I Needed That

profile2The New York Stock Exchange started off rather quickly today – but the problem was that orders were kind of all over the place so I really wasn’t able to get a good understanding of the direction the market wanted to go. Judging from the rest of the market day, there wasn’t all that much to be made in pure ticks. The only way to have made something was to not fall in love with a directional bias.

I was able to trade the cash open successfully (I mean, anyone can get into the market) but as for true net earnings and costs, I beat commissions but I was not particularly satisfied with today’s result. I don’t even think I could call it productive by even the most liberal stretch of my imagination. The only thing that saved my day was an additional trade that I took before the lunchtime hour in the ES. I felt like the market was weakening a little bit going into 10:30 and decided to hit some bids. I wasn’t really looking to hold all that long and I felt like there was some type of upward push that was happening in the market so I just held for a time and was rewarded well for it.

I think that this will be the last day that I trade any other assets outside of the cash open since tomorrow will be Friday going into Labor Day. I don’t even know if it’s worth it for me to even trade at all but I have found that sometimes, it’s best to not trade before the holiday and sometimes its best not to trade after the holiday. It’s a give and take kind of thing where you have to play it by ear. Nevertheless, I’m confident that not playing any other assets is the better way to go and I’ll just end the week on the cash open like I did last week.

I’m so fortunate to have been able to trade and get the results that I did. I’m a very lucky person in that respect just due to how hard this stupid business is. It’s a very pleasant day today and the sun is out in the east coast. I actually decided to skip posting in the midmorning just to admire how the sun hit everything throughout the backyard. It’s a moment of clarity that I will treasure forever. But right now, I thank God that I have another day to trade.

Almost Forgot To Post

profile7The New York Stock Exchange started off pretty strong but it was a little confusing at the open because we had a couple of stutter moves that probably confused a whole lot of people. As it is right now, I don’t even think the Dow is past -10 which goes to show you what kind of a day it’s been so far. Are we tired of volatility? Maybe. Or Maybe we’re all waiting on what kind of damage Harvey does to Louisiana. Either way, I think that the month ahead will be full of consolidation as everybody looks to hedge and just overall be in protective gear for the broad impact this natural disaster will have.

I traded Orange Juice this morning as the only asset outside of the cash open and I’m glad I did because that was the only thing that really gave me money. The PnL overall wasn’t something to write home about but it was enough for me to consider it a productive outing and an overall productive day. The cash open though was kind of mixed as I hinted at above. I wasn’t really able to get a good sense of the entire market as a whole and I ended up barely covering commissions. Again, I don’t like overtrading and the diluting effect that it has on the daily PnL so when I feel like my hammering ain’t driving the nail in, I just leave it and prep for the next day. It’s a little frustrating because as you know the cash open is my bread and butter and when something happens there, it really affects other parts of my trading – not so much as when I was younger but moreso mentally. It’s hard to trade but just for perspective’s sake – it’s better to not lose money than to be idealistic about trading through the pain and then looking at your statement to see that you’ve practically paid a week’s worth of lunch for your broker (don’t get me wrong, I love my broker and I wouldn’t mind ordering lunch for him/her occasionally).

Let me just switch gears momentarily before I end the post. I really don’t mess around with water. And when it comes to big hurricanes like Harvey and living in a relatively close coastal area, I am really serious about understanding just what kind of hurricane I would be facing. I don’t live in an area like that now but I used to have a timeshare in Florida near the beach. Just with much of my life being around water, I’ve learned to love it as well as respect it’s power. I am so saddened to hear of people being swept out and drowning in Houston and it makes me call my younger relatives just to remind them of what uncontrolled water can do. Flash floods and similar water phenomena are the stuff of nightmares which is why the wife and I never ever set camp on or near flat and low lying areas. Be careful with water and if you can, donate something for the flood effort.

I’m thankful to God that I didn’t screw up in my trading. There are so many ways to win in this game but the caveat is that there are so many other ways to lose. Like I always say, it’s not good to be a good loser because the market starts to zero in on you if you love the proverbial hit so much. Instead, I get mad but I keep things professional. It’s hard enough in this business but when you lose your head, that’s when things start to really get out of hand. I’m really thankful that I’m in an emotional position where I’m prepared for the next day and that I can concentrate on the core foundations of all successful people – being decent and being professional.

