Report on the session
Yesterday was a wee bit of a challenging day. I managed to sleep for just over 4 hours (so many things happened over the weekend that I was probably too excited to sleep!). My psychological checklist score from the morning indicated that I was physically/mentally able enough to trade – I scored 7 out of 10. I should consider having the “did not sleep enough” component have much more weighting. Trading sessions on 4 hours of sleep do generally seem like a write-off.
That said, I still traded quite strictly and professionally throughout the day. I might not have felt the greatest, but I still stuck to my guns. So it seems my bad days now are a lot better than I would consider a bad day 6 months ago. It reminds me of my speed-skate training where over time I would get better and stronger on a consistent basis – though that didn’t stop me from feeling weak in any particular training session – particular in cold, windy and lonely trading sessions in the local park. Back to trading – in the end I lost 1.7R over four trades. I took one trade each on DAX and Cable and two on Oil. As planned, today I only looked at the live markets – in other words I didn’t spend any time on testing. See the charts below (I do feel that even on a bad day, my chart and trading skills now are starting to look better and more consistent).
Note, reviewing the charts this morning, even if I had traded well and taking all the relevant setups, then I would have ended up with a loss of 0.5R. So yesterday, my strategy just wouldn’t have produced a profitable day anyways.
Psych Review + Psych-related thinking
I didn’t complete a full Psych review – even though I really wanted to do this at the end of each day…..
Issues to consider:
- Even though it had gone 5pm, I kept on looking at the Oil and Cable charts contemplating whether to take a trade or not. Is it a case of wanting to make some profit? Of not having to go home with a session loss of 1.7R? Why do I put so much pressure on myself in regard to every single trade? I guess it would be great if I could come up with a good well-thought-out answer to that question. I think it’s because I hang up my entire trading career on my results – and then not only the trading career, but how that impacts the rest of my life overall going forward. But I am not sure.
- Am I being too harsh and critical on myself? I had a good skype call with somebody late in the evening and she was really helpful trying to point out some of these things and to make me think about it.
- Something else she suggested – maybe I am being TOO structured with my trading approach? Another blog follower (and friend) also pointed out something similar in an email to me. You have heard of the saying “When you hold a hammer, everything looks like a nail”? Well, if a person likes structure (as evident from my adventures in born-again Christianity, speed-skating and weight-training – just to mention a few) then trading is an area where you can find structure, rules and regulations everywhere – and make yourself think that it’s totally encouraged and that it’s always the right thing to do. Is there a danger of overdoing it?
- Could this also relate to the point of me having so few trades even though I am using the 5M timeframe for execution?
- It really helps to have people alongside you to encourage you and to help you!
- If I were to take a summary of what my emotions and mental state where like most of yesterday’s session – then I would have to say that it looked pretty close to the image I have for the destructive trader!!
Transaction costs across various markets
One additional item I was able to get done yesterday was to look at the transaction costs across a range of instruments. I had touched on this on a blog post last week – where I encouraged an Italian friend of mine to do this type of exercise – not sure whether he did – Mr Italy? The costs are based on what I am currently getting with my FXCM broker. Food for thought – well, it is for me – not sure whether others are inclined to take notice. (This also relates to the programming exercise that a trading colleague of mine is undertaking in MT4).
This exercise is meant to help me pick out what other instruments I should add to my dax/cable/oil basket. Hmmm – and maybe I should really toss out Oil!