Not A Total Waste

profile1The New York Stock Exchange opened up with a fury rarely known in the last 2.5 years of trading and it was kind of cool. One problem though: I wasn’t able to get in the market. As the title of the post implies, today was a bit of a waste in terms of trading and in terms of the effort made to trade. However, it wasn’t a total waste and I’m thankful for that. I didn’t want to go into the market with size given that today is the last Friday before July 4th and in all honesty, I shouldn’t have even really traded at all but that’s how things played themselves out so I formulated a strategy for today but last night.

Since I wasn’t going to be playing today’s cash open with size, I would make up for that with an overnight sort of size trade in the British Pound. It was a nice trade and I caught a good move out of it. I was really fortunate in that respect because I thought that all US backed currency contracts were going to move sideways especially after the broader markets gained 160 on wednesday then gave it all back yesterday. So, I was really grateful to have caught the move I did. Now, here’s where things got dicey. If it weren’t for me driving the fiancée to work this morning, I probably would have just slept in, woke up late and had a bowl of corn pops for breakfast but being that I have a tiny sense of work ethic I didn’t want this day to go to waste so I decided that in addition to the British Pound, I would go and trade the cash open. So, here I was getting ready to trade on the DOM when I noticed something. I usually will check the speed of my limit orders several levels below the market to see if my orders are routed quickly – it’s just a basic test that many traders do, no big deal. However, this morning, I noticed that my orders were coming in slower than usual. So, I just let the machine chill for a little bit and reset my connection. I click again and limit orders on both the buy and sell side of the DOM are slow. Not “slow” mind you but relatively too slow to play the market. If limit orders are that slow to get to the exchange, then guess what? If you really need to get out on a market order you’ll have to do pray to Vishnu/God/Zeus to get you out at a respectable price if the market suddenly gets crazy.

What is a small trader like me to do? I’m already set to trade and there’s like 20 seconds left before the opening bell. I really wanted to trade but I can’t trade under those conditions, so I just calmly took my hand off of the mouse , turned it off (I have a wireless one) and mentally traded as New York opened up. I felt like I had just killed time that I could have used to do something else.

But all is not lost. In the very least, I have green numbers on the PnL and I am extremely fortunate that I will have money in the account come next week when we resume trading. I didn’t envision things happening today then way they did but I am thankful I made decisions that would protect the business capital and thus protect my emotional security which would radiate into the rest of my daily life with my family, friends and overall outlook. I’m really thankful I had the discipline to do this because at a younger age, I would have probably tried to force a trade and put myself into a super shitty position. Now, I can enjoy the weekend neither grumpy but not happy. I am delta neutral but I can at least rustle up some positivity & gratefulness from there – and that is the name of the game.

I Have Been So Lazy This Week

10f568c7cbb17c082b58bf2f6c9b3d32The New York Stock Exchange was rumbling and zig-zagging pre opening bell. This type of price action usually portends a good move in either direction but today, the market didn’t move all that much outside of the gate and I just decided to make some quick moves before bowing out of the action. I can see now that the Dow is down 108 so I guess I must have missed something but it doesn’t really matter at this point.

I traded Orange Juice this morning and as much as I was dying for prices to push so that I could get some more into the PnL, it just wasn’t happening. I had squeezed all of the ticks I could have squeezed out of OJ and exited for break-even. The cash open wasn’t all that much of a difference as I tried to get whatever I could out of the indecisive open. There were gains, there were losses but overall, there was just me cursing under my breath as I realized that I was wasting commission dollars. I want money all the time – but today just wasn’t the day I was going to get any.

I have done nothing all week except for some personal bank accounting and stocking up on beer for the upcoming 4th of July week. I haven’t even played a single minute of video games although that could change after I type this post now that the idea is in my head. The thing is, I don’t know if it’ll be worth trading the market tomorrow. I might do an overnight on a currency but other than that what would be the point? Everybody’s leaving for the Hamptons or Wisconsin (for the Chicagoans) and there’ll be nobody left. Ok, that’s a little extreme but you get my point. There’s a part of me that wants to take Friday off but there’s also that stoic-puritanical-quaker part of me that says I need to wake up and be at my desk for the market open tomorrow.

