Setting Optimal Target Daily Goals While Trading E-mini Futures

By Chris on 2013-08-26 in E-mini Trading (0) Comments

It would be an understatement to say that traders have strong beliefs in two different methods when it comes to setting daily target goals. Many choose trading after their lives have carved some sort of career path thus what feels normal generally tends to apply to their trading characteristics. From a results type career I tend to activate my discipline and challenges the same as I would making my quota. I always feel the need to have some sort of measuring stick to which I can challenge my everyday trading objectives.

I find there to be a few great things as well as poor aspects that come out of this. A few of the positive aspects of trading within a daily goal are as follows:

The Positives of a Day Goal Trade Style

  • Supplemental Trading Focus
    • Similar to taking a vitamin for which your goals are to maintain a healthy life and possibly live longer I find that supplementing this rule creates focus throughout the day. I always place my goal within the amount of trades that I'd like to take during the day and I remember to not go overboard trying to reach it.
  • Measuring Stick
    • I'm competitive by nature and though I'm competing everyday against other traders I still find it hard to develop a sense of progress. Having a daily goal helps me to stay ready to compete against myself and have a reason for remaining focused on only excellent trades.
  • Understanding Weak Vs. Strong Market Trading Performance
    • Much of what I do now is focused on the S&P 500, Russell and Crude oil futures. The reason I've narrowed down my own tradable instruments was the fact that markets such as the Euro, Gold and DAX eminis never yielded personal goals. In fact much of the time these other markets that I was participating in were hindering my performance in the other instruments. Thus they've been eliminated and even taken out of my list of symbols so that I'm not tempted to trade them.

The Negatives of a Day Goal Trading Style

  • Unpredictability and inability to match an "average" profit goal.
    • In order to figure out my profit goal I can approach this in different ways. I could have either gone with a simple mean, mode or even median. I spent hours trying to work out some formula that would be a combination of 2-3 of these, but to no avail. I simply went with the mean which left the important factor that outliers exist and are certainly not guaranteed.
  • Focused on the money lost or gained
    • My goal was to reach a specific amount or daily goal and this in itself led to less discipline. As you can imagine, my trading setups began to be more lenient and the market wasn't too forgiving. I would place a trade to make sure I made my goal that wasn't the most optimal to take. Some would work out while others I was hit with a stop out followed by an optimal set up taking place. This left me frustrated to say the least.
  • My control stopped as the market turned
    • The market as we all know presents itself with a certain amount of opportunities every day. Some days I may have 3 quick trades in the day that yield my daily profit goal. Other days I may not be so lucky and I found myself getting in the habit of forcing opportunities so that I may lean on. I can't take control of the market itself, but I can take control of whether I put myself at risk or not. I have no ability to control the unpredictable market and learned that I needed to understand this. There are some days that the market just isn't there. I think back to my old baseball days where some attempts at the plate were met with a walk, a cheering crowd and a happy coach.

My Final Verdict On Daily Trading Objectives

So to clarify my position on target goals as I trade e-mini futures I've eliminated it from my objectives. I take what the market gives me and I think of a cheering crowd if I get walked(don't take trades) as I know I'm now a possibly score soon enough.

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FULL RISK DISCLOSURE: Futures trading contains substantial risk and is not for every investor. An investor could potentially lose all or more than the initial investment. Risk capital is money that can be lost without jeopardizing ones financial security or life style. Only risk capital should be used for trading and only those with sufficient risk capital should consider trading. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.



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