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

Friday, December 01, 2006

Trading Statistics For November 2006

Total Gross for Month of November: +$6,745.36
Total Net for Month of November: +$3,416.28
Total Fees (Gross - Net) for Month of November: $3,329.08
Total Trades for Month of November: 1,705
Total Shares Traded for Month of November: 3,226,826

Best Day for Month of November: Wed Nov 8 (+$720.57 net)
Worst Day for Month of November: Tue Nov 7 (-$530.67 net)

Number of Positive Net Days for Month of November: 14
Number of Negative Net Days for Month of November: 6
Number of Trading Days Missed for Month of November: 0.5 (missed day after US Thanksgiving)
Number of Trading Days Lost Due To System Downtime: Ha! Don't ask! Countless morning and afternoon trading hours were lost on almost every trading day in November!

Compared to Previous Month: +$300.26 (up 9.6% from previous month)
Compared to Same Month Last Year: +$1,303.01 (up 61.7% from same month last year)

Net Profit Distribution (# days):
(Excellent) +$1000 OR MORE: (0)
(**Good**) +$500 TO +$1000: ***** (5)
(*Average*) +$200 TO +$500: ****** (6)
(***Poor***) -$200 TO +$200: ***** (5)
(****Bad****) -$200 TO -$500: ** (2)
(**Terrible**) -$500 OR LESS: ** (2)

Top 3 Stocks For Month of November (Net Profit):
AT&T (T): +$1,265.40
Disney (DIS): +$569.53
Walmart (WMT): +$509.05

Worst 3 Stocks for Month of November (Net Profit):
EMC Corp (EMC): -$360.49
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$291.21
Micron Tech (MU): -$143.65

Top 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of November:
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Traded on 19 out of 20 trading days
Home Depot (HD) - Traded on 19 out of 20 trading days
Walmart (WMT) - Traded on 19 out of 20 trading days

Bottom 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of November:
DirecTV (DTV) - Traded on 1 out of 20 trading days
Merck (MRK) - Traded on 1 out of 20 trading days
Valero Energy (VLO) - Traded on 1 out of 20 trading days

Total Number of Different Stocks Traded for Month of November: 17

List of Stocks Traded During the Month of November (with net profit):
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): +$239.99
Disney (DIS): +$569.53
DirecTV (DTV): +$18.41
EMC Corp (EMC): -$360.49
Ford (F): +$229.14
General Electric (GE): -$23.83
Corning (GLW): +$288.52
Home Depot (HD): +$118.29
Hewlett Packard (HPQ): +$158.13
Motorola (MOT): +$498.09
Merck (MRK): +$92.92
Micron Tech (MU): -$143.65
AT&T (T): +$1,265.40
Time Warner (TWX): +$153.51
Valero Energy (VLO): -$1.83
Walmart (WMT): +$509.05
Exxon Mobil (XOM): -$291.21

Monthly Recap

Okay - this month is not as bad as I had originally thought it would be, but still, I'm still in the dumps in terms of my past performances.

The month of November felt like a hard month to trade. It was another month in which I had high hopes, but to me, it felt more like aimless wandering - I felt like the whole month had no purpose, no goal, and I really don't think I did enough things to try to improve my trading.

As you can see from my profit distribution chart, there were many poor days, two bad days and two terrible days (in which I lose $500 or more).

Maybe it was because of a completely demoralizing October that I came into November without a real plan. Maybe I came into November thinking I've already lost the battle with the mentality of "let's just do whatever I can do and see what happens".

It was almost as if I lost my passion somewhere along the line. I think because November marked my one year anniversary of becoming a full-time trader and it made it more painful for me to see how little progress I've made as a trader.

What made November worse was that every day that I came in to trade, I never felt confident that I could pull off a profitable day.

I had 6 negative days in November - the most I've ever had in a month. In previous months, I would come into the office and be confident of a profitable day and the only question was HOW profitable I'd be. Believe me, having this uncertainty feeling is not a good one to have and probably means you've lost faith in what you're doing.

The beginning of the month started off great. I had decided that aiming for $10,000 a month or $1000 a day was keeping me back and I accepted that fact that $500 a day is good enough for me...and it seemed to work...for a short while.

The following week I was welcomed with two fairly bad trading days. This came after a weekend of thinking how great it was that things appeared on track and money started floating in my thoughts. I started that week aggressively, thinking that $500 seemed easy to come by and that more could be made. I managed to catch myself thinking this way and rebounded the rest of the week for only mediocre gains.

During the third week of November, I just couldn't get anything going to start it off. The first two trading days of that week I ended up relatively flat and the rest of the week saw only slight gains.

