Sincere Question: How is the market compared to 2003?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Hitman, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Hitman


    A very short story about myself. I had a 3 year trading career with a prop firm that eventually closed its doors in late 2003. I recorded 31 out of 36 profitable months in this span. However I had a very hard time in 2003, made very little money month-to-month before losing 1/4 of the year's profit in 15 minutes.

    You can call me stupid but that particular hit, along with the bankrupcy of my firm, along with what was a disaster year compared to my all time best 2002 (although I still barely made average American annual income in 2003, it wasn't worth the risk as I felt I was walking on razor's edge all year), destroyed my confidence. I can not answer the question "why didn't you join another firm?", because I don't know the answer to this question myself. I guess I had serious doubts about the viability of trading as a life time career. I had serious doubts about my ability to suceed as a trader as the strategies I relied upon went down one after the other. I chose to take a break, could be the worst mistake I ever made in life, could be a blessing in disguise, I would never know.

    Last two years I attempted numerous jobs in different industries (and needless to say, none of them were anywhere nearly as enjoyable as trading, although they were quite harmless and stress free), I worked on my degree. I don't know why I escaped from the market, but I did. I "unplugged" myself from the market.

    There are things in life that once you put down, you will never be able to pickup again. But last night I had a dream, I saw the tickers, tapes, charts, and symbols that I often dreamed of when I traded. I even saw the traders I worked with in my old firm, and this morning I had to call people up. Some of them are still working in the industry, others moved onto other things.

    Whether this was a moment of truth or a moment of clarity, I am curious what you guys think of the market. Especially those of you that traded for 5+ years. I am referring to intraday volatility / trading volume in general.
  2. Aren't you the guy that had many trials and tribulations trying to win the "Princess"? Funny stuff.

    Welcome back. :)
  3. Htrader

    Htrader Guest

    Hey Hitman, I just stumbled upon this thread and I'm glad your back. I enjoyed reading your journals.

    As per your question, the markets are certainly much more difficult than they were a few years back. Most of the nyse-specific strategies that prop firms relied on no longer work, and it will only get worse once the nyse moves entirely to the hybrid model.

    Overall volume is about the same, but tradable volume is down. Much the trading today is done by computer algorithms. There is less posted liquidity, especially on the nyse, which exacerbates price movements. Alot of the mutual fund orders which used to hit the open market have now moved to alternative trading systems like pipeline and liquidnet. Conversely I think there is more hedge fund involvement, which leads to some rather unusual price swings.

    That being said, I still think there are many trading opportunities. You just need to pick your spots. Personally, I've reduced my pure number of trades, but increased my volume to compensate. Swing trading is still a viable strategy. Recently much of the dumb public money appears to be flowing into speculative nasdaq stocks.

    The energy sector is super volatile and the futures make insane moves. I don't have much experience here, but I could certainly see a good trader making a killing. Forex and equity futures are quite popular on this board, but I think they are mostly untradeable instruments.
  4. George Soros called his autobio "Staying Ahead of the Curve".

    I think about that phrase many times everyday...
    It applies to every small business... and very especially to a trading business.

    With transaction costs down 80-90% last 10 years plus decimalization...
    It's now about 2 things: AUTOMATION and VOLUME.

    Just about anybody can now automate flipping 1000 shares for $0.02...
    Paying $3.00 each way... making $14.00 profit... and doing it over and over and over.

    All the Market Manipulation sh*t from the Specialists and Dealers... and their Parasites is gonna be history.
    Advantage to the Pure Quants... who will thrive in an Electronic World.
  5. volatility has collapsed and intraday moves the past 2 months have been horrid. it's like 1 million black boxes on each side negating each other.the name of the game is holding for a few days now
  6. it is only worth to trade soon after the bell and towards the close right now. i mean, every day there's somthin' very much tradable in these 2 timeframes while not that often u can find decent r/r durin' the rest of the session. i agree tho, that if ranges keep contractin' maybe long term holdin' is the only answer. i still dont think tho that openin' range imbalances are gonna go away any time soon.
  7. Hitman, is it really you. Why did you give up so soon. As far as the market is concerned it is what it is, and all are having to learn to adjust. This is the nature of trading, even the Bots break down and need to be refined or even trashed in favor of something different. Some have switched to position trading rather than scalping. I think you really should have given it more time.

    Now if it really is the famous Chinese Hitman of the princess fame, PLEASE take some advise from someone who has a lot of life experience, Remember who you step on going to the top because you will see them on the way down.

    SO if you ever are successful again, you need to be more humble about it. Comments like "Don makes has money off of etc". and "I will no longer be sharing my strategies because all you people are is a bunch of lazy bloodsuckers and don't deserve to be in my great and omnipotent presence". Do not win you any friends, there may be times when you need a hand. Think about this had you not burned your bridge with Don, maybe you could have hooked up with Bright to be a remote trader.

    Anyway I wish you well

    The Ever Knowing MY Limitations VIPER
  8. OMG, I can't believe I missed this thread and the silence is so deafening. Hit, so you've decided to bless ET with your presence again. Well I tell you what - you had quite a following on this site a few years back. And now you come back and no one you recognize replies - that goes to show you how much as changed since you've left - a lot of guys are out of this game. As far as the market, its always changing - and I think its for the better. Its a great market overall: the technology continues to improve, cost continue to fall, and way more instruments to trade now. The low volatility limits your win potential but it also limits your loss potential - so its not that bad.
  9. Hit

    Its pretty clear that you had to no love for the market to begin with, you did it for the money and when the money wasn't there you quit cold turkey. Its fine to get away from the market and pursue other things when your confidence just isn't there. But I mean come on - you can't risk like 100 bucks a month on swing trades or long term positions. In every year since 2003, there have been huge moves in numberous stocks. There's way more to trading than daytrading.
  10. With volatility back, I wonder if Hitman comes back from the dead.

    #10     Aug 7, 2007