Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You And Your Edge.

First off, let me say that I strongly believe most traders (all?) have an Analytical Edge in the market to some degree...the problem is, that's not nearly enough.

For me, Real-World Edge= Analytical Edge + Emotional Variance.

The EV is always negative, unless you're a robot...then it can be as high as zero. Cue shitty paint drawing for explanation:

Dampen your own mood swings and keep your edge's heart beating!
Everything in the world revolves around cycles and waves. I see the working of an edge as a wave not unlike those you find in the sea or on an ECG. Even the spinning of the Earth can be tied into the Sine Wave. In short, if it's pulsing, it's good. If it's flat, it's dead!

So most/all of us have some degree of AE in the beginning similar to the first green , semi-sine, wave in the above doodle. Then we get in the way with our huge EV, crashing into our AE.... neutralizing it with much the same effect as those anti-noise earphones people use on planes.

The result is a dead edge.

It's my opinion that the easier (much easier!) path to trading success is to try to get that red line as close to flat as possible rather than look to find/create a sharper edge in the market.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reduction = Greater Efficiency + Focus

I just recently read a fantastic post by TraderRach and it got me thinking....

Years ago, I was a Chef in some of London's best establishments.

We had a lot to do in relatively little time... and it had to be done to a certain standard. The pressure to perform led to some great revelations. Suddenly, I found myself studying things which may have seemed irrelevant to some but really improved the bottom-line in terms of performance, freeing up time and energy which could then be spent in more productive ways.

Wasted trips to the walk-in fridge, to the rubbish bins...unnecessary movements to get to things which could be stored in a more accessible way etc etc. I soon found myself implementing various techniques- strategies if you will- in order to streamline the task at hand.

I later realized that my approach in a commercial kitchen was the main reason for my initial success in the markets.

It's not so much what you are doing as it is how you are doing it. It's all too easy to brush off certain procedures as being unimportant to the point where some people don't even consider them. But those are likely the very things you should be focusing on. Strive to do simple in military fashion rather than fancy done in anything less than.

Jiro is a fine example of this concept.

Reduce. Fewer markets, fewer indicators (which has never been an issue for me personally)

I used to have alarms until I realized that they, well, alarmed me and made me feel as if I had to act straight away or, strangely, should wait for confirmation. I used to have a sound for an order filled until I realized that it heightened my sense of doom (for stops) or attachment to a position (for entries). The same for trendlines and the "position indicator" on IB's TWS. They all encourage you to focus on where you are in relation to the market or what you think the market's doing rather than keeping you inline with what is actually happening.

Fewer moving parts with more attention to detail given to each piece is the way forward for me.