Sunday, 20 February 2011
Well, I've done it again. Complete and utter capitulation. Just one inexplicable trade has brought me to my knees. Once more, just as it seems I was getting out, I got pulled back in to the gambler's mindset. I'm starting to think that I will just never get it.
How did it happen? Well, the Nalbandian loss from yesterday was still playing on my mind. I would have gone to bed but decided to play the Memphis WTA final and try and recoup some of the loss. There were no TV pictures and this proved fatal in the end - Rebecca Marino retired at the end of the first set. Guess who layed her opponent, Rybarikova, at the end of the first set!?
I was stunned rather than angry. There wasn't really anything I could have done to prevent it. Or maybe there was. If I hadn't been so angry at not taking the green I had on Nalbandian and ending up red, I would never have played the Memphis final. Maybe I should have been more careful. Retirements are most common at the end of the first set and I didn't have pictures. I should really have waited to see if play continued before trading. A trader should always be prepared for any situation and I wasn't. But who figures anyone is gonna retire in a final? After the fortnight I'd had, with Betfair outages and betting on the wrong market etc, I guess I thought I'd had all my bad luck for the year out the way - how wrong I was.
I obviously was still in the wrong frame of mind when I continued today. Even though I said to myself 'It's ok, it won't take long to make it back, it's just a minor blip and there was nothing I could have done', I clearly did not take it on board. The demons inside of me took hold and I changed strategy for the Marseille final. The thing is, it worked! I was £50 green after half an hour. Normally, I would take that happily and close the trade but oh no, it wasn't enough for the greedy Sultan. I wanted to recoup ALL of the Marino money in one go. You can guess the rest............
So there you have it. 3 large losses, 2 of them which should have been greens. Sickening isn't the word. Once more, I analysed what happened:
1. I fixated on the amount of green I had in the Nalbandian game. It wasn't large enough, so I stayed in for more. Why? TOO IMPATIENT.
2. I tried to get it back on the Marino game, despite the fact I was tired and would have gone to bed. Why? TOO IMPATIENT. Couldn't wait till tomorrow.
3. I was now frustrated and angry and this led to me changing strategy for the Soderling game. Why? TOO IMPATIENT. I couldn't be bothered to wait and employ my usual strategy in case I didn't make any money.
4. It worked but I didn't take the excellent profit and stayed in for more. Why? TOO IMPATIENT. I wanted all the Marino losses recouped immediately.
All my bad habits can be traced back to this one crucial personality disorder - IMPATIENCE. Even though I know I have it, I can't seem to suppress it. So I'm going to have one final attempt to overcome my impatience. I am 99.99% certain that if I can bottle up my impatience, I will become a consistent, successful trader. But this next week will be my last attempt. I can't go on anymore after this. I'm too drained and stressed to keep going through the cycle of emotional rollercoaster week-in, week-out. So if I don't have consistency and decent profit by the end of next week, it's over. Here are the final measures I will take to remain patient:
FEBRUARY 20TH 2011 - TENNIS TRADING YEAR ZERO
It's been one year since I started trading but I am re-setting the time. I'm basically saying 'forget about the past year'. All that has happened is water under the bridge. Forget the awful losses, the lack of discipline, the lost time. Today marks the start of a new beginning. I will act as if I'm new to trading again. My aim is to recreate the way I traded 12 months ago, when I was ultra-careful and stuck resolutely to my strategy. The baggage of my mistakes over the past year is what is making me impatient, so I need to get rid of it and start afresh, so I don't feel as much weight on my shoulders. There are no losses to chase and no regrets to ruminate over, it's a clean slate. Year Zero starts as of now and I hope that in one year's time, I will look back on February 20th as the day when my successful trading life began. My key rules will be this:
1. Keep talking to myself throughout the day. I need to re-iterate the word 'Patience' to myself as often as possible. It sounds crazy but if you get used to saying the word, you get used to thinking it. I'm also going to write it on my hand so it is always there as a reminder.
2. Bottle up my frustration during trading and let it out AFTER trading. Getting angry during a trade can only lead to losing control but releasing the tension afterwards is a great tactic to keep you calm for the next trade.
3. Start taking profit more often and staying in trades for shorter periods. I need to keep reminding myself not to be a gambler. The more I start cutting trades short and quickly taking smaller green or smaller reds, the less risky situations I will end up in. Once I get used to this, it should become second nature.
4. STICK TO MY STRATEGY!!! IT WORKS!! Again, I just need to constantly tell myself this through the day. A sign is going up on my wall so I can see this at all times.
Wish me luck.................