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

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Trading Statistics For The Month Of February 2007

Total Gross for Month of February: +$10,429.30
Total Net for Month of February: +$6,872.95
Total Fees (Gross - Net) for Month of February: $3,556.35
Total Trades for Month of February: 1,274
Total Shares Traded for Month of February: 3,738,000

Best Day for Month of February: Fri Feb 9 (+$1,240.94 net)
Worst Day for Month of February: Tue Feb 27 (-$720.74 net)

Number of Positive Net Days for Month of February: 13
Number of Negative Net Days for Month of February: 6
Number of Trading Days Missed for Month of February: 0


Compared to Previous Month: +$908.72 (up 15.2% from previous month)
Compared to Same Month Last Year: +$5,124.41 (up 293.0% from same month last year)


Net Profit Distribution (# days):
(Excellent) +$1000 OR MORE: *** (3)
(**Good**) +$500 TO +$1000: ****** (6)
(*Average*) +$200 TO +$500: *** (3)
(***Poor***) -$200 TO +$200: *** (3)
(****Bad****) -$200 TO -$500: *** (3)
(**Terrible**) -$500 OR LESS: * (1)


Top 3 Stocks For Month of February (Total Net Profit In February):
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$2,547.78
General Electric Company (GE): +$840.50
Fortress Investment Group (FIG): +$716.13


Worst 3 Stocks for Month of February (Total Net Profit In February):

Tenet HealthCare Corporation (THC): -$581.60
Time Warner Inc. (TWX): -$532.07
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): -$442.04


Top 3 Most Traded Stocks for Month of February:

EMC Corporation (EMC) - traded on 17 out of 19 trading days
Time Warner Inc. (TWX) - traded on 16 out of 19 trading days
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) - traded on 9 out of 19 trading days


