Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dinosaur Jr., "Freak Scene"

How's this, Chud?

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.

Virtual Office, -$3341. Dow, +71.62, 13553.97.

Me, $294 on 24,000 shares traded.
Misstrade, $136 on 1600 shares traded.
Denarii, $47 on 2400 shares traded.
Dehtrader, -$639 on 17,500 shares traded.
Evolution, -$3279 on 75,600 shares traded.

Well, it was a bloody one today.

After the first hour of the trading day, things got choppy. Choppy in the same way they were yesterday morning before the afternoon breakout. Just ugly out there.

Anyway, while it's a summer Friday tomorrow there will be some significant numbers released. Perhaps we'll have some good movement. Also, it's an expiration day.

I read a lot of other bloggers who say they avoid trading these expiration days. I find that odd because sometimes expiration days can be volatile. Volatility is a necessary factor for good trading environment in my book.

Let's keep an open mind for tomorrow. You never know!

The Machines Are Taking Over!!!

Great article on algorithmic trading here.

Hat tip to Shortdabull for bringing the article to my attention and to Musings of A Trader for posting it there.

The Go! Team, "Grip Like A Vice"

A little departure, but trust me. This song is damn catchy.


Late last evening, an emissary from the "Catifada" entered my room and delivered to me a manifesto.

This manifesto listed a number of demands, including "not moving the food bowls", "not moving the litterboxes", and "giving new toys if out of the house for more that 3 days". Besides the last demand I thought these were reasonable requests and I read further... towards the end, amidst lots of incendiary language regarding "the little one who chases and screams", an obvious reference to our daughter, was a compromise.

The "prisoner" would agree to use the litter box if he could be released from the bathroom for the evening. The "prisoner" would use the box before the release occurred.

My wife and I concurred and quickly agreed to this truce.

The truce, while on shaky ground has so far held. No new "roadside bombs" were left in the kitchen today. A new catnip-filled carrot was offered to the "prisoner" as a show of good faith and all seems well. We will see if tensions flare again. If they do, the punishment to the "prisoner" will be swift and strong.

As for trading, I've had some solid trades early today and now I'm taking it easy. I caught a nice early run in TNH, BTU, AGU and a nice short in CROX. And other smaller gains elsewhere. One complaint is that I haven't sized into any of these runs. Still, without any significant losers to note (besides one in CPT, a piece of shit stock that has now been removed from my screens) I feel I am solidly in the green.

I will now be patient and scan for solid setups. It's about closing strong instead of giving it back.