links for 2007-10-05

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Frantic Day at Work = Little Time for Commodities

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A hectic day at work meant that I didn’t get a chance to check up on much today. I scanned a few articles during my lunch break but really I was too busy to be thinking of anything under than what I needed to get done in my job. Truth be told, I was exhausted by the end of the day and I’m heading to bed in a few minutes.

I did get a chance to catch up on some of the news as reported over at Bloomberg. It’s the usual stuff, some things went up, some things went down. I think that come the weekend, I’ll be looking closely at metals and energies. From what I’ve been reading, they might be worth looking at. They’re also areas I’ve been interested in for the past six weeks, especially metals. I may have missed a large movement already, but it may not necessarily be the end of the trend yet. In any case, they’re on my list of things to look at this weekend.

Open Positions

None

Account Details

Account Balance: €585.48
Open Position P/L: €0.00
Account Position: €585.00
Overall P/L: -€1464.52
   

links for 2007-10-04

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Time-Out

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Today was a needed break. Not from the markets as a whole, but really from having an open position. For the first time since I started this whole adventure back in June, this was the first time that I didn’t have an open position and also most importantly in soybeans! I needed that. It was time I took a step back to assess my progress so far and also to reacquaint myself with the myriad of other commodities out there other than, that most versatile of grains, the soybean.

Soybeans, if you are interested, actually closed up 7.25 cents. A lot of the news stories I’ve been reading have been talking about how the commodities markets shrugged off the continued recovery of the dollar today. I’ll admit that I was a little surprised to find that after yesterday’s drop, but should I really? It seems typical of the panic and fear that frequently visits itself upon the exchanges. There one day and gone the next.

I have no regrets however, I stuck to my trading plan such as it is. I had placed a reasonable stop loss based on the Average True Range and a weekly low. In fact, I didn’t actually realise how close the price was to my stop loss until I checked my account and found that it had been hit. Previously, I probably would have moved my stop loss lower as the price moved lower and this time that would be working out fine for me at the moment but in the long run, such an action is simply inviting ruin.

I’ve been trying to bring in cognitive biases into my posts as they are an idea that I find very useful for looking at my own behaviour. Curtis Faith provides an excellent explanation of some cognitive biases that can impact on trading in his book, “Way of the Turtle.” I am sure that I will be discussing this book at some later stage. For now, I just want to talk about the outcome bias. This is a tendency to judge how good a decision was, based on its result rather than the factors that went into why the decision was made. In the past I know that I would have been really annoyed with getting stopped out and I would have been frantic to get back in. Today, I had no such feelings. I think that is progress.

Instead, I read up on other commodities such as gold, silver, copper, coffee, sugar and oil. This is part of my fascination with the markets, all these every day items that are traded across the world and each day there is a power struggle to either push the price up or down. It was good to be able to broaden my horizons again. I also read some interesting articles on trading specifically on trading discipline and expectancy. Both seemed to be timely reads for me.

I’m not sure if I’ll open any positions before my WRAP UP this weekend, it seems unlikely that I will as I haven’t found the time to do any serious analysis of any trends in the markets. Instead, I think I’ll just enjoy this unexpected time-out.

Open Positions

None

Account Details

Account Balance: €585.48
Open Position P/L: €0.00
Account Position: €585.00
Overall P/L: -€1464.52
   

links for 2007-10-03

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Stopped out of Soybeans

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I was expecting Soybeans to close lower today, but nowhere near limit down. The market touched limit down during the session and just before that I was stopped out. The overbought nature of the market and the pressure of harvesting were finally able to push the price down with the strengthening of the dollar as the catalyst. Wheat and corn closed limit down for the day and it will be interesting to see how much further wheat will fall.

Having no positions now open, I have a decision to make, whether to take my money and set it aside to build up a reasonable stake once more or to open another position in something. Initially I was leaning towards putting the money aside for the time being. However right now as I see that this correction was across the board, including not just grains, but metals, energies and softs, I think I might instead see if there is something that is worth getting involved in.

So much for my worries at the weekend of feeling comfortable with my position in soybeans. If I don’t quite feel the hunger, I’m not feeling the fear. Of course, I have yet to pull the trigger. I won’t be getting involved tomorrow, it’ll be the following day at the earliest before I open a new position. In the mean time, I will be looking at everything to see what the possibilities are at the moment.

Open Positions

None

Account Details

Account Balance: €585.48
Open Position P/L: €0.00
Account Position: €585.00
Overall P/L: -€1464.52
   

links for 2007-10-02

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A Day of Waiting

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I think you could best describe today as a day of waiting for soybeans. It was a tight session of trading, with the high of $9.98 and a low of $9.90 and only closing up a 1/4 of a cent. There wasn’t much change from the information available last Friday. Over the weekend, the USDA announced that they wouldn’t be opening up any more acres which probably accounts for the slightly higher opening of $9.96 but there was no attempt to break the $10 mark nor much effort on the downside.

If everybody was waiting for some direction from the crop progress report, there wasn’t a lot of change there either. The harvest is well under way with 29% of it complete and there was a slight downgrading of the crop condition by 1%. That might provide a gust of wind tomorrow, but it feels like we’re back in the doldrums.

Open Positions

Asset Contract Position Change
Soybeans November 2007 Long +0.63

Account Details

Account Balance: €271.48
Open Position P/L: €513.52
Account Position: €785.00
Overall P/L: -€1265.00