Total Number of Different Stocks Traded for Month of February: 112

List of Stocks Traded During the Month of February (with total net profit in February):
Agilent Technologies Inc. (A): +$49.44
Alcoa Inc. (AA): +$78.69
ABB Ltd (ABB): +$55.72
Arch Coal, Inc. (ACI): -$22.58
Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI): +$186.86
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): +$13.45
American Home Mortgage Investment Corp (AHM): -$42.78
The Allstate Corporation (ALL): +$17.99
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU): +$645.83
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): -$293.10
AMR Corporation (AMR): -$37.76
Avon Products, Inc. (AVP): -$132.93
Allied Waste Industries, Inc. (AW): -$4.17
Blockbuster Inc. (BBI): -$49.78
BMC Software, Inc. (BMC): -$60.64
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMY): +$17.40
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (BUD): -$200.54
Citigroup Inc. (C): -$3.37
CA, Inc. (CA): +$140.93
CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBG): +$98.41
Circuit City Stores, Inc. (CC): +$130.67
Cameco Corporation (CCJ): +$539.82
Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation (CDE): -$60.81
Celanese Corporation (CE): -$342.60
Ceridian Corporation (CEN): +$75.11
Champion Enterprises, Inc. (CHB): +$141.59
Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK): +$114.26
Caremark Rx, Inc. (CMX): -$25.89
Campbell Soup Company (CPB): +$86.23
salesforce.com, inc. (CRM): -$8.27
Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC): -$5.95
CSX Corporation (CSX): +$194.50
Chevron Corporation (CVX): +$73.04
Deere & Company (DE): +$105.76
The Walt Disney Company (DIS): -$80.69
The Dow Chemical Company (DOW): -$29.41
DIRECTV Group, Inc. (DTV): -$119.07
Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS): +$285.39
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (EL): -$47.33
Elan Corporation, plc (ELN): +$80.11
EMC Corporation (EMC): +$2,547.78
Emerson Electric Co. (EMR): -$88.37
El Paso Corporation (EP): +$116.67
Embraer-Empresa Brasileir de Aero (ERJ): -$155.91
Ford Motor Company (F): +$525.38
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. (FBR): +$113.20
Federated Department Str. (FD): -$65.01
Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG): +$716.13
General Electric Company (GE): +$840.50
Corning Incorporated (GLW): -$45.85
General Motors Corporation (GM): -$22.84
The Gap Inc. (GPS): -$27.83
Grant Prideco, Inc. (GRP): +$51.84
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (GT): +$118.92
Halliburton Company (HAL): -$30.31
Hanover Compressor Company (HC): +$41.47
The Home Depot, Inc. (HD): -$292.56
Hecla Mining Company (HL): +$607.14
Herbalife Ltd. (HLF): -$8.92
Health Management Associates Inc (HMA): +$40.63
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT): +$99.32
Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): +$291.32
H&R Block, Inc. (HRB): +$18.32
Infineon Technologies AG (IFX): +$188.56
Intl Securities Exchange Hldgs (ISE): -$83.31
Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN): -$89.36
The Coca-Cola Company (KO): -$86.32
Lear Corporation (LEA): -$22.06
Laidlaw International, Inc. (LI): +$292.74
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): -$442.04
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW): +$224.69
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): -$35.42
MasterCard Incorporated (MA): -$202.81
Masco Corporation (MAS): +$241.96
Medtronic, Inc. (MDT): -$92.47
Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS): +$13.69
The Mills Corporation (MLS): -$94.47
Motorola, Inc. (MOT): +$318.59
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK): +$255.42
Arcelor Mittal (MT): -$24.78
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU): +$386.91
Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR): +$134.01
Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM): +$34.83
New Century Financial Corp. (NEW): +$7.77
NovaStar Financial Inc. (NFI): -$66.28
National-Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV):+$199.60
Nortel Networks Corporation (NT): +$59.57
Novelis Inc. (NVL): -$15.86
Novartis AG (NVS): -$18.31
Southern Copper Corporation (PCU): +$99.96
PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP): -$3.98
Pfizer Inc. (PFE): -$438.39
Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU): -$96.30
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (RIO): +$27.73
Sprint Nextel Corporation (S): -$68.37
Station Casinos, Inc. (STN): -$57.46
Safeway Inc. (SWY): -$24.81
Terex Corporation (TEX): -$254.85
Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC): -$581.60
Titanium Metals Corporation (TIE): +$43.44
Triad Hospitals, Inc. (TRI): +$386.55
Time Warner Inc. (TWX): -$532.07
TXU Corporation (TXU): -$64.15
Tyco International Ltd. (TYC): +$67.16
United Technologies Corporation (UTX): +$83.91
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): -$40.78
Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): +$76.52
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT): -$23.73
The Western Union Co. (WU): -$5.28
Weyerhaeuser Company (WY): -$77.85
United States Steel Corporation (X): +$18.22
Quiksilver, Inc. (ZQK): +$301.71

Monthly Recap

This month was going along very well...until the last few trading days of February. In addition to losing over $1200 during the last 3 trading days of February, there was the cost of lost opportunities to make money over those 3 days.

This means that I really lost something like $3000 during the last three trading days (if you figure I make $500 a day).

To tell you the truth, this really hurts. My focus and determination were high at the beginning of the month and things seemed to be going according to plan as I tried very hard to keep that focus high throughout the entire month. I also thought I did a good job with consistency and I tried to keep my losses to a minimum on the losing days.

And I also thought the improvements to my trading were really going to show up this month and I really was on pace to finally net a $10,000+ month. I was thinking that finally, after all that tinkering with my trading plan, after all the hard work I've been putting into this and all the sacrifices I made that I would finally be rewarded.

With only 3 trading days left in the month I was thinking that there were be great improvements (in terms of profits) compared to last month. Unfortunately I sort of lost it near the end there and it resulted in only mediocre profit improvement over last month.

As I limped to the end of February, I really felt disgusted with what had happened. Sure, it was easy to blame the system problems, the glitches and all the other distractions, but there were others out there that played it smart and either stayed on the sidelines or they made a ton of money.

At the end of last year I had improved upon my trading plan and made minor modifications to it and in January I tested these new plans out. And February was the month I traded the plan in full force and I began taking bigger risks.

In January when I was testing things out, I stuck mainly with 500 shares when trading those stocks in the news. In February, I made it a point to work up the courage to use 1000 or 2000 shares at a time.

I also improved by strategy for trading the thicker, slower moving stocks and I increased the size of my positions on these stocks. Instead of using my token 10,000 shares, I began trading them with 20,000 and even 30,000 share positions.

