The Drunken Elephant's Trading Journal

Well, I figured I’d start one of these since I’ve nearly managed to trade my way out of a hole that was combination of my one degen long taking a dump and trading like it was 2021 in early 2022. My goal with this thread is to share my insights and some of what I’ve learned, as other here have so graciously done for the rest of us.

Some details:
-I’m trading a small account. I just got back to $2k account value today, which is pretty close to what I started this year with. I had a lot of lucky success trading in 2021, so even today, my account is still larger than what I started with despite taking some losses making mistakes along the way, as well as having to essentially pull all of my profits out of the market to take care of bills due to life happening.

-I have one long position, MVIS, a LIDAR and Augmented Reality company. I’ve taken some profit and reduced this position to 100 shares and one 2024 ITM call option. I mostly leave this alone. While not as profitable as it was last year, it has come back a bit recently from lows and
my shares are essentially free. As this is somewhat of an emerging industry, I’ll probably diamond hands this a bit longer… but if it decides to go 2 mun WSB style again, I’m going to learn from my mistake last year and take the money and run.

  • I have been exclusively trading SPY since I really started posting on TF. My strategy is specialization… learn one stock and how it reacts to things, and make it yours. Is SPY the best option for this? Probably not. But the challenge of doing so and coming out ahead will hopefully make me a better trader. Plus, since SPY reflects an index fund, I’m hoping what I learn from it will be applicable to any other stock I choose to trade in the future.

  • I only trade options. Since my account isn’t huge and SPY options are expensive, I’m usually trading 1-5 DTE somewhere in the realm of reality as far as the strike is concerned (Within $10 strike of where the stock is at upon entry).

  • I try to manage risk by taking only small positions and being ready to cut at certain targets, win or lose. I trade one or two contracts at a time, typically with no more than $200 at risk at any given point.

All that boring stuff said, here’s where I stand today. This hole at its deepest was roughly $900 and some change. It has been a struggle, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel:

My goal is to try and finish the year with my account at at least $3k.

One strategy that I have only very recently started using is utilizing Thinkorswim’s flexible grid to watch multiple tickers at once. Since I trade SPY, I’m using the megacaps MSFT, GOOG, AAPL, TSLA, and AMZN. What I’m finding is I can stay in a position longer and be more likely to be profitable if I watch what all of these are doing in relation to SPY.

All of these are 5 minute charts.

If I want to see a more fine view of SPY, I have my main chart set up with a few more indicators and on the 3 minute chart.

I am very curious to see how well this strategy will work in the grand scheme of things. So far, it’s doing decently well.

Small update…

Trading hasn’t gone so well in the past two weeks between boneheaded decisions and overall market conditions. I’m down about $300 on SPY alone, so I decided to reevaluate my strategy and change tack.

As of today, it has worked out, but one day is a small sample size. Instead of buying closer to the money and shorter expiry, I’ve begun buying further from the money, but a week out to allow for more flexibility and less stress. I’m going to focus less on scalping and more on trying to capture the larger movements we’ve been seeing happen overnight instead of trying to capture movements during the day only to get rekt by a market that likes to be range bound.

I played a put yesterday that I cut at open for a decent profit based on the Opex Dump theory and scalped another for a small gain.

The market is looking bearish but I’m not going to enter a position to hold over the weekend. I’m going to play it conservatively and wait to see what happens post Opex on Monday.

Let the climb back to $2k begin. :pepepray:

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Small update… Still not doing great, but also not taking as many trades with how the market is moving. My long decided to shit the bed with the rest of the market, so I’m still mostly cash.

My risk aversion is increasing, which tends to inverse my profit potential. FOMC did not go well for me, but my position was such that it was about a $15 loss, because my position was about $60 total.

Too degenerate to make money on either side. Need to tighten up.

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