Why most traders are losers

Discussion in 'Trading' started by tomsmith, May 1, 2009.

  1. tomsmith


    I’ve looked at this forum over the years but have never bothered posting before. But after reading the nonsense on a recent thread about why 90% or more of traders are losers decided I would. To the original poster of that thread- if you listen to any of these people you will be one of the 90% losers. Trading is EASY, these people work their butts off to make it as hard as possible. Spending hours looking at spreadsheets and charts to see if a fast thingamadickie has crossed a slow watchyamacallit, or if the stock has hit a point it retraced to 8 years ago and other nonsense. Here is how you can be successful trading:

    1. Understand trading is gambling. If you don’t want to risk your money don’t trade.
    2. Only gamble your money when there is a HIGH probability of success.
    3. High probability opportunities are few and far between, limit yourself to no more than
    a couple trades per year.

    Here is what I have traded over my 6 year career:

    Took $50,000 from my IRA and it put into a trading account. Watched the market start to come off it’s bottom in 2003 AND WAITED for a HIGH PROBABILITY TRADE.

    1st trade- Day after Memorial weekend I’m watching the screen at the open and the QQQ’s go from red to green within minutes and start to run up (.20 to .25 to .30 on the bid on SP 29 calls I‘m watching) . No, I don’t know if the Q’s have a flaming doji or an inverted hammer coming out of their arse on the stock charts or not, but I know that if the price is going up that fast there is a HIGH PROBABILITY I can make money buying. I buy 1000 of the near month 29 strike price calls for .30 and immediately pull up an order to sell 10,000 Q’s at market if the trade suddenly turns and I want to make money on the drop. Well the Q’s run all that week and Mon-Thurs of the next week and I cash out with the calls at $275+ and over $250,000 profit.

    2nd trade- Unlike most traders, I’m in no rush to give my money back so I look and wait awhile before risking any of that $250,000. Looking through the WSJ one day I notice that 2 new companies have been added to the Nasdaq, one of them is Taser. I figure being added to the listing is going to raise the price of the stock so I take a look at it, like what I see, and risk about 15% of my now $300,000+ war chest and buy 1500 shares of the stock at the open in the low $30’s since it doesn’t have options yet to buy. Taser runs up to $127 before falling down and I get out at $108. I clear over $100,000.

    3rd trade-Some people are winners, some are losers. I think people like Steve Jobs and Martha Stewart are winners. I thought that when she was dealing with the Feds before going into the pokey and the stock was down to $8, that she would be a winner again. I put my money where my mouth was and bought 1000 of the $10 strike price LEAPS for the next year at $50 each. I sold them with MSO in the high $20’s and I made $2725/ contract, 1000 contracts. Do the math on that .The stock went up further to the mid 30’s in Feb before turning, but I’m not a pig and was happy with what I made.

    So, my point is that you can slave like a fool looking for the holy grail of charts and systems that will allow you to sit glued to your screen day in and day out hoping to grab a few points here and there, playing the game that is stacked against you from the start, or you can learn to read the market and use your head to reach in and take out in enough quantity to make it worth your while. It mainly just requires patience and intelligent thought. Don’t let these “pros” discourage you.
  2. ElCubano


    I wouldn't know a doji if it hit me in the face. :D
  3. Mikecon


    Is Doij when you shoot your stomach with a samurai knife?
  4. Look to the Dojo.

    <div><object width="420" height="339"><param name="movie" value="http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x10qiy" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x10qiy" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="339" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed></object><br /><b><a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x10qiy">AIKIDO KISEI DOJO II</a></b><br /><i>by <a href="http://www.dailymotion.com/BUSHIDO-MAKOTO">BUSHIDO-MAKOTO</a></i></div>

  5. FINE POST, Tom. You've likely helped a lot of struggling traders clarify their intentions.

    I'd like to state I believe most traders are losers because of (1) simple flaw:

    #1 - their strategy is *inherently unsound*. Typically it's based on indicators & oscillators, which filter price action in an arbitrary manner. What your MA, EMA, stochasitc, elliot wave, Fibo-Snatchy, Ichumuchuchu Cloud, bollinger band, tells you DOESN'T MATTER IN THE SLIGHTEST.

    These "tools" are completely removed from reality & are derivatives of organic price action. Volume doesn't even matter that much. You don't make money on volume...you make money on PRICE: Your buys & sells.

    Trend followers & individuals using these flawed indicators & oscillators are essentially TRANSFERRING THEIR MONEY to smarter players, i.e., those who originally BOUGHT @ SUPPORT or SOLD @ RESISTANCE.

    I wish the amateurs luck. It was frustrating for me when I began trading yet didn't have a sharp "edge."

    P.S. (EDIT), I wanted to add that I agree, Tom. Trading *IS* Easy. (Now that I know what to do! LOL)
  6. Are you implying you have only made 3 trades over the past 6 years?
  7. "Are you implying you have only made 3 trades over the past 6 years?"

    That's a nice record for 3 trades, smart to be patient and picky.
  8. Shagi


    Thats your own trading style - if it makes you kudos then good for you and stick to it. But thats not the only way to make money trading - trading 3 times a year- No Sir I disagree 100%.:D
  9. tomsmith


    "Are you implying you have only made 3 trades over the past 6 years?"

    Actually I made one more but got tired of writing last night. AAPL was in the mid $50, came out with an earnings report that showed alot of future potential, BUT MISSED EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS BY A PENNY. Of course the stock opened up about $10 lower the next day to reel in the suckers who would panic and sell, then proceeded to go up. So the "BAD" news was out about missing some paper pusher's estimate by a penny and now the stock was going up. In my mind, high probability of the stock continuing to go up, so I'm in for 2500 shares in the high 40's with a stop a little below the opening bid in case I'm wrong. Well I didn't sell my AAPL at the top, but did clear over $135/ share. Not a million $ but probably more than most of these "pros" clear in a year doing scores of trades a week.

    My point is that for the sit at home trader, it is a rigged game in favor of the mm's, institutions etc... that the more you are in it, the more chance you will lose. But at times the opportunity is there to actually fulfill our goals.
  10. heech


    For every 100 monkeys who randomly made buy/sell decisions on those 3 trades, 12 monkeys would have come up with the OP's results.

    For every 100 monkeys who take $50k to Las Vegas and bet it all on black (three times), statistically speaking 12 of these monkeys will walk away with $400k.

    11 of them would later post on EliteTrader about their love for bananas, and 5 of them would assert roulette is easy.
    #10     May 1, 2009