Anekdoten: An ET Mentor

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Duref Mudgins, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. Greetings to all, and welcome to this, our third interview with interesting ET traders. With the emphasis on TRADERS. I asked Anekdoten to speak with us because Razor values his advice highly, and because Anekdoten has a new mentoring thread in Journals with brisk readership:

    http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=99283

    First some disclaimers. Anekdoten is not me. I do not believe that I know him from any previous incarnations of his, if any. I have only corresponded with him to solicit his participation in this thread. I have read only sparingly in his posts, and I do not know what to expect here any more than you do. But I DO know how to read a post to tell if a person TRADES, and this guy DOES.

    So, to begin, Anekdoten, thank you for being willing to participate. If you read any of Razor's interview, you know what to expect. I will begin with some background questions, always being careful not to ask anything too personal or proprietary. Then I will progress to the hard questions at the core of being a trader that I think ETer's wrestle with all the time.

    Will you tell us a bit about yourself in generalities, like your age, nationality or geographic location, years trading, educational interests, profession other than trading, whether you support yourself solely by trading, and anything else about yourself that you would care to share?
     
  2. Waste-not-quant-not, DD-YM is a highly passionate individual given to verbal excess, probably fueled by mild substance abuse. If you read the posts which preceded it you MIGHT detect that being 26 and hawking vitamins and driving his girlfriend's car was a JOKE. In any event, I stand by my interview with Razor. You keep ragging my ass and I will interview YOU next.
     
  3. Duref,

    Thank you for the opportunity.

    Please lower the density of the spotlight, it accentuates my wrinkles!

    I'm not bound to a specific location, sort of a cosmopolitan and I've been lucky enough to travel most of the world.

    Currently in the mid 30s.

    My education is mostly Computer Science and Psychology.

    I've been trading since the mid 90s and daytrading since the year 2000. I support myself strictly from daytrading and have not had a losing month in more than 3 years therefore I highly doubt my profession will change in the near future.

    As far as style, I am what some might call a discretional trend following scalper although occasionally I take my share of reversal intraday swing plays.

    I blew up twice during the beginning of my daytrading career, mostly due to not having and edge and very bad discipline.
    Determination and screen time was the secret ingredient.

    Love to help others as I have a passion for my job and the market but when it comes to personal matters I'm a very private person.

    Anek
     
  4. Congratulations on your success! You are in good hands here as a psych major and code jockey, both of which I practice without a license! And what a delightfully felicitous background for trading you have!

    I get your message about privacy, and will ask no more personal questions.

    Interesting that both you and Razor are 30ish. I have children older than that, no offense. But my girlfriends are that young, so I think we can still relate.

    First off, let me say how impressed I am that you are paying it forward without any apparent need to be revered or appreciated for it. True generosity disdains sycophancy.

    So to leap right in, what instruments do you trade? What is your average hold? Your size, if you don't mind saying? (I am a 38 waist and an X-L shirt.) Your profit target per share or car in relation to daily range?
     
  5. Once you spend some years looking at the screen on a daily basis things start becoming more obvious. More importantly if you focus your eyes on price.

    I trade index futures, I pay no attention to news or economic data, I usually close all positions at market close unless momentum did not die then I would exploit the around the clock nature of CME and keep trailing the play. Very rarely do I sleep with a position open, more like never.

    My targets are always based on price action and momentum and not on a fixed value. One can be a few ticks and the next one can be half the daily range, depends on market sentiment for that particular play or day.

    Using ES an example, my trades usually start with a position of 3-5 ES cars. Because losses must be small and winners should be ran as much as possible, to protect your capital, averaging up or only adding to a winning position is my money management method of choice, therefore as I get blessed with momentum and solid trends, my position can scale up all the way up to full leverage as long as stops are protecting at least 65-80% of the profits.

    Anek
     
  6. Bravo! What an answer! That puts you clearly in perspective.

    Now I am about to go to bed, perhaps even to sleep, and I recite before I recline my trading mantra that I might remember it in the morning and throughout the trading day. And so that I might dream of the day to come. For I am not a good trader. I am a weak trader. I am a highly flawed person, and therefore a highly flawed trader.

    Do you have such a mantra? Can you share it? If so, I will share mine, guaranteed to amuse you.
     
  7. Mantra, sure....

    "Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Anek
     
  8. Ah, philosophical! Then you have no trading demons to be banished daily with incantations, my congratulations.

    With your forbearance I will change up the order of questions as your comments suggest a different approach. You mentioned entering a position with 3-5 cars, and scaling in to full leverage, in a position that might last half the daily range. That could demand a sizeable position (I won't ask HOW large).

    Given that financial backstop, and your success, what prevents you from going for broke with total net worth or loans or OPM to buy whatever your version of the traders' dream private island is?
     
  9. Duref,

    I very rarely reach a trend so strong where I'm at full leverage and say, wish I had more buying power.

    Even when they happen they simply don't last forever.

    Using more capital to increase the starting position would possibly conflict with my ability to trade completely without fear but progressive increments is definitely something I'm currently working on from a psychological standpoint.

    As you probably imagine, as you increase car size you increase psychological pressure exponentially, once again why i favor averaging up techniques. Still, you face that unproven initial position as every trade starts with an educated guess but a guess nonetheless.

    Anek
     
  10. Thanks for that advice. Every small trader probably wonders what scaling up will feel like.

    Well, let me get back on course and ask you about your trading style, of course avoiding anything proprietary. Curious readers could go to your very first post on ET:

    http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&postid=1481864#post1481864

    or to your wildly popular mentoring thread in Journals:

    http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=99283

    but I would like to ask for a precis anyway.

    Tell us please, what your personal style is, if that differs from the basic approach you are teaching. Do you favor retracements to S/R, BOs, rollouts, blowouts, channel, momo, countertrend, animal crackers, or some other?
     
    #10     Sep 12, 2007
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