Trades on ES for Wed, 31-Dec-2008

My goal is $1200 for the day. Today I grossed $1575.00.

Total Trades = 4 (79 min. from 10:36 to 10:57 am EST and 2:04 pm to 3:03 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 24 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (75%)
# Costing Trades = 1 (25%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $75 to $1800
Range of Costing Trades = $750

Total Profits = $2325.00
Total Costs = $750.00
Commissions = $119.70
Net = $1455.30 (12.1% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correctly:

1. Verbalized trades (whispered)

2. Knew where I was. Location.

3. Went with the trend.

4. Let the trade work itself out.

5. Had profit & costing stops in place.

6. Patient.

7. Moved profit stops in just in case it didn't work out.

8. Planned trade, traded plan.

Areas To Improve On:

1. Took too big of a position. 24 contracts is way too many at any one time. 6 is stretching.

2. Was not at the computer when trades executed themselves to get out of trade.

3. Verbalization should be done on a normal level.

4. Need to see what is really going on before reashing entering a trade.

Trades on ES for Tues, 30-Dec-2008

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed $937.50.

Total Trades = 10 (2 hrs 27 min. from 11:18 am to 1:39 pm EST, 3:06 pm to 3:13 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 6 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 9 (90%)
# Costing Trades = 1 (10%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to $500
Range of Costing Trades = $437.50

Total Profits = $1375.00
Total Costs = $437.50
Commissions = $95.76
Net = $841.74 (28.1% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correctly:

1. Was patient to wait for the setup of trades.

2. Stopped trading once my goal was met.

3. Verbalized my trades (whispered).

4. Planned my trade, traded my plan.

5. Knew where I was. Location, location, location.

6. Did not fear, but kept focused on each trade independently.

7. Was unemotional. Would not allow myself to be baited into controversial things.

Things To Improve On:

1. Was not super focused.

2. Kids all over the house, fighting, very distracting.

3. Talking to my dad, so was very distracted.

4. Could verbalize louder.

5. Exceeded my original $300 net cost at any given point in time. My first trade was -$437.50.

6. Did not get out of my only costing trade when it originally broke against me. So, got out too late.

7. Did not stop trading even after I reached my goals. Wanted to make a few extra bucks and did.

Clutter

Once again, I am dealing with clutter. It seems like even as simply as I attempt to live, clutter is still an issue. My home is not very big, so I have to be very aware and mindful about clutter, as even a little bit of stuff can make things seem way worse.

Today my kids and I spent time going through their clothing and they with their toys. We got rid of and donated a bunch of things, but this is just a start. My living room has looked far too cluttered, as well as the rest of the rooms in the house.

Anyway, one of the things I also have is financial clutter, so over the next 3 months, I will be working to reduce my financial clutter, as that is a bit more challenging to do than to get through clothes and get rid of things that no longer fit or do not want.

This week, outside of trading, I will be working on decluttering my home so we can have more room to allow God to just really pour into our lives more abundance. I will also begin working on taxes, which this is a lot to do here.

I may also go through my books in the next 3 months and begin selling the books I no longer need on eBay, half.com or amazon marketplace. Why clutter up my place and mind with things that no longer benefit me? No point.

Some of my financial goals for the next 3 months are:

1. Get all taxes done and filed with the IRS ASAP.
2. Consistently make $2K/trading day and trade every day no matter what.
3. Keep my business & personal financial documentation organized.
4. Keep costing trades down and daily set a net limit on drawdown.
5. Be able to hire a business consultant to come in to help me be more successful in how I run my trading business, perhaps expanding it to teaching classes, DVDs, a more functional website.

7 Week Equity Curve


There were 3 trading days since 10-Nov-2008 that I could've trade but did not. Two of them were days after major holidays. The other was after having a huge drawdown and I needed to get my mental act together. I am very thankful I was able to pull myself out of that drawdown and really get back on track.
With trading during personally emotionally times and too many things on my plate to do, I can see I've had more costing days than I'd like. Overall, my track record is still better than a lot of people's. My goal is steady progress in profitability rather than some huge profitable days followed by big costing days to make small gains. That is just emotionally not good to do.
Since I have too many emotional challenges, continually making positive progress and keeping the negative small and managable is a goal of mine, as I heal/recover from my divorce and the financial challenges I've been faced with.

Trades on ES for Mon, 29-Dec-2008

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed $800.

Total Trades = 5 (about 23 hrs)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 6 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 4 (80%)
# Costing Trades = 1 (20%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $150 to $325
Range of Costing Trades = $12.50

Total Profits = $887.50
Total Costs = $12.50
Commissions = $27.93
Net = $847.07 (28.2% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correctly:

1. Knew where I was. Location, location, location.

2. Stopped trading when I reached my goal.

3. Kept costs minimized.

4. Got out of trades when they turned against me to take profits.

Areas To Improve On:

1. Did not verbalize trades.

2. Got out on a retracement rather than wait it through to take greater profits. Got anxious to take profits.

3. Did not fully plan my trade nor trade my plan.

4. Was distracted by my children and other things.

5. Multi-tasking, which did not allow me to focus.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 22-Dec-2008

Profitable Trades = 12 (48%)
Costing Trades = 13 (52%)

Total Trading Time = ?? hrs

Total Profits = $ 2,650
Total Costs = $2,225
Total Commissions = $199.50

Net = $225.50 (5.6% ROI on trading capital)

Overall ROI since 10-Nov-2008 start: 525%
- # Trading Days: 30
- # Profitable Days: 22 (73%)
- # Costing Days: 8 (27%)

Notes: This was Christmas week and we had a lot of stuff going on. It was a super emotional week. I only traded 3 days this week, but had the opportunity to make it 4 days, but chose not to trade on Friday as I too many things going on and just didn't feel like trading. I'm thinking I may not trade this Friday, but it will really depend.

My kids have got a lot of toys from family and friends, and I'm overwhelmed with all the stuff they have. We will need to go through their toys & clothes and donate or give away things they no longer need. It will be time later this week to take down the Christmas tree. I might as well start on some Spring cleaning of things early, as I have a lot of papers in my storage room from when I was an engineer that I ought to just send to the shredders to make room or just declutter.

This week, my focus will be get my personal taxes squared away, which there is a lot of work. And to begin better organizing my business documentation. All of this cannot be done this week with further social things going on and my kids at home all the time.

We did not get to go on the vacation we were hoping, because there are a lot of financial issues I must deal with. Maybe when all this is cleared up, eventually we can take a real vacation, but for now, finding little bits of time here and there, basquing in the moment, and just letting God give me daily mini-vacations will have to do.

Trades on ES for Wed, 24-Dec-2008

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed -$1075.

Total Trades = 13 (about 12 hrs)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 8 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (23%)
# Costing Trades = 10 (77%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to $150
Range of Costing Trades = $50 to $325

Total Profits = $275
Total Costs = $1350
Commissions = $103.74
Net = $-$1,178.74 (-29.5% ROI of capital used)

Areas To Improve:

1. Did not verbalize trades.

2. Sloppy trading.

3. Very distracted.

4. Overtraded.

5. Forgot to set a limit on my costing trades and overall costs I would take.

6. Did not plan my trades.

7. Kept trading when I should have just stopped.

8. Not focused.

NOTES: I don't know that I did anything right on this trading day.

Trades on ES for Tues, 23-Dec-2008

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed $800.

Total Trades = 11 (about 23 hrs)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 6 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 8 (73%)
# Costing Trades = 3 (27%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to $850
Range of Costing Trades = $50 to $750

Total Profits = $1675
Total Costs = $875
Commissions = $87.78
Net = $712.22 (23.7% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Verbalized trade some of trades.

2. After the first few trades, got out of costing trades quicker when they turned against me.

3. Patient with some of my trades.

4. Took profits when they were there or when I realized they would not come anymore.

5. Knew were I was - location.

6. Focused.

7. Stopped trading once my goal was met.

8. Mentally cleared myself as best I could.

9. On some trades, focused on a good trade, not the money.

Areas to Improve On:

1. I was not patient with all my trades and the profits, had I waited, would've come and it would've been triple plus what I actually did with fewer trades.

2. Overtraded.

3. Was not as patient as I intended to be.

4. On some trades, focused on the money, rather than good trading.

5. Distracted by my kids.

6. Forgot where I was locationwise on a couple trades, which led to overtrading.

7. Did not verbalize all my trades.

Trades on ES for Mon, 22-Dec-2008

My goal is $500 for the day. Today I grossed $700.

Total Trades = 1 (2 hrs. 48 min. from 11:35 am to 2:23 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 1 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $700
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $700
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $7.98
Net = -$692.02 (69.2% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Verbalized trade.

2. Set my stops.

3. Allowed the trade to work.

4. Did not overtrade.

5. Stopped trading when goal was reached.

6. Planned my trade. Traded my plan.

7. Recognized I was still pretty tired and decided to keep number of trades down.

8. Recognized my kids were home, so focus was minimal. Did not keep trading, though, I felt inclined to.

9. Knew where I was. Location, location, location.

10. Focused on what I could do at the moment.

Things To Improve On:

1. Get to bed earlier.

2. Eat healthier foods during this holiday time.

3. Over committing my schedule can be quite bad for trading as it increases stress.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 15-Dec-2008

Profitable Trades = 23 (70%)
Costing Trades = 10 (30%)

Total Trading Time = ?? hrs

Total Profits = $ 16,222.50
Total Costs = $2,675
Total Commissions = $351.12

Net = $13,196.38 (188.5% ROI on trading capital)

Overall ROI since 10-Nov-2008 start: 515%
- # Trading Days: 27
- # Profitable Days: 20 (74%)
- # Costing Days: 7 (26%)

Notes: Monday I was super focused to makeup for basically biting the dust the Friday before. It goes to show that I CAN be really focused. However, the remainder of the week my focus was not there, as I was all over the place in things.

