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Trading the 6E Old School, With a Twist
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Trading the 6E Old School, With a Twist

  #101 (permalink)
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There's no School like the Old School



josh View Post
One of the things that I have found to be consistently true for me, is the importance of good entry location. People will say that the exit is more important, or the management of the trade, and I do agree that those are important, but for me it is the entry location that allows me to minimize the risk. It doesn't mean that I have to get in at the bottom or top--but what it means is that if I establish a position "in the middle of nowhere" then I am almost certain that my stop will need to be quite large to give the market an opportunity to prove me wrong. So, by trading at the edges, it gives the opportunity for us to be wrong small. A good entry in line with our analysis is made possible by patience and not fearing "missing out." All things I have been working on, and continue to... would love to hear your and anyone else's thoughts on this.

-Josh

Thank you Josh for another great addition to the thread, and your post, who could add more?

The one thing I bring to the market each day that you don't is my past, all of it, from the time I was a child right up to my last trade. When I was 9 or 10 years old I lived in a small Midwestern town and and during the summer a few friends on my street and I use to look forward to going down to the school house in the evenings and watching the Little League ball games. One night I asked my Dad for 15 cents so I could buy a coke and a bag of popcorn at the game (those were the days ) he said, "If I give you 15 cents I'll have to give your brothers and sisters 15 cents," and he refused. He had six kids and I guess he thought that that 90 cents could be spent in a more useful way. Don't get me wrong, I never went without, but 90 cents a day or 5 dollars a week for coke and popcorn wasn't in his budget. My point here is he grew up during the great depression and that never left him, even to this day. It was inevitable that by some weird environmental osmosis his conservative beliefs would root themselves in me, for good or ill. He also instilled in me a vein of perfectionism that serves me well in most areas of my life like bookkeeping, lawn care and woodworking. These are only two examples of what I want to write about, try trading with that rattling around in your head!

I agree with your importance of the entry location. Combine that with the mindset generated by the experiences above and we will only begin to scratch the surface of the complexity of the psychology involved in managing risk. I believe most new traders don't dig deep enough into their own psychology to locate where the "real battle" is taking place when deciding to enter or exit the market, it's not on the screen, IMO it's buried deep in some electrified gray matter in our brain.

"..... I do agree that those are important, but for me it is the entry location that allows me to minimize the risk."
I think you nailed it with this statement, but let's go deeper. I don't know all there is to know about trading but I do know I have to enter a position before I can exit, whether it's my target getting triggered or my stop. I think of the process of trading in simple orderly steps; analysis, entry, continued analysis and exit. The market will always dictate the time frame of the process but who among us doesn't experience a psychological/emotional change when we simply click that mouse and enter a position that puts any amount of our trading capital at risk in an environment steeped in uncertainty. When I'm filled it's "game on" and my beliefs regarding my analysis is what's on the line. If I'm harboring a deep seeded subconscious desire "to be right" (perfectionism) the psychological/emotional change will probably become physical, increased heart rate, twitchy "trigger finger" and a change in my breathing are a few signs. I've entered trades that I thought were with the right direction of the market and after my entry the market died, and went nowhere. These are the trades that linger and linger and give me more and more time to second guess my analysis. I have a choice, I can close out the trade maybe with a tick or two of profit/loss or I can stay in the trade and let time decide my fate. These are the trades that have revealed to me, I'm impatient. Then the psychological battle begins, am I practicing patience by staying with the trade, or am I operating from a fear of "missing out" or a fear of losing what I have (my conservative beliefs).

The market is an enigma, it's made up of many moving parts, every order I place, after my best exhaustive analysis is nothing more than my "best guess" at the future direction of the market based on past price movements. My job first and foremost is to always protect my capital in an environment of total uncertainty, not an easy task. Entry position is absolutely a high priority but the randomness of winners and losers calls upon us all to look at all aspects of the market, the seen (support and resistance) and the unseen (breaking news and hardware issues) when assessing our individual risk tolerance. Until I identified my hidden nemesis buried inside myself and began to fully understand how my thoughts and beliefs from the "real world" played themselves out in my "trading world" I realized I was viewing my trading with only one eye open. I believe we all have reasons for what we do in the markets, whether it's cutting winners short or letting losers run. Looking inside ourselves might just reveal that hidden diamond, that one small piece that allows us to take our game to the next level.


