Monday, April 23, 2007
Failure to cut losses
I was up around $80 in the morning and slowly traded my winnings again. Around 2:15 I lost my discipline. I saw CMI having a blow off top at around 88.19. It sold off to 86 and I kept thinking what about that incredible drop. Why didn't I have the guts to short it. I decided to wait for bounce to a Fib level so I drew some lines. The first bounce hit the 38.2% retracement level and sold off. I missed that because I was checking out Youtube. I decided to draw a trendline and short the stock when it bounces of the trendline.
Here are my trades:
I shorted 200 shares at 85.73 and covered at 86.24. I lost $51
I saw the stock sell of quickly and I put out a market order to short. I got filled again at 85.73. I covered at 85.98 and lost $25.
I watched it rally to 86.50 and sell off from there. I put out a market short and got filled at 86.31. The stock went up to 87.45 and I was getting squeezed. When it came down to 86.78 I covered . I lost $95.
What I learned from this series of bad trades:
I missed that $1 drop after the 1st bounce so I thought the stock owed me some money. I anticipated a breakdown when the stock hit the trendline. The stock broke through the trendline instead. I hesitated in cutting my losses when they were small.
- I have been trading for 5 years. It took close to a year before I became profitable. I find that I am improving gradually each year. My method of choice is scalping. My edge lies in tape reading NYSE stocks and staying on the side of the specialist. That is the method I learned when I started. As I build up my capital I will try new styles and trade new markets. In late 2006 my trading hit a rough patch after the introduction of the NYSE Hybrid system. For most of 2007, I have been on a search for new strategies that would help me adapt to the market.