I recognized my kids had a lot of things going and the stuff with my former spouse has not been good. Defintely I need to master emotional resiliency so I can focus on the things I really need to attend to and not waste energy on things like my former spouse or people who want to derail me, or circumstances that come up.

I've been so emotional it has definitely not been funny.

Trades on ES for Fri, 19-Dec-2008

My goal is $500 for the day. Today I grossed $125.

Total Trades = 4 (24 min. - 11:02 am to 11:26 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 3 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 1 (25%)
# Costing Trades = 3 (75%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $300
Range of Costing Trades = $25 to $75

Total Profits = $300
Total Costs = $175
Commissions = $35.91
Net = $89.09 (5.9% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Got out of costing trades quickly.

2. Verbalized trades.

3. Planned my trade, traded my plan.

4. Though I did not meet my goal, I saw that my thinking was way off and just decided to stop. It felt like I would incur more costs if I kept trading.

5. Ended positively cashwise.

Trade

I did trade on Friday and today, just not really all that much. I do have the results as soon as I journal them, which I have not yet. Been super busy and hardly home. I made one trade today and met my goal. That's all the trading for today.

Will update later tonight last week's stuff and today's. If not, it will be tomorrow. I'm exhausted.

Trades on ES for Thurs, 18-Dec-2008

My goal is $500 for the day. Today I grossed -$300.

Total Trades = 2 (14 min. from 10:40 am to 10:54 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 2 (100%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $0
Range of Costing Trades = $125 to $175

Total Profits = $0
Total Costs = $300
Commissions = $15.96
Net = -$315.96 (-31.6% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Verbalized trades.

2. When trades broke the trend, I immediately got out.

3. I stopped trading when I realized I couldn't get my focus.

4. I had a $300 limit as to what I was willing to take as costs and stopped trading when that limit was reached.

5. I went to go get rest and settle my mind, instead of continuing to trade in the state I was in.

Trades on ES for Wed, 17-Dec-2008

My goal is $500 for the day. Today I grossed $3100.

Total Trades = 3 (12:58 pm EST on 12/16 to 7:55 pm EST 12/17)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 14 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (100%)
# Costing Trades = (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $3100
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $3100
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $55.86
Net = $3044.14 (43.5% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Verbalized trades.

2. Did not trade with real funds since I'm really quite out of sorts. My practice HAS TO BE good before I put on funded trades.

3. Read the price action, market correct.

Areas to Improve:

1. I had my stops in place, but something glitched with my trading software and took out my stops without really taking them out. Once I got them in place, I would've been out at a good profit, better then where I got out, which is still a profit, but I didn't bother to check.

2. I would not be able to hold overnight as I did for these trades in my real account, as the margin requirements are far different than for daytrading futures.

3. Gotta make sure all my i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

4. I also forgot I actually had trades on. That's NOT good. That is not taking one's money seriously. In practice you gotta do the same thing as real life, otherwise, when I switch to real life, I do what I did in practice.

5. Though the market rewarded me, these are things I need to pay careful attention to.

Notes: I was away from the market during normal trading hours. I would not have put on any funded trades without being able to attend to them 100%. I will be doing funded trading Thursday.

Trades on ES for Tues, 16-Dec-2008

My goal is $500 for the day. Today I grossed -$1412.50.

Total Trades = 2 (10:25 am EST to 10:40 am EST, 10:49 am to 2:21 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 2 (100%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $0
Range of Costing Trades = $287.50 to $1125

Total Profits = $0
Total Costs = $1412.50
Commissions = $15.96
Net = -$1428.46 (-142.8% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Correct:

1. Kept my word to trade daily no matter how I feel or what is going on.

2. Set my stops.

Improvement Areas:

1. Only got 3 hours of sleep last night. It was not because of the kids or anything. I was just wired and had a challenging time falling asleep and then awoke wide awake way too early. I was feeling so out of it.

2. Emotionally not real well focused and need to focus before trading. Yesterday is proof of what can happen if I really focused and keep my opinion out of things, and of course, God empowering me to see what I need to see.

3. Did not get centered before trading.

4. Did not verbalize trades.

5. Did not trade my trading plan.

6. Did not carefully plan my entry & exit.

7. Set too many stops and got filled for a position I didn't mean to get filled.

Trades on ES for Mon, 15-Dec-2008

My goal is $10,-00 for the day. Today I grossed $11,997.50.

Total Trades = 22 (started trading Sunday afternoon intermittently through the evening and stopped this morning at 11:16 am EST. I also did some trading afterwards, 5 trades.)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 8 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 19 (86%)
# Costing Trades = 3 (14%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $37.50 to $4725.00
Range of Costing Trades = $100 to $500

Total Profits = $12,822.50
Total Costs = $787.50
Commissions = $227.43
Net = $11,807.57 (295% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Remained calm, clearheaded. Focused on trading and not other things.

2. Planned my trade, traded my plan.

3. Verbalized trades.

4. Waited for good entries.

5. Had breakfast.

6. Spent time with God last night, focusing on what God could do in my life, rather than my circumstances.

7. Let go of things I could not control. Let go of anger. Forgave.

8. Prayed.

9. Kept peace in my household.

10. Used a combination of timeframes: 15, 30, 3 and 1 min.

11. Saw the big picture.

------------------------------

I would like to add for any new readers, this is not a typical trading day for me. Because I had such a huge drawdown on Friday due to a host of errors on my part, I decided to make my goal big today and exceeded it.

The results I'm showing are from all trading I do for the day and is usually a combination of practice and funded trading from several accounts.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 8-Dec-2008

Profitable Trades = 5 (41.7%)
Costing Trades = 12 (58.3%)

Total Trading Time = ?? hrs

Total Profits = $ 1550.00
Total Costs = $10,875.00
Total Commissions = $171.57

Net = -$9.496.57 (-237.4% ROI on trading capital)

Notes: Well, basically Friday's performance wiped out the cumulative net of about $9300 to end at a cumulative a little over -$800. Pretty discouraging, eh? Now you wonder why I didn't want to really evaluate last week. Those are the cold hard facts.

So, let this serve as a lesson to my readers.

It all boils down to psychology and whether you can really trade or not. I have a lot of crap going on my life with my former spouse and as long as I don't deal with him, it's okay. However, it's hell when I have to deal with him. It resulted in me being incredibly angry, which was the 2nd week of anger at him.

It resulted in 3 consecutive sleepless nights because somehow my anger caused spiritual things to happen in my household to wreak havoc with my children. Yes, that does sound bizarre, but how else can I explain my son puking in the middle of the night for 3 nights, but no fever and being totally well to go to school the next day? It wasn't pretty.

Dealing with my former spouse and his insanity also impacted my weekend and it was super emotional. I finally realized once again that he will always be the way he is, and I have to accept it, let it go, let God deal with him and break him down. In the meantime, let God work on me, and not giving Satan any foothold in my life to work, which I did with all that anger. So, letting go.

This week I'm choosing no matter what threats or his antics, to just really lay all of that before God so I can get back to business with my trading and not go through these rollercoaster days. They are really a challenge to emotionally deal with.

My desire is to steadily make money every single day and to net a profit daily to meet the needs of my kids and I, pay off all our debts/taxes/bills and begin building my wealth accounts so I can have multiple streams of income through real estate, other businesses.

I'm learning to be a duck and let things roll off my back. I realize he knows how to push my buttons, so this means I have to keep heavily connected to God, so He gives me discernment and wisdom on what is going on and help me to have self-control. God is in control.

Trades on ES for Fri, 12-Dec-2008

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed -$10,100.00.

Total Trades = 8 (I wasn't at my computer the whole time my trades executed)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 6 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 8 (100%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $0
Range of Costing Trades = -$100.00 to $1,987.50

Total Profits = $0
Total Costs = $10,100.00
Commissions = $31.92
Net = -$10,131.92 (-337.7% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Had my stops in place, though, not as appropriately set. It could've been far worse.

Improvement Points:

1. Too many positions on.

2. Mentally/emotionally really out of it.

3. Walked away from trades, though, that is okay, but stops should've be much closer.

4. Listened to trading friends in their conversations, read some news, so I THOUGHT the market would further tank. I love a bear market and the market did not tank on my bearish positions.

5. Disregarded my indicators, even though they said things looked bullish or that the bearish was at a bottom.

6. Did not verbalize trades.

7. Not focused. Very distracted. Thinking about the money.

Apologize

I'm so sorry. I said I would have the analysis done for last week today and it's not. My mind has been preoccupied with a lot of other things right now. Basically big time holiday blues. Has nothing to do with trading.

Anyway, it's on my "to do" list among the many other things I have going on this week.

My goal is to trade every day this week. Hopefully I can keep focused enough to do this well. Stay tuned.

Quickie

I believe I ended in the negative last week. Traded 2 days with profits, 1 day no trading, and 2 days negatively. Ended Friday negatively and I think it wiped out my 2 profitable days and then some. Haven't done the analysis yet as I've been super busy.

