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

Monday, April 30, 2007

Trading Against The Clock

Net: +$645.31
Trades: 59
Shares Traded: 30600

Stocks Traded Today (net profit/loss):
International Securities Exchange Hldgs (ISE): +$229.34
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. (WFR): +$187.82
MasterCard Incorporated (MA): +$116.24
Payless ShoeSource, Inc. (PSS): +$98.57
ConocoPhillips (COP): +$87.93
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): +$78.60
Corn Products International, Inc. (CPO): +$54.13
3M Company (MMM): +$38.60
Target Corporation (TGT): +$9.95
Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN): -$1.46
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE): -$26.86
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM): -$31.35
Tesoro Corporation (TSO): -$196.22

I've got a really bad habit.....

With some consistency returning in my trading, I'm finding that I seem to always want to trade against the clock.

And this has happened the last three trading days or so.

I'd constantly find myself saying "Well, it's 11AM and I'm usually up by $X around this time, but today I'm not" or "It's just after lunch....I'd usually be up by $X and I'd usually call it a day, but right now, I'm not anywhere near $X".

The result of this thinking is that I'd force myself into trades and not wait for good setups before entering trades. In my mind, I'm thinking that the day is slowly winding down and as the clock ticks away, there will be fewer and fewer opportunities.

I then start over-trading and I begin to take unnecessary losers....but this just spurs me on..."Well now it's 2PM and I'm usually up by $X, but now I've just lost $Y and now I need to make it back...".

And so the vicious cycle continues.

The last three trading days I had these thoughts running through my mind and I had to stop to try to get my bearings straight again. The reason I traded against the clock these last few trading days is because I can't seem to bag a good winner or catch a great run on the stocks I've been trading.

It's because of this, I start looking at my P&L and I start thinking that I need to get a move on and that I need to capture more profits.

Today I found that in the morning I couldn't seem to book a good winner. As a result, by about 11:30AM, I was at about break-even in terms of profits and I started trading against the clock.

I had to stop myself after I found that I started trading some lousy setups and I kept going from loser to loser.

Thank goodness there was a downside move made by the markets in the afternoon as the bulk of my profits came from that downward momentum which helped me make a day out of it.

Perhaps I should do what MissTrade, DinosaurTrader and One Bad-Ass Trader do and simply hide my P&L for the whole day so that I don't start trading against the clock.

I tried to do that this afternoon, but I felt like I just didn't know where I stood for the day (well duh! That's the purpose of hiding your P&L!) and I didn't really feel comfortable for whatever reason.

But at the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my P&L so perhaps tomorrow I'll continue to do the same thing.

As mentioned, today was another day in which I couldn't bag a good winner. Just nothing seemed to follow-through on their moves this morning and I ended up taking profits on half my position and a loser on the other half of the position.

No good trades and no bad ones.

Tomorrow a new month begins and I really do think I need to step it up a little more.



Good Trades
(trades in which I make $250 or more)
  • None

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

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • JC,

    When I started, I never looked at my P&L. In the last year or so, it's become a bad habit. I'm very happy to have taken it from my screen. It's a waste of energy really... and you get a "feel" for how you're trading when it's not up that becomes more instictive.

    This "feel" helps in itself...

    -DT

    By Blogger Dinosaur Trader, at April 30, 2007 10:25 PM  

  • J.C, what kind of fees does your firm charge to trade with them?

    By Anonymous MillionDollarJourney.com, at May 01, 2007 10:19 AM  

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