Nevertheless, today was a mixed bag. I’m just satisfied that I didn’t crater my account but I’m peeved that I didn’t make money. I want to sit back and have a 6ft diameter tube funneling $100 bills to me 24/7/365 – that’s the dream. But until then, enjoying this beautiful late June day will do.

A Damn Fine Open

general-william-tecumseh-shermanThe New York Stock Exchange didn’t move quickly nor did it move with the electrifying precision of a peregrine falcon diving down on its prey. It did however, pick a direction out of the opening bell and decide to stick with it – and boy, did it ever stick with it. That 40 tick move on its own would have lifted even a single contract player into dizzying heights of orgasmic trading nirvana – I mean, if it weren’t for the fact that I had to trade in a Starbucks this morning, I wouldn’t have saved my dancing until I got back into the truck.

I traded Wheat this morning and caught a couple of ticks which was great. I was wondering to myself whether or not the cash open was going to be another wheezing and stalling affair but I’m glad that I waited for it. When New York opened up, it was as easy as clicking in limit orders on the DOM, getting filled and watching the market move. I wish I could have days like that all the time but that’s just the way things go. I am really really happy that the market traded the way it did today. I took all my trades in size so in theory, I could just take the rest of the week off but there is work that has to be done including trading. I had one more trade to make with Feeder Cattle but after some thought, I was like: “why the hell would I go back into the salt mines to assume more risk?? fuck that shit.”

So that’s pretty much how the day went. It was AMAZING. But I will be the first to tell you that my results are not due to my “intelligence” or my “hard work”. My results today were due to the fact that the higher power opened up the money mill for me and said, “take it, and take as much as you can baby!” I will maybe write a post on this one day but I don’t really believe in “hard work” or “intellect”. In my experience, that stuff is for people who exploit being in the middle of the pack – which is cool but my purpose in life is to not be in the middle of the pack. I strive to escape that orbit. But I can’t ever do it without help from the man upstairs – Lord knows how much I’ve tried to rely on my “intellect” only to be slamming my keyboard onto my table after a failed trade that I thought would be a sure thing. I hate that feeling – even when I’m not playing size I hate to lose like that. I just hate losing in general.

Anyway, it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry. I’m also extremely thankful for this day. In my adult life, I don’t have instances of purity to enjoy so when I get a fortunate occurrence like this, all I want to do is give thanks and be happy – and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Crackin’ A Cold One

M8DBOID EC001The New York Stock Exchange opened up with a little bit of a flash and after some zig zagging here and there, I imagine that things have calmed down. Overall, the market just felt cold and lifeless – there were no trades to be had outside of the opening bell. I just utilized whatever window of trading I had and went with it.

I thought that the market was going to open upwards a little bit but got queasy with the movement going towards 9:30 so I dialed down what I would have played with size and decided to go to my default. I also did this because I felt that the market would weaken a little bit and it did. I’m glad that I didn’t commit to the long side at the bell because that would have hurt me a little bit. All in all, I took like 2 trades to the short side and after seeing how blobbish the market became, decided to call it a day. I had an overnight trade on the British Pound that worked out for a little bit of money – it was nothing special, I just traded it and held hoping that there would be some type of move but I was taken out of the trade while I slept by stop program. I would have liked to make more money but then again, so does everyone else in the capital markets.

So, today wasn’t much but I’ll take it over a losing day. Like George Soros says: “any day where you’re not belly-up is a good day in this business”. Hehe, he’s such an old coot. On a side note, have any of you ever tried to read Alchemy Of Finance? It’s like mentally doing balance beam gymnastics over crocodile infested water. I might try to read it while getting absolutely trashed this July 4th – maybe the alcohol will help me understand it.

I’m not happy with today’s results. I’d like to make some good money ahead of the holiday and being that this is the last week of June, I’d like to end strongly. But as we all know, you don’t get to choose a large degree of your results in the market but it’s not the other way around either. The only thing that we’ve got to do is be thankful if we’ve got another day. Even though it’s kind of cloudy and cold here in the East Coast, I am appreciative of each waking hour I will have after trading this morning. I can still attempt to make money tomorrow so there’s always a chance. I just have to make sure I’m being careful with my capital – and being careful and caring with everything important in my life. That’s truly the best way to be appreciative of it.

