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

Friday, March 23, 2007

Slowly Putting The Pieces Back Together

Gross: +$464.00
Net: +$418.48
Trades: 54

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD): +$235.91
DiamlerChrysler (DCX): +$215.82
Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS): +$157.02
ConocoPhillips (COP): +$111.76
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX): +$17.76
Motorola Inc. (MOT): -$42.29
Pfizer Inc. (PFE): -$50.94
Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT): -$72.86
Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL): -$153.69

Just trying to step it up a little bit more and trying to get back into the swing of things....

I didn't start the morning off on the right foot though....

For whatever reason, I just couldn't trade Jabil Circuit (JBL) for beans...I put on a string of losers on this particular stock until I just had enough of it and didn't look at it beyond the first hour of trade.

I'm still making some mental mistakes and the biggest one today was trying to trade Kraft (KFT). I don't know why, but I thought this one would move. This was probably because of the rough start to the day and again I found myself really straining for trade candidates and I ended up taking KFT...yup, another one of those "What were you thinking?!!?" trades.

I redeemed myself and just traded until after lunch and I finally have some trades I can share with you today.

Next week I'll probably go back to trading with full force. The last little while I've been trying to ease my way back into the game and now I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable with what I'm doing.

But seriously, the last few weeks felt like a train wreck. I hit a losing streak early in the month and when I tried to continue trading with full force, I was taking in hits with full force and nothing seemed to be working.

Maybe it was from all that pent-up frustration that was interfering with my decision making, maybe it was the spike in volatility, maybe it was a combination, but believe me, I've never felt lower in my trading career.

I had lost confidence in what I was doing and so after a brief break from trading, I've been doing things as cautiously as possible (whenever my emotions don't get in the way :))...perhaps I've been slow in getting back into the swing of things, but at least I sort of feel like things are getting better again.

And this trading funk probably couldn't have happened at a worse time.

For the first time in a very long time I thought things were slowly coming together - consistency was getting there, profits were getting there, and everything seemed to converging to where I wanted to be.

It felt like I was a sculptor and I had almost completed my masterpiece....but then something came along and smashed it to pieces and all that was left were the pieces of my sculpture.

At first, I looked around kind of confused amidst the shattered remains of my masterpiece and I felt like I just didn't know where to begin and I started jamming pieces together, hoping they'd fit and that the pieces would somehow re-assemble themselves.

But it took some time and now it feels as though I'm slowly putting the pieces back together again so that I can continue to work on my masterpiece and to finally finish what I had started.

Obviously this isn't the first time that my "sculpture" has been smashed to pieces.

In fact, it's been smashed many times during my trading career and when it happens, I often take it fairly hard. Whether it be a change in market conditions, or something mental, or maybe even a change in the way things work (i.e. Hybrid market), there have been numerous things that have smashed my "sculpture".

The first few times it happened, it took me a rather long time to try to put the pieces back together again and to continue working on completing my work.

What I can say is that every time my "sculpture" was smashed to pieces, putting it back together again seemed a little easier and a little more quicker to do each time that it happened.

I'm very sure that in the future, it will be smashed again, but I think that is what trading is all about...having the ability to adapt and to try to get your "sculpture" back to the way it was before it was smashed quickly so that you can continue working on it.

I have a feeling that I'm a little slower than most's just my nature, my characteristics as a person.

I'm hoping I can fix up my "sculpture" more quickly so that I can continue adding more features to it before it gets smashed again. And each time it gets smashed, I will work harder to get it back to the way it was before it was hit.

*Sigh* I guess this will come with time and experience...for some, it comes easier to them (perhaps because of the characteristics of that person), but for others like me, it takes a little longer, but I know I'll get there.....just need more time and experience.

Anyways, blah blah blah....too much rambling (sorry about that folks....once I start, I find that I keep going and going).

There were two good trades today...both taken near the lunch hour and no bad trades today.

Because of the choppiness of the markets, I was still content to just take profits rather quickly and didn't really hold onto my positions for any great length of time. Even though some of my trades could have been had for more, I'm still pleased with the result, considering the kind of market it was today. Next week I'll start working more on holding my positions.

I called it a day at around 1:30PM as I had missed lunch and I found I could no longer concentrate on the task at hand.

Have an excellent weekend folks and if the weather is good in your little corner of the world, go out and enjoy it because I know I will!

Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • 11:36:12AM - DiamlerChrysler (DCX) was really moving up and I happened to flip by a chart of it and watched it for a few minutes. It came up to the $82.00 level and when I thought it broke, I tried to go long 500 shares, but got partially filled for 400 shares. At first, I thought it was a big mistake because it quickly went against me, but then it just exploded to the upside. I held onto it and dumped half my position at the first hint of weakness. DCX tried to push up further, but it looked extremely tired, so I got the rest of my position out. I got out as follows: 52-cent winner (100 shares), 53-cent winner (100 shares), 56-cent winner (200 shares) ($217 profit before fees ; Long 100 shares @ $81.99, Long 300 shares @ $82.00 ; Out: 11:40:04AM)

  • 11:49:36AM - Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) started moving up where it came up to some resistance at $13.50. When it broke, I went long 4000 shares and I got out when things seemed to stall (though it could have been held for a lot more). I got everything out for a 6-cent winner ($240 profit before fees ; Long 4000 shares @ $13.50 ; Out: 11:54:05AM)

Bad Trades
(trades in which I lose $150 or more)
  • None



  • hey buddy.

    been watching your site for some time. at first, i hated your gloats. but have appreciated your humility of late. trading can really be hard. i was up 12k this month, then took a 6k hit (PALM) thursday morning. i have felt your pain, and want you to know you're not alone. hang in there and keep the great info rolling. i will have a great weekend, too. cheers!

    By Anonymous dave, at March 24, 2007 12:17 a.m.  

  • Hi JC,

    I have been reading your blog for some time now and I wanted to tell you that it has been very inspiring to me and certainly pushed me to do my own. Writing about one's trading or opening to the public how one trades is probably one of the best way to improve as a trader and you do a very good job at it, congratulations !!


    By Blogger stephane, at March 24, 2007 5:44 a.m.  

  • Dave,
    Thanks for your comments. I noticed that I seemed to be gloating a lot in past posts and when I realized this, I tried very hard not to do (as much) in my posts and instead I tried to focus on either a topic for the day or a lesson/realization I learned during the trading day. Once I get back on my feet again, hopefully that gloatfullness doesn't come back into my writing :). Good luck to you and your trading and have a great weekend!

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the good words. I certainly think that writing about your trading day, both good things and bad, can only improve what you do. Whether it be in a trading journal or it be on a blog, I think it'll only serve to help you. I want to wish you the best of luck to you and your trading and keep up the good work over there at your blog!

    By Blogger J.C., at March 24, 2007 9:46 a.m.  

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