You’re always being told “don’t try and be right” and “trying to be right is what will kill you in the market”. Sounds bloody sensible I think so I quietly decide that’s what I’ll do and convince myself I’ll implement that in my trading. Sadly the brain does funny things when your in the market!
An issue I’m finding at the moment is that I just care too much. I shouldn’t give a shit right now, why? Because I’m trading demo. I’m on a Topstep Trader free practice account that isn’t even eligible for funding consideration! So why do I care so much about the results of my trades when all I’m trying to do right now is gain experience? Why is it that after I take every trade I find myself referring to my P&L, why do I consistently find myself wanting to betray every piece of sensible advice I’ve read or been told?
Because I’m new that’s why. At the moment I get hardly any chance to trade the markets at all, hardly any days back to back where I’m building any kind of experience, and to top it all off I’m hitting the market without a plan. I tell myself I have a plan, “ok so today I’m just trying to get the edge, I’m not going to care about P&L and I’m just going to practice getting in and getting out”. There is a deep acknowledgment that needs to be made here I think and that is that there is a very big difference between reading, listening and absorbing market educational material and actually being committed to progressing in the game. I say that because I think that in all honestly at present I’m just playing at this.
If I were serious I’d be making changes in what I’m doing and not getting in and out of the market with the simple (yet admittedly subconscious) aspiration of being right. Deep down I’m trying to get it right, I’m trying to make positive P&L so I can sit there and validate myself that I can learn this, that I can achieve the life I’m trying to design. That mindset is a bunch of arse and I need to get real.
I started off today with a scalp. The ZN was thin due to the election and although I know the market was volatile and liable to be difficult to trade I convinced myself that it was all cool because I’m just practicing. That first trade went well and I made two ticks, the second trade I got a break even. I was pretty happy with myself and decided to call it today.
But I didn’t, I’m actually glad I didn’t because at that point even though I was up 2 ticks I knew that I had learned nothing. I was still referring to my P&L what felt like every second and felt that nagging sense of being right driving my decisions. A big problem for me is that I rush into the market without a sound plan (how novice does that sound) and don’t manage risk well. I’m typically in the market far longer for loosing trades than I am for winning trades, what does that tell me? That I’m sat waiting for price to come back my way to get out at a profit or a reasonable loss, I’m taking way too much heat in my scalps.
After my first couple of trades today I took a number or random trades to try and see if I could learn something. I decided to have a crack at playing a small range in the profile as the price action seemed to be up and down between a number of small price blocks. I lost a number of ticks over all, but I entered these trades knowing that I was trying to grab a tick or two here and a tick or two there. That meant I didn’t want to risk more than a tick or two trying to achieve that and I’m pleased to say I didn’t.
So the moral of the story, I’ve lost about $250 in ticks on the ZN today on a practice account that I should’t and now don’t care about. I’ve finally made some headway in not being so precious about practice accounts. They are not there to try and build money, they are not there to make you feel validated. They are there to help with the mechanics of placing trades and for building experience. I closed my trading computer today feeling a bit crap I’d lost trades, on reflection I feel great that I’ve actually done some learning. I might blow this practice account before it ends, but I guarantee I’m going to reap it for every piece of experience it can give me.
All the best to everyone who traded this pretty historical day and thankyou to those who took the time to answer my questions, if you ever read this you’ll know its much appreciated.
Here’s to the future.