IMO, Trading has nothing to do with your education outside the market, account size, methodology or the size of your cojones. To me it's about getting and staying comfortable managing the risk while trading the uncertainty of the market. If I control my risk so I can weather loser after loser after loser after loser, today, and protect my capital so I can still suit up and show up tomorrow I believe I'm successfully managing my risk.

I'm thinking of a tee shirt that says, Real Men Control Risk (muppets don't) maybe I'll send one to Russell Wasendorf and his kid.




Last edited by Cashish; August 26th, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
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  #102 (permalink)
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Cashish View Post
There's no School like the Old School

IMO, Trading has nothing to do with your education outside the market.... me it's about getting and staying comfortable managing the risk while trading the uncertainty of the market.



In essence, stress free.

I have a little card sitting under my screen...."No more stress"....It is a reminder that I don't need to be, the trade will work itself out.

Keeps me thinking 'good thoughts' and it really does work.

Trader

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  #103 (permalink)
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There's no School like the Old School


I've been reading the posts in the, https://futures.io/traders-hideout/22484-do-you-believe-luck-trading-4.html#post254939 thread and have been thinking of some of the luck that has come my way over the years. Do I believe in luck in trading? Absolutely. Do I believe if I feel lucky one morning my trading will be more profitable that day? No. The focus of this post may be best understood by first offering a definition of the word luck.

LUCK
Noun:
Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.


This definition suggests luck can be good (success) or bad (failure). It also suggests luck is detached from, "one's own actions." The words, "apparently brought by chance," suggest to me I shouldn't count on my thought of feeling lucky to enhance the outcome of my actions.

This is a trading forum and I'm a trader so the following are my opinions that luck in trading is alive and well.

I had been trading sporadically for awhile and had some limited success but my efforts were nothing more than a hobby (that I paid to enjoy). During the early 90's my son was waiting tables at a country club and told me he had met a man who traded futures. My son spoke to this man often over several months and mentioned to him I was trading currency futures. The man suggested to my son that I should drop by his office and speak with him sometime.

One day out of the blue, unannounced, wearing work clothes and looking like a bum, I walked into his office and told the receptionist, "I'd like to speak with Bill Dunn." She got up from her chair, walked me through the building, tapped on an open door and motioned for me to walk in. There I was, a guy off the street with no appointment, shaking hands with Bill Dunn.

Obviously I had no idea who Bill Dunn was, I introduced myself and sat down. This was before the days of Google, online trading, real-time quotes and trading forums, my son described him as, "a regular guy that trades futures." I had no idea I was sitting and talking to one of the largest and most successful futures traders in the country, I didn't even notice it was his name on the outside of the building! I figured the receptionist was taking me through a maze of small offices and eventually I'd end up at some windowless office of "a regular guy that trades futures." This happened more than 20 years ago, I don't recall when I figured out how lucky I was to have this experience, but I do know, it wasn't that day.

I remember our conversation well because the truths he shared with me about trading occurred again and again over the years. As I recall he let me talk myself out, he never looked at his watch and said, "times up, I gotta go." My son was right, he was/is, "a regular guy that trades futures," we talked about kids and boats but mostly trading. Think about that, this is a guy that at the time ran a managed futures fund that required a $50,000 initial deposit (today it's $500,000) spending what seemed like all the time in the world with me, a newbie one lot D-Mark trader with a $5000 account. During our conversation he asked me what my trading goal was, I said fifty thousand dollars a year. He assured me I'd probably never make that amount trading a one lot, but he added, "You can gain a lot of experience, and have a lot of fun trading a one lot," I found that to be true. He encouraged me to continue trading the currencies and told me he considered them the markets of the future and he expected the daily volume to increase substantially providing greater liquidity. He also recommended that since I was an off floor trader I should focus my efforts on studying the movements of one currency, learn it well and strive to become an expert in a single pair. We talked about method. At the time I was using a 20 day trend following method, little did I know he was a major trend follower, with a capital M. He offered to back-test any method that I thought might hold promise, he said, "We have lots of data here, if you want to plug something into it, bring it by," I never did. Remember, we're talking Intel 386, 486 or maybe a Pentium, "having lots of data," actually meant something at the time. So how lucky was I to have this experience so early in my journey, I still wonder if it was just a dream.

