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

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trading Statistics For Month Of October 2006

Total Gross for Month of October: +$5,257.46
Total Net for Month of
October: +$3,116.02
Total Fees (Gross - Net) for Month of
October: $2,141.44
Total Trades for Month of
October: 1,412
Total Shares Traded for Month of
October: 1,923,106

Best Day for Month of
October: Mon Oct 30, 2006 (+$658.33 net)
Worst Day for Month of
October: Thu Oct 19, 2006 (-$479.61 net)

Number of Positive Net Days for Month of
October: 13
Number of Negative Net Days for Month of
October: 3
Number of Trading Days Missed for Month of
October: 6 (one for Canadian Thanksgiving, 5 for vacation)
Number of Trading Days Lost Due To System Downtime: 0 (lots of system glitches, but no days lost)

Compared to Previous Month: -$837.19 (down 21.2% from previous month)
Compared to Same Month Last Year: +$1,116.02 (up 55.8% from same month last year)

Net Profit Distribution (# days):
(Excellent) +$1000 OR MORE: (0)
(**Good**) +$500 TO +$1000: *** (3)
(*Average*) +$200 TO +$500: ***** (5)
(***Poor***) -$200 TO +$200: ***** (5)
(****Bad****) -$200 TO -$500: *** (3)
(**Terrible**) -$500 OR LESS: (0)

Top 3 Stocks For Month of
October (Net Profit):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$1,396.43
Motorola (MOT): +$775.35
Corning (GLW): +$524.98

Worst 3 Stocks for Month of
October (Net Profit):
Home Depot (HD): -$288.70
Pfizer (PFE): -$207.12
Bank of America (BAC): -$81.48

Top 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of
October:
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Traded on 16 out of 16 trading days
Home Depot (HD) - Traded on 16 out of 16 trading days
Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Traded on 15 out of 16 trading days

Bottom 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of
October:
American Express (AXP) - Traded on one out of 16 trading days
Bank of America (BAC) - Traded on one out of 16 trading days
Ford (F) - Traded on one out of 16 trading days

Total Number of Different Stocks Traded for Month of
October: 16

List of Stocks Traded During the Month of
October (with net profit):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$1,396.43
American Express (AXP): -$46.19
Bank of America (BAC): -$81.48
Citigroup (C): +$89.51
EMC Corp (EMC): +$153.36
Ford (F): +$42.91
General Electric (GE): +$139.82
Corning (GLW): +$524.98
Home Depot (HD): -$288.70
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$296.03
Motorola (MOT): +$775.35
Micron Tech (MU): +$5.57
Pfizer (PFE): -$207.12
AT&T (T): +$138.31
Walmart (WMT): +$348.04
Exxon Mobil (XOM): +$184.89

Monthly Recap

October marks the fourth straight month of declines in my profits this year. November will be my one year anniversary of becoming a full-time trader and I had really expected that I'd be steadily improving in terms of profits as I approached my anniversary - I even wrote somewhere that one of my goals would be to average roughly $2000 daily after one year.

Ha!

As always, it's easier said than done. Instead, I find myself sliding backwards and steadily getting worse as my anniversary approaches.

I feel just like a stock - I launched as an IPO and I had all the confidence in the world and that the only direction I'll be moving is up! After a few months, things look good - I steadily increase and it looks like the sky's the limit. But then something unexpected happens and I start falling. Month after month results in poor performances and things start looking really bad. I keep falling and falling and many start wondering how low can I go?

I am hoping that, like many stocks, we'll be asking "It can't possibly get any worse than this! The only place this stock can go from here is up!".

Seriously, I really hope I've just finished visiting a short-term bottom in my trading and that I can continue moving on upwards.

I came into this month not expecting much as I knew I'd be missing at least a week for vacation. However I still felt that some of the problems from August and September persisted in October, and though I was completely aware of them, I had a tough time trying to get them under control.

There were 3 negative days in October, however on all three of these negative days I lost over $400 - not good considering I wasn't able to pull off any spectacular trading days.

The first week of October started off slow, as I hardly made anything the first day and lost a bundle on the second day of October. The rest of that first week I was able to pick myself up and ended the week with a respectable finish.

I took the Monday off during the second week of October, but when I did come back to trade, it was a sloppy affair indeed. I had thought I had found the reason for some of my poor performances during that week: afternoon trading! I continued to explore this idea and my results from that week seemed to support my conclusions (I had lost $1,200 in afternoon trading that week!).

The third week of October was a mixed bag. There were some strong performances, but there were several days in which I was not 100% there and I was not focused enough. For most of that third week, I only traded until lunch, but I was still not completely convinced that afternoon trading was the ultimate culprit.

The fourth week I completely missed as I headed out to Vegas and the Grand Canyon for some R&R. And I think I needed it - things didn't appear to be going very well for me and I needed to get my mind off trading.

