Small Profits

It has been a challenge both in practice and funded trading to be profitable lately. So, aggressively last night I began doing backtesting again, at a slower speed. Often when I do backtesting, I do it at 8x speed. Yesterday I did it at 1x, 2x, and 4x. 2x is like trading at 1.5 min. 4x is less than a minute, but it can be like 1 min. To go faster, it's not even close to what real trading would be like, so it's less valuable for me at this point.

I've found I have to set my profits typically at 2 ticks. At times, it will have to be 1 tick, other times 3, 4-6 ticks. Rarely will I be able to take a trade of more than 6 ticks as of recent.

Most days in the past 2 weeks have not been trending. Yesterday trading was in a 6 pt range, not much. You have to be able to take profits quickly. It was frustrating trading because I refused to believe we were in a sideways day.

So, instead of being frustrated, go with the flow. Take what the market will give you. If it gives you a trend, then take it. If it's sideways, take short profits and being willing to get in and out of trades more quickly.

From "Trading in the Zone", he talks about always being present, focused, in the NOW. What is the market telling you NOW! If it tells you to get out, get out. Backtesting last Thurs & Fri, I found typically taking 1-6 ticks allowed me to be profitable, while waiting for a bigger movement typically cost me bigger. Not good.

You can't force the market to do anything as the market doesn't care anything about you. Stay focused. Stay present!


Okay, this may sound hokey to you, but one of the questions I've had is that if my technicals are so good, and I do all this other good, positive stuff, why has my trading still not been what it ought to be, or at least what I think it ought to be?

Monday I was listening to a couple teleseminars by 2 different people on different topics. However, both topics were about improving yourself. I'm in a constant state of learning about myself and growing to be the best I can be, uncovering the lies so I can live my true self.

Typically I eat healthy, get moderate exercise (been inconsistent in the past year plus), do a BUNCH of self-help, positive things from prayer, study/reading the Bible, affirmations, positive thoughts, EFT, EMDR, books, teleseminars, and the list of things goes on. Am I impatient about the process of uncovering false beliefs?

Let me get more to the point. Two things were said in Monday's teleseminars:

1. Fear resides in the stomach.
2. Whatever body parts you dislike, those parts are weakening & dying.

So you say so what?

My yoga instructor 1.5 yrs ago told me that fear resides in the psoas. Immediately I told my massage therapist to work on that area of my body to get those fears physically out. Maybe to some degree he did, as over the course of the next months, some really challenging things occurred and I was able to get through them.

The words we speak verbally and the thoughts we think are very important. There is life & death in the power of our words. I had been speaking ill to my tummy area my whole life. That's why I have the tug of war going on. I do a lot of positive things.

Zig Ziglar said for every 1 negative thing you receive, it takes 16 positive things to counteract it. Isn't that insane? Negative things really take a huge toll on our health as well as sabotage our success.

It's been more than a week since I heard those teleseminars. I've been saying good things about my tummy and getting excited about it - loving my tummy. Just like we can't plant a seed today and have it bear us fruit the next day, so it's going to have to be something I cultivate. Afterall, I spent several decades hating my tummy.

That area is where your gut, intestines, psoas, kidneys, liver, pancreas, various hormonal stuff like metabolism. My goodness, so many important things and I've been speaking ill to it all my life. It will take some work to undo this. God have mercy & grace on me.

Where might you be sabotaging yourself.

Trading Updates

I have been trading every day in the past 2 weeks. Most of the days, I've ended negative, but finally, yesterday I ended positive. Yay God!

My sleep has been really off, but starting 4 days ago, I began making these kale shakes (kale, water, banana, and mango/blueberries/raspberries/papaya/pineapple, water, ice). I drink one 14 oz shake -- it's a little chewy. I've noticed the past 4 nights I've gotten good sleep -- no naps during the day needed as I have enough energy, and getting to bed at a decent hour.

My eating has been frequently small amounts throughout the day. Before moving, often I would eat this way, but it's taken me awhile to adjust. When I moved in Aug'09, I went through a lot of internal emotional trauma which now does not exist, or very little of it does. I'm feeling so much better mentally/emotionally.

So, what does this have to do with trading? The questions in my mind have been if I know how to trade so well technically, how come I'm not consistently successful in being profitable? As I've talked about this in other blog posts, in the end, it comes down to our psychological makeup.

I learned some incredible things in Mark Douglas' book and was anxious to trade after that. I outlined the book, highlighted it, soaked it up. On Monday when I began trading, I found myself all over the place, not focused. Mon - Wed's trading I would make money only to give it all back to the market to end slightly negative for the day. Those days, my broker made money. I did not. I overtraded.

Through the course of this, I continued in my learning quest psychologically, reading and listening to some really good things.

The most recent thing I listened to was an audio by Raphael Cushnir called "The One Thing Holding You Back". He talks about emotional connection, living in the present, not in the past. It's also about allowing those emotions to come, not resist them, and letting them pass like a weather storm. It's a pretty cool concept and I could see it. He gives quite a few tangible, poignant exercises that really help you see what he's talking about that you can use -- in fact, I can use during trading.

Today, integrating Douglas' and Cushnir's concepts, my trading is better. Don't deny what you're feeling. Be completely present, focused, aware of what is going on as you trade. I seem to be flowing much better with the market today than I did Mon-Wed, and even Thurs. During most of my trading time today, the market has been in less than a 4 pt trading range, but that seems no problem to me.

The other day, it traded in a 4 pt trading range and I was so not in the flow, judging & condemning myself as I traded. This created greater resistance, which did not allow me to see clearly, as it took away my focus, as I could not be present in the now.

What also hit home was on Wed I attended a church service at his church (my beau, yes, we are back together again). The preacher there also talked about being present, not looking back. You can't run the race set before you if you look back. Be in the NOW each and every moment. The Scriptural reference is Philippians 3:12-14, where Paul is talking.

Here, we have 3 different resources (the Bible, trading psychologist, and a write) all say about the same thing. Don't worry about the past. It's the past. You can learn from it, but don't reside in the past. You must be present in order to move forward.

Trading In The Zone

I've reading Trading In The Zone by Mark Douglas a couple times. Once in 2005 and once in 2006. In fact, the book I have, borrowed and haven't returned back to my friend Matt. At some point, I will need to buy him a new book because at this last reading over the past few days, I've highlighted and marked it up.

Rarely do I ever borrow books, especially stock books, but I did with this. Reason why is I usually read with a pen/pencil and highlighter. Yes, I'm one of those readers!

There was so much in this book that I'm, most likely, not going to recap the whole book, but probably have several blog entries on the various topics and what that translates to me. However, though I will not recap the whole book in this entry, I will share the key points I learned:

1. I NEVER know what will happen in the market. ANYTHING can happen - it can go up, down, or sideways.
2. Be present in the NOW. Every NOW moment is unique and has never been experienced nor will be experienced again. Make no expectations as to the fact that you KNOW what will happen, because you do not.
3. When you think you KNOW what will happen, that's when you miss out on the information the market is giving you. You become blind to what the market is saying.
4. Be rigid with your rules, flexible with your expectations.
5. To change your beliefs, in order to avoid a fight back resistance response that is fight or flight, you must gently take action towards the truth of what you want to belief.
6. The market is a constant flow of information -- that is neither good nor bad.
7. Be focused, disciplined, accept risk.

That's it for right now.

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