Weekly Trading Review – Self Sabotage

Weekly Trading Review – 12th to 16th December

weekly trade review

Summary of Performance

A poor week this week.

Basically, over the last 2 weeks I have managed to fuck up my best every quarter. Whilst I still finished profitable, it has gone from a potential excellent end of year to an under average quarter.

What did I do best this week and how I did I do it?

When I was focused, and following my routines, then my quality of trading was good. But it was the fluctuations between a calm and focused state to an unfocused / distracted / angry trader.

More evidence that my process and routines are the key to my profitability.

What did I do badly this week and what lead me to do it?

I would start off each day focused and on track but slowly over the session. I would find anything to everything would start to irritate me, ranging from a no fill trade / minor computer problem to answering the door to a delivery guy and then this would send me off the deep end and lead to some poor decision making in trades.

Why was I so emotionally unstable?

Basically, it is accumulated fatigue. The long hours I put in each week without a decent break has after a while a negative effect to my trading.

The clues to this starting where in my Weekly Trading Review – Well, that escalated quickly! Post.

And a few traders where even kind and helpful to post these comments

Seorge Goros posted this

Hi Adey,

I believe that similar to the markets our behaviour has a cyclic tendency. Let’s say for simplicity we are either in the zone (happy about our performance, no problems on following up on all our rules, bringing our A-game each and every day, etcetera) or not in the zone (everything just doesn’t seem to work, C-game all over the place).

I wanted to mention the cyclic tendency of human behavior as I think you have dealt with ‘similar’ situations before (http://takingonetradeatatime.com/2016/04/23/weekly-trading-review-17-22-april/#comments and http://takingonetradeatatime.com/2016/06/18/weekly-trading-review-13-17th-june/). I liked your suggested solutions back then, and I think just reading back those posts will give you that little extra kick to get back in following your processes.

And Auh-trader posted this

It’s interesting that you talk about the getting up just a little bit later and it having a knock on effect on pre-market routines – I had this same problem back in the summer, and as you mention it was also a result of accumulated fatigue. I found the best solution (for me anyway), was a decent break away from the screens for a few days doing something completely unrelated to trading. Which I think helps to reset and let our subconscious mind deal with all the accumulated information our brains have not yet fully processed.

I attempted to deal with this problem by going to bed earlier and taking regular breaks.

But this has not helped.

I think the problem, is that once I reach this stage it is too late and more drastic action needs to be taken.

Why did I let myself get so fatigued?

My back ground as a sailor, has instilled a habit of hard work, and an ability to keep pushing though limits. Whilst this is handy skill, I am finding it has negative effects which I have not considered. That whilst racing, there will be an end to the race or on the longer races that take more than 20 days there are periods to catch up on sleep.

I cannot maintain this work rate constantly and retain the same amount of focus. Whilst I take breaks about every 4 months to spend time with the family etc. It is now becoming obvious that these breaks are too far apart to help.

Looking back through my posts and trading journals, it become obvious that about every 3 months, my performance drops till I take a break.

And it is also obvious then when I get to this stage the solutions I put in place are feck all use.

It is not enough to just to be the hard worker in the room, I need to work smarter. In the end, it is all about the results.

I need to have something in place to ensure that I do not get to the over fatigue stage.

It reminds me of physical training. The only solution to over training is to a take a break, and the more over trained one is the long the break. The key is not to get to over trained. The system I used, was that every six weeks I used do a light week of training.

Therefore, starting from the first day of trading next year. I will implement the following

Every sixth week, I will do a light week of trading.

Where I will take one complete day off from trading.

Where I will catch up on sleep and do something totally non-related to trading.

I will call an end to sessions that are not productive. Quite often I can tell that the AM or PM session is not conducive for my edge, instead of sitting there using that to get more screen time. I will do some else for that session.

If I have 2 limit down days with a space of six trading days, then I will take a complete day off from trading.

I will also look at going back to do some side consultancy on the racing front. As this was interesting and the change was as good as a break.