I Don’t Know What To Write


The New York Stock Exchange certainly started off with a bang this morning. I saw that the market was down about 127 before the bell rang and coupled with Hurricane Harvey, I knew that we were going to be in for a flurry of orders before the last rings of the opening bell dissipated. Anyway, to see that 15% of refinery capacity was knocked out due to the hurricane is one thing, but to see that Harvey is moving eastward to another refinery center in Louisiana is something that can really amplify the situation. For now, this is the front and center news in the United States and it will have a bigger implication than normal in the September to follow for asset prices across the board.

As soon as the bell rang, I was off to work. It was a little difficult because there was almost an equal amount of buying as there were sell orders so it really moved the markets. I was able to get some good action and even some garbage trades in to pad the PnL but there is definitely a point where I stop with the garbage ticks because it becomes an issue of diminishing returns with an increase in the risk of PnL dilution if you get into a series of bad scalps. I tried trading Wheat in the morning but I wasn’t comfortable with the market overall so I just put down a little bit of risk and got out when I felt like the reason I traded wasn’t there anymore. No point in fretting over things that don’t work – besides, I had the cash open to get ready for.

Overall, this was a quiet day. I’m thankful that I was productive. I want to always be positive but I really hold myself to a higher standard with this stuff because consistently aiming for peanuts is no way to succeed in this business. If I get peanuts after I try my best, that’s one thing but if I go in expecting peanuts then I may as well just be a male stripper in some backwater town in the Venezuela/Columbia border (ew, I can’t believe I even conjured that up). Anyway, thanks to God, I haven’t done anything to seriously fuck up my account. I am alive for another business day and I can be in a position of emotional strength.


A Neutral Start

prof5The New York Stock Exchange started off mixed this morning. I didn’t get the sense looking at the currency markets when I woke up that there was any news that would move the markets but then again, it is the week of Labor Day weekend so there is that. I plan to trade other assets but I trading the cash open on Thursday and Friday will be something that I’ll think about – at least from a size perspective.

I traded two additional assets today: Cocoa and Wheat. Both contracts unfortunately cancelled each other out but I ground out a few ticks beyond commission so in the very least there was that. The cash open was a mixed bag for me as I went back and forth between the Nasdaq and the Dow. In the end, I just realized that I wasn’t getting the friendly bounce on my shots and decided to call it a day. Better to break even with a handful of ticks rather than lose money to commission. I’ll take this day over the latter without question.

I’m not particularly happy with this day. All I can do is just hang tight and prepare myself for the next. As difficult as it is for me to swallow a losing day, I don’t want it to be the gasoline that ignites other stresses that are unknowable to me as of now. It’s best to withdraw gracefully from the market and get a clear mind. What will I do to get a clear mind? Well, for starters, I want to make sure that God knows I’m thankful for my blessings and well….you know…a Bud and Chipotle burrito sounds like the makings of a good afternoon.


Laying An Egg

general-william-tecumseh-shermanThe New York Stock Exchange opened up a little slow this morning. It did take a direction but there wasn’t really much to jolt it towards some type of conviction. I figured it would do as much given that this is a Friday. We’ve also got Labor Day coming up so I think we could be in for some subdued action next week. But we’ll see, very few people (including myself) can afford to take off days in this business. I need to get up there with the real pros that can do that.

Anyway, I said in my last post that I was going to take an overnight trade on the British Pound. Well, I was all prepared last night to do it. I kept repeating it to myself that I was going to get in the market and make some money. But around 22:45, I went to the bedroom in a sleepy haze. The wife was watching TV and I just plopped into bed. I vaguely remember asking her to wake me up in an hour if she was still up but knowing me, I probably dreamt it as I probably fell asleep soon after. I had set my phone timer to wake me up but that didn’t mean shit – I didn’t plug it in to charge. When the light of the sun hit my eyes at 6 this morning all I could do was cry tears of bitter regret. I’m disappointed but kinda not. If there was anything this week demonstrated it’s that we can have the mindset and the preparation but if the market ain’t in a giving mood, then it ain’t in a giving mood. Additionally, I said that if I didn’t make money in the British Pound then I would trade the New York cash open, and I did. Since the market wasn’t moving all that much, I wasn’t really able to jump onto moves the way I wanted to and with the size that I wanted to for the most part. When I did get those good looks for size, the market just didn’t move enough. In the end, I barely covered commissions – a green day but only by a paper thin margin.

