Tag Archives: Psychology

Fighting to Regain Losses

 

I had an interesting email exchange with a trader a couple of weeks ago, who is struggling with occasional massive losses.

email excerpts

email excerpts

I've had the opportunity to speak to a LOT of traders over the last 8 years of writing these articles. You'd be surprised at how common this problem is.

We discussed several options to investigate further, related to money and risk management, strategy, and of course psychology.

What I wanted to share with you all today though, was just one simple concept that might help, should you ever find yourself suffering from a similar problem.

It's just a slight shift in mindset. It may not be easy. It certainly won't be the full solution. But it could well play a part in overcoming the problem.

Here is what is happening right now:

The current plan

I get it.

Losing sucks. We don't want to lose.

And even more than losing, we don't want to admit we were wrong.

So we fight! We double down on our earlier decision, hoping, wishing and praying that the market will turn. Just enough to get us back to breakeven.

There is a problem though.

IT'S NOT WORKING.

You said that yourself!

But it's not working!

Sure, sometimes it will work out just fine, but it's only a matter of time till the market provides another extended drawdown which takes you out of the game.

Your current money and risk management plan provides you with NO EDGE.

And here's a key part of the problem:

Here is part of the reason why...

Let's repeat that for effect!

  • When you FIGHT to get back to breakeven, you're doing so at a time when the market environment is NOT working in your favour.

 

Seriously!

You're fighting against a strong and persistent trend!

I'm not saying don't fight. But if you're going to fight to get back to breakeven, let's see if we can do it a bit smarter. Let's rethink this concept.

Let's break the current plan into three stages.

The current plan (in stages)

What if we planned our fight differently?

A better plan

Use HOPE as the trigger.

Any time you find yourself HOPING that an extra "unplanned" entry might just help you get out at breakeven… EXIT.

Take some time out to clear your mind.

And resume the fight at a time and place when the market movement and price conditions are IN YOUR FAVOUR.

Don't make this game any harder than it needs to be. Fight to regain losses at a time and place of YOUR CHOOSING.

It's the same challenge; taking a drawdown back to breakeven and maybe even positive territory. But you're doing so when the odds are more in your favour.

And even if four out of five times the market would have got you out at breakeven, had you just entered one more time, ignore it. Remind yourself that averaging down has proven to have NO EDGE. Because the fifth time will not only blow out to a huge loss, but will also take away all these previous gains.

If you're going to fight to regain losses… do so at a time and place of YOUR CHOOSING.

Step aside. Clear your mind. And resume the fight at a time and place when the market movement and price conditions are IN YOUR FAVOUR.

It's just a slight shift in mindset. But it can make a really big difference.

Good luck,

Lance Beggs

 

PS. A pro-trader will NEVER EVER let a single trade, or a sequence of trades, take them out of the game. Always, before any other goal, your priority is to survive to trade another day. If your current money management plan involves adding to positions just based out of hope and fear, then your money management plan sucks. Fix it. Or you're unlikely to last long in this business.

 


 

Why Did I Not Enter Short on Rejection from Resistance?

 

This short article is to share some excellent Q&A following our recent series on "patience".

Check out the prior articles if you missed them:

Part 1 – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/patience-is-a-key-component-of-your-edge-part-1/

Part 2 – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/patience-is-a-key-component-of-your-edge-part-2/

In particular, it relates to last week's trade sequence:

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

 

Q. Why did I not enter SHORT on the initial rejection of session high resistance?

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

I was really happy to get this question. It shows people are thinking!  🙂

Here's an excerpt from the email:

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A Tactical Withdrawal

 

This short article is to share some excellent Q&A following our recent series on "patience".

Check out the prior articles if you missed them:

Part 1 – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/patience-is-a-key-component-of-your-edge-part-1/

Part 2 – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/patience-is-a-key-component-of-your-edge-part-2/

In particular, it relates to the period of "emotional reaction" in last week's trade sequence:

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

 

Q. Won't I be annoyed if I don't take a third attempt short and the market moves lower without me?

So this is what we're talking about here:

This is what happened

But what if this happened

Would I be annoyed?

