Trading across multiple-time frames must be one of the hardest things to do as a trader. Many I know have chosen to avoid this completely while others wait patiently until all time frames correlate with their general read, which sometimes can take weeks if not months depending on the various time frames in question.
—Some struggle with the volatility of the tape, while others struggle with a psychological bias. At present I am struggling with the different pictures on different time frames. Currently I have trades on both sides of this argument taking index shorts against the weekly pattern while playing daily longs as they setup. The net gain has been a whole bunch of nothing which is making me ask the question if the different trades are worth it or if it would have been better to simply wait for one picture to resolve itself and correlate with the other. In hindsight this certainly sounds like it would have been the smarter play.
—Patience is never fun but until we have some solid resolution I still believe it to be the best play.
There’s that ‘P’ word again…
Your biggest enemy, when trading, is within yourself. Success will only come when you learn to control your emotions. Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923) offers advice that still applies today.
- CautionExcitement (and fear of missing an opportunity) often persuade us to enter the market before it is safe to do so. After a down-trend a number of rallies may fail before one eventually carries through. Likewise, the emotional high of a profitable trade may blind us to signs that the trend is reversing.
- PatienceWait for the right market conditions before trading. There are times when it is wise to stay out of the market and observe from the sidelines.
- ConvictionHave the courage of your convictions: Take steps to protect your profits when you see that a trend is weakening, but sit tight and don’t let fear of losing part of your profit cloud your judgment. There is a good chance that the trend will resume its upward climb. (more…)
The Components of a trading plan:
1. Entering a trade: You must know clearly at what price you plan to enter your trade. Will it be a break through resistance, a bounce off support, or a specific price, or based on indicators? You need to be specific.
2. Exiting a trade: At what level will you know you are wrong? Loss of support, a price level, a trailing stop, or a stop loss? Know where you are getting out before you get in.
3. Stop placement: You must either have a mental stop, a stop loss entered, or a time stop alone, or a time stop with an indicator.
4. Position sizing: You determine how much you are willing to risk on any one trade before you decide how many shares to trade. How much you can risk will determine how much you can buy based on the equities price and volatility.
5. Money management parameters : Never risk more than 1% of your total capital on any one trade. (2% maximum for aggressive traders who can handle bigger draw downs.)
6. What to trade: Trade things you are comfortable with. Swing trading range bound stocks, trend trading growth stocks, or trend following commodities or currencies. Trade what you know.
7. Trading time frames: Choose your time frame, are you a day trader, position trader, swing trader, or long term trend follower? If you are a long term trend follower do not get shaken out of a position in the first day by taking profits or getting scared out, know your holding period and adjust your plan accordingly.
8. Back testing: Do not trade any method until you review charts over a few years to see how you would have done, or for the really savvy run software back testing on historical data for your system for as much as can be quantified. There are also precooked systems like CAN SLIM, The Turtles Trading System, and many Trend Following Systems that can be found online or purchased. You need to enter your trading knowing you have an edge.
9. Performance review: Keep a detailed record of your wins and losses with profits and losses. You need to be sure that your method is working in real trading, review this after each 20 trades. Also if you had any issues with discipline then learn from your mistakes or make needed adjustments to improve your system.
10. Risk vs. Reward: Enter high probability trades where you are risking $1 to make $3, or trade a system that wins big in the long term through trend following.
Excitement (and fear of missing an opportunity) often persuade us to enter the market before it is safe to do so. After a down-trend a number of rallies may fail before one eventually carries through. Likewise, the emotional high of a profitable trade may blind us to signs that the trend is reversing.
Wait for the right market conditions before trading. There are times when it is wise to stay out of the market and observe from the sidelines.
Have the courage of your convictions: Take steps to protect your profits when you see that a trend is weakening, but sit tight and don’t let fear of losing part of your profit cloud your judgment. There is a good chance that the trend will resume its upward climb.
Concentrate on the technical aspects rather than on the money. If your trades are technically correct, the profits will follow.
Stay emotionally detached from the market. Avoid getting caught up in the short-term excitement. Screen-watching is a tell-tale sign: if you continually check prices or stare at charts for hours it is a sign that you are unsure of your strategy and are likely to suffer losses.
Focus on the longer time frames and do not try to catch every short-term fluctuation. The most profitable trades are in catching the large trends. (more…)
Great traders have a few personality traits that do give them a natural advantage. That’s not to say you can’t succeed without them, just that it’ll be an uphill battle and a greater degree of reflection and self-correction will be required. The trader with the best chance of success will be –
Independent. Being happy with a good deal of autonomy will allow you to confidently execute your plan without needing 25 people to concur with your analysis. Trading is a solitary game, and you need to be able to thrive on your own, to a large extent. Support is great but when it comes down to it, it’s all up to you.
Decisive. If you take hours to do something simple like choose a burger off a menu, the odds of you being able to see a trade set-up and coolly pull the trigger are greatly diminished. Especially if you trade short time-frames that can be the difference between success and failure.
Insightful. If a trader can honestly look at their skills, motivations and short-comings and actively work to rectify them, they have the tools to over-come nearly anything the market throws their way. (more…)
Do you know your Art of Trading
Do you have a trading plan
Do you think in terms of probabilities
Do you know which time frame fits your psychology
Do you cut your losses
Do you define your Risk
Do you add to your losing Position (more…)
Benjamin Graham doesn’t need an introduction. His sober look at the stock market has built an enormous following and for a good reason.
1. “If you are shopping for common stocks, choose them the way you would buy groceries, not the way you would buy perfume.” – It is true that perfumes come and go out of popularity, but no trend lasts forever. There are trends that last 3 months; there are trends that last 3 years.
2. “Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.” – it depends on to what level has the expected growth been already discounted. The truth is that it is really hard to forecast growth in quickly developing businesses. The market always overdiscounts at some point, but in the meantime trend followers could make a killing. You never know how long or how fast a trend could go.
3. The only constants in the markets are change and uncertainty. Not only business environment changes, but also people’s perceptions of stocks change.
Most businesses change in character and quality over the years, sometimes for the better, perhaps more often for the worse. The investor need not watch his companies’ performance like a hawk; but he should give it a good, hard look from time to time.
4. Different catalysts matter for the different time frames:
Basically, price fluctuations have only one significant meaning for the true investor. They provide him with an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall sharply and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal. At other times he will do better if he forgets about the stock market and pays attention to his dividend returns and to the operating results of his companies.
5. The difference between a trader and investor
The most realistic distinction between the investor and the speculator is found in their attitude toward stock-market movements. The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices. Market movements are important to him in a practical sense, because they alternately create low price levels at which he would be wise to buy and high price levels at which he certainly should refrain from buying and probably would be wise to sell.
6. How to think about risk (more…)
Patterns of volatility and trending are always shifting, and they change across multiple time frames. Because of this, no single trading method will be successful across the board for a given market. The successful trader not only masters markets, but masters the changes in those markets.
I love to trade a lot – which is of course a euphemistic way of saying I love to gamble. Although I have been to Vegas more than a dozen times I never laid down so much as a dollar bet in any casino. I have absolutely no interest in backjack, craps, slot machines or any other games of chance and I look down with disdain at the excited masses crowding the cavernous Vegas gambling halls. But deep down, if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that whenever I trade a lot I am just as much of a sucker as every hopeless loser that gives up his hard earned money to Steve Wynn or Sheldon Adelson
If you are constantly trading just for the sake of trading, just for the rush of being “in the game”, just for the momentarily thrill of being right you are gambling. You are trading without an edge, without any solid information and are therefore completely vulnerable to the random vagaries of price. (more…)