Fooled by Probability.

”The benefit of thinking in probabilities helps you quantify price movement into tradeable edges.”

Mark Douglas.


Recent Backtesting

Mark Douglas, author of one of the most acclaimed books in trading, ”Trading in the Zone,” died recently aged 67. Mark had been  working on his third book which is due for publication soon and there is to be an auction of some of Mark’s trading materials in October or November. markdouglas.com

Although I have read the book, I will have to admit that I have never really found a way to think in probabilities like Mark suggests. For the learner trader you have to have a set of results, with a win loss ratio and a profit loss account to be able to start thinking in terms of probabilities, winning and losing runs and such. Now we could do some back-testing to come up with the necessary stats, however I’ve recently been attempting to do this and it’s been a struggle. Things like hindsight bias, indicator lag, broker spread and economic announcements cause problems especially for us short term traders for who these things matter. I’ve been recently testing Rob Bookers Knoxville divergence indicator on the 70 tick chart on Ninjatrader’s back-tester, to see if I could add it as a confirmation indicator to my counter trend strategy, however although on scrolling back through the charts there appears to be some nice angled red indicator lines indicating divergence, you have to actually walk forwards in time from the right side of the chart, to get the truer picture and you see in the chart below I’ve had to add my own entry arrows, as one divergence line actually includes 3 entries. The line just kept growing to cover the next. Also look at the time around 08:55am uk time.

08.53 09.50

Now look at the announcement list at the same time.

myfx

Yes some nice red announcements just at the same time. And here are my broker Oanda spreads;

spreads

The spread increased to over 4.5 pips at this time.

Now I’m not saying there wasn’t a trade somewhere there, but it just shows you some of the difficulties in gaining a useful set of back tested results, to use for thinking in probabilities. Adam Grimes in his excellent free course adamhgrimes.com/TAAS/the-course/ explains other difficulties in back testing, and so does back testing guru, Rudy Leder  www.rudyleder.com

The Hole In One Gang, Taleb and Spitznagel.

Where probabilities are concerned humans tend to have poor judgements when it comes to extreme events. We tend to put to the back of our minds the chance of extreme events as a sort of natural self preservation mechanism. It would do us no good to worry about death every day. However the closer we get to the extreme event the more time we spend thinking about it, and then it’s too late to do any thing to mitigate the effects. We can’t take out insurance once diagnosed with a terminal illness, like we can’t find a buyer when we want to short as the market crashes.

Having done their back-testing, in 1991 two Essex men, Paul Simmons and John Carter travelled around the UK and Ireland putting on bets with independent bookmakers at odds of over 100/1 on a hole in one occurring at five different golf tournaments (British Open, Benson and Hedges, Volo PGA, US Open and European Open.) They were able to place permutations of doubles, trebles, 4-folds and a 5-fold accumulator at the odds. To the shock of the bookies at least one hole in one was landed at each of the tournaments with the 5-fold accumulator being bagged when the Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez holed in one at the European Open, Walton Heath, Surrey. Simmons and Carter netted over £500,000 not including the welshers who refused to payout on the grounds it would bankrupt them. Even the crafty bookies have a hard time with long odds.

The ”Black Swan Protection,” hedging strategy utilised by Nassim Taleb at his firm Empirica Capital was brilliantly documented in Malcolm Gladwell’s ”What the Dog Saw,” which was a series of his articles he’d written in the New Yorker magazine and put into book form. The article can be found in the New Yorker archives, titled ”Blowing Up.”  docs.comparacaodefundos.com/blowingup.pdf . Trading partner at Empirica, Mark Spitznagel set up Universa Investments in 2007 to which Taleb is adviser. In 2008 using the Black Swan type strategy Universa made one the biggest profits on Wall St during the financial crisis and again they produced gains of 20% (over $1 Billion) in the recent 2015 mini  ”Black Monday(China)” stock market crash. (Better not mention the allegations that he caused the 2010 crash.) Here’s Spitznagel in a short 5 minute talk on his ”Tail Hedge” strategy, about the paradox of higher returns with lower risk. www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyGtiiGBEc8 Still it’s interesting that the market as a whole hasn’t yet adapted to the bubble and burst event. So much for efficient market theory. Swarm theory is more near the mark, as we all step over each other not to miss out on the big thing then panic and charge the other way like the ”Gadarene Swine” to get out, drowning in the sea of losses.

This is why I now like to look for the counter trend strategy to hedge the pull of the trend, with divergence as one of its indicators. If I can ever get my head around this back testing malarkey.

A History Lesson in Probability

Forward thinking French gentleman gambler Chevalier de Mere (1610-1685) had made a killing offering odds to fellow gamblers of even money against him throwing at least one six with an unbiased die in 4 rolls. He had calculated that the chance of a six was 1/6 and he had four chances, so the probability was 4/6. Due to his success he ran out of takers so he changed the bet to getting at least one double six with two dice in 24 rolls, after all a 1/36 x 24 chances was a probability of 24/36. The bet almost bankrupted him, so he asked his friend mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-166) what was going on? Pascal consulted with another notable mathematician Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) and together they produced what we know today as probability theory.

In de Mere’s first bet they calculated the probability of losing was 5/6 x 5/6 x 5/6 x 5/6 = 625/1296 =0.482253 so the probability of him winning was 1 – 0.482253 = approx 52%. A lot less than the 4/6 or 66.66% he’d calculated, but still a winning proposition.

In the second bet they calculated the probability of losing was 35/36 to the power of 24 = 0.508596 so the probability of him winning was 1 – 0.508596 = approx 49%. Much less than 24/36 de Mere had calculated and a losing bet at odds of evens . One more throw would have made a winning bet!

The eminent philosopher Jean d’Alembert (1717-1783), 100 years on, obviously hadn’t paid attention in class to the new branch of mathematics, called probability theory, because he got himself into trouble in a coin tossing gamble. Playing a simple coin toss game where a player tossed a coin twice and won if it came up heads on either occasion. He calculated odds of 2 to 1 (probability 1/3) of winning as he had decided he had one chance of winning on the first go and one on the second and he had one chance he would lose when they both came up tails. Listing the possible outcomes we have HH, TH, HT, TT, four outcomes not d’Alemberts three, so the odds should have been 3 to 1. As one of the foremost intellectuals of the time and a noted contributor to ”Encycopedie,” it just goes to show even the cleverest of us can be fooled by probability.

