Often traders reach out to me seeking to improve their consistency both outside of firm and internally. One firm trader sought to chat after a frustrating month about this very issue. In his monthly review, he outlined this issue for which he wanted to chat:
I am ending the month carrying a lot of frustration. I feel I under performed given the opportunity that was available to me. My trading consisted of a lot of ups and downs, and the month didn’t really play out with the consistency that I would’ve liked. I also am taking a lot away from the month in terms of learning/growing/assessing in order to make next month better, so that is tilting the scales of frustration back toward a more balanced place. Coming out of the end of February, there were definite clear signals that I was getting sloppy in my trading, taking too much draw down in the mornings, and this continued into March. I managed to dig out on most occasions, but in the 3rd week of March, it caught up to me. In terms of my focal/assessment areas, I shifted from “sizing” and “managing losers” to patience and open mindedness. I deemed those 2 constructs were of higher priority to get me out my slump.
Okay so if you are like the trader above, you are not the first nor will you be the last to struggle with consistency. I hope that affords you some solace so you can work on a solution.
I suggested three areas of focus for this particular trader:
- Develop a routine that you can finish presently each day. A routine followed daily will help you trade more consistently in real-time. Do not develop a routine unrealistic to complete daily. What can you commit to now that is necessary for you to trade optimally?
- Did you improve today? Instead of focusing on your PnL, judge your day on whether you improved. The underperformance in PnL ignites frustration. And really what does that accomplish? Better to be working on what you must to improve and determine if you did.
- Study the heck out of your edge. If you take 85 percent of your trades in setups with edge, it is very difficult to produce a frustrating day. One developing trader on the desk is shooting for 85 percent of trades within his PlayBook each trading session. When you are in an A+ setup it is hard not to be having fun. I submit even if those trades work against you, this makes for a day without much frustration.
*no relevant positions