DEALERSHIT (Ok, Ok…I’ll Take It Back: Dealership)

RooftoRunThe New York Stock Exchange started off indecisive this morning. I tried getting in a couple of trades but it was really apparent that the market wasn’t going to be moved by the early morning orders. I just decided that I would try and trade as cautiously as I could because – while this isn’t necessarily a chop – the market will probably bleed into whatever direction it wants the way ketchup falls through French fries on a plate.

I tried two series of trades today. I tried to play Feeder Cattle and I tried scalping the YM. Both were to no avail and I cam out with small losses on both contracts in all trades. There wasn’t even an instance where I broke even. I was not pleased by the result but I feel fortunate that I didn’t get wrapped up in what I felt was a slow and uncooperative market. I was also playing with size which further limited my ability to just spray out orders. The last thing I want to do is to pummel my PnL in worthless commission rates but to do it with size behind it would turn an already frustrating day into an emotionally unstable one.

As you can probably surmise from my title, the latter half of my Monday will be spent in the hellhole known as the car dealership. Because I am obsessed with keeping up appearances being the materialistic prick that I am, I have to maintain what amounts to an expensive pain-in-the-ass vehicle. Normally, I go to my local mechanic but because of the nature of the maintenance needed, I have to get dealer parts and thus, dealer repairs. I am not pleased in any measure but there are two things that I always keep in mind when I have to go through this unpleasant ordeal:

a.) I am fortunate to even be able to drive around in the car that I do

and

b.) I deal with a friendly, courteous and extremely professional staff who don’t act like it’s a privilege for me to be here.

I have had past experiences with other cars where they make you feel like you’re sucking on the butt hair of their greatness and therefore you should be glad that they even want to repair your car much less look at you because you’re nothing but a worthless peasant compared to the noble air that they espouse.

I have a feeling that this particular round of upkeep on my car will be an expensive one so I just basically kept it short with the rep (a cool guy, btw) and told him it’s OK to just get me a ride home. I have other things to deal with today and the last thing I want to do is to be stuck here at the dealership for hours on end. Right now, I’ve already been here for an hour and a half and I already feel like I’m a prisoner in Alcatraz. Granted, they have cute little sandwiches and drinks here which is kind of novel. Also, it does give me a chance to think about my life but I can do that in my backyard without the pressure of having to look professional in the clothes that I’m wearing right now in order to get some professional respect from people that I hardly even know.

I complain about this occasion a lot – but it really is a service and I’m thankful for it.

Speaking of being thankful, I am glad that my account is intact and that I have the opportunity to trade tomorrow to better myself. I hate the fact that I lost to start the week but I just have to be productively aggressive tomorrow. I am thankful that I can take my car in for maintenance and repairs and I don’t have to stress that whatever the amount is will necessitate me having to think about selling my kidney or dancing half naked….or worse.

I’m a fortunate guy and I should mentally push myself out of feeling down. I want to get to the next part of my day without having this present part impact it negatively.

Summer Song Of 2017

77bdd6e367dfe91371285de6869c907bThe New York Stock Exchange didn’t really do much in the open but it started out with a sweet little move to the downside that I was able to take advantage of with size. Thank God for that trade and then the ensuing scalps because I really just wanted my Friday to be simple enough where I could concentrate on the task at hand and then head off into the weekend.

I didn’t have any other assets to trade outside of the cash open today which was kind of weird. I wanted to trade Feeder Cattle but I just didn’t like the way it looked in the morning and decided against risking capital. Everything else looked like it was under some type of Friday malaise so I just waited on the 9:30 opening. When it did, I was fortunate to be able to scalp for size and that’s what made the difference in the day. Truth be told, the morning wasn’t going to be worth it unless I could get in there for the number of contracts I wanted. I don’t think there was that much of a move outside of the beginning especially for the NQ. On these days, it’s just best to take the money thankfully and jump with the parachute.