Moving on to the nineteenth century, what about mathematician and intellectual, Ada Augusta the Countess Lovelace (1815-1852) otherwise known as Lady Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and chief assistant to Charles Babbage (1792-1871) in his research to design the ‘Analytical Engine,” who devised a gambling system that bankrupted her and forced her to sell the family silver to pay her gambling debts. Two hundred years after Pascal and we’re still being fooled by probability.

Well what about these days? Everyone must had done some sort of statistics and probability classes in school? How many of us at least had to think about, maybe started calculating the amounts and maybe even got suckered in, when first presented with the Martingale strategy? Go to a casino and double up after a loser betting on red or black, it’s a sure fire winner. What about trading? That has to be a 50/50 bet, lets do the Martingale here. Well anyone who has looked into it, knows how fast doubling up can build up to astronomical amounts and even if we had the unlimited reserves of an oil sheik, you’ve still got to find someone to take the other side of the bet or trade! Still if you can find a newbie to sell a system, try offering them the Martingale staking plan as a bonus, chances are they’ll be suckered as we all once were.

Hold on a bit. If we are fooled by probability what is the chance that there is some staking strategy that is out there, that is suitable for our trading strategy, but we are too foolish to see it.   Madame de Tecin (1682-1749) a nun whose brother was the bishop of Grenoble, a notorious  gambler and philanderer who was lined up for a Cardinals position, in 1717 gave birth to an illegitimate son, Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717-1783). How about that then! d’Alembert was abandoned by his mother on the steps of a Paris church and then subsequently brought up by foster parents in the slums of Paris. d’Alembert even though he couldn’t calculate the odds on a coin toss as explained earlier, (yes it’s the same guy), crawled out of the gutter and made his name as a philosopher, physicist and mathematician and won a huge pile of money on the roulette tables to boot, using what is now known as the d’Alembert staking strategy. He did have one advantage in that the private gambling dens of Paris didn’t have a zero on the roulette table, you paid presumably to get in, or on a percentage of returns or on vastly inflated booze or on the sporting women.

Anyway for those that don’t know it this is his system. For a genuine even money bet, eg: a coin toss, red/black, odd/even, etc you start with an initial stake of five units, then following each loser you add 1 unit and for each winner you subtract 1 unit. Should you reach zero units you go back to 5 units. Ok you could go on a never ending losing run but you would be done for in any case with level stakes.

Here is a hypothetical run of 20 bets on heads on a coin toss:

No          Stake           H/T                Result          Total

1              5                   T                     Loss 5            -5

2             6                   T                      Loss 6           -11

3             7                    H                    Win 7              -4

4             6                    T                     Loss 6            -10

5             7                    H                     Win 7              -3

6             6                    H                     Win 6              +3

7             5                    H                     Win 5              +8

8             4                    T                     Loss 4             +4

9             5                     T                    Loss 5             -1

10           6                     T                     Loss 6             -7

11            7                    T                    Loss 7            -14

12           8                     T                    Loss 8            -22

13           9                     H                    Win 9            -13

14           8                     H                     Win 8             -5

15            7                    T                      Loss 7          -12

16            8                    H                     Win 8             -4

17            7                    H                    Win 7             +3

18            6                    T                    Loss 6             -3

19            7                    H                   Win 7             +4

20            6                    H                   Win 6            +10

The results produced 10 heads and 10 tails and when it does so it will always win. Try testing the Martingale strategy and see the huge figures you get up to on the same sequence. Putting 1 point on bet 8 and doubling up would leave you with a 32 point risk on bet 13 as opposed to the 9 points with d’Alembert!

Risk Management and Fred Craggs

In 2008 farm labourer Fred Craggs entered the Thirsk branch of William Hills bookmakers in North Yorkshire with horse muck plastered all over his wellies and placed a 50p eight-horse accumulator on the eve of his 60th birthday. All eight horses came in at a combined odds of 2800,000/1. For 50p his winnings should have been £1.4 million, however William Hills small print stated his winnings were subject to a limit of £1 million. On receiving his giant cardboard cheque from William Hills for £1 million, Fred’s poor risk management led him to make the following comment. ”I lost 10p on this one because I only needed 40p to get the limit up. That was an extravagance!” Actually under another rule William Hill had could have capped his winnings at £100,000, however given the potential PR disaster that would of occurred if they enforced it, he received the £1m.

One of the disciplines in trading has to be risk management. How much do we risk on the trade? Should it be the absolute minimum to preserve our psychi or should we max out mathematically using a full or half Kelly, or is there another way? Why risk more than we need, if it’s not going to get us any further any faster? One things for certain without knowing our win/loss ratios and profit loss account we have to go for the absolute minimum. But once we have gained confidence in our strategies and have our stats to back it up what then? Well as we are so easily fooled by probabilities as shown earlier wouldn’t it be possible to fool ourselves into thinking we are trading small when actually we are trading big? How about separating some of our small stakes winnings in an imaginary separate account and taking say 3 massive trades but only out of winnings, eg the account has gone from £1000 to £1300 with steady gains risking 0.5% (£5) per trade. Now we have £300 we can divide into say 6, put 3 stakes total back into the account so we now have £1150 that we will only ever risk 0.5% per trade (£5.75) then wait for the day we feel we’re in the zone and take a £50 risk trade 3 times. If we lose all 3, so what, it was an extravagance as Fred Craggs would say. Ok we would feel a bit miffed but we could easily shrug it off with some self talk and get back to trading 0.5% of our main account. If we had a winner or more than one, we could divide the winnings again, occaisionally adding to the main bank. Well it’s just an idea. In any case you have to have a winning edge or you won’t ever make the winnings to play with.

The Losing Run

A string of losers can see all trading discipline go out the window especially in the early stages of developing confidence in a strategy. Being au fait with probability theory is not enough as our confidence erodes. So what can we do? One of the best ideas, and a practical one as well, I read about in Robert Thornton’s  long candle course. It’s about regular exercise just tossing a coin and recording the results. It’s surprising how doing this can swing your emotions, as one side starts a winning run whilst the other is losing. You can really feel desperate waiting for chance to even out. After 7 heads, then 1 tails, then 4 more heads, then 1 tails, then 6 heads, you can start to understand what a 50/50 proposition really looks like especially after a 100 coin tosses. Do it daily and it becomes a mind exercise in preparing for the losing run. It does work, but you have to get into the routine of doing it.

