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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treading Cautiously & Anonymous Comments

Gross: +$52.00
Net: -$86.31
Loss From Top: $329.62
Trades: 77
Shares Traded: 130800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK): +$213.68
DIRECTV Group (DTV): +$101.23
Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): +$76.52
The Home Depot Inc. (HD): -$15.51
EMC Corporation (EMC): -$56.16
Sprint Nextel Corporation (S): -$68.37
Time Warner Inc. (TWX): -$119.24
Alcatel Lucent (ALU): -$218.45

Today I just traded cautiously and didn't really want to take too much risk.

We seemed to have a continuation of the system problems we were having yesterday, so I didn't want to do anything drastic and just tried to trade conservatively.

After a while I just got used to the messed up Level 2's and the weird prints going off on the time and sales. It looks like those weird prints that are going off 10 cents out of the money appear to be real because they also show up on the eSignal charts.

Browsing around on the EliteTrader message boards, I found that I could filter out those weird prints on eSignal so that my charts didn't look too horrid.

For most of the morning I was reluctant to do anything, but when the afternoon rolled around, I started trading a little too much. All in all, I would hover around the unchanged mark for the whole day and I ended the day slightly negative.

I feel as though I've been battered and bruised closing out February. I guess I'll just have to adjust to whatever appears to be going on at the NYSE with the weird prints and I'll just have to get used to all the constant stickies. But when all of these problems started this week, I feel as though it kind of messed me up and that I've had difficulty getting in the zone.

Aside from that, not much else to say. No good trades or bad ones. It just felt like I was just churning and racking up the fees.

On to other things....

The web traffic on this blog is slowly increasing and I knew it would be inevitable that I'd start getting those dreaded negative Anonymous comments. We've all seen them on other blogs and now they have arrived on this blog.

And it seems as though these kinds of comments come to those who post their numbers daily. I know Boogster and Glenn have had their share simply because they are not afraid to post their numbers, good or bad. I commend those two guys because I know they are strong enough to not let those negative Anonymous comments bother them.

Unfortunately, whenever they (or I) hit a trading rough patch, those negative Anonymous comments come in a flurry and they just seem to pound you into the ground even further.

And it also seems that those negative Anonymous comments appear to be attracted to posts in which I either express anger or frustration in my posts. So from here on in, I'm going to try to structure my posts with less emotion....hopefully it will be more constructive for myself and it will deter those negative Anonymous comments.

For now, I'm simply going to ignore those negative comments and I'll only respond to those who appear to be giving constructive criticism or those that are genuine. Who knows, I may have to do what some other bloggers do and simply do not allow Anonymous comments.

So if I'm late in responding to your genuine comment, it's not because I'm ignoring you, but it's more because I'm now more reluctant to check to see what comments have been left on the blog because sometimes I just feel too tired to have to respond to negative comments or I feel too tired to have to try to defend myself.

But I do know this: every time I do get one of those negative comments, it sometimes lets a little air out of the tire (especially after a rough day) and when I sometimes get a lot of them, I just feel as though this blog is probably more work than it's worth. It can sometimes get in my head and play games with me, especially during the trading day, but I'll try my best not to let it bother me.

Anyways, February has now ended and I'm limping to the finish line. If I cannot get back in the zone tomorrow, I may have to take Friday off.

Good Trades

Bad Trades



  • No anonymous comments from me! Just wanted to put in my two cents worth. My most painful market experience came quite a few years ago when a big market move that I didn't anticipate wiped out many months of profits. It was a gut-wrenching time, but it was the catalyst for my taking a new approach to trading that entailed research and a way to gauge intraday strength and weakness. Without that experience I would have never made that important shift. So yes, the drawdowns suck and the technology problems are frustrating. I hope at the end of it all, however, you'll have figured something out that will make you a better trader. Then it's not a wasted experience.


    By Blogger Brett Steenbarger, Ph.D., at February 28, 2007 5:40 p.m.  

  • avoid overtrading, avoid level II temptation, trade only when every indicator pointing same direction...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2007 6:00 p.m.  

  • What are the other prop firms operating in the Toronto area besides Swift?

    I hope March will be much better for you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2007 7:20 p.m.  

  • Another non-anonymous comment here.

    My biggest loss came a couple years ago when I was margined to the hilt and found myself staring at a huge loss. I was long and pretty confident that the market would turn around so I just held on. Well the market did turn around...about a month after I sold my position to buy a house that popped up without warning and I had to move on it or lose it. Fortunately, the good deal on the house more than offset my loss but it still hurts to see $150k loss on the books.

