On a broad sense most commonly used algorithmic strategies are Momentum strategies, as the names indicate the algorithm start execution based on a given spike or given moment. The algorithm basically detects the moment (e.g spike) and executed by and sell order as to how it has been programmed.

One another popular strategy is Mean-Reversion algorithmic strategy. This algorithm assumes that prices usually deviate back to its average.

A more sophisticated type of algo trading is a market-making strategy, these algorithms are known as liquidity providers. Market Making strategies aim to supply buy and sell orders in order to fill the order book and make a certain instrument in a market more liquid. Market Making strategies are designed to capture the spread between buying and selling price and ultimately decrease the spread.

Another advanced and complex algorithmic strategy is Arbitrage algorithms. These algorithms are designed to detect mispricing and spread inefficiencies among different markets. Basically, Arbitrage algorithms find the different prices among two different markets and buy or sell orders to take advantage of the price difference.

Among big investment banks and hedge funds trading with high frequency is also a popular practice. A great deal of all trades executed globally is done with high-frequency trading. The main aim of high-frequency trading is to perform trades based on market behaviors as fast and as scalable as possible. Though, high-frequency trading requires solid and somewhat expensive infrastructure. Firms that would like to perform trading with high frequency need to collocate their servers that run the algorithm near the market they are executing to minimize the latency as much as possible.

Adaptive Shortfall

Adaptive Implementation Shortfall algorithm designed for reduction of market impact during executing large orders. It allows keeping trading plans with automatic reactions to price liquidity.

Basket Trading

Basket Orders is a strategy designed to automated parallel trading of many assets, balancing their share in the portfolio’s value.

Bollinger Band

Bollinger bands strategy is a trading algorithm that computes three bands – lower, middle and upper. When the middle band crosses one of the other from the proper side then some order is made.

CCI (more…)


Why Traders Naturally Cannot Follow Their Trading Plan

  • The brain automatically engages “distinct mechanisms” to handle these two scenarios differently: (i) risky situation where the probabilities are known, and (ii) ambiguous situation with incomplete information where historical probabilities provide only a clue. For the latter, there will be a “uncertainty circuit” that will raise a red flag to say “more information needed”.
  • This results in traders trying to do exactly what they planned while their brain fights them to find more information or to scramble in the face of a clear, but maybe only subconsciously perceived, threat.
  • Just because you decided on taking a long or short trading position, your “brain on uncertainty” doesn’t change how it goes about making judgment calls in uncertain circumstances. The basic process steps through the context-belief-perception cycle because it can’t help it.
  • Uncertainty means — at least to part of your neural and white matter networks — that a black bear, ready to eat all your apples (and you with them) could be just around the corner. The more uncertainty, the more you can realize how much you are relying on contextual clues in order to make sense of the situation.

Morgan Stanley fires four FX traders after concealing $100-$140m loss

Traders may have mismarked emerging markets trades

Morgan Stanley has fired or placed on leave four FX traders suspected of mismarking trades linked to emerging market currencies, Bloomberg reports.
The New York and London-based traders are part of a probe into mismarked trades that concealed a loss of $100-$140 million and is related to options trades.

There are only 3 types of traders.

There are only three types of traders, they are defined by how well they execute their trading plan (rules applied to strategy).

A trader that performs worst than their trading plan.  These traders often have a weak understanding and belief in their trading plan.  How they feel is more or as important as making money.  They fail to see past the current trade.

A trader that performs the same as their trading plan.  These traders have a strong understanding and belief in their trading plan.  They get a majority of their satisfaction from making money.  They can see past the current trading day.

Those that perform better than their trading plan.  These traders have spent time in the previous two groups so they not only understand and believe their trading plan, they have 100’s or thousands of experiences that “prove” it to them.  The only satisfaction is following their plan and knowing that the money will follow. They can see past the current trading year.  They find areas and times to be aggressive and times to hold back.

The purpose of trading is to at least perform as well as your trading plan.  Any trader will tell you that he has spent time in all three and is always susceptible to be in any of the categories.  Each category is filled with important lessons, the lesson is often that I do not want to end up back there.

Those that under perform their trading plan are usually not honest with themselves about their level of belief in said trading plan.

10 Trading Wisdom points

(1) Any strategy you build will be determined by your beliefs about the market and the objectives you’re trying to achieve. Therefore, your beliefs and objectives are the starting point of the system design and build process and it’s from these you will determine your Key Idea.

(2) Therefore, your Key Idea is your working hypothesis or your explanation of what the foundations of your system are and how it will work.

(3) One of the most famous Key Idea’s was declared by the Turtle Traders, specifically Richard Dennis. Being trend traders they acknowledged that every trend, without fail, was preceded by a breakout.

(4) From that start point they used a standard channel breakout to enter and they also had what they called a ‘fail safe’ breakout entry which absolutely guaranteed they’d capture every new trend.

(5) The Key Idea of Warren Buffett is that you should buy a great company at a cheap price. From this Key Idea he built specific rules and guidelines about how to actually go about doing that.

(6) The Beliefs of many of the worlds great traders can be found in various texts, such as the Market Wizards series by Jack Schwager. Examples: – Markets only trends 30% of the time – The big money is made in the big trends – Buying value is a safe strategy – Stops get hunted

(7) Your objectives are also very important in the design process. In many instances I often hear, “I want to make as much money as possible”. Well, we all do, but that’s a very one dimensional view of the world and of the process of designing a trading system.

