Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Green Grinder

I would have been much better off today had I stopped trading at 10:30.

At that point I probably had a 10-2 win-loss ratio with a couple of decent winners. I was up over $1000. I recognized this and even wrote, here, on this damn blog that I was just going to chill and wait for good setups.

I can tell you this, discipline is a problem for me.

But at least I have identified it as a problem... I only came to understand this very recently.

As the cost of trading goes up and my profits have decreased it only makes sense for me to try and trade more efficiently. This, and cutting massive loss days (which have occurred about once a month recently), is really what I hope to achieve in the near future.

I gave money back in 3 stocks.

The first was CPT. Just a quick chop on 800 shares for a near $200 loss. Happened almost immediately. I took the loss and moved on. I was really pissed too... the good thing is instead of getting all vengeful I just took the stock from my screen and moved on.

The second was in CROX. This was probably my biggest winner early. I got a good short off, covered some at good prices but let the rest come all the way back past my entry. I guess I was hoping for a big break. Actually, that's exactly what I was doing... I need to stop looking for big strikes and take smaller winners here and there. Tighter trailing stops should help this problem.

The third stock I gave money back in was LNN. This was the most disappointing give-back because I broke my 3-trade rule. After making some decent money on the run-up from 34.5 to 35.5 (I actually missed the first half point of the run because it really seemed to come out of nowhere) I probably bought the stock 10 more times hoping for it to get back to the highs. I lost on probably every one of those trades. Again, there's a silver lining... it's that I kept my size extremely small. But it was no less frustrating because I lost so consistently.

My "winner" today was TNH. Funny thing is that I only traded the stock twice today and both times with only 100 shares. I just nearly made 3 points on one trade.

I bought at 100.25 and sold at 103.12. Anyway, he really held up and never came back to catch my buy limits which after that morning run were just under 101. So I missed the run in the afternoon.

Altogether I never complain when I finish green for the day so I won't. However, I need to get back into walking away now and then. Back in the go-go days I had no problem trading the first hour and then taking 3 and 4 hour lunch breaks. I used to walk the labyrinth by Trinity Church, hang out at Bowling Green... in short, I did anything besides sitting and staring at the screens all day.

I think I tend to sit here and get locked in because I am trying to make up for lost time. Since I haven't done well in many months I'm trying to make back all the money I "should have" made. This is clearly a mistake. I am aware of it now. Time to get back to the future.

UPDATE: I just realized I didn't post my stats... my stuff is down for the night so here's what I remember...

P&L $294
Best, TNH
Worst, LNN

shares traded, 24,000?
stocks traded 18? 10 positive, 8 negative?
total trades, 176?

Just guessing, but it's probably fairly close.


wincity said...

I traded TNH many times today. All from the short side. You're right about it going to $115. Great stock to trade.

Dinosaur Trader said...

It is a great stock to trade.

Just out of curiousity, what kind of share size are you trading it with? Also, what kind of risk do you allow?


wincity said...

I'm trading 100 shares mostly. More at the price extreme. At the high of $106.30, I shorted 400 shares. I don't use stops with this stock. I double up every $ it goes up and I cover the double-up portion as soon as I'm green. I get out very fast.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Nice trade there at 106.30. That "doubling down" style can be profitable sometimes but every once in awhile it can lead to spectacular losses!

Anyway, I look forward to more good times with TNH. It's getting better volume now too so the illiquidity isn't nearly as bad as it used to be.

Good luck today!