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Patience is a Key Component of your Edge (Part 2)

 

Last week we discussed the idea that PATIENCE plays an important role in trading.

A key component of edge comes from recognising and accepting that you do NOT have to trade every price sequence.

When the bias is unclear, stand aside or trade another market.

When the pace of price flow is too fast or too slow for your liking, stand aside or trade another market.

When the price action is choppy rather than flowing smoothly, stand aside or trade another market.

And we looked at an example in which I waited on the sidelines for over an hour, before finding price movement that was screaming out to be traded. Good pace, good structure and easier to read. Something that I felt nicely in sync with.

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

Check out that article first, if you missed it – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trader/patience-is-a-key-component-of-your-edge-part-1/..

So I closed out that article by promising that we would discuss another session in which I did not act with good patience, but instead reacted emotionally and chased opportunity where there was none.

In fact, it happened the day immediately following our prior example.

The session started in a quite similar fashion with a strong bearish drive. My expectations were exactly the same – look for PB/CPB trade opportunity.

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

YTC Price Action Trader references:

The First and Second Principles – Volume 2, Page 145-148

The PB & CPB Setups – Volume 3, Pages 34-40

The market pulled higher to offer the first trade entry.

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

I should have got it. But I didn't.

That's fine. Let it go.

Let's see what follows…

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Patience is a Key Component of your Edge (Part 1)

 

You might recall this previous article which talks about the fact that the real source of my edge is not my strategy, but rather it's me. The knowledge, the skill and the attitude which I bring to the market each day.

I'd like to touch on a part of this edge today and then again in a followup article next week.

In particular just one simple idea.

The fact that PATIENCE plays a key role in this game.

A key component of my edge is in recognising and accepting that I do NOT have to trade every price sequence.

The same applies to you. You do NOT have to trade every price sequence.

When the bias is unclear, stand aside or trade another market.

When the pace of price flow is too fast or too slow for your liking, stand aside or trade another market.

When the price action is choppy rather than flowing smoothly, stand aside or trade another market.

The game is hard enough. Don't make it any more difficult than it needs to be.

Remain focused. Remain alert. But remain patient.

Watch and wait. If it's not right, stand aside.

And when it is right, when it's screaming out to be traded, attack and destroy that opportunity.

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

YTC Price Action Trader references:

 

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

Patience - you don't have to trade every price sequence

For the lower timeframe view, let's use the YTC Scalper templates for a change. I don't do that often enough. The reasoning behind timing of the entries should be obvious to anyone who uses this variation of the YTC lower timeframes.

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Not All Sessions Provide Equal Opportunity

 

On Thursday morning I woke to find two emails somewhat related to the same topic – the challenging trading conditions we've experienced so far this week.

So my first thoughts were to expand upon a topic I shared via social media a bit over a week ago. Because I know that only a small fraction of you receive my social media posts.

And this one is important!

Here's the post which shows the daily chart for NQ as at the 1st of June. The same concept applies for ANY market.

Not all trading sessions provide equal opportunity

Let's first talk about what is showing in the bottom half of the image. And then we'll get to "what it means".

The daily chart overlay

It's simple to set up:

Setting up the Range Indicator

Setting up the Channel Indicator

Nice and easy.

And it gives an immediate comparison of the current days range versus the average over the last month.

So let's see exactly what prompted the email concern over challenging trading conditions.

The emails related to ES and CL, but I'll start by updating the earlier social media post.

This is NQ as at the time of writing, early on the 9th of June 2016:

NQ - low daily ranges so far this week

ES - low daily ranges so far this week

CL - low daily ranges so far this week

Of course, low daily ranges DO NOT necessarily mean a tough session. There are other factors involved as well.

But for many of us, who operate a strategy that requires price movement to profit, there's a high likelihood that narrow range days are those that get on our nerves.

Narrow range = limited opportunity = frustration!

Here's the thing though…

It's completely normal. Narrow ranges are a part of the game. And we need to learn to work with them.

We need to learn to profit over the longer time scale… comprising periods of both wider range markets and lower range markets.

The good news though, if you're stuck in a period of quiet markets and narrow ranges, is that it won't last. At some point the markets WILL move. 

So what do we do with this data?

