I've got a secret

Discussion in 'Trading' started by tampa, Feb 17, 2002.

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  1. tampa


    It is with utter astonishment that I read so many of these threads. The number of poor souls who still look for fail-safe methods/systems is frightening!

    Earlier today I read not one but multiple posts convinced that several well known writers were “holding back”. Not telling all.

    My dear friends allow me to put your minds at ease. Trading is a matter of skill, based on common sense and little more. There are no secrets or methods. It is boring and repetitious. It requires no great intellect, but unbending discipline. It has more to do with accepting and understanding probability, than mastering stock selection, or research.

    And above all else, it has to do with mastering yourself.
    ktmtrader, yiehom and lawrence-lugar like this.
  2. AllenZ


    SO TRUE!!!!!! NO TRUER STATEMENT has been uttered on this board.

    I think because trading draws so many " intelligent " people with strong education or business backgrounds they think if they search hard enough they can find the HG ( holy grail ).

    Trading is like poker in as much as you look for an "edge", and exploit it with disciplined money management skills.

    Work on understanding probabilities and learn to accept risk while protecting capital and you will give yourself a fair chance to succeed in this business.

    " Success tends to go not to the person who is error-free, because he also tends to be risk-averse. Rather it goes to the person who recognizes that life is pretty much a percentage business. It isn't making mistakes thats critical; it's correcting them and getting on with the principal task."

    ---- Donald Rumsfeld

  3. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    tampa and Allen,

    Great commentary. The only thing I would disagree with is tampa's comment: There are no secrets or methods.

    There are definitely methods, every trader has at least one if not many; as to secrets, just ask Nitro to describe anything whatsoever about his methods and you'll learn the meaning of the word secrets. :)

    P.S. Allen -- fabulous quote by Rumsfeld.
    Nobert likes this.
  4. Money management isn't the only thing that can provide an edge. Some methods provide an improved edge, while some do nothing for the trader in the way of providing a positive expectation. Most of the methods out there are not secret, or are merely known stuff brewed upsidedown (unique interpretation of old bag of tricks).

    But your basic assertion is sound. People who come into the business often waste lots of money buying the ultimate this or that super X trading system. The only one who gets rich is the system producer.

    IMHO the trading equation = skill + trading edge + money management.
  5. Trading is easy. Making money isn't difficult.
    There, I said it. I don't think there is anything special about me. I'm not particularly intelligent. I dont have any special trading secrets. Most of trading is boredom. You play endless games of minesweeper and snood. You download some porn, read some stupid jokes on a webpage and watch dancing hamsters. All day long most of my day is waiting for that one setup that I feel confident on. About 60% of all trading I do now is done from the inebriated state. There is no reason to sleep a full night before trading honestly. I can come in drunk off my ass at 5 am, sleep til 7:30 and still pump out a 5k day. It's gotten to be that easy. I dont' think much about it really. Thinking is my enemy most of the time. It's really about knowing how to read the ocean, then you just roll with the motion of the ocean. It's a gut feel that you get inside you. There's nothing more to it. Most traders who are looking for a special tactic are looking in the wrong places. I use very few tactics. I've been trading the same 1 strategy with a few variations on it now for about 18 mos. So far this year, my trading account is already up 120%.
    Trading isn't about hitting homers. It's about being consistent. Don't go for huge days. They have a way of sneaking up on honestly, but it's those 2-5k days that add up that make your year. When you have a 25k day... WOOHOOO!!! but you know you won't have another for months, so don't push for it. I find that the only time I loose is right after i've been on a few day bender of consecutive 5 figure wins. That's when I get burnt. I get arrogant, I get cocky, I get sloppy!!!!
    Forget complicated strategies or wierdo math calculations. It's about reading a tape, finding a bottom and putting size in there for that bottom, or whatever your strategy is. You can't jump around and look for the next hot game in town. Choose 1 and only ONE game and play that pattern forever. It's boring as watching sh*t dry, but at the end of the year when you look at your p/l, it's worth it.
    As for not sharing secrets. I feel that there are many things that can't be shared. Liquidity concerns necessitate that. In my case especially, if I intend to run 10-20k positions in stocks that trade 50k a day, I can't possibly intend to tell others. IT's just shooting myself in the foot. If you have 200 clones of one trader, no one makes a cent. Besides, I think that most traders out there wouldn't listen to what a successful trader tells them anyway. They just don't want to hear it. They want to hear their version of things, and that's all. They aren't open to new thoughts, and most really don't want to sit and listen to quality traders. It's not about arguing with them. It's about sitting it out and listening, just like you can't argue with the market. You must listen to it.
  6. tymjr


    tampa: “Trading is a matter of skill… It is boring and repetitious. It requires no great intellect, but unbending discipline. It has more to do with accepting and understanding probability, than mastering stock selection, or research.”

