Home > Apprentice Trader Journals > $Deb Says: What do you do when times get tough?

$Deb Says: What do you do when times get tough?

After coming out of a great month, I am now facing a challenging start to a new month. As always I am constantly reflecting. This is what I have figured out so far.

The first trading day of September the market sold off and I missed it and took a loss on the day because I did not feel comfortable as shorting had not worked for months. This I was not upset at myself for. It happens so I moved on…or so I thought.

The second trading day of the month was a disaster as I was trying to make something happen when the market was doing nothing. This I was very upset at myself for and the lesson learned was to not trade to make back a loss; rather, look for the next good trade or sit and do nothing if nothing is to be had.

The last two trading days, I have traded conservatively with small size as the market has either been range bound or trending in one direction and then reverses. Has anything worked? No, I took two small losses and I sit here asking myself what am I doing wrong and what is the solution?

So when times are tough ask yourself; what am I doing wrong? What is the solution?

The following is my list of what I did wrong.

1. I did not recognize a change of momentum favoring the short side after a long period of a solid bias to the long side.

2. I traded one day to make back what I had lost and made my hole bigger and was pushing when there was no reason to.

3. I left the stock that I was most successful at trading in search of the best stock/OF to trade. This would not be a problem if I knew the other stocks and how they moved. Specifically, because I did not know them well I either lacked confidence to hold a good trade and took a loss or did not book profit soon enough on a trade that was moving in my favor which means I did not recognize some information that the market and stock were giving me. I was not in sync with the price action and movement of the stock.

My solutions:

1. I will be focusing on the stock that I know well, exclusively, and trade it when there is something to do.

2. I will focus on trading well and not making up a loss.

3. I will move on with a smile knowing that success is there I just need to make it happen:)





  1. September 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    great post Deb Says. Is that really your last name?

  2. September 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Whenever I go into drawdown mode I trade less size but continue to only take the most obvious high probability sdtups and when that isn’t working either I then take simulated trades in either eSignal or TradeNavigator until I feel that i’m back on track. We all go through it and pay for the education.

  3. September 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks Guys!! From Deb Says (LOL)!.

  4. soumya
    September 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Hey Debbie,

    You put words to my thought….i was doing the same trying to make up for my losses for last two day…i think i continued doing the same even today…and got chopped up…i need to learn trading in a disciplined way and more conservatively….I hope to learn that soon enough and not continue doing same mistakes any longer….


    • September 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm


      the point is to not give up and keep learning!!


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