I kept trading my one lot and had a whole lot of fun, just as Bill had foreseen. I never forgot those words, .....I'd probably never make that amount (50k) trading a one lot, so I kept adding to my collection of trading books, trying to find that particular fit of method and personality. I happened upon this Robert Pardo book Amazon.com: Design, Testing, and Optimization of Trading Systems (9780471554462): Robert Pardo: Books on a friends bookshelf, and began to understand the professionalism of guys like Bill Dunn and the amount of work they were putting into their systems in an attempt to extract money from the markets. After reading this book I knew Bill's words were true, I'd never make 50k a year trading a one lot.

Now I'm going to fast forward to the year 2008. In 2008 Robert Pardo wrote this book, Amazon.com: The Evaluation and Optimization of Trading Strategies (Wiley Trading) (9780470128015): Robert Pardo: Books a revised and updated edition of his classic text Design, Testing, and Optimization of Trading Systems. Since the first Pardo book influenced my view of trading so dramatically, I just had to own the updated edition. You probably cannot imagine the astonishment when I read these words in the first paragraph of the "Forward" of the updated edition.

My relationship with Bob Pardo goes back to 1996 when he approached my firm, DUNN Capital Management, in search of trading capital for his XT99 system. After some extensive system evaluations, we entered into an agreement to help research, develop, and trade Bob’s XT99 for Bob, DUNN, and our clients. I am pleased to report that this arrangement has proved beneficial to all parties and that it is still going great guns. When Bob recently asked if I would write the foreword for this second edition I assured him that I would be more than delighted to do so.

William A. Dunn, PhD
Chairman
DUNN Capital Management
Stuart, Florida
May 2007




Now, back to the topic of luck in trading. In the first Pardo book, Chapter 10, in Subsection, Performance Patterns and Quirks, on page 155 he elaborates on the topic of, A Windfall Profit. He defines a situation of a trading firm that reportedly made more than a billion dollars within a few days after the crash in 1987. In the book he writes, "The principals were reported to have done two things. They paid large bonuses and gave a paid vacation of one month to all employees. The operation was closed for one month while the principals decided what they were going to do with their incredible new wealth." He continues, "...... the huge profits that amass from such an event are more a windfall than the result of skill or foresight. A good trader knows the difference. Skill keeps a good trader trading in bad times and produces consistent profits during good times. A good trader knows when he or she has been the beneficiary of a windfall and does not expect to be able consistently to reproduce such levels of profit."


IMO, if luck can be good (success) or bad (failure) and if luck is detached from one's own actions (skill or foresight), Robert Prado's three paragraphs on windfall profits clearly illustrates an excellent example of Good Luck in Trading.

I sure was surprised when I pulled this out of my mail box.

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William Dunn: Legendary CTA building legacy to last



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  #104 (permalink)
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There's no School like the Old School

Here a Tick, There a Tick



Here's a trade that might just fall into the "Luck in Trading Category (or not)," decide for yourselves. I've been thinking about this trade since I took it 17 hours ago, the good and the bad, thought I'd take some time, write it out and share a few thoughts. I usually trade from 2am to 6am est but the hype of the Jackson Hole "Pow Wow" has had me a little pumped up this week. It seemed the Ben Bernanke speech was the hitch pin of most of the trading all week long. The 6E opened Sunday night (Monday trade) at 1.2512 and opened for Friday trade at 1.2509 not much movement there, but some nice moves none the less. All week I've been deciding on my game plan for today's trade, I decided to fade the extremes if I was given the opportunity. Last night during the Globex open and into the Asian session price slowly drifted up and appeared to me to be a continuation of a little up move. I began to believe that this slow grind could continue and price could retrace up to Thursday's VWAP at 1.2532. The Friday session VWAP had a little rise to it albeit price had only traded in a 19 point range, but most of the trading was above the VWAP and testing the Pivot from below. I entered 3 buy orders above the VWAP and 1 on the -1SD thinking Asian traders might give this market a jump start to the up side of the Pivot and tag Thursday's VWAP before the EU session began. I entered targets targeting the VWAP which was above a low volume area, I was anticipating a quick move and figured I'd be flat within the hour. My sell targets were 2 @30, 1 @31 and 1 @32. I entered the buy orders and got a quick fill on my first position, within a half an hour the market dropped quickly and filled all of them. This first chart shows the lower portion of a two day volume profile, the session low at 1.2503 and yesterdays low at 1.2488.

