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Monday, January 26, 2004
 
Not too comfortable tonight after the corn husking, missing coffee and watching my short cotton put me to sleep. Tomorrow's another day and I've got to work to get back some focus. Way too much going on with life in general. The biggest drawback for my trading is finding a balance between taking it too seriously and not paying enough attention. Of course it's most likely I have those feelings of frustration after nipping a profit from a market and then seeing it take off without me. Deal with it, Iceman.

 
Clipped in the corn this morning stopped out at 279.75 so I'm getting short again right now at 279.25. The rally in beans took everything higher but I've got to believe we're headed back down off this resistance. Also short cotton @ 75.45 and it just won't drop. Is it time to invoke the rule that says if it's not going anywhere it's the same as going against. Coffee looked strong all morning. Just waiting for the pullback to get long again. It sure is violent. Also by loosing focus over the weekend I failed to pull the trigger on my short Euro long US and missed a nice move. When I see these, I've got to take them no matter how busy I am. I hate beating myself up later for those missed plums.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
 
Should have mentioned I also put on a short March Cotton position at 75.45. I'm seeing the resistance and the run-up to be losing momentum. I'll need to watch this one because although it's a nice entry off of retracement, it could just stall short term and resume upwards. I'll be doing some more serious Cotton study tonight. After I watch The Apprentice with The Donald. What a genius concept this show presents. EVERYBODY is hooked on this one. Talk about personality...and I don't mean Trump!

 
Overnight my short Euro was stopped out for a loss. Went short again this morning around 05:00 and took it off just now for a small loss. I'm thinking we're right up on retracement resistance but I can't read the chart clearly so I'm out.

Sucked the Bean Oil stop down to 29.47 and got tagged and filled at 29.52. That's way too much slippage for the grains. They're getting as rough as New York for God's sakes. What a joke. I'll wager right now that proves to be the high tick of the day. A whopping 175. bucks. Oh well...it's a profit and although leaving the same amount on the table, it's good management to protect those profits.

Took coffee off as we approached the close and a sell off. Out at 74.60 after the nice run up from my entry of 70.15. Looking like some consolidation is in order. This is a long term campaign. I'd like to just leave it alone but you know, with a small account, despite increasing risk by re-entering repeatedly, the charts are just too rough to absorb the swings without locking in some equity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
 
That's the sweetest isn't it? The bean oil stop loss pulled down on Friday to my entry of 29.81 was one itty-bitty ticky above the high of today. What a delight when the market comes that close and doesn't take you out. I tucked it down to entry just to keep with my rule of doing my best not to let a winner back into the red. The day sold off nicely and I do think we'll see that gap closed over the week. If the support I see at 28.65 holds, I'll pull that stop down so close it'll squeak again like today.

My long Euro/short US worked out well with a nice little retracement. Took that off before going to work this morning. Tonight I'm short the Euro again. We'll see.

Coffee went balls-to-the-wall today. See, thats the value of not letting a winner turn sour. Taking the shost off last week, going long on the same day and holding it over the long weekend paid off. Where I goofed was to go into denial when my short didn't tank but kept bouncing off support. I only left with a 'C' note. But does that ever feel better that the way I used to do things. Wrong is OK. Wrong with a small profit is a real treat. Reversing and snagging a good profit makes me grin.

Sunday, January 18, 2004
 
I forgot to mention earlier the coffee short I took off with just under $100 profit. I watched in denial three days of bouncing off support. When it finally approached my entry point again I dumped it and then reversed to long. The sunsequent rally confimed by belief. I just never let a trade go back into the red anymore after choosing such a good entry. I'm still not that good at defining exits but entry is strong. Now Tues. morning after MLK day will tell the tale. Will it jump through resisitance or fade. I think from memory I've got a couple of hundred into the trade now so there's room for me to relax and see.

Also my little bean oil trade measure up nicely. I sucked the stop loss down to breakeven at 29.81 which is nicely just a couple of ticks over the high of Friday Jan 15th. My first stop of 30.17 had me nervous on Friday morning as I watched the beans rally back. If it's going to fall, it'll fall fast when the long weekend is over. If it's going to rally above that current island top, I don't want top be short. There may be no stopping it. Time will tell. All I'll lose now is the commish. Not to shabby.

Saturday, January 17, 2004
 
Well it feels like it's been forever since checking in but I see by the last date it's just over a month. Not so long considering the major events that have gone on. I lost my focus completely over that time. We've had a mad cow wipe the floor with any longs in that market, Christmas, my 55th birthday and then the loss my beautiful cousin from a brain tumor. I know this happens each and every day but when it touches you with the loss of someone young, fondly remembered and so special, the internal heart-felt pain is difficult to deal with. Her own family of three children now alone with their father in Texas is having to come to grips with the loss of their young mother. The letter I worte my Aunt upon learning of Pat's death was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. It was rewarding to see her peers from College enjoy a celebration of her life. Having been an honors graduate, how rewarding for my Aunt to be invited to a different city for a commemorative service. Pretty cool. But honestly, doesn't it seem a cruel turn to ever be preceeded by your own son or daughter. Like I wrote, it goes on every day. But we all need to take a reflective pause, then tell our loved ones how much we care. The old adage "it's never too late" isn't true.

So, on a scale of 1 to 10, my focus on the markets has been a 3. Despite that I've found the coffee market interesting and fun. I was short corn when the mad cow went on the rampage in the barnyard. I was short on technical chart resistance so to wake up and have a near limit move with me, I of course grabbed it. Since then it's gone straight up.

I'll never forget walking into my broker's office at 05:00 one morning. I used to drive there before going to work and trade currencies for an hour or so. This particular day I was up a full cent in my short Swiss Franc position when the day session opened. That's $1250.

Howard told me to grab it. In retrospect I should have seen the overnight move and gap opening as the gift it was. Of course greed raised it's ugly head. For the next hour I fought with myself over whether or not the move would continue. You know the rest of the story. It tested the lows a couple of times, found the buying support and took off to close the gap created on the opening day session. Then the internal fight was, do I cover now or will it head back down. God, I'm glad I don't do that anymore. That's the value of experience. If you've got the discipline to listen to yourself. Well, or course the value of that move ran out pretty quick. The day turned out to be an exhaustion spike so I think by leaving the screen, not staying focused and not grabbing the gift, the entire move eroded. It's to long ago to remember how much I lost. It gave my broker a chance to say 'I told you so' which he was fond of saying. That's why I moved to electronic trading. Even after a 19 year relationship with my broker, I just couldn't deal with his negative expectations. Imagine how you would feel though if EVERY account you ever opened went broke. Usually sooner than later. Oh, the cutting truth about what leverage can do to your equity balance in a big hurry. What an interesting game.

So now the time is here to re-capture my focus. I feel we're on the edge of some big moves in a couple of areas. The small profits I took out of sugar pale in comparison to the melt down I witnessed in my end-of-day quick glances at the charts. Loack of focus causes missing big moves. I have participated in the coffee swings nicely. Ironic to find comfort in one of the more difficult markets to trade. Odd too watching the grain market with more volatility that coffee and cocoa. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to find those areas of opportunity you're with which you are comfortable, and no matter which market, trade that puppy for all it's worth.

Seeing the Euro chart topping out at major resistance last week and the exhaustion spike created by the last downdraft of the US dollar gave me a nice little three day move selling Euros and buying the Uncle Sam. Felt good. I took it off the the long weekend of Martin Luther King Day on Monday. I don't trust currencies to behave well when I'm not looking.



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