As the title of the post suggests, I happened upon a song that encompasses the feeling of Summer 2017 for me. It’s funny because I hated the artist in the beginning. When he first popped up I was like :

“wtf??? The Weeknd???? what kind of dumbass shitwhistle stage name is that???

“hahahahaha! stuuuuuupiiiiid!!”

“new music is so dumb these days! we have someone that names themselves after the days in a week hahahaha!”

“take me back to when music actually made sense!” 

So yeah, that was my initial reaction, but as time went on his music kinda grew on me. It’s also worth noting here that my fiancee does not want me dancing – for any reason – PERIOD. I usually have to carry her out to the dance floor with me when we’re at wedding receptions so I can break out my mate attracting moves in the middle of the floor for her. It obviously works since she’s still with me.

Oh, and there’s also an unofficial ordinance by our friends out in California that I am permanently banned from dancing within the city limits of Los Angeles.

But whatever! This song is EXACTLY what compliments my dancing style and I’m ready to embarrass her in front of her friends lolol.

So, being that I am thankfully and gratefully green on a Friday, I can go into these next two days relaxed and ready to refresh myself. There’s going to be outdoor cooking and swimming and just overall having fun.

I really am a very very fortunate person.

I don’t know about everyone else but I’m ready to bring in this first official weekend of summer 2017 USA.

Jackhammer To Head

profile2The New York Stock Exchange didn’t really trade much in terms of volatility. There was a little bit of movement in the early goings but basically, I felt like one of those prehistoric flies caught in the amber goo and then you see me 3 million years later at a natural history museum stuck with the expression like I’m expecting the market to actually do something but it doesn’t.

I’m going to have to keep this brief because I am all over the place today after having to run some unexpected errands. I would like to get home but before I do I need to stop at the pharmacy because I have the mother of all headaches and if I allow it to get worse I’m going to end up speaking in monosyllables and grunts to show my displeasure with things. I traded Cocoa this morning as well as the Euro last night in addition to the cash open. I didn’t make anything with the first two trades and it was more like break-even for them. For the cash open, because of the speed of the market, I was caught in bad positions for size and that’s pretty much how my day ended. Whatever positive I had for Cocoa and The Euro was wiped out with the losses I incurred trading NQs and trying to decipher where they were headed and what kind of mood traders were in today.

It’s tough dealing with a red PnL but I’m glad that I didn’t spend the rest of the day revenge trading because that would have gotten me in a boatload of trouble given that the market was a little bit sticky. I don’t need to deal with the market’s shit if its trading like that. I have better things to do with my life and it was a beautiful albeit hot day today. I’m at a Starbucks typing this up and I’m thinking of an ice cold coffee that would go a long ways towards helping this headache.

I’m a really lucky guy. Now, if only I could hit the damn lottery.

Like Herding Cats

cosimo_grand_dukeThe New York Stock Exchange traded a little slow out of the gate this morning. I don’t even think I can attribute trading to any news this morning as I didn’t see anything out of the Wall Street Journal that jumped out at me besides Oil trading downward. Maybe that’s what’s weighing the markets down in terms of volatility – there’s probably both the glut and the slowing in demand. Who knows – I certainly don’t. I love it when people try and ask me about world economics, I literally talk out of my ass and watch them nod their heads up and down in agreement. I really should tone that behavior down a little bit.

I only had Wheat to trade this morning and I dug myself a deep hole in the PnL. Needless to say, I was not pleased by that result and expected things to be worse. However, my daily PnL limit wasn’t hit so that was something that I could hopefully build on. I didn’t have any other assets to trade outside of the cash open so I really concentrated on that. There were no scalping opportunities because of the tepid open so I waited for an opportunity that I could hit with size either to a.) recoup the earlier Wheat loss or b.) completely blow my shit out altogether for the daily PnL risk. Did choice a come through? In an alternate universe where I was a millionaire – yes. But in this dimension, my ES trade didn’t move the way I thought it would move and took some ticks away from me. So, in the end, my Wheat trade pretty much dictated my whole day.

