An NYSE Scalper's Tale - A Trader's Diary

Friday, August 04, 2006

Trading Statistics For The Month Of July

Total Gross for Month of July: +$9,583.17
Total Net for Month of July: +$6,705.84
Total Fees (Gross - Net) for Month of July: $2,877.33
Total Trades for Month of July: 1,597
Total Shares Traded for Month of July: 2,783,644

Best Day for Month of July: Thu Jul 13 (+$1,044.17 net)
Worst Day for Month of July: Tue Jul 25 (-$651.91 net)

Number of Positive Net Days for Month of July: 17
Number of Negative Net Days for Month of July: 2
Number of Trading Days Missed for Month of July: 0.5 (skipped day before Independence Day)
Number of Trading Days Lost Due To System Downtime: 0

Compared to Previous Month: -$2,183.62 (down 24.6% from previous month)
Compared to Same Month Last Year: +$6,658.75 (up 14140.5% from same month last year)

Top 3 Stocks For Month of July (Net Profit):
Walmart (WMT): +$4,005.74
AT&T (T): +$1,605.24
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$1,153.01

Worst 3 Stocks for Month of July (Net Profit):
Citigroup (C): -$759.05
General Electric (GE): -$358.06
JP Morgan (JPM): -$259.75

Top 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of July:
Walmart (WMT) - Traded on 18 out of 19 trading days
Hewlett Packard (HPQ) - Traded on 15 out of 19 trading days
AT&T (T) - Traded on 14 out of 19 trading days

Bottom 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of July:
(6 stocks tied for last place - each traded on 1 out of 19 trading days)
Bell South (BLS)
Chesapeake Energy (CHK)
Ford (F)
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Coca-Cola (KO)
Sprint-Nextel (S)

Total Number of Different Stocks Traded for Month of July: 20

List of Stocks Traded During the Month of July (with net profit):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$450.63
Bank of America (BAC): +$662.84
Bell South (BLS): -$16.96
Citigroup (C): -$759.05
Chesapeake Energy (CHK): -$2.37
Ford (F): -$7.39
General Electric (GE): -$358.06
Corning (GLW): -$254.54
General Motors (GM): +$0.15
Home Depot (HD): +$371.91
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$1,153.01
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): -$7.31
JP Morgan (JPM): -$259.75
Coca-Cola (KO): -$36.83
Motorola (MOT): -$108.08
Micron Tech (MU): +$139.03
Sprint-Nextel (S): -$4.72
AT&T (T): +$1,605.24
Walmart (WMT): +$4,005.74
Exxon Mobile (XOM): +$132.14

Monthly Recap
The month of July was hardly what I was expecting...especially with the lofty goals I had in mind. I couldn't meet any of my monetary goals this month (to have 10 $1000+ days and to make $10,000 net for the month), but I have a feeling that it was these goals that actually held me back.

Everyday I was trying hard to make that $1000 that it often pushed me into making trades that I wouldn't normally do or to put on positions that were too large to feel comfortable with.

In July I also felt I was constantly in a battle with myself and trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. I've mentioned many times before that trading involves many aspects and in July, I couldn't seem to balance all of them. As a result, I was constantly changing strategies and position sizes and at the same time, I was battling problems with patience, confidence, and my trust in what I see on the Level 2.

It was because of all these factors, I often found myself losing focus.

I also noticed that I blamed the markets several times for being listless or having sideways action. I realize now that I should never use this as an excuse for losing money. The market is what it is and if I blame the markets all the time, I'm not really getting to the root of where the problem is....me! Sideways action simply means no trade! If I do decide to trade when the markets are flatlining and I lose money, it's completely my fault.

There's a lot more red than I really cared for this month. Of the 20 stocks I traded this month, 11 of them I lost money on. This was a combination of trying new strategies, trying out new stocks, and having positions that were way too big for the stock.