Here's what happened on Friday. On Thursday evening I began reading some of the opinions of some of my friends on what they thought would be an ugly Friday. Of course, I LOVE bearishness in the market. Yes, call me sadistic or something.

Friday was a busy day, but I put on a bearish trade or 2 or 3 with some big stops, as I thought they wouldn't get hit. Anyway, they got hit and I got hit hard. Those big stops would be both on the profits and costs. I EXPECTED more bearishness from the news of the day, but the market rebounded from Thursday's action. I wasn't around to find out why, as I set my stops and went to go do my Friday stuff.

Well, to my dismay when I came home, my positions were all closed at BIG COSTS.

Quite a few lessons here. Normally I set my stops (profits & costs) closer. I did not as I wanted to give the market room to work. It worked, just AGAINST me. I listened to other's opinions, rather than just look at the technicals. The technicals did give more bullish action than bearish, so having bearish positions with huge stop costs was NOT a smart idea. I saw these things before I left my positions to fend for themselves.

Well, another hard lesson to learn. Better to learn it on a small position than a large one. Got lazy and went against my trading plan. The market did not reward me, which is a good thing, as when you do wrong things and get rewarded, it just puts you more in a gambling mentality to do it again. I got slapped big time. Ouch!

I hope to have the analysis done tomorrow evening for Friday and a summary of last week.

The market every day is great, regardless of what I do.

Trades on ES for Thurs, 11-Dec-2008

Wasn't going to trade, but I did. I started yesterday, though.

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed $362.50.

Total Trades = 3 (Wed, 12/10 7:23 pm to Thurs, 12/11 3:17 am EST; Thurs, 12/11 10:33 am to 10:35 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to $162.50
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $362.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $11.97
Net = $350.53 (35.1% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades.

2. Planned my trade, traded my plan.

3. Set my stops: profits & costs.

4. Knew where I was.

5. Patient.

6. Got sleep.

Break

I'm sorry but at least today and tomorrow, I will not be trading. I've now had 3 nights of hardly any sleep (had a total of almost 8 hrs of sleep in the last 3 days). My head hurts big time from sleep deprivation, totally exhausted.

Though I'm forming the discipline of trading no matter what, probably at this state, I need to just say take care of my health. Since I had such a big draw down yesterday and was not able to recoup, attempting to trade today would mean more costs and put me in a further funk than I'm already in.

When I was 20, I could pull this off much easier, but now? Nope. I'm going back to bed for a couple hours, go meet my therapist and then go do mommy duties. Hopefully by Friday I will be back on track.

Though I cannot catch up on lost sleep, if I can get enough sleep these next 2 nights, I will be back in business to trade on Friday.

Trades on ES for Tues, 9-Dec-2008

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed -$775.

Total Trades = 4 (27 min. from 12:06 pm to 12:33 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 0 (0%)
# Costing Trades = 4 (100%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $0
Range of Costing Trades = $112.50 to $375

Total Profits = $0
Total Costs = $775
Commissions = $31.92
Net = -$806.92 (-80.7% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades to get out of costing trades.

2. Set my stops to take profits and costs.

3. Made my goal small today, since I haven't slept hardly in 2 nights.

To Improve On:

1. When it begins looking like I'm in the wrong direction, get out, instead of allowing myself to be taken out of the much bigger cost.

2. When I'm very sleep deprived, not just one night but multiple nights, probably need to set my goal to much less, like 1 contract at $100 for the day.

3. Was not as focused as I needed to be. Hands were feeling shakey literally, meaning my body is physically in overload. Probably not a good time to have too high expectations.

4. Used the wrong timeframe, using 1 min. rather than using 15 min., which is probably where I needed to be.

5. Entered trades too late in the wrong direction, so I seemed reversed.

6. Need to stop after 2 costing trades, but at least no more than 3 in a row, especially if I'm more negative. As well as have a positive goal, I should have a goal negatively that I will not exceed. Certainly to have a +$300 goal, having a net negative day of over $800 is not a good thing as that's almost triple my positive goal. One cannot operate a business like that.

Trades on ES for Mon, 8-Dec-2008

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed $875.

Total Trades = 3 (4 min. from 1:23 pm to 1:26 pm and 3:45 pm to 3:46 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 20 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $125 to $750
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $1125
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $95.76
Net = $1029.24 (10.3% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Got in and out of trades quickly, recognizing I wasn't physically feeling all that great.

2. Planned trades. Traded plan.

3. Patient. Allowed patterns to play themselves out to take profits.

Areas to Improve On:

1. I meant to set the # of contracts used at one time to 2. I thought I clicked the "1" button twice, but I inadvertantly clicked "10" twice. Not good. Thankfully things went in my favor. After I reset, I was back on track.

2. Did not verbalize trades.

---------------------------------

Notes: When I got home from my lunch appointment with a former colleague, I decided to trade again. I went in for 2 contracts and was out in a minute with an extra $250. If we look at the overall amount I would've made with just 2 contracts, it would've been $450 today, which exceeded what I planned to do. However, with one contract, that would've been $225, which falls short of the $300/day/contract.

Last night as I was getting ready to go to bed, my son woke up feeling sick. In the end, he puked for quite some time and made a mess of things. Thankfully it was all contained to just the bathroom, toilet areas, sink, floor, rug and not the bedrooms, hallways, beds. Needless to say, it still took me awhile to clean things up.

He kept getting up intermittently for 2-3 hrs in discomfort. I'm guessing he ate something that greatly disagreed with him and his body was rejecting what he ate. He was screwing around with his foods earlier and I have no idea what he put together, but it didn't look good to me.

By the time I could actually fall aslep, I remember seeing it was nearly 4 am. I awoke around 6:30 am to begin getting my kids' lunches, breakfast and things ready for school. Got nauseated in yoga, came home to trade for 3 min., went to a lunch with a friend, traded for 1 more minute as the market was still up, came home to sleep a little, picked kids up from gymnastics, came home to sleep a little more before a birthday party that got canceled while we were sleeping, helping my daughter with her homework, get dinner made, do the dishes, read to my kids, pick up around the house, and do our evening time as a family.

Hopefully tonight we can get to bed earlier and everyone stay asleep, no one getting up because we need to or anything. I'm tired. Hope you all are getting enough rest.

Waiting

I am being reminded this evening as I read a book by Elisabeth Elliot on "Purity and Passion". It talks about bringing one's love life under the authority of Jesus Christ.

One might think "Why would I even say that here in a trading blog?"

The basic premise of the book is to not rush things, but to wait, basically wait on God's timing.

Yesterday a trading friend of mine asked me why I did not trade typically bigger contract sizes, since I seem to be overall doing much better than most people. I told him that I was not consistent yet in the small sizes and was still doing undesirable things in my trading which had to be worked out, purified, refined.

To do that on certainly larger position sizes would mean certain death.

The process of daytrading, my daytrading in particular, is not just a matter of simply pushing this button or that button, but anything psychologically amiss will come out somewhere in my trading. Daytrading really brings out any dross in one's life and you can either ignore it and see your accounts grow smaller, or you can deal with them, no matter how ugly, and eventually see yourself gaining in your accounts, your wealth growing.

Having experienced some huge downturns and not knowing how to come back, those emotions of hopelessness, despair, desperation are all too familiar. Remembering what that felt like, and what it took to get there, to go there again knowingly would be sheer madness.

I do have a plan of action to reach my goals for the remainder of this year, but, in the end, as I walk with God, I will allow Him to better direct my steps. Sure, I would've liked to already be consistently trading 100 contracts right now, but that's not where I am right now. There is work to be done here and progress is being made. Have not arrived yet.

We have to be brutally honest with ourselves, and then take that information and set it before God, lay it on the altar and have Him do with it as He wills, and to be okay with that. Will I ever be debt free, a mega millionaire or more? Those are goals, but I really don't know. I certainly do hope that it is a part of God's plans, if not, as I submit to His authority, He will reveal what He wants of my life and the direction to take.

Thus far, it's trading. But, it's bringing my passion for trading into a very pure form that draws me closer to the heart of Christ, as well as using my life to draw others to Him.

May you have a very blessed remainder of the weekend.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 1-Dec-2008

Profitable Trades = 84 (58%)
Costing Trades = 61 (42%)

Total Trading Time = 5.8 hrs

Total Profits = $50,662.50
Total Costs = $40,687.50 (80% of profits)
Total Commissions = $7,780.5 (15% of profits)

Net = $2,194.50 (2.7% ROI on capital) or $378.36/hr of trading


This has been a challenging trading week as I've learned things about distractions, toxic people, negative attitudes, emotional challenges were things that made trading an adventure that showed me some things that I want to or do not want to do.

It's really helping me, however, to learn to trade in all sorts of conditions, especially the adverse and to work to get things stabilized, so that I CAN trade no matter what. To be aware, responsible and accountable for your actions can be a real challenge. We want to blame others for our poor choices, but in the end, it is I who executes the trades and no one else.

Some tough lessons to learn, but hopefully as I constantly see where I need to work on in my trading, that it will get through my head and I will do it. I'll have to admit, only on Monday did I want to trade, but Tues-Fri, I did not but forced myself as I made the commitment to trade every day (minus holidays). I'm not trading throughout the whole day, so I figure I can focus for the 1/2 hr or hour or so.

Have a super week. God bless you all!

Today's Trades on the ES (Fri, 5-Dec-2008)

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed $787.50.

