Day Trading Lessons..

analogyTo use a life insurance analogy, most people who become involved in the stock market don’t know the difference between a 20 year old and an 80 year old. Investing in the market without knowing what stage it is in is like selling life insurance to 20 year olds and 80 year olds at the same premium.

NEWS-You can’t listen to the news. You have to go with the facts. You need to use a logical approach and have the discipline to apply it. You must be able to control your emotions.

Victor Sperandeo -Quotes

The key to investment success is emotional discipline. Making money has nothing to do with intelligence. To be a successful investor, you have to be able to admit mistakes. I trained a guy to trade who had a 188 IQ. He was on “Jeopardy” once and answered every question correctly. That same person never made a dime in trading during 5 years!
-Victor Sperandeo

Most people lose money because of lack of emotional discipline
-the ability to keep their emotions removed from investment decisions. Dieting provides an apt analogy. Most people have the necessary knowledge to lose weight—that is they know that in order to lose weight you have to exercise and cut your intake of fats. However, despite this widespread knowledge, the vast majority of people who attempt to lose weight are unsuccessful. Why? Because they lack the emotional discipline.
-Victor Sperandeo

In my opinion, the greatest misconception about the market is the idea that if you buy and hold stocks for long periods of time, you’ll always make money. Let me give you some specific examples. Anyone who bought the stock market at any time between the 1896 low and the 1932 low would have lost money. In other words, there’s a 36 year period in which a buy-and-hold strategy would have lost money. As a more modern example, anyone who bought the market at any time between the 1962 low and the 1974 low would have lost money.
-Victor Sperandeo
-Victor Sperandeo
Once a price move exceeds its median historical age, any method you use to analyze the market, whether it be fundamental or technical, is likely to be far more accurate. For example, if a chartist interprets a particular pattern as a top formation, but the market is only up 10% from the last low, the odds are high that the projection will be incorrect. However, if the market is up 25% to 30%, then the same type of formation should be given a great deal more weight.
-Victor Sperandeo
To use a life insurance analogy, most people who become involved in the stock market don’t know the difference between a 20 year old and an 80 year old. Investing in the market without knowing what stage it is in is like selling life insurance to 20 year olds and 80 year olds at the same premium.

Trading Opportunities Through Analyzing Baseball

If you got Pennington to find any valuable info when you asked him to develop quantitative analogies between forest life cycles and those of corporations to find some profitable trades you could certainly do the same in finding some numerical formula that could identify trade opportunities by analyzing baseball.

Each team– a stock, the aggregate teams– the market, each player– a corporate division, each salary– an investment made in the division and the company, each relevant performance statistic– a relevant performance statistic. Identify the right decision mix that makes teams perform better over time and improve over time and analyze similarities in companies doing the same.

The greatest liability is  also the greatest asset– human decision and performance permeate the game of baseball from start to finish and one could question whether it’s possible to find a truly consistent system as a result. I would argue that this complexity makes it a perfect analogy to market/company performance. It moves based on imbedded and sometimes unexplainable intellect and experience of its participants. The chaotic human decision making process is pervasive in both.

Skill versus Hard work

stock-traderIs trading success dependent on innate skills? Or is hard work suffi-cient? There is no question in my mind that many of the supertraders have a special talent for trading. Marathon running provides an appro-priate analogy. Virtually anyone can run a marathon, given sufficient commitment and hard work. Yet, regardless of the effort and desire, only a small fraction of the population will ever be able to run a 2:12 marathon. Similarly, anyone can learn to play a musical instrument. But again, regardless of work and dedication, only a handful of individuals possess the natural talent to become concert soloists. The general rule is that exceptional performance requires both natural talent and hard work to realize its potential. If the innate skill is lacking, hard work may pro-vide proficiency, but not excellence.
In my opinion, the same principles apply to trading. Virtually any-one can become a net profitable trader, but only a few have the inborn talent to become supertraders. For this reason, it may be possible to teach trading success, but only up to a point. Be realistic in your goals.

Driving is like Trading

Driving a motor car or motor bike is probably the best analogy I can think of for trading.

