Quite possibly so. I always thought it to be odd that an engineer would be interested in gambling anyway. He's my friend by way of being my dad's friend and so I couldn't say with certainty what he does. My original thought as I indicated was that I wish I had something more to come back at him with (numbers) but then again, didn't care too much because I don't go to casino's anyway. He was just sort of smug about the whole thing and it rubbed me wrong.
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Nope, that's not what I was referring to. The debate between discretionary and mechanical trading is a completely different topic, and one that would certainly be deserving of it's own dedicated thread.
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@pbts , I think the point Tigertrader was trying to make is that as long as you do your best to position yourself as the "House" in your trading endeavors you will be successful - whatever that may entail. Becoming a "willing winner" as he put it. Whether you do that through a rote trading method you've devised, or you are completely discretionary doesn't really matter.
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I would agree that whatever trading methodology a trader uses there will be an "unconscious" or "intuitive" element built into their trading but that could be reasoned as being part of the methodology. But in order to trade successfully you need to have a consistent approach in order to have an edge first. In my opinion the "intuition" comes into play in managing positions not deciding trade setups. I doubt there are very many consistently profitable traders who fly by the seat of their pants on every trade.
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Whether you are a discretionary trader or a system trader, you are still trying to uncover exploitable nonlinear relationships of price to price. The objective is to find ways to identify path dependency, persistence, auto-correlation, trendiness within the massive amount of noise, randomness, or non-linearity the market generates. Whether one is a system or discretionary trader, the strategy is essentially the same: projecting losses, risk management, and finding signals that produce trades that are well defined, have a proven edge, and are reproducible. System trading tends to involve more explicit reasoning and empirical testing/optimization and discretionary trading tends to require a talent for implicit learning and pattern recognition, but in reality they have more in common than one would think, and are in essence kindred approaches to reaching the same end game. Neither approach is immune to degradation as a result of bias or curve fitting.
As a purely discretionary trader, my approach to the market is consistent, although not strictly rule based. The market is the one who is the inconsistent, and the one who likes to close out previous inefficiencies and opportunities all too often. Where and when to initiate a trade is a tertiary concern for me - I am more concerned with sizing and liquidation than where I entered the trade. In either case, my decisions are hardly made by the seat-of-my-pants. Instead, I focus on the implications of price information, volatility, relative inter-market relationships and their patterns and similarities to previous events. As a discretionary trader, I can self-correct and shift-on-the-fly, adapting to changing conditions and regime changes much quicker than a true system trader.
Last edited by tigertrader; January 10th, 2014 at 05:55 PM.
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