    Of course, I DID learn a lesson from this and that is too always keep some reserves, even if they are margin reserves. Had I done that 2 years ago I would have had the house AND a tidy profit.

    Live and learn.


    By Blogger Marc, at February 28, 2007 10:28 p.m.  

  • Hey are doing an outstanding job. Ignore the haters out there or you can use them as motivation to become even better at what you do, which is what I try to do. Remember, this blog is about your journey and nobody elses. Who gives an F what they think about YOUR journey.

    By Anonymous boogster, at February 28, 2007 10:34 p.m.  

  • Brett,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the advice. As long as I try to learn something from them, it won't be in vain. Keep up the excellent job at TraderFeed (I think every weekend I link to almost all of your articles!).

    Thanks for your comments. Yea, you're definitely right...I think I've lost a bit of focus the last few trading days. I think it's more out of frustration than anything else (especially the Level 2 temptation). Tomorrow is the start of a new month, so my focus should be at it's peak again!

    Thanks for your comments. There are a couple I've recently come across (they were referred to me). Here are some: DVTrading (, Titan Securities (, Saxon Financials (, and Title Trading ( I haven't checked their requirements or if they are any good, so make sure you do your research!

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for sharing your experience. I think the last line is key: live and learn. I've got to learn from the bad days otherwise I'll never be able to improve. The lessons are what brings about the experience!

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the support. I've got to definitely not let those Anon comments get to me and just try to keep my focus during the trading day. And like you said, this blog is used mainly to help myself and to try to make me learn from my mistakes. Best of luck to you in March!

    By Blogger J.C., at February 28, 2007 10:52 p.m.  

  • Everyone lost money yesterday. With the Dow down 500 points, how can anyone stay positive?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2007 11:00 p.m.  

  • Definitely keep posting this blog. There will always be haters, but the increase in traffic does not come from them; they're jealous because they can't make anything from the markets. As a new daytrader, I can relate to and find inspirtation from your posts; maybe that's a bad thing, since I might be on the otherside of some of your positions ;).

    Don't worry about being too emotional in your posts. Trading IS emotional. A trading diary without emotion... would be one of the most boring things to read in the world. It wouldn't capture the experience.

    The story you tell is compelling; it captures what trading is, with brutal honesty. Some days you're down money, unfocused, and feel like being anywhere but in front of the screen... yet for some reason you come back the next day and trade... even though you could be making more at a stable job... even though you look at your monthly P/L and see that it's just not what you need... why? For the same reason you post this blog. Because you're a trader and you must.

    Seriously... don't let anyone get you down who posts negative comments; think about the type of person who goes around to a blog like this and abuses you. Think about where that person is in life, and what his character is. Even if it's a successful trader... it's not someone who's successful at life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 28, 2007 11:29 p.m.  

  • I've found that eliminating anonymous comments and "approving" email addresses for anytime commenting has done two things:

    1. It improved the average IQ of my commenters

    2. It made the DooDah-haters move to other blogs to make anonymous comments about me!

    It takes some serious huevos to post results and post every trade. That's the main reason why many people won't do it, it's easy for someone to hate on you, or take your worst trade of the month and make it a post on their hate-scribe! The honesty involved in putting it out there, warts and all, is something the haters are quite frankly incapable of doing. Which is why they don't do it.

    It is a learning experience for the serious N00B to see that good P&Ls and lots of losing trades (and losing streaks) often go together. The emotional component of dealing with losses is the primary learning experience of trading - the systems are just systems!

    Keep the faith!

    By Blogger NO DooDahs, at February 28, 2007 11:54 p.m.  

  • JC

    Keep your chin up mate. You are doing an outstanding job what with your trading and also keeping one of the best blogs on the www going.

    It's been tough for all of us these past few days with the system glitches.

    Best regards

    By Anonymous Lee, at March 01, 2007 3:32 a.m.  

  • Anon@11:00PM,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea, it seemed like quite a few traders out there had a tough time despite the big moves. Sounds as though most were probably system related...

    Thanks for your comments. Well said indeed. During the trading day I tend to bottle up my emotions and I think by letting it out on the blog is a way for me to unwind. In the future, I'll try to keep my posts balanced between the emotional and the analytical. I also often wonder why people leave negative comments on other people's blogs...I guess they think it's funny or something.

    Thanks for your comments. That's probably a good idea with the email address approval. I'll keep my head up and continue looking forward.

    Thanks for your comments. And thanks for the good words. Yea, those system problems seem to be fairly persistent these last few days...hopefully it can go back to being normal soon.

    Good luck and good trading to all in March!

    By Blogger J.C., at March 01, 2007 11:03 p.m.  

  • Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 21, 2009 1:51 a.m.  

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