Total Trades = 4 (21 min. from 10:22 am to 10:43 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 5 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 4 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $62.50 to $275
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $787.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $19.95
Net = $767.55 (30.7% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades in detail (whispered, though)

2. Knew were the pivot points were as well as were I was with MAs, various timeframes, RSI, volume, MACD.

3. Step my stops (costs & profits).

4. Patient.

5. Neutral emotions.

6. Planned my trade, traded my plan.

Things To Improve on:

1. My original goal was $300 for 1 contract, but I didn't want to sit here that long and increased my risk. However, I knew where I was and set my stops appropriately. I made $157.50 per contract, so the goal for 5 contracts @ $300 would've been $1500.

I'm feeling incredibly groggy and icky, because I broke the latter part of my cleanse day with some poor choices in food (refined sugar) and I'm paying for it today. I figure it was better to get my trading over and done with quicker than to drag it out as that may prove to be more detrimental.

Going back to bed. Still, for feeling like I've been drugged, $767.55 in less than 30 min. is awesome. I can tell you I never made that much in one full engineering day for myself. This just goes to show that not only do you have to have the psychological part down, but the foods you eat do impact whether you can think, act and feel correctly.

I'll analyze the week a little later. Happy Trading!

MCD Monthly (4-Dec-2008) - Volume


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MCD Monthly (4-Dec-2008) - RSI, Bearish Divergence


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Trades on ES for Thurs, 4-Dec-2008

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed $337.50.

Total Trades = 6 (23 min. from 11:44 am to 12:07 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 3 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 6 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $25 to $112.50
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $337.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $23.94
Net = $313.56 (20.9% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades (softly talked) in details and reasoning to stay in trade and not get out.

2. Chose the right timeframes. Started with 15 min, then moved to 3 and 1 min. Moved between 3 & 1 minute charts a couple times to get a better understanding of what was happening in the markets.

3. Patient.

4. Traded until I reached my goal, whcih included all commission costs. I had made $312.50, but my commission costs were $19.95 at that time, so I decided to make one more trade to cover the few bucks and stopped after that. I wanted to take $37.50, but I wasn't getting taken out, so I forfeited $12.50 to get out of the trade as $25 would cover all commissions and give me a few bucks over $300.

5. Knew where I was. Location, location, location. What I mean by this was I knew where the pivot points were, as well as on RSI, moving averages, and Fibonacci points are.

6. Calm, clear headed, focused.

7. Turned off Yahoo IM and any communications that would've distracted me.

8. Did not trade until I could focus.

9. Planned my trade. Traded my plan.

10. Recognized I was still not at a great place emotionally and set my goal for today low.

Things To Improve On:

1. Though I was patient, a little more patience could've been used. It's never a bad thing to take profits, however, if you take profits too early, this does cut into how much you take home and perhaps cause you to trade more. Every contract or trade costs money. Yes, it's just a few bucks, but those bucks add up.

2. I was meaning to in one trade get out of the trade and clicked on the incorrect thing and entered a third trade. So, this was accidental. There are ALWAYS opportunities to make money and if I miss, so what? I was waiting to see if something was going to happen and to see if I wanted to move up my limit order, which I did, but instead of dragging on it, I was just going to click on the ladder and place that order. Clicked the wrong side (meant to close a short position) and ended up opening another short position.

16 Days Of Trading

So far with what I'm doing as I made the commitment nearly 4 weeks ago to trade every day no matter what (I did take off Thanksgiving and the Friday after), I've found 3 of the days have netted negative. One, the commissions exceeded what I brought it and that was a nearly break even day, but technically, it's still negative.

It seems every 5-6 days of trading, I end up with 1 negative day in the bunch. Not sure what the deal is. Do I need to only trade 4 days a week? How do I know which one? Friday, Monday and Wednesday were negative days, looking back.

When I trade 1 contract, I usually have a higher ROI then if I do 2 contracts legging in. Guess I take profits sooner on 2 contracts and sometimes maybe my entries aren't quite as clean. When I do 2 contracts, I do get in and out of trades quicker.

So far, I'm up 316% ROI in 16 trading days.

Inspite of some of the things I've done, this is still a fabulous return. Keep in mind, I've been sort of going through some hell with my former spouse, learning how to be a single parent, manage financial disaster, and a bunch of other things. Just A LITTLE bit of pressure, don't ya think?

It's interesting the Overall ROI trend. If I continue at this same rate through to the day before Christmas (aka Christmas Eve), that's 15 more trading days, I would be at over 4400% return.

I just did the calculations on how much I would need to make each day. That's a bit outrageous, but possible. What I would need to do is be very focused and basically be making around $1K/hr, so this means great focus.

This means for the remainder of this week trade with 1 contract and doubling the contracts (not legging in/out) for the next 3 weeks thereafter, so on Christmas week, I'd be trading 8 contracts at a time, as if it was one contract (no legging in/out).

This is all conjecture and I've not done that in futures YET. It seems like I've been on the 1 contract for quite some time, but to really grow accounts exponentially, one needs to trade with more contracts. It would definitely mean trading for at least an hour a day, maybe closer to 2 hours on some days.

So, it's possible in 31 days of trading, or 7 weeks and 2 of them being partial trading weeks, to get over a 4000% ROI. That would be amazing, because that means trading every day. That isn't luck. If you hit the jackpot on one trade that is 4000%, that doesn't mean you're a good trader.

Even 7 weeks with this kind of return doesn't mean one is a good trader, but it is a good start.

Anyway, it's nice to dream. Let's get back to trading, making each trade count and making good trades each time, keeping profits high and costs low. Take one day at a time.

Happy Trading.

Today's Trades on the ES (Wed, 3-Dec-2008)

Today I decided since yesterday was a psychologically rough trading day for me (the market was absolutely beautiful, though), that it was best to get back down to the basics and go back to my $300/day goal. Also, there are some person things going on from the past that are fairly negative, so it was best to lay low and not expect a great deal from myself. Guess I held true to that, unfortunately.

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed -$537.50.

Total Trades = 13 (63 min. from 10:32 am to 11:35 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 5 (38%)
# Costing Trades = 8 (62%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $37.50 to $175
Range of Costing Trades = $62.50 to $200

Total Profits = $462.50
Total Costs = $1000
Commissions = $51.87
Net = -$589.37 (-118% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades.

2. Traded my plan for the first 3 trades, which were all profitable and just about hit my goal. Just going to do one more trade.

3. Kept my risk low by trading with only 1 contract and resisted the urge to trade more.

4. Stopped instead of further going on, after about an hr.

Things To Improve On:

1. Turn the damn Yahoo IM off so no one can contact me during trading hours. Sorry for the language. I've found when a certain person contacts me and starts in with his negative crap that is anti wall street, big business, capitalism, political sh**, it puts me in a super negative mood. I so far have not been able to master separating myself YET. His verbiage is just foul and taints my trading and every time he starts in, I always end up negative for the day.

All I needed was one more trade (the 4th trade) to make my goal and cover commissions. He interjected his poison and that cost me. As I attempted to recoup, I wiped out all my profits. Thinking I could do similar to yesterday, but only going to use 1 contract and keep my risks low, I did stick with that. Anyway, I kept getting more further negative than really making too much headway positively.

2. Could not get those damn words, "idiots on Wall Street" out of my head. Guess I traded like an idiot, doing things the opposite of the market, and not going with the flow. I allowed his very negative venomous vibes to poison my trading.

3. Have 5 costs in a row. Should've stopped after 2 in a row to analyze my trades.

4. Was distracted with a phone call.

5. Did not verbalize most of my trades.

6. Need to stop trading when I can't get negative messages out of my head and do something to clear my head.

7. FOCUS!!!! FOCUS!!! FOCUS!!!

Neutrality

The market doesn't really give a crap about anyone. It isn't out to get you. I keep hearing that the market is bad. The market is neither good nor bad. It is what it is.

As I'm watching the last 1.5 hrs of trading of the normal equities trading timeframe, the pattern of the market on the 3 min. is simply gorgeous, beautiful. I traded for less than the half the 6.5 hrs of the equities market and made what some people would've made all year in less than 3 hrs. Of course, it was practice, though, real time and everything would've been the same in my real account. I also gave most of it back in commissions and costs because of not getting a grip on my emotions.

Having a good trading plan and being able to execute it precisely is very important. As humans, we often have hope, and that really can kill a person in trading. I was doing moderately well to begin with, then a trade turned against me. Rather than take the cost which was more than I would've liked, that cost became bigger. Oh, another faux paus was that I did not have an appropriate stop in place.

As much as I'd like to blame my children for being very distracting, it was I who chose to continue to trade amidst the distractions. I could feel my blood boil as I watched the clock and my kids still had food all over the dining table, partially eaten, playing around in the bathroom, didn't have their stuff together for school and we needed to leave in less than 5 min.

I was still stewing about some things about my former spouse that transpired in the past few days, those recurrences. Instead of letting them go and chock it up to him, the former controlling self wanted to assert herself, her rights to be offended. That's never a good thing, as it doesn't hurt him or anyone else but myself. Actually, it has had a fairly negative impact to my children and to the environment of our home.

I had gained some victories in some spiritual arenas of my life, but right now I don't feel like I've gained anything but taken a number of steps back. It's very humbling. Not that I was prideful about those victories, but it was nice to overcome some huge things and I find as I begin to reach the next level, other things pulling me back, and me allowing it.

The market is AWESOME every day. The question is, do I (or you) have your act together enough to be able to trade? In order to effectively trade, you really need to come to the table with a clear mind, focused, undistracted. The goal here isn't to make a million today, but enough to meet the needs of my family and to continue to add to my accounts, to stabilize things. Once I've done that very well for awhile, then I can move onto the next thing.

