General discussion : Time for me to Make a Decision

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Kai
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Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:43 am

Tuco wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 am
Persistence

"Persistence is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely and the likely definite."

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
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Kai
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Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:50 pm

@Diacritical Quark

If you haven't given up on manual trading you can hit me up via PM if you want, maybe I can point you in the right direction or something, depending on which direction you wanted to go in and your skill set etc.

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johnsheppard
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:27 am

Tuco wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 am
Persistence

"Persistence is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely and the likely definite."

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
I really like that quote too, but I was thinking about it the other week. Quotes are easily misleading. You can keep trying but it's gotta be tempered with what you want out of life...because that's really what you should be persistent with...no harm in giving up something you've found out you don't want or the costs are higher than you expected... So not sure it's as clear cut as that quote makes things out to be... But to that end; Here's some other persistence quotes :)

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer" - Albert Einstein

Success is a few good habits repeated every day, Failure is a few bad decisions repeated every day. - John Rohn

"Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning." - Denis Waitley

"The difference between people who believe they have books inside of them and those who actually write books is sheer cussed persistence--the ability to make yourself work at your craft, every day--the belief, even in the face of
obstacles, that you've got something worth saying." - Jennifer Weiner

"When I meet successful people I ask 100 questions as to what they attribute their success to. It is usually the same: persistence, hard work and hiring good people." - Kiana Tom

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

"Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries." - James A. Michener

"Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before." - Jacob A. Riis


... I think the thing is that is natural to re-evalutate when you hit the realisation that things are harder than you thought when you first set out....... I think that's inevitable in ANY endeavour...naive minds always think things are easy...else we'd never start out...

So I think there is probably value in the no expectations thing (stated by....someone in this thread who I forgot right now, sorry) and adjusting ones mindset to a process focused one rather than an outcome focused one...

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Kai
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:16 am

johnsheppard wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:27 am
Quotes are easily misleading. You can keep trying but it's gotta be tempered with what you want out of life...because that's really what you should be persistent with...no harm in giving up something you've found out you don't want or the costs are higher than you expected... So not sure it's as clear cut as that quote makes things out to be... But to that end; Here's some other persistence quotes :)
Sure, not much with trading is ever really clear-cut since uncertainty is literally the name of the game. Binary thinking is safe and comfortable and easy for people but trading is anything but black and white, only the P&L afterwards is, and even that can sometimes be misleading for the inexperienced.

Perception overall plays a big role I think, people don't really have to see it as success vs failure or man vs market if this is adding too much unnecessary pressure, it's all about whether a trader is able to build a skill set (that ideally pays well on the market) and that whole skill set is the edge itself.

If practically every market is tradable and the quality of opportunities and their frequency greatly differs from market to market then at the very least the ladder itself will provides opportunities because of the way it is structured. So if that's the case then logically it all comes down to building and matching the right skill set to the right market, in order to trade it profitably. At the very start doing a bit of everything will often result in nothing, so it's important to specialize in the early stage and get that first big breakthrough.

Someone might say "find an edge first, then build a skill set to execute on it" but I'd say it differently. I'd say to first truly learn your market and then build a skill set that matches its behavior, and if you're able to do that you've effectively "finally found yourself an edge" and that skill set is your edge. Then you can keep going further and use parts of the existing skill set to attack a different market and so on, it can grow exponentially if you wanted it to. Does Peter for example have some sort of a secret signal for his entries which gives him the edge over other prerace traders, or is his entire skill set his real edge?

And even if someone gives people an edge (a manual one) they still need the required skill set to actually use it, so it's practically worthless to them unless they already have a very similar skill set ready to go or at least parts of it. So why for example did I seek out and researched and networked with other similar order flow traders? Because it's easier to highlight what their edges are and because for most of their edges I already have certain skill sets in place or decent chunks of those necessary skills to make it smoother for me to try and build the missing pieces, it's just one way to work a bit smarter instead of harder, and using the work of others to potentially fuel my own. Instead of building an entire skill set from scratch from a vastly different trader which I imagine a lot of people are actually doing and they're even repeating this ineffective process each time they try a new sport/market.

Keyword for me here obviously is "skill set", a trader has to have a practiced skill somewhere if he wants to extract profit from a market on a regular basis, and this skill simply needs to be above a certain threshold which probably keeps raising each year for the past 20.

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johnsheppard
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:38 pm

I tend to agree with all that...I mean, well there is always a reason why something isn't working and a way to get around it...as mentioned by earlier in the thread, I thnk that mastering 1 strategy in one highly specific niche or market condition is the practical way to go...master that and only then go forward to the next one (this is sort of why I like automation...it forces one to do that)...but...

In terms of persistence and making decisions. There is NO DOUBT...that if you persist, from now until the point of your death, the odds are pretty darn good you will succeed at being a trader....Although I think I recall Diacritical Quark came from financial trading, it's probably universal that people come to trading thinking it's fairly easy ...the thought that its gonna take 5 or whatever years of hard yakka and soul searching isn't there..... So it's also inevitable that they get disappointed when they find out that's that's what it takes... it's part and parcel of learning things...

I would say make sure you're happy with the amount of investment required, accept that you were initially wrong...and also accept there is an element of unknown depending on the luck of the cosmos and your place in it....THEN carry on with fixing what needs fixing...according to Kai's instruction :)

darchas
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Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:13 pm

Kai wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:05 am
Diacritical Quark wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:56 pm
Ok, I've come to the long drawn out conclusion that I just can't hack it as a 'trader' so to speak. A lot of this has to do with me attaching emotions to trades and my general inability to separate losing from being wrong.
I don't think this is true at all.

