Sunday, September 22, 2013


As a trader you can not allow your frustration with the market to allow you to leave your trade plan. If you abandon your trade plan you leave yourself in the perilous position of having to figure everything out which causes anxiety as your caught between wanting to find a trade that will work and fearing that the next trade will just put you further from new highs in your account.  If you feel that your trade plan is no longer valid, then you must step back a reassess what changes need to be made, write a trade plan for execution & create an appropriate risk management profile for the new trade.  Assuming you can actually find a new edge.   It takes time & that is actually a good thing.  There are a few gifted traders that can jump from market to market seamlessly and do well; most of us are not that trader.

What I have found over the years is that my particular edge has been consistently profitable. Sometimes its wildly profitable and other times its only reasonably profitable.  Right now, per example,  I am up about 20 es points for the month.  So not jaw dropping until you consider the environment. We have had an abundance of one way markets, not normal for ES trading & makes trading rotations very difficult.  Furthermore,  we have had an abundance of random news events that have really driven the market to make fast outsized moves, a dangerous trading environment.  Lastly, many traders are simply getting crushed in this environment, so being profitable is actually quite nice.  

After taking that into consideration, do the math on the PnL.  That's 1000 dollars per contract traded.  Trading 5 contracts thats obviously 5000 dollars, and we are not done with the month.  I follow a system for systematically increasing my trade size.   If your account size is 100000 per example, trading 1 car per 10000 in your account would have you up 10000 for the month.  This comes out to over a 100% annualized return.   Keep trading well and having a plan to expand to 15 contracts would yield you 150% .  Please notice the word plan,  a plan to increase size, hopefully based on successful trading. (increasing size as the number of successful trades grow)

Now nothing is guaranteed, especially in trading.  But if you stay focused on an edge and a plan to execute that edge well, good things can happen.  If we get into a better day trading environment,  returns can really explode.  But not if your jumping ship every time the environment becomes a little challenging.  Not if your abandoning your risk model. Not if your taking random trades.  Then your left to being pushed around by the markets.  And when the market comes back to your edge?  Well, you will be long gone; either threw losses or through missed opportunities because you did not stick to a game plan.  You will simply look back and say, ugh, why did i abandon what was working.  "I could have made so much".  This is the story of the majority of traders out there.  Do not let this be you.

To be clear,  there are lots of ways to make money in the market.  There is nothing wrong with having multiple strategies and trading multiple markets if you have the ability to do so.  However,  each strategy requires a plan and a true edge.  Generally creating both take a good deal of work and can not be done overnight. Saying hey,  this market overhear seems to be trading better,  let me jump over there and take a few trades.....   Without doing your proper homework,  your asking for an ass kicking.  Just how it goes.  Most traders don't have an edge or a trade plan.  I tend to be very slow to abandon mine.  Focus, patience, perseverance and stability in my focus leads me to success.   Randomness, lack of preparation, giving in to frustration, chasing a dollar.  This is the road to ruin.  Choose wisely.


Trading of securities, options and futures may not be suitable for everyone and involves the risk of losing part or all of your money. Commentaries are educational in nature and are designed to contribute to your general understanding of financial markets and technical analysis. Use it how you want and at your own risk. I am not a registered investment adviser. This information is a general publication that reflects my opinion and is not a specific recommendation to any one individual. You must consult your own broker or investment adviser for investment advice. Controlling risk through the use of protective stops is essential

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