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My average entry price was 1.2515, I had a good feeling about this entry when I entered the orders but now price was beginning to walk the -2SD line and the EU open was approaching. Normally I would have dumped this trade for a variety of reasons, price trading under the falling -2SD level is surely one of them, but if this is the extreme low of today's range I want to hold my positions. Now the EU session was open and I often take trades above/below the 2 SD levels and exit either at the VWAP or the other 2SD level. Other indicators were signaling exhaustion to this down move but price is very close to my Maximum dollar risk amount of $1000. I made the decision to hold the trade through the EU open. I held the trade and escaped being stopped out by 1 tick on three 1 minute bars 2:04, 05 and 06.

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I dodged a bullet, price lifted and never returned to the LOD again. Once price entered the Value Area it rotated above and below the VWAP for an hour and a half, my quick move to the upside was now 3 hours old and this market is showing no true direction. Finally price jumped above the Pivot and began to find support there. As price reached above the upper Value Area and struggled to fill that low volume area I felt more sure of my decision to take profits and exit at my targets. Price jumped above the +2SD level and traded 30, 31 and 32 but my 32 didn't fill. Price traded 28, 29, then 32, 33 I was filled and the market took off like a rocket. I was so wrapped up watching the DOM and getting my fill that I didn't notice on my other charts, the bar that filled my sell order at 1.2532 was also giving me a buy signal, I was happy to be out of my 4 hour "quickie" with a nice profit, but I took the buy signal seriously and tried to get back in on the move by entering a two lot buy order, price traded within 1 tick of my order and never returned, I sat on my hands and watched the market run.

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Edit: Some final thoughts, I can argue several different aspects of this trade from several differing points of view, Pro and Con, there's a lot of buckshot in there that could be picked out and analysed, believe me I have. I'll take the win, no doubt about that, but I believe this trade holds more value in "the experience" than in dollars and cents.


Last edited by Cashish; September 1st, 2012 at 02:36 PM.
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  #105 (permalink)
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There's no School like the Old School

Super Mario to the Rescue



I've been working on rebuilding, refinishing and reusing an antique headboard and tonight I began putting on the first coats of primer and paint. I have a head and foot board but my workshop is a little short on workspace so I decided to put a sheet of plywood on my tablesaw and use that as a painting table. The problem is, after one coat on one side dries, I move it off the table and replace it with the other piece, when that dries I move it and on and on and on. Then I flip it over (fresh paint side down) and support it on four nails driven through four wood blocks and continue the process on the other side, waiting for each coat to dry. So, as I wait between coats I thought I'd write about a trade I took tonight as I waited for my paint to dry.

This fist chart is a little cramped on the hard right edge but I wanted to show the location of the open (white vertical line is Friday's close) in reference to Friday's VWAP (yellow line), more often than not, the Sunday open is much further away. Friday's price movements were driven by several news events, mainly Ben Bernanke’s speech at Jackson Hole. After traders read through the speech, they sold dollars against the euro. The mighty euro couldn't hold onto its gains when news broke that Bankia, Spain’s fourth largest bank needed an immediate capital injection. About the same time, S&P downgraded Catalonia’s credit rating to junk, borrowing costs in Spain jumped 25bp to 6.8%. This was the climate of the market into the close on Friday, IMO, tonight's open was/is a continuation of sorting out this information.

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Last week was the Ben Bernanke Show, all eyes were on Jackson Hole. I believe this week is Super Mario Draghi’s turn in the spotlight. ECB President Draghi decided not to go to Jackson Hole, so I think his "speech" is going to have the meat and veggies traders are hungry for, we'll see. This chart shows a volume profile of last week, with price sitting on the upper value area which is also today's Pivot I could see price fall to the POC 1.2549/50 prior to President Draghi's meeting with the EU Parliment later this morning.

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This chart shows Friday's profile, I believe that "node" just below the lower Value Area is significant, it could stop price from falling to the larger "node" near the Buy Number at 1.2506. I also feel if ECB President Draghi doesn't deliver the "meat and veggies" that's where this market will go.

