Babysitting trades

In my trading plan I have pointed out that babysitting trades is one of my weaknesses as a trader and that therefore I should only check up on my trades once a day. Well, today I didn't and it cost me serious pips. I'll explain later. First, let me try and tell you what I mean by babysitting trades.

Every trade is special to me. It takes time and preparation to find a proper setup and to execute the trade. And then I wait and let the trade develop, .. grow, while giving it enough room by not setting a stop to close. And as with letting children grow up, you have to trust that you have done all you can do and step back. It is the lack of trust in my own trade analyses, I guess, that make me check up on trades to often. And it's easy to do by mobile phone. The down side of babysitting trades is not that it costs time, because it doesn't. The main problem I have with babysitting trades is that it makes me get out of potentially profitable trades.

So here is what happened:
Babysitting a USDJPY trade
On Wednesday (at the New York close)  I spotted a perfect reversal-trend-continuation-trade setup on the USDJPY. The pair has been trending down for a few weeks now. This is confirmed by the slope of the 21 SMA and the fact that all candles open and closes are below the 21 SMA. Also prices have been making lower lows and lower highs. All in all a pretty convincing trend. Then a pin bar formed right on a support and resistance line and the 8 EMA. So I placed a limit sell at the 50% retrace of that pin bar (the orange square is my limit order). My stop was just above the pin bar and my TP just above the next S&R line (red). I realized that Japanese banks would be closed and that on Friday the non-farm payroll figures would come out. The first could mean lower liquidity in JPY, the second higher volatility for the USD going into the weekend. This made me think, I'd better keep an eye on this trade. The next day (Thursday) my order was triggered (orange triangle), but the market didn't move much. As the non-farm payroll announcement was approaching I checked up on this trade on my phone. I saw I was in profit for about 10 pips, but that price was moving against my position. I chickened out and with one swipe my position was closed out with about 6 pips profit. Although this is better than a losing trade, when I checked up on the trade on my computer at home I saw that price had dropped about 35 pips after I had closed out my trade. This is exactly as I had expected price to move.

Therefore it's fair to say that babysitting this trade cost me 35 pips.

Comments