I hope that the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight will be different. It’ll be a nice late Saturday night cookout with friends and perhaps the weather will be cooperative enough for some pool swimming. I’m glad that this week is over and I’m grateful to God that with the size I swung around today, I didn’t lose any money. It could have been a worse week, I’ll say that but with some grace, I got to get out of it with neither a win or a loss – just the promise that I will live to trade on Monday.

There Are No Words

77bdd6e367dfe91371285de6869c907bThe New York Stock Exchange opened up pretty strong this morning. This is what is needed – a strong conviction either way to give everyone in the market a chance to make money. Some people make money, some people don’t. I fall into the latter category – at least for today.

I only traded two assets today, it would have been three but when I looked at the Euro this morning, I wasn’t particularly impressed enough by its movements to commit some capital to it. The next trade I made was Wheat and even though I felt like I had gotten in at a good price window, the market just didn’t move enough for me and I didn’t want to be sticking around when there was absolutely no reason for my trade to still be on. I exited with a handful of ticks. Then going onto the cash open, I kept my trades mostly to the Nasdaq. I don’t know if things would have ended up better in the Dow but all I know is that I completely shit the bed there. I just could not get a bearing on the market and ended up eroding the positive PnL that I had built up through the Wheat trade.

I want to switch gears for a moment because I always see people giving good advice on their blogs and I realized that I don’t have much to offer. So, here is my two cents:

I took my wife (she’s my fiancée but I hate saying the word now so I just refer to her as my wife) to work this morning so I could get her car serviced at the mechanic’s. This entailed me having to trade mobile at a Starbucks. When I got there, it was crowded and the only space left was one of the center group tables. I don’t like sitting there because I feel like the surface is too glossy and makes for a difficult time controlling the mouse. Long story short, because I had to be extra careful with the mouse movements, I was compensating in ways that affected my eye speed and overall mental preparedness. It only cost me 4 ticks in total but a tick is capital that you will never get back and in this dumb business, you need as much capital as you can muster. I have always been meaning to do this but now it is more important than ever: I need to buy a mousepad. Not the glossy ones but the meshy or matte surface ones that your mouse can grip on. Sure, there are tables in public Wi-Fi places that have ok surfaces but there are cases when there aren’t and you don’t want to get caught like that. It’s important to control as much of your trading atmosphere as you can. As soon as I finish posting this, I’m off to Staples or Office Max to get one but I’ll get it cheap because I want to see if I can find one customized to my taste – like maybe something with one of my favorite team logos.

Anyway, like I was saying – this week is horrible for me. I thought that last week sucked but this week has found a way to jam a hammer so far up my nose that I don’t even know what to say anymore. I do have something to look forward to in that the volatility indicators for the British Pound have made it favorable (for me) to initiate an overnight trade. I don’t know what direction I’m going to go and I wish I could say right now for the sake of entertainment but I don’t know if I’ll go long or short. I do know, however, that I’ve got to make at least 15 ticks on default risk size just to even be able to say that I salvaged this week. If I can do that, then you know what? I just won’t trade the New York cash open or anything at the ICE tomorrow. I’ll be satisfied to close the books with the British Pound trade. Why don’t I just close the books on trading for this week, you ask? Well, I’ve got to keep working, it’s just as simple as that. These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves and while I do risk losing more money, the opportunity cost of missing a good day is worse. Yes, it sucks to lose money but that’s just the reality of this stupid business. You will lose money but it’s up to you to lose as little as you can. The rest of the business is about bravery; bravery to keep getting up and going on for another day. So what if you blow up? Well, then you blew up. What’s the big deal? Did you die? No. Have you put your family’s financial lives in danger? No. All you did was fuck up your account. But because you had good risk management in place and you weren’t putting in good money after bad, you can still recover and pony up to play again.

