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Ten-thousand in Education and still not profitable!
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Ten-thousand in Education and still not profitable!

  #61 (permalink)
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There may be periods when the market is totally random and chaotic, and there may times when the market is strongly efficient, but the majority of the time the market is inefficient, and these inefficiencies can provide the trader who understands them, a comparative advantage. Technical analysis considers what market has done in the past and what market participants are actually doing now. Quantitative techniques rely on equilibrium and mean reversion models. The diversity in analytic techniques, time frames, motivation, and perception of data, insures that there will be a non-linear effect on price changes, but does not mean they not deterministic. Traders must periodically re-evaluate strategies and alter the ways they trade, because the drivers of price change are constantly evolving.

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  #62 (permalink)
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I posted my November and December P/L in my journal, even showing a statement from my broker with my year-end P/L, showing a profit for the year.

So there you go.

Now what are *YOU* going to do?

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  #63 (permalink)
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The problem is that all the courses that you have taken so far are probably discretionary methods. The subjectivity of any 'discretionary' method by design will cause that method to be a failure for half the people who try it. Vendors themselves will call their method discretionary to shift the success/failure of the method to the extent and manner in which the user applies his or her discretion in using that method. That way, the method itself is never held accountable. If the person is profitable, then it is a 'successful' method; if the person is loses money using the method, then the person's 'discretion' in using the method is at fault. It is a win/win for the method creator/vendor.

I personally take any method deemed 'discretionary' with a grain of salt. Every method out there can be made 100% rule based, and leave nothing to discretion. There is, practically, only a finite number of market price action occurrences that will generally be encountered in the market. Include all these in the rules in your method, and any exceptions to those rules, and anything outside of this subset is not trade-able. You might end up with a method with 5 entry rules, and 10 exceptions to those rules, with exact money management. If the market behaviour does not fit within these 15 scenarios, you don't touch the mouse. Now, if a trader buys that system, and takes every trade that fits these rules, and he loses money, it is because that system's expectancy is crap, not because the user misused the method, or used bad discretion.

I trade a purely mechanical system, every trade on my chart has a 'name', that name identifies an exact picture of market behavior; unless the market gives and exact photocopy of that named picture, I don't trade. And, every trade I enter, has the exact same money management, exact fixed risk, and the exact same fixed target. If I give you my rule set, and you trade it, at the end of the day, I can lay my chart on top of yours with all our marked trades, and they should be exact duplicates. If I made money that day, then you made money.

Unless, a vendor markets you a purely mechanical system of this nature, then don't spend a dime on it, or if you buy it, don't expect him to stand behind your profitability, because your failure will be blamed directly on your 'discretionary' usage of that system.

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  #64 (permalink)
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That was a really good post. Especially about rule sets. I tend to do the same thing and have a set of mechanical-based entries with exceptions that are written down.

If I can't make sense of a setup with my exceptions in my mind in real time then I have to watch the trade go by without me.

One of my weaknesses is creating too many 'filters' for my setups or trade management as a way to 'tweak' or enhance potential profitability. This attempts to squeeze out more 'edge' than may really exist.

Found that if I spend less time in front of the monitor in split sessions with a faster time frame and the potential for more trades {with session stop and loss limits} that this fit with my psychology better and allowed me to stop overclocking my setups.

This resulted in lower risk initially and using tighter trade management.

I really really agree with this last poster that any method that even uses a 'touch' of discretion; well, then it slides into the individuals consciousness and then each trader (as we all know) will trade it differently in a myriad of ways--depending on expectations, psychology, experience and personal preferences.

Thank you for this excellent analysis!

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  #65 (permalink)
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monpere View Post
Unless, a vendor markets you a purely mechanical system of this nature, then don't spend a dime on it, or if you buy it, don't expect him to stand behind your profitability, because your failure will be blamed directly on your 'discretionary' usage of that system.

Good post. I would point out though that it's very unlikely that a vendor will sell you a purely mechanical system that makes money consistently. I hope the reasons are obvious.

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  #66 (permalink)
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Xeno View Post
Good post. I would point out though that it's very unlikely that a vendor will sell you a purely mechanical system that makes money consistently. I hope the reasons are obvious.

I have successfully traded a purely mechanical system for the past 4 years, it has been extremely consistent. That consistency may be because it is a 1:2 risk/reward scalping system, and I am risking 3 ticks to make 6, or risking 4 ticks to make 8, and no matter what time of year, or what the market condition, 6 to 8 ticks moves are abundant in the instruments I trade, and I generally get 15 to 20 setups a day.

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  #67 (permalink)
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I probably wasn't clear enough. I meant, no one will sell you one, not that they don't exist.

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  #68 (permalink)
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monpere View Post
The problem is that all the courses that you have taken so far are probably discretionary methods. The subjectivity of any 'discretionary' method by design will cause that method to be a failure for half the people who try it. Vendors themselves will call their method discretionary to shift the success/failure of the method to the extent and manner in which the user applies his or her discretion in using that method. That way, the method itself is never held accountable. ...

When a guru teaches a new trading system, he/she doesn't teach the mental syntax they use to successfully trade the system. Even with a none discretionary system you may need to look within for possible conflicts. For example, part of you values security and so you may get anxious before a trade. Part of you wants to protect you from failure, so you procrastinate when you get a signal. Part of you protects your self-esteem, so you don't take losses quickly until they're big. Part of you wants to be right and generates a bias that's in conflict with your signal. etc.

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  #69 (permalink)
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monpere View Post
I have successfully traded a purely mechanical system for the past 4 years, it has been extremely consistent. That consistency may be because it is a 1:2 risk/reward scalping system, and I am risking 3 ticks to make 6, or risking 4 ticks to make 8, and no matter what time of year, or what the market condition, 6 to 8 ticks moves are abundant in the instruments I trade, and I generally get 15 to 20 setups a day.

Hi Monpere,

That sounds very nice. I am not asking you for the market(s) you trade or the setups; but if you would be so kind to briefly reply if your r:r (risk/reward) is 1:2 does that mean that every win is 2 for your risk of 1?

I have always found (and maybe I am doing it wrong or not as efficient as some) that I MUST begin to use trade management when my trade gets at least 60% or more (approximately) to my target; in effect when I do my profit factor I never get the 2 shekels for every 1 shekel of risk.

For scalping I have never been aware of not getting alot of scratches and smaller wins and smaller losses along with my full initial full target wins and initial full stop losses.

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  #70 (permalink)
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researcher247 View Post
Hi Monpere,

That sounds very nice. I am not asking you for the market(s) you trade or the setups; but if you would be so kind to briefly reply if your r:r (risk/reward) is 1:2 does that mean that every win is 2 for your risk of 1?

I have always found (and maybe I am doing it wrong or not as efficient as some) that I MUST begin to use trade management when my trade gets at least 60% or more (approximately) to my target; in effect when I do my profit factor I never get the 2 shekels for every 1 shekel of risk.

For scalping I have never been aware of not getting alot of scratches and smaller wins and smaller losses along with my full initial full target wins and initial full stop losses.

I trade all in, all out, fixed risk, fixed target. Every trade will give me +6 ticks, -3 ticks, or break even. I don't do discretionary trade management. My only trade management is that my ATM takes care of my break even stop movement. My trades generally last an average of 90 seconds, so there is actually little time for trade management. I am a scalper, some would say micro scalper, because I cannot stay in a trade more then 3 minutes, or I get ants in my pants. Once I click the mouse and enter a trade, I walk away until I hear the trade has exited, because if I stay and watch it, I will want to mess with it.

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