The Win/Loss Ratio.

I’ve done my brains in up to this point and will continue on this point another time, if one person indicates to me they found something of interest here. Quite a lot of rambling waffle here. The sort of stuff I usually bore the pants off people down the local boozer with. I usually can clear a nice spot for myself at the bar with this sort of stuff, as the other customers try to avoid me.

Right I’m outta here and straight in the pub for a swift one, and a few coin tosses thrown in.

A quick update to yesterday’s post.

Within a few hours of posting my blog yesterday Rob Booker sent me a link to his seminars. Worth a look for any developing trader learning this game. Don’t know how long it will be free and there are many hours of recording, so get in quick. To me, it really is enlightening as it is about real everyday successful live traders, not bankers, wizards or hedgefund managers, explaining their methods.

You can watch the recent Rob Booker live seminars here.

Also thanks ddtrader for your inspiring comment. dd’s blog can be found at Allen Bary’s forum wallstr2easystr.freeforums.net for anyone interested in the ‘Bob Volman’ style of trading.

Also thanks to Shonn Campbell for your interesting course and I’m really interested in the hedging process that you mentioned, so looking forwards to any updates on that. Find Shonn’s course at fxinventorytrading.com or his blog at tradinglifeownit.com

Find Adam Grimes excellent free course here adamhgrimes.com/TAAS

Interested in day trading binary options then Ryan Herron is your man. Mentioned on the traders podcast again in the last few days and in several previous episodes. He started his trading career trading out of a van whilst working. Don’t be fooled by his accent, this guy is really clever. Website here joaquintrading.com and blog here joaquintrading.blogspot.co.uk

Interested in day trading but not keen on scalping with tick charts the Volman way then check out the style of Kim Krompass. Ok these are promotional videos and she does charge a whopping $197 a month for her day trading analysis and guidance, but you should get the gist of her methods and develop your own plan from here. vimeo.com/135889056 also an interview with her here drlindatucker.com/podcast/due-diligence-kim-krompass and another one here tradingheroes.com/ttl-0015-trading-for-a-living-risking-only-8-to-12-pips-per-trade-kim-krompass and the websites here kimkrompass.com and here priceactiontradersinstitute.com and here fxstreet.com/analysis/forex-live-analysis-room-interviews/2014/11/25 . Rob Booker recently did an excellent interview but it’s not freely available.

Last but not least Matt Lacoco’s blog at mlacoco.wordpress.com and registration for his course, which I’m sure won’t be expensive, when ever it comes out. shorttermforex.com

Most stuff linked to here is free or very inexpensive, so get stuck in.

I’m off to the Rob Booker Phoenix videos now and before anyone asks I don’t get a penny from any of these links, or this website or any other affiliations. It’s all about things that are helping me develop my own trading edge, style and plan.

 

Check-in, with a pile of excuses.

My plan was to look for possible turning points during the day and trade counter trend using Bob Volman’s set ups on the 70 tick and the 5 minute charts ,with Allen Bary’s ‘Time and Sales’ filter to enter, but to stay in longer than a 10 pip or even 20 pip scalp. The counter trend of the day would be much better if it was in the direction of the trend over a longer time span.  I was starting to get some good results but still searching for that something extra to add a hard edge to my trading. Having read a blog post by Mat Lacoco about how he shuts off trades almost immediately they go against him, and how he suffers long strings of break-even trades, waiting for the one that goes immediately into profit and doesn’t look back, allowing him to risk up to 4% per trade, the idea resonated with me, especially after watching his lesson at a recorded traders conference in Orlando. I decided to add this idea in to the way I traded. Frustration set in as I watched trades fly in my direction after being stopped out almost to the pip, time after time. I boiled over and entered trades on full tilt losing 10% of my account. I calmed down and decided to split my trades in two, taking half profit on a scalp of maybe 5 or more pips depending on momentum, allowing me to keep my stop the same distance behind entry waiting for the big move, so I wouldn’t get stopped so much. The worst then would be a break even, over all result after price moved forwards. I would have to hover my stop over break even until I took first profit. (Matt doesn’t use an initial stop loss by the way, only an in the trade stop loss once it is moving.) I clawed back the 10% loss and went into profit using around 1% risk. There was a lesson to be learnt here but I hadn’t really learnt it.

For six months I’d been using Ninja Traders sim charts with MB Trading data. MB pulled the plug. I tried to get a live account with MB but they wanted a passport for ID and mine had run out years ago. It would cost £200 GBP for a rushed passport or £93 for one with a six to 8 week delay. I was impatient and looked into using Kinetick data, but the $55 US a month advertised was only the historical data fee with another $25 to $50 for live forex data. A bit pricey so I looked into ProRealtime. Get it free each month trading with IG a couple of trades a month. Only problem with IG you can’t move your stop within 6 pips of price. No good for me I thought, so I ended paying £30 month without IG whilst I looked around for something else. I’ve never traded with anyone other than Oanda, so was glad to get away from being tied to IG. Also I was finding it very frustrating to get my head around the IG platform as well as learn the ProRealtime charting. I’ve always been a bit of a techno-phobe, preferring what I know, to the new. I’m not a gadget person and work much better when I can work on autopilot without the frustration of learning what every button does. Well I know all this, yes, but I was still trading at the same time, and I went on full tilt again. This time I ended with my account 15% down. I stopped trading and took some time off to get my charting sorted. I realise now that when my mind is trying to get used to something new like making an addition to my trade plan as I wrote about earlier, or if I’m having trouble with my charting or anything that is distracting me away from managing trades, it all goes tits up.

I’ve stopped using ProRealtime, couldn’t get used to it although it does have some nice features. I’m back with Ninjatrader using the free sim account with FXCM data. Not sure how long the data will last, so I paid £93 GBP for my passport which actually arrived after just a week and will enable me to use MBT data if needed. My old laptop which I use for a backup and to keep an eye on news releases got so corrupted it wouldn’t boot up.( It was 10 year old with Vista on it.) I had to fork out £300 for a new one. Then I decided to upgrade my old Blackberry phone that was good for nothing and buy a Samsung android with 4g so I could use the Oanda app to exit trades in emergency. The phones great but immediately it hooked me up, Blackberry sent a communication to my desktop that corrupted that as well. Cost me £40 to put that right and completely re-install windows 7. I tried to do some clean up stuff myself but made it worse. Got 10 on both computers now and starting to get more settled on that side of things, even if I’m flat broke.