It’s only too late to start over again when you’re dead.

But this isn’t a glowing recommendation of this business. This is just a shake of perspective. Believe me, I could have become a doctor or a lawyer but noooooooooooooo….I wanted to be Mr. Macho Wall Street Man drinking bourbon while doing coke, getting call girls and not using my lane change signals during high speed driving. See? This is where I am now: miserable, with my main goal being to get a mouse pad at Office Max. Think about this everytime you see/hear people talking about how cool it is to be a “trader”.

Still. I am thankful to God for the blessings I have and the opportunity to trade again tomorrow. I am but a small speck, a molecule in this grand game of time and existence. I have a lot to be grateful about and I will live this day as such. There is still tomorrow and I can make a difference, but I can’t be a good loser and accept this day with a smile. I’ve got to steel myself and it all starts with being a professional and decent person right now.

Seriously though, get a mouse pad for yourself.

Nuthin’ But A G(F) Thang

profile1The New York Stock Exchange opened up with some energy at the bell this morning. I didn’t get to see any of the Wall Street Journal’s headlines because I forgot to look at it. Anyway, I looked at the Dow and it was down around -80 pre-open. I thought that would pretty much be the extent of the move but I guess with President Trump’s contentious rally and many Republicans questioning his longevity, the market has the catalyst that it needs to beckon big money out of their hot tubs.

I was able to score some good trades on the NYSE open. I kept most of my plays there this morning because I felt like tech wasn’t going to play much of a role in anything today (maybe it did, I don’t know). The ES is just slow and lumbering so I don’t care too much for it. It would have been nice had I just stuck to the YM and just called it a day but nooooo, I just had to make a play for other assets – and that is what pretty much burned me today. I traded the Euro very early in the morning but I wasn’t too comfortable holding it for the intermediate term so I got out with a couple of ticks in the bag. However, it was Feeder Cattle that completely obliterated my PnL. I won’t go into specifics but I was just wrong on the most complete level. This is the second week in a row where I have suffered complete and utter losses on Feeder Cattle. I will lay off this asset for next week because it seems that I’m getting drawn into a self-perpetuating losing cycle here. There will be other days to trade this and there are other assets that I need to concentrate on. For now, my emotional health is far more important to me rather than “taking signals”.

As much as I’m glad my risk parameters operated the way they were supposed to, a huge part of me is really disappointed. I had to climb out of a hole last week and this time, with two days left in the week, I’m not particularly sure that I’ll make all that much money. I would like to really end August strong in time for Labor Day but it’s shaping up to be another one of those times in this dumb business that I have to gracefully accept defeat and move on to the next month. It would have been nice if I could have had more free cash floating around for nonsensical purchases but I guess that is how the cookie crumbles. It is times like this that I am reminded of the importance of being thankful for what I’ve got. Sometimes, I feel like I am not appreciative enough of the daily things that comprise my life. Perhaps I should take this day and make sure that I am conscious of that. After all, there is no moment like the now. Tomorrow will come whether I like it or not. My job as a trader in this dumb retarded ass-hat of a business is to be ready.



Purple Haze

RooftoRunThe New York Stock Exchange opened very lightly this morning. There really is a lack of punch in the markets and I’m suspecting that this is due to the waning weeks of summer combined with really a lack of news. Looking at the front page of the WSJ, there wasn’t really all that much stuff deemed newsworthy (at least by my standards). There’s just a bunch of proxy fights and news about Tesla’s bonds. Other than that, the big news was the President’s stance on Afghanistan which didn’t seemingly elicit much of a reaction from the big money crowd. I guess abnormality is the new normal. Then again, that argument could be made as far back as 2008.

I didn’t really get a good read on the cash market because it popped both ways up and down. You would think that these pops were markers for a directional move but I suspect it was more of some big orders that had gotten filled and then left to dry out in the sun. This was the case for both my trades on the Nasdaq and the S&P. Overall, there was nothing really to be done in the cash open. The big trades for me lay in Cocoa as I was able to secure a decent amount of ticks which made the day productive for me. As I said, this market looks to be dead and it also extended over to my tradeable range of commodities. I was looking to trade Feeder Cattle towards the 10:00 hour but it just didn’t look right enough for me to jump into and if I don’t have to extend any capital towards an asset, then why do it – even for shits n’ giggles, you know? It’s capital – it’s the one thing I can’t afford to lose in this business.