9 thoughts on “Weekly Trading Review – Self Sabotage

  • 17/12/2016 at 17:06
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    Hi Adey,

    One of the biggest issues for myself has been the mental game, and the more traders I speak with, professional too, its the same. I have also learnt that as soon as the emotional system is less than perfect at some point in time, theres a big dark abyss waiting for me, and its like walking on a razors edge. Recuperation and mental techniques have helped me a lot.

    The book link below might be something that you will find very useful – one of its key points is that we have to do intermittent sprints for peak performance, accompanied by scheduled recuperation and breaks. In fact their whole modality is not to focus on their clients direct issues – say poor performance at the executive level – to actually investigating everything NOT RELATED to that poor performers life. Is a relationship sub-optimal and causing an unconscious grind? Whats the diet like? Sugar unhealthy foods? Whats the sleeping process like? Whats his spiritual life like. I was reluctant to get this book, but now I have its been a great help on many levels. You do mention the experience with weight training, which is a similar mentality to that shared in this book, but it is more thorough and might help.

    https://www.amazon.com/Power-Full-Engagement-Managing-Performance/dp/0743226755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481990167&sr=8-1&keywords=the+power+of+full+engagement

    Reply
    • 17/12/2016 at 17:58
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      Hi, Thanks for commenting. Good points and thanks for the book recommendation. I have added it to my reading list.

      Adey

      Reply
  • 19/12/2016 at 09:23
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    good report, I always learn something from them, thanks.
    We fight for another day and everytime we getting closer and closer.

    Reply
    • 20/12/2016 at 13:25
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      Thanks for the comments. Knocked down, get up again and learn from it. Have a good break. Adey

      Reply
  • 19/12/2016 at 11:54
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    Hi Adey,

    I started reading Ferriss his latest book this month; Tools of Titans. Tim put together a gem containing all sorts of tactics, routines and habits used by many of the guests he had on his numerous podcasts.

    On the health topic Tim has the following to say: “In practice, strictly making health #1 has real social and business ramifications. That’s a price I’ve realized I MUST be fine with paying, or I will lose weeks or months to sickness and fatigue. Making health #1 50% of the time doesn’t work. It’s absolutely all-or-nothing. If it’s #1 50% of the time, you’ll compromise precisely when it’s most important not to.”

    In that spirit I really like your solutions to deal with fatigue! Keep up the great work.

    Cheers,
    Seorge

    Reply
    • 20/12/2016 at 13:30
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      Seorge,

      Many thanks for the comments. And I am starting to realise that you are right.

      I am making it a priority next year to focus on making my system simpler and ensuring that I have systems in place to ensure that I am trading at my best.

      Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out.

      Have good break.

      Thanks again

      Adey

      Reply
      • 20/12/2016 at 13:53
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        Hi Adey,

        Ha thanks for your reply! I’m not some self-proclaimed wizard who knows it all and is right all the time, but it’s just me passing some information that I found very valuable and is related to your weekly reviews (which, I cannot say it enough, are also of great value to me and I can imagine a whole lot more traders).

        Related to books / studymaterial, I’m very curious about your readinglist, would it be an idea to add a blogpost to the “Review” section with the material you have already digested, and also the books you want to check in the future?

        All the best,
        Seorge

        Reply
  • 05/01/2017 at 14:50
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    Hi Adey,

    i’m a big fan of these reviews as you know it. I recently finished The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. It was recommended by Rolf from Tradeciety i believe. Josh is a world champion of Chess and Tai Chi. Mind and body. How is that even possible? Somewhere in the book he too insists on how important interval training is. How to switch between intense focus to relaxation. But then how quickly can you come back “in the zone”? I know it is a problem for me everytime i come back from vacation.
    He breaks down everything for you, it’s a very interesting read that i would recommend to everyone involved in a high performance job, which includes traders obviously.

    Good interaction here on your blog, love the other recommendations.

    Best from France

    Reply
    • 05/01/2017 at 22:18
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      Hi DNA,

      Coming back from a break is a problem for me as well. Every week back from a break is a neutral or down week. So I am not trading this week, just monitoring.

      Thanks for the recommendation I will definitely read it.

      Read your year end review. Glad you are making progress mate.

      Have a good one.

      Adey

      Reply

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