Start, Stop, traffic lights, dogs and cats on the road, cows, give way signs, t intersections, signs saying “kangaroos for next 50 kilometres ahead–and that is just in the first few 100 metres of leaving home– and then when you hit the express way, and consider yourself in the clear, there may be road works, or fog, and unsighted hazards ahead.

It’s very rare you can enter an express way…of start to finish, or finish a journey uninterrupted.

It is our jobs as traders to close down all risks as they appear, in whatever form, to cause minimal bumps and bruises to ourselves. Problematic situations will appear when you expect OR when you least expect them, and when you do get uninterrupted runs, you appreciate them, since it is what you have planned for, but see less often than one may hope for.

Be flexible, bend like the tree, always give way when on the road, and when you hear the sirens move top the left and beware of trouble ahead.

Trading Game is Simple It’s Just not easy

 I believe that good traders are able to trade the markets effortlessly – it’s simple to them. But getting to the point of doing anything effortlessly is not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. A good analogy would be describing an athletes ability to perform his or her skill. If we took two people – one being a person who runs two miles everyday versus a person who hasn’t ran for the past two months, who will have the easier time running one mile? The answer is simple of course. The person who runs everyday will be able to run one mile easily – it will be effortless to them. However, the person who hasn’t ran in two months will find it extremely hard to and likely have to take breaks in-between so that he or she can finish.

In order for trading to become simple, there are some crucial and necessary steps that need to be taken. There needs to be consistency in the traders approach to the markets. It’s unfortunate, but we are in a day and age where traders are obsessed with just “trading for the fun of it”, and they aren’t realizing that that’s what’s preventing them from being consistent and successful. Again, if we go back to our analogy, does a great athlete deter from their routine? No. In fact, they have routines that boil down to eating, and sleeping habits in order to keep themselves moving in the right direction. It’s really not a mystery, but for whatever reason most traders seem to fail that this approach is what’s needed if you want to be good.

There really is a direct correlation between traders who are good and traders who are not. There is a direct correlation between traders who are consistent and traders who ride the roller coaster. That difference is preparation. Preparation and repetition is what makes anyone great at what they do. But preparing is not easy. It takes focus, will, and a lot of discipline. In trading that translates to having a very specific trading plan, with specific rules and the discipline to do it every single day. And as you prepare yourself everyday in your approach to the markets, you’ll find that trading becomes simple. It becomes effortless.

So if you want to be a good trader, scratch that – if you want to become a great trader, step back and think about what it really takes, and prepare yourself. It won’t be easy, but sooner or later you’ll realize how simple it really is.

Stephen Covey: Small TRIBUTE

Stephen Covey passed away,Leaves his 7-HABITS ever for all of us

Haven’t read the book yet? Here’s a summary of what he believes are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

Habit 1 – be proactive®

This is the ability to control one’s environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. Self determination, choice, and the power to decide response to stimulus, conditions and circumstances

Habit 2 – begin with the end in mind®

Covey calls this the habit of personal leadership – leading oneself that is, towards what you consider your aims. By developing the habit of concentrating on relevant activities you will build a platform to avoid distractions and become more productive and successful.

Habit 3 – put first things first®

Covey calls this the habit of personal management. This is about organising and implementing activities in line with the aims established in habit 2. Covey says that habit 2 is the first, or mental creation; habit 3 is the second, or physical creation.

Habit 4 – think win-win®

Covey calls this the habit of interpersonal leadership, necessary because achievements are largely dependent on co-operative efforts with others. He says that win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone,and that success follows a co-operative approach more naturally than the confrontation of win-or-lose.

Habit 5 – seek first to understand and then to be understood®

One of the great maxims of the modern age. This is Covey’s habit of communication, and it’s extremely powerful. Covey helps to explain this in his simple analogy ‘diagnose before you prescribe’. Simple and effective, and essential for developing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of life.

Habit 6 – synergize®

Covey says this is the habit of creative co-operation – the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which implicitly lays down the challenge to see the good and potential in the other person’s contribution.

Habit 7 – sharpen the saw®

This is the habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits,enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow. Covey interprets the self into four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical and the social/emotional, which all need feeding and developing.

