My Journey to Fully Automate My Trading: The Commitment

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I talked about fully automating my trading for many years yet I could not stop myself from staying in front of the screen most of the time. This year, my new year resolution is to commit to the process of converting whatever I am doing in trading to a fully automated process. I know it is going to be a challenge for a discretionary trader who has been trading for better half of my life. I also know that the process itself can be a very rewarding experience. After all, I have not taken on a challenge this big for a long time.

A Bit About Myself and My Trading

In case you are not my long term readers or members of my website daytradingbias.com, it can be very confusing of what I am talking about. Here is a proper introduction of myself.

I have been trading for more than two decades (getting close to three now) professionally. I started out trading as a floor trader in a stock exchange trading stocks and stock options. I moved on to trading commodities and index futures. I manage other people’s money and also act as advisor to very affluent families on their high-risk portion of their funds. There were good times and bad times with my trading over my long trading career. Overall I manage to do pretty well and it has been a life enriching experience.

Over the years, my trading style has changed a lot. Although I started out trading 100% discretionarily, my current trading is a mix of mechanical trading on certain markets while engaging the other markets I have very specific routines and rules I follow strictly. Hence I am no newbie in mechanical trading. I just do not want to automate my main markets, the index futures, probably because of psychological reasons.

What Pushed Me to Take on this Challenge

I have a tough ride in my personal life over the past few years. Time became a very precious resource as I have to strike a balance between taking care of my loved one and my professional obligations of managing my clients’ money. During that time, I researched and refined my trading style so that it is more streamline and robust such that my emotion component would play a much lesser row in affecting my performance.

It turns out, my effort in reducing my time in front of the screen did not reduce my trading performance. It actually improved my trading performance significantly. I would not say the outcome is a result of those clichés like “less is more” bullshit. I think it was the process of objective reflection and evaluation of what I did that gave me clarity in reducing the clutters in both the actual rules of engagement in my trading plan and the beliefs I held for years about the markets which I never questioned until then.

So here I am, equipped with everything I have got, including time to spare at this point. I have no excuse not to complete the journey. The experience and knowledge gained from the process alone worth giving this a shot with everything I got. If the goal of fully automating my trading is partially successful, I gain even more time to take on even more important tasks in the future. There is really no downside to this challenge.

In other words, I have no excuse not to make it happen, now.

What’s Next

There are many things to get done in preparation phase for this project. It takes time to get these tasks completed before I can move onto the next phase of the project. Since I am not in a rush to make this happens overnight, I will take my time to complete these tasks carefully.

Throughout this project, I will document what I do so that all of you will learn something about the process of converting a discretionary trading method into fully automated trading. I am documenting my journey also for the purpose of holding myself accountable. This is my way to push myself to commit to the project no matter what the outcome is.

Life is worth living if it is a meaningful one. Finding new challenges to overcome is one way to make life more fulfilling. I find a serious challenge this time and I am very excited.