Sharpen Your Trading With Occam's Razor

 Would you believe that a 14th century priest, and his concepts, can help make you a better trader?  Well, English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham really can make you a better trader.

Ockham developed the concept commonly referred to as Occam’s Razor.  Simply put, this principle favors the simple over the complex, when there is a choice to be made, or a path to be followed.

How can this apply to trading? A few different ways.

First, if you are a system trader, perhaps your approach has too many rules, too many parameters, or too much optimizing.  While every parameter you add might make your system better historically, the more parameters you have, the less prone the system is to work going forward.  Simpler concepts and simple rules tend to be based on fundamental market principles – ones that aren’t as likely to change.

Second, if you are a discretionary trader, you might trade off of news reports from Blue Channels  and multiple other sources.  Multiple news sources might give you more data, but does it really give you more knowledge?  You might find that with multiple, conflicting pieces of information, you actually can’t trade at all – rather, you are a victim of “analysis paralysis.”

Third, maybe your trading office looks like the control room for the Space Shuttle. If you try to trade off all of the information shown on all the screens, you might just find yourself overwhelmed.  It is better to stick to a few monitors of information, and know that information very well.  The best traders don’t need a dozen monitors to trade well – usually 1 or 2 monitors is plenty.

Many new traders tend to think that that more complicated they make trading, the easier it will be to “solve” the markets.  Instead, they should be listening to William of Ockham, and making things simpler.  Simple, done correctly, can lead to more profits, and stand the test of time better than complicated approaches.


Many of us will sit at our screens, cursing, praying, begging, but the best thing to do is to save yourself, by cutting bad trades quickly. DON’T DEPEND ON THE MERCY OF THE BANKS TO DO IT!!!!!! THEY ARE OUT TO EAT YOUR LUNCH ALWAYS ! THEY ARE YOUR ENEMY, AND THEY ARE RUTHLESS WITHOUT MERCY!!!!!

#1. DON’T LEAVE OPEN POSITIONS! Trade what You can see. When You are not in the market take your money out with You. That way You can save on all of those foul words to Your broker when he tries to explain the price slippage that caused price to go beyond Your stop loss.

#2. If You must leave trades opened, put in a physical stop losses..






Two things are essential if You are going to enjoy a very successful and lucrative trading career.

#1 Wait for a proper trade set-up

#2 Learn to save yourself. CUT BAD TRADES QUICKLY!!!!!! So what if it comes back in your favor, many times it will, but it only takes one good shakeout to leave your lifestyle in jeopardy.


The market is swim, float or sink. Don’t let them sink You. SAVE YOURSELF!

Top 8 Ways To Lose All The Money In Trading

 tradingloss8 – Put all of your efforts into finding the perfect technical indicator. Once you find this magical indicator, it will be like turning on a water faucet. Go all in. The money will just flow into your account!

7 – Make sure to visit a lot of stock trading forums and ask them for hot stock tips. Also, ask all your friends and family for stock tips. They are usually right, and acting on these tips can make you very rich.
6 – Watch what other traders do and be sure to follow the crowd. After all, they have been trading a lot longer than you so naturally they are smarter.
5 – Pay very close attention to the fundamentals of a company. You MUST know the P/E ratio, book value, profit margins, etc. Once you find a “good company”, consider going on margin to pay for shares in their stock. (more…)

The Power of Elimination

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” – Bruce lee

So what do Bruce Lee and Leonardo Da Vinci have in common?  They both understood, as any good trader should, the essentials of making an impact…the power of subtracting noise.

As a trader you should do the same:

1) Subtract your emotional baggage

In close to twenty years of trading, I have yet to meet ONE successful trader that is emotionally unbalanced. Bring your emotional baggage, your demons, your insecurities to your trading terminal, and you likely to make wrong decisions.

2) Subtract financial entertainment

Blue Channels  and other financial media are a great source of info-tainment and you can surely learn a lot. But if you sit in front of the TV all day without having a solid plan thinking that’s what professional traders suppose to do, you virtually guarantee to trade yourself out of capital very shortly. Understand that the delivery of TV news is designed to hit the emotional part of your brain. You might benefit from shutting it off in the short run.

3) Subtract noise

Good trading is not about having 8 screens, 1500 indicators, live steaming news, Twitter feeds, and a phone line with direct connection to god. Clean up your charts to the essence, price, volume and maybe one or two indicators. Clean up your screens and eliminate as much noise as possible, go over your trading diary and identify which inputs produced the most output, then go back and close the applications that add nothing but flicking lights and funny sounds, subtract until you are left with the essence of your system. (more…)

Independent Trading: Pros & Cons

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…)

Discipline & Passion

All successful day traders need discipline, once you have a plan stick to it. When day trading you can lose money as well as make money, as losses can result in an end to your career you need to manage your risks, know where to set your limits and stop loss orders accordingly. Once you have met your objectives do what you planned don’t let greed or fear take control of you. 

Day trading involves being passionate about the market, a good day trader never switches off tracking the market day in and day out following news globally, analysing charts and looking at quote screens. This all has to be processed as quickly as possible, this is of course is what will give a good day trader an edge. 

Top Ten Reasons Not to Trade– and Why You Should Do It Anyway

#1 Trading creates no greater good
– like when you buy grain futures, the price skyrockets, and you make a killing! A poor farmer plants more seeds as a consequence, third world children get affordable bread, hmm, did I say you make a living?

#2 Trading makes you selfish
– and that’s why filthy rich old speculators turn to philanthropy.

#3 Staring at screens all day is not healthy
– which is true, and why slow lunch hours are perfect for physical exercise.

#4 Staring at screens all day is not good for your social skills
– which is why traders are out having fun when the market is closed. (Don’t “normal” people spend evenings in front of the TV?)

#5 The market is a casino
– where scrupulous gamblers make it easier (and more important) for sane traders to make a living. (more…)

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