Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Of course immediately the morning after I have this rant about going on tilt, I replicate it at work trading. Went from a pretty good day to a pretty bad day in a hurry, fighting in a stock that I should have realized to stop trading in. One of the more interesting things that I read in Trading in the Zone was his suggestion to time yourself when you're having that downward vicious spiral moment. By knowing how long this feeling of tilt lasts, you'll be able to know when to step away and come back, and be more consciously aware of yourself while in this mode.

Another one of the things I've gotten out of the poker experiment is a different perspective on what is "good" poker or "good" trading. Conventionally good poker and the skills that tend to define someone as a good poker player don't always equal a successful money-making poker player. In the end, it's all about your opponents and how you adapt your skills to them. If your opponents' like to gamble, then perhaps it is better to overbet more preflop when there are less cards out and the opponent still feels like he has "a lot of outs". If you have good reading skills and your opponent is easy to read, then you can slowplay your hands until you get bad beat then make the tough laydown, like Phil Hellmuth.

I also feel that this perspective applies to trading as well. It's not so much about the rules or guidelines that we tend to believe is good trading, but again it's about how we adapt to our opponents. Which, in this case, is the market. So even though I'm a firm believer in the basic "axioms" about trading - not averaging down, cutting losses quickly and riding winners, etc. - it really comes down to what the market conditions are for the frame of trading that we do. A couple of weeks ago, I remarked to some coworkers that a certain strategy seems to be the way to make money, even though it completely goes against what we've learned so far in our careers. Perhaps I should have listened to myself. By staying put with my strategies, I've been struggling and in a slump the last 2 months. The lesson, as always: do as I say, not as I do.

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