For the first time in several years, my ES/NQ day trading was not profitable for the year. I actually was profitable going into October but then I made some mistakes. First, I was off from work for a few weeks so I had more time to trade. This means instead of being super selective, I ended up taking more trades (over trading). This combined with the low volatility made for some bad results. I also had some bad luck in there were a few big winners didn’t work. I’m not making excuses, I mismanaged my trading and gave back the gains for the year. This motivated me to take a pause and reflect.
Over the past few years I had been making money day trading ES (and sometimes NQ). But I never made a lot. And the trading was interfering with family time. As a reminder, I can only trade the last 2 hours of the regular session which corresponds to 8-10pm my time, and only on days when we don’t have any activities. Which lately, is seldom. Kids have homework, wife wants to watch a movie, I exercise, have private music lessons, etc. This allowed me to be very selective and only take the best setups when I was around my computer, but it also meant only a handful of trades per month and sometimes zero or one.
So this combination of not having time for trading ES, the low volatility, and bad results in October all combine to tell me I need a break from futures trading. So I stopped trading for the rest of the year. It was very tempting to continue and try to get back above zero, but I think it’s best to stop. My results over the past few years are still positive so I can stop here.
What this means is I’m going to focus on trading activities that can be done outside of market hours. After 10pm the kids are in bed so I have more time, and I have more time on the weekends. So I’m currently looking at swing trading stocks and stock options. I will try this for 2018 and see if works better for me than day trading ES. I think a lot of what I learned from my day trading can be applied to swing trading. For example I can use volume profiling to help time entries. I could possibly time my entries as I would for a day trade, but hold it for a swing trade. Or maybe I’ll just find a good level and put in my limit order so it can fill when I’m not around.
I also realized that my blog contained hundreds of posts from “a long time ago” and are not really relevant to today. I was also made aware that I should avoid posting real trading results if I am selling indicators, to avoid legal issues, etc. So for these reasons I’ve temporarily removed my previous posts while I decide what to do. I may add back posts that would still be useful today.
Speaking of selling indicators, some of the indicators that I developed for analyzing order flow will not be as useful for me trading stocks. Currently I’m using IB for stocks and will not have access to unfiltered tick data. As a result, I’m considering making these indicators available for a small fee. First I have to migrate everything to Ninjatrader 8. I’ll write more about that in the future.
Happy Holidays & Good Trading!