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When You're Lost In The Woods, Don't Wander Around

Boy oh boy, have I gotten tired of myself these past few days. I wanted to redesign this site for quite some time now to serve a number of different purposes, and just overall get excited about adding content again. But in the process I got a chance to revisit all of my old ramblings.

I feel like an old man when it comes to trading forex now, and I see how I started to deviate so much from this site's original purpose. In the process I looked around the internet for “competitive” sites, which admittedly get much more attention than this one. And all I have to say is wow, there is a ton of junk out there, and even more people that regurgitate it. Obviously, I never want to be that guy.

One particular article I ran into had me summing up what it takes to be a successful trader, blah blah blah or etc etc etc. But if you sat me down for a beer, ex fancy blog writing vernacular aside, I would probably say the following:

1. Know-How

2. Confidence

3. Control

That's it.

Number 1 is going to get a lot of attention in the coming weeks.  As I was trading yesterday I realized how “good” I can really be. One thing I rarely do is give myself much credit for anything – I am and always have been  really, really hard on myself. But I was hitting turning points, over and over again and in a fully confident manner. And I'm not saying this to sound like a cocky jerk. Everything I was using has been explained on this blog, though maybe not presented in a linear manner. And for the record, my butt still gets beat from time to time anyway…..that's just the business.

Confidence is huge. You really do have to act like an a**hole sometimes, excuse the expression, to get what you want out of this market. Being unsure is a quick way to get your brains and trading account all scrambled. Right before I squeezed off my first trade, I said to myself “this thing is gonna dump right now – it's going….to….dump” and in a very matter-of-fact, no ifs ands or buts about it type of way. Without that kind of confidence I don't know where I would be at or how I would basically control myself. You've got to be able to look ahead and visualize all the next steps.

But then there's control, which I have written ALOT about on this blog over the years.

For all of you future explorers out there, take note: if you ever get lost in the middle of the woods, the worst thing you could probably do is keep moving along. Aside from the overwhelming unlikelihood that familiarity of your surroundings will soon return, you've just made yourself much less likely to be rescued by those who might be looking for you.

Yesterday, I got lost in the woods, and my first instinct was to keep “going for it”.

I said to myself: “but you have to keep moving, Steve. Yes, you made some money today, but that last trade that you thought was going to knock out of the park didn't, and revenge is mine. All mine.” (<—–insert maniacal laugh here)

But I got lost, plain and simple. Things got to a point where deep down I said to myself: “I see nothing of super high-probability I want to go after. Maybe it's there, but I don't see it because my butt is sore, my eyes are getting blurry and I know there's some brain fog developing.” Me not realizing this is the mistake.

The day was going just swell, and went something like this:

Triple tap: 40 pips

Backwards inner trendline support: 29 pips

Triple tap: 22pips

Triple tap: 15 pips (see a pattern developing here?)

As you can see my yield was gradually declining and on the last one, we're talking extreme. I was fading the trend. My primary punching bag for the day was EUR/JPY, and oversold doesn't cut it on this one. We're past a major level, where heaps of orders like to hang out, divergence on any indicator you look at and price patterns galore towards the top. The last and final triple tap got taken out to create another, yet larger, triple tap, at the highs. Drool.

But I was using a trendline as major resistance, and this thing nailed it time after time. On the last one, it snapped.

And when trendlines snap on the backend, there's a whole bunch of force usually backing it up. They punch, simply to do the job of breaking through that line, which in turn gets used as support. And so it did.

But I shouldn't have even bothered. The day went well. That's a pretty decent cleanup for one day's worth of short term trades and who's to complain? Shouldn't be me – maybe my wife needs a new handbag, thus, I have to work harder? I dunno.

But again, I digress, I was lost in the woods, and shouldn't have bothered. After the fact, of course, I noticed that I did indeed miss a trendline of relevance. And as we all know hindsight is nothing but a swift kick in the butt when it comes to trading.

I wandered around for a bit, just to add a few more moments of agony to a day that was going well, and my rescue didn't come until I got a phonecall from my cat's veterinarian, inquiring about a rabies shot.

Yes, the vet, and my cat's potential rabies, saved my day.  That's what it took to get me to walk away.

So please remember: when the butt gets sore, the eyes get weak, and the brain starts to fog, do yourself a favor and realize that your orientation is now impaired.  Be alert, or simply don't do anything at all.


This is generally what my chart looked like yesterday. This is a 15 minute chart to show the long level, but some of the patterns mentioned occurred on a 5 minute chart.

EURJPY 15 Minute Forex Chart Patterns and Trendlines

If you want to read more about control, one of my favorites on this site can be found here: