I pulled up the charts of the 14 stocks I paper traded this week. This still remains a great practice and I hope to continue such a review as long as I am trading. Instead of posting charts, I thought I would review where I am in terms of my goals and rules for my Six-Week Sim Trading “bootcamp” or what ever I should call it, especially given I have a pathetic 29% compliance rate. Original objectives are in quotes with my current assessment underneath:
1) Trade at least one hour a day, but ideally either a whole morning or afternoon session – giving me 30 full trading days.
I’ve achieved this and it has forced me to better structure my days (juggling with real world work); I also realized it’s hard for me to find focus and get engaged in the afternoons as opposed to the mornings. The continuous day after day practice is giving me both experience as well as a higher endurance level in terms of trading.
2) Publish a list of 5 trade prospects every night to give me a focused watch list. Add 5 pre-market movers (winners or losers in the morning).
I’ve done this nine out of ten nights and is great prep work – giving me more familiarity with specific stocks before trading them.
3) Turn off email, Twitter, chat, blogs and other distractions in the morning after 9:30am. I do allow myself to check Twitter updates every 20-30 minutes to gauge the pulse of what other traders are seeing, but I do not keep signed in. In the afternoons, I do take advantage of trading alerts in chat and catch up on blog reading while waiting for my trades to unfold.
Ok with this but need to be more diligent with staying out of chat and not getting distracted.
4) Write up a detailed post about my trades each and every night reviewing what worked and what didn’t.
Yes, though my post on Friday wasn’t as detailed as previous posts, but again, another good habit. I likely would not keep such a good journal if it wasn’t for this blog.
5) No paper trading of Forex or Futures during this time (I’ve started to dabble and find it fun as well as educational, but I only have so much time in the day). I will do some real money swing trading a couple times a week, but if this starts to become distracting or if I start having a bunch of losers in a row, I will shut that down to focus on my sim-trading intraday.
Here are my rules that I will be grading each trade by. I must follow these 14 rules 100% to count it as a rule-compliant trade for the score card above.
A) Focus:  Between 9:35am and 10:30am, only trade from my 5 pre-market movers;  between 10:30 until 1pm, add into the mix the night before 5-stock prospect list; and  1 to 4pm – utilize chat alerts and my larger watchlists.
I’m going to start having my pre-market movers on a separate set of charts than from my night before watchlist. Right now, I have all ten of them lumped together and looking at all ten of them the whole morning and thus not following this schedule. Also, I’m going to switch my timeframes in the following way (when I have the entire morning free): 9:35am to 10:15am – trade stocks that gap up or down; 10:15am to 11:00am – trade my watchlist; and 11:00am to 11:45am – experiment day trading ETFs, in particular TNA and TZA. I’m not going to keep track of the ETF paper record yet as I’m still trying to figure out a strategy but have the start of I’ve been toying with.
B) Overtrading –  Wait ten minutes after entering a trade before entering a new trade; and  no more than four open positions at a time (my current restriction in my prop account).
My issue with this is when I take trades one after another thinking I’m loading up to catch a big move up or down; this never works. However, waiting ten minutes is a little too long so I’m going to switch it to five minutes and be more diligent in following.
D) Monitor -Enter and watch stocks on the  5-minute chart (not 1 minute) and make sure to  look at longer time frames as well.
On Friday, I relapsed and was using the 1-minute chart and clearly made trades I would not consider using the 5-minute chart.
E) Exits –  Immediately put in a stop order,  do not move stop order, and  stay in trade until stopped out or exit rules met –  then close position immediately. Do not leave because of fear or boredom – or for a small profit scalp. Let your winners run, cut your losers – following my exit guidelines (I based my stop order on technical analysis now rather than a pure .10 cent stop).
Have actually made progress in this arena, though now struggling with getting stopped out too often and then having trade go in my direction as I anticipated after I’m exited out.
F) Tracking –  Record every individual trade on my worksheet.
No, stopped doing it this last week. Will start again tomorrow.
Tomorrow, my goal is to follow these rules and not worry too much getting too obsessive about the technical parts of trading while ignoring my behavior.