It's been about 5 months since my divorce and I'm still dealing with some challenging issues that I have not learned to master. Perhaps my expectations are too much, but they are still goals and things I must overcome. Everybody has crap that happens, so I must become a master of dealing with interferences, as Dr. David Cook, a sports psychologist talks about.

The market is never out to get you, unlike what most people think. If it can continue to sell, it will. If people see things at enough of a bargain, they begin to buy and keep buying. If it gets too pricey, they stop buying. It's really that simple. Does the market really care about my typical 1-2 contracts? Not at all.

As I write this, at 3:07 pm EST, over 2.1 million contracts have been traded on the ES with another hour left of trading futures for the day. Today I traded 1917 contracts total, with a magnitude of almost $88K (profits + costs) in about 2.75 hrs of trading. Do you think the market really cares? That ends up being about $46/contract of movement.

If we equated that to the 2.1 mil contracts, that's almost $97M in the ES for 2.75 hrs of trading. There's certainly even more money than that that is generated as I wasn't trading for every single minute. Anyway, this is just a guess as to how I personally traded, and is not really reflective of the whole market.

People take it personally that they get taken out of their trades or the market is working against them. What causes one person to be able to make lots of money and someone else to not? As we look at my own trading, when I'm focused, undistracted, emotionally stable, clear mind, I do usually have 80% or more of my trades are profitable.

When I'm not, it can be a bad thing. It's not because the market treated me well, it's I decided to play this game that I wasn't equipped to give myself the best chance to do well. It's like blaming food made you fat. Overeating and eating the wrong foods and a host of other incorrect choices made you fat.

All of this requires that we each take FULL responsibility for our actions, not blaming anyone else.

Trades on ES for Tues, 2-Dec-2008

Notes: Today I did not trade with real money as I was very angry, but even when I practice, one needs to trade as if it were in real life. I made major faux paus today of the grandest scale. Not good.

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed $48,200.

Total Trades = 112 (2 hr, 41 min. from 9:40 am to 9:58 am EST, 10:22 am to 12:45 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 160 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 61 (54%)
# Costing Trades = 51 (46%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to $2500
Range of Costing Trades = $0 to $2750

Total Profits = $48,200
Total Costs = $39,525 (82% of profits)
Commissions = $7644.84 (16% of profits)
Net = $1030.16 (1.3% ROI of capital used, only kept 2% of profits)

Things I Did Well for Today:
1. Verbalized some of my trades.

2. Eventually stopped trading.

3. Did my devotionals.

4. Got enough sleep.

5. Ate breakfast.

6. Got out of trades that went against me fairly quickly.

Areas of Improvement Needed:

1. Traded in the middle of a chaotic environment.

2. Traded when I was very angry at several things, more in rage.

3. Did not trade my plan.

4. Took too large of positions.

5. Did not verbalize most of my trades.

6. Grasping at straws.

7. Greatly increased my risk exponentially.

8. Too many trades

9. Kept trading in a fury, even when things were very against me.

10. Failed to look at bigger timeframe often enough. I traded mainly on the 1 min. timeframe since I was very high strungly angry.

11. Issues need to be resolved when coming to trading. The money I need to generate can be made fairly quickly, but because I was down so much, I had to make up for it and kept trading.

Anger

Anger is a very strong emotion. IF left uncheck, it can be quite damaging. Anger can also be contagious if we are emotionally wounded. Today is a case in point. At least today I recognized that trading with real money was not a good thing, so I did not.

And, it's a very good thing I did not, as it's truly been disasterous today. I was able to recoup the money that was literally "lost" in the market. It was a loss and not a cost as there were many things done that I would not do in real life.

There were a myriad of things I was very angry at, and really lost control. Instead of appropriately setting aside my trading until I dealt with my anger, I continued to trade. This was not a good thing. In turn, I made choices that I would not have otherwise.

You know those things. Now you're way down and what are you going to do to get that money back? Yes, you take chances you would otherwise not take under normal conditions.

Though I ended up in a net profit today of a little more than my goal of $500, most of my profits went to either costs or commissions. I don't have time to post the results, but I basically traded for about 3 hrs. My results are BRUTAL and I definitely need a time out.

I'm done trading for the day and greatly need more time with God and for people to pray for me, to shake this bad attitude off me.

Trades on ES for Mon, 1-Dec-2008

My goal is $600 for the day. Today I grossed $875.

Total Trades = 10 (1 hr, 20 min. from 9:25 am to 9:51 am EST, 10:19 am to 11:06 am EST, and 1:25 pm to 1:51 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 8 (80%)
# Costing Trades = 2 (20%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $62.50 to $175
Range of Costing Trades = $62.50 to $100

Total Profits = $875
Total Costs = $162.50
Commissions = $39.99
Net = $672.51 (134.5% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Verbalized trades, even though it was a whisper.

2. Remained calm.

3. Traded my plan.

4. Stopped trading when I thought I reached my goal for the day.

5. Took profits.

6. Saw trading from the big picture as well as the smaller timeframes (used 1, 3, 15, and 60 min. timeframes).

For Further Improvements:

1. I set to take profits sometimes too soon, rather than just waiting.

2. There were better times for me to get in, like at the retracements rather than the breakout. This led to decreased profits, but greater confirmation of the move.

3. One of the costs was because I forgot to take the full order off the table when that position closed, so the reverse happened and I wasn't paying attention, so that one cost me $100.

3 Weeks Reflections





For those of you visual people, here have been the net daily cumulative results over the past 3 weeks of trading the ES, as well as more specifics of the daily summary.

The Daily Journal would be too much to put on here.

The first week, Thursday, 13-Nov-2008, that was a total outlier and I acknowledged I should not have done that. In the following 2 weeks, I stuck by my rules of not using more than 2 contracts at any given time. The goal is to be able to make $300-500 using 1 contract. As I get really good at doing that, then I can add to trade with 2 contracts simultaneously.

I'm still working out the kinks as I do like to leg in and leg out of trades, so perhaps only legging in with 1 contract at a time, which is what I have been doing may still constitute as 1 contract. Eventually I'll bump that up to 2 contracts simultaneously, which if I'm still legging in and out, it will be with 2 contracts instead of 1, which would mean that I would have up to 4 contracts on the table at a time.

As I continue to trade, I document what works and what doesn't. I may find that it may be too much and have to go back to just 1 contract total on the table. This is highly doable to really support most people's families on 1 contract of the ES.

As you can see, my trading time daily is around an hour. There are 6.5 hrs of trading time in the market and if you trade futures, that is considerably extended to really 23.75 hrs a day, though, outside of normal market hours, the volumes are considerably lower. Trading on my 1 contract, I'm not impacting the market at all.

My plans are to continue to trade again on Monday through to Christmas Eve. I will not be trading on Friday after Thanksgiving and will just take time to enjoy my family and relax, workout, do nothing or something.

I did not put the starting amount for this account, but it's a modest amount and as you can see, in 13 days of trading, with some days where I did goof up majorly, I still ended with a 270% return on my money in 13 days. That's pretty phenomenal if you ask me.

As you can also notice, there are some habits I'm working to break and it can be a challenge. There are some things you'll notice that I do right and when I do, it ends up being quite profitable. I do have some really good days and there are bad days, and quite a few ordinary days.

Let's see what will happen over the next 3.5 weeks of trading and see if I can get the cumulative daily profits to be over $20K. My goal is still sticking with the 1-2 contracts and not do goofy things as I did that first week.

There are a number of factors that do play into my being successful or not. However, the #1 factor is my relationship with Jesus Christ. In Deuteronomy 8:18, it says that it is God that empowers me to be able to create wealth. That is exactly what He's doing, inspite of the things I mess up from. I'm grateful that I do have the ability to learn and to change.

May you be able to find many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. And, I challenge each of my readers to be able to daily find 5 things you can be thankful for. When we have joyful, appreciative hearts that are filled with gratitude, it makes it so much easier to be able to receive, especially from the stock market.

God bless you and see you next week.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 24-Nov-2008

Profitable Trades = 22 (76%)
Costing Trades = 7 (23%)

Total Trading Time = 5 hrs

Total Profits = $4200
Total Costs = $1125 (26.8% of profits)
Total Commissions = $115.71 (2.8% of profits)

Net = $2959.29 (296% ROI on capital) or $591.85/hr of trading

Trades on ES for Wed, 26-Nov-2008

My goal is $700 for the day. Today I grossed $812.50.

Total Trades = 3 (1 hr, 9 min. from 7:57 am to 8:30 am EST and 9:50 am to 10:26 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $100 to 412.50
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $812.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $15.96
Net = $796.54 (79.7% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Planned my trade. Traded my plan.

2. Did not trade when I was distracted.

3. Knew where I was - location.

4. Set stops (profits & costs) appropriately.

5. Did not sit at the computer the whole time, so let my trades work.

6. Traded based upon the price action, indicators & understood where i was.

7. Stopped trading when I reached my goal for the day.

Trades on ES for Tues, 25-Nov-2008

My goal is $2000 for today. Today I grossed $2187.50.

Total Trades = 5 (2 hrs, 7 min. from 9:27 am to 11:34 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 5 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $275 to $687.50
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $2187.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $19.95
Net = $2167.55 (433.5% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Spent time the night before pouring over various aspects of the markets technically, so I was already in the groove when I started to trade.