On the very first day of February, I think I came out trying too hard and I lost money that day. But then, over the course of about a week and a half, my trading greatly improved and I was able to pull through with some fairly consistent numbers.

During the third full week of February, I came out of the gates rather slowly and I found myself struggling to maintain that consistency. I identified what was going wrong early that week (focusing too much on trading the thick, slower stocks) and managed to get my numbers back up late in the week.

Coming into the last half week of February and with only 3 trading days left to go, I was a little behind in where I wanted to be profit-wise for the month, but I still had a shot at getting to a $10,000+ month (at the time I was up almost $8200 for the month).

But then my trading just simply fell apart on those three trading days.

I started noticing system glitches on the Monday that I found terribly distracting to my trading, but I really thought nothing of it. I was assuming that those system glitches would probably be a one-day thing and even though I lost money on that day, I tried to keep things in perspective.

Then on the Tuesday (the day of the big drop), my trading day was quickly over as I lost a ton of money early in the morning. Basically I was completely lost as to what was going on with my position and I really didn't know if I had a winner or a severe loser. I watched the rest of the market go through a very impressive move from home and I felt as though I was really missing out on some good trading.

On Wednesday, the last day of February, I came in rather dejected knowing I blew it at the end of the month and in all honesty, my heart wasn't really into trading and even though I didn't lose much that day, it still stung as bad as losing a lot.

Even though my results for this month are not very impressive, I would still have to say I was proud of the way the month went (with the exception of the last three trading days of course).

Why was I proud? Here were a few reasons why:
  • Consistency was way up in February and for about half the month I was consistently bringing in $700, $800, and $1000 a day
  • My focus was also fairly consistent for most of the month as I continued to stick to my altered game plan
  • There were glimpses of great patience in my trades this month...some of my positions were now being held for 20 minutes or more...there was even one I held for over an hour
  • Because of some of my displayed patience, I was starting to book bigger winners...50-cents, 75-cents, I even captured a 100+ cent winner one day
  • Patience also presented itself in another good way - the patience to sit and wait for good setups
  • I wasn't afraid to take bigger risks (in terms of position size) as long as the trade itself was low risk
  • The "Net Profit Distribution Days" (see above) is starting to look much better with more "excellent" and "good" days
And what could have been better this month?
  • About half-way through the month, I found myself focusing too much on trading the thicker, slower moving stocks and for a few days my profits suffered
  • I also kept trading the same stock in which I had great difficulty trading - in particular Time Warner (TWX)...this stock is a thicker, slower moving stock, but for some reason I had a tough time pulling profits from it, but yet I continued to trade it
  • I have to be able to identify what's not working more quickly and to reduce my risk when things don't seem to be going right - doing this would have lessened the impact the end of February had
  • I was surprised I got frustrated so easily - I think this has to do with the fact that this month I kept a running record of where I stood for the month and I knew exactly where I needed to be to get to $10,000...this ended up affecting the way I was trading and the way I was thinking
So here's my plan for March:
  • Continue what I'm doing while adjusting for changes in the market
  • Keep my head up - when I felt down and depressed, my trading was also down and depressed
  • Don't keep a running record of where I stand for the month....this can lead to added pressure especially if you're not where you want to be near the end of the month
  • Keep a balance between trading thicker, slower moving stocks with the faster, thinner stocks-in-the-news
  • Try to keep my feelings of "missing out on a move" at bay when trading - instead, focus on good looking charts
  • Don't get too cocky - near the beginning of this month when consistency was showing itself, I started thinking about how great it would be to have all that money and I what I'd like to spend my money on....this played head games with me during the trading day and I took on positions that didn't make sense
  • Try to avoid thinking of a specific monetary target I want to be at - I know I've had a $10,000+ month as a target for the longest time and I think this has become a great psychological barrier for me, HOWEVER, trying to obtain that goal, especially late in the month, only adds unnecessary pressure to my trading
  • Lastly, just try to do my very best every trading day - to keep my focus and attention level as high as they can be, look after my health by sleeping appropriately and by maintaining a positive attitude!

Labels:

23 Comments:

  • Dont be discourage, hopefully march you'll get over that $10,000 hump. good luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2007 8:13 PM  

  • Swift Trade's 35% scheme is crap, you lose ton of bucks by staying at STCrap...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 03, 2007 11:22 PM  

  • That was an excellent monthly review, I look forward to reading next months as well and reading a net profit over 10k. The weekend recap was great too. Good luck in your trading.

    By Blogger LifePost, at March 04, 2007 12:07 AM  

  • Great post and good plan for March. One thing I took from Lefèvre's book is that Jessie Livermore made a point of going to bed early and getting plenty of sleep. This in the 20's long before our fast paced world, I figure if he needed sleep we need more.....

    By Blogger bp, at March 04, 2007 12:18 AM  

  • it's true that u give up 12k+ per year with ST commission scheme when others offer minimum 50% for 4k net.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2007 1:08 PM  

  • J.C.

    I am having the same problem, focusing monetary target and running record, as you described in the post. I removed P/L number from both my order entry window and account portfolio window, it helps a little bit but somehow I still find a way to get those numbers by comparing last day's portfolio value.

    I guess it may be easier by change the focus. I am thinking to change the way I record/review my trades by not counting the dollars, but counting the points.

    I noticed your commission is 50% of your profit, which mean you earn 3 cents in the trade and pay 1 cent to your trading company. Maybe you can change your target or view like for each penny you pay to your company, you want to get 5 cents or more from the trade.

    For each share you trades, if you can get 4 cents net gain, based on your trading volume, you can easily pass $10k.

    About 1 year ago, I noticed my per share net gain/loss is about -3 cents. I asked myself, how difficult is it for me to get 5 cents for each share? That question changed the way I trade and my P/L number too. At that time I did not aware of risk management yet. Hope this small trick can help you too.

    Let's work hard for a better March.

    zbs

    By Anonymous zbs, at March 04, 2007 2:13 PM  

  • the problem with swift trade is that if u get 9.999k net per month, u would only pocket 3.5k in maximum while other firms offer u minimum 5k. what a huge difference.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2007 3:06 PM  

  • Tuesdays drop was a shock to the global markets and represented a shift in additude. You can't expect the same methods that were previously working for you to continue to work. Unless you already had a plan to trade this type of event you should stop trading or reduce the amount you trade until you are confident you have adequately adapted to the changed market.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 04, 2007 3:14 PM  

  • Anon@8:13PM,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the well wishes...hopefully I can get there next month!

    Lifepost,
    Thanks for your comments and for the compliments. And hey, I just checked out your blog and I shall be following intently from here on in! Good luck!

    BP,
    Thanks for your comments. Yea and I think it's true about the amount of sleep one needs...for whatever reason I just don't feel as into it if I feel tired. Good luck and good trading to you!

    ZBS,
    Thanks for your comments and thanks for the great advice! I shall try some of the things you mentioned and hopefully I can tweak my trading a bit more in March. I hope March will be another record setting one for you! Good luck!

    Anon@3:14PM,
    Thanks for your comments. I guess this week there have been numerous reports of problems with orders and/or slowness, so probably I should have stepped back a little and reduced share size just until I got a better feel for the markets. Good trading to you in March!

    By Blogger J.C., at March 04, 2007 8:19 PM  

  • WHAT THE HELL you trade OVER 3 MILLION SHARES and only make 10 G????

    LOL YOU ARE A LOSER!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 05, 2007 11:39 AM  

  • JC,

    When you are in the spotlight, you will always find those who criticise and try to antagonise you. Many will try their best to get you worked up. As hard as it is, I believe the correct approach is exactly what you are doing. Ignore them, donot even respond. These are the guys who cannot do this themselves.

    Keep up the good work and ignore the real losers...

    M

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 05, 2007 12:38 PM  

  • If you were up 15% on your January number you did great. I didn't make as much in Feb as in Jan from trading: $3,826 vs. $4,525. $6000+ a month is a decent wage rate too.

    By Blogger mOOm, at March 11, 2007 12:00 AM  

  • keep it up buddy, I hope March's window dressing will be a boon for you.

    By Blogger Flatwallet, at March 23, 2007 9:16 AM  

  • Are the figures you list after the split with your firm? I am trying to decide if I should get into trading or not. Thanks, Sean

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2007 4:39 PM  

  • again, great list of stocks. do you have anything like a penny stock forum type stock that is very low in price. Or, is that too risky for you.

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