1. Use it manage expectations.

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Stop Fighting an Obvious Market Bias

 

Charts this week come courtesy of a trader who contacted me seeking some help.

This is something he finds himself doing time and time again.

And in my experience he's certainly not alone.

This is such a great example. I'm really pleased I can share it.

The original images were too large to fit here, so I've included two smaller segments of the larger chart. The market and timeframe have been removed. Examine the charts as if they're your own market and your own timeframe.

In case it's not obvious, all trades here are SHORT.

Stop it. Seriously... just STOP IT!!!!

The key point…

STOP FIGHTING AN OBVIOUS MARKET BIAS!

If you consistently trade like this you are NOT on the right path.

This is not the way to win.

And it doesn't always need to be such an extreme trend. 

The pain continues… a little bit later in the same session…

All SHORT except for the second last trade.

Stop it. Seriously... just STOP IT!!!!

STOP FIGHTING AN OBVIOUS MARKET BIAS!

If you have this problem of continually fading an obvious market bias, here's a starting point for correcting the problem:

First, gather some chart evidence which highlights the problem.

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Some Days Are Just A Grind!

 

I find it fascinating chatting with new traders in this industry. Typically when they come to me they've moved beyond the Holy Grail indicator and systems dream and have come to recognise that it's time to develop some skill instead. Skill in real-time reading of price action and market sentiment. What amazes me though, is the number that still hold some belief that once they learn price action, then the game will be easy.

Here's a reality check. It doesn't get easy. You just get better!

Sure, there are days when everything sets up perfectly and you're dancing in perfect step with the market.

But there are also days when you're completely out of sync and just tripping over your own feet.

And then there are the majority of days which fit somewhere in-between these two extremes, where you just do the best you can despite your imperfect decision making.

Let's look at one of these days. A day when I struggled to maintain confidence in my read of the market; and a day in which I struggled to execute well.

The result was a good profit (considering my poor performance). But it was messy. None of the trades were held for any significant distance, despite a nice trend.

The session was a recent FOMC day. I don't trade post-FOMC. It's 5am. Seriously… there's a limit to how late I can stay up.

I do trade the market prior to the FOMC though… but this is carried out with CAUTION.

My expectation for a session leading up to a significant news event is for a higher probability of a narrow range quiet market.

If that is what the market provides, then I have no interest in trading. Hindsight may well show there was opportunity available at the edge of the range structure, but I'd rather sit on the sidelines and survive to trade another day. A good result would be quick recognition of the narrow range environment, and NO trades.

However, if the market can show some directional conviction, then I'll trade this for as long as the directional move lasts and for as long as I have a good feel for the bias. And more often than not with reduced position size.

Here's the 5 minute chart (Higher Timeframe chart) which shows the session open through till just after midday (which is all I trade).

Higher Timeframe showing the opening hour trend

Let's examine the 1 minute Trading Timeframe trend within the first hour (and just beyond) and see how it was managed.

Trading timeframe

Trading timeframe

The outcome

Trading timeframe

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The First Loss – How Will You Let It Affect Your Mindset?

 

Last week's article led to an interesting comment about the sequence preceding the one discussed in that article.

Check it out here if you missed it – How to Enter When the Pullback Shows Strength!

The email feedback expressed an interest in the fact that the session started with a loss and yet I managed to quickly recover that loss.

  • "I particularly like the way you showed how you were wrong on the long but it did not affect your session, you focused on the price action projected, possible scenarios and continued to do your job."

So I thought we should look at this earlier sequence and see if there are any lessons available.

Let's begin with the trading timeframe, showing the price action which offered the initial loss and the subsequent two wins.

The first loss - how will you let it affect your mindset

Let's start by examining the LONG BPB trade.

The first loss - how will you let it affect your mindset

The first loss - how will you let it affect your mindset

I'd love to be able to say I caught the SHORT entry as the breakout failed. But it was not to be. I was biased LONG. I was wrong.

Loss was minimised though. So this was a good trade.

Except for the fact that I've started the session in minor drawdown (which seems to be a habit lately!!!!)

Let's move on to the rest of the sequence.

The first loss - how will you let it affect your mindset

The first loss - how will you let it affect your mindset

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