Just a simple observation i'm sure we all have made at one time or another either about our own trading or someone else's trading.
It always seems like we are always revising, adding, subtracting, using different indicators, stops, bar settings, bar types in search of more profitability. For example go to the wonderful log section of this website and watch what the person trading is doing on post 1 and then go to the last post in the thread - I challenge you to find one example where the end results are the same.
I bring this up not to make a point but reflect on the obvious - is any of it helping us?
We all want a better mousetrap - but at what point does the proverbial search work against us instead of for us? Are we really any more profitable with our new revised v2.0 setups than we would be sticking with our originals?
Personally I know the first time I started getting profitable was when I stopped all "progression" of my method and simply stuck to my built rules for a month and traded them exactly the same. Without the constant revision and change I was able to exploit (to some degree) a level of consistency and probability against the market. Because I was the constant for a change and I let the market be the variable.
I'm not sure that there is a right or wrong answer here - in fact i'm sure the answer lies somewhere in the gray areas in between. I still progress my ideas and methods but am wary of change because I feel it disrupts my ability to remain the constant in the market rather than the variable.
I think you raise a good question . I am prone to changing , adding to , taking from , tweaking , scrapping and starting over with a different setup or chart . I think I do it because its easy to gain access to so much stuff , its at my fingertips literally . If
I had to pay $1000s for what we can get free Id think twice and then not do it . What sabotages me most is applying several methods at once and fooling myself into thinking Ill find out something that I havent already experienced about the market . Funny how hard it is to stick to one thing for weeks or months .
I am always trying new things... if I hadn't been like that from the very start I wouldn't have discovered many of the methods and tricks that work for me today. The key is to be looking for something that you don't already have as part of your information set... many indicators simply duplicate one another and are therefore useless.
My trading setup is pretty much 99% set, however I am constantly open to new ways of looking at the market - for example, just last week I discovered the Virtual Bars indicator on this forum... it allows me to put multiple time frames on one plot in a very effective way that has improved my ability to read price action in certain circumstances. If I hadn't been experimenting I would never have found that particularly useful piece of code, and the same goes for most of the other things I have picked up over time. I end up rejecting or not using 99.9% of the stuff that I come across, but you never know when you are going to find something useful to you, and the only way to know is to try it.
I have found that I have core principals that can be applied in more than one way . For example , there are only two kinds of trades , continuation and reversal . My core principals call for a way to act if I am trying to enter a retracement in the direction of a trend / bias or if Im trying to trade counter to a trend or bias because the evidence hints that its the correct action . So , my core principals are my rules for each type of trade and those rules allow me to be flexible to a certain point and allow me to take advantage of what the market is offering .