I’ve heard from many traders that they often take decisions based on instincts. Actually, all non-quants use intuition in some form or another. If you are not using a program that takes all signals that your system produces, how do you decide between several equally good looking trading setups with similar risk to reward? Do you take them all or do you concentrate on only a few? The odds are that you are doing the latter and your ultimate choice for capital allocation is subconscious.
Even though we are defined by our decisions, we are often completely unaware of what’s happening inside our heads during the decision-making process.
Feelings are often an accurate shortcut, a concise expression of decades’ worth of experience.
The process of thinking requires feeling, for feelings are what let us understand all the information that we can’t directly comprehend. Reason without emotion is impotent. (more…)
It’s been said too many times to count – that you must trade according to your personality. In the movies they might call it “being true to yourself” or something cheesy, but it’s a necessity in this job.
Recently I was asked which chart patterns I prefer to trade, continuation chart patterns or reversal chart patterns. My answer was that while I will actually trade either, I suppose the continuation and breakout type of patterns are the ones I trade more often than reversals or buying on support levels.
I don’t think one setup is superior to the other, they both have their pros and cons, and you have to go with what fits your style best.
Buying on support is an anticipatory play, which may take a few extra days to get moving. It can give you a lower cost basis than another trading strategy, but will require greater patience on your part while you wait for the stock to find traction.
Buying a stock which is breaking out puts you (by definition) in a stock that’s already on the move. This is a confirmation play. You get instant feedback on how your trade is developing and how much momentum the stock has.
The setups you select for your trades need to incorporate your personality tendencies on managing those trades once you are in them. For me, I tend to be a bit impatient and I want to know as soon as possible whether or not I’m right or wrong on a trade. Other traders don’t live in the left lane, and they’re willing to give a stock some time to get moving one way or another. They place their protective stop and turn their attention to something else in the meantime while waiting for their trade to make a move. Personally, I prefer to have my money at risk for the shortest timeframe possible. I really prefer the times when the market conditions are producing breakout plays and continuation patterns like the bull flag or ascending triangle patterns.
So, when you’re doing your homework and looking for quality setups to trade, be sure to consider the ones which fit your personality and your style of trading. Those will be the trades which you ultimately will manage the best.
In fact, there’s probably no better time than the present to talk briefly about the pros and cons of being an “independent trader.”
As someone who has worked independently for most of my professional career, you can say I place a tremendous value on “doing my own thing.” As I’ve often said, at least for me it has been a combination of personal choice (what I want in both life and career) and also necessity (as I don’t play well with others). Indeed, there are some tremendous positives for trading independently. After all, I wouldn’t be doing this if there were not some significant advantages from doing so!
Here are a few things that first come to mind:
As an independent trader, I set my goals and I’m in charge of my own destiny. I don’t rely on any other person for how much money I make or how I make it. Other people’s opinions of me are irrelevant to my own destiny. At the end of the day, bottom line trading results (not office politics) are all that matters.
Most people in “normal jobs” don’t have the opportunity to set out on their own and do something they really want and love to do and also make plenty of money doing it.
I spend most of my time every day doing things I really like to do (trading, reading, researching, running screens & mentoring others). These are things I would do even if I were not paid to do them because it is what I like to do the most! Every day I plan my work on things I want to work on, not what others want me to work on. That level of professional autonomy is rare.
The sense of accomplishment when you achieve success in the markets independently is unparalleled. There’s nothing like finding and taking a good trade that produces lots of upside gain. This is especially true when that trade is unpopular and unforeseen by the herd.
Through my research I’ve been able to learn about many things, many industries, many countries, and many people. At this point, I can have a conversation with just about anyone no matter what they do for a living or where they live because I know something we can probably talk about based on what I’ve learned and know about others.
It is always interesting and I’m NEVER bored. It is so true there is no better drama on Earth than following and being a participant in the markets daily.
Trading independently offers level of personal freedom that isn’t present in most jobs. If I want a day off to play golf, help a friend, visit with family, I do it. I don’t have to ask anyone for permission! However, offering a paid members-only website places some severe limitations on that freedom!
So, now I’ve talked about the positives, what are the downsides to trading independently? (more…)
It seems like there has been a steady stream of information and opinion flowing on breaking rules. Originally I had planned to talk about the pros and cons of breaking rules. I realized that would be a disservice. The following is not negotiable.
Day trader vs professional trader.
Rules are what separate a day trader from a professional trader. The only good time to break a rule is never. Barriers are made to be broken not rules, you can have one or the other not both. If you break a rule, what power does anyone of the other rules have? Do you have a rule for breaking rules and what if you break those rules? It adds unnecessary levels of complication.
The most important rule.
Eventually I will back traders assuming there is not some horrible tax or regulation that makes it a stupid risk. A trader must create their own rules. They know themselves the best. The rule that cannot ever be broken is losing more than limit down. I will fire them that day. I do not even like to take clients who break that rule. They are destined to fail. (more…)
“Truth kills those that run from it “-Persian proverb
Traders must be able to face the truth.Great traders have learned these lessons early in their careers.Roy Longstreet in his classic book view points of a Commodity Trader started that “the first mistake teaches -then second mistake kills !”
Facing the truth in trading is necessary to prevant the consequences.Truth is necessary at all levels of trading.It is just as important to the novice as it is to the seasoned veteran.The main difference lies in the ability to face the truth.
Truth seems so somple !But the psyche can do amazing tricks through rationalization.Some of these tricks seen to have no other purpose then to prevent you from seeing the reality of the truth.The Bible states -“The truth shall set you free “Every religion has a saying echoing the same theme.Overcoming not facing the truth can be accomplished by writing down the pros and cons of telling the truth.Once it is committed to paper the decision should become self-evident.