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This chart is a combination of Friday and today. Of course price could go up into the safety of volume but I believe the expectations of what President Draghi has for this market will keep price below 1.2580/1.2600 .

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I took this trade soon after the Sunday open, targeting Friday's lower value area. I'm short now, averaged in at 1.2582 but I'm sitting on my hands every time we cross that Pivot from South to North, I don't know how long I can subdue the urge to take profits down there.

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Last edited by Cashish; September 4th, 2012 at 05:11 AM.
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Super Mario to the Rescue

My idea for price to drop to the POC of the last week's volume profile came up a little short, price just couldn't drop out of Friday's value area. I covered my shorts when rumors that the ECB President had cancelled his meeting with the EU Parliament began to circulate. The best end-of-day report I found about what actually happened and caused all the scuttlebutt is here: European Parliament Risks ECB Spat Over Draghi Briefing Leaks - Businessweek

Here's a chart I captured after the surge, it's a two day profile, Friday and Sun/Mon.

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Some times I believe "leaks" are just more political wrangling, who knows. So now I believe all eyes are fixed on Thursday Sept. 6, when the ECB Interest Rate Decision is announced at 11:45 GMT. Then at 12:30 GMT Mr. Draghi gives his comments in a press conference, the same time the U.S. jobs numbers come out. It will be interesting to see where the Euro is trading just prior to the rate decision. So far this week, although it's holiday trading, the Euro is trading in a 69 point range, threatening the highs of June and July, ought to make for an exciting week.


Last edited by Cashish; September 4th, 2012 at 07:55 AM.
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There's no School like the Old School

Charts, Charts and More Charts

I believe this was one of those days where traders either did real well or struggled all day. Sometimes I don't like to post trades, I don't want to come off as grandiose or all puffed up on some ego trip, believe me I'm not. My only intention is help other traders find their way, and if any single piece of what I post is found helpful to others then my time with this thread is well spent. Today, I have so many charts I don't know where to start, I'll start with last Friday. Since the hype of the Ben Bernanke speech at Jackson Hole and the news shortly there after left the Euro in a state of indecision (IMO), I've been trying to figure out what traders were doing when price returned to the levels between 1.2575 and 1.2561. This first chart shows what I'm talking about. A couple posts up-thread I posted a chart with my opinion of price falling down to the POC of last weeks Value Area, but every time (Fri, Sun, Mon, Tue) price came to "60" it turned tail and ran to the North. Late in the day yesterday I concluded on a hypothesis and entered a short trade at 1.2564 https://futures.io/forex-currency-trading/13614-eurusd-6e-euro-eur-usd-futures-contract-euro-179.html#post258280 as a "feeling out" of my theory, I closed out the trade just prior to 2pm est, and called it quits for the day. As in recent history, price rattled around the low, popped up above "75" and closed/settled for the day at "74."

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My theory about this price action is simple, but complex. If I had millions or billions of dollars to trade in this market, for whatever reason, I'd probably do one of two things. 1.) Hire a couple of rocket scientists to write me a program, or 2.) Hire traders from around the world to trade for me during their individual trading sessions, the idea would be, I (through, my "hired" traders) could watch the market constantly from the Sunday evening open to the Friday evening close. With this idea in mind, I would conclude that the time frame I would be focusing on would be much greater/longer than the time frame of most under capitalized retail traders trading within the same market. The third piece of my theory is the U.S. Holiday. If I was a major player as described above, I wouldn't leave the "hen house" unguarded with the door standing open just because most of my U.S. competitors were off playing volleyball for the weekend. This chart is the Volume Profile of last week captured Sunday evening. The Pivot and Buy Number are calculated from Friday's price range and are for the Monday trading session. However, since Monday is a U.S. Holiday most traders anticipated a session with low volume. But as I mentioned above, I believe the "hen house" is well guarded during these times and if longer term price levels are breached, the longer term traders will be there. As the second chart shows with the volume traded when price traded in and above the 1.2600 level.