    Great thoughts and I agree for the most part…

    “There are no secrets or methods.”

    Although I believe the psychological aspect of trading is significant, there seems to be a great deal of overcompensation occurring. If success in trading were simply the direct result of the degree to which a trader had mastered his emotions, I would imagine most mechanical systems would never degrade, as they suffer not from some of our human shortcomings. Unfortunately, many fluctuate and some fail, over the course of time.

    Adaptation or complete abandonment of a methodology must occur as the market changes and, as is the natural course of things, some people become aware of concepts or methods long before they achieve popular recognition. I believe that it can easily be demonstrated that some traders/institutions have exploited advantages that are virtually non-existent today, due to the number of traders/institutions attempting to utilize them.

    The point is mute, though, as the idea that “there are no secrets or methods” is a bit off the mark, IMHO. Regardless as to whether a strategy, indicator, or method is indeed unknown to the majority of individuals, a trader may simply not care to share its particulars for any number of reasons, beyond the possibility of negative financial repercussions.

    While the validity of the common perception that an edge is only viable to the degree that it is relatively unknown or inaccessible is open for debate, I personally tend to want to err on the side of caution. I really don’t know if people use, are aware of, or even interested in the same concepts/methods that I employ but I don’t feel comfortable sharing most of them on a public forum.

    If anyone disagrees with me then keep it to yourself. I don’t want anyone trampling on my potential delusions. :)
  7. Cesko


    "It's days like this that make me want to open an account to trade hong kong.

    Most of trading is boredom. You play endless games of minesweeper and snood. You download some porn, read some stupid jokes on a webpage and watch dancing hamsters

    Praetorian2, how these two statements fit together???
  8. nitro


    IMHO, the market isn't what it is, it is what "you" are - if you think about it, it cannot be any other way. I simply found "myself" in the market. It works for me - now I just have to turn in into 5K days like praetorian2.

    I agree with praetorian2 100%. Why would I tell everyone how I trade? What possible gain could come from it to me? This isn't a team game you know. :eek:

    Do I have a "method," you better believe it - However, just perfecting what Don/Bob Bright teach at their class (or possibly Echo, I don't know, I hear it is similar) assuming you had an inch of talent, would make you a living trading assuming you worked at it as hard as Hitman does. That only costs $1000 - I spent the money and thought nothing of it - turned my trading around! If I told you how I traded for free, or wrote a book and charged $100 for it, what do you think that would be worth to you?

    ZERO! 99.9% of the stuff that is in books isn't worth the paper it's written on. Tell you what, when my "secrets" stop working, I will sell it to you for $19.99, shipping and handling not included, or better yet, I will start a chat room, sell the video, and do the tour.

    Emt likes this.
  9. Rigel


    There are failsafe methods. It takes a sh3tload of work to find and develop them but you have to have them in order to succeed, otherwise it's just a craps-shoot. But that's only half the battle. The other half is the sitting through hours of mind-numbing boredom while at the same time sticking to your plans. I agree with Praetorian, it's easy. It's almost too easy (boring). There's always the siren call of "the big score" that is trying to tell you to throw your money management rules out the window and have a little excitement. Hey baby, spend the dough on me, I'll make you happy. (Yeah, right.LOL). The minute you do some MM or volume trader will show up and clean your clock, wiping out weeks of hard work. So the only way to succeed in the long run is to consistently stick to your slow, boring trading routines and money management rules. Trading is either a boring, maybe profitable business, or an exciting loosing game.
    Evgeniy likes this.
  10. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Talking "around" a methodology is a far cry from going into exacting details of a proprietary strategy. Please don't equate the two. I think I was following up on an earlier quote by you from the Riding your winners and number of positions thread where you said:

    I do not know if trading bigger size brings other techniques to the trading game. I would like to learn from someone doing this size.

    Just seemed strange to me that you are so downright open and willing to have someone else share their methods, y'know to take you to the next level, but you are loathe to discuss the slightest thing about your own. Hmmm. :eek:
    #10     Feb 18, 2002
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