Winning Ain’t Easy

profile7The New York Stock Exchange started off a little hesitant this morning but while I wasn’t overly comfortable with price action, I felt like there were enough price points to perch orders from and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t get to read the Wall Street Journal this morning as I wasn’t in the mood to look at the paper. I haven’t been in much of a mood to trade or do much outside of house stuff since last Friday. I guess after all of this, I am still trying to emotionally collect myself.

I did an overnight trade on the Euro as I saw a good opportunity to get into the market but it didn’t move much by the time I woke up for a brief drink at around 3 in the morning (maybe 4). I figured the market wasn’t going to move so I took whatever I had and just went back to bed. I wanted to trade more things this morning but it just looked like there was nothing else in terms of different assets that would move so I just settled myself into the cash open and traded it as best as I could. While things there weren’t all that productive, it was still positive so in the end I have to be thankful for that.

Trading is not an easy business. I know that this is said over and over again but the reason why it’s so emphasized is because you can do all the right things and be in the right mindset and lose…over and over again. I have seen people with nicely trim and thought out strategies blow through thousands of dollars just because the markets weren’t conducive to their strategies. Winning is hard which is why I am thankful to God that I not only have the mental elasticity to proceed through this endeavor but the financial elasticity as well because being capitalized is 80% of the game – intellect accounts for nearly nothing. I know it’s hard to hear but it’s the truth. Anyway, I’m tired. I just want to do some mindless online shopping and sleep off the rest of the day on the couch next to the wife.

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Yet Another Disappointment

profile 6The New York Stock Exchange traded well in the opening minutes of the day and there were plenty of places to perch your capital from in order to make some money. I have no idea what the heck is going on in the global interplay of capital and politics but I will say that it’s pretty shocking special counsel Mueller is bringing charges to Paul Manaforte and possibly other Trump associates. I don’t know about y’all but this is pretty bad and we’ve seen bad.

Like I said, the cash open was rife with opportunities but I felt like I wasn’t able to take advantage of them in the way that I wanted to – namely with size. Even though I left today’s cash open with a positive PnL it doesn’t take away the sting of what happened on Friday. But before I go into the rest of that, I did also trade Wheat and Cocoa which kind of cancelled each other out but that’s how it is with portfolio management. It wasn’t exactly a winning day but it wasn’t a losing one either.

After Friday’s soul-crushing loss, I took the weekend to really think about my trading. it’s no secret that I am really dissatisfied with my performance but what really gets me is how I feel like the market has become different. The reality is that markets are always changing, it’s cliché I know but they do and the only way our trading can become relevant is if we go with these changes. No one is immune. The only reason big fund managers can afford to be loyal to their programs is because they have the capital to ride through bad periods and even then, they have to answer to their investors at the end. But I’m not here to talk about fund managers – I’m here to talk about me and my experience trading. I wish that I could say I was able to find some type of spark this weekend in what I need to do to trade better but the truth is, I was probably left with more questions than answers. However, I like to think that trading is not as exact of a science as numbers lead everyone to believe. There are aspects of trading, some pertinent and other coming all the way out from left field, that have to be accounted for. As long as this is the case, trading as a business will always be a stupid and incomprehensible all-or-nothing endeavor and if you’re lucky enough to be in-between like I am you will pay for it in ways that will make you question why you can’t get a W-2 job in the first place. Still, I am thankful.

So, this is where I am, but in truth I’ve been here for almost a decade. It was my choice to get into this dumb business and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Is that the right expression?

Sick Of Trading

profilepic3The New York Stock Exchange started off the way I always want it to start off – with a lot of energy and enough force to push towards a direction with conviction. Today wasn’t all conviction but there was enough of it where it mattered…..had I read the market correctly. The problem was, I didn’t.

I had gone into the cash open with maximum risk on all my trades and from the get go, nothing was working for me. I couldn’t make the right reads to save my life and for every 1 trade I got right, I got 3 wrong. In then end, I realized that I was gonna get killed if I didn’t close down my computer. Not only had I reached my daily loss limit but I had exceeded it by a mind-boggling amount. This was really one of the worst Fridays I’ve ever had.

As the title suggests in a non-subtle way, I am sick of this dumb business. If this business was a person, there would be no way the cops could get to me in time to stop me from strangling this person with a lamp cord. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that speculation is never as easy as an infomercial makes it to be – never. I’ve also learned that there’s no way to ever justify it as a business. I speak of it as a business because I have to approach it that way for my emotional health – but this is not a business. You are literally digging your finger up the ass of a tiger in the hopes of extracting a diamond and if you know anything about tigers, you’ll know that this is not a good idea. What can be done then to succeed? Well, that’s the underlying point of every single damned trading blog in this internet universe. We are all trying to find consistency in an imperfect world. Can we systematize things? Can we go off of our gut? I have found that the answer lies in between and anything in the neighborhood of those extremes are invariably bound to fail. Why does it fail? I don’t know, but I think it has something to do with the non-arbitrary nature of the markets. I don’t want to use the term random because that goes into extremes. The market is always somewhere in the middle within a stasis point. What works, when it works, and how it works doesn’t include the final PnL number. As many people know, a dumb strategy done at the right time actually yields results whereas a good strategy done at the right time as well will often yield poor results.

