2/2/13 - "I have gone through so many variations of trades purely rule-based, to indicator-based, to chart analysis-based, to intuition-based...built spreadsheets like crazy, backtested...*
And all have merit...
But I remain a proponent of the human factor, and based on where my mind is right now, I am working my trades to exercise myself psychologically. Confidence & uncertainty play a much higher role to me than indicators or probabilities.
I have come to believe that the math is only needed to form the belief, or track the path. But ultimately, the math is just another lagging indicator. "
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That major blast of posts was trying to answer @Traderwolf's question.
That was the thought process leading up to the true "turn", which I truly believe had to do with realizing I was having regular conversations with guys who actually did trade for a living.
This is an email I sent, from where I was just starting to catch onto this;
"For someone outside of (the professional trading) world, believing there are guys who trade for a living, not just teach trading for a living, is kind of like believing in any other fantasy being. Unicorns, leprechauns, Santa Claus...
Of course, blowing up my first few accounts does not help things, but my wife said to me once as we were discussing me studying trading, "Gary, I know you are working very hard at this, but at some point you have to realize that it is not real".
As a self-taught trader, it can feel that way sometimes.
But I have a lot of tenacity, a lot of belief in myself, and just kept learning. By the time I discovered futures.io (formerly BMT) I was making money on a regular basis, but still not sure why. Lucky streak maybe?
And I decided to push myself into trading for a living, but somehow the pressure of that thought made some imperceptible change that caused me to make money, then give it back, over and over. The need to make money, combined with a lot of reminders of past failure related to my real estate career. The greatest impact being when I moved back into my "last" house, an oasis that I spent over a year and over a million on.
So I quit for about 4 months. Did not open a single chart, got my head back together, sold that house, and came back fresh.
And that is when I recognized something that I had missed before. You were Santa Claus! "
It became "real" in my mind so solidly, almost in a few days time. And I started to realize, I was just lost in my own journaling, and not truly trading the way I thought I should after everything I had learned. So one day, I just decided, I was ready. I turned 45 on July 26th, made my decision that day, chose August 1st as my "official" start date, and started trading like the trader that I had become. Doubled the starting equity (as I had practiced many times before in simulation) in roughly 2 weeks, and still moving forward at somewhere near that pace.
Last edited by GaryD; August 29th, 2013 at 11:31 PM.
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As a friendly piece off advice to all those who are reading, Gary's latest posts are an exceedingly clear look at the process of becoming a trader. The advice is that I found it helpful to read the posts and assemble the pieces in the head till it makes so much sense that you ask 'Why didn't I think of this earlier!'. The simplicity of trading well is astonishing - the futures magician pulls the rabbit out of the hat in front of everybody's eyes, and making money in the markets is a simple process - simplicity is painful, placing ego outside the block really makes us perceive the true messes most of us are, and being able to handle ourselves - the 'knowing' part exposes us to ourselves and the acceptance makes the hard decisions fearless and detached from external goals like 'making money'.
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Thanks! Yes.. I think it does to some degree.. I guess I was hoping the answer would be simpler, but in fact it will be very different for each of us based on who were are, what we have become, and our own personal phobias, paradigms, and beliefs about money , security, trading , and life.. Thanks for sharing.
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The Hebrew Lawgiver, slow of speech, despaired of making the people understand what should be revealed to him. When, led by wisdom to cast down his rod, he saw it become a serpent, Moses fled before it: but wisdom encouraged him to come back and handle the serpent, and then Moses' fear departed.
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After you have read as many books as you can, learned every chart pattern, played with every indicator, backtested yourself silly... then what?
I have played a lot of sports, but I don't watch sports on TV. But I do catch enough on TV to know the names and a little about a few of the superstars. I have used an analogy of Tiger Woods before, and how he could most likely pick up a cheap set of clubs at a garage sale and still beat any of us using the best set of clubs available. And yes, it is partly because he put in so much practice, partly because he was dedicated and determined and driven. But what is that last ingredient that causes a few to excel beyond the normal bell curve?
Sir @Deucalion still has my vote for the best word that sent me down the correct path. "Visceral". I understood it wrong for another year or two, thinking it was something about endurance or strength or battle or wits. Then finally started to see, it was just about "being". The lion does not go to war, he does not live to kill, he just eats. He sees nothing unusual about his life, it is just the world he lives in.
Notice my bold comments never mention an indicator, or volume, or trend, or profit targets, or stop losses, or market profile, game theory, wave structure, support and resistance, supply and demand, long or short...
The markets are not doing anything unusual, it is just what they do. They will not be tamed, none of us is powerful enough. But they can be ridden. You need skills, you need experience, you need an ability to listen to what they are saying, you need to be able to change your opinion at the same speed that they do, and you need to believe in yourself.
Last edited by GaryD; August 30th, 2013 at 03:13 PM.
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