The next week was the US Thanksgiving week and I was somewhat inspired by a conversation I had with the newest Master Trader at the beginning of the week. My confidence was boosted....however I fell quite ill and I made the mistake of trying to trade the rest of the week....with disastrous results. I went into the Thanksgiving weekend on a sour note.

On the final week of November I tried to recover what was left of a month that I thought went by too quickly. Nothing too impressive was done during that final week and perhaps out of a need to push myself to do something on the final day of November, I goofed and lost a bundle.

Some good things that happened in November:
  • A lot more good days (+$500 to +$1000) appeared this month
  • I accepted the fact that $500 a day is good enough for me (at least for now) - this led to less pressure during the trading day to get things done
  • I tried to actively do more things so that my trading could be as pressure free as possible
  • I knew things weren't really going my way and so I reduced share size
  • There appeared to be fewer "bad trades" made; however they came in bunches on the bad trading days
Some not-so-good things that happened in November:
  • There was an emotional "spill-over" from the previous month that had my morale fairly low
  • I tried to trade while quite ill (I had a fever, chills, aching joints, dizzy) - not a good idea!
  • There were a couple of days I came in not really caring about trading as I usually do
  • Even though November was slightly better than October, I felt as though the emotional aspect really hit harder - especially on those bad trading days
  • Confidence in what I was doing also slipped - I was no longer confident I could pull off a profitable day
  • Upon review, there seemed to be a lot more "bone-headed" type trades - possibly from lack of focus
So what are my plans in December?
  • I'm going to have a serious review of my trading rules and strategies - the last time they were even looked at was back in September
  • I have to work harder on trading only those trades that have a good probability of working out - this will probably mean trading a little less than what I currently do
  • Really find out what works well using the 3-minute charts (which I've recently converted to)
  • ALWAYS be mindful of when to trade and when not to trade - I always say this and yet I always find myself not listening!
  • I also have to be better at determining what kind of day it is (pop n' chop, choppy, trendy) and really adjust my trading accordingly
  • DO NOT care what my P/L is at - it only matters once the day is over!
  • I should start looking into things that help me keep focused, especially during the middle of the month - I'm starting to find that the beginning and end of the months are fairly good, but the middle I somehow lose that focus and determination
For whatever reason, I find myself coming into December as confident as ever. And my morale seems to be quite high as well. I can't quite explain it - perhaps it's because a new month is upon us and I feel as though I'm turning a new leaf.

Now that November is behind us, I'm ready to do some serious trading this month. I wish good luck to all of you during this final month of 2006!



  • you might try to scan out new gap up/down stocks from NYSE to trade rather than always trading those HD, WMT etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 02, 2006 8:18 a.m.  

  • Anon@8:18AM,
    Thanks for your comments and your suggestions. In fact, the last couple of trading days I've been keeping an eye on gapping stocks and for now, I'm just observing how they move after gapping up/down. Eventually I might even start working some Dummy trades into my routine, though I still have to work on having the courage to hold stocks for a longer period of time. Another thing I've just started doing was to avoid trading stocks in which the longer-term trend is rangebound - instead I'll just focus on trading stocks that have a longer term trend (either up or down).

    Good luck to you in December!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 02, 2006 10:13 a.m.  

  • Thanks for your blog and your monthly stats, J.C.
    I buy stocks when the longer term trend moving up and scalping an exchange on 60 minute charts on the Forex market.


    By Blogger BidSell, at December 03, 2006 6:27 a.m.  

  • BidSell,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the compliments! I wish you the best of luck in December!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 03, 2006 10:38 a.m.  

  • JC,
    Thanks for including me in your monthly review post.

    Also, I know you're disappointed with your performance lately, but don't get too down on yourself. You are profitable, and keep in mind that you are relatively new at this. You are on the right track, you are making money, and you are analyzing yourself and your system. I haven't seen you mention it, but do you use market internals to help you trade? Keeping an eye on tick, trin, advance decline, futures, etc. really helps when you are scalping. I know you are trying some dummy type trades to expand your horizon, but keeping a finger on the markets pulse should help regardless of the type of daytrading you are doing. Good Luck in December.


    By Blogger downtowntrader, at December 06, 2006 4:53 p.m.  

  • Downtowntrader,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the encouragement! As for the market internals, the only thing I really use is S&P Futures. When I start using eSignal in January, I'll have access to tick, trin, adv/dec and such, which I hope to make good use of. We'll see where all of this leads, but I hope it's on to greener pastures!

    Good luck to you in December and happy trading!

    By Blogger J.C., at December 06, 2006 8:07 p.m.  

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