Spent most of last week and the weekend until now musing about hardware and software platforms and watching oil. Made a few trades via NT but lost the accounting when I made the mistake of trading past 1 am AST when IB servers reboot (or do whatever it is they do) and NT shoots itself in the head, like clockwork. I knew I was doomed as soon as I noticed the time. @Fat Tails has already admonished me in another thread--I don't understand NT--and I accept that. Which is why this week we're going with Multicharts
On the topic of oil, up overall since I started watching it a few weeks ago but I broke even for the week which is kind of worrisome, which means toward the end of the week I lost the $400 I made earlier in the week. I day- and swing-trade oil via ETFs on a cumbersome banking web-based interface in an account that has essentially zero leverage and huge commissions ($20 round trip) but is sufficiently capitalized to allow for quantities that let me take profits at 1-4 ticks and still keep the risk acceptable in terms of money management. At the moment the issue is learning oil price action without breaking the bank rather than consistent profits, but these days I like profits out of the gate.
On the topic of hardware and software platforms, I've reinstalled the operating system & trading apps on the new trading computer twice in a number failed attempts to upgrade to more recent ATI Catalyst Control Center software, upgrading only because of the out-of-the-box random BSOD issue. I like the thing over all--huge monitors & goes like stink, and EyeInfinity works well when atikmpag.sys is not randomly abending in a BSOD (less frequently now, once every few days to a week). It's very true what does not kill us makes us stronger. A month ago I thought all I wanted to do was trade, had no time to waste frigging with technology, would buy the first I7 machine off the shelf that I came across. I've been reminded technology is part of trading, especially if you want a hardware platform you can trust--and by trust I mean you understand it intimately, have no one to blame but yourself if it fails, and when it does fail are able to spot and fix the problem immediately--you have to build it from scratch. Also reminded ATI is still out there after all this time, as bleeding edge & problematic as ever. The computer I build will not use ATI intellectual property
Alrighty...new trading week upon us in 30 minutes, feeling more energized than ever, technology another challenge but as a trading puzzle piece seems to fit. Judging by the rumble of the truck exhaust in the street first born son and granddaughter just pulled in, returning our 13 year old Shepherd/Lab mix after what was probably a short walk in the park (cold, raining, dog can't go 100 yards without resting) in time for supper. Life doesn't get much better.
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Spent the last few days cocooning with Multicharts on the new trading computer (at some point will have to stop calling it "new" I suppose), transcribing the custom indicators I use to PowerLanguage, setting up workspaces and stress testing, including trading across IB's server reboot in the wee hours. So far passes with flying colours.
Likely the setup shown below will not be the last, but comfortable enough today to trial spot EUR/USD on the cash account. On that note more or less bullish on everything approaching the N American open, although expect turbulence around the open.
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sorting out my feelings. All of us have feelings that are easily hurt by trolls on forums. Some of us have learned to deal with trolls, but I have not. So;me of us have demons that even forums can't help. Looking at price just now it's the light I have to go into. Good luck with the forum.
Not actually a time zone issue. Turns out I'm having a hard time getting over losing my father (moved to a nursing home recently, doesn't recognize me). Who knew I cared--certainly not me. Comes as a surprise sometimes, what we care about.
eta: not the place for this. I'll be back once back in the saddle.
Last edited by bnichols; October 16th, 2012 at 11:00 PM.
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Sorry to hear about your family issues @bnichols. Trading is like a sport, you will perform best when you are completely focused on competing and have your mind clear of other thoughts and challenges. You should try some physical activity to clear your mind and vent frustrations over things you cannot control (your father) so that when you sit down at your desk to trade, you can focus.
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Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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Thanks guys. and apologies. I've been practically living in my office for the last few weeks, not sure whether to resolve (platform) issues or to avoid (life) issues, but in any case ready to accept all work and no play doesn't just make Jack a dull boy--it can drive him crazy
Will make r & r part of the drill--should be fine in a few days.
Spent an uneventful day day-trading gold, which means pretty much long an ultrabear ETF all day, made a decent day's wage.
Still learning MultiCharts--thanks to @Big Mike this site is a how-to gold mine on that topic. Still love the app. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, have a head-full of ideas for indicators & signals that are driving me insane At this point in my short career it seems to suit my manual trading needs a little better than NT.
In other news,
- haven't started the Insanity workout yet, or P90-X, or even walked on the treadmill or gotten any fresh air come to think of it--but did get dressed (including shoes and socks) instead of reaching for the house coat when I woke up this morning. Huge step forward, since I tend to spend the day in whatever I put on first.
- changed the batteries in my wireless mouse. It has been driving me nuts for days.
ETA: We're talking abut the mouse on the system I communicate with. The mouse on my trading system is wired.