A few good things happened though in the past few weeks. Shonn Campbell (friend of Matt Lacoco) gave me free access to his trading course and daily trade plans as I’d been following his work for a while and he wanted to thank me. I enjoyed the course and took a few things away from it, although against the advice of Rob Booker I’m still trying to trade intra-day, so I’m not using the trade plans which are on a longer time scale. Shonn’s course is only $27 by the way if you’re interested. Next I found Adam Grimes, author of ‘The Art and Science of Trading.’ Actually I’ve not read the book as can’t afford the £46 GBP price tag, however if you go to his blog he has a free course which is absolutely awesome. I’m only half way through the course myself, as each week you are given some heavy homework. Some homework is backtesting, (I’m using the Ninjatrader backtester for that, for free, as I lost all my Forextester data and I much prefer Ninja for it’s ease of use.) Other home work is about meditating and using trance states to increase learning speed and doing charting exercises in market structure and charting to create a skill set and aid intuition . My description really doesn’t do it justice, however be warned, the course is heavily built around advanced statistical analysis that contradicts many of assumptions we have about charting and price action. Adam however is very open to the possibility his analysis may have missed something and is very open to different ideas. Maybe this is the course that all beginners should do to set themselves up in trading. It is not just for beginners but if you started here you may not get so easily sucked into to other stuff so easily. Brilliant. I also went to Rob Booker’s conference at Heathrow in London another free event for me, although he did charge $9 as a sort of commitment to turn up fee. I couldn’t afford the hotel Rob stayed at where the conference was held, but stayed at the nearby Thistle that was linked to Rob’s hotel by the Heathrow pod, an interesting driver-less taxi service, almost like the Johnny cab, Swartznegger took in ‘Total Recall’ (not seen the remake.) The thing is, I’ve cut down on alcohol big style, to help save money, lose weight and to improve my alertness in the morning for trading. Well I decided to have a few, sat alone on the balcony bar (Billy no mates), over looking terminal 5, the night before the conference. Then got a really bad nights sleep, so my head was falling off  it’s shoulders as I kept trying not to nod off during the conference. Sorry Rob, it wasn’t you, although that guest speaker you had, who although sounded really clever and was the fastest speaker I’d ever heard, totally lost me, and I was appreciative when you explained after, the relevance of what he was talking about!

I’m taking a bit of a vacation, (staying at home but off work for a couple of weeks) which is giving me time to start blogging again and explain where I have been and that I was down, but am certainly not out. I’m still following ddtrader on traderAllen’s forum, still listening to the traderspodcast (looking forwards to the John Netto interview,) also Adam Grimes podcast and course, reading James Clear’s articles, watching Kim Krompass videos, following Rob Booker on TFL365, (still waiting for the Pheonix conference video to come out) also waiting for Matt Lacoco’s course to come out, got in touch with Ryan Herron again from JoaquinTrading after his podcast interview, reading trading books when I can get them cheap, etc, etc, etc.

That’s it, I’m outta here, and will be back next time with something a lot more interesting than the pile of excuses here!

dailyspeculations.com/reviews/Haave.html

 

A lesson from my childhood holidays.

”In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.”      Orson Welles. 

I recently watched a four hour recording of a recent trading seminar hosted by Rob Booker in Orlando, where two of the guest speakers, Matt LaCoco and Shonn Campbell discussed the theory that you won’t ever turn the corner to become a successful trader until your back is up against the wall and you have nowhere else to go. That, it is much better to start out with $1000 than $100,000 because you will almost certainly lose the $100,000 if you start out with that sort of easy cushion. This goes along with what Mark Douglas writes about in ,”Trading in the Zone,” about successful traders often have to lose everything and often more than once, before something switches on in their brain and changes something in them.

Now I don’t know about you, but the idea that you must have to have your back up against the wall and be down on your luck before something clicks in your brain, can seem so daunting that  it can be shoved to the back of the mind and a decision made that there must be another way. We can then coast along in our nice easy existence, with dreams and hope, rather than grit and determination.

When I was a child my parents used to take the family to the English coast for a couple of weeks each year for our annual summer holiday. On arriving at our holiday destination after the usual unpacking of bags I would promptly head off to the amusement arcades to play the one armed bandits and penny push falls machines. Now most years I would almost certainly have lost all my holiday savings in the first two or three days and would have to spend the rest of the two weeks hoping in desperation for my parents to treat me to ice-creams and treats, as I would then take up the more normal holiday pursuits of swimming, kite flying, shell collecting, inspecting rock pools and throwing pebbles into the sea. Now one year when I was about 14, I’d lost my savings as normal and was up early before any shops or amusements were open and was looking into the joke shop window at the assorted range of stink bomb’s, itching powders and imitation dog poohs and the like, when one of the amusement arcades opened up its shutter doors. I wandered in and found that as the machines started up, the extra judder caused some coins to fall out of the penny falls machines which I promptly picked  up. Not enough for an ice-cream or a joke dog pooh but enough to give me a chance of winning more. Well this year something seemed to happen to me and after my spell of financial adversity I suddenly became ultra selective in the machines I decided to play. Both the tops and bottoms of the push falls needed to be well packed and have a good pile of coins starting to overhang ready to fall. I would carefully time my coin drop so I wouldn’t waste a single coin dropping on top of, rather than behind another. If I lost two or three coins I would walk away from the machine. I would watch other losers from a discreet distance and pounce on their machine after they had left, first checking its condition before considering a play. Some machines just didn’t feel like the coins were being pushed right, so I would walk away. I would leave the arcades and go for a walk treating myself to burgers, doughnuts, ice-creams and hot-dogs if nothing seemed to be setting up. I still had moments where I could lose my new found discipline, so I started making rules to prevent me from losing everything and I would repeat them over in my mind as I walked to the arcades at the start of each session. I had three sessions a day to play divided by dinner and lunch when I would go back to the holiday apartment and I decided I would only take a portion of my newly made winnings out with me per session, so if I lost the plot I wouldn’t be losing everything. I didn’t have a key to the apartment so I would have calmed down before I could get access to more money at the times my parents had agreed to meet me back. Suddenly there were occasions when my luck seemed to be just right. I’d put one coin in a machine at the start of a session and the mother-load would drop so I would walk out down to the beach with my winnings to calm my excitement down. I actually ended the holiday taking more money home than I went with and having amassed  a number of holiday souvenirs to boot. This minor success story has been at the back of my mind for nearly 40 years as I have struggled to make any sort of success of my life and just now I’m starting to feel the relevance of it the most.