Last month's star stock Citigroup (C) is this month's biggest loser. I've stayed away from it for several weeks now and will continue to do so until I feel the price action on it have improved. And look at Walmart (WMT) in July! About 60% of my profits this month were from this stock. As mentioned in previous posts, I traded Walmart (WMT) exclusively as a trainee and for 6 months that's all I did. During that time I really got a feel of how WMT moves and it is now paying off dividends.

Big position size is becoming easier and easier for me now. I was trying to work on scaling into a big position by getting in 5000 shares and if it looked promising I'd go in for another 5000 shares. I'm still trying to work on this. I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for 20,000 share positions...I've really got to work on my patience and my willingness to hold on the a temporary loser IF the technicals look good.

Right now I still in transition and I am not really sure what direction to take. I will continue to use big position sizes on stocks like GE, MOT and T and I will attempt to put on more longer term trend trades on WMT, HD and others.

Some good things I came across in July:
  • There was a little more consistency in July than there was in June (the only difference being that there were 5 $1000+ days in June compared to only one $1000+ in July)
  • I'm starting to get a good feeling with Exxon Mobile (XOM) and hopefully in August I can start putting bigger positions on it...there are several traders making a killing on this volatile stock so I might as well join the band wagon
  • 8000 and 10,000 share positions are starting to become the norm for the thicker stocks now and I have no problems getting in
  • I'm glad I caught problems with several stocks this month and avoided them outright as soon as I identified them (Citigroup, General Electric, JP Morgan)
And some things I found in July that I need to work on:
  • Only one measly $1000+ day...even with the bigger share sizes I was using I was expecting much more
  • I felt that for most of the month, I was fumbling and stumbling my way through...it could be because I was trying to attain my monetary targets and when my plan didn't appear to work, I kept changing things around...this caused me to lose focus several times
  • I'm impatient when it comes to the big positions; it's probably because when I see a big position go my way and I see the unrealized profits in my blotter, the first thing that screams in my mind it to GET OUT GET OUT...I do get out, only to watch the stock continue several more cents
  • Pressure, pressure, and more pressure. With all of my targets this month, I felt as though I was under tremendous pressure to deliver. Pressure is not good; I often found myself putting on a trade in a sideways market because time was running out and I needed to make X dollars
  • I kept making the same mistakes over and over again in July...I trusted what I saw on the Level 2 and I fell for the tricks that people play on them
And now my goals for the month of August:
  • Just make every trade the best trade you can possibly make
  • NO MONETARY TARGETS THIS MONTH - I don't like pressure to do something...if I follow my rules and I keep a level head, money will follow
  • Begin experimenting with longer time frames; instead of taking 5,8, or 10-cent winners, let's see if we can take 25,30, or 40-cent winners

11 Comments:

  • Hi J.C, at which company were u a prop trader before? Is it worth the time? (Im asking cuz I'd like to give it a try)

    Thanks
    Jay

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 05, 2006 5:48 a.m.  

  • Jay,

    I wasn't with any prop firm before joining the current company I'm with (SwiftTrade). Before working at the prop shop, I worked for three years at a public transportation company as a programmer analyst/systems analyst. I did trade a lot of options before joining SwiftTrade though.

    I left that job (which was well paying and very secure) and decided to give trading a try. I decided to do this while I was still young and before I had any major responsibilities (kids, etc).

    Obviously it's not for everyone. It took me 6 months (WITHOUT PAY) to complete the training program and I'm still obviously trying to get to where my salary was at my old job.

    There was a lot of turnover at where I work. A lot of trainees simply gave up and even some of those who were full-time traders also left as well. Some other full-time traders are trying to supplement their income by having a second job.

    So my advice to you is: you can give it a try as long as you can go without pay for at least a year and if you have no major responsibilities. I'm just so thankful I have a very supportive wife.

    Hope it helps,
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 05, 2006 8:26 a.m.  

  • J.C.- Please forgive me for being naive, but could you explain more about what a prop shop is, what purpose it serves, and how it benefits aspiring traders. thanks

    By Blogger Me, at August 05, 2006 9:03 p.m.  