So where am I going with this? Well, this is just a rant about trading as a whole. I have to get up on Monday morning and trade again whether I want to or not because these bills aren’t going to pay themselves. I hate this dumb career. This was the stupidest thing I could have ever done, but in a way a dumbass like myself needed this. I needed this to remind myself that the world doesn’t fall into neat lines and that nuance is the prevailing force that governs what we know and how we know things. Being grateful and thankful? Sure, I am. In fact, I’m very thankful to God right now for my blessings. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I committed the trading equivalent of blowing out a large intestine, so of course I’m pissed. I’m pissed enough to take action and that’s exactly what I’m going to do this weekend. I’m going to take all of my market disappointments in the years that I’ve committed to this stupid career and I’m going to ball it up and I’m going to come out with a defined set of words and ideas about my course of action moving forward.

I love this life and I’m grateful to God – but mannnnnn, fuck this stupid ass business.

Here We Go Again

I have no idea how the New York Stock Exchange opened because I couldn’t trade. We have some type of construction going on in the neighborhood and internet access suddenly fizzled out 5 minutes before the opening bell. Glad I didn’t put out any orders beforehand.

In the end, I just took an early trip to the grocery store and the mall to do some shopping. We are finally having some October weather. It felt bittersweet as most fall afternoons do.

Late Trades

profilepic1The New York Stock Exchange opened mixed this morning but as we all saw, the fireworks started shortly after that. If this morning has told me anything it’s that there are some people that are willing to test the short side to see how much demand is out there. It’s reminiscient (pun intended) of Jesse Livermore’s account of a famous trader who was acting on a tip of a local floor guy who was telling him to buy sugar. The famous trader kept shorting sugar contracts and the guy was like; “bruh, i’m telling you sugar is gonna go up”. After the third time famous trader shorted sugar, he instructed his guys to buy as much as possible and explained to the bewildered tipster that he needed to see if his short positions were getting eaten and at what pace. Fascinating story. I think we are seeing something similar here.

I wasn’t able to do all that much with the cash open because the market was a little too slow. It was slow enough that I didn’t even want to engage in anymore holding shenanigans because I just felt like I didn’t have a good read on the market. While the PnL was positive, I didn’t feel like I traded that aspect of the morning productively. Still, it was good that I didn’t lose money. I wanted to put my laptop away for the day but as I was doing final scanning on my asset list, Orange Juice caught my eye. It was only a short trade but I managed a couple of ticks on the short side of things which added to the PnL. I felt like this was enough for the day and I decided to wrap it up.

I’m thankful to God that I had a positive PnL day. This business is rough enough and losing money is not something you want to go through day after day. You end up losing hope and your soul becomes dark. This is why, I believe, all these system advertisements make so much money. In a dark sea, anything that resembles any type of light is something worth grabbing onto – even if it’s just a reflection of the moon. This is why this business sucks ass. It takes a lot of well-meaning people and makes them into starving sewer rats. But the thing is, the business is a choice and there is only one obvious reason as to why you stay in. This is also the reason why I am so thankful for other aspects of my life. It’s the only way I can emotionally stay afloat in this violent ocean. I’m going to enjoy the fruits of today’s victory but I know that I’m going have to get back at it tomorrow.

We Are Having The Wonkiest October

77bdd6e367dfe91371285de6869c907bThe New York Stock Exchange started off quietly but it was apparent a couple of seconds into the session that there were interested buyers in the mix. I’m not so sure how this will play out but the way I see it now, there is nothing stopping the overall market from rolling upwards. I have a short term sell bias but by December, I bet there’s gonna be a lot of happy fund managers, quants and bank traders engaged in the drunken happiness of a rising market. Man, it would have been great if I took that long in September lol.

As you know, I don’t like to hold in the opening moments of the market because of the supply/demand volatility but lately I have found myself having to do just that. But when I say hold, I’m not saying that I’m holding for like hours at a time. What I mean is that I’m holding for a millisecond more than what I previously felt comfortable doing. It’s said that the market is not about making money per se as it is a game of adaptation, or hiding your capital from the non-arbitrary destruction of randomness. It’s hard to go from one frame of mind to the other but sometimes (and it’s rare), you have to venture out and see what else you can do. In my case, I have been a holder now for about a month and I have only experienced a half & half success out of it. It’s not enough for me to throw away what I know about the market. I also traded Wheat this morning and for a short bit, Cocoa. Both trades fared well for me so in the end, I’ve closed out the day at a very productive PnL number and I couldn’t be happier.

This weather we are having is ridiculous in the East Coast. By now, we should all be wearing jackets and crew sweatshirts but I still find myself walking around in loafers, shorts and a polo shirt – it’s nuts. I guess winters and Christmas in the East coast will never be what it was like in my childhood. Then again, if I make money at a good clip I can afford to spend Christmases in Vail or Lake Tahoe where there’s plenty of snow and the ambiance is just right. But all that stuff is a pipe dream as I’ve got to worry about tomorrow’s trading. I thank God that I’m in decent financial shape and that I can still participate in this dumb business. I am really grateful for this day and the life I have.

Hectic Hectic Hectic

Between trips to the doctor’s office for what happened on Friday and having to manage day to day activities, I decided to take the day off from trading completely. I’m still in a little bit of pain.

I hate it when I lose a day like this. There are days to not work and there are days when you need to work – this is the latter.