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The sharing/not sharing dilemma


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The sharing/not sharing dilemma

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  #1 (permalink)
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Hulk View Post
If I had the control or power to do this, I would have this embedded in everyone's subconsciousness. You cannot make money trading by "following" some vendor. Just cannot, cannot, cannot.

No one shares their primary money making system - NO ONE! I will never be convinced that someone, out of the goodness of his heart or "to give back to the community" is sharing his edge. This is THE most competitive business in the world folks. People just do not share their edge. That's the truth.

When you go work for a hedge fund, even as a short-term consulting gig, the first thing you sign is a non-disclosure, non-compete agreement. Why do you think that is the case?

I second BM's advice: stop chasing vendors of any kind. Please.

Quoting Hulk from another thread, and I wanted to open up this up for discussion.


Personally I believe in Hulk's first statement

Quoting 
You cannot make money trading by "following" some vendor. Just cannot, cannot, cannot.


But I'd like to bounce off a few thoughts on the second one

Quoting 
No one shares their primary money making system - NO ONE! I will never be convinced that someone, out of the goodness of his heart or "to give back to the community" is sharing his edge. This is THE most competitive business in the world folks. People just do not share their edge. That's the truth.


While trading is certainly one of the most competitive activities, I do wonder if nobody really shares their primary money-making methodology.
  • For instance, I do remember John Grady saying something like "hell, if I had other 1,000 traders have my same idea, we would be able to push the market higher/lower" type-thing. His logic would thus be "sharing is in my interest"

  • I also think that there may be people who perhaps are already wealthy and, while their trading methodology further adds to their wealth, they do not mind sharing what they do because they don't need to live off it, on a basis not too distant from someone giving some of their money to charity

  • There's also a psychological component to some, which may be rooted in self-affirmation, self-validation, higher status among a similar group of peers, filling a void of some kind, or simply meeting a mental need, whatever that may be. At the end of the day, if nobody ever did anything for free, there would be no volunteers


Note: With the above I'm not suggesting that trading is a 'gentlemen's club' (credit: @DionysusToast) where everyone is nice to each other. If I had the capital and skills to trap other traders and make money in the process I would not hesitate myself. But my contention is that there must be a percentage of people, however tiny, that don't mind sharing.



So I'd be interested to hear your views. Do you think that nobody truly shares what they do, or do you think that some do?


EDIT: To clarify, for those who haven't read Surviving Day Trading, DionysusToast does not believe trading is a gentlemen's club either

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I agree that a trader should not follow a vendor. They will never have the level of confidence that a trader who creates their own edge does. I wholeheartedly disagree with Hulk about traders sharing their edge. I have seen a few traders (like LBR in her Trading Habits webinar) who will show you charts, indicators, everything necessary to trade the way they do.

The truth is, for the most part, it doesn't matter. In my opinion, most people who come into trading come from other careers or have some educational knowledge. They could be pilots, doctors, lawyers, college grads, carpenters, whatever. Somehow, when it comes to trading, they forget the hard work it good for them to reach a goal, like the four years to graduate college, the years of med school to become a doctor, the private, instrument and commercial pilot training they had to take. They see the lifestyle as portrayed in the media and look for the easiest (ie laziest) way to achieve the same thing in trading. 90%+ don't really want to put in the work to achieve that goal which is why they look for systems, vendors, etc.

This is why I say, share your edge, it won't matter because most wont put in the work required to make it their own by mastering it and learning enough market knowledge.

Again, all my opinion.

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xplorer View Post
Quoting Hulk from another thread, and I wanted to open up this up for discussion.


Personally I believe in Hulk's first statement



But I'd like to bounce off a few thoughts on the second one



While trading is certainly one of the most competitive activities, I do wonder if nobody really shares their primary money-making methodology.
  • For instance, I do remember John Grady saying something like "hell, if I had other 1,000 traders have my same idea, we would be able to push the market higher/lower" type-thing. His logic would thus be "sharing is in my interest"

  • I also think that there may be people who perhaps are already wealthy and, while their trading methodology further adds to their wealth, they do not mind sharing what they do because they don't need to live off it, on a basis not too distant from someone giving some of their money to charity

  • There's also a psychological component to some, which may be rooted in self-affirmation, self-validation, higher status among a similar group of peers, filling a void of some kind, or simply meeting a mental need, whatever that may be. At the end of the day, if nobody ever did anything for free, there would be no volunteers


Note: With the above I'm not suggesting that trading is a 'gentlemen's club' (credit: @DionysusToast) where everyone is nice to each other. If I had the capital and skills to trap other traders and make money in the process I would not hesitate myself. But my contention is that there must be a percentage of people, however tiny, that don't mind sharing.