When you read about other peoples success stories one of the most popular themes is the rags to riches story. It is almost like the person in the story needs to make a point about the significance of coming from nothing. And what about all the great sports stories of hungry boxers coming from the mean streets or Brazilian footballers learning as a child by kicking a tennis ball barefoot in the street. What about heroic battles like Rorke’s Drift or WWII Oosterbrook where soldiers had their backs up against the wall and pushed through in the face of adversity, did something change in the minds of the people fighting these battles? During wars the pace of scientific and technological development surges almost exponentially.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s ”David and Goliath,” he discusses ,”The advantages of disadvantages and the disadvantages of advantages,” and ”The theory of desirable difficulty.” An excellent read if you haven’t. All this stuff and I’m sorry that my thoughts can’t be put down in writing as well as I would wish, lead me to think that the key to success is something that is already within us and needs some sort of backs against the wall catalyst to spark it into action.

That’s my Sunday afternoon thoughts for you. I’ve just spent my last £300 on a lifetime membership of Rob Bookers tfl365 and have absolutely nothing left other than the £825 in my Oanda account. I live in a rented apartment with a well worn carpet and old appliances, have a 10 year plus Rover and still have an old CRT tv,although I’ve stopped paying the tv licence fee and the cable fees so I can’t watch it, most of my clothes are well worn, work is trying to squeeze every ounce out of me and I’m approaching 54 with no pension. Things might have to get worse, but I feel good and say bring it on, because I feel my trading is showing some sparks of improvement that has taken four years to achieve.

Cheers I’m outta here.

Rules and Habits of Wealthy Traders.

I see some clever dude who trades from his box room, in a three bedroom semi in Hounslow, West London, is up for extradition to the US, for causing the May 6 2010 flash crash in the S&P E-Mini on the CME, by automating large amounts of sell orders then pulling them at the last minute to profit from the crash. Apparently his internet connection was a nanosecond faster than those in the city of London as he was closer to the server. Can’t see anything wrong myself in that, unless other evidence emerges. Still he does face a possible 380-year prison sentence, maybe in somewhere like Guantanamo or San Quentin, with a possible remission for good behaviour after serving a quarter. But for those of us who aren’t as clever and haven’t a clue how he did it, here’s something completely different:-

I’ve always meant to read those Market Wizard books by Jack Schwager but have never got around to it. I think my reason for this, is the thought that they will be about various other types of trading other than currency trading. Now I know there will be lots to learn from other types of trading, but I’ve always struggled to read books other than forex related. I did read Mastering the Trade by John Carter for example, but found myself skipping parts to get to stuff that was more relevant in my eyes to me. A few years ago I looked at Tim Bourquin’s  traderinterviews.com website and out of about 300 interviews there was only a few about forex traders and so I ended up purchasing only two interviews, number 203 about Kevin a forex scalper and 250 Rudy Leder a forex backtesting guru. The interviews were great but only two about forex was disappointing. Tim did write the book ”Trader’s at Work,” which does contain an excellent interview with Rob Wilson, a forex eurusd 1 min chart trader at that time, which I got from a free book sample download. Again I never actually bought the whole book to read. Now when I heard Rob Booker had purchased traderinterviews from Tim over a year or so ago I thought there would be loads of interviews to get my teeth into, but alas nothing seems to be going on with the website and I can’t even seem to login any more. So what can we learn from other successful traders other than the inspiration and the confidence that success in trading is actually achievable by the person with a computer and an internet connection at home. Well Tim did try to sum up all those 300 interviews into 30 habits of wealthy traders which I give below. In his lectures he did elaborate a lot more but the list is still good. Some may not seem quite relevant to you at the moment, but I’m personally finding more and more of them are to me. Now Rob Booker also did such a list but narrowed his down to 16 in his ebook and I’ve added those below Tim’s. Again you’ll have to get hold of the ebook to get the fully expanded stuff but an interesting list all the same.

30 Habits of Wealthy Traders by Tim Bourquin

1. Wealthy traders are patient with winning trades and enormously impatient with losing trades.

2. Wealthy traders realize that making money is more important then being right.

3. Wealthy traders look at technical analysis as a picture of where traders are lining up to buy and sell.

4. Before they enter any trade they know exactly where they will exit for either a gain or a loss.

5. Wealthy traders approach trade number 5 with the exact same mind set they did on the 4 previous losing trades.

6. Wealthy traders use naked charts and focus on zones.

7. Wealthy traders realized a long time ago that being uncomfortable trading is OK.

8. The markets they trade fit their personality. They are a participant – not an on-looker.

9. They stopped trying to pick tops and bottoms long ago.

10. They stopped thinking about the market being “cheap or expensive.”

11. Wealthy traders are willing to change sides, short to long and vice versa when the market tells them to do so.

12. Wealthy traders trade aggressively when trading well and modestly when they are not.

13. They realize the market will be open again tomorrow.

14. Wealthy traders will never add to a losing trade….EVER.

15. Cash is the target but wealthy traders set goals for their trading that are anything but money.

16. They read trading books, but they read more “crowd” books too ex: The Wisdom of Crowds, The Art of Strategy, Markets, Mobs & Mayhem.

17. They provide liquidity to the markets while watching price and volume.

18. They have a way to gauge fear, greed and speed of transactions. One way: tick charts.

19. They practice reading the right side of the chart, not the left.

20. Every wealthy trader trades has an edge.

21. Their position size is calculated exactly on risk tolerance.

22. Profit targets are based on Average True Range.

23. One or two trades a month make their month.

24. Confident decision makers in the face of incomplete information.

25. A losing trade is not a reflection on themselves as a trader.

26. Their business isn’t trading – it’s finding the right trades.

27. They write down or record every trade, price, thoughts, mood.

28. Their conviction on an active trade remains unless something major changes.

29. A winning trade does not result in taking on extra risk the next trade.

30. They trade the reaction not the news.

16 Rules of Millionaire Traders by Rob Booker

1. There is one kind of trading you can be great at. That’s what you should do. And nothing else.

2. Your very best trades are created from: overwhelming evidence on the charts; and a fundamental or order flow ”boost” to drive it.

