Discussion in 'Trading' started by BertH, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. BertH


    I PM'd someone I respect on this, but decided to convey it to the board. Why? Not so that I could personally discourage anyone else from trying it--after all, I admit to being confused as hell right now. That's hardly a position to tell others what to do or not to do.

    First of all, the title of my PM says it all--I've reached a point of deep disillusionment regarding my trading. While I've not actually lost from what I started in my account (gained small amount), it's been too erratic to have any real confidence in.
    When I started this journey a couple of years ago, I could damn sure swear I saw significant patterns--repeated enough in a manner that--with discipline--would render strong profits over time.

    Alas, the more and longer I dig in, the worse it gets (through more closely analyzing past data, seeing it more thoroughly, perhaps). I find that "setups" I thought put the odds strongly in my favor were a form of mirage--something that pulled me in, only to let me down in the end. It's not the market's job to make me happy; it's just that all the mega-hours and, especially, hopes I had seem dashed at this juncture. I'm an analytical sort with something of a mathematical mind. I believed I could beat this game, because I have pretty good discipline, and figured the analytical side would create some trading strategies that worked a heckuva lot more than they didn't. Instead, it just seems like a useless pull and tug, going in a circle and ending in the same spot.

    I still believe--in the end--there's got to be some kind of system(s) that utilize and take advantage of the predictable patterns of human psychology. I thought I had some that could figure these patterns on the charts, but it's quite possibly all BS.

    I'm just highly frustrated, disappointed, and disillusioned. I'm not sure if I'll resume this game at some point or not. Maybe it is largely a "random walk," and even when it's not "random," do we know when that time is coming or happening? Is it a tradable edge, enough to warrant making significant bucks from?

    For those of you who have figured it out enough to be consistently profitable, definitely more power to ya. Maybe I'll get there someday, maybe I won't. Not sure what to do right now. I thought I loved this deeply at one point--now, I'm honestly not sure I have the stomach or patience.

    Thanks for the ear regarding the ramble.
  2. Cheese


    Well now I might just make my usual put down.
    But no.

    It is darkest before the dawn.
    Price is not random; it is patterned and of repetitive patterning.

    Your blur is your reaction.
    You can return to focus and recognition.
    Then following from that there is distinguishing the signals for each move and implementation of accurate trading.
  3. BertH


    thanks, Cheese. I appreciate the words of wisdom. Maybe my post was an attempt to avoid giving up altogether, listening to others' advice. I figure at least some of you have experienced something similar.

    It may well be that my expectations are a "disillusionment" as well. I feel I should find something that I'd hit correctly about 75% of the time, something(s) tradable with enough frequency to do well with. That may be simply unrealistic.

  4. doctors study, what, how many years?
    how many years did it take for the medical world to arrive at where they are now and how many thousands / hundreds of thousands / millions of man years of research went into that?

    why would trading profitably be something like that you can just pick up a book, turn on a computer, install some software program, do a bit of programming and then watch it lay the golden eggs?

    it is a path of deep study in human psychology, it will take you a minimum of 5 years full time (if you are lucky)

    and to those who say it can be done in less time I say: you have been either extreemly lucky or have been fortunate to have had a good mentor but doing it on your own will take that as a minimum. But more likely it will be that your system is marginal at best.

    getting profitable is hard work, much harder than that you ever imagined

    psycho analitics
  5. 4re


    It might help if you could say what you are trading and what set-ups you have been looking for. I know that their are a lot of breakout and divergence traders here in ET that you might be able to learn by watching their set ups and how they take profits.
    Good luck to you,
  6. BertH


    psychoanalitics, I understand what you're saying about it taking doctors and such a very long time. Even so, I would have expected, thru all this time, I wouldn't have traveled what seems like a mere elongated circle. That, perhaps more than anything--the basic lack of progress--is what's so discouraging for me.
    But I must ask--is roughly five-plus years really the norm for solid success on a consistent basis? I don't want to underestimate anyone's path of effort, and agree it can't be done overnight. Just seems that may be a bit long in some cases.

