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

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ooops! I ALMOST Did It Again!

Gross: +$487.51
Net: +$404.34
Loss From Top: $157.10
Trades: 75
Shares Traded: 70000

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$280.16
AT&T (T): +$162.35
Home Depot (HD): +$86.47
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$0.87
Boston Scientific (BSX): -$18.00
Corning (GLW): -$19.49
Walmart (WMT): -$86.25

Another day, and ALMOST the same result as the previous two days.

This morning I was very careful (as I usually am), but when the afternoon rolled around, it felt like Mr. Market was prodding and poking me, as if trying to egg me on and tried to get me to start trading angry again.

And it almost worked!

I started losing money and I could feel myself getting all stirred up again. I managed to catch myself and I went out for a long walk (for a whole hour!).

When I got back from my walk, I had calmed down again and I hardly put on any trades in the afternoon (as there were no opportunities).

I think if I had stayed and not gone for a walk, I could just "feel" that another bad day would have been in the works.

I'm just glad I had the patience to wait things out...and believe me, there was lots of waiting. Yesterday someone had left a comment about how trading is supposed to be boring and I remember reading that from somewhere too. And quite honestly, I sincerely believe it's true!

Almost all the good days I've had as a trader, I've always felt that they were kind of "boring" in a sense that very few mistakes were made on those days and the reason there were few mistakes was because I was willing to wait for the right conditions and there was complete focus on when NOT to trade.

Though today was not particularly spectacular, I am quite pleased considering that the biggest position I had on today was only 3000 shares. Had I traded like my normal self, the profits from the good trades would have been much larger - the AT&T (T) trade I'd usually go in for at least 5000 shares and the AMD trade I would have usually gone for 2000 or 4000 shares (see good trades below).

But today I just wanted to stop the bleeding because if I had another down day today, I would have done a lot of thinking over the weekend. At least with today's results, I can hopefully relax and enjoy the weekend.

I must be a stronger person and not let my emotions get in the way. If I simply follow my rules and keep a level head, consistency as a trader should not be that hard to achieve. I also must realize that if I want to achieve this, I must have patience.

I should start doing or bringing something into the office that can occupy my time when the markets are not ideal for trading. In the summer it was easy - I could just go downstairs and go for a walk. But winter is coming, so I'll have to kill some time in other ways.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend. I, for one, am completely exhausted, both mentally and physically from this weeks' trading. I'm gonna get myself some good rest and so that I'll be ready for Monday!

Good Trades
9:38AM - AT&T (T) was moving up very strongly while the Futures were flattening. When AT&T reached the $32.50 level and it broke, I went long 2000 shares. I took half of my position out for a winner, but the move on AT&T was so strong, I went long another 1000 shares at $32.58. I got out as follows: 5-cent winner (2000 shares), 12-cent winner (1000 shares) ($220 profit before fees ; In: 9:38:34AM ; Long 2000 shares @ $32.50, long 1000 shares @ $32.58 ; Out: 9:43:10AM)

10:01AM - Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was tanking hard and so were the Futures. I tried to get short when AMD broke the $26.00 level, but missed it, so I got short 1000 shares at $25.99. This stock just tanked down really hard and I held it until I felt that the move was over. I got out for a 29-cent winner. ($290 profit before fees ; In: 10:01:43AM ; Short 1000 shares @ $25.99 ; Out: 10:05:22AM)

Bad Trades


  • J.C: Yes, it is very important to get yourself some good rest. Have a nice weekend!

    By Anonymous Gav, at September 22, 2006 10:13 p.m.  

  • Boring? Not spectacular? I dunno. When you weren't making money trading stocks, you were taking an hour long walk in the fall. Meanwhile, plenty of people were cleaning toilets and flipping burgers. People with so-called good jobs (like I used to have) spent mind-numbing hours going over schedules and budgets, and firing people to cut costs. So, it sounds like you had a pretty good day to me. So did I! :-)

    Just keep making the exact number of trades I say, and you'll be fine! :-)

    By Anonymous Richard, at September 22, 2006 10:17 p.m.  

  • Gav and Richard,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Welcome back! I hope your trip to Taiwan was a good one! It seems that you also need a good rest after coming back from your trip! Have a great weekend and let's see what we can do on Monday.

    Of course, you are right again! There isn't a single job I can think of that I'd rather be doing, so I should be happy...I should think of it as: when the markets are boring and not doing anything, it gives me extra time to do whatever I want, or it gives me an excuse to go for a 2 or 3 hour break. I cannot think of another job that would allow that! I just need to work on how this job compensates me...

    If you can guess the number of trades during the next couple of trading days, then I'll be scared! Keep up the good work - you've been fairly consistent with your trading, so keep it up!

    Have a great weekend all!

    By Blogger J.C., at September 23, 2006 10:18 a.m.  

  • JC,

    Way to not let the market get to you! The better trading opportunities are coming, good things come to those that wait...

    Have a great weekend!

    Linda P.

    By Anonymous Linda P., at September 23, 2006 11:11 a.m.  

  • J.C,

    Enjoyed reading the last couple of posts. I've experienced that myself; only after the day ended did I look back and realize how destructive it was.

    I just really hate it when things are choppy. The bad thing is that I know that there is no opportunity and maybe won't be for some time, and maybe I should just take a break, but I can't help staying... and pretty soon everything looks tradeable and I get itchy fingers...

    Anyways, have a good weekend!

    By Anonymous EC, at September 23, 2006 3:50 p.m.  

  • Linda and EC,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Waiting is definitely one of the hardest thing to do. If the markets are trending, that's great - there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of, but if all you get is choppy markets, then it's tough to keep your hands off the keyboard. I'll try harder next week.

    It would seem that I come across this problem when markets move great in the morning, but the afternoon slows down. When days like these happen, I keep expecting the afternoon to be the same as the morning and when it isn't, I tend to lose money and that's when I start spiralling out of control. In the past, I've been good in preventing this from happening, but I'm not sure why lately I'm starting to take offense when the markets don't go my way.

    Happy trading all!

    By Blogger J.C., at September 24, 2006 9:35 a.m.  

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