Quick Year In Review For 2008

Prior to this year, my style of investing was swing trading anywhere from 1 day to several weeks. I'm going to share the highlights/major events of 2008's trading for me.

At the beginning of this year, I began daytrading options on high priced stocks. My first trading coach, RL, recommended my personality is suited to daytrading, though, he himself abhors daytrading. So, that's when I began daytrading stocks like BIDU, CME, GOOG, AAPL and a host of other stocks.

To keep up with lots of stocks was too complicated and for a few weeks or more, I only traded BIDU and was making decent money. The swings on BIDU were great and that allowed me to trade options well. But, sometimes I would get hit big, inspite of stops being in place.

The defining moment was when I was on a field trip and I allowed my broker to manage my position for me, which was one of the biggest costs for me this year. Actually, it was the biggest costs and it took me a number of weeks to psychologically recover from this, where I did not trade with any funds, rather continued to practice.

My divorce proceedings were heating up as the year went on. My former spouse said that he would give me what I want, but the reality of that was he jerked me around and it was emotionally very distressing and financially very costly. My main concern were the children, but finances were also an issue.

These were not things that made trading easy.

As the economy began looking pretty dismal, I was feeling drained from meeting with the lawyer, gathering evidence/paperwork, parenting my children and managing everything.

For about 6 weeks or so in the Spring, I tested using options of high priced stocks and basically doing way out of the money (OTM) stocks to see what I could do in 1-2 months with $200. It was quite impressive and I was able to have a lot of success here.

I did the $200 accounts as most people can relate to having $200. Not everyone has tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to work with. One of my premises was really not so much for adults, rather children to begin building their college, car and other funds.

One of the goals I have in the next year or so is to develop a program to teach about the stock market, trading . . . really making your money work in my children's school. Perhaps this could be a program that I would develop and be able to share online where other parents can use my tools to teach their children on making their money work hard for them.

Most of us do not have oodles of time, especially those who are parents, to work more hours. When you work more hours, you're taking away time from your children, and if you're married, from your marriage. Working smarter and more efficiently is the key, and if you can have your money work hard for you, that's even better.

As the $200 accounts get larger, they can then be daytraded (when they > $25K for equities), or a portion can be converted to a smaller futures account, but the knowledge to trade futures due to risk management could be a bit trickier as one can stand to lose more than what you would use for a trade, whereas for options, the max you can lose in the style of trading I was doing is what you put into the trade, therefore, there would be a cap as to how much one can lose.

The latter part of Spring, I finally succumbed to changing my trading to be the emini's futures -- ES (S&P 500), YM (Dow), and NQ (Nasdaq). In the end, but the Fall, I decided to just trade the ES solely. It took me a few months to develop the strategy that I now employ, as well as come up with a way to use minimal amounts of money to make the money I need.

As the market began in September making huge swings with economic crises looming, there were incredible opportunites in the market. Though probably hundreds of thousands of people lost tons of money in the market and their retirement plans, jobs being lost, for traders that knew how to manage risk and play both the up and down sides well, some probably become millionaires or billionaires during this timeframe.

My divorce became final over the summer and I began psychotherapy (EMDR therapy) to help me deal with the effects of my divorce. Kids are getting counseling, too. Honestly, I thought I would be relieved to be divorce, but the month after the finalization of the divorce, I sank into despair and depression. Neither which are good things for trading.

But, as my therapist, God, and a number of other things I was doing, a month later, I began feeling much better and began back at trading with real funds and continued until I was super sick and kept trading. That cost me some big bucks and was my 2nd biggest costs for the year. Again, I was hit psychologically in my trading. My trading plan and strategies were good, but in my head, I wasn't doing too well, so I went back to practice trading.

Periodically I would get my feet wet with funded trading, but it wasn't consistent as there were certain fears I had, which had nothing to do with the market. I was physically feeling tired from the demands placed upon my life with a huge financial burdens, single parenting, kids with super busy schedules, my health was a huge rollercoaster.

In October I began taking charge of my health and began a program with Isagenix (if you want to know more, ask me) and began feeling mentally and physically way better. After the elections, I said it was time to really get committed in my trading and to learn to trade no matter what. It dawned on me that there would always be life stuff happening and I had to become a master of interferences and learn to trade no matter what the circumstances were -- healthy or sick, upset or happy, sleep or no sleep, super busy or not, etc. You get the point.

I committed to trading NO MATTER WHAT and began documenting this here in this blog, as well as being more rigorous in my private journal. Daily I began setting goals and found most days I met my goals (73%), and began tracking some things that I wasn't doing consistently to measure whether I was improving or not.

One of the big things was to document the things I was doing well or not and to see what kind of patterns there were in my trading, so I could further address and eliminate those habits which were undesirable to trading, to see if I could figure out the root cause and eliminate. Sometimes the root causes of certain behaviors is much more challenging to determine, but with help from my therapist, the Bible, God, prayer, EMDR, EFT, God continues to reveal areas that need to be addressed.

Since 10-Nov-2008, making the commitment to trade every trading day, here are the stats I end with:

Total # Trading Days from 10-Nov-2008: 36
Total # Days Traded: 33 (3 missed days, 2 were right after major holidays, the 3rd was after 3 days of no sleep)

Avg Daily Actual Net To Date: $476.89 (Net Profit = $15,727.52 in 7 weeks)
Avg Daily Goal To Daily: $500.00

Total # Profitable Days: 25 (75%)
Total # Costing Days: 8 (25%)

Days Daily Goal Met: 23 (70%)
Days Daily Goal NOT met: 10 (30%)

# Profitable Trades: 227 (65%)
# Costing Trades: 122 (35%)

Range of Daily Net Profitable Days: $89.09 to $11,807.57
Range of Daily Net Costing Days: $8.79 to $10,131.92

Overall ROI To Date: 656%
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2 Responses
  1. PW Says:

    Doris You Rock!

    My last comment was lost when I tried to sign in, booooo. It was long and good too.

    Clif Note Version: I am so very happy for you and your success. You deserve it!

    To Your Success, PW

  2. Doris Says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, PW.

    It was good to end on a good note for the year. I'm sorry you lost your comment.

    I continue to learn.

    Bless you,

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