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

  #71 (permalink)
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Monpere,

Your pimp hand is very strong! Nice. Sounds like you are able to do what you do because of the micro nature of your trading. You simply don't have time to do trade management.

What a great solution with a super r:r.

Thanks for the reply!

Have a smooth one.

R247

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  #72 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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monpere View Post
...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.

Gee! you are missing all the fun

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  #73 (permalink)
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I empathize with the OP. Not because I am a losing trader ( I am only trading very very small size at the mo, and I am relatively pleased with the results at this early stage), but because I still feel as if I need validation that the profitable traders are not just the outliers.

As an analogy; get a room of 1000 people and get them to flip a coin ten times in a row, 1 or 2 of them will probably get the same thing 10 times in a row. If you were filming every person, you could take the video of the people who got them all in a row and use it to try and prove they had some type of coin flipping power/skill.

The thing is though, if they kept flipping away, their anomalous run would evaporate at some stage, it is just a question of when.

what the question "are there profitable traders" is underscoring is really "Is it possible to get an edge trading, or is the market random over the long haul".

While I am not convinced that i know the answer, I am 90% sure that an edge can be won, but it has to be figured out and related to specific markets, and specific conditions through experience and hard work. Just following principles that you read in a book or learn at a course will not work if you do not truly understand WHY they are principles in the first place.

I decided to get into trading because my thought process was "It is just a case of knowledge. Most people don't make the effort because it is too much to learn, and most people just follow along with the 9 - 5 daily job path they have had laid out for them via legacy".

I assumed that with hard work and learning getting to understand how economics works, how money flows,... basically how the whole finance system works, it would then just being a case of putting that knowledge into practice to invest. However as I progressed I saw that the world of daytrading which I was attracted to was mired in what I consider to be worthless technical analysis techniques (not saying all are invalid ), and people chasing their tails because they do not understand randomness and probability.

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  #74 (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.

I have done something similar w/ Forex. However, I have never been able to scale it to a point of profitability to provide for myself. I am happy you are able to do it, and something to strive for.

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  #75 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
I have done something similar w/ Forex. However, I have never been able to scale it to a point of profitability to provide for myself. I am happy you are able to do it, and something to strive for.

I've never traded Forex, but I'm not sure this strategy would work very well there because if you are going for 6 ticks target, you can't give 2 or 3 ticks of that to your broker as a spread, and you cannot afford any slippage on your entries.

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  #76 (permalink)
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Twiddle View Post
I empathize with the OP. Not because I am a losing trader ( I am only trading very very small size at the mo, and I am relatively pleased with the results at this early stage), but because I still feel as if I need validation that the profitable traders are not just the outliers.

Profitable traders are the outliers. (As I've said earlier on this thread, that's even true for pit traders). So are successful restauraunters, NBA stars (and college stars) etc. That doesn't mean we are the trillionth monkey hammering at a keyboard, the one that types a work of Shakespeare, it just means that success is relatively rare in any competitive endeavor.

The OP was basically asking the question, is it really possible to make money trading? Are price movements subject to analysis in a way that makes it possible to make money from them? If the answer to that question is no, then companies like Getco and Renaissance should not be profitable. They don't have information that is not available to all, they are just better at processing the information they do have. I know a couple of the founding investors at Getco, and it was started with less than $2 million in initial capital. Getco is massively and consistently profitable and I do not believe that all of the algorithms they employ are predatory. For years I have detected what I would call "testing" algorithms in the Treasury complex that briefly step out on one part of the complex and then detect what influence that change in price has on the other parts of the complex. For example, ZN goes bid. If the change causes a substantial change in something else, such as ZF or ZB or cash, going bid too or other buyers rushing into ZN as well, i.e. the price change "sticks", ZN stays bid. Otherwise it goes sellers immediately as the algo attempts to scratch. I suspect that if it can't scratch it sells something else (makes a pairs trade) in a pair will be easy to scratch.