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So after spending a few days with a Brother in Law I don't like and a Son in Law I can't stand, and painting a bed through the middle of the night on one of those days, today I slept in. When I got to my trading station and saw where price had been it all made sense to me. Now price had returned to the area between 1.2561 and 1.2575 but this time it's coming from below. My idea was, most of the trading in this area for the last few days was retail traders scalping ticks, and catching a few minor trends, then leaving the market with their accounts flat each day. This chart shows a VP of 3 days Sun/Mon, Tue and the current day. I entered orders to go long through this high volume area and thought if anyone did short this area and didn't take profits at the lows near even, their stops will most likely be 15/20 points above '75.

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I most generally don't short up strong moves, but this was turning into a textbook trade and my intuition made me do it!

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I must have looked at dozens of VP charts this morning and on some of them I saw, The Future. Here is my last trade this morning, I had sell orders resting on the Sell Number and the Upper Value Area (of some?) VP, and buy orders sitting on both sides of this -2SD level (1.2586), my buy orders at '88 filled but my '85s didn't, I gave the market a little time then covered on the VWAP.

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A shout out to @eminitrdr Get Well Soon


Last edited by Cashish; September 5th, 2012 at 03:23 PM.
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There's no School like the Old School

A Quickie

I don't have a lot of time but wanted to post a couple charts. For the record, yesterday I had sell orders resting just above that Sell Number at 1.2651 and totally missed the "Top Side," action. I wasn't going to do it again today. I took a trade today that is the best trade I've taken in a long long time, it tested me to the core of my being especially the last 10 or 20 minutes of the up move.

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There's no School like the Old School

Standing on My Soapbox



I don't post much on other threads, mainly because I find it difficult to quickly boil down my thoughts or opinions of subjects into a few sentences. More often than not, after a dozen or so posts by other members my views are generally somewhat expressed, and then after the "usual suspects" post their ambiguous one liners, the thread dies. I'll also confess when I do browse the forum, I browse mostly as a guest, reading the commentary of members whose opinions interest me without the distraction of charts and screen shots of markets or "programs" I have no interest in. I have used the "ignore" button but found it only works if I'm longed in, so I accept that as the price I pay to browse as a guest. I take trading seriously, my connection to market data and my connection to my broker is thru my lowly cable internet connection. When my trading computer is connected and I'm trading, I don't want any other computers within my control trying to muscle in on my connection and disrupt the precious flow of data. I have a separate computer for web "stuff" and connect, disconnect and reconnect throughout the day while I wait for my market to approach areas of interest. I have posted some 'live' trades on BM's and had no problems at all with connection issues, I just feel better giving the trading box top priority to the connection. I found the experience of posting trades exhilarating and fulfilling but I also found posting these trades during the trading session somewhat distracting. The biggest question I faced while posting 'live' trades was, why? I thought my efforts of posting 'live' trades on the EUR/USD thread might offer some credibility to the information I posted in this thread, for anyone that may have had an interest. Soon, I realized just how much information I view while making the decision to enter the market and found myself perplexed as to which chart would offer the "cleanest reason" for entering the trade or the "cleanest reason" for staying in the trade. I also ran headlong into the notion of intuitiveness and how much of my trading is "unexplainable," in the common tongue. But I will say, my method as outlined in this thread evolved from my efforts of building a mechanical trading system and on it's own it does pretty darn well, but when I add my experience and intuitiveness it does a might better. As an example consider the time change we all experience twice a year, or is it four times a year since Europe makes their changes a week or two before the U.S. makes theirs. It's not that uncommon to read a post or two of some trader asking were the volume is at the open of the market they're trading or getting caught off guard during a burst of volume during the European close that unaware to them, happened a hour earlier than they expected. I have no use at all for trading rooms or "packaged" systems, simply put there's to much gray area in trading. Your method, has to be your own, it has to "be you," just like the car in your garage, the pictures on your wall and the shirts hanging in your closet. I might give you my favorite "smart casual" shirt, and after you hack the sleeves off and rip out the collar it might be your favorite "painting shirt," same idea. No matter what concoction you put together and call your own, it still has to fit your psychology. It's the same with, "the car in your garage, the pictures on your wall and the shirts hanging in your closet," if they didn't fit your psychology, they wouldn't be there. The problem, IMO, is traders don't know what their psychology consists of when it pertains to their trading, they just want to MAKEALOTOFMONEYINAHURRY. Trader A, might never figure out the reason he takes $500 profit out of a $2000 move is because he's not going to, "let that bitch (the market) take my $500 away," like his exwife (the bitch) did, to whom he sends a $5,000 dollar check to each month. Trader B, might never figure out why he blew out 3 or 4 $25,000 accounts and continues to run from one trading guru to another until he realizes he was actually searching for "someone to do the work for him," and also realizes his search for, "someone to do the work...,) is a very common sub conscious desire of cesarean births (c-section). Go ahead and laugh, but I will guarantee you, you will know yourself on a much deeper psychological level before you make any real money trading the markets. If you're struggling with a certain aspect of trading and can state your issue(s) plainly and the problem just never seems to go away after all your best efforts, go see a psychologist. For the price of one losing trade, make an appointment and talk yourself out. This doesn't have to be some fancy "trading coach," that's usually a label of someone less qualified anyway, just pickup the phone book. When you pick up the phone book the process begins, will you choose a man or a woman, ask yourself why? For reasons I care not to disclose, I'm very close to several psychologists on a personal level. I'm not one myself but I'll assure you the people you see sitting in the waiting room during your visit, are not sick people trying to get well, they're well people trying to get "better" at living a more fulfilling life. You wouldn't take your car to a pizza maker for repair would you, or call a veterinarian to tailor your new suit. If you can be open and honest, I assure you your psychology as it pertains to your trading, will be enhanced within very few visits, what do you have to lose, if what you're doing now ain't working?