3. Your investment in a healthy mind- courses, books, motivational and inspiring material, will have the most immediate and positive impact on your trading, more than anything else.

4. Do not drink, smoke, or abuse your body or otherwise become addicted to any substance, person, thing, belief. burden, sorrow or experience.

5. Focus beats natural skill and luck every time. Focus means you do one thing great, and that’s all you do.

6. Trust one person to close out your trades if you break your rules. Guess what? You won’t break your rules any more.

7. Your rules about how to handle losing trades are ten thousand times more important than anything else in your trading. There are two great trading rules about money management that can make you a millionaire many times over. These two rules are:

8. ”The Rule of Ten.” If you prefer to cut off losing trades quickly, find an edge that won’t ever give you more than 10 losing trades in a row.

9. ”The Rule of Thirds.” If you prefer to hold into and work your way out of losing trades. Consider making your second trade 3 times bigger than your first.

10. Radical honesty will unlock long-term consistent profitable performance.(Tell the truth in your journal, don’t hide losses, honesty lifts a weight from your shoulders.)

11. You must believe you can and deserve to make massive profits.

12. Your daily trading plan and ritual is not optional. If you don’t plan, you don’t trade.

13. Your success is directly tied to your obsession with accumulation.

14. If you open a trade with a massive size, then your judgement has become distorted.

15. Never marry a trading position. The market does not ”always come back.” Don’t trade like it does.

16. If you find that you are stuck, reboot. Start anew.

Note: I will emphasise that some of these are explained in much more detail by Tim and Rob themselves in their respective course/books.  I thought I would add that last note in case I get an extradition order for plagiarism and copyright theft to join the clever dude for a two way stretch in some US scrubs. I did also send a note to Rob Booker in the show notes of the traderspodcast, about not getting access to traderinterviews, as I had heard he was interviewing Matt LaCoco and Kim Krompass and I would love to read or hear those interviews. Hugh Kimura did interview Kim on his trading heroes website podcast, but Rob Booker is in a different league in any trading type interview scenario. Well that’s my Saturday night gone, writing my blog and supping a few bottles of ”suds” as they called them in the Shawshank Redemption. Let’s hope that poor chap doesn’t end up there!

A Message To All

The Master Trader

You are a great forex trader. You are great because you are absolutely obedient to the market. The market is always right. You are a winner because you possess extraordinary objectivity and trade without emotion. You never give in to euphoria or disappointment. Your state of mind when trading is always one of emotional balance and quiet self-confidence. You trade without any trace of ego or inflexible opinion and merely trust what you see and move with the market. Your trading discipline, rules, and self-control are perfect. The best! You have great intuition. You combine great patience with this intuition, and wait for the signal before acting. You are always relaxed, carefree, focused, and in the zone. You trust the charts to tell you what to do. They speak the truth. You are always able to see inside of the charts, understand their meaning and message. All that is necessary is for you to follow and obey. Trading is fun, easy, and effortless. Your timing is perfection. You have impeccable judgment. You enter the zone with ease, at will, whenever you wish, and take your pips with ease! This is your game. This is the very thing you were born to do. Trading is the gateway to all things, the path to personal fulfillment. You are “The Disciplined Trader”. You are able to achieve eighty percent positive trades with ease. The pips are always there. You are consistently disciplined in entries, exits. You accept small negatives, as part of the game. You are never concerned with, ‘’ What might have been.’’ You know that small negatives mean, you are in control. Doing so frees you to find and take the next few pips, with ease. You live on the hard right edge, where anything can happen. You love this place, and understand that uncertainty and making pips go hand in hand. You are extremely empathetic and use this skill to expertly read the market. Empathy always wins. There will always be pips. And pips are just a way to keep score. They are merely the by-product of great trading. The ultimate goal of great trading, the only real goal, is personal excellence and mastery of yourself. A master trader knows this. You are a master. You are always confident, relaxed, carefree, and objective. You trade with the highest degree of self-trust. You always wait for a faultless opportunity. You never trade if there isn’t a faultless opportunity. You never anticipate a move, but wait for the move to become established. You are never impatient to get into a trade. You never jump in too quickly. You time your trade to perfection, every time. You always close losing trades quickly. You focus on and read the charts with ease, seeing each one of them so clearly. You are a master market-reader, a master of entries and a master of exits. You have a complete game. You make your pips every day, every week, every month, every year. You feel no pressure to achieve your targets, and often exceed them. You surprise yourself with how easy this is. This is the path to happiness, freedom, fulfillment and mastery. You are walking the path. You are a Master Trader.

Scott Welsh and Follow Through.

How I got into Bradford University with two poor ‘A’ level grades and a fail  I don’t know. Maybe it was something to do with the course I was doing that not many wanted to do, or maybe it was the letter from my school headmaster that clinched it, giving the sob story of my poor secondary school education. (At the age of 11 I had failed the grammar school entry 11+ examinations and was confined to the dustbin of secondary education in the UK.) Anyway I was there and was at the freshers clubs signing on day, where all these university sports, arts, political, etc, etc, type club officials were sat behind tables in a hall signing up new members from the fresher community at the start of the new year. After about two minutes I finally decided that having watched a few Bruce Lee films I would like to learn how to beat the living crap out of someone, so I signed up for the  karate club. Now my first club session commenced with the black belt instructor standing in front of about thirty new recruits and telling us that he would be highly surprised if there was more than five of us still attending in about six months time, and by this time next year if more than one or two of us remained. That was how it always was. We were told the main session was on the Wednesday evening, but for those interested there was also a Saturday morning session and if we really wanted to take it seriously there was a local club away from the university that he ran, and we were welcome to attend. It was noticeable on the first Saturday session that there were less than half the new members attending and gradually as the year moved on there were less and less attendee’s on both sessions. On one Saturday morning it was just me and the instructor. Anyway during the one to one session, the instructor tried to teach me how to do a side kick with power. I had to learn the difference between pulling a kick when sparring so not to hurt the opponent and how to create Follow Through with power when kicking the punch bag.

Well that’s where I’m going to leave the story for the moment and now want to introduce you to Scott Welsh. Scott is a professional tennis coach in the US, he is also a trader. With Rob Booker he does a motivational podcast called ‘ The Rise and Shine Podcast ‘ http://riseandshinepodcast.com/ and he blogs about his robotic trading at http://tfl365.com/scott/ . I like the little motivational letters that he sends out like the one I received today;

Good morning!

