Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/28 Daily Summary

Just wanted to give a heads up to folks out there who are hanging on to their trades.. Notice the market is very active lately, have we awaken the "fear" giant? If you got in based on several weeks ago (quiet environment), be aware it is no longer that quiet...

FEB/11 NDX Iron Butterfly Day-by-day Review

Positive results:
FEB/11) Got real good use of my feeling/well being assessment: Identified I needed to increase well being, reduced my caffeine intake and got in morning workouts to ensure a resilience "reserve" built up. JAN was an busy month at work, with the wife pregnant and we're expecting a baby, so I needed to increase the resilience reserves.

FEB/11) Reduced caffeine intake was a great thing. Got a lot of tea in the day, reduced stress due to coffee and had reserve to evening green tea to increase focus while making evening assessment and setting up contingent orders.

Lessons Learned:
FEB/11) I much prefer entering the full position. I get trigger shy if want to scale and end up not loading the total amount of capital I want to allocate.

FEB/11) When setting up contingent orders, to avoid miss-fire I need a checklist to verify the levels. Will have one ready next month (pilot checklist style).

FEB/11) Avoid relaxing tea in the evening while setting up contingent orders. Use a light-caffeine Green Tea.

Trade results:

1/19 Daily Summary : Started the position, only filled 3 out of 5 lots, was planning on adding extra lots the next day.

1/20 Daily Summary : NDX hit my down-side contingent order, I've held on to the 2 extra lots thinking if things get worse I'll jump in.

1/21 Daily Summary : Had a very busy day at work, did not add contracts to the trade. Didn't feel it was needed.

1/24 Daily Summary : By now I have already gotten a good P/L on the current position, questioned the idea of adding to the trade. Reason why I avoid scaling: Getting trigger shy after the first lot is in place.

1/25 Daily Summary : Decided my best option was to get out, cash out with ~10% ROI in just a few days.

1/26 Daily Summary : Closed the trade early AM, had a contingent order miss-fire due to mistake setting it up the night before (was sleepy perhaps). 7% ROI, not bad for a few days of fun.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1/27 Daily Summary

What can I say, it is good to be out of the trade, I haven't looked to see how the position would be doing Today if I was still there. This is another lesson I learned: Eliminated "Would", "should", "Could" from my dictionary, I look at what is, if any mistake was done, that's ok, but there is no sense in keeping looking at what would happen if I hadn't done this, or that, etc

On the personal development side: I'll keep watching my feeling and well being with the assessment I've built.. I've also started to measure how much caffeine I'm taking on a daily basis. I've made great progress eliminating that large cup of coffee, I'm down from over 400 to 125 mg per day.. All these small adjustments do make a difference, especially when you work full time, handle family and have to plan and execute on trades. I've posted a sample of the self assessment so you guys have an idea of what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1/26 Daily Summary

I've shut down the position Today early in the morning prior to starting my day at work. The reason behind is simple: I want to be out of the FEB position if the baby decides to come in the next few days... Not to mention, 7% for 6 days in the market is awesome! 1 % per day.. I'll take that, thank you, see you next month :)

I did make a mistake that got me really upset with myself: I had a mistake in my contingent orders last night, instead of trigger at or bellow 2235, I typed 2335 and 30 minutes after the opening I got filled on an extra PUT that I didn't need. That took out about 1.1% of my bottom line. While this is a mistake, I am glad it happened and I'm very happy with the way I handled.

In the past I'd be super perfectionist when it came to my trading. Any mistake, for the smallest one, I'd be super upset with myself, spend the whole day dwelling on it, complaining, feeling lousy, etc, etc... Today, I noticed, got upset for 5 minutes and proceed to handle the situation the best way possible and exit the trade. I guess it takes time to develop as a trader, and this is a sign of learning and progressing in my trading path.

