Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feb Trading Results

I still need to catch up on my Excel sheet so this is just a back of the napkin accounting for this month. It is very misleading as the XLE has been a MTM gain for many months, I just decided to close it out this month. Excluding that trade, the true number is +$425, and there is a MTM loss on 500 shares of VZ of -$250. I sold naked $30 puts and will have them assigned over the weekend. So realized gains of $425 and a current MTM loss of -250 are the rough numbers for the month.

While this is far shy of the $2,000 or so a month I need to break even with living expenses, I am at least thankful that the number was positive. And I am not intending to try to hit $2,000 exactly every month, but rather average that over the long-run. There are going to be times I decide to sit out for a while. I was actually surprised to see that even with the MTM loss that I was still up for the month. I had been holding on to the perceived mistakes that I made and completely disregarded some gains early in the month. That just stems from a personality trait of mine where I tend to disregard success and beat myself up for failures.


  1. Hey ending the month green, regardless of how you do it is always a good feeling. I am in the same camp as you with respect to my monthly goal. I do not expect to hit it every month, but rather on the average. I know there are some months that I will be over and some that I will be under or possibly even negative like this month.

    You really have to look at your trading with a holistic view. Focusing soley on your mistakes can be damaging to your mental state when opening or closing of the next trade. I know this is always easier said than done because I repeatedly do the same thing. This month was a perfect example and you will see that when I post my results. But I looked at a lot of the trades that I closed out for a loss this month that actually would had been profitable, because I was driving my decisions on my mistakes which only compounded the problem.

    But what are you going to do? It happens.

  2. I know what you're saying, I think that for me, subconsciously I kind of shoot for perfection knowing that it's not really possible, but the closer you come the better you are. It's kind of like that old adage of shoot for the moon, if you don't make it, at least you got to see some stars. Unless of course you blow up on the launch pad, in which case you just burn and die, not as cool. I would still rather beat myself up over mistakes than shrug them of and look for excuses. However, taking a step back and looking at the long-term overall picture should be done more often than I currently do, because typically my memory is only as recent as my last loss. And that sometimes keeps me from trading as I psychologically lick my wounds.

    I think a quarter over quarter view is probably better than even month over month. And obviously the more time you have to compare the better. I'm comfortable with my returns over the last three years given the amount of risk that was taken on to achieve them. My strategy and styles have changed so much over that time frame that's comparisons are really tough. Judging from what I hear from the so called experts, you always have to adapt and be willing to change up. That being said, I think in the long run, as long as your returns are larger than just sitting long in a general market ETF, then you're doing yourself a service.