My absence the past few weeks can be attributed to the market and my trading, as for the first time since July, 2003 when I started day-trading my system, I was having a negative month. As of Monday, that has turned positive, but I have been preoccupied with analysis, trying to figure out what wasn't working and if this 20 month run was in danger of ending. The good news is it wasn't my system, it was me, well, mostly me.
First of all, the market wasn't cooperating with much follow-through on my trades. Whereas my system is based on 1-2% moves from entry, I was barely getting 0.5% pops. Not enough pop to take profits, so the trades were going flat and worse, turning negative. My rule is to exit with $100 losses, no question asked. This time, I was letting the losses get away, sometimes $200-300 per trade, as I was in a state of false arrogance, "it worked in the past, it's going to work now."
Add together a greatly diminished number of wins and a stupid doubling or tripling of my losses, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out the month is going into the red. My system is designed to withstand periods of market non-cooperation, as long as I am faithful to the $100 loss rule. Without it, I'm in the soup with everyone else.
The further good news is that my trades are working again, my stops are being respected and April is suddenly in the black all around.
The bad news is I'm back to blogging.