I had a mini roller coaster ride today. I lost around $300 after a few trades. The trades I took just did not feel right, but I wanted to make something happen and make some money. I took a short in BGC when it took out the opening range low and and made around 250. Then I caught some quick shorts in some of the fertilizers and I was up around $170. At 10:40 I thought AG bottomed because it was lagging all the other fertilizer stocks which made their bounces. I wasn't even planning on holding it long, just a quick 30-50 cent bounce. The stock sold off and I lost $150 instead with my 300 shares. This is what I get for bottom fishing. Then I proceeded to put my pnl back to negative territory of around $130. Things turned around as I caught a good shorts in CNX and TRA. I was up around $480 after my trades. I was not happy because I was upset with my trading and the moves I missed on the short side in the fertilizers. I wanted to make some plays again but churned my gains away instead. I am ending my day now because if I am not in the right state of mind to trade. I am probably going to miss some kind of big move, and I hate the thought of missing out. I think the fear of losing what profits I have left is stronger.
Lesson: Focus on on making good trades instead of trading my pnl. I got to really stop my habit of checking my pnl. There was a time last year when I kicked the habit, but now it's back. I find myself checking my pnl after every trade. It really is a bad habit.
- 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.