  • me,

    First let me explain what a prop (proprietary) trader is. A prop trader does not use his or her own money to trade; instead they trade capital that is supplied by a prop trading firm (or prop shop). Profits are then split between the prop trader and the prop firm. Prop firms usually offer very low commissions, and hence prop traders are able to scalp for pennies and still be profitable. Aside from the usual fees (SEC, clearing, ECN, etc), my prop firm only charges 18.5 cents per trade. Thus, a 1-penny winner on 1000 shares can make you about $7 or $8 after all the fees (of course, it depends on what ECN you use, how you get in and out, if you're adding or removing liquidity).

    What purpose does it serve? Just to make money. The prop shop supplies the capital and hires traders to help make them more money. In return, traders get a cut of what they make (don't ask what the cut is...it varies from firm to firm). The capital that my prop shop supplies is their own money (it's not clients money or money from the general public...I would feel bad losing someone's retirement money!).

    How does it benefit aspiring traders? It helps traders to try trading without the risk of losing their own money. A prop shop is the best way to figure out how to trade and once you figure it out, that's the time when you strike it out on your own. This is my goal...trade at the prop shop until I know I can strike it out on my own.

    Hope it helps!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 06, 2006 10:53 p.m.  

  • Have you ever looked into trading futures? like the YM and ES?

    Mike

    By Blogger boogster, at August 07, 2006 4:46 a.m.  

  • Boogster,

    I currently have the entitlements to trade the ES and I have traded it twice in my trading career. It's definitely something I'd like to do in the future, but for now I'll stick with equities until I'm comfortable and consistently profitable.

    Another option I'm seriously considering is trading AMEX and the wide variety of ETFs they offer. Especially now that I'm getting used to trading 10,000 and hopefully 20,000 shares. I think if I go any higher beyond 20,000 shares, I'll have to trade maybe SPDRs or maybe I'll have to request Nasdaq entitlements.

    One day soon hopefully...one day soon...

    By Blogger J.C., at August 07, 2006 8:11 a.m.  

  • Hate to ask - but what are the salary expectations of a SwifTrade trader?? How much can you make in a year? How many leave the profession before making anything?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 28, 2006 12:50 p.m.  

  • Anon @ 12:50

    Thanks for your comments.

    For your first two questions, the answer is that it will vary from person to person. My personal goal is to try to average about $1000 a day...at that point, I'll be happy. I'm working real hard to try to achieve this goal, but once I do, I'll be looking to reach for higher goals.

    How much can one make in a year? It varies...some of the better traders make millions (the top trader took home I'd say over $3 million last year), while most will make less than someone working at Micky Dees. This all depends on how much one is willing to sacrifice and how hard one is willing to work.

    Your last question probably will give you a better idea of what it's like. From my own observation, I'd say about 80 - 90% will leave before making anything...of those 10 - 20% that do end up making something, I think more than half of these will leave because they just can't make enough money.

    I'm really trying hard to stay out of the percentage of people that leave because they cannot make enough money...

    It's a sad but true reality...hope I answered all your questions!
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 28, 2006 4:53 p.m.  

  • So you get paid a percetage of profit? So if you want to make $1000 a day you need to deliver profits to the firm in what range? Does the firm cover all the losses? Do they charge you any fees?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 29, 2006 2:02 p.m.  

  • Anon @ 2:02PM

    Thanks for your comments.

    Please give me an email and I can send you further details about the firm I work with. I do not wish to divulge too much on this blog site for privacy reasons.

    You can reach me by email at:
    jc_at_trivita@rogers.com

    Thanks,
    JC

    By Blogger J.C., at August 29, 2006 7:20 p.m.  

  • Hi J.C.

    I am joinin Swift Trade's branch in Asia as a student/trainee. I am just wondering how useful the experience for getting a job in other banks or hedge fund after like couple years of experience, like the experience that you have got? And is it better off to stay with Swift Trade for the compensation system?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2007 3:18 a.m.  

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