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Can Educators really give us education?(result from a trading competition)


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Can Educators really give us education?(result from a trading competition)

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  #1 (permalink)
 ilikeread 
San Mateo, CA, USA
 
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Hello,
I just found an interesting pdf from Make the Trade Live Trading Challenge. This is the recent result from 8 traders/also vendors that trading live and having a competition, sponsored by Infinity and some others (CME, etc). I posted a screen shot below.

I am sure some of these names are familiar to you, if you have been trading and searching for eduction "gurus" for a while.

What is interesting to me: look at the P&L. 8 traders in totally 12 trading sessions, only have
3 wining sessions, and win $127.5, $50 and $10;
1 Breakeven: $0;
8 losing sessions: lose -$785, -$150, -$330, -$500, -$200, -$150, -$37.5, -$150.

We all know that this sample size is kind of small, and some fans of these educators might say: it is normal up and downs and could be depended on the market conditions.
But this is from the results for 8 different traders and happened in 6 different days, which might mean something to you.

My question: how are about your experience? Do you think educators could really educate you?
I used to believe some of these traders/educators are very good. Now, I am a little disappointed. I certainly do not want them to be my fund manager; but how much shall I believe what they said in their webinars?

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  #3 (permalink)
 wrbtrader 
South France, Chicago U.S.A, Quebec Canada
 
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Hi,

The trader education area is a large area. Most educators are not vendors and these none vendors are mainly forum members, blogsters and so on. Take a look at most of popular trading forums including BigMike's here. Most traders are freely sharing and helping each other. Thus, getting their education from each other.

Vendors are a sub-group of the education field and I would think (just a guess) that vendors having the ability to educate someone is about the same as a none vendor being able to educate someone about trading. Also, vendors can be broken down into subgroups too...signal callers, mentors, software designers, trader psychologists, book authors, seminar/webinar presentations, indicators/coders, those that do a little of everything and others I can't think of at the moment.

As to infinity futures competition, at least their showing proof they're traders too and smashing the myth that vendors don't trade. As for their December performance, I would be more interested in seeing many months worth of trading performance instead of just one month (arguably one of the toughest months of the year for trading) before looking too deep into one month performance of what seems like a friendly competition...I wouldn't be surprise if they know each other, wants to know a little more about the competition or in it solely to market their services on the foundation I do trade.

I wonder if they're in the same subgroup of vendors ?

Also, I don't think the issue is about "believing what they say in their webinars" regardless if the webinar is via a vendor or none vendor. The real issue is the information helpful to your trading or not. If its not helpful, move on to something else but just be aware that just because the webinar is not helpful to you it may be helpful to someone else that has a different trading style than you.

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  #4 (permalink)
 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
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Some posts related to this topic; CTA firm guy claims they tried to recruit some trading education vendors as traders. And their results... :



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  #5 (permalink)
 kevinkdog   is a Vendor
 
 
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Here are my 2 cents, as a full time trader, and a part time vendor/educator...

1. The Infinity Trading Challenge should not be taken seriously. A few days of trading, for an hour and a half each day, should be recognized for what it is - a publicity stunt. It doesn't mean those guys are good traders or bad traders. It doesn't even mean they are traders at all! That "contest" just gets their names out there more, so they can sell more stuff.

2. That being said, I do like longer term, real money trading contests. Of course, I like that kind of contest because I did well in it. And even in a year long contest, luck does play a factor. So, doing well in a contest does not prove someone is a good trader.

As Van Tharp told me "winning a trading contest just proves you can win a trading contest - but is that your end goal?" Longevity proves someone is a good trader - decades of performance.

3. In my experience, most traders are terrible teachers, and most trading educators are terrible traders. Why? Because it is hard to be both - different skill sets.

Example: I think I am a pretty decent trader - not superb by any stretch of the imagination. But my analytical skills help me to be a better trader.

On the other hand, I think I am a terrible vendor, mainly because I am not good at sales and marketing. Those are totally different skills than skills to develop trading systems.


That being said, I think there probably are good people out there who are both. You just have to look hard, ask a lot of questions and not be seduced by a sales pitch, or an equity curve.

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  #6 (permalink)
 ilikeread 
San Mateo, CA, USA
 
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Posts: 44 since Aug 2010
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Thanks for all of your feedback.