    I prefer trading on either an hourly candle or daily candle basis, looking for brief consolidations amidst up or down trends, or points of likely reversal. On the latter, I'm sure the intensity of the downward path the main indices has taken causes such a strategy to be much less profitable. Even so, in looking it all over, seems so futile.
    I thought I'd never say that.
  7. billp



    I feel in the same exact position as you. I see people making it in less than a year or a year or so and I'm thinking, I'm much longer than that, but I'm getting nowhere. Everytime I think I get it, I only ended up disappointed. I hardly enter any trades now as I do not want to keep losing $. Not sure what to do at this moment either. All the best to you.
  8. It should be interesting to see what type of responses you get.

    You seem to be saying a couple of different things:

    1) There is no holy grail.

    Yep, I agree, there isn't a holy grail. Or put it this way, if there is, I have not discovered it either. Yet I've been trading for nearly 40 years now with a few years off here and there for things like the military.

    Hopefully the emminent traders on this website won't find me too heretical to say that until you understand there is no holy grail, you will have difficulty making progress. Because frankly, you will spend all your time in a search for that special combination of events that will lead you to the promised land. I'm here to tell you forget it.

    2) For certain, the methods that you have identified as promising do not seem to work. I'm assuming that this at least partially dovetails into #1, but it may also be expressing alot of disappointment that all that work you've gone to just didn't seem to pay off appropriately.

    Perhaps I had an advantage when I first got started professionally after a few years of trading on my own. I started as a broker. In those days we had a ticker tape running across the top of the wall in the front of the room. We had these old mechanical quote machines that you could tediously punch up a quote on. So it was easier to follow the market by watching the tape. Underneathe the tape was a few numbers like advances, declines, and unchanged issues, the Dow Industrials, Transports, and Utilities, and the volume.

    So many of us watched the tape all day long. You could see the buying and selling start in certain issues, followed by sympathy buying in similar issues. You could see the pace of the market pick up by the speed of the tape, how it was affected by the A/D line etc etc. So after watching for a few years you start to pick up a few things.

    We had a Dow Jones newswire clacking away at the from of the room. So when the pace of the tape picked up, you could walk up and read the newswire to see if anything had happened.

    Now, I mention all this because what it gave me was considerable "screen time". At that time we never heard of intraday charts, stochastics, MACD hadn't been invented, etc etc. So it was all about watching the tape. I also read the technical bible at the time by Edwards and Magee. I did alot of study of all the fundamental beliefs at the time. In other words, along with my "screen time", I was a student of anything I could find.

    Underlying all of this time and effort was a belief that if I were only SMART enough, that I could make money. I believed that on Wall Street the race went to the smartest.

    Today, after nearly 40 years of trading, I still think the race goes to the smartest....modified perhaps by those with some street smarts.

    I don't believe the big money goes to the guy who comes up with some type of special indicator for his 5 minute chart. I think it goes to the guy who has educated himself in the vocation of trading, fundamentals, technicals, psychology, etc, and can somehow get his mind around it in a way that he takes his shot at appropriate times...not always right, but ready to run when he isn't. Now by this I don't mean he's using a few ticks stop loss either, although maybe this is appropriate at times as well.

    The idea is to take a position at a time when you can risk a little for alot. It's your job to identify those times. I believe you can identify those times in most time frames....but the nature of the market changes at times, frustrating those who are search for the holy grail. So the idea isn't to search for the grail, but to identify those situations where a small risk can lead to be big reward IF you're right.

    In my case I watch alot of things to help me out with that process. I've outlined those in other posts, so I'm not going to repeat that here. But when and if you review those things, what you will find is that I am searching for clues that will lead me to have some confidence about the direction of the market.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. There are plenty of rewarding things to do in life beyond trading. But trading is a great life for those suited for it.

  9. Just a thought.

    Are you sure your perspective is not changing when you are IN a trade, vs just window shopping?

    This can and will be the cause of great pain, if not monitored.
  10. Banjo


    Markets are a reflection of the timber of the times, they are about money, money is about survival,an extreme emotional construction. We are in the throes of emotional extremity now with a potential for even more intensity. If you are trading the classic pattterns of regression to some mean (reversals) or the breakout ( expansion) from a low energy period you should probably simply stand aside as this is a gunslingers game and very few are properly equiped. Prediction is a fools game here. The requirement is very deep pockets with a long term view or to actually be a Rambo of the markets. Seeing the films 50 times just makes one some one who has seen the films 50 times, it doesn't make one Rambo.
    #10     Jul 16, 2006