In general, I find there are two kinds of traders. The first kind trades visually, from patterns that are evident on visual inspection. Those include chart patterns, oscillator patterns, Elliott waves, and the like. Their trading decisions are discretionary, in that they elect to buy, hold, and sell based upon their perception of patterns and their judgment as to their meaning.
The second kind of trader distrusts visual inspection. Such traders are more likely to buy into the behavioral finance notion that unaided human perception and judgment are subject to a variety of biases. Accordingly, these traders use some form of historical/statistical analysis and/or system development to test ideas and trade only those that test out in a promising way.
Now here’s the interesting part: The first group of traders almost universally asks me to help them tame their emotions. They have problems with impulsive trading, failing to honor risk limits, failing to take valid signals due to anxiety, etc. The second group of traders, having researched successful strategies, almost universally asks me to help them take maximum advantage of their edge. They want help taking *more* risk and trading larger positions. (more…)
In a breaking news, it would appear that one of the greatest cause for irritation among retail traders, notably that some big institutions used “flash” computer systems to front-run their client’s orders will be ended shortly, as the Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously to ban the practice, accused of allowing among others GS to pocket its enormous trading gains. More also here.
“A reminder to stubborn retail traders > no matter how much you want it or how much you add to your position, you have no power over the market… ever.”
1. Know what you are going to do before you do it.
A Master Chess Player is at least 6 moves ahead of his opponent at every step in the game of Chess. A Master Trader identifies the market participants in that stock at that moment, determines when the next level of market participants will buy, decides a specific price for entry, and has one or more exit strategies planned for that stock trade before he ever places an order. In other words: he knows what he is going to do before he initiates the trade and has all of his various strategies worked out for all the different scenarios that can happen to that trade. He is prepared for all situations and ready to trade.
2. Develop your own unique Trading Style.
Too often traders simply follow the crowd. Instead you should develop your own unique trading style. A trading style is not a strategy. It is a set of parameters or rules that you adhere to strictly, ignoring rare anomalies that occur in your trading from time to time that go against your rules. Your trading style should also ignore gimmicks, fads, and ‘hot new strategies’ that are constantly being promoted to crowd traders. If you establish a set of parameters for your trading, write those rules down, and follow them while ignoring the crowd mentality of most small retail traders, you will begin to establish strong emotional control in your trading decisions. The trick is writing the parameters down and then sticking to those rules. Emotions want traders to ignore rules.
3. Ignore the Money.
Don’t trade for the money. Trade because you can’t imagine doing anything else. Trade because it is the most enjoyable and rewarding profession you can do. You can have a passion for studying charts without letting passion rule your decisions. Highly successful people, in any career, do not do their job because of the money, they do it because they love what they are doing and can’t imagine doing anything else. The money is secondary to doing the job that gives them purpose and self-esteem. Money is not the ultimate motivator, purpose and self-esteem are.
While the speculator doesn’t have the product knowledge or speed, he does have the advantage of not having to play. The speculator can choose to only bet when the odds are in his favor. That is an important positional advantage.
In the above quote, Larry is referring to the fact that smaller retail traders have the advantage of being able to sit out an wait patiently for the best opportunities. Bigger institutional traders have to trade more and whilst they might have a speed advantage, the retail trader has to use his advantage of being able to trade like a sniper to its fullest.
Frankly, I don’t see markets; I see risks, rewards, and money.
The above quote stresses the importance of seeing each trade as a risk reward ratio, rather than just a potential profit opportunity. Pro traders calculate their risk first and then their reward, if the risk reward ratio of a trade doesn’t make sense then they don’t trade.
I always laugh at people who say, “I’ve never met a rich technician.” I love that! It’s such an arrogant, nonsensical response. I used fundamentals for nine years and got rich as a technician. (more…)