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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just Trying To Avoid That Uncomfortable Feeling

Gross: +$918.08
Net: +$720.57
Loss From Top: 0
Trades: 108
Shares Traded: 178504

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):

General Electric (GE): +$294.14
AT&T (T): +$276.69
Motorola (MOT): +$158.82
Merck (MRK): +$92.92
Exxon Mobil (XOM): +$46.89

Walmart (WMT): -$2.56
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): -$22.19
Home Depot (HD): -$129.28

Unlike the previous two trading days, most of my trades today were put on comfortably, without much stress, and with more confidence, which helped me pull off a relatively good day.

Yesterday and Monday, I felt like a lot of my trades were "forced", as if I really didn't want to put on the trade, but did so anyways. It also made it more uncomfortable because I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in them
and as a result, I was feeling very uneasy for most of Monday and Tuesday.

Also a contributing factor on Monday and Tuesday was the fact that I saw myself in the red (negative), which had me even more on edge. A combination of all these factors probably led me to making some decisions that were probably not the wisest and resulted in the poor trading performances on those days.

Today, I just kept things simple and reduced my share size (started the day off trading 2000 shares at a time). Almost all of my trades were put on with confidence and there wasn't the slightest hesitation. This really made the trading day easy, as I was not too concerned about how I would get out if the position went against me (because my share size was smaller and much easier to exit).

All last week, that's how I was trading - using smaller share size so that it was less stressful and I had more confidence in putting on trades. By doing this, I believe that my mind was clearer and less emotionally involved and I was able to deliver a consistent trading week.

I will admit that ov
er the weekend I started thinking about money again and about how much more I would be able to make if I increased share size. This had me starting this week on the wrong foot and in the wrong mindset.

What I've got to do is to continue trading comfortably and not force myself into uncomfortable situations (like getting huge positions without any real confidence in them). Whenever I trade this way, the day seems so stress-free and the profits just seem to magically appear (well...ok, I wouldn't say magically).

It also helped that today we had markets that moved around quite a bit today - and my main task for today was to sit and wait out all that market "listlessness" (again, thanks to Stockroach for reminding me :)) and to pounce on the opportunities when they presented themselves.

The only unfortunate thing about today was that I wasn't able to capitalize on some of the big moves many stocks had toda
y. I was getting in and out fairly quickly all day - something I felt comfortable doing, so today I didn't take any real big swings.

An example was on AT&T (T). At around 1:45PM, AT&T (T) just started ripping. I took 4 quick trades with 2000 shares each and managed to make 1-cent, 2-cent, 3-cent, and a 4-cent winner on each (see chart). On the entire move, I managed to make $200.

Because I was in and out fast today, there were no good trades nor any bad trades.

Let's see if I can keep myself in the zone for the rest of this week!

Good Trades

Bad Trades


  • Two thumbs up for todays performance.

    You self-diagnosed your issues and came up with a winning combination.......
    waited for the OPPORTUNIITIES to reveal themselves, traded COMFORTABLE share SIZE and made MONEY as a result.

    You traded like a champ today!

    Rocky would be proud

    By Anonymous StockRoach, at November 08, 2006 6:17 p.m.  

  • I agree, excellent trading today. I like how you write about your feelings and emotions as they relate to trading. Very insightful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 08, 2006 6:46 p.m.  

  • good job today.
    I see you pay about 0.001 per share on commission. I pay 0.005 which is the best I found; on 180000 shares it would be around $900. do you pay other fees (split profit/loss with the firm)?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 08, 2006 7:20 p.m.  

  • Stockroach,
    Thanks for your comments (as usual)! I just needed to shake off those two bad trading days and to clear my it worked - I'll do my best to maintain that tomorrow!

    Thanks for the compliments! I really enjoyed your interview over at Stocktickr! Keep up the great work over at your site!

    Thanks for your comments. Since I work with a prop firm, I'll have to split what I make with the prop firm (for privacy reasons, I'm not going to say what the split is). If you'd like more info on where I work or more about specific fees, please give me an email at and I'll gladly send you more info!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 08, 2006 8:05 p.m.  

  • Hi JC,

    Good trading for you today.

    How do you get the charts appear on your blog.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 08, 2006 8:40 p.m.  

  • Anon@8:40PM,
    Thanks for your comments. The charts that appear on my blog are not the ones I use for trading (we have in-house developed charts at the office). The charts are from

    Hope it helps!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 08, 2006 9:23 p.m.  

  • You keep that confidence level up, you keep aware of market condition, and you do tha thing! Great trading day! Keep it up, and don't force em!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 09, 2006 10:51 a.m.  

  • Cal,

    Thanks for your comments and great work on your site! One day, I want to be able to post up numbers like yours! Keep up the great work and we'll see if one day I can hit your average P/L!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 09, 2006 6:28 p.m.  

  • have a question abt ur commissions;
    1) they are incredibily low
    2) the question, the difference between ur gross and net profits cannot possibly account for the SEC and NYSE fees, do u pay them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 09, 2006 10:39 p.m.  

  • Anon@10:39PM,

    Thanks for your comments.

    As to your questions:
    1) Yup, they are low because I work at a prop firm
    2) Yup, we do pay SEC and NYSE fee and are included in the difference between gross and net. In fact, the SEC fee is usually the 2nd highest fee we have to pay, while the NYSE fee is usually the smallest. The SEC fee is not really that much: $30.70 per $1 million dollar value on the SELL side of a trade. If I traded 5000 shares of a $20 stock, I'll pay only $3.07 for the round trip. The NYSE fee is also fairly small at 0.00025/share - so a round trip, 5000 share trade will cost $2.50. The other fees I pay are the execution fees (13.9 cents per trade - this goes to the prop firm), clearing fee (35 cents per fill + 6.5 cents/1000 shares - this goes to our clearing firm Morgan Stanley), and of course, the gateway fees (which will vary depending on the ECN I use).

    Hope that answers your question!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 10, 2006 4:57 p.m.  

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