Unofficial NinjaTrader 8 wish list thread (NT8)

Back on the soapbox. I have very few good things to say about NinjaTrader. I know most of the folks here on Big Mike's are NT users, but I'll bet I've been a NT user longer than 99.9% of them. I'm not looking for admiration, I'm just setting the stage for my NinjaTrader roast, or maybe a trip to the woodshed! I first started using NT in 2003/04, it was pure heaven, having a slice of software on my screen that allowed me to visually see price move up and down a stationary price ladder. I could enter trades with a click of my mouse and adjust targets and stops just as easily. For those who are unaware, when NT first came out, there were no charts, only the DOM. NT provided a stand alone state of the art order entry system that had never been seen before by most retail traders, pure heaven. I had set up my trading station to enter the world of electronic trading with Ensign Software for charting and IB as my broker. NT touted how it was developed to relieve traders of the hassles of the IB order entry system. Since I've never traded electronically on any platform other than IB's TWS I didn't notice it was a hassle at all, but the more I read about the NT software I thought I'd try it out, I was hooked, this little program was beyond cool. I don't recall which came first, the lawsuit with Trading Technologies (TT) or NT's charts. I had no interest in their charts, but I did use what was originally the only thing NT offered for lease, the DOM. The lawsuit with TT was due to infringement rights of the stationary (static) price ladder. As I recall the legal wrangling took a year or two and the result was, if you chose to continue using the static DOM and not the abortion of a work-a-round (dynamic DOM) NT continues to offer, traders were/are required to pay an additional fee of 10 cents per side per contract traded. I assume this is were my dislike for NT has it's origin. The NinjaTrader static SuperDOM is offered under license from Trading Technologies and that's probably why it hasn't changed much in the last (almost) ten years, TT probably has NT by the balls, I hope so, that would be a legitimate excuse for their total lack of R&D of a 10 year old piece of software. I want to puke when I see NT continue to call it the "super"DOM, what a joke. Oh, the new NT7, the NT7 is coming, get ready for the NT7, over 300 enhancements to the new NT7. Well, I got the new NT7 and the only change I found that effected me was within the Account Summary. I may be wrong but since I first started using NT the three choices to display analytics were, percent, currency and points. Now, with over 300 enhancements to the new NT7, the "points" selection doesn't work. I spent hours screwing around, downloading, uninstalling and reinstalling my "new and improved NT7" before posting a query on the NT forum in disgust, "oh yes, sorry, that doesn't work on NT7." Well, guess what, two years later it still doesn't work. I sat thru the, "One-on-One with the President of NinjaTrader" webinar here at BM's and almost fell out of my chair when the president of the company said, in effect, we've been considering changes to the "super (puke)" DOM but have concerns that traders might not like us increasing the width of the DOM by 25% and encroach upon their screen real estate. WTF, is this guy for real? I knew right then NT is going to allow the "super (puke)" DOM to die a slow death in the same suit it was born in. 25% give me a "F"-ing break, lets see that's what, one "F"-ing inch? What a dickhead, it's obvious after 10 years of almost no R&D, the NinjaTrader static SuperDOM offered under license from Trading Technologies is the last thing on his mind. 25% give me a "F"-ing break, I think I was using 4 -17" CRT monitors back in 2003, with what, 1000 x 700 resolution. I for one, believe I can spare an inch or two of screen space somewhere on my 8 - 23" HD, LED Samsungs to see a little volume strip on either side of the price ladder, get "F"-ing real Mister CEO. The other "tell" in the webinar that diminished my hope for any DOM improvements was his statement (if I remember correctly) that 50% of traders use the DOM and 50% trade off the chart. Well, I'll offer Mr. NT CEO a clue, keep neglecting the DOM and 100% of NT traders will trade from the chart. It's obvious, that in 2006 or whenever NT began offering charts, they dropped the DOM like a hot potato, turned their backs on the original product that started it all, that's a shame.