I’ve got some exciting things coming up soon, but it’s Monday so that will have to wait.

On Mondays, I like to share some stories and quotes that have meant something to me. These sayings have changed my life in one way or another, and I hope they make a difference for you too.

“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”

-John Carmack

“Individuals with written goals were 39.5% more likely to succeed. But there’s more to the story. Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7% more likely to achieve them.”

-Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

Seinfeld told him the key was to write jokes every day. And the way he’d figured out how to make that happen was to hang a huge annual calendar on the wall and then put a big red “X” across every day he worked on his craft.
“After a few days, you’ll have a chain,” Seinfeld said. “Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing the chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is not not break the chain. Don’t break the chain.

-Jerry Seinfeld, giving advice to an aspiring comedian 

Talk to you soon,
Scott

Now Scott is a sports coach and with that in mind he understands only too well why so few succeed in sport. Why so many drop out without achieving their goals, just like my karate instructor explained would happen on my first session. It is not only sport, it is any endeavour people set out to do. Yes why do so many fail at trading and why do so few succeed? Well Scott has written a short pdf ebook on this, which you can download for free at his blog, http://tfl365.com/scott/ It is a very interesting read and very motivational if you are wanting to succeed at trading. At this moment in time it is attached to his March 18 blog post ‘What Are You Prepared to do?’

Yes why do so many people pull back from their goals and so few Follow Through? The answers for me are in that free little ebook Scott has written.

Now back to my own story. After about ten months I was to attend my first karate grading to gain one or two stripes on my embarrassingly white belt. It was on a Sunday morning, not a good time for me. Every Saturday night I was out with fellow, like minded students, on the lash. Knocking back pints of Tetley’s Bitter in ‘The Shearbridge,’ public house, followed by a Bradford curry special in ‘The Shimla’ restaurant next door. Well next day as you might expect I was worse for wear, but I still managed to attend the grading, such was my determination to achieve my goals. All was going well as I went through the sequence of punches and kicks in front of the judges, until I had to demonstrate the power and Follow Through I’d been trained to show, with a series of high kicks. As I was letting fly with a magnificent high rocket of a kick, suddenly the beer and curry in my guts decided to waken up and I farted, then I nearly Followed Through in a different sort of way. I had to excuse myself and walk off the training mat with buttocks clenched, so I could make it to the toilet without crapping myself. And that was the end of my foray with karate. I never went back again. It wasn’t very professional to be out the night before the grading and I got what I deserved. I’m sure Scott explains in his ebook better than I could, the reasons I was always going to fail. Rob Booker has recently explained to the 40% club of which I’m a member what the requirements for a short term aggressive trader are. 1. Emotional stability, 2. A fiercely independence individual, 3. Willing to sacrifice. It is number three I failed on. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my night out to be prepared for my grading. I was never going to truly Follow Through and attain the goal that all those thirty new students all thought they might achieve, (at least me anyway), the Black belt.

That’s it for now and I don’t drink that Tetley’s stuff any more, it’s mass produced chemicals. I rather the real micro brewery stuff like I’m going to have a couple of pints of now in ‘The Rowditch’, in Derby.

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Can I do it your way? Or more, much more than this, can I do it my way?

Got one of Rob Booker’s interesting emails this week. It is in fact a marketing email for his 40% club, which no doubt will be an interesting ride for those who haven’t quite found their own edge yet in the markets. For me, I’m not yet a successful trader, but I’m seeing plenty of encouraging signs that I’m making improvements and that I have potential. As for the interesting email, here it is with the marketing cut out.

This week I got really mad about something.

I got upset because I see traders who
have great potential…

But they’re just following.

Following trading “myths”

Following trading “gurus”

Trying to be exactly like someone else.

Your true potential as a trader has
nothing to do with copying someone else’s
style.

It has EVERYTHING to do with taking
all that you have learned…

And then unleashing your trading mind,
freeing yourself to trade in your own
way, your own style.

That’s when AMAZING things happen.

Now I don’t know about you, but for me I’ve spent a lot of my time learning to trade by trying to copy the methods exactly of who ever it was I was learning from. It started with Sid Wyeman then Rob Wilson, then Steve Rising, then Michael Huddlestons ICT, then LR Thomas and finally Allen Bary. Along the way I’ve done plenty of other courses and read plenty of trading books but none of them inspired me to fully copy their methods with the exception of Bob Volman. With Bob Volman I was stuck until traderAllen came along because I couldn’t find a way to access the 70 tick charts that Volman utilises and had given up trying. The thing is that traderAllen although following Bob Volman’s method of ‘Forex Price Action Scalping,’ doesn’t trade much like him at all. He has developed his own style from the things he has learnt himself that worked and made sense. Now traderAllen is an exceptional trader, no doubt about it, however I’ve been doing some things in my own trading that I’m sure he wouldn’t agree with, but I feel are important in the development of my own style. There’s a chance these things may not work out, but they make sense to me and until I find out otherwise I will continue to try develop these things. I’ve still got plenty to learn from traderAllen and so I will be keeping my own style development to myself on this blog and not mention it on his chat or forum as those are his platforms not mine and he is successful and I’m not.

Now what is my style. The core of the method is Bob Volman’s FPAS with Allen Bary’s guidance and additions http://www.wallstreet2easystreet.com/ . However I’ve been really enjoying Bob Volman’s new book UPA and am trying to incorporate that into my style. I like the way Matt LaCoco mlacoco.wordpress.com manages his trades and am edging that way. I like the way Rob Wilson in 5 Bullets and Rob Booker in Trifecta use divergence but have not yet found a way to use it myself http://traderspodcast.com/. I have ideas from Shonn Campbell http://tradinglifeownit.com/ , NBT http://www.nobrainertrades.com/ , LR  http://10xroitradingsystem.com/ , from ICT http://theinnercircletrader.com/  and Steve Rising. But most of all I have my journal and the 75 trades I’ve taken in two months and my commitment to following a process Read this article on JamesClear.com.

I’ve heard said on these tv talent shows, when a singer covers a song but gives it something different and special that ‘ They made it their own.’  Maybe after stealing all the ideas above I will be able to make the song my own and be able to sing that, ‘More much more than this, I did it my way.’

