Trades: Thurs, 7-Jan-2010

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Day: Thursday
Date: 7-Jan-2010

# Trades Made = 7
# Profitable Trades = 5 (71.4%)
# Costing Trades = 2 (28.6%)

Max # Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used In 1 Trade = $500

Profits = $62.50
Costs = $50.00

Commissions = $27.93

Net = <$15.43> (-3.086% ROI)

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MONTHLY RUNNING STATS:

Total Trades = 12
# Profitable Trades = 10 (83% Profitable Trades)
# Costing Trades = 2 (17% Costing Trades)

Profits Total = $162.50 (kept 39.8% profits)
Costs Total = $50.00 (took 30.8% profits)
Commissions Total = $47.88 (took 29.5% profits)

Max Contracts Used = 1
Max Capital Used At One Time = $500

January Cumulative Net = $64.82 (12.96% ROI)

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Things I Did Well:
1. On all 7 trades, I waited to get into trades as per the trading strategy. That is a big thing for me. Every entry was excellent and at exactly the right place.

2. Showered and dressed.

3. Ate breakfast.

4. Did not multi-task while in trades and just focused on my trades. Shut down applications like chat programs, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Between trades, I did get online to check things.

5. Turned off distractions. There was music I was listening as I was looking at my brother's wedding pics. It was causing me to lose concentration on the market, so I turned it off so I could clearly think.

6. Did not allow myself to wuss out. I could feel myself fading a bit as I drove home from after taking the kids to school, but I said one of my goals was to make at least 3 trades today. It was preferable that I made double what I made yesterday, but wasn't sure that I would as I started off with the first 2 trades costing. I told myself that I have a trading plan & strategies to follow and that that was what I was going to do.

7. Took a break when I found that my psyche was off. I called a friend and talked about some other things, as well as took my heart meds.

8. Though I was fearful after 2 costing trades following the strategies, I told myself that I needed to get those out of the way (the costs) so I could move onto making profits. It is a part of doing business and to not dwell on them, rather learn from them.

9. Exited the first 2 costing trades as per the trading strategy. They were both profitable at some point, but my strategy was not telling me to get out. Had I done like I did on Monday & Tuesday with getting out too early, these would've been profitable trades. But, the key here is to trade well - to keep costs small and profits bigger and many profits and fewer costs.

10. Did not overtrade, rather each entry was carefully planned. There were far more entries than the 7 that I took, but these were the ones I was ready to enter. It gave me a greater sense of calmness.

Learnings From Today:
1. Fear will cause you to set your stops too close. The reality is, my trading strategy is about 80+% profitable in terms of the number of trades. So, there will be costing trades. If the strategies are followed, these are actually kept small. In the case of today, they are relatively small if I always traded exits as per my strategies, meaning, the profits would be medium to large most of the time. TRADE THE STRATEGIES ON EXITS no matter what.

2. The coughing I was experiencing was very distracting. Not sure what to do about this, but this probably had some level to do with contributing to fears.

3. There was some construction going on where the noises were very intermittent and loud, sort of annoying and startling. Nothing I could do here except mentally tune it out. It probably contributed a little to fearfulness.

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Every day this week I have learned a great deal in my trading. Although I've been trading for many years, it's really getting back to the basics and being honest in your trading. I've made trades where I used more than $100K capital for a single trade and have made more than a 6-figure profit on a single trade. So, then begs the question as to why I'm using only $500 and making so little on a trade.

I'm totally grateful to God for giving me not only a second and third chance, but so many chances that it's not even funny to count to be able to do what I love, which is trading, full-time. Bad habits are easy to develop. Good habits require time, consistency & effort.

Time really is to short to keep wasting it. I have solid trading strategies and there is no reason why I would not be following it except for sloppy work, laziness. That does not lead to a successful business and that's what I've proven. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to get serious.

Life will always have some level of distractions and "stuff" going on. I've attended so many classes, had the mentors, put in the time & work, traded various derivatives, have the tools. I've spent the money in psychological therapy and really have everything I need to be successful.

Hopefully those reading can glean and not repeat my mistakes. Yes, there is the rare breed that does everything right, but most of us have to learn the hard way. So, it's getting back to the basics. The Bible talks about if God can't trust us with the little He gives us, how can He trust us with more?

It's better to learn the lessons using small amounts of money (after extensive practice time has been done on paper - paper trading) -- this is like the consolidation period. And, when you've honed the most important aspects, then you can really take off exponentially.

My goal this month is to make $>1K, roughly $250/wk. Yes, not a lot, but it is developing and engraining habits, being transparent about what is going on with me so that eventually I can soar with the eagles.
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