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Saying hello and background
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Saying hello and background

  #11 (permalink)
desert CA
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, TOS, CQG-trader
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CaseyNewYork View Post
Wow, sounds like you have a good mathematical brain for trading. I too am new to trading, but much, much greener than you. Please share with us some of the books you would suggest for newbies like me, as well as good videos, lectures, or teachers you've come across. I wish you the best for your trading future.

Bunch of intro videos which imo are helpful for beginners in the vein of "I wish I knew this before starting out on trading!"

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  #12 (permalink)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: Forex
Posts: 4 since Dec 2012
Thanks: 5 given, 6 received

artemiso View Post
I'm going slightly off-topic, but I am a little concerned about this. Having a supportive girlfriend, family and clients had a significant, positive impact on my trading. My girlfriend gave me the encouragement to quit academia to become a trader, and thereafter quit my trading job and start my own firm; she's the one who makes sure that I eat and don't stay up all night (otherwise, I'd usually go 36+ hours without sleep before realizing). The majority of the traders that I knew at my workplace were in their first marriages celebrating their multi-year anniversaries. (This was in Tokyo, which was a funny environment, because most of these traders were like Australian or British, and their wives were like Satoko, Megumi, Tsukasa etc. and their husbands could never pronounce their names right.)

I'm not like scaring you and saying that "if you don't procreate you will fail at trading and die from a miserable and lonely life" - I'm saying that you should not view trading as an escape, and certainly not allow it to affect your lifestyle habits.

I studied physics and mathematics in college and loved it intensely; at least you tried to find a suitable partner, I never gave it a single attempt. I used to associate that with the stereotypes of successful physicists and I made it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Looking back, this was a poor decision. I was lucky - and this story sounds so unreal that I couldn't even make this shit up. I was in Paris (alone) and my college classmate said he'd arrange for a friend of his to meet up with me so I would have something better to do. He didn't tell me that his friend was a very attractive girl at our age, and she was in Paris for a modeling assignment.

I was working on a research paper that night and she came knocking on my door, which left me speechless for a while. I was so awkward and didn't say a word to her besides, "Hold on," and continued LaTeX-ing away at my laptop. After 5 minutes or so, she finally said, "Hey, look at me," and that was when I looked at my first girlfriend in the eye.

The relationship taught me that a passion for math, programming, engineering, tennis, piano, violin, soccer, trading, whatever, is not grounds by which girls think you are weird. Quite the contrary, girls are attracted to guys who have a calling and show that they work for it. A girl doesn't want a guy to be part of her life - she is looking for a guy whose life she can be part of.

Work harder, try less to find a girlfriend actively, but talk and hang out with more girls passively (not to the point that you are used to talking to a woman as a woman-to-woman rather than a man-to-woman, of course). I hope this advice helps.

Thanks for the advice. My problem was that I focused on it too much in college (I went to UNM, not exactly famous for academia), and the constant failure relative to the people around me really got me down. They were the types that would take me to parties and give me pointers, but at the end of the day, they were just a different crowd with different interests and abilities. Eventually, for my own health and sanity, I had to stop caring entirely. That is, now it's more of a

The effect has been been good overall, and with where some of my friends have ended up, I'm glad I didn't fall into the trap. It's somewhere I'd like to be in 5 or 10 years, but for the last several years, I've been able to get rid of that desire and take advantage of the free time and focus that it affords me, and to live very frugally and grow my trading and engineering ability.

And now you have to tell: MIT or Cambridge?

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  #13 (permalink)
New York, NY
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: Vanguard 401k
Broker/Data: Yahoo Finance
Favorite Futures: Mutual funds
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DMC123 View Post
The effect has been been good overall, and with where some of my friends have ended up, I'm glad I didn't fall into the trap. It's somewhere I'd like to be in 5 or 10 years, but for the last several years, I've been able to get rid of that desire and take advantage of the free time and focus that it affords me, and to live very frugally and grow my trading and engineering ability.

And now you have to tell: MIT or Cambridge?

I see. It makes me happy to come across someone modest as yourself. I'm very sure you'll succeed in life. I don't have "advice", but I have a few opinions:

(1) Don't spend money on "systems" developed by other people until you're able to develop some of your own.
It makes no sense to sell a "system" if it works. And if it does, you want to know the limitations of any "system" - and you usually only do if you wrote it up yourself. Extra red flag if the vendor calls it a "system". I used to work in a lab and there was a huge poster on the wall which read, "If you don't know what it is, call it a SYSTEM. If you don't know what it does, call it a PROCESS."

(2) Look at materials outside of technical analysis.

(3) Find a niche - there are many skills that you should have picked up from electrical engineering that can be ported to trading.

(4) Trading is a skill, just like surgery. Except maybe harder, because it's your own life at stake. Put as much time into learning and practising it before you actually do it.

Well yes, I spent a lot of my lifetime in Cambridge. I actually went to Harvard for college and MIT only briefly for graduate school before I dropped out. Hardly makes a difference once you start working for yourself, though.

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  #14 (permalink)
Dartmouth NS
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MC, MC.Net, NT, TWS
Broker/Data: IB / IQFeed / Kids
Favorite Futures: Forex, stocks
bnichols's Avatar
Posts: 638 since Feb 2010
Thanks: 64 given, 460 received

@DMC123: welcome to the forum.

I also have a technical background (experimental physics, electronics engineering -- 2 separate careers, trading full time being the 3rd career) and found an analytic mind to be an asset for some things (e.g., understanding indicators, how to incorporate artificial intelligence into autotrading strategies) but absolutely no help in, and possibly the biggest handicap to, actually learning how to trade. To paraphrase some trading educators, sometimes 2 + 2 = 4 but more often 2 + 2 = 3, or 7 or 5 and the trick to consistent profits for me was learning to recognize what math the market is using at the moment :-/

In my experience traders seem to have more in common with the stars in major league sports and with Olympic athletes rather than the Mensa set, and the 2%-5% of would-be retail traders who make it may have tenacity in common with top athletes-- determination transformed into talent by 10's of 1000's of hours of conditioning, or more if (like me) a trader thinks too much.

At least one famous trader said something to the effect big profits come from waiting, not from thinking.

The 2nd biggest lesson I had to learn, coming from previous career positions where it was my way or the highway, was that retail traders are nothing more than pack mules for market liquidity and when the going gets tough the market eats the donkey.

No finer profession than trading. Enjoy and good luck.

Last edited by bnichols; December 29th, 2012 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Typo
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