Dealing with my biggest drawdown (trading)

Fuck it, I guess I should admit to it…

My last 8 trades in a row were either a break-even or a loss

Can you imagine that?


It hurts to just mention it, my ego took a serious beating…

But wait, instead of running away from losses let’s dive into them

Let’s put some music on (I like Worakls) on and talk about them, since I can’t out run them

This made me (re)backtest my strategy for 2020

I had recently adjusted it based of new knowledge and new testing.

The refinement I just mentioned took place without me backtesting the new trading plan, instead I truly believed they were worthwhile tweaks and additions so I just blindly added them to my plan.

It made my trading more mechanical, fuck yeah, that’s what I’m about!

So I just went through all the backtesting and applied those refinements, this lead to this:

In 2020:

42 positions up from 33

A strike rate (including BE) of 42.86% and only 28.55% of winning instead of 66.65% (including BE) and 54.44% of winning

An average return of 0.33% it used to be 1.31%

A total return of 14% instead of 43%

Eh fuck. Why did I adjust my plan

What the FUCK happened?????

That’s a good question..

II tweaked my trading strategy based on what I thought, on a logical basis would work better than what I used to do. And since it was only slight refinements I didn’t dive deep enough in my backtesting to make sure it was good changes.

So that made me deal with a 28% strike rate (of winning trades) instead of 55% which was the result of my previous plan

I tried to improve my plan, but instead I made it a hell of a lot worse.

It hurts, I thought everything I had done was good, smart and the right choice, well, it may have been in past years, but in 2020 it wasn’t the case…

Anyway, that’s the story about how that losing strike happened.

Even with a 28% winning rate the probability of having 8 trades in a row that aren’t winners is of 7.22%

Which is actually quite high knowing how many trades we shall take over our life time.

Let’s do an exercise to know the probability of having trades going “bad”

It’ll be fun I swear! The most important part is to know the probability of your winning trades (only winning trades, don’t include your break-even in this strike rate for this exercise)

So what is the probability you’ve got?

P= __%

So for me, according to my older plan, that P is equal to 55%

Now let’s do a tiny winy bit of maths (I recommend using if you don’t love maths and don’t have a calculator next to you :D, that’s how I passed my maths exams at uni!)

To get the probability of having X losses OR breakeven in a row we’re going to do:


Eheh, never thought I’d be talking maths on my own blog, what happened to me…

So for me that is (1-0.55)^X

Let’s have a look at the probability of having 5 losses OR breakeven in a row


Okay that’s already WAY MORE REASONABLE!!! So in that case, with my previous strike rate, the probability of having 5 losses in a row is only of 1.85%

Over a lifetime of trading you’ll definitely take more than 100 trades, well at least I will that’s for sure so the probability of having 5 losses in a row within the next 5 years is actually pretty high…

Okay so that’s good to know I guess? I mean I understand the maths behind the probability of having a drawdown, I didn’t fail Math 202 at uni Max… I know you did!! Is there anything else you can talk about?

ABSOLUTELY!!! Well maybe 🙂

Use a deck of cards to represent probabilities

Oooohhhhh, finally a useful idea Max you were kinda wasting my time up to now..

adityachinchure on IG took this photo

(I really should say, thank you so much for reading this far, it means the world to me <3)

Okay so now unto the exercise I started talking about..

So with my 55% winning rate how can I represent that?

Well I’ll be lazy and say that it represents half the deck of cards because it makes life easier

So every single black card within the deck is a winning trade that represents 50% of the cards

I also had 11% chance of my trade being breakeven

In that case I’ll take 6 cards and turn them to breakeven trades

The RED 1, 2, 3, will represent breakeven trades to represent around 10%

The RED 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K will represent losing trades (20) out of the 56 card deck to represent 35%

So I delt myself 5 cards (avoid dealing more than 5 cards since with cards the cards that are already present influence the probability of what’s coming afterwards when it’s not the case in trading)

Pretty cards eh

So here’s the result:

8R = L

2B = W

2R= BE

10R= L

3B= W

That’s perfectly normal distribution for me, I have no issue with it I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in real live trading to me. Just another day at the office.

This morning before having the courage to write this blog post I did the same exercise, I had 7 red cards in a row (I delt myself 3 hands of 5) the probability of having a R card that is always (more or less) the same.

But that surprise this morning made me realize, even with a 55% winning rate, the possibility of having 7 losses or BE in a row was there and I saw it in the cards.

That kinda sucks I’ll admit, but there’s nothing we can do about it

So I’m going to be dealing myself cards every single day from now on to represent the probability of having a negative streak of trades.

That being said, I’m also going to revert back to my previous trading plan and ignore all the changes I had applied to it because well… Yep it ain’t working.

Thank you for reading this post, I hope it was helpful!!

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