Pressured

One of the things about trading that I've found is when I feel pressured to make money, that's when I'm prone to the most errors. There are many strategies that can make money and help us to keep money, but most of the time, it's due to operator error in not following the strategy the way it's supposed to.

I place myself in this category, too. I know my strategies make money and can consistently do it, but do I? Yesterday I netted a cost and gave back money to the market. I was not feeling well, and felt like I was coming down with something. With lack of sleep and being around sick kids and adults, it was a matter of time before I caught something. Not that I'm all that bad, but even one night of not sleeping well, which is right now, as I woke up in the middle of the night, that can bring one's immune system down.

I've been feeling harassed by an individual whom I perceive to be threatening, so that's caused me concern for myself and my children and it's very upsetting. Of course that has an impact on how I trade and it was probably in my best interest to not fund any trades but to continue to practice real time, to better hone my skills. But, such was not the case yesterday.

One of the things I'm learning in trading is that I need to constantly be trading well and the difference between funded and not is just a click of a pulldown menu. It's best to be seamless as possible in both practice and real, meaning there should be no difference in the trading. When you can do this, this allows you to be calm, cool and collected in trading.

There's been a lot of stuff going on that are negative in my life, and a part of being a good trader that lasts is to be able to handle those things and still trade well. Working on that and cannot say that I've arrived yet, because I haven't. This week, my EMDR therapist did not go over with me doing EMDR. In fact, the last 2 weeks we've not done any and I've had a great deal of resistance to the homework she's given me, for some reason.

As I sit here looking at a real time practice trade I did in the middle of the night, which I set my parameters of stops for profits and costs, I can see that if I just allowed the trade to work through, I would've been filled at what I planned rather than getting out too early. You've probably experienced this this -- "Well, this much profits is on the table, I'll take it." to find that if you just left it alone, where you originallyhad your exit point, you could've taken much more off the table. Yup, that's me.

Of course, there are those times that you do that, and it comes so close to taking you out, but not close enough and then it completely reverses and then you ask yourself why you didn't take what profits you had on the table. How many of either situations has happened to you? A profit is a profit and you can cash that at the bank. For me, on that trade I exited too early, I did take about 90% of what I intended, which is really good.

No coulda, woulda, shoulda. It does no good to our psychie's. What counts is what you actually close with. In my coulda, woulda, shoulda world, I woulda been a gazillionaire by now. I still haven't been bold enough to put on a funded trade in the middle of the night unless I'm sitting here at the computer because just ONE time, I did that and something happened where my stop was way out of the way to let the trade work, I got tagged at my stop cost and that one cost me big.

All it takes is one time to really drop your account and being that my futures account isn't all that big, wiping it out with one trade isn't my idea of "live to trade another day". I do look forward to the day when this futures account is big enough to where I can take money from it and not be concerned that it's causing any dent in my account. I also look forward to the days when I can take money out to pay off debts, to help relieve the debt burdens I'm facing after a nasty divorce.

It really is about making one quality trade at a time. Quality is the key. Build the account up with one dollar and one trade at a time. Each trade is different.

One of the things, though, when I have more than 2-3 costing trades in a row, that means I do need to stop. Sometimes it's just one costing trade that I do need to stop because of the size of it.
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