2. Patient.

3. Planned my trade. Traded my plan.

4. Verbalized trades, not just entry, but throughout the trade to allow myself to stay in longer.

5. Had my stops (profits & costs) set, but did not stay at the computer the whole time to unnecessarily get me out of trades.

6. Knew where I was in terms of the market and location of pivot points.

7. Focused, undistracted, inspite of my little boy being home from having a skateboarding mishap.

8. Stopped trading once I reached my goal.

9. Adjusted my goal for the day and did not think about what happened the prior day.

10. Ate well the day before and the morning of trading, to nourish my mind & body.

11. Waited for signals to all match up with price action and indicators.

Trades on ES for Mon, 24-Nov-2008

My goal is $300 for the day. Today I grossed $75.

Total Trades = 21 (1.75 hrs from 12:29 pm to 2:15 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 14 (67%)
# Costing Trades = 7 (33%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $37.50 to $187.50
Range of Costing Trades = 0 to -$350

Total Profits = $1200
Total Costs = $1125
Commissions = $83.79
Net = -$8.79 (-0.9% ROI of capital used)

Lessons Today:

1. I did not get enough sleep and basically stayed up fairly late. The night before my kids were having problems with coughing, puking, breathing and it spilled on over to Sunday night, just less of it. My sleep has been greatly thrown off.

2. Started trading late and was really groggy, but kept trading.

3. I started off to a bad note with a -$250 cost on one contract. That is not a good way to start off the day negatively and so much. I don't think I was really paying attention as my entry was at the bottom of a double bottom to go short. Does not make sense, but I did that and I continued to hold on after the MAs were broken.

4. VERBALIZE TRADES.

5. Know where you are. Location, location, location.

6. Over the weekend, Sunday night, I consumed 1/2 of a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. I've never done such a thing and all that refined sugar and dairy in my system does not make for clear thinking. I'm used to eating very healthy, so this was a shock to my system.

7. I do much better when I'm focused and not trading a lot. 21 trades in a day is far too many trades for me in one day.

8. Though I grossed positively, barely, all the trades I did caused me to be net in the negative. Almost broke even, but the 7 trades that went against me were far too big.

9. Of my first 6 trades, 4 went highly against me and I kept trading to recoup what it cost me. I was better able to focus, but I had some fear and got out of some trades too early, instead of waiting for my signals to get out.

Behind

Sorry folks. I have traded the past 2 days and do have results, but I haven't posted them yet as I've been busy. I hope to put my results sometime over the Thanksgiving timeframe. Please be patient.

Stocks That Are Doing Well Or Holding

I have not been really looking at stocks too much over the past few months as I've been really focused on trading the emini's, particularly the ES. Plus, my life has been really busy. But, this evening, I was looking at a few of my favorite stocks and saw how much they had dropped in price. Though I'm loving the "bear" market, as I looked at all the stocks I could think of that I've traded in the past 3 yrs that I have loved, none of the stocks have held during this market and they have all taken a beating big time.

So, as I poured over 100 stocks, I began asking, which stocks have faired well and which sectors. I don't have a ton of time, but for those needing their stocks to go up, here are some stocks that have faired well, meaning they have either held their price or gone up while most of the market and stocks have gone down:

Biotechnology (BIO1 subsector) : OSIR, GENZ, MYGM, EBS, CBST, CEPH, ALXN, DNA, OMRI, IMCL

Environmental & Facility Services (CSV sector CMS5 subsector): WCN, SRCL, WMI, AW

Food Beverage & Tobacco (FBT sector): UST, CPB, GIS, FLO, LNCE, ADY, TR, DMND, RAH, HSY, BUD

Consumer Services, Restaurants (HTL sector, HTS4 subsector): MCD

Consumer Services, Education Services (HTL sector, CON5 subsector): APOL, ESI, STRA, DV, CPLA, COCO, LINC

Pharmeceuticals (PHA1 subsector): BRL, ALO, KG, VRX, QCOR

Insurance (INS sector): FFH, CIA, NFS, PHLY, TWGP, SIGI, IPCC, NAVG, ORH

Materials (MTR sector): ROH, RGLD, WPP

Capital Goods, Aerospace Defense (CAP sector, AER1 subsector): ADG, DRS

Utilities (UTI sector): NJR, SJI, LG, PNY, GAS, WGL, HE, CHG, VV, NST, WTR, CWT

Food & Staples Retailing (FDR sector): WMT, NAFC, KR, CASY

Do take note that I did not go to all 24 major sectors, nor did I go to each subsector. I did an initial scan and looked at stocks that caught my eye and then their subsectors & sectors.

I went through all these areas really fast and some I thought might be good were not all that great after I looked at them just a few seconds more. I did not go on statistics of how they performed, rather I quickly looked at the chart pattern, volumes, RSI and made a quick judgment.

These are not stocks that you should just jump into purchasing without doing your due diligence.

All major sectors trended down for the year. However, the subsectors that did not were in education and water utilities.

Anyway, my commitment to go to bed at a reasonable hour is upon me, so off I go. Enjoy.

Evolving

Since I'm up, got woken up around 1 or 1:30ish this morning with my 5 yr old son supposedly sleeping beside me, hacking up a lung. Needless to say, he ended up puking. He'd been coughing a lot and it made going to sleep not very easy for either of us. I'd probably only been asleep just a little over an hr.

Poor little guy. Anyway, he threw up on the bed, but thankfully the majority of it made it into his puke bucket. I cleaned up all the messes and since I wasn't in a great mood, my language at the time wasn't too good. My 8 yr old daughter reminded me that it wasn't good to say bad words and my son didn't mean to puke. I totally know this and apologized to both of them.

Calmed everyone down, began washing all the bed linens with puke, and got things cleaned up. Then, I began doing accupressure on trigger points and massage on my son first, whose coughing was just terrible. Spent quite some time on him, hoping to help ease his cough. His cough now at nearly 3:20 am seems not as intense, but it's still there.

My daughter was having some difficulty breathing. We had been to a friend's home for a birthday party and people had been smoking outdoors and indoors they had cats, which she and I are allergic to. I'm guessing this bothered my kids and did not help them.

This is going to be a long night, so I decided to do some reading of when I started this blog, about 16 months ago. My, how my trading has really evolved a great deal. Additionally, I went through a divorce and have learned how to better manage single parenting. This is my most challenging, but rewarding job, of which I'm grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to be the parent of 2 incredible children, to help mold and shape their formidable years.

I have been aggressive at tackling my dreams and goals for trading. This road is the road that is less traveled. Looking back from where I was 13 years ago to where I am now, I think about all the changes of me personally as well as my trading. Certainly for a typical person, having gone through such huge things, they would've given up.

How important are your dreams to you? Whose to say they are realistic or not? The question, rather, is, are you willing to have an indomitable spirit inspite of the obstacles you may face?

Enjoy the journey, even if you come across some big potholes in the road. Maybe you'll learn to see them sooner and learn to avoid them, rather than falling right in. Who knows where my trading will be in a year from now, except God.

Keep pursuing your dreams. Allow the obstacles/challenges in your lives to help you be more creative, more determined. God bless you.

Trading IS Psychological

Proof is in the pudding. The market is always right and as perfect as anything can get here in this flawed world. Even if you have great technical analysis, a good trading plan and strategy, it really boils down to the psychological aspect of trading.

I am humbly psyched.

This week there were some huge milestones for me personally. Taking the trip out of town without a man was a huge thing and I haven't done that since before my first marriage, when I was in college. I also was better able to understand and express to my dad something I've been wanting to do for over 30 yrs and I was able to do it in a manner that honored both my dad and myself, building a stronger relationship.

I'm learning to really trust God and have an expectant hope in Him, especially when things don't turn out well or are going my way. Over these past few years, especially the past year plus, I've learned to praise God inspite of my outward circumstances.

I'm also learning to abolish those things which I CAN control that are toxic. People, we don't need toxic people in our lives and it would do a lot of us a lot of good to have healthy boundaries, stick to them without fear or reservation, and get rid of people who cannot respect them. That sounds cruel, but it's much easier to pull someone down than bring them up. So, cut the cord.

What if it's family? Sometimes you have to then minimize exposure or avoid things that would create toxicity. I grew up and led most of my life in such dysfunctionality, but by the grace of God, He can redeem, if we allow Him to.

I feel so blessed that God has been revealing all these areas of my life that need changing and He's doing it in an incredibly way. Yes, fairly painful in many respects, but what's resulting are some amazing changes in my life.

If you're trading isn't going well, I would highly recommend looking at the psychological aspects of your life. Sometimes you just gotta dig really deep and what may seem obvious really isn't. And, you may need help (professional) to get there.

Differences Between ES Wk 10-Nov and 17-Nov-2008 Trading Results

These are the differences between trading for this week and last week:

1. I got some badly needed rest and relaxation over the weekend. Got away and allowed my right brain to be nurtured through change of scenery and piano playing.

2. The capital used this week was 1/10th the trading capital used last week.

3. A greater calmness in trading.

4. Greater profitability.

5. The number of trades made were cut in half this week from the prior week.

6. Greater consistency in time spent at the computer this week than last.

7. Stopped trading when I reached my goal for the day. My day goal varied daily.

8. Much better execution of trades this week, which resulted in higher probability of profitable trades.

9. Significantly better focus this week and it was much easier to focus.

10. The costs portion of this week cut very small into my profits where last week, the majority of my costs ate most of my profits.

I am now a FIRM believer in giving the mind, body rest and nurturing. This week's market may seem "scarier" to more people, but it really has been a calm, fun time for me. I am really excited about trading as I get a better hold of my psychological aspect of trading.

There is no difference in technical analysis of last week or this week. The only thing is psychological.

Do you want to give 80% of your profits back to costs? Or would you like to keep that 80% as profits?

It sure does something to one's psyche to give back most of your profits, and is not good trading.

I praise God because it is God that empowers me to be able to create wealth. He's sent a number of people, resources, and situations to help open my eyes to things I need to change in my life or allow God to work and intervene. He is an amazing God and I look forward to sharing my successes and well as my failures with my readers.

It's a continual learning process and I bless your trading. May you find this journey an incredibly rich and fulfilling one. God bless you.

Bottom Line On ES For Wk of 10-Nov-2008

Profitable Trades = 42 (76.4%)
Costing Trades = 13 (23.6%)

Total Trading Time = 4.8 hrs

Total Profits = $9062.50
Total Costs = $7387.50 (81.5% of profits)
Total Commissions = $219.45 (2.2% of profits)

Net = $1455.55 (14.6% ROI on capital) or $303.23/hr of trading

Bottom Line On ES Wk of 17-Nov-2008

I have been working very aggressively on the psychological aspects of trading, which encompasses mental, emotional, spiritual and intellectual stuff. Last week when I went to my chiropractor's office, the newer chiropractor did muscle testing of my body's systems.

One of the things he's identified was my right brain was very weakened. This is the creative side, the emotional side. Yes, a nasty separation, divorce, no vacation, financial challenges, single parenting, blah, blah, blah and no real respite during all this time. I hadn't been out of the metropolitan area for nearly 1.5 yrs, and I really needed time away.

Anyway, so I took the weekend off and went out of town to the mountains. It wasn't a long trip, but stayed teh night there, saw pine trees, did some hiking, just relaxed and enjoyed driving (normally I don't like to drive) and the peaceful scenary as I listened to Harv Eker talk about "The Millionaire Mindset". It was very motivating to listen to him.

Anyway, here is the bottom line for me for the week:

Profitable Trades = 23 (88.5%)
Costing Trades = 3 (11.5%)

Total Trading Time = 4.18 hrs

Total Profits = $2412.50
Total Costs = $250.00 (10.4% of profits)
Total Commissions = $103.74 (4.3% of profits)

Net = $2058.76 (206% ROI on capital) or $492.52/hr of trading

I need to check what I did for last week and I'll post what I have.

So, if I can make nearly $500/hr in trading, why don't I trade for longer? It really is a law of diminishing returns for me. It takes a great deal to stay so focused. I don't want to be glued to the computer all this time, as much as I like trading and being on my computer.

So, taking this weekly amount, multiplying by 48 weeks, that's nearly $100K for the year. That still gives me 4 weeks of vacation with absolutely no trading. Except, my workweeks are usually under 5 hrs a week. Not bad, eh?

I went from making near this for a salary (more with compensation) as a senior level engineer working 40 hrs/wk, plus commuting and waking up at ungodly hours to go to work, restrictions on my time, and now I can make more money, working less, and have a great quality of life. Not bad.

I'm very far from a millionaire and still very much in debt, but the money that I don't need to live off of can go towards paying down debts. As I free myself from self-limiting mindsets, habits, behaviors, my trading success can only get better.

It's really irrelevant what the market is doing, because if you're focused and you know what you're doing, you can make money in any market under any market conditions. If you can't trade the market, it's not the market. It's you. In my case, it was me. No excuses.

Life really is short. Now I'm going to go do a rough recap of last week and compare to this week.

Today's Trades on the ES (Fri, 21-Nov-2008)

My goal is $700/day when I trade. Today I grossed $750.

Total Trades = 5 (40 min. from 9:46 am to 10:26 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 5 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $87.50 to $325
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $750
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $19.95
Net = $730.05 (146% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Got enough rest.

2. Did not trade when I was distracted with kids, getting them up, etc.

3. Verbalized trades, though, not very loudly.

4. Waited for the setup of the trade.

5. Took profits, though a couple times a little premature.

6. Stopped trading when I reached my goal.

7. Increased my target $ goal for the day based upon how the market was moving.

Things To Improve On:

1. Traded the wrong account. Thought I was in one account when I was actually in another account. My ladder did not match my chart. Need to make sure both are the same.

2. Verbalize louder instead of whispering.

3. Make sure to look at all indicators and make sure they are saying the same thing before entering a trade.

Pivot Point

Well, what I'd been hoping for is actually happening in the market. We are not at a pivot point on the S&P and just about there with the Dow, minus about 250 points on the Dow. This truly is a thing of beauty.

If we look at the M pattern, and M does not stand for Murder, rather Money, if you know what you're doing. On the Monthly, we crossed below the 200 EMA, which is significant, signifying a greater bearish sentiment. However, without looking at moving averages, it would be significant if on a monthly close if we closed below the 7200 for the Dow and below 770 for the S&P.

The market will look to see if they can bring buyers in at these points, which means they would take the market further down to see if they can shake out all the sellers. So, we may see some very interesting actions taking place which I see to be fairly volatile over the next couple weeks to come.

It would be very significant if the close is too much below those numbers because it is breaking the pattern, signifying there is a VERY bearish sentiment in the market and we've not hit bottom yet.

Would it be The Depression? I don't remember what the analysis was for the Dow, but that would mean the S&P would need to reach around the 200-300 area. But, keep in mind, that millionaires were still created during The Great Depression. There are still people who make money during economically challenged times.

If the 7200 area on the Dow does not hold, then 5100 would be the next likely level of support. It doesn't take a rocket science to see the market is very bearish, but just like anything, there needs to be some pressure relief. What I've noticed is the market often likes to work in 3, 5, 7 type patterns. This would be 3 strong months down and often December is usually a fairly bullish time. We'll see if this is the case or not.

I honestly thought that we would have a bear trap type movement after the elections, to give people some hope, but maybe the market really is not too thrilled with the new president elect. All the same, I'm fine with the market tanking and if this market doesn't work, then I can always move to another market or differential to trade. That's one of the beauties of being a technical trader. A different differential would just mean that I would have to learn new terminology and logistics, but the technicals are the same.

There are opportunities even in what is perceived very grim circumstances, if we would allow ourselves to be opened to them.

Always manage your risk in trading, appropriately setting your stops, being knowledgable, size of position and never trade with hope. We can see when we do that, it always ends up biting us in the booty.

It would not be unreasonable to test this point for a few months and see some big volatility. Once again, more opportunities.

Today's Trades on the ES (Thurs, 20-Nov-2008)

My goal is $300/day when I trade. Today I grossed $375.

Total Trades = 3 (51 min. from 8:53 am to 9:44 am EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 2 ($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 3 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $75 to 175
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $375
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $11.97
Net = $363.03 (36.3% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Planned my trade. Traded my plan, well, most of it.

2. Looked at various timeframes to see bigger picture of what I'm trading (15, 3 and 1 min.)

3. Remained calm, keeping big picture in mind.

4. Got enough rest last night, so I can think clearly.

5. Legged out of the trade.

6. Stopped trading after a net of $300 was made. Resisted the urge to keep trading.

Things to Improve On:

1. Forgot to verbalize trades, though, I did talk it out in my head. VERBALIZE TRADES!

2. Trade Navigator was glitching and I found myself in 2 positions, when my intent was 1 position. Click just once and wait.

3. First trade failed to notice where RSI was, which was way oversold. Though I planned my trade and looked at overall, on the 3 min. it was at oversold and not a good time to get into a short position.

4. Need to remember to have ALL my stops in place, not just to take profits, but to take costs, in case things go really against me and I'm wrong. It's okay to be wrong.

All my positions were short today. There was a lot of opportunities within the first 12 min. of the market to make some big money, There was a 17-18 point move down, but when I got into 2 positions (contracts) when I meant to get into one a little over a 1/2 hr before the market opened, it was at 792.25, so it going up to 802.50, that was a big move against me, but my stop was "mentally" just above the 200 EMA on the 3 min. chart. I was sweating bullets as the first 3 minutes, it really moved up there quick.

Thankfully, it began moving down fast. My inclination was to get into a 3rd contract, but the reality is, I had my broker make it that I can only trade up to 2 contracts at a time for now, so I would not have been able to have done a 3rd contract, so I sucked it up and waited. The 15 min. picture still looked bearish to me, so I decided to wait and within the next 9 min., I was back in the positive and my 2 legged out positions got taken out.

It looked like it would go further down, so I quickly got in to take another $75, so I would net over $300 with commissions and stopped.

The market at 10 am EST still looks to go down further and I want to get in, but I'll resist the urge to do so and just watch it. In fact, I'm going to go back and backtest things when I get back from dropping the kids off school and maybe go workout at the gym also. This is a part of balancing my life and having overall good quality.

Eventually I'll do some charts, but that takes a little more time than I'm willing to do right now.

Today's Trades on the ES (Wed, 19-Nov-2008)

My goal is $500/day when I trade. Today I grossed $562.50.

Total Trades = 7 (1.55 hrs. from 11/18 from 6:12 pm to 7:25 pm EST, 11/19 from 9:42 am to 9:44 am EST, 11:07 am to 11:25 am EST)
Contracts Used at 2 Time = 1 t($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 7 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0 (0%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to 125
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $562.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $27.93
Net = $534.57 (53.4% ROI of capital used)

Things I Did Well for Today:

1. Be emotionally stable and free, well. This was a very healing morning for me as well as last night, though I did not get much sleep. God's been doing an incredible mighty work. There were some huge spiritual breakthroughs. Some things that have held me in lifelong bondage spiritually and in my mind were broken in the past 24 hrs. My mind was clear and free to think.

2. Wait for your trades to come to you. Do not chase trades. I waited for each of my trades and so far, trading does not look challenging, because I can see clearly. There is no anxiety. When the signals are clear for me to get in and get out, I took them.

3. Plan your trade, trade your plan.

4. Stopped when I reached my goal. I upped my goal for today to $500. The last trade I made $125 and put me above the $500 mark, and that includes commissions. The market looks so beautiful today, but I'm done. One of the trades, $125 was made last night.

5. Know who I am in Jesus Christ, as a woman, as a mother, as a trader and be confident in it, knowing that God has called me to trade and to trade well. I have to attend to first things first.

6. Thank you God! You are my Provider and it is You that enables me to create wealth.

7. Verbalized trades by talking through the trades before putting them on.

Overall, I took very little money from what was available in the market, but I'm very happy what I took. It was easy because my emotional state was very clear and good today, even though I spent a good portion of my morning crying. My face is stained with tears, but they are healing tears of humbleness and joy at what God is doing in my life and all around me.

I am 100% confident that God who has called me to trade and to do amazing things in the market, He will complete that in me. It is not without it's learning curves and there are some big ones for me.

It is humbling to know I can essentially make more in a very short amount of time than I can in a full day's senior engineer's salary, doing what I love, being the mommy I want to be, living the life I want. It's only a matter of time that I will be making consistently enough money to pay off all my debts, to keep providing for my family, to use the money to empower the lives of other people.

I'm looking forward to writing out those million dollar checks to other people and organizations God calls me to give to. I can see it, taste it. It's so close.

To Wait Or Not To Wait

For those new to my trading blog, here are my shorter-term goals in trading over the next year or so:

1. Trade 5 days a week (daytrading).
2. Make the profits I need to support my kids and I (for now $300/day) in 1 hr or less of trading a day.
3. Use as little capital as needed to make as much money as possible in the timeframe I want to trade in (< 1 hr/day). 4. Keep trading as simple as possible. These aren't grand goals to get me to millionaire status quickly, but they are goals that help develop discipline, good money & risk management while still developing my skills. What I've typically found is if I follow my written trading plan and strategies well, the $300/day can be EASILY made in a very short amount of time, usually in less than 1/2 hr, and often less than 15 min. When I worked as a senior level engineer, I was getting paid more than $300/day on salary, but it really wasn't a whole lot more than that. Yes, I did get benefits that put me in the $400-500/day range overall, but some of the benefits that I get with what I'm doing now are:

- being taxed AFTER expenses rather than before because of how I have the trading setup (this makes a huge difference)

- buy less gas as I'm not having to drive that far distance to work, and less wear and tear on my vehicle, also, since I'm driving a lot less, my car insurance is lower

- since I'm doing something I love, my health has gotten tremendously better

- do not have to dress up for work, so less money for clothing

- things I could not deduct before, many of those things are tax deductible because of my business structure

- rarely eat out as I cook the majority of time and can control what is in the food, which is way healthier than eating out

All these things contribute to lowering the amount of money that is needed to live on. Of course, there is my debt situation. My focus is on creating wealth, generating money in the stock market, not on DEBTS. Whatever you focus on more, you'll get more of. Yes, I need to and want to pay everyone I owe money to, but for now, I need to continue to work on becoming a better, a consistently profitable trader.

Each day as I trade, I'm identifying areas of my trading that are needed to make me that consistently profitable trader. One has to be realistic, but at the same time, you do not have to focus on things that are negative.

As I've been periodically looking at other trading blogs, there is a lot of content others have with charts, commentaries and all this. You'll see some charts and videos periodically here, and some personal opinions. Yes, I am wrong at times and that's totally okay.

I'm really working a lot on the psychological aspect of trading and learning how to juggle everything, not making excuses. Today I do physically feel pukey. But, I still traded and worked through that. Did it cloud my judgment? I don't think so, but I did make some unwise trading moves today where I gave back profits. There is still much to learn.

One of the things I also saw was that I did have profits on my costing trades to end up being costs. Why? On a couple of them, I was on a shorter timeframe (1 min.) and didn't bother to check the 3 and 15 min. timeframes (the ones I normally use). It showed I was already at a bottom and that meant I was supposed to move my stop up and capture less profits, but still profits. By the time I realized that, it was too late and I got out at costs on those trades.

Many of us what to optimize our trades to get in at the very bottom for a long position and get in at the very top for short positions. Is it possible? Absolutely. However, it may or may not be there that it reverses, so sometimes waiting for confirmation is a better thing than to risk it, unless you have tight stops or are willing to wait.

Other times, it's best to see where the target is and begin taking your profits before it reaches the target, which can be ideal if it turns and begins going against you sooner, you'll be glad you got out. Then, there are those times that not only does it reach the target but continues in your favor A LOT and you're already out of the trade. In my case, I'm usually only trading 1 contract, and if I'm out, I'm out. I can always jump back in, but yet, commissions and the gaps between the trades are what I'm missing out on. Well, profits are still profits and I'll take every penny.

A trader suggested I do trailing stops. I worked on that this morning and could not seem to get it to work the way I wanted to, even though yesterday I had tech support to guide me. I'll have to figure it out myself but without real money on the table. It got to be quite costly. It's a great idea.

So, know what you want. Have goals set and figure out how you're going to achieve them. If you want to make X amount of money in Y time, you can figure out how to do it. It'll take time and experimentation. For some, they can and want to spend all day at the computer. Great. Others do not want to trade but an hour a week or a month, great. Figure out what you need to do to get to what you want.

Anyway, time to go to my small group for church where I can get and give encouragement to others and to pray for them. I bless your trading.

Today's Trades on the ES (Tues, 18-Nov-2008)

My goal is $300/day when I trade. Today I grossed $362.50.

Total Trades = 9 (64 min. from 8:36 am EST to 9:40 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 t($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 6 (67%)
# Costing Trades = 3 (33%)
Range of Profitable Trades = $37.50 to 212.50
Range of Costing Trades = $12.50 to 150.00

Total Profits = $612.50
Total Costs = $250
Commissions = $35.91
Net = $326.59 (65% ROI of capital used)

Lessons for Today:

1. When you've reached your daily goal, stop trading. Today in the first 2 trades, I made $375. I planned my trade, traded my plan exactly and precisely. Then, I decided the 26 min. it took me to make that wasn't enough so I ended up giving back $150 in my next trade. Needless to say, it took me a few trades to get that back and still not recouping all of it.

2. A 5-tick trailing stop is definitely NOT good for my style of trading. This erodes my profits very quickly.

3. It's fine to use a shorter timeframe, but always know what the longer timeframes are doing. If the indicators are showing oversold in one timeframe, the likelihood of it going even more is slimmer, so take profits while they are available.

4. I am definitely going to have to figure out how to use the trailing stop thing in Trade Navigator before using it on real money as this can cause a lot of problems in trading for me.

Today's Trades on the ES (Mon, 17-Nov-2008)

My goal is $300/day when I trade. Today I grossed $112.50.

Total Trades = 2 (3 min. from 3:51 pm to 3:54 pm EST)
Contracts Used at 1 Time = 1 t($500 margin/contract)
# Profitable Trades = 2 (100%)
# Costing Trades = 0
Range of Profitable Trades = $50 to 62.50
Range of Costing Trades = $0

Total Profits = $112.50
Total Costs = $0
Commissions = $7.98
Net = $104.52 (20.9% of capital used)

Lessons for Today:

1. I was physically very tired, but more than that, I was mentally feeling not right. My emotions were all over the place, so I chose to sleep for awhile and trade for the last 2 hours of the day, which it turned out to really be only a few minutes. It took me most of that 2 hrs to write in my private blog how I felt about things and turn to the Bible for comfort and direction.

My commitment to trade daily (okay, it was supposed to include Sunday's, but for now, I'm nixing that and just going to trade from Mon-Fri) no matter what is my commitment and a reasonable one. The ideal is to trade for at least 1 hr daily real time whether with real funds or practice, but it's to trade. However, I realize not daily that is realistic for me, so I re-evaluated that goal to be at least make 1 trade a day. Not unreasonable and there is no set amount for that one trade. The goal is still $300/day, though.

It was good that I waited to trade, so I can see more clearly, and I was able to.

2. Verbalized trades, waited.

3. Considered suggestion of another trader regarding trailing stop, though, I did not put that into practice for the 2 trades I made today. It is a bit confusing how to setup my order to do a trailing stop, but I called Genesis Tech Support to get a step by step play on how to do this. I will have to do this in backtesting to make sure this works correctly, as I don't want to be doing this on real funds and be wrong. It's one thing to be wrong in a trade, but to not know how to execute in terms of logistics is not a good thing.

There was a $10K lesson I learned about 3 yrs ago regarding not understanding the logistics of execution of a trade, and that has stuck very well in my mind. If you have to call 100 times until you fully understand how to do this, CALL them 100 times.

By tomorrow I will have backtested this (unless it somehow doesn't work during backtesting) and do it in real time trading. Today had I had the trailing stop in place, I would've met my $300 goal, but another learning point.

4. It's good to end on a positive note for the day.

5. I planned my trade, traded my plan.

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