Pick a time-frame/chart and attempt to explain why the markets do what they are doing.
I am a short term trader (1-10 seconds scalp), so I look for the reasons that cause short term price movement to occur - either bar by bar or to qualify a brief trend.
For the past 7 weeks I have been trying to answer the question "Why" - and I can tell you this, the markets are not (usually) efficient, nor are they (usually) chaotic and they are rarely random. Future price movement happens for a very good (and apparently quantifiable) reason.
(I may end up eating my words after I complete my study)
As I begin to understand the market's dynamics - I design ways to measure and qualify what I see, otherwise I am prone to seeing things that are not really there - that is why developing tools to test a hypothesis is critical (for every 5 hypothesis I develop, 4 fail)
So, You want new ideas - then consider scraping your current indicators (maybe even your trading system) - and try to explain what you see (its OK to go off the deep end (a little insanity can go a long way) - just be able to pull yourself back to reality).
One of my favorite books is "New Concepts in Technical Trading System" by J. Welles Wilder Jr.
Wilder was a mechanical engineer that used his skills to analyze and explain market events. I read his book, not only to understand what he developed but to get a glimpse into how he solved problems.
I know this suggestion probably sounds crazy, but most of the exceptional traders I am familiar with have done this (or they are just damn lucky).
Then again, maybe I am just
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Actually ... with my loss of hearing... I miss most of what people say ... and misunderstand the
At my last job as a Walmart Greeter.... a woman asked where to find Tampax that were on sale... I thought she said Thumb tacks... so I asked her if she wanted the kind you push in with your thumb or drive in with a hammer... awkward...
I'm just a simple man trading a simple plan.
My daddy always said, "Every day above ground is a good day!"
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There have been some great suggestions in this thread thus far. I agree with Mike's idea about not jumping from methodology to methodology. But to Gary's point, if you don't already have a strat/method/edge that works for you, that has got to be the place to start. Without a solid, written set of ground rules and a short list of basic strategies, you'll never get off the ground. Granted it's a bit of a catch-22 - how do you know what works if you don't try several things. But to get any traction in trading you have to settle on one or two strats that you've seen work, that feel right to you - that you can wrap your brain around for the instrument(s) and timeframe(s) you want to trade. Then, as Mike says, you've got to hammer on these to tackle the psych/emotional/discipline factors.
I got some inspiration on this topic from Brett Steenbarger's "The Daily Trading Coach." He suggests something along the lines of what @asynchronous is saying: choose an instrument; make some observations or come up with some basic questions/hypotheses about price movement or reaction to levels. Then vet these hypotheses using historical data. The goal is to look for definitive regularity. You're not looking for needles in a haystack you're looking for trends.
I kicked off my efforts with some basic studies of TF. I trade with a few people who get together almost every day and trade the TF exclusively. Over time it became apparent that TF bounces frequently off the prior globex session high level. Using off the shelf tools (Excel and Access) and a 6 year dump of 5 min candlesticks, I did some digging and came up with some pretty basic but compelling information that has helped my trading. Shortly after diving in we determined that TF hits its globex high 72% of the time. That's huge. That's probability I can take to the bank - that I can begin to build some rules around.
Some other stats: Those days that TF hit globex high, it opened an average of 2.9 points below it (long bias?). Those days it didn't hit, it opened up an average of 6.3 points below it (short bias?).
I went on from there to look for other high probability occurrences and began to come up with more questions: what happens after price hits the globex high? Does it bounce and reverse or does it blast through? When it bounces, what's the average travel after 10 minutes? 1st reversal? 2nd reversal, etc. You get the picture.
Once I'm done with globex high, I'll move on to g-low, PP, S1,2,3 and R1,2,3, and other studies. After that, same studies, other instruments.
Ideas >> hypotheses >> data mining >> high probability occurrences >> strategy development >> backtesting >> sim testing >> testing the waters live
New ideas...I'd like to work on old ideas....BM said it well, the point of this thread is skewed. "New ideas" must not be changing charts or new markets or new time frames (but, traders are on different steps....those closer to step 38 have different priorities than those leaving the station).....
The evolution is in my mind, keeping in mind my 2012 goals, efforts for this year are to find a simple way to sharpen my edge...my focus and subconscious skills.....
Tuning my intuition is priority #1, TigerTrader had a good link in one on this posts...traderhabits.com. I am intrigued by Luminosity's cognitive training approach, I am studying their research........this stuff tickles my curiosity meter to 11...
The structured traning approach to unlock your mind...sounds grand....Luminosity's paid memebrship is cheap enough....and it seems credible enough a warrant a serious read....we'll see if this has any meat or is just a bunch of big words (like everything else)
Edit - in seemingly unrelated material, just remembered reading about Montgomery and Rommel's cat and mouse dance in Northern Africa in WWII reiterates the pertinence of mind games in seemingly unequal competitive endeavors.
Last edited by Deucalion; March 23rd, 2012 at 10:05 PM.
Reason: Added material
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I've used Lumosity for about 15 months and I quite like it. I just use it to "exercise" my working memory and improve my concentration. You won't "unlock your mind", but it will make it feel sharper. Some of the exercises made my brain hurt when I first started, but now they are routine.
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The other thing that this indirectly links to is the function of dopamine (and in an opposing manner seratonin) in performnce endeavors. The pathways that generate elevated neural performance in a naturally generated fashion (rather than by drugs or supplements). And this of course leads to lifestsyle and food and all that good stuff......
From what I have read, and on a purely layman basis, it seems activities that generate naturally elevated levels of dopamine can be conducive to elevated trading perforemce (all other factors being equal)...being simplistic........so I have definitively found my reading material for the year.
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I used the search engines to study everything and
anything I could on risk/trade/money mgmt, price action, volume profile, time and sales, DOM, etc.
That is how I stumbled upon futures.io (formerly BMT).
Therefore, I came to futures.io (formerly BMT) for new ideas. Glad I did.