After creating a trade journal to document all my trades as to why I enter/exit them, I start to see a trend in my mistakes. I seem to struggle with confidence in my strategies, as a third to 2 thirds of my losses all stem from selling too early and they soon spike after in the day/or week spike (the late reacting earnings winners). I hear Tim in my head saying to cut losses quickly, so I struggle to find the fine line between doing it because it's a bad trade vs "give it more than 5-10 mins." It's feels good to know that I was on the right track, but it is demoralizing not to have profits to show for it, especially for a small account. The most recent example was $MCUR yesterday. I bought it at $2.19 and literally 5 seconds after, Tim alerted his short. I thought I was on the right track buying it on the day breakout, but I quickly sold for a 3 cents loss/share. Soon after the sell, it spiked up. I should have been more confident, but it's hard especially for a new trader and if his teacher literally has a different analysis on the stock.
The other portion of my losses is due to the lack of discipline. I notice that I sometimes get caught up in the morning excitement and forget to really sit back and analyze when it's a good time to enter/exit--the risk/reward ratio that Tim talks about. A lot of the times after I've exited with a loss and my mind is clear, I can see that the risk/reward ratio was bad at my entry point and I could have saved myself from disaster if I was able to keep level headed in the first place.
How I will Improve:
I'm going to always, always assess the risk/reward ratio before every trade to see if it's worth going in, or just staying out. After many losses (luckily small ones that can be wiped away from 1-2 good plays), I realize that I would rather have stayed out and made $0 than to have gone negative.
As far as the confidence issue, I'm not sure what I can do to exactly improve it. I never trade like I do with real money when I paper trade, because I mentally know it's not real money and lessons never strike home like they do with real money. Maybe size down on buy orders to a more comfortable level?
If you have any tips to share, I'm more than happy to hear how I can improve. Thank you.