My site was down for 3 days due to a catastrophic failure of my hosting provider. They worked really hard to get it back up, pretty much around the clock. So although I wasn’t happy about the downtime (apparently for $6/month you do not get any type of redundancy) I have to appreciate their hard work to get it back online.
If you were a reader last year or if you have visited my trade log page, you have seen that I was tracking various metrics on my trading. I like statistics and metrics so I got carried away. I was attempting to optimize an edge that was barely there. There wasn’t much to work with (my edge was just a few ticks at the time). So this year I put all that away and I just track the most important thing: $/day. As long as that’s positive and increasing, I’m happy.
Now that I’ve settled into a consistent routine, I think it’s time to optimize. I don’t think I need to worry myself with statistics, I just need to review my trades and identify areas of improvement.
For example, this morning I missed two bund trades. The first one came while I was reading something in my browser. Shame on me, there’s no excuse for that.
I could make an excuse for the second one because my broker rejected my order due to an unknown problem, but that’d just be an excuse. I have my ninjatrader connected to a backup broker so I can instantly switch over to the backup broker. It’s rare that I have to do this and the error message I received was something I’ve never seen before so I was unprepared. I need to be prepared for this scenario and instantly switch over so that I do not miss the trade.
So that’s two missed bund trades, both would have given a small profit and would have made significant difference to my morning P/L.
On ES, I actually traded well. My first trade went against me and I exited it on a small pullback for a 1 pt loss. Then I was patient and got a good re-entry a point lower than my first entry. It went within a few ticks of my target and then came all the way back below my entry. I think I must be a bit quicker to take profit and not risk giving back over 2 pts just to make a few more ticks. At the same time, I was feeling quite detached from the outcome and being patient for it to hit my target. I ended up moving my target in a few ticks and got out on the next push. It turned down and never did touch my target.
So you can see I’m talking not about getting an extra tick on my average trade expectancy but rather identifying areas of improvement to improve my trading plan and help myself to follow it closely.
Besides missing trades, other areas of focus:
- Be quicker to exit losing trades. I took two $400 losses on ES last week. I’d like for those to be a bit smaller if I can.
- Acknowledge when the market is not behaving “normally” and stop trading. This was the case on Friday’s option expiration. For me, ES was behaving normally and my trades weren’t working. But I couldn’t stop trading it. The result was my first losing day in 6 weeks. Another example is just now: I was in a Bund trade and it was not behaving normally. All of a sudden it reversed and took out my stop (which was at my entry so I was locking in a small profit). Turns out a news item about Greece caused the sudden move. I couldn’t have known the news item was coming out but I did know the Bund wasn’t following through on my trade.
- Add the Euro as a third market. I’ve been simming it for 2 days now and the results are better than Bund or ES. If I have consistent results this week then I’ll trade it with real money.
Do you know your areas of focus? Have you identified areas you need to improve? Do you review your trades every day? If you want to share your thoughts please do, I’m sure it could benefit everyone.
Good trading everyone!