Now that the U.S. elections are a thing of the past, markets have clearly determined to go higher, enlarge part without me on board. My usual indicators to get short or long have been weak to non-existent. I don't remember seeing this kind of volatility for such an extended period of time, I would be interested in knowing how current volatility compares to the previous ten years of market data.

Is this the new normal?

As a contrarian type trader, I am still waiting for if and when the market pulls back, the correction will be a substantial one considering how far the market how moved already. Considering this is the longest bull market in history, I'm hoping to be dialed in and ready for if and when a selloff occurs.  

As I am reminded of the lessons learned by Jesse L. Livermore, I will adapt to the current market conditions.

Here's what we can expect now that the Dow has closed above 19,000


What Trading Is Really Like

How long can you keep your head above water before the next wave?

I know I am often guilty of over-simplifying what it means to trade when I post here on Trin Café. Trading with discipline is important, having a trading plan is a must, consistency is key, blah blah blah... I've spent a lot time here showing my best trades, some of the trades I posted were being updated live as I went through the trade. I later realized I could post live trades on Twitter a lot easier. Why am I posting my trades, am I trying to prove something to someone, am I trying to prove something to myself... maybe I just want to brag on social media about an amazing winning trade?

I have never posted in detail what it's like to go weeks without a solid winner, and this is my attempt to explain a lot. My mentor poured cold water all over my aspirations for consistent profits when he said, "a string of losing trades will happen". It's not a matter of if, there is not a trading plan or method that can prevent the inevitable string of losers from happening. Anyone who says they never experienced a string of losers I would be very suspicious of what they are selling. In the past few months, I have realized that my method will fail multiple times in a row.

Let's put this in some perspective, I have spent years studying, backtesting, reviewing, practicing a very specific mechanical entry and exit based on technical analysis specific to the YM. I have documented how many points my method will produce on a weekly and monthly basis. I factored in the win/loss percentages and determined my needed profit targets in conjunction with my stops and I must say my stops are purposely very generous. But nothing can prepare a trader for when it's time to put years of practice to the test when you are met with market conditions that are not even worth risking capital in for weeks at a time. I  often use the analogy of managing a winning trade akin to how a surfer rides a wave. (I personally think it's an awesome analogy because surfing is similar in nature to how trading encapsulates skill and the management of risk) A better analogy of what it's like to be a full-time trader is trying not to drown in the undertow in the middle of a storm.

Another thing I will no longer do here on Trin Café is equate trading to baseball. You can find on the internet claims of 50 percent or better winning trades. These percentages give the perception that near every other trade is a winning trade. I have been guilty of throwing out win/loss percentages as if it were a batting average, I've been tainted with lingo of marketers who prey on active and aspiring retail traders google searching (day trading consistency, stock picker, winning trading method) keywords to find the magic key to trading success.

My motivation to post on Trin Café is usually driven by an idea or emotion I have in my head that I want to express. For me personally, posting my charts or my performance feels less productive, and far less therapeutic for my trading alter ego. At Trin Café I will continue to share my personal experience with trading in a form that I hope to be interesting or at a minimum entertaining.

More to come soon.



How To Vacation Like a Retail Trader.

Yellowstone Park | Photo by Ashley Knedler

I like to imagine myself as a jet-setting carefree trader. I have gone as far as counting the number of days I would have available to travel by factoring in number of trading days, my expected win/loss ratio and I included sick days.

I'm currently on vacation visiting Yellowstone, instead of planning what my family and I will visit next, I'm thinking about what I would be doing in the market right now, last time I checked ten minutes ago, it looked like a nice selloff. 

Trading is about being in the moment, managing the risk trying to get the entry, stop and exit just right. After years of preparing for trading success, having to learn to detach from what's happening in the market might be more difficult than I would have ever imagined.

My new challenge is to channel that same trading energy, patience and focus into the moment I have when I'm on vacation with the family or spending time with friends. 


When A Bad Trade Works

Trin Café "a trading for a living blog, inception 2017" was suppose to serve as a easy to read disclaimer of what Trin Café is about, and a reminder to myself that I will not put any capital at risk until 2017.  Well, inception came earlier than expected, I began trading as early as the month of August. 

2017 has been the chosen time frame because I would be able to commit my time from market open to market close. I've said it many times before, to have a chance at day trading successfully, it requires a method that's at least a break even win loss ratio, decent money management principals, and the time to be there in the moment when your method and the market are all aligned.

I rarely post charts on Trin Café anymore because I don't believe charts to be of value, a lot of what it means to trade is to be in the moment, putting your experience and capital at risk will be different for every individual trader. A traders circumstances and risk tolerance is like their own fingerprint, but for what it's worth; I was motivated enough to post this really bad trade that worked.

The below chart is of the YM on August 26th, I was fortunate that this trade worked in my favor. If you remember, August 26th Janet Yellen was speaking. The case can be made that trading on a FOMC day should be avoided, the markets can be very erratic, I'm talking about the kind of violent price swings that knock out the most well placed stops leading a lot of traders to get whipsawed and overtrade... been there done that countless number of times.

However, with access to my mobile trading app, I have had some early trading success. But with success, one of my many trading flaws is ego. I made a few trades that went against me, for a week, I dug a 13% hole into my account. I know very well that drawdowns are apart of trading, but trading on a phone with suspect reception and a shady battery has nothing to do with my method... I will explain that one in another post soon.

With all of that said, I told another trader I would share why I made the trade last Friday, but it was important to share the bigger picture, that day trading is not always easy, technical analysis has merit, but money management and trading psychology is where I intend on focusing  myself and this blog.

Now for the Technical Analysis... (Not that complicated)

I sold 18531 because I saw that price made a lower high, a quick sell with the hope that another lower low would come my way. 

Crazy? Only crazy if I did not immediately place a tight stop at 18549. With each lower low in my favor is what gave me confidence to place my stop from 18549 into a profit stop.

Note: The below chart is from NinjaTrader, my phone app looks nothing like this; another reason I can't trade on my phone any more.

YM Aug 26th 2016

Again, I was fortunate to turn a negative month into a positive month on one trade. Day trading well requires a commitment to consistency.

- Trin