So, there you have it, with mistake an all, by far a very imperfect trade, FEB paid off a nice 7% ROI. Thank you!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1/25 Daily Summary

First of, thanks for my wife and reader Dave, who gave me feedback on my scaling question. Bottom line: I'll consider this trade a 3 lot butterfly instead of the original 5 lot I was planning on entering. This makes my approach simpler, and eliminates the decision making around adding extra lots or not. At this point of the game, I'm looking for the exit on the 3 lots, it is kind of backwards to go on and add more lots so I stay longer..

That being said, you'll see a sudden jump in the P/L in my dashboard from Yesterday, this is due to the adjustment, I'm posting P/L in relationship to the capital allocate, not the capital I wanted to allocate. I guess that makes sense.. Either way, I'm looking for the exit, and may take it if we get around 10% Tomorrow or so.


Monday, January 24, 2011

1/24 Daily Summary

Here is the reason why I avoid scaling my trades: most of the times I get in a position where I don't want to add to the trade. This is a very clear example, last Friday I was glad it was only a partial position, Today not so much as I've gathered 4% of the overall trade, this 4% would really be almost 8% total if I wasn't scaling. Again, it can very much work on the opposite if the market run against me right away, yet I feel like trading the whole position is one less decision I have to make: when to enter the remaining of the trade..

For now, I will continue to monitor this trade as an overall P/L, the one thing getting my attention is the activity in the market, even though vols have dropped again, I feel we're getting into an active environment as opposed to the quiet times we had in the past. See highlights on the daily summary chart.

How do you guys deal with scaling? Do you only add the remaining lots if you're in trouble? So far this is my plan: only add to the position if I have to hedge it further. Typically I would enter as a single package, this time around I didn't because I was just warming up the engines sort of speak and didn't get a fill on the last 2 lots...

Need to check with my partner (wife) for her advice. Considering we're about to have a new baby in the family, I might just take my money and run :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

1/21 Daily Summary

Just a real brief update Today as I have a super long day at work: Seems the market has moved back down Today, not a good sign when we break one of those hammer patterns. So I'm on watching mode for more down-side and ready for it if it comes.

For now, enjoy the weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

1/20 Daily Summary

Today it hit my contingent order at 2370, the interesting thing is that it didn't get filled until 20 minutes after the level was hit, obviously it only filled as the market backed off. I wonder if this is due to the fact I'm using round numbers for my orders. When the index reach these levels the activity probably increases and the contingent order sits there.. I had an OCO, so if it continued to trade lower I imagine it would get filled, but this is something to watch as it is not the first time I notice these are not filling as they used to in the past.

In any event, the position is just about the same as it was Yesterday, except that now I have an extra put. I'm holding on from adding the two extra butterflies Tomorrow, will evaluate the possibilities a little bit more Tonight, but for now my plan is to stay steady with the current position.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1/19 Daily Summary

I've added 2 thirds of my position Today. Have decided to keep the extra third on the side line as I want to see how this movement will evolve, are we going to bounce around or is this the early stage of a sell off? Who knows, but in this sort of environment, with traders watching over their shoulders for a sell off, I figured it is a good idea to take the position in pieces.

I am watching closely my well being and state of mind monitor, just realized I need to workout and enhance my day to day activities so that I build up reserves in case stress builds up with the trade. Other than that, adjustment triggers are set up and I'm excited about being back on-board!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

01/18 Daily Summary

After a long and well-rested vacation, I'm getting ready to get back on the saddle. I wanted to enter my FEB position Today but was not filled in the 20 minutes window I had prior to starting my day at work. Tomorrow I plan on entering at least a few contracts. I'm approaching this FEB position with caution, as I see things have been quiet during the Holidays, with a long up-trend that pushed vols lower and lower.. Also on my list of "watch out for" is the last few weeks with larger moves. But these are in contrast to the Holiday window, so take with a bit of grain of salt.

In any event, getting ready to roll. How has it been going for you lately? Anyone would like to share what they traded in JAN? I'd like to hear some perspective.