Frank Sinatra-My Way Lyrics

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say – not in a shy way,
“Oh no, oh no not me,
I did it my way”.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it my way!

Yes, it was my way.

Chatter

Wednesday night was my last night shift of four and I made sure I didn’t get up to trade after my disastrous day the last time I finished nights. ( Rule 1, to protect myself from myself). Instead I had a good sleep until 15.00 uk, did 30 mins of Paul McKenna hypnotic meditation, got up and had a light late breakfast of scrambled eggs and tomatoes and coffee . My weight had gone up to 18 stone recently, so I’m on a low carb diet. No bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, pastry, batter, beer 😦  Maybe I’ll have a few beers at the weekend, but I’ve become a bit of a lard arse, so in the spirit of taking control of my life to improve my trading, I’m now on day six. I remember reading John Carter’s ‘Mastering the Trade,’ and was rather shocked at the extreme’s he goes to eat and live healthily, but now I’m coming around to the idea in a somewhat smaller way. Of course six days is nothing, watch this space.

Anyway after easing my way into my four shifts off, I’ve only been left with Friday and Monday to trade. Not the best of days to trade when learning anyway and with markets moving to the 28 Feb Greek loan expiration deadline, days may be more unfavourable to trade. After a poor week last week trading breakouts I’m going to try and be more selective in my trades. This brings me to my title of ‘Chatter.’ When not trading and in a relaxed mind it was interesting to go through traderAllen’s chat room that I have missed this week. A conversation that I really found to my liking was this;

dd: Probably 50-60% of valid set-ups are with NTR and NTS (near term S and R). Gotta skip em or face up to lower odds.

Allen: You don’t need many trades when you are not digging yourself out of a hole.

SPJ: IMO, so many ”bad” days in Feb, days to be just waiting, not trading.

stefer: And learning to recognize and understand that is the key to profitability.

Allen: up and down swings are smaller, need to target less and move stops in maybe 8 for a start instead of 10 stop.

stefer: NTR everywhere you look.

dd: so then you sit out. Allen claims to trade mostly two weeks out of the month, so there you go.

Allen: right, during the good trending markets lots of trades, when it’s unfavourable, sit on hands.

Yes, great content which is most significant for me after having 9 losers out of 13 for -30 pips last week. Also sitting on my hands will be a lot easier when not mentally and physically fatigued.

Whether anyone else gets anything out of the chat may depend on how they want to trade, and the point they are at in their own trading, but if you want to learn to scalp you may like to take a butcher’s at traderAllen’s website, forum and chat at http://www.wallstreet2easystreet.com/  And also to find out the fundamentals of scalping like traderAllen you might want to watch this excellent video which he did recently which sums it up.

Anatomy of a forex scalp trade

May join the chatter myself tomorrow, although I try to stay in the background so it doesn’t distract my focus.

See you soon. I’m outta here.

The Power of a Positive Perspective.

There is an old, old story about a farmer in China. One year the weather was very good and his crops grew strong and high, and all his neighbours told him how lucky he was to have such a fine crop and he replied,’Maybe.’ Then the day before he was going to start the harvest a herd of wild horses came running off the plains and trampled all his crops flat. His neighbours came around and said how unlucky he was to lose his fine crop. The farmer replied, ‘Maybe.’ The next day the farmer’s son went out with a length of rope and caught a wild stallion and three mares, and the neighbours came round to admire the horses and told the farmer how lucky he was. The farmer said, ‘Maybe.’ In the morning the farmer’s son started to break in the horses and no sooner had he mounted the stallion than it threw him, and he fell on the ground and broke his leg. The neighbours carried him indoors and commiserated with the farmer, saying how unlucky he was that his only son was so badly injured. The farmer replied, ‘Maybe.’ The next day the Emperor’s army came to the village on the way to fight a great battle and all the able-bodied young men were press-ganged into the army. But the farmer’s son was not taken because of his broken leg. All his neighbours told the farmer how lucky he was that his son had been saved from the army and the farmer said, ‘Maybe.’

This is one of the stories on a cd of self hypnosis by Paul McKenna. It is there to re-frame your perspective when positive and negatives things happen in your life. When you have a winning trade, then a loser. When you have a string of losers then a few winners. Whatever it is, taking a positive perspective helps to critically analyse our own work, in this case our trades. On my scalping page I had listed and tried to neutrally analyse each one of my 57 trades taken over my first month live.  I have ended up risking 570 pips using a 10 pip stop on each trade. I have ended up after one month -16 pips down averaging a loss of 0.28 pips per trade. Not a bad start considering a spread of 1.4 pips per trade on average with Oanda this past month. I will say though that I lost 30 pips this week in this ranging market, losing 9 of my 13 trades. Every BB seemed to stall and of those that were winners, the max I took was 5.7 pips, there have been many lessons here, many probably not yet really absorbed. Recognising these conditions seems to be a big factor in either refraining from break outs or reversing the logic and trading the counter reversal. The week started on post NFP Monday with very little news. All week we had the Euro/Greek stand off hanging around, never going anywhere. Tues, Weds, Thurs, also devoid of market moving announcements.Then Profit taking Friday after such a poor week. Daily ranges appeared as tight doji’s on the daily chart, held in by the 50 and 00. False breaks continuously outside the 50’s and 00’s. TraderAllen was warning all week. He started to look at the USDJPY and took Friday off. Was there anything else I needed to see. Evidently from my weeks results I wanted something else. I was still trading Friday but by this time was very cautious and got out of each of my two trades for around BE.

Next month my work shifts fall mostly during the week so my live trading will be limited, but time at the weekend for looking at the sim and more analysis, more meditations, more reading and setting down my rules that I mentioned in a previous article. It is important no matter what obstacles there are to your own trading, that you take a positive perspective on what you are doing with your time.

I say to all out there start an open journal. Expect to lose for this is how you will learn. Don’t care what your neighbours think or say about your results. Your greatest lessons come after a series of losers as long as you keep journalling. Stop your journal and you have lost because you will be trying to blank out the losers and relying on hope and you will think you’ve turned the corner after a series of winners when it was just pure chance. TraderAllen commented on the chat that it takes around three years to become successful, to which I replied, ‘Only 35 months to go then.’

My first month started on 13 Jan and ended on Fri 13 Feb. If you say to me that it was unlucky to have started and ended my first month on the 13th  and a Friday at that, then I will say to you, ‘Maybe.’