Not at all. Good observations. I would venture to say it's pretty much what the basic course pt1 and 2 covers:
( Like what is a stoch. What's a macd? what's divergence? Write a journal. (a page to photocopy) Record results. Look for conjunction of the "five energies". (basic indicators, a mov avg cross, and a 5 or 3:1 extra chart) And practice practice. )
I still have the course printed(used up my color ink cartridges then) out in some binder filling up space somewhere.
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IMO pretty much all a beginner can take away from a discussion of this sort is that different folks use different systems, and that at some point it's up to the beginner to bite the bullet and start using one and preferably several of them in order to truly grasp whereof the others speak. The value of evaluating a number of systems for one's self lies in different perspectives provided by different approaches to a common goal. IMO there are 2 seemingly contradictory sides to the issue--on the one hand it's not possible to determine whether a system is right for you based solely on other peoples' experience or advice; whereas I also believe one system is as good as another if you're willing & able to become a disciple.
[As a sidebar I should probably point out the propensity not to accept opinion no matter what the authority until one has proven it for one's self is not a universal character trait and not necessarily a good thing even if good can come from it. In fact this trait often has a downside of which I became aware while still a toddler. By ignoring repeated commands for example not to touch the hot stove, play with knives or climb onto the roof of the house I came to learn there might be no harm in accepting one's parents' advice at face value occasionally, particularly if they are screaming].
I studied a number of systems including most described on this site more or less systematically before stumbling across BB, and stuck with BB simply because it seemed to fit me and my target market (shortish time frame spot currency) best, the possibility aside that while its cost was immaterial to me it may be a factor for some. This doesn't mean I ignore components of Fat Tails, Al Brooks, Perry and other systems (e.g. particularly when trying to estimate market sentiment or pick a precise entry) because IMO the latter made a science out of these aspects of trading. Unfortunately I'm not capable of the kind of focus required e.g. to evaluate price action tick by tick for any length of time--makes me want to tear my hair out--but don't deny that others are, and thereby make an excellent living trading relatively large dollar amounts per tick for a few points at a time. There are caveats, exceptions to the rules and some degree of hand-waving in all of the systems I've tested--none of them do the trading for us--but IMO this is simply indicative of what the trader needs to bring to the table; namely, an ability gained from experience to resolve apparent ambiguity inherent in the chosen method.
To summarize, what seems obvious to me is the market is the only given. It therefore also seems obvious a system that demonstrates positive expectancy for one trader must have elements in common with another system that performs as well for another trader. In other words, the debate over which system is superior reminds me of the debate between the blind men over the characteristics of the same elephant, in that all systems attempt to make sense of the same thing yet from somewhat different perspectives. For example, it seems to me qualitatively that Al Brooks microtrend breakouts, H/L 1&2 refer to approximately the same phenomena as BB's mini divergences in stochastics. In general it's not the difference in detail that matters as much as whether the approach strikes the proper chord in the brain of the trader, promotes objectivity within a trader's field of perception.
ETA: I want to add as an addendum that for me the process of learning a system, perhaps becoming a "disciple", has been iterative rather than a one-step process. While trading a system causes changes in the brain that reinforce original learning and improve execution I also forget things and pick up or resume bad habits that degrade performance, and a periodic review of all the systems I have some knowledge of helps determine whether I'm backsliding, often explains why profits are beginning to degrade. In addition, when reviewing the material I pick up nuances that I missed the first time through that contribute to the system's edge, and seem to come away with a deeper appreciation of what I thought I already knew. While in the early days I dismissed MACD and stochastics as beginner tools, too simple for Serious Traders, these days I'm almost in awe of them. This is as true of BB as Al Brooks' system, IIRC Brooks himself making a claim something to the effect that the amount of information in a 5 minute chart is far vaster than he can use. I'm guessing the treasure trove of info may not have been apparent to him the first time he looked at a chart
Last edited by bnichols; May 26th, 2012 at 05:01 PM.
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I bought the TDT method from Barry Burns at the recommendation of a friend. She had met Barry and felt that his methodology reflected his study of several other gurus. And, that Barry had the ability to analyze the methods of others to create an effective and eazy to understand method of his own. While his method did not work for me at the time, I do not think his method was at fault. I believe the fault was my own. I would rate him high on openness, honesty and desire to help others. Doesn't just about any method give us the edge we need if we can just implement it? I believe his does. But, so far I have moved on evaluating other methods. Frankly, (confession follows), I find an edge that seems to work, start back testing it and before I can finish my testing I find other ideas. Does anyone else suffer from the ability to focus?
Walt from Houston
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I would have to say the method is at fault. It isn't a consistent enough system. There are better methods shared here on futures.io (formerly BMT). Viewing some of Barry's live webinars he was just "scratching" trades or breaking his own system's rules. And he didn't do too many live videos. Most of the time it was scrolling from the left side of the chart while commenting. TDT material is fun to read and may be useful for an absolute beginner. But you can get better intro material free by just reading the information here at futures.io (formerly BMT). Some intro threads in the beginner's area recommended: "take the inexpensive route" (great trading psychology posts) , "introductory trading videos" and the futures.io (formerly BMT) youtube videos.
Last edited by Cloudy; February 15th, 2013 at 09:09 PM.
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I first started trading futures with Barry Burns method, and after about 1.5 years of Sim trading was unable to turn a profit. I guess the reason I continued on was I liked the way he taught, and believed that I was at fault in trading the system. Also I am in college and am able to trade most mornings.
What I found was using the Stochastic his way(waiting for the bar to close and entering a tick above) often got you into the trade much too late to make any profit. The systems stops (swing low) were constantly hit as they are quite close to the entry. And if you always wait for the mini-divergence pattern you often miss many good trades. Unfortunately, I bought almost all his course's expect Fibonacci's. Luckily for me I never paid for the live training.
The only value I found in all his stuff, was the basic understanding of Stochastics, MACD, basic price patterns and some money management techniques, most of which can be learned for free.
I write this for others who may be going through the course's wondering if it's there understanding of the system or the system itself. For me it was the system. I am not sure if Barry trades and makes money with this system, or if he use's it in a more discretionary way from what he teaches. I have found more value in 2 months in futures.io (formerly BMT) than all my time with Top Dog method. I would recommend listening to FT71 or Dionysus Toast for some guidance, and then try to come up with your own style of trading. It is hard to learn the holy grail of trading is you.
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I have taken nearly all of Barry Burns courses including the latest advance course ($1,000). I have all of his indicators and still use them on my charts. Here is my take:
1. I have logged hundreds of trades using the Top Dog method. I have analyzed each setup and graded the setup and my money management of the trade. In short, over 80% of good setups and good money money management make money.
2. With the addition of the "Advanced" setups and indicators, the trading system is complicated and takes a significant amount of time to master.
3. Barry relies almost exclusively on his indicators and as a result many good trades would not be considered. Over the past several weeks I have started to apply "Price Action" techniques to my trading and have seen even better results. In fact, I would state that price action now takes precedence over the indicators.
4. I did subscribe to the news letter, but canceled because there was nothing new coming out of the videos.
5. He does response to questions but it make take 2-4 days in order to get a response.
Overall, I would recommend Barry and his Top Dog method. It is a solid system but it requires machine like discipline and total and complete concentration.
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