What is the Plan and Focus for 2017 – Changes

Over the Christmas break, I spent a lot of time reviewing and analysing my 2016 performance. So before moving on to what I tend to change and what my focus will be. It will be good to go through a general summary of what worked well and what I did poorly.


What I did well in my Trading

1. My levels where I intended to do business overall were very good.

2. My context read was generally good to very good.

3. My consistency has improved compared to previous years. Though it nowhere near where I want it to be.

What did I do poorly?

1. I am not trading my levels within my framework of context and stats particularly well.

2. Whilst my consistency has improved, I am still having problems with decision fatigue at the end of session and accumulative fatigue over the long periods (3 months approximately)

3. Micro management is a problem that ebbs and flow thought out the year. See 1.

The whys

For 1 and 3

Why am I not trading my levels within the framework of my context and statistics?

I am too focused on the levels. Going through my previous reviews and study’s, it has been about narrowing down what levels, triggers etc. I have spent very little time working on what regime the market is in, and how these levels play in to the stats I have and my generally good context read of the market.

Why am I focusing on my levels?

I am trading the reaction as that has me in my comfort zone and keeps my fear of loss under control.

Also, my constant focus in prep and homework is on levels thus it natural that this becomes a focus of my trading day.

For 2.

Why am I suffering decision fatigue?

As my focus is so much on getting in as close to where I am wrong and I miss the trade, these causes this then causes me to worker harder to find a second entry or an alternative setup. When an entry in to the original trade within my context would have been much simpler.

Too much discretionary in my trading generally leads me to end of day fatigue.

Too much time staring at charts where I know I have no edge.


My weakest link in my trading is me and that needs to stop.


My focus for 2017 is to make me the least important part of my trading system.

I am going to do this

By breaking down every part of my trading system and making it more systematic on all levels. This will strip even more of the discretionary side of my trading out, thus reducing decision fatigue. I do not have to catch every move, but I need to catch every move that my trading system tells me to within the frame work of my context / stats.

If I do not get a set up then fine, but my triggers are so discretionary that it requires a lot of focus to take the trades.

I find the blind trades a lot less stressful over time, the hard work in the blind entries is deciding which level to take blind.

So, by getting more systematic or black and white in these parts of my trading, will reduce the amount of decision making.

I am not just blinding changing my process for these. I have been learning to code trading systems in RT Investor, so that I can break down each set up / trigger and back test to see if these have an edge.

I am going to focus on the setups that bring the best return and stop trying to be a generalist.

I am going to focus on the sub-sessions and market regimes that I know my edge works the best in.

I am going to spend more time working on improving my integration of my stats and context into my trading. Again, though systematic process.

I am going to improve my taking of regular breaks over the weeks to ensure that I am maintain my focus.

I have broken down the above areas of focus into more specific outcome goals, then process goals followed by performance goals.  This will enable me to work towards the bigger focus with some consistency and feedback.

8 thoughts on “What is the Plan and Focus for 2017 – Changes

  • 07/01/2017 at 18:33

    Hey Adey-

    Nice and honest self-review. You have a good grasp on what is working and what is not. Optimizing to do more of what works, and only really focus on that, definitely seems like a good plan of action.

    Have you read With Winning in Mind by Larry Bassham? That book is gold. Chapter 7 is particular useful for traders, The Three Phases of a Task.

    “The difference between the champion and the average player lies in the edge the champion gains in the anticipation, action and reinforcement phases of performance.”

    Bassham, Lanny. With Winning in Mind 3rd Ed. (Kindle Locations 969-970). Mental Management Systems LLC. Kindle Edition.

    There is the pre-work before a session, and even “taking a shot”. There is the taking the shot, and how one actually does that, and then there is the reinforcement phase:

    “I have discovered in my many years as a mental coach that most world-class athletes do well in the anticipation and action phases. However, they often break down in the reinforcement phase. **** I see far too many athletes reinforcing their bad performances by thinking and talking about them. Every time you talk about a bad performance, you improve the probability of having another one just like it in the future.**** ”

    Bassham, Lanny. With Winning in Mind 3rd Ed. (Kindle Locations 1004-1007). Mental Management Systems LLC. Kindle Edition.

