Trading Journey: Back On The Trading Floor

This blog post is part of a trading journey series. For previous chapters, follow the links below:

Chapter IV. – Back On The Trading Floor

Given the obstacles life threw at me during my trading journey I managed to come back. I felt a sense of pride but also a sense of worry. I have managed it so far and here I am. Back on the floor. I have witnessed the best days of Elite and Senior traders on the floor at the beginning of my journey that gave me a certain degree of hope that it is possible to achieve great success in this game. But now it was time to step up my own game. As days on the floor went by, I felt a bit lost. On one hand, I was happy that I am able to keep going and I did not give up but on the other hand I felt that all the accumulated knowledge so far did not serve me. On the contrary.  I felt I am accumulating more and more knowledge yet underperforming in my P&L. I knew that the learning curve and the controllable variables are something I need to focus on and P&L will follow. But it is easier said than done. And for how long one needs to go until the desired consistency is found? Where is the line between sanity to keep going and time to admit this is not your thing? When comes the great arrival of consistency? I knew I need a hint, something that would give that extra kick. As all these thoughts were coming through my mind, my ego was screaming, full of worry trying to avoid the discomfort of the journey. Of the unknown.  While searching for the answers, trying to be patient, I have observed a small change in my trading. A new perspective that I would not be able to realize without stepping back from the markets and coming home for a while. I have noticed that suddenly my prior knowledge became much more integrated than before. It seemed like all that knowledge suddenly baked in into my primary circuitry and somehow I started to see new things in a market. I felt like a character in the video game that without any intention suddenly unlocked another surprising level.

Meeting new people on the floor gave me that new kick to see their perspectives with even better clarity. From new price ladder observations to deepening the understanding of the market auction I felt my fuel tank got a new kick in form of a deeper understanding of the market and a new meaningful milestone appeared. A project! An idea of a “clue library” has been born. If I can’t rely on binary P&L outcomes, I need to have something else to lean on than just a pure faith that in the end, great success will come. I have realized that somehow I need to quantify my progress but that quantification needs to become much more process-oriented, crafted towards my personality. Given my engineering background, the “clue library” was exactly what I needed at that point in time. To build a database of repeatable lego bricks, that in the right sequence trigger a favorable market move. On top of that, I have started to add also my psychological clues that were accompanied by those market clues. By this, I not only could capture the market repeatable blocks and their sequencing but I could also tap into my stereotypical self-talk when this market clue sequence occurred. Am I more prone to over-trade or will I be more prone to freeze in this particular sequence? Will I be looking for more confirmation to avoid discomfort in this clue setup? The combination of both psychological and market-driven clues gave me a chance to tackle my trading from an angle of measurable and more organized craft. Something that fits my engineering personality very well. Now I knew it is all about the time. As long as I will be showing up, working on my structured clue library, doing the prep, debriefs, and deep reflections I am on the right path.

Clue library build in a cross linking tool Obsidian

Although this project gave me the deeper sense that while I am building my craft, I have something to lean on that is outside of daily P&L swings, I started to have another problem. Cash. I was burning my cash cushion I have built from previous businesses to support myself and my family. I knew that without the ability to meet my target to pay myself in the months ahead, I will be forced to stop trading. As time will be running out, I will have to make some hard decisions. But more on that in my next post.

Thanks for reading.


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Written by Jaroslav Kohout

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