Today was one of those tradings days where you could see what was coming but it wasn't necessarily easy to take advantage of the moves. From early on in our live class this morning I was talking about the distinct possibility for the "bottom to fall out of the market" and even though it seemed a likely event it still took a number of attempts to make the move.
You'll also notice that once I finally latched onto the bigger move down I also didn't really take full advantage of it. I banked +14 ticks (3.5 points) but I could have had 40 ticks or even more if held on for the major swing. C'est la vie.
It's not an ideal outcome but I don't beat myself up over these bigger moves that get away from me from time to time. I want to protect solid profits so if that means a tight trailing stop that sometimes gets knocked out then that's the price paid for locking in profit. I still catch some of those huge runs, of course, but in those cases the market essentially doesn't give me any choice in the matter by barely pulling back at all.
This kind of management isn't going to work for every trading system so it's important to assess the pros and cons of your trade management approach and adapt it within your methodology accordingly. I try to keep my win rate relatively high with a strong reward to risk ratio (above 2 to 1) while still keeping the ability to adapt to shifting market conditions by sometimes taking smaller scalps and occasionally getting bigger profits on sudden price runs.
Another trader who trades trends more strictly might take lots of small losses (so a low win rate overall) but can still be immensely profitable by keeping their reward to risk ratio very, very large. Obviously in those cases being knocked out of a trailing trade fairly early on as I was here could be extremely detrimental to overall expectancy and profitability so in their case more breathing room on their stop would be required.
As for my own approach, while I'm not exactly ecstatic about missing out on the extra profit potential I'm also not overly concerned about it. It will happen with my methodology at times as I protect solid profits already in place but I know the numbers still work out well in the end over dozens of trades. I don't need to catch huge waves regularly to be profitable.
I'm never going to be able to catch every tick or every point of each move so it's not something to get to bothered about. As long as I traded my plan, managed the trade based on objective market information (rather than emotion) and my expectancy remains good then I'm happy with the trading outcome and day overall.
Just as they say there's no use crying over spilled milk, there's no use getting upset about missing a handful of points. It isn't the first time it's happened nor will it be the last!