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

Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling Like I Missed Out During The "Money Hour"

Gross: -$477.00
Net: -$501.98
Trades: 26
Shares Traded: 30800

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY): -$3.65
Wachovia Corporation (WB): -$4.94
Mattel, Inc. (MAT): -$22.62
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO): -$52.02
Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS): -$63.83
Countrywide Financial Corporation (CFC): -$64.97
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH): -$133.28
Citigroup Inc. (C): -$156.51

Well today was not pleasant...

Everything just seemed to go up within the first few minutes of the trading day and all I could do was just sit there and watch everything go by.

For whatever reason, I just didn't see good position to get into this morning and if I did, I'd be too late and miss a good break.

Before I knew it, a whole hour had passed by and I hadn't even put on a single trade!

I think it was that realization that had me making mistake after mistake. By thinking that I had probably missed out on most of the profits today by missing the "money hour", I forced myself into doing things that I probably shouldn't have.

In fact, I think I did a good job during the first hour of trading because I didn't get into any positions because I felt that the setups weren't good enough...however I just felt like the markets were up big and yet I had nothing to show for it.

But after that hour had passed, I somehow downgraded myself from looking for good setups to looking for mediocre setups because I somehow felt like I had missed the boat and that most of the opportunities were done for the day and that I'd have to settle with only average setups.

Well, thinking that way was a big mistake and even though the markets seemed to continue to move to the upside, I kept getting killed on my longs.

And even if I was in a position and the Futures moved up aggressively, the stocks I was in refused to go up any further and I'd have to take loser after loser. I guess that's the kind of punishment you get if you only go after the mediocre setups.

Another reason why this day turned out the way it did was that I was very eager to get the trading day started and I really wanted to get into that first trade and hopefully bag a winner. But by doing nothing for the first hour, I felt like I was late to the game and I started putting on trades just for the sake of trading.

I also held onto losers longer than I'd like to today...my thinking was that since the overall markets just seemed so strong that I'd just hold onto my losers and "hope" the stock I was in would eventually get with the program.

But instead of taking 3 or 5-cent losers when I could have, I ended up taking 15 or 20 cent losers.

So in short, it was just a combination of several things that had everything falling apart on me today.

I've really got to learn to keep a level head when it comes to trading....just because the markets are up or down big, it doesn't necessarily mean that opportunities are present and just because I had nothing to show for the morning, it doesn't mean I have to play "catch-up".

Ah well....not going to dwell on this day much further....I'm just looking forward to tomorrow.


Good Trades
(trades in which I make $200 or more)
  • None

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

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1 Comments:

  • Sorry to hear that... this is one of the topics in my "misconceptions" series. Usually, once it's clear that the markets are up big, it's too late to profit from it! Stocks are not going to get with the program... they've already gotten with the program, if they were going to, and have moved on.

    Like you noticed, stocks were pretty brittle after the first hour. I only got one tiny trade in, and I was also kinda pumped about starting off the week in a strong way. Oh well... there's always tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be flat and choppy after today.

    By Anonymous Richard, at April 16, 2007 11:06 p.m.  

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