Finally, coming up to the end of October (Oct 30 and 31), I came to the realization that my inconsistency as a trader was mainly due to the inconsistency of my trading plan. I was caught in a cycle of constantly changing the way I did things where my trading strategy kept changing depending on my circumstances and I found myself doing the following:
  • when a string of good trading days showed itself, I'd start complaining I wasn't making enough money and so I'd start making changes to my trading in an attempt to make more money
  • when I attempted to make changes, my profits began suffering for a couple of days
  • after a couple of days, I'd start losing focus and frustrations would mount
  • after a few more not-so-good days, I'd stop, throw everything out the window, and try to go back to the way I was trading before
  • I would then need a couple of days to get myself back in the zone and to get myself back in the proper mindset
  • then a string of good trading days would appear again, but then I'd start complaining again about how I wasn't making as much as some of the other traders, so I'd start making changes in my trading, thus starting the cycle all over again
November will be definitely a trying month for me. This will be the last month for me to see what I can do with my trading before the year end (I cannot rely on December trading - too many holidays).

If I cannot establish where I am in my trading in November, I'll have to wait until next year - and that's when the tough questions will have to be asked (I'm not going to say what these questions are - I don't even want to think about them!).

Good things about my trading in October:
  • a lot more consistency in my daily numbers compared to September - at least they didn't fluctuate as much as they did last month
  • I really thought deep and hard to try to figure what was going wrong and what I could do to improve my trading - this resulted in two major ideas: 1) afternoon trading may not be for me and 2) I've got to stop changing things with my trading, especially when consistency starts showing itself
  • Patience slowly inched in the right direction - I was willing to hold positions a little longer as long as the bulk of my profits were secured
  • I didn't keep track of my monthly P/L so I had no idea of how well (or how badly) I was doing for the month - this probably has more of a psychological impact than anything else
Some things that could have been improved upon in October:
  • there were a few days that I was not 100% focused on trading - two days in particular each lost over $400 because of this
  • I spent too much time thinking about the money - everytime I started thinking about this, I started changing the way I trade in an attempt to make more of it, which usually results in me losing money
  • There were many positions that could have been had for more if only I had the patience - anytime a stock starts stalling, I start heading for the exits...instead I should wait to see if the move will continue
And here are some of my goals for November:
  • None! Just keep doing what you are doing and try not to change a whole lot - let me lay down a steady foundation first...once this is firmly in place, I can then start making slight tweaks in the way I trade

9 Comments:

  • JC,

    Great work! Looks like you had consistent profitable days in November and larger daily gain so far. I wish I could have your ability to control those lossing days within smaller numbers like you did in October.

    zbs

    By Anonymous zbs, at November 02, 2006 8:21 PM  

  • ZBS,
    Thanks for your comments! Yea - so far I've been humming along and I hope to keep this consistency up! You also did pretty good in the month of October! Let's see if we can all make November a good trading month!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 02, 2006 8:25 PM  

  • JC,

    You took off a quarter of the trading days but were only down 21% from last month. Not too shabby.

    I hope you're able to use your self-knowledge to focus on consistency. With consistency comes the ability to trade larger size, and with that comes larger profit.

    I don't know if you are anything like me, but when I'm constantly focusing on my failures, I trade worse. Now, I don't focus on the things I do wrong, I just try to be aware of them. Instead, I focus on the things I do right, and it's keeping me on the path.

    Good luck, JC. I hope November will be a strong month for everyone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2006 9:30 PM  

  • Good luck with the upcoming month. ;)

    Fernando

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2006 9:34 PM  

  • JC: Great job in October!

    Your blog is one of the best and I've learned much your thoughtful analysis. Best of luck this month and beyond!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2006 10:15 PM  

  • Tyro,
    Thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you - consistency should be the focus...once that is achieved, I can then start making tweaks to what I'm already doing. Hopefully I can keep my head on straight throughout the month of November. I wish you good trading next month!

    Fernando,
    Thanks! I've got a few good days under my belt this week - let's see if I can continue this for a whole month! Good luck to you!

    Estocastica,
    Thanks for your comments! Not only am I learning as I blog about my experiences, but it makes me feel real good to know that others out there are benefiting from it as well! Good luck and happy trading in November!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 02, 2006 10:41 PM  

  • if you were a stock, i would buy in now...in strict technical terms, you have carved out a triple exhaustion bottom...i am expecting great things from the JC stock in the future

    By Anonymous john, at November 03, 2006 7:55 AM  

  • Continue to look to the future with optimism, there is no reason for doubt. Doubt should not be part of your trading plan.

    Negitive numbers are a benefit as the learning curve for you as a full time trader is far from over.
    Understanding the losses will create an instilled consciousness for future gain.

    You are successful as a trader at this point stay with that momentum.

    By Anonymous pAstle, at November 03, 2006 6:28 PM  

  • John,
    Heheh - thanks man! I just need some kind of institutional buyer to really push me higher! :-) From here on in I hope to provide great results and provide some great guidance, so stay tuned!

    Pastle,
    Well said my friend! For me, I think it was a case of too much thinking and trying too hard. I've got to get myself in the right mindset everyday. I'll keep this momentum going and we'll see where this will take me!

    Have a great weekend everyone! And happy trading on Monday!

    By Blogger J.C., at November 03, 2006 7:25 PM  

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