Should vendors be allowed to become Elite Members?

Back on the soapbox. Who cares? I know most of the folks here on Big Mike's are NT users, and many love to tinker with the NT open source charting program. I think the key words are open source, NT encourages tinkering, in fact they advertise they have over 300 people offering thousands of add-ons to their software. The scary part about that to me is NT excepts no responsibility what these add-ons might do to your computer or their software, they surely don't check each one line by line. I would assume a fella could find just about anything his heart desired, for free, somewhere. I came into BM's thru the backdoor so to speak, I did a google search about volume footprint and was led to Big Mike's, but the information was behind the "elite section." So my curiosity got the better of me, I paid the 50 bucks and clicked the link, surprise, it was some file to download an indicator for NinjaTrader someone had posted, no information or even an example of what a "footprint" looked like, I couldn't figure out how to exit the forum so I shut down my computed rebooted, checked to see if I was logged off, left, and had no intentions of returning. But I did return, several months later. I've read thru the "should vendors" thread and as I assumed most list NT as their trading platform, I think I counted five that listed something else. Most folks agree, you can't stop a thief from stepping up to the free buffet and filling his plate. My opinion is sure to go over like a turd in a punch bowl so I thought I'd post it here instead of the more public thread. Why is there an elite section in the first place, why not just charge 50 bucks, "to see what's inside." 30,000 members, on any given day most all the logged in list is yellow, I would think vendors would hold themselves to a bit of a higher standard than Joe Six Pack, but maybe I'm wrong. All the indicators are free for the taking, if you're an elite member, so in essence the only person actually making money on them is Big Mike, if you want one, you're going to have to pay him first, just to get to the buffet. I'm sure several of the indicator junkies on this forum have downloaded dozens (or more) of these free bees just to see them flash and blink on their charts. I just don't get it I guess, why involve yourself with a stripped down charting program that encourages you to beg, borrow or steal from God knows who, that coded God knows what into the indicators you feel you need to trade your market. I know the perfect trading program doesn't exist, but I do know there're several that don't require you to stand on the street corner with a tin cup, asking for a VWAP or a Volume Profile.


I snagged this post from Brett Steenbarger's TraderFeed a couple years ago and offer it as proof that every once in awhile we all need to air things out.

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There's no School like the Old School

It All Adds Up


This morning I was a little late to the party and rushed to do my pre market ritual. As I did price kept inching lower and lower but my analysis said higher and higher. I decided to enter some small shorts and watch my back closely and take profits quickly. The first trade worked fine, just as I planned. Then I started leaving a little money on the table and thought I should give up the idea, join the crowd and stay short. But I just didn't like the way price was trading between the -1 & -2 SD levels. After 3 short scalps price bounced hard off the low and I entered my long, price drifted lower and I added my last 2 contracts. Price drifted lower and had me believing I might have made a big mistake, price turned up and showed me some profit, then gave me the long signal I was looking for. I held my longs and targeted the +1 SD level of the 2 o'clock profile. The first run came up a few ticks shy so I lowered my target on 1 pair, the next run up, filled them all. I don't like scalping for 5,6, or 8 ticks but if I control the risk with very tight stops and take a predefined target every time, these small trades can add up. Catching the last move was more my style, that trade with the few early scalps, made my day.

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