- Consistency is your willingness to put trading first in your life so you’re online day in and day out, trading your system to maximize the odds that it will work for you when the market is moving.
- When traders take a break for whatever reason — because they want to play, because they have experienced a series of losses, because of complications in their personal lives, or because the market is dead — they end up missing moves that could have resulted in hefty profits.
- That doesn’t mean you always have to trade, but you should always be there to follow the markets.
- It’s very easy once you’re self-employed and trading to excuse yourself for all kinds of reasons. This can prove to be a devastating mistake. You will find over time that those days you take off to play golf or go fishing or whatever will inevitably be the days when the two or three trades you’ve been waiting for are triggered. These trades would have made your month very profitable. Then you have to scramble for the rest of the month. When you trade this way, you tend to lose money. Inconsistency does not pay off.
Archives of “Wagering” tagrss
Strategists at Morgan Stanley view that betting on a weaker dollar will be among the top trades for 2020
In a client note detailing the trends to keep an eye out for next year, strategists at the firm view that the dollar is to be hit by stronger global growth outside of the US and dwindling portfolio inflows.
What is the real difference between gambling and speculation (if you take drinking out of the equation)? Is it having a theory about the odds being better than even and avoiding ruin along the way?
One possible definition might be “a gambler chases fast fixed returns based on luck, while a speculator has time on his side to let the market decide how much his edge is worth.”
Perhaps the true Speculator — one who is on the front lines day after day — knows that to win big for his backers, he HAS to gamble. His only advantage is that he can choose when to play.
A speculator strives to be professional, honorable, intellectual, serious, analytical, calm, selective and focused.
Whereas the gambler is corrupt, distracted, moody, impulsive, excitable, desperate and superstitious.
“gamblers are willing losers who occasionally win”
That is, gamblers risk their capital on propositions where the odds are either: (more…)
Gambling is, usually, an event with:
- Limited duration
- Finite upside
- Finite downside
- Binary outcome
When you gamble you either win or lose. That event usually takes only a small amount of time.
For example, you can bet on a horserace 10 minutes before it starts and 5 minutes later you have a result. For anyone who plays poker, you know it may take a little bit more time as the stakes are raised. So poker is a little bit closer to trading.
In gambling your risk on any event is usually what you outlay. And your potential return is what the house is offering at the time you agree to the bet.
I love to play blackjack (and for some reason, while I don’t play often, I have been profitable almost every time I’ve played in the last 3 years) like one of my trading mentors who was an original Turtle Trader.
A bet on a Blackjack table can take a minute or two until it’s over. Whereas in trading, a trade has the following characteristics: (more…)
1. “An investor looks for safety… The speculator looks for a quick profit.” Livermore is saying that what differentiated him and other speculators from investors was: (1) a willingness to make bets with short duration and (2) not seeking safety. Anyone reading about Livermore must remember that he was not a person who often/always followed his own advice. He eventually shot himself leaving a suicide note which included the sentence: “I am a failure.”
2. “A professional gambler is not looking for long shots, but for sure money…Since suckers always lose money when they gamble in stocks – they never really speculate…” Livermore believed he was not a gambler since he only speculated when the odds were substantially in his favor (“sure money”). Livermore’s statement reminds me of a quotation from Peter Lynch: “An investment is simply a [bet] in which you’ve managed to tilt the odds in your favor.” Livermore’s statement also reminds me of the poker player Puggy Pearson who famously talked about need to know “the 60/40 end of a proposition.” When the odds are substantially in your favor you are not a gambler; when the odds are not substantially in your favor, you are a sucker.
3. “I trade in accordance to my means and always leave myself an ample margin of safety. …After I paid off my debts in full I put a pretty fair amount into annuities. I made up my mind I wasn’t going to be strapped and uncomfortable and minus a stake ever again.” Livermore is not referring here to seeking a Benjamin Graham style “margin of safety” on each bet but rather to this: once you establish a big financial stake as a speculator, setting aside enough money so you don’t need to “return to go” financially is wise. Livermore wanted a margin of safety in terms of safe assets so that he would always have a grubstake to start over in his chosen profession of speculation. On this point and others, he failed to follow his own advice.
4. “Keep the number of stocks you own to a controllable number. It’s hard to herd cats, and it’s hard to track a lot of securities.” There is only so much information a single person can track in terms of stocks whether you are in investor or a speculator. By focusing on a smaller number of stocks you are more likely to (1) know what you are doing (which lowers risk) and (2) find an informational advantage you can arbitrage.
5. “Only make a big move, a real big plunge, when a majority of factors are in your favor.” Only bet when the odds are substantially in your favor. And when that happens, bet in a big way. The rest of the time, don’t do anything. (more…)
“I think successful trading, or poker playing for that matter, involves speculating rather than gambling. Successful speculation implies taking risks when the odds are in your favor. Just like in poker, where you have to know which hands to bet on, in trading you have to know when the odds are in your favor.” – Sperandeo
It is interesting that Sperandeo makes a point to define the difference between speculating and gambling. He discusses how he never viewed playing poker to be gambling in the same respect that slot machines are gambling. In poker, he had the knowledge of which hands had the highest probability of winning and the option to only play the highest probability hands. This draws a direct correlation to trading. We know from our study of historical winners what qualities make up stocks that go on big runs and we have the option to only play those key stocks.