Greece Prepares To Sue Wall Street

The only benefit of hitting rock bottom is you can’t really fall further. Which is precisely what has happened with Greece. The little country that started off the chain reaction that has already led to a currency and liquidity crisis, and made the solvency crisis in Europe all too tangible, by belonging to a monetary union it had no place in (a union which no reason to exist in the first place), is once again reminding the world of its existence, this time by G-Pap opening his mouth and inserted two whole legs in it. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to be aired today, G-Pap has threatened he may sue US banks for “contributing” to his country’s debt crisis. For those of you lacking in analogy skills, Greece is in the same shoes as a bankrupt debtor who wants to sue his creditors for daring to hike up his interest rate when the only means he has to roll his debt is by using another credit card (this one issued by US and European Taxpayers), even as bankruptcy is literally hours away. The Greek summation: that of a petulant 5 year old who has just broken dad’s favorite gadget: “We have made our mistakes,” Papandreou said. “We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance. We’ll show you.” Now that would be amusing – after Greece destroyed its economy the first go round, we can’t wait to see what the country does for an encore. The only reason Greece is not bankrupt now is because even as its past mistakes have caught up with it and climaxed in a solvency and liquidity crisis unseen since the Lehman days, the country’s end would bring down all of Europe. If Greece would not have impaired French, German and UK banks, the country would have long been allowed to default. Yet diversion is always a good tactic: let’s bring the “speculators” into this yet again. After all it is unheard of in these turbulent Keynesian times for anyone, especially our own Fed Chairman, to own up to their endless mistakes. It is always, without exception, someone else’s fault.

More from Bloomberg:


Papandreou said the decision on whether to go after U.S. banks will be made after a Greek parliamentary investigation into the cause of the crisis.In the CNN interview, Papandreou said many in the international community have engaged in “Greek bashing” and find it easy “to scapegoat Greece.” He said Greeks “are a hard-working people. We are a proud people.”

“Greece will look into the past and see how things went,” Papandreou said. “There are similar investigations going on in other countries and in the United States. This is where I think, yes, the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of transparency. So yes, yes, there is great responsibility here.” (more…)

Great Reply from Warren Buffett

This week is the annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, the gigantic conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett.

 Buffett has a way of explaining complicated finance topics so that they’re fun and understandable.

Carleton English of Belus Capital Advisors points us to this gem of a quote from 2008 where he takes a jab at private equity.

Someone had asked the Oracle of Omaha why people sell their companies to him instead of private equity firms.  This is the type of question that you might hear later this week.  Here’s Buffett’s response:

“You can sell it to Berkshire, and we’ll put it in the Metropolitan Museum; it’ll have a wing all by itself; it’ll be there forever. Or you can sell it to some porn shop operator, and he’ll take the painting and he’ll make the boobs a little bigger and he’ll stick it up in the window, and some other guy will come along in a raincoat, and he’ll buy it.” (more…)

The harder I try, the more money I lose. What’s going on?


A:  This is a fairly common phenomenon which is why we have to learn how to adapt to market conditions and be patient with our strategies. Just because you “try harder” doesn’t mean that your profits will expand equally in relation to your effort. While effort helps create and sustain an edge, at the end of the day you still need the market to cooperate with whatever you are doing.

The best analogy I can provide here is one that many golfers are familiar with. If you’ve ever golfed in high winds, you know that your score will often be higher. Some of this, obviously is due directly to the windy conditions (which you have no control over). However, studies show that the most significant reason why golfers perform poorly in windy conditions has less to do with the conditions but more about how they react to those conditions. For example, many golfers will tend to swing harder in high winds which causes them to lose both their swing tempo and balance and they make more mental mistakes because the wind distracts them. The same is true for traders whose strategies are not flowing with the market. Without realizing it, traders will modify their own approaches (often by trying harder by making trades that don’t fit their strategy) which tends to hurt performance more than it helps.

Bottom line – keep close tabs on yourself and how you’re “adjusting” to market conditions. Being aware of how the market environment is affecting you and your changes to it is an important skill every trader must possess.

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