Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tues. 12/31

11:35am CST - Year end wrap-up coming later but the abbreviated version is that I lost $7k or 14% of my equity this year.  Final equity curve on the right.  It is also the third year in a row that I was gross positive but did not cover commissions.

To address the comments from a couple days ago, I understand your concern but my blog does not provide you enough information for you to decide my future. Sure, everyone has an opinion and my trading results are 100% transparent but you do not know the whole picture of my life, other income sources, etc.  Trading remains my passion and "past performance does not guarantee future results" works both ways.  The future is unknown of course, but good trading to all in 2014!

Net breakdown (contracts traded):
ZS $340(2), TF -$220(4)
Net $P/L: 119
Wins: 2
Losses: 2
Avg$Win: 174
Avg$Loss: -114


  1. To counter some of those negative posts, I encourage you to continue until you've exhaused your trading ideas. Trading is like any other profession, it takes most ppl years of training to make consistent $. Stopping after a few yrs of losses is like a doctor quitting after couple yrs of med school on the basis the tuition is too costly.

    You stop when you've exhausted all trading ideas (or life circumstances/finances etc requires you to stop) rather than when some random guy not knowing your circumstances tells you the 'tuition' is too costly.

    (if ppl knew I have both law and commerce degrees and still trade, I'd probably get those kinds of negative comments too).

    Good luck mba in 2014!

    1. Thanks! U2! One could be called crazy for NOT fully pursuing your passions so I agree 100%.

    2. I wouldn't call the prior comments negative - I think MBA correctly addressed them as concerns. It's natural to have questions for going forward based on a a series of losing returns. We all should be asking ourselves the same kind of questions based on our trading results- and it applies to any other business venture as well. MBA is just more transparent in his performance than many so his returns will of course be subject to greater public scrutiny.

      There's nothing "dirty" about trading. I have college degrees in Math and Engineering and I trade with pride. Anyone who talks smack against trading is just naive to the amount of money that be earned by the best traders out there- more than any other profession on the planet.

      No one can argue with success - if your returns are good, the comments will also lean favorable.

  2. Once again MBA, I applaud your ability to post all your returns for the world to see knowing you will be subject to comments and criticism - some valid and some not so much.

    Anyone who has a true passion for trading will not be understood by many on the outside. They may view it as gambling, but it really presents the challenge of applying one's mind against the puzzle of the market. It allows for a level of creativity and freedom seldom experienced in the corporate world, where the biggest rewards typically are doled out more by office politics connection than by ability and true contribution value. Trading is a true meritocracy where the better you are will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

    That said, we all trade knowing the odds are against us and less than 10% of those who trade will be able to earn enough to make a living from it. So we have to approach this career with sober eyes.

    Every trader should have a set of conditions to determine if one can make it or not- based on factors of progress, time, goals, etc.. The overall time can be complicated because trading skill isn't linear - it's isn't a matter of gaining more knowledge over time as it is in "getting it" with respect to the random, yet organized nature of market behavior. One can "get it" in a matter of weeks, some may take months or years, if ever. Everyone's different.

    You clearly have an alternate source of income to sustain you during this period of negative returns which is good, but it's worthy to consider that those sources may be making it too comfortable for you to break through the next level.

    I think it could benefit you to make a solid deadline mapping of what it would take for you to quit trading or declare success. When there's the urgency of time combined with required performance, the motivation is higher to leave one's comfort zone and shake things up for improvements.

    Personally, having a fire lit under me has been a great motivator to go all out in improving my trading methods so I can continue trading versus returning to the corporate way of life. I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't feeling income pressure, I would not have pushed myself as hard and would not have made the additional discoveries needed to change/improve on my techniques.

    So for 2014, consider finding some ways to increase your sense of urgency to fuel your success. One way would be to trade on a sim until you can sustain 4 - 6 consecutive weekly gains. Three consecutive weekly losses in real trading would mean you go back to the sim and repeat. 99% of traders hate not trading live so that's pretty good incentive to make sure your trades count.

    Here's to a profitable 2014!

  3. Thanks Soullfire. Some great points. The sense of urgency is certainly there!