Sunday, November 16, 2008

Slow times

I am wondering why I am stuck in a rut these days.  Half of the month have gone by and I am only up $400.  It is frustrating to put in the time and effort only to see minuscule returns.  I did not encounter any big blowups.  I had 2 days when I lost $200.

I think the volatility is good and the opportunities are there but my psychology is preventing me from taking advantage of the moves.  I feel like I am getting even more conservative.  A month ago I was able to make more trades and embrace the risks.  My performance a year ago in November 2007 is much better than my results now.  I had a lot more guts back then.

Since I am only up a little this month, I am afraid of losing my gains and being negative.  It feels like a trading day when you make a couple hundred right off the bat.  You get sloppy and take a series of loser and end up giving away most of your gains.  Now you are in a situation where you are torn between making your money back and fear of losing more and going negative.  I have had many experiences like this and I think most of the time things get ugly.  This is how I feel about my month.  The fear of ending the month negative is crippling.

Sorry to bore you guys with the depressing account of my trading.  On the bright side I may be down but I am not beaten.  I still have my hopes up and I will keep trying till I figure things out.  


The Average Jay said...

Welcome to the club. I cut way back to figure out why I am always losing. I found some great books to read so I am slowly get back into it with a new mind frame. I am still scared but at least I know why.

Stay well


JMJAtlanta said...

People change, therefore markets change.

Detecting market change is easy for me (and I think for most). My setups start failing!

I ask myself: Is it me, or the markets, or both?

If I think it's me, I try to get back on track. If my results do not improve, I look at the markets. What is happening to volatility? Who do I think is buying, and who do I think is selling? Do I have evidence to support this? How can I capitalize on this change?

If you know why your setup works, you know when it works. I hope this helps!

Ilunga said...

you just need to have some faith on yourself

trade the way you traded last year when you were confident

always keep that great feeling in mind

I don't think you will get better if you were afraid of the market or lossing money or getting negative

just trade the easiest stock that you totally understand the move, you don't need to challenge the market

everything will be fine coz your blog helped me a lot when I was a new trader this time last year, and I am able to make solid money now, why you not?

OBAT said...

Thanks for the comments guys.


I tend to do better when the market break out of consolidations. I find it tough when the market or the stocks I trade have inside days or are trading within a range.

I have a rule that says I should not trade when the stock hasn't broken previous days highs/lows.

But the problem I have is failing to follow my rules.


I feel good that my blog helped you improve your trading.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Join the RO, dammit! You'll be taking on more risk than you ever imagined and hearing top-quality gay jokes all day long.

It's one path to success, anyway.

Seriously though, stick with it. It's a tough month for many traders despite the volatility.


OBAT said...


The RO sounds fun. Joining the RO will be one of my top options if I still don't see any progress.

Andrew said...

Hi Obatrader,

I'm emailing you in regards to an email I sent to you last month about a partnership, have you had a chance to think about it?

If you have any questions or would more information, please advise me and we can go from there.

Kind Regards,
Andrew Knight
Website Manager
Banking & Finance Division Pty Ltd
p: (07) 3368 2666
f: (07) 3368 2670

wincity said...

Hey, OBAT, it's natural that the more we trade, the more chicken we become. When I started day trading a few years ago, my default size is 600 shares. Now it's 100. Even then I'm hesitant.

It's important that we enter positions. Otherwise we'd die from inaction. I found it easier to enter positions with a size even smaller than what feels comfortable. I made almost $100 from GHL today on 30 shares. Could've made $100 from SKF had I waited a little longer to enter, on a measely 10 shares.

Hopefully with confidence later, we'd trade bigger size. However, smaller size is very helpful to get us moving.

FX said...

Hey obat, how is it going lately with trading? You don't blog as often as before.

OBAT said...


Lately I am feeling lost. I haven't been making any money for the past few weeks. I think need to put a trading plan together again. Right now I feel like I'm just trading impulsively without a plan.

So far I am not sure when I am going to put on regular updates.

FX said...

I understand and hope that things will soon get better.

I can only share my experience. I went with my slumps detailed on my blog and got pretty big response in comments. People were just pushing me from day to day to correct my problems, so I found that as a help. Consequently last month I had first month without any kind of averaging on my losing trades, thing that I thought is impossible, and even end month in black.

About Me

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.