When I reflect back on the very best trading days of my life, they almost all have one thing in common: they started off as completely normal and, often, hum-drum.
In other words, it's not like the opening bell rang and it was obvious that the day was going to be a bonanza. It might start off with a small profit – or even a small loss – but, tick by tick, accrue into a terrifically profitable day.
On the other hand, when I think a fantastic day is forthcoming, it usually ends up lousy. I have a feeling today is just such a day.
Yesterday afternoon, I was having a terrific time at the San Francisco Zoo with my little girl. The most peculiar part of my visit was in the afternoon when I was, in the span of moments, watching the Euro plunge on my iPhone while observing a hitherto cute baby gorilla engage in the acts of (a) making a huge puddle of urine on the concrete; and then (b) slurping it up.
There's got to be a parable in there somewhere.
In any case, with the ES down 19 points, the Euro down about a full percentage point, and gold (my long) holding up decently, I had big dollar signs in my eyes as I went to bed last night.
Well, this morning I was in for a rude awakening:
(1) The Euro has recaptured almost all of its lost ground;
(2) The ES and NQ had dispatched with most of their losses (and, as I am typing this, the ES is well into the green);
(3) Precious metals and the miners were weak, and those constituted my long positions;
(4) One of my short positions, Vertex (VRTX) was up 60% pre-market, which I covered at a nasty loss. (I will note that my individual shorts usually count for less than 1% of my portfolio, so even train wrecks like this aren't that damaging – – but that doesn't take away from the suckitude). Just to add salt to the wound, the regular-hours trading was up "only" 40%, so I shot myself in the foot by trading before the open. Ugh!
I have beat a hasty retreat back to 50% committed (all in shorts; the rest in cash). I am, at the moment, down 0.6% on the day versus a flat market. A manageable loss, to be sure, but all the same – – I can pretty much assure myself that my dreams of a Monday bonanza have gone the way of the dodo.
Oh, to close on a somewhat positive note. As some of you recall, I re-opened my options trading account a few weeks ago, just for the hell of it. I am pleased to say I am up over 50% on that with what have been very straightforward trades. The latest was a block of FXE puts, which I sold this morning. Perhaps the tiny size of the account makes my disposition toward it more "pure" as a trader.