So I'd be interested to hear your views. Do you think that nobody truly shares what they do, or do you think that some do?


EDIT: To clarify, for those who haven't read Surviving Day Trading, DionysusToast does not believe trading is a gentlemen's club either

My take on this is fairly simple - you can lead a horse to water but you can't tell him when to buy and sell

Show a trader how to make money and they'll say "that looks a bit complicated, I think I'll look for something simpler".

My exposure to the prop world is one where an decent traders teach interns. Interns mayl see a superstar trader in the shop but until they "pay their dues", those great traders wont help them out. If they are still around after 18-24 months, they might find that the trader they aspire to be like is helping them out a bit more. It's not snobbishness - it's just a matter of seeing a lot of people come & go.

In other words - in professional trading, the baseline is that someone who knows how to profit will teach you - they may not be the best trader in the shop - but they can teach you how to trade - even then 80% of those aspiring traders will fail.

It's like any sport - you might be taught by a coach that was good in his prime but not a world pro. It's still down to you whether you actually make anything of it & even then a lot of it is about whether you were born a certain way or not.

The problem in the retail world is that there's too many people that don't know how to trade that are teaching people how to trade. That muddies the water somewhat and horses never drink muddy water...

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I agree that with trading you can tell the whole world about your system or style, and it's not going to affect your edge. It may different in other industries, like where you've actually created a product and want to patent it, but you can't really patent a trading system.

Richard Dennis said we could publish the turtle rules in the paper and still most people wouldn't be able to make money off it (though they kept the actual system a closely guarded secret). It just goes to show you that psych, discipline and money management are the true edge, not indicators or a system.

But don't say that to the quants.

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DionysusToast View Post
My take on this is fairly simple - you can lead a horse to water but you can't tell him when to buy and sell

Show a trader how to make money and they'll say "that looks a bit complicated, I think I'll look for something simpler".

My exposure to the prop world is one where an decent traders teach interns. Interns mayl see a superstar trader in the shop but until they "pay their dues", those great traders wont help them out. If they are still around after 18-24 months, they might find that the trader they aspire to be like is helping them out a bit more. It's not snobbishness - it's just a matter of seeing a lot of people come & go.

In other words - in professional trading, the baseline is that someone who knows how to profit will teach you - they may not be the best trader in the shop - but they can teach you how to trade - even then 80% of those aspiring traders will fail.

It's like any sport - you might be taught by a coach that was good in his prime but not a world pro. It's still down to you whether you actually make anything of it & even then a lot of it is about whether you were born a certain way or not.

The problem in the retail world is that there's too many people that don't know how to trade that are teaching people how to trade. That muddies the water somewhat and horses never drink muddy water...


Pariah Carey View Post
I agree that with trading you can tell the whole world about your system or style, and it's not going to affect your edge. It may different in other industries, like where you've actually created a product and want to patent it, but you can't really patent a trading system.

Richard Dennis said we could publish the turtle rules in the paper and still most people wouldn't be able to make money off it (though they kept the actual system a closely guarded secret). It just goes to show you that psych, discipline and money management are the true edge, not indicators or a system.

But don't say that to the quants.

Thanks gents.

So, do I infer from your posts above that you two believe some people are open to sharing their primary trading methodology? Sorry if you said so and it wasn't clear.

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xplorer View Post
Thanks gents.

So, do I infer from your posts above that you two believe some people are open to sharing their primary trading methodology? Sorry if you said so and it wasn't clear.

Sure, plenty of it here on fio. Other social media too like twitter, blogs, etc. But big banks and funds? Lol. It would not surprise me if they'd have a person killed before compromising their proprietary systems.

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xplorer View Post
Thanks gents.

So, do I infer from your posts above that you two believe some people are open to sharing their primary trading methodology? Sorry if you said so and it wasn't clear.

Yes - go to any prop shop & they will teach you how to trade.

Even so - 80% of interns still fail.

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This really is a conundrum.

