A trader wrote to me seeking feedback on a trading problem he was having.
Question to @MikeBellafiore
… I noticed, that on most of my days I start in the red. The first couple of trades are usually losses and often I reach my set daily max loss before starting to see profits. What surprises me most, I usually recover and finish the day in the green! Even after commissions. (Out of curiosity, one day, when I was down too much already at around -600$, I even increased my losses to more than -1000$ on purpose, just to see whether I could trade myself out of it. Without trading differently or with increased risk or tier-size. I ended up finishing the day up 1300$ without even trading positions of more than 500 shares. Not that I would trade like this with a live account… as I also totaled around 500 executions).
So I am trying to find ways to start my day in the green and finding an approach allowing me to do so. Although I am not quite certain for the reason yet? Whether it is a lack of focus/attention in the beginning of my day, overconfidence, carelessness, or if I need to experience some sort of pain before waking up and start to focus…
If you happen to have experienced this phenomena yourself or with one of your traders and have an idea or solution to this I would more than thankful for your help.
Over the past weekend I thought of the following things I can try:
- watch/stalk a stock for at least 5(?) minutes before initiating the first trade in any stock.
- start out with smaller tier size (even going back below 100 shares)
- taking 2-3 imaginary trades in the beginning of the day until I get a feeling for the stock and how it trades.
- starting the day in the simulator until profitable (until having found a suitable stock for myself) and then switch to the live account.
You remind me of one of our traders on the desk who has developed a rule not to trade during the first 30 minutes. This trader was not having success in the first 30 minutes so eliminated this from his trading. He observes the market open and then waits for a trade to come to him.
You wrote you were uncertain why you started in the red, “Whether it is a lack of focus/attention in the beginning of my day, overconfidence, carelessness, or if I need to experience some sort of pain before waking up and start to focus.” Simply, you lack edge with your first trades.
I love the idea of tagging and measuring trades and keeping stats of what you do well and when. Tradervue can help with this. It will spit out stats of when you start to trade well and with edge. Start your trading then.
The open, midday and close are very different trading businesses. What works in one time period may not in another. What fails in one time period may work very well in another.
*no relevant trading positions