I really have no intention to disrespect any vendors or educators. Actually, I did learn something useful from the webinars/ website contents of some of the attendants of the Infinity contest. The problems is, I always thought, these guys are pros, and they are suppose do better than me. Yet, if I do not make a single trade in those 6 days, and I might make all my way to the final!

This situation matches some saying " If you don't trade for 6 months, your P&L might be well ahead of 80% of all futures accounts".

I agree with wrbtrader and Kevinkdog's point, that a longer time frame statement would be better. But this result from Infinity really mean something to me. At least, quite some traders in the contest did not look like using the maxim " cut the loss and let the profit run." I am not being sarcastic here, but after a long time of study some of the attendants work, I suddenly realized that that guy might be only better than me in talking about the market, this could be really frustrating.

Anyway, this statement is a snapshot. A snapshot from the really battlefield. When people show some fancy Excel P&Ls, people always asked: "Is that brokerage certified/notarized". Well, this one looks like certified, but not pretty. I would welcome more input on this.

I certainly believe that there are some consistent profitable trader there, otherwise, where will the loser's money flow to?

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 kevinkdog   is a Vendor
 
 
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ilikeread View Post
Thanks for all of your feedback.

I really have no intention to disrespect any vendors or educators. Actually, I did learn something useful from the webinars/ website contents of some of the attendants of the Infinity contest. The problems is, I always thought, these guys are pros, and they are suppose do better than me. Yet, if I do not make a single trade in those 6 days, and I might make all my way to the final!

This situation matches some saying " If you don't trade for 6 months, your P&L might be well ahead of 80% of all futures accounts".

I agree with wrbtrader and Kevinkdog's point, that a longer time frame statement would be better. But this result from Infinity really mean something to me. At least, quite some traders in the contest did not look like using the maxim " cut the loss and let the profit run." I am not being sarcastic here, but after a long time of study some of the attendants work, I suddenly realized that that guy might be only better than me in talking about the market, this could be really frustrating.

Anyway, this statement is a snapshot. A snapshot from the really battlefield. When people show some fancy Excel P&Ls, people always asked: "Is that brokerage certified/notarized". Well, this one looks like certified, but not pretty. I would welcome more input on this.

I certainly believe that there are some consistent profitable trader there, otherwise, where will the loser's money flow to?


Some excellent comments, @ilikeread.

The Infinity contest tells us all how extremely difficult it is to make money trading. Anyone who tells you it is easy should be regarded with suspicion.

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 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
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Hi ilikeread, Do you have the complete final results of the contest? Interested to see what was the final profits( or losses) of the contestants individually and combined.

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  #9 (permalink)
 ilikeread 
San Mateo, CA, USA
 
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Cloudy View Post
Hi ilikeread, Do you have the complete final results of the contest? Interested to see what was the final profits( or losses) of the contestants individually and combined.

Hi, Cloudy,

Sorry that I did not check this thread for a while and did not respond to your question. I went to check for the original source Make the Trade Live Trading Challenge. They showed that Tim Racette is the final winner. They did not updated the final result yet. So all of updated result is shown in my post #1.

Thanks for your interest and follow-up.

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 gibbs 
Erie, PA
 
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Cloudy View Post
Hi ilikeread, Do you have the complete final results of the contest? Interested to see what was the final profits( or losses) of the contestants individually and combined.

Don't have the exact numbers but the final combined loss was around $2,200 for the seven 90-minute sessions (trading 2 markets with up to a 3-lot). I believe Tim had the only profitable session in round 1 where he made about $100 after comms - he lost $ in the semis and won the finals by losing the least amount.

Not a trading friendly environment with a couple silly rules and too short a session, but results are results and with the exception of one semi-final match (on rollover day) there was good to very good trading.

Much is made of the fact that these are "educators" but if 8 of the top posters on any active forum competed and the above results were used as the baseline, I would take the "under".

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 wrbtrader 
South France, Chicago U.S.A, Quebec Canada
 
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gibbs View Post
Don't have the exact numbers but the final combined loss was around $2,200 for the seven 90-minute sessions (trading 2 markets with up to a 3-lot). I believe Tim had the only profitable session in round 1 where he made about $100 after comms - he lost $ in the semis and won the finals by losing the least amount.

