Be Like a Snake
When you look back at a trader's P&L or indeed your own, especially after a bad drawdown, you begin to wonder what you did wrong,... especially as you were doing so well in your sim account. This truth will only hit home if and when you look back at your trade log.
'What's a trade log ... no need for that' I hear some of you say.
Logging trades is one of the most important aspects and of your trading journey and is also one of the most overlooked.
It's through logging trades that you will be able to see what you were doing before (be it Sim trading), to what you were doing when u started giving back money to the market.
My trading style includes some simple rules that produce results. However, when I first transitioned from Sim to live, the contrast was stark and sobering, to say the least, .. what was I doing differently?
On inspection, my trades as they were going along were changing. Example: if I had just had 2 losing trades, .. now my third trade had to make up for the previous 2, ... that was never in my plan !... but I let emotions get the better of me, .. my third trade which would have been a profitable trade, but because now I was trying to get double out of the market, becomes another losing trade.
So what happens after the third losing trade, ... well, what does your trade plan say?
My trade plan says to this day that if that happens then I'm not in the right frame of mind, .. I should walk away from the trading platform, . go for a walk, .. kick a ball, ... go grocery shopping, gym .. whatever,.. but I need to get away from the screen, or I will be drawn back in to make another silly mistake.
Looking back at my trading log the number of 4 losses in a row was there to be seen, and immediately you know what you have done wrong, . broken one of your golden rules.
Navigating through the pitfalls of emotional trading is key and keeping an accurate log of all your trades will help you immensely and will allow you to pinpoint your errors and also when you start going off track, otherwise your sailing without a rudder, ... whats the other saying ... 'pissing in the wind'.
What the heck has all this got to do with being like a snake?
So I was watching a wildlife program where a snake is stalking its prey, .. its some kind of rat, .. the rat is unaware that it is being stalked by the snake and is somewhat in the undergrowth where it has a fair chance of escaping even if the snake strikes now.
The snake appears to know this and is still and motionless, .. just watching, devoid of its emotions to strike now and possibly lose its dinner, .. he (or she ) the snake waits .... and waits for the right moment, silent and watching.
I couldn't help but feel an admiration at this point. The observation without emotion waiting for the correct moment. It's possible the rat may not venture close enough, .. but in the end, it did.
And at the correct moment, the snake struck, ... moved with what looked like immense speed and was rewarded.
Don't chase the market, .. know your plan, .. log your plan and stick to it, ... if the market doesn't come to you according to your plan. let it go, whatever you do - once it starts running away from you - don't chase it!
I hope this analogy resonates as much with you as it did with me.
So be like a snake! .. even the Goblin can do it :-)