far from my best in terms of profitability as I purposely cut my sizes back, I'll argue that it may have been one of the satisfying "grinding" months ever given that it was -- by far -- one of the most critical months of my career.

This is because for the first time in my "post-figured-this business-out" career, I was doubting whether I still had the (A) tenacity and (B) desire to not only fully recover from the events of May 6 hit and get my capital back above my critical career trailing stop (as I said recently, below which it had never dropped), but to re-establish the necessary blend of consistency and confidence -- the former breeding the latter -- to plant the seeds for recapturing what I'll call a championship caliber performance level ... and on a sustained basis.

Simply put, I can't overestimate the importance of this month at this end.

So I tweaked a few things:

- Reduced sizes (at the same time proving you can run a nice store with modest sizes).
- Reduced # of trade sequences (to levels where my broker was wondering where I was).
- Barely traded the Europe markets (although I of course traded ES during those times).
- Made consistency my highest short-term priority (thus the temporary blog counters).
- Often narrated non-stop in the Jellie room while trading so I wouldn't lose focus.
- Ramped up supplement program (to help this 49-year old brain feel like 25).

The net result is that which you see in the top left corner counter, and a month that ended with a strong 30-to-1 ES win/draw dollar ratio.  Yea, I know, shades of the multi-month ratios in the '04, '07, '08, and '09 zones.

btw, note I added a counter for # of days since  > 0.5% loss, which is far more meaningful than the more silly "no loss" streak which will come and go ... and should "go" from time to time else I be trading on eggshells and not focused on net profit over time.

Perhaps the following exchange of brief emails between Pat Lafferty -- my broker at MF Global since '03 --and me from today sums everything up best.

Don: FYI, look for my volume to start picking up again after the 4th. I've been in conservative mode lately to work my ass off and get back above the pre-flash crash level ... which is now done.

Pat: I saw. That’s good news. I never doubted.

Truth be known, for a brief moment, I doubted.

Not the skill or methods --- those will always be there long after I'm gone -- but the desire.

Oh Ye of little faith.

And the journey continues ...

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