The distinction between professionals and amateurs in the electronic marketplace is a false one. These days, the pros can make money with information that is available to us all. That means it's possible for us to do it too.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..."
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  #77 (permalink)
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jstnbrg View Post
Profitable traders are the outliers. (As I've said earlier on this thread, that's even true for pit traders). So are successful restauraunters, NBA stars (and college stars) etc. That doesn't mean we are the trillionth monkey hammering at a keyboard, the one that types a work of Shakespeare, it just means that success is relatively rare in any competitive endeavor.

The OP was basically asking the question, is it really possible to make money trading? Are price movements subject to analysis in a way that makes it possible to make money from them? If the answer to that question is no, then companies like Getco and Renaissance should not be profitable. They don't have information that is not available to all, they are just better at processing the information they do have. I know a couple of the founding investors at Getco, and it was started with less than $2 million in initial capital. Getco is massively and consistently profitable and I do not believe that all of the algorithms they employ are predatory. For years I have detected what I would call "testing" algorithms in the Treasury complex that briefly step out on one part of the complex and then detect what influence that change in price has on the other parts of the complex. For example, ZN goes bid. If the change causes a substantial change in something else, such as ZF or ZB or cash, going bid too or other buyers rushing into ZN as well, i.e. the price change "sticks", ZN stays bid. Otherwise it goes sellers immediately as the algo attempts to scratch. I suspect that if it can't scratch it sells something else (makes a pairs trade) in a pair will be easy to scratch.

The distinction between professionals and amateurs in the electronic marketplace is a false one. These days, the pros can make money with information that is available to us all. That means it's possible for us to do it too.

Whheewww!... That went straight over my head!

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  #78 (permalink)
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jstnbrg View Post

For years I have detected what I would call "testing" algorithms in the Treasury complex that briefly step out on one part of the complex and then detect what influence that change in price has on the other parts of the complex. For example, ZN goes bid. If the change causes a substantial change in something else, such as ZF or ZB or cash, going bid too or other buyers rushing into ZN as well, i.e. the price change "sticks", ZN stays bid. Otherwise it goes sellers immediately as the algo attempts to scratch. I suspect that if it can't scratch it sells something else (makes a pairs trade) in a pair will be easy to scratch.

Human traders also do that also. Looking at the ZN while trading the ZB to see price action.

Also I wonder how much is algo and how much is auto spreaders trading the curve.

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  #79 (permalink)
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monpere View Post
Whheewww!... That went straight over my head!

The whole thing, or just part?

About the pit traders: High fixed costs ($3,000/month and up), long learning curve, brutal competition.

Check out this link about the monkeys: Infinite monkey theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Getco and Renaissance are big algo firms. Getco was started by CME floor traders and brokers who recognized that screen trading would change the business. It's now one of the largest traders in the world in all electronically traded markets. Renaissance was started a long time ago (60's? 70's?) by a mathematician with a background in cryptography and signal processing and is, according to "The Quants", the most consistently profitable hedge fund in the world.

The narrative about the price action in the Treasury complex is a partial description about how I think the dominant price discovery algo works. The idea of price changes being "tests" is common in trading. Imagine a contract making a new high on the day. Does it trigger a wave of further buying, or does selling come in to meet it? That's a simple example of a test.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..."
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  #80 (permalink)
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traderwerks View Post
Human traders also do that also. Looking at the ZN while trading the ZB to see price action.

Also I wonder how much is algo and how much is auto spreaders trading the curve.

I used to work with about 40 of those human traders. Most of them are out of business, including a guy who made $3 million his second year trading. And it was talent, not luck and overtrading. The guy was a freak of nature.

I look at ZB, ZN, and ZF all at the same time. Auto spreaders (auto leggers) can't get you a good fill IMO. I used to do this for a living using autospreaders, but in 2004 I started getting legged up about half the time (hung on one leg of the spread) and it wiped out my profitability. The algo I'm talking about steps out on the leg that is hard to get (eg if everyone is short the NOB, you either have to step out buying ZN or step out selling ZB). You might sometimes have a chance if you have the absolute fastest combination of hardware and colocation, but I think usually you'll get screwed.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..."
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