Not a trading friendly environment with a couple silly rules and too short a session, but results are results and with the exception of one semi-final match (on rollover day) there was good to very good trading.

Much is made of the fact that these are "educators" but if 8 of the top posters on any active forum competed and the above results were used as the baseline, I would take the "under".

The rules stated which specific 90 minute sessions they were allowed to trade or did the rules state you can trade anytime but only for 90 minutes ?

If the former, that's a ridiculous competition because you may have to trade when you have no trade signals. Just the same, you may have trade signals that you are not allowed to trade because it's outside some designated 90 minute trading session. Hopefully they were allowed to choose their 90 minute trading session.

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 Cloudy 
desert CA
 
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Maybe CNBC or 60 minutes should do an "investigation" report on trading/tradeucation businesses. Here's a recent CNBC special report on MLM's like Herbalife. (HLF)

"Selling the Dream"

Selling the American Dream: Investigations, Inc.

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 ilikeread 
San Mateo, CA, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: ES
 
Posts: 44 since Aug 2010
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Cloudy View Post
Maybe CNBC or 60 minutes should do an "investigation" report on trading/tradeucation businesses. Here's a recent CNBC special report on MLM's like Herbalife. (HLF)

"Selling the Dream"

Selling the American Dream: Investigations, Inc.


Good point.

I sometimes remember the stats:"90% of futures trader lose money to 10% of others". Well, most of us thought that we could be the 10%. I wish people could tell me the cold stats in another way, the futures market is like the ultimate fighter battlefield, or like gladiator fighting. By listening to this, I might still end up in the field eventually, but with more cautious mind and I might be much better prepared.

This is a field filled with big gorillas and big sharks, and they are fighting each others. I have to remind myself that I am a tiny tiny fish in the pond and have to watch out all the time. Dream is tough.

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 omaron 
Europe
 
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wrbtrader View Post
The rules stated which specific 90 minute sessions they were allowed to trade or did the rules state you can trade anytime but only for 90 minutes ?

If the former, that's a ridiculous competition because you may have to trade when you have no trade signals. Just the same, you may have trade signals that you are not allowed to trade because it's outside some designated 90 minute trading session. Hopefully they were allowed to choose their 90 minute trading session.

They were allowed to trade 2 selected instruments for 90 minutes. In the final the rules were loosen and finalists allowed to trade any number and any instrument, for the same time. It was the US morning session, from the open if i remember well.

Although i agree with you, many of the vendors, in their websites, make statements like "we are usually done trading in the first couple hours of the market open", but their results for that time were pretty bad... And my personal impression was that many times they looked like guessing and gambling. They were good at telling you the story of the market in hindsight, but in foresight some looked pretty lost...

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 BTTFT Michael 
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These are all some really great insights.

Regrettably, we've noticed two patterns that we tell people are excellent "tells" about an educator.

First, as exemplified by your negative losing streak data set, does the educator prepare the student for the inevitable losing streak in some way shape or form? We direct new traders back to the book, "The Trading Game" by Ryan Jones and then to his money management strategies for losing (using a moving average on the equity curve for example, or leveraging the statistics of the model to set a "live/sim" threshold before you arrive there. Most of the educators we've come across start out well balanced, I believe, but then come around to the reality that the marketplace is really clogged, and posting results ie 'selling the dream' is the easier faster way to sales.

Second, we've noticed that most educators don't stress two pretty important pre-cursors to successful trading. Number one, that it's an intensely personal journey...that no two people are going to walk away with the same strategy or methodology. I know one trader for example that trades crude with a 50 sma. Nothing else. He is independently wealthy. No one else I know could trade his system. A great educator is one that introduces you to these basic concepts we all talk about on this forum, and eases you into the reality that you will "see" them organize themselves in a very personal way.

That "seeing" though, takes a very important component...number 2, "time". I don't know many traders that are successful until well into their 5th,6th, or 7th year of study. Being honest with someone as an educator and "throttling them down" into reality while being the best thing to do, sometimes does so at the cost of a lost student and paycheck. I find it very enabling though when someone's up front and makes me count the cost in advance. It would have saved me thousands of dollars, as well as made them thousands of dollars as an educator.

I wonder what other people think about this?

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