It’s a quiet day today. I’m going to use this day to recalibrate where I am and what my goals are going to be especially before the end of the month going into Labor Day weekend. I felt like with all the house projects going on, I kind of lost track of the grand goal of things so I’d like to take today and just relax instead of doing my usual of going out and running errands. I know that it’ll be tempting to sit in front of the TV and watch ESPN or play Xbox but I’ve really got to concentrate on being productive today especially since I wasn’t really all that productive in the market. As always, I am so thankful and grateful that I have another day in this stupid business. Even though I hate its guts, I am thankful that I have a sense of purpose and a direction when I wake up in the morning. Now that the trading day is over, I can relax but I know that film study and trade forensics will commence with the second part of my day.

Forward unto dawn.

Total Eclipse Of The PnL

profilepic4The New York Stock Exchange started off slowly but then then pressed on the gas pedal after a couple of minutes. I don’t think there is going to be much action. It just seems like a very blah kind of Monday. So blah, in fact, that I suspect most traders are probably going to be packing it in after 13:30 or so.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the whole eclipse thing that’s affecting everything but it just seemed like the market isn’t really caring to do anything. “What’s one wasted day?”, it’s probably thinking.

And yes, the fiancee and I have our solar eclipse glasses.

As you can see, I am anthropomorphizing the market which is something I often do when there are only pennies to be made. I got in a few scalps but as I said before, the sudden uptick in the market confused me a little. So all in all, the cash open yielded me something over break even but not a whole lot to be considered that productive. The same was true over in Orange Juice as I took a trade hoping that I would make out well in markets that didn’t really have even a tangential attachment to today’s eclipse. I only broke even there for the most part. The most productive set for me was in Feeder Cattle but even that was a slugfest as I was forced to liquidate close to my basis simply because I just didn’t feel comfortable with how the market was moving.

Overall, I’m glad that I didn’t screw up my PnL. I’m glad that I have another day in this truly retarded business. I just wish that I was flush with cash(who doesn’t, right?). This week seems like a good week to vacation in Miami or somewhere coastal and eat ceviche until I develop gills. I’m thankful to God that I can still participate in the market. I just want that big money that’s all.

Well, That’s That

profile5The New York Stock Exchange started off pretty well despite showing a marked slowdown going into 9:30. When I opened up the DOM, prices were moving swiftly up and down and we were literally at 0 to -1 on the YM. “This is a good jumping board for a move”, I thought – and it was, for the most part. The only bad thing to say about this cash open was that I didn’t make as much money as I wanted to.

That’s not to say that I made much but I made as much as the market could give me and on a Friday, especially after the week I’ve had, that’ll do. In all honesty, I didn’t really want to trade this morning but I have to keep plugging away because this is my business, it’s my trading company and I’ve got to be in the market and ready for whatever the day brings. Opportunity cost in this business not only has a way of making you feel crappy, but it also has a way of coming back to haunt you in the future when you make a bad trade. It’s all interconnected which is why trader books the world over preach discipline and good habits. It’s not so much about the trading as it is in how you conduct your business during it. Ok, I’ll get off the pulpit now. Be that as it may, I made the reads in the market that I needed to and now I’m done for the week. I did not trade any asset classes because I was fortunate enough that the British Pound trade(s) made up for my poor performance on Feeder Cattle. I just didn’t feel like taking any other chances on movers today.

If I could characterize this day, it would be like fried chicken without seasoning, pasta without tomato basil sauce, a line drive home run, or taking a shortcut that only saved you 25 seconds to your destination and incurring a flat tire in the process. But all in all, I’m still alive in this stupid business and that counts for something. I can celebrate it, but I’m not happily pouring out the bourbon. It’s more like I’m drinking it to dull the existential pain. Of course, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that I am fortunate and I should be thankful I didn’t get killed given the size that I traded today. It’s off to the weekend but most important, it’s off to be grateful for the gift of life.