On the one hand, this is one of the most competitive endeavors we can undertake. The markets are highly efficient, meaning to find and then sustain a mathematical edge is really hard to do. So, if I invest my resources (time, intellect/experience and money) into developing a legitimate edge in the market, how does it benefit me to freely hand that out at the front door like Halloween candy ?

On the other hand, I am here to learn (as are most who come here), and I am grateful to those who have helped me either directly or indirectly. Having gained that direct benefit I felt motivated to 'give back to the community', and have found a few small opportunities to give back in my own way. So it can be a win-win if we each give of our time and talent, and as we all know there are many contributors here of exceptional talent for which we can all be grateful.

Now here's the rub. When someone freely shares their valuable work on a forum of this high level of public visibility, what is to stop a business enterprise from "monetizing" that contribution for their own enrichment (meaning a vendor who steals and markets (sells for profit) the indicators, strategy, or trading concepts/method). Personally, I am not particularly concerned with an individual private trader using anything they learn here for their own personal use. It has been my practical experience given a trading method which has a consistent edge, the majority of individuals don't have the capacity to capitalize on that edge (most will still find a way to consistently lose money). There is an "it factor" required to sustain consistent profitability, a few individuals have an aptitude for this business, but sorry to say the hard truth is, most don't have what it takes.

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question. Quite complicated, I believe, and on many different levels. If anyone wants opinion on the various segments of the business, algo, HFT, hedge fund, floor etc. I'd be happy to expand my points to include those.

But to keep the focus on what I'd view as the typical participant here or maybe better what the typical participant here claims, is perhaps the best place to start?

Of course a fio member should share everything, it is the purpose of the forum. EVERYONE that comes here does so to gain information of some type about something. Short of your tax i.d. there isn't really anything you could share here that would hurt you.

In fairness I did not start here with this view because when I came here I was relatively new to screen based futures trading. A pro for sure, but not a pro at this segment...and I'm still not close to objective.

Here is the thing: Technical analysis, that is to say "indicators" is not a panacea. In fact I would say that the use of lines, dots, colors etc on charts actually hurts more people than it helps. Few people understand the "math", fewer understand the relationships at work. Past that every data point is HISTORICAL and any illusion to predictive powers leans toward being spurious. EXCEPT, for me, in two ways.

1) the stuff I look at on a chart is a visual road map it includes possible destinations and landmarks The view and the interpretation are unique to my hallucination.

2) indicators are representations of where we believe others might act.

So there is no authentic edge here, rather, this is what I see, this is what others see. How do I prepare to respond to the actions of others.

Fundamentals, market internals or news cycle aside.

The cognitive element "how we think and decide" is different for everyone. So we need to consider from the broadest view possible, those things that are going on around us. Then we trim down our view based hopefully based on data and hopefully in a valid way...one that is recognizable,(based on our map) and repeatable because the relationships are sometimes valid though not likely causal. That is saying that our map and our experience allows us to get lucky more often that not. But the important part is still coming.

All indicators are derived from very limited data points. Open, high, low, close and volume. Yes it is a generalization, but it is valid for this purpose. I will type all the time ...series or confluence of non-colinear technical indicators. That is to say, make your map using different data. One volatility measure, one closing price, one volume..the receipes get way too complicated and the meal is often never served.

With less than ten separate data points, we only get to make one decision. Buy or Sell! Even how much we make or lose is fairly vague. So I think people apply pretty indicators to price charts seeking clarity. This is mostly chasing the wind because price is very simply the close of the last bar plus or minus a random number. Yeah, you can throw stats on that and say up close begets up close, but that is true till its not and even then up one tick or up 20 ticks.

The thing we can add to luck in our hallucination is 1) our action decision buy/sell based on how we anticipate other participants might respond or 2) a rough estimation of how much we are willing make or lose.

You master short term directional speculation by being expert in judging the response of participants to o,h,l,c and volume based on their hallucination.

So, if I had the goose that laid golden eggs and I told you where I kept her rather than asking when do I leave the farm someone would ask, does she ever shit diamonds. There is no secret indi or setting, no magic combination. Winning is internal and a trait developed over time by being honest about what you do and how you respond.

Sharing should be done IMO, to collect recon on what you might be able to improve in your own approach. If you are scared that your sharing will reveal the secrets of the ages and hurt your ability to execute your three lot profitably, you are a loon....and probably not making any money.

Parade gonna start.

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