(8) Indeed, there is much research to suggest extremely successful traders view profits as a by-product and not the main goal. Many successful traders are passionate about the markets and it’s that passion, not the want of profits, that enable them to succeed.

(9) Taking a more holistic view, objectives encompass many other dimensions, such as your personal risk tolerance and your lifestyle factors. If you’re a family man & has system that requires you to sit in front of a screen for 15-hours a day, it’s probably not a realistic goal.

(10) So your objectives must be broader than just profitability. They must be aligned with your Beliefs. They must be aligned with realistic expectations and they must be aligned with your lifestyle.

10 Things Traders Must Quantify

  1. What exactly is your entry signal going to be? What technical indicators will trigger you to enter a trade?
  2. What will the perceived edge for your entries be based on? Will you quantify your entries edge with back testing of through trading principles?
  3. Will you wait for an initial move in the direction of your trade entry or will you enter based on a technical indicator trigger?
  4. How will you trade in different market environments and trends? Will you have better odds of success buying dips in bull markets and shorting strength in down trends?
  5. What is the risk/reward ratio for the trade you want to take? How much are you willing to risk if the trade is a loser? How much could you make if you are right? Is it worth it?
  6. What are the probabilities that this entry will be a winning trade based on past historical price data and charts? With the winning percentage in mind how big do the winners have to be and how small do you have to keep the losers for the trading system to be profitable?
  7. Where should your stop loss be? At what price level will your entry be wrong and signal you to exit the trade with a loss?
  8. How big of a position size should you take based on your stop level and total capital you are willing to risk on this one trade?
  9. Is your position size small enough to enable you to hold the trade without emotions effecting your ability to follow your trading plan?
  10. When you open this trade in addition to your other positions, how much of your total trading capital is now exposed to loss if all trades went against you at the same time?

Teach Yourself to Be Great

Can you teach yourself to trade? Do you realize how important learning on your own is if you really want to be a successful trader? Everything about Kevin Bruce’s trading is self-taught. He started in the basement of the University of Georgia library: The school had old editions of the Wall Street Journal on microfilm. In the basement dungeon, he would compile his own record of the open, high, low, and closing prices for all markets. At the time, Bruce was actually working at a gas station at night, and between cleaning bugs off windshields and pumping gas, he had time to think and research–which is where he would analyze that price data. Bruce had a Texas Instruments handheld calculator that helped him sort through price data collected from the library. He figured out how to mathematically define a trend (in order to profit from its movement). It was a basic trend trading system. It was the same system he had used for the trading game in school with slight tweaks. Ultimately, it was the same one he would use with real money in the decades to follow.

5 Frustrations of Traders & Solutions

Top Trader Frustrations

  1. I cannot trade my plan!
    • You need to develop the skill to execute your trading plan under duress.
    • Use visualization exercise to see yourself successfully executing your trading plan during the day. The greater level of detail a trader uses in their visualization exercise the greater its effectiveness.
  2. I cut my winning trades too early!
    • Have profit targets
    • Take partial profits
    • Measure each day the missed profits that you could have obtained if you didn’t miss a setup, or if you didn’t cut your winning trades too early.
  3. I am not consistent with my trading
    • Establish a playbook with setups that work for you, and setups that don’t work for you.
    • Define the risk that you should take in setups based on whether they are A+, B, C setups (based on risk/reward and % win rate).
    • Track the amount of risk that you are taking on similar trades, so that the results can be properly analyzed. Risk 30% of your intraday stop loss on a A+ setup, 20% on a B setup, 10% on a C setup, 5% on a Feeler trade.
    • Do a trade review
      • Did I trade the best stocks today?
      • Did I recognize the market structure?
      • Did I push myself outside the comfort zone?
      • Things I did well
      • Things I could improve (more…)

7 Reasons Why Traders Lose Money ?

  1. Blaming outside forces for poor trading results is an incredibly destructive behavior. High frequency traders, market makers, and irrational markets, give an undisciplined trader license to make reckless trades. The less responsibility taken for results, the more destructive they can be with an account.
  2. Trading with no plan and making decisions based on feelings, is a really bad idea. Letting opinions and predictions be a guide to entries, and emotions be a guide to exits, guarantees maximum destruction of trading capital.
  3. Trade first and learn how to trade later. Traders who don’t spend time educating themselves before trading will learn the hard way, and give their trading capital to other traders as tuition.
  4. Focusing on ego and the desire to be right, instead of profitability and big losses, will quickly destroy a trader’s account.
  5. Traders that fight the trend and disagree with the actual price action will give their trading capital to those that follow the trend.
  6. Trade without discipline and risk management and a trader will be destroyed regardless of their trading system or method.
  7. If a trader doesn’t diversify their life with strong relationships, fun, peace, and health, their trading results become too entangled with their self worth. This can lead to mental and emotional ruin.

20 One Liners From :The Little Book of Market Wizards by Jack Schwager

  1. They have the resilience to come back from early losses and account blow ups.The_Little_Book_of_Market_Wizards_large
  2. They focus on what really matters in trading success.
  3. They have developed a trading method that fits their own personality.
  4. They trade with an edge.
  5. The harder they work at trading the luckier they get.
  6. They do the homework to develop a methodology through researching ideas.
  7. The principles they use in their trading models are simple.
  8. They have mental and emotional control is key while winning or losing.
  9. They manage the risk to avoid failure and pain.
  10. They have the discipline to follow their trading plan. (more…)
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