    I have developed a very positive-imprinting focused process for myself which helps on a daily and weekly basis when doing a self-review. Making my trading very focused also helps. As an example I have produced a new 12 Week Year starting Monday, that will focus on driving up my consistency with a very disciplined feedback loop.

    I do like your approach to breaking down your own goals too.

    • 08/01/2017 at 13:09

      Thanks for the comments and book recommendation. You make some very good points about positive and negative review process. I will read this book with interest. Thanks again.

      Have a good weekend.


  • 08/01/2017 at 16:02

    Like you , I feel I have most things in place to allow for a great 2017.
    My focus like yours is going for consistency. Mainly because I would like to have a years worth of data that means something when I come to do my own self analysis.
    Levels, Market Context, Triggers, trade Management. Mental Game.
    Good luck with 2017

    • 08/01/2017 at 16:24

      Thanks for commenting. It is going to be an interesting year. Good luck as well. Adey

  • 08/01/2017 at 18:02

    Great review Adey! Best of luck making your adjustments this year! Can’t agree more with how difficult and key at the same time recognizing “what regime the market is in, and how these levels play in to the stats I have and my generally good context read of the market” is. I’m struggling to put it all together way too often. I share your sentiment towards difficulty trading your levels in larger context. It has been really frustrating for me.

    My adjustments for this year are: (1) mental: moved my trading station to a different room to separate living and working space even more. I created fixed schedule for breaks, to help deal with stress and frustration accumulation during the day and during the week.
    (2) execution: introduced volume candles and range candles in IRT to improve entry precision. I’m doing quite a bit of replay on this
    (3) plan: not messing with it too much. I’m experimenting with heiken ashi candles on my 15min chart (as an indicator)to have a better grasp of trend intraday and avoid getting lost in the chop.
    (4) in the coming weeks, I’ll be looking for (a) systematic ways to note zones of interest produced by volume candles and (b) ways to specify where to enter blind.

    Are you planning a return to S5 chat?

    • 08/01/2017 at 18:15

      Hi Maro,

      I agree. Very good points about the VC and range candles, I also have made similar adjustments. No.4 is a particularly high on my list. I have a method at the moment but I am not that happy with it. I am aiming to write my process in pseudo-code (e.g if low < then lowest low (5)) sort of style to clear up any grey areas. And this area still has a few grey areas. Last week I worked on my plan and had data issues. But will be back on Monday. Good luck with the year. Adey

  • 09/01/2017 at 12:14

    Hi Adey,

    As always, great review of the week. Concerning systematic trading, it’s also 1 of my priorities automating more and more to free up time to do research (and I also should be writing more publicly) instead of staring at the screen all the time waiting for setups.

    I like the approach by this trader: https://bold.io/a-year-of-systematic-trading-2017-01-04 which I stumbled upon last week. The respective trader ran last year a full systematic portfolio besides his regular trading portfolio. In the systematic portfolio there are several systems/strategies which are either running or on hold. This top-down approach is quiet appealing if you consider the money locked up in the systematic portfolio just ‘learning’ money for the first year while getting immediately dirty and ironing out errors while time goes by. Not sure if I actually want to make a point, as I also like your bottom-up approach (starting with your current setups and systems and gradually improving parts of it).

    Anyway, wish you all the best this year, cheers,

    • 09/01/2017 at 17:55

      Hi Seorge,

      Thanks for the comments, they are always helpful and give me food for thought. Much appreciated.

      That blog is interesting, as it something I have been thing about for a while now.

      I am actually taking a 2 pronged approach, with my intraday stuff I am working from the bottom up with what I know works and putting it back together. And with the shorter sessions this will give me time to research ideas for a more top down approach for other markets other than the Bund.

      My research is already showing me that it is going to be a very interesting year.

      Have a good one,



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