Looking at trading in this respect breaks it down into two important goals. We have to know which kinds of stocks have the best odds of going on huge runs. We also have to have the timing skills and the guts to play those stocks when we encounter them and the patience to sit on the sidelines when when there aren’t good options.
“Trading the market without knowing what stage it is in is like selling life insurance to twenty-year-olds and eighty-year-olds at the same premium.” – Sperandeo
Again here, we see Sperandeo drawing a real world comparison to stock trading. He discusses that you just as the odds would be better if you sell life insurance to a twenty-year-old compared to an eighty-year-old, the same can be said when trading a young trend compared to trading an extended trend. He doesn’t necessarily say you should trade a new trend or shouldn’t trade an extended trend, but that you should strongly factor that in to your timing decisions. (more…)
1. IF you enter trades without a clear trading plan, you just might be a gambler.
2. IF you trade just to be trading, you just might be a gambler.
3. IF you’re bored and enter a trade, you just might be a gambler.
4. IF you look at potential profit before assessing potential loses, you just might be a gambler.
5. IF you have no impulse control, you just might be a gambler.
6. IF you have no methodology, you just might be a gambler.
7. IF you rely on others for your trading decisions, you just might be a gambler.
8. IF you do not take full responsibility for your trading outcomes, you just might be a gambler.
9. IF you increase your risk due to losses, you just might be a gambler.
10. IF you do not use stop losses or do not adhere to them, you just might be a gambler.
And my all time favorite
11. IF you get an adrenaline rush when your entering trades, you just might be a gambler.
“gamblers are willing losers who occasionally win”
That is, gamblers risk their capital on propositions where the odds are either:
– unknown to them
– cannot be known
– which actual experience has shown to have negative expectation
– or which they know with mathematical precision to be negative
They are rewarded for doing so on a random schedule and a random reward size, which is a pattern of stimulus-response which behavioral scientists have established as one which induces the subject to engage in the behavior the longest without a reward, and creates superstitious as well as compulsive behavior patterns. Because they have traded reason for emotion, they tend not to follow reasonable and disciplined approach to sizing their bets, and often over bet, leading to ruin. (more…)
Anyone who claims to be intrigued by the “intellectual challenge of the markets” is not a trader. The markets are as intellectually challenging as a fistfight. Ultimately, trading is an exercise in self-mastery and endurance.
The key to trading success is emotional discipline. If intelligence were the key, there would be a lot more people making money trading.
Just remember, without discipline, a clear strategy, and a concise plan, the speculator will fall into all the emotional pitfalls of the market – jump from one stock to another, hold a losing position too long, and cut out of a winner too soon, for no reason other than fear of losing profit. Greed, Fear, Impatience, Ignorance, and Hope will all fight for mental dominance over the speculator. Then, after a few failures and catastrophes the speculator may become demoralised, depressed, despondent, and abandon the market and the chance to make a fortune from what the market has to offer. (more…)
Trade Like a Casino: Find Your Edge, Manage Risk, and Win Like the House
Any quick drive through Las Vegas makes it pretty clear who is rolling in the money – the Casinos! Why do gamblers keep going back despite losing most of the time? Misplaced hope, fantasies about the big win, promising themselves they will walk away when they are up and still winning, and probably the inability to calculate probabilities. These symptoms may sound familiar to new traders who have lost money in the stock market, especially when we were new to trading and had delusions of grandeur about trading theirway to prosperity quickly and easily.
In gambling there are really only two sides to choose to be on, either you are a gambler or you are the house. The gamblers have the long term odds stacked against them. The more they gamble, the more the odds are that they will inevitably lose. The casino has stacked the odds on their side over the long haul. The more the gambler keeps gambling, the more the odds shift in favor of the casino operator. The more they gamble the greater the chance the gambler will leave empty-handed.
The book featured in this blog post explains the winning principles of trading by using the casino paradigm. Profitable traders operate like casinos, with the odds in their favor over the long term. They have learned to trade with historically, back-tested trading systems that put the odds on their side. Much like casino operators, they risk small amounts of equity per trade (around 1% – 2% of their accounts), so no one trade can hurt them financially and mentally for that matter.
Most unseasoned traders behave like gamblers, with no real advantage. They plunge large bets on stocks so haphazardly that they just have a 50-50 shot like a roulette wheel – red or black. Many times these traders hurt themselves even worse by buying into the market in a downtrend and shorting into a rally, believing that they can pick the bottom or top. Some new traders would love to have a 50/50 win ratio, many actually to all the wrong things and are no where near a 50% win rate. (more…)