General Comments

The danger of the overconfident trader

Feb 12th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
Yesterday I wrote about a trader struggling with added size and risk.  In seeking a solution for this trader one possible area of focus was overconfidence.  How does it happen?  Why is it dangerous?  What can we do to combat overconfidence? You trade well.  You are seeing screens well and the market is trading in a way that allows your strengths to produce outsized PnL.  Your firm gives you a bump in size and risk.  Everyone around you sees you slaying the market and comes over with the fist bumps and giggles.  On a prop desk, you get followed around more by traders engaging you in your trading.  You are the BMOD Read more [...]


A trader struggles with added risk

Feb 11th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
Here is an anecdote from our proprietary trading desk in NYC. A consistently profitable trader (CPT) shot me an email this week to chat about struggling with a recent bump in share size and risk.  He felt he had taken a step back with his trading after being given the opportunity by the firm to take a few steps forward with his newfound share size and risk. His recent struggles: forcing trades forcing size with trades hitting bids to enter short trades because he could unease with the new numbers on his PnL anxiousness This CPT had experienced this before with recent bumps.  So we chatted about a Read more [...]


A loud coaching session on the desk

Feb 9th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
Yesterday we had a loud, unscheduled coaching session with the newest traders on our desk.  There were raised voices and language not suitable for network TV. By my count this was the third time these newest traders did not meet an acceptable level of AM preparation.  I am not suggesting they did not prepare.  I am not suggesting they did not compile many trading ideas on our AM Ideas sheet.  I am suggesting they missed a few trading opportunities that they should not have because it was not on their AM Ideas sheet. One trader carped about a missed 2nd Day play in KORS.  What are you complaining about in real-time Read more [...]


A solution to improve your patience as a trader

Feb 8th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
Dr. Brett Steenbarger, the Coach K of trading coaches, generously visited our firm today and spoke with our traders.  I asked him to tackle four issues during his discussion: I want to take my trading to the next level If I could just wait for my setups If I could just stop taking lesser trades Define the competitive trader I wrote about the first three issues in my blog post yesterday, We are all working on that on our trading desk as well. But when you have the Coach K of trading coaches grace your firm, you ask him to share his thoughts on these vexing trading issues. The discussion was fascinating, Read more [...]


We are all working on that on our trading desk as well

Feb 7th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
Yesterday a 30 year market veteran, who has been a part of our trading community for years, stopped by to visit.  He has been struggling with his trading and felt something was just missing.  He wasn't sure exactly what.  His visit and our discussion about his struggles became so interesting to me.  This retail, developing trader was struggling with the same issues on our desk, even among our successful traders. He said three things about his trading that I hear guys on our desk say.  In fact, I hear these from many guys on our desk, even our best traders.  What was most interesting to me, was the three things this Read more [...]


SMB at The TradersExpo New York 2017

Feb 6th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
SMB will present at The TradersExpo New York 2017.  You can sign up to ATTEND FREE. Mike Bellafiore will present February 27: Seth Freudberg, who runs our Options Desk, will present as well. Last year Mike presented and then stuck around to answer questions. We hope to see you at The TradersExpo NYC 2017. *no relevant positions   Read more [...]


Taking your trading to the next level

Feb 6th, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
In a daily trader review or monthly trader review, often I find the words: "to take my trading to the next level."  Traders wish to take their trading to the next level.   It's almost like we could start a cult: Next Level Trading. The desire is there for most traders.  The question is the how. Most traders focus on trading better in real-time to "take my trading to the next level."  If they just execute better on a trade here and there, then their trading will be better.  If they would have just sized up on a trade, then their week would have been different.  You can feel the stress and frustration in their emails Read more [...]


Check In With Yourself

Feb 3rd, 2017 | By | Category: General Comments
One thing I consistently see with most traders I mentor is a lack of a holistic premarket preparation routine. Yes, most already check the news, find things they're interested in trading, and begin to pour over charts for levels and patterns. Pretty standard. All good things ,but... What I teach my mentees is to add checking in with themselves! Sure, we want to check charts and analyze them, but guess what, if you're not very self-aware as you check the charts and especially as you begin trading, you're likely to do a poor job. We can start with some very basic, and seemingly obvious checks. Are you sick? Did you get enough Read more [...]