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Consistency in subjectivity


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Consistency in subjectivity

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  #1 (permalink)
burlington, vt
 
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I'm curious to see responses regarding this.

I've been a profitable trader for a while, but my strategy is quite subjective in most facets. My days definitely do fluctuate based on mood, sleep, etc, and I see those trading mistakes in hindsight. And it sure is tough with that emotional volatility.

I have a system of trading, but much of it depends on my personal read of the market context. I have rules of what I should be doing, but it all comes down to my subjective read of different scenarios. For example, my system depends on me recognizing p.a. fakes at what I deem as key areas, and then managing the trade based on my interpretation of strength and weakness.

But then you look around. Over the years, I've talked to different heads of prop/arcade firms who only trade tape strategies and believe the chart is useless. I've talked to the black/grey-box types who believe no strategy has any basis in reality/logic unless it can be coded and tested throughout 15 years+ of data. And then you see the book and course promoters who consistently say to just go with a simple p.a. setup, and execute it time-and-time again, which takes away much of the subjectivity.

I think it would be interesting to hear what others think about this. Is there little edge in a strategy that is so subjective? Are any others in similar situations?

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  #3 (permalink)
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karentrader View Post
I'm curious to see responses regarding this.

I've been a profitable trader for a while, but my strategy is quite subjective in most facets. My days definitely do fluctuate based on mood, sleep, etc, and I see those trading mistakes in hindsight. And it sure is tough with that emotional volatility.

I have a system of trading, but much of it depends on my personal read of the market context. I have rules of what I should be doing, but it all comes down to my subjective read of different scenarios. For example, my system depends on me recognizing p.a. fakes at what I deem as key areas, and then managing the trade based on my interpretation of strength and weakness.

But then you look around. Over the years, I've talked to different heads of prop/arcade firms who only trade tape strategies and believe the chart is useless. I've talked to the black/grey-box types who believe no strategy has any basis in reality/logic unless it can be coded and tested throughout 15 years+ of data. And then you see the book and course promoters who consistently say to just go with a simple p.a. setup, and execute it time-and-time again, which takes away much of the subjectivity.

I think it would be interesting to hear what others think about this. Is there little edge in a strategy that is so subjective? Are any others in similar situations?

I think some of these differences of opinion just come from the fact that once someone finds something that works for them, they will naturally favor it over anything else -- some will get downright dogmatic about it. But actually, different traders successfully use different methods, sometimes methods that have nothing to do with each other, or at least it seems like they don't. (I think that anything that works in trading is really just taking a different slice of the same reality -- buying and selling -- that every other workable method is also taking its own particular slice of. But that's just my opinion.)

These differences in views are inevitable, unfortunately, although not everyone will necessarily be rigid about it. But of course, some will. That's human nature.

Now, the sellers of books and courses have another motivation, which is selling their stuff. Some certainly believe in what they write and promote, and I'm pretty sure that many realize that it's not worth much, but sell it anyway. That's human nature too, unfortunately.

As to the question about the value of something that is "subjective," if you make money consistently with it, how else would you define "value"? It seems obvious to me that if it works, it's good. If someone has some other criteria, then that would mean that your method has to do something besides make you money, which I don't get the point of.

Naturally, if it works consistently, that is better than if it's not consistent. But there is always going to be room for improvement for anything, including black-box algos. I'll go back to saying that if you can make money with something, then it's good, and that doesn't rule out perhaps needing improvement, which is probably a universal condition.

Just my view.

Bob.

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Hey @karentrader!

I think that regardless of the underlying system, one can constantly be practicing to refine this sense of subjectivity and their skill at evaluating as many nuances as they can identify in their system. The more aspects of your system you can learn to understand, be it observing market behavior, emotional issues, coding/testing, etc. the more this edge becomes apparent as your sample size grows, with plenty of mistakes along the way

One example of subjectivity I thought of right away when I saw your post was the phenomenon of being able to easily pick apart trading opportunities on a finished chart vs in real time. How many times I have let bar after bar go by in a state of confusion only to see the bars look like something out of a textbook example of a strong trend. I think the edge comes from experience and going through the struggle. I don't think you can discount any one system after spending a week with it or even a month or year.

Therefore, I think the initial challenge is to find the style that suits you and you want to stick with. Then work on ironing out all the problems inherent, because subjectivity is a part of all systems in all markets.

Cheers!

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