Yesterday was a good day for our desk. It is days like yesterday that make me upset the market is not open seven days a week. Trading can be very frustrating but when you do the right things it is freaking sweet.
It is nice to see that the hard work pays off. There are days when trading feels like a grind and there just isn’t enough free money or volatility to kill it. As traders we pray for days like yesterday. I’m not talking about the P&L at the end of the day (although it is nice) but about the opportunities available to test your skills. It is in these days when you can be aggressive, play momentum and give the stock more room on the upside than normal. It is not a day to lose focus because whoever is handling the order flow cannot trade to save his/her life. There is no need to waste energy complaining about the play not working out. Your energy should be spent looking for the next entry point. And trust me, I know complaining. At times I lose my focus doing exactly that and it is something that I need to further improve.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how to get better everyday. In the mornings I do my visualization exercises: making one good trade, staying focused after taking a bunch of little rips and taking a large loss, having a good day, being aggressive on the right places. Then after the close I review my statistics for the day with our SMB Chop Tracker (which I built with our programmer): number of positive/negative trades, average holding time, added liquidity, average gain/loss, etc. I watch some tape of my day if I think I saw something unusual in a stock: a computer program getting turned on or off and what the box looked like before and after. On some weekends I watch these recordings again so that I have them fresh in my mind and ready to execute next time I see the same thing.
As I sit here and think about my trading yesterday I know there were things that I could have done better. I wish that I had traded with more size. I wish that I had held core positions for some moves. I wish that I had a bit more energy to actually trade until the closing bell. After 675k shares I reached my exhaustion point at 3:45 pm. But overall, I am pretty happy with my trading and can’t wait for the bell to ring on Monday.
So as you can tell there is a lot more to trading than just showing up and finding out what’s moving. At SMB Capital, we teach that you need to do 1,000 little things consistently to be a good trader. Yesterday’s performance by our prop trading shows that many are listening. These are exciting times to trade. Chop!