I’m glad that I didn’t blow out my daily PnL limit. I hate ending negative on Fridays and I hate reaching my loss limit on the PnL – those two things really kill my emotional capacity for like 5 hours so even though I had a losing day, I’m glad that it wasn’t those types of days. This isn’t to say that I’m happy or anything. I’ll probably spend the next couple of hours playing Halo or something to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Like I say in my posts – I go into every morning expecting to make money and when I don’t I’m like a little fat baby that didn’t get its daily pizza. I really hate losing. But I also know I have to have some chill and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow. I’m thankful for the rest of the beautiful day that I can enjoy, I’m thankful I can still trade the markets tomorrow and I’m thankful that I have the emotional discipline to let myself reset.

In N’ Out Trading

general-william-tecumseh-shermanThe New York Stock Exchange was a little slow off of the bat so that made trading mildly difficult in the get go. I miss those days when the markets would open up like a track meet and you’d get a bunch of traders clobbered for 20 – 30 ticks going one way and then they’d all fly in and hit bids/take offers to send the market moving up 30 – 40 ticks the other way before the heavy hitters started coming in and making their presence felt. Those were great days. Alas, things change and now I am here with changes in the way that I approach the market and changes in the way that I look at risk. It is what it is.

I traded the cash open as well as I possibly could and made out with a net positive amount of ticks. I should have stopped there but I didn’t have any other assets that I could trade for the remainder of the day including the currencies and the grains. So I just decided to trade a setup on the 10YR Bond. That proved to be stupid as I lost a couple of ticks there which diluted the final PnL number. In the end, while I was green for the day, I could have been a bit more greener had I just stayed away from the bonds. But like I always say, you can’t be selective all the time with trades. You have to go with what your trading dictates and today it dictated what it did and I’m stuck with a result that could have been better.

Today’s trading was quick but I’m glad that I wasn’t overly careless outside of the 10YR Treasury mistake. It’s shaping up to be a sunny day and it’s beautiful. I have a world of possibilities before me and I have the choice of approaching it from a standpoint of gratitude or anger. I choose to approach the world from the standpoint of the former. Even though there are things that I feel I haven’t achieved, I am still grateful that I am relatively healthy and that I can tackle the market tomorrow.

 

A Brisk Start To The Week

Matthew_McConaughey__how_I_got_my_head_around__awe_inspiring__InterstellarThe New York Stock Exchange traded with some energy this morning. Even though it was to the downside, I felt like there was some muscle to the movement. It wasn’t as much as I wanted but it was as much as necessary for me. I just saw that we are hitting new highs in all indices and that’s kind of cool. I thought that it was gonna be a bit of a slog in the morning with the sellers dragging the buyers around for a little bit.

I only traded the YM this morning because I felt like that would be the only place where I could get some movement and it was. I got some nice tickage there even though I didn’t put on any size. I don’t know why but I just felt leery today of the market having an overall direction so I eased off of the gas pedal a little bit and just took what was there with the size that I did. As for other assets, the only other trade that I attempted was a trade in The British Pound. That one went for a small loss but not big enough to hurt the overall PnL.

I got a lot of stuff done in the morning after I tucked away the laptop. It’s nice to go onto another set of activities when you’ve made money trading. Otherwise, you kind of just want to keep to yourself and stay in all day. The business is really difficult like that so whenever I do make money, I’m in full rejoice mode. The only thing missing is a body of water that I can relax in like a lake or a beach. I used to live steps away from the beach back in my bachelor days and let me tell you, it is a real experience to do that. Whenever the fiancée and I go to a coastal place, I always book a waterfront room because there’s just nothing that can compare to the sights and sounds of waves crashing in the morning. I’d like to do that again soon so I’m hoping that there’ll be some good money coming in this month.

For now, I’ll enjoy my little victory but after lunch, it’s back to forensic accounting and studying where my trades could have been done better – you know, stuff like that. I am a very lucky person. I am so fortunate that I am where I am even though I complain a lot. To have this precious gift of a day means so much to me so I’m going to make sure that I live it as thankfully as I can and get ready for tomorrow’s market.