Last edited by bnichols; October 18th, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
Spent Friday day trading commodity ETFs (oil and gold) and a little spot Forex in cash accounts. I've dropped my quantity on spot EUR/USD to 1/2 contract for both paper and cash trades for the time being until this spot of emotional bother passes, but keeping the unit quantities on the ETFs up there to let me profit on a nickle move equal to my initial stop (V1 level as pilots say, bail at profit equal to my stop loss if it starts to look like something is amiss with the bird). Ended up somewhat at the end of the day on both accounts enough to have my motorcycle boots resoled and to put a down payment on next month's Visa bill.(large , trading infrastructure related).
As hoped Multicharts is the new broom that sweeps clean. I can get things done in PowerLanguage (virtually identical to EasyLanguage) almost effortlessly, which I attribute to lack of fear (using C# I eventually learned to live in fear of being whacked by NT order handling ). To reiterate, NT performs flawlessly except that something about the way I continue to configure things ensures the database records containing order info become corrupted sooner rather than later. The order DB is not required to use NT and whatever it is may be a simple fix, but after fix number 859 I have better things to do right now than figure out where the simple solution is lurking, am not likely to switch from tick charts or from IB soon (if those factors are contributing to the problem) and hardware & software work 100% or they go off the back deck into the bushes. Suppose the opinion comes from too much time at sea--if it's on the bridge it works or it's over the rail. Too much depends on it.
With MC I'm finally making progress coding the 5 energies method, which is my meat and potatoes. The issue is how to translate what is meaningful to me to what is meaningful to a bot. The futures.io (formerly BMT) poll to the effect "how many signals/clues do you use to trade" got me thinking--I voted 5 or 7 I think--but analyzing the method over the last few days I was amazed to discover the number is actually astronomical, at least in bot terms.
Henry Thoreau said, "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify", which I suspect may be a goal for a number of us, but I'm haunted by the fact when he said that he was talking about lifestyle and trying to grow beans, not trade derivatives. It may be once trading is as easy and familiar as turning over a bit of earth and weeding I'll accept the wisdom, but for the time being I've adopted the approach popularized by Lord Kelvin on the topic of measurement in order to understand a thing, to paraphrase "Quantify, Quantify, Quantify".
On that note I'm trying to transcribe the stochastics indicator (representing 1 of the 5 energies in the method) to bot speak by quantifying how I use it. I respond to slope of D & K, instantaneous value of D & K between 0 and 100, which is above the other at close of bar, and patterns like divergences (especially microdivergences--divergences with price occurring in the same cycle).
As a start I'm trying to reduce stochastics to a flat line indicator color coded to degree of buy/sell confidence based on hard coded patterns (no adaptive pattern matching yet). In any event I recall responding to someone recently that IMO one doesn't trade a single indicator and this is no different--no need to blow the creative wad translating an indicator into something a bot can grasp. Bots crawl before they walk (can't recall if the source for that idea was Twilight Zone or Outer Limits)
Issues & Solutions
The first issue that arose is I think in colored pictures, whereas bots think in [pick a topic for what bots think in terms of, but my first guess would be sequential binary numbers--but we can extend the notion of how bots think to the example of analogue computers]. I like indicators to show slopes in color and after some thought about how bots think and color therefore am seeking to reduce all the trading info represented by stochastics for a given instrument in 3 time frames to a single colour coded (buy/sell confidence) line, colour equivalent to voltage in an analogue computer but also to soft input values to digital computer fuzzy logic algorithms, that allow them to compete with analogue computers, even slide rules, for problem solving.
The first technical issue that arises when trying to manipulate color as representative of but/sell strength of an indicator applied to an instrument in 3 time frames is how to deal with noise and latency. It's pretty much like any family gathering, where you, the grandparents and the kids (and their kids) get together--younger the more noise but the freshest information, more potential, greater life force; the older the more latency but more wisdom (dementia not factoring into this model). You (the medium time frame indicator) are just plodding along looking for setups, witness, trying to cope.
The first solution that comes to mind is using an exponential average to quiet the noisy ones (noisy ones = indicator applied to short time frame instrument). First came across the exponential average back in the days before GPS when Loran was the tool of choice for navigating at sea and lane skips were common, as a solution to how to smooth direction, became enamoured because of its bottomless simplicity, pseudocode as follows:
This is well and good but the next technical issue to arise is how to smooth a colour that represents a buy/sell pattern associated with an indicator rather than a specific numerical value generated by an indicator. MC has a color gradient function but it doesn't seem to do what we need (unless we create a new time series, and I don't like creating unnecessary time series). It's easy to smooth the hue of HSV color values but MC functions seem restricted to RGB color space..
Therefore I transcribed 2 functions (attached in an MC .PLA file and also as .TXT files) from C (the ancient language of our foreprogrammers) to PowerLanguage to convert back and forth between them.
To reiterate, these functions let us smooth changes in a price chart that we perceive as color--first step to coding my trading method.
Developing bots we work from concept through intuition to analysis and the devil is always in the details. The above describes yet another beginning in how we perceive an indicator might be coded as input to an Artificial Intelligence technique (one feature in a feature vector for a neural net, or preconditioning of a conventional trading indicator for input to a fuzzy shape function as fodder for a fuzzy inference engine).
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