If I may be so blunt the exact first thing you said here is one of the biggest misconceptions around IMHO. People give trading a go and for a long time they obviously either trade without a real edge or with a very minor one, and trading like that will probably be mental torture and an emotional roller coaster etc for nearly everyone, you're walking a very thin line and every trade counts, that's simply too much pressure for a new trader and he will probably crack under it. This is all obviously a perfectly normal process and it's to be expected, and yet people sometimes already start thinking that they're just not cut out for this and may start thinking about automation or other things.

The misconception part for me actually comes after this first part and in more ways than one. Because people start thinking that this is what good trading is supposed to look like, they convince themselves that at this point you're supposed to conquer your emotions etc so that you can in other words be consistently profitable with a slight edge over the market which is nearly mission impossible by default. When they obviously can't do that then they maybe focus more on psychology than the markets and they start reading a ton of psychology books thinking that this will "solve" the emotions part and give them that elusive edge or that missing piece.

While in reality, the emotions are not the real issue here for me at all, the only real obvious problem here is that they're trying to trade without a genuine strong edge. If you had to choose, would you rather have a perfect mindset or a strong edge? If they found and developed a strong edge, then emotions are no longer an issue, a small edge can be strong as well and can be a good start btw. The mental skill set (aka emotions aka trader's mindset) will naturally develop through people using this (first) edge and for the most part those issues will be ironed out and be so minor that they won't matter.

If you hear anyone say that they've got the perfect trader's mindset, that they're in complete control over their emotions, that they are simply immune to all of the cognitive biases and so on they are either liars or delusional, no matter how big or experienced they may be they 100% suffer from all sorts of cognitive biases whether they realize it or not, but does that really matter to them? Nope, the only thing that matters is having as many strong edges as possible. If they can do something stupid with a few trades and let emotions/greed get the better of them and allow the market to properly spank them but still end the day comfortably in profit then that is a strong edge, and they don't care about emotions at all, that's the easiest and maybe the only way to "beat" emotions. There's no beating them, you will feel all sorts of emotions but they won't matter and with a strong edge they won't influence your decision-making as much, with a strong enough edge you develop the ability to reset your emotions on a market per market or day by day basis. I bet even Dalai Lama would make a rotten trader at first and would chase losses all over the place. Of course, you can make a minor edge work as well if you stay mentally consistent but I see this as the much harder and longer path that doesn't really need to be taken.

Yes, you can trade much better and much easier and much more efficient if you over time develop genuine mental skills and learn how to better deal with your emotions, but it's not a prerequisite at all to be successful, your starting mental skill set can be extremely average or even very bad, and you can still be profitable or even a very good trader despite that, I don't think people realize this at all, they think they need to be perfect mentally to trade profitably which is simply not true, hence this post.

So for me the only thing that matters is the edge itself and the market itself, ideally you want to study and observe and measure and trade your market until you know everything about YOUR market and its behavior and its patterns and quirks and how it thinks and so on, until it becomes dead obvious how you should trade it and where the opportunities are (that's the edge part). You may fear this market on the first day but one day it will be your playground. Even one tick is a not a bad start, one relatively free tick per market doesn't sound bad at all, anything positive that can get the ball rolling in the right direction.

To sum up this impromptu little essay, and forgive me if this sounds blunt, but the main reason people can't find a good edge is simply because they don't know and don't understand their market well enough (and the psychology behind it). Makes sense, no? It's very simple in a nutshell. And this probably sounds harsh but that's how the market is, they don't yet deserve the edge either, if they did deserve it through deep hard quality work then they would get rewarded already, because people may want this or that edge but for the most part they will only get what they actually deserve. A person might think and feel that they definitely deserve some success, if they've been at it for a very long time and lost countless banks and went through hell and back more than once etc, but the nature of this business is brutal and unforgiving and if they're not learning their lessons and if their experience and knowledge is not where it needs to be according to the market then the market will not care one bit and will have no mercy, because according to the market they sadly don't yet deserve anything. To put it plainly there's obviously just not enough quality in their work overall to crack the Enigma that is the flippin' market. It may feel completely impenetrable at first glance and super efficient, but that's only how the market looks from the outside and it's far from actual reality. I feel that the first step/edge is by far the hardest one to make so hopefully you don't give up and are able to make it.
Fantastic post, can't upvote/+1/'smash like' enough.

eightbo
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Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:40 pm

Some book length posts in here good shit boys
Mind you Kai I had profitable trading for a few years and while edge got better over time one rough patch sent me spiralling from loss aversion so it was futile. Edge defo helps reduce occurance of problems but those beliefs but even if you got a baller edge it's scary to know that one poor trading decision for whatever reason could end up doing significant damage.

If op is anything close to me with giving back a lot after triggering slight edge and emotional control is defo better than baller edge and every now and then get clocked by a buzzsaw imo. Just a case of finding a way to internalise how losses are part of the game whether that's seeing them as expense, cost of doing business, temporary drawdown, or even fear of turning losses into bigger losses, whatever works to achieve that click so your trading operation is airtight

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mcgoo
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Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:31 am

Having recently made a little money over a month and doubling my usual profit yesterday, after years of trying every bloody angle I could think of and nearly giving up publicly and privately so many times, this thread strikes a chord. My ''edge''-that bloody word is so mercurial....but I think I have two edges. I know where one came about and it is described with a certain number of runners on a certain kind of market with certain price differentials. Another one I have is on certain tracks but I am not quite sure when or how that one came about. I just got it one week and that was that. I sat my wife in front of the PC the other day to see if she could see the edge and she couldn't, even after I described it. She is a natural trader too I think..very high intellect with a strong maths brain combined with risk taking ability and very calm demeanour..so that showed me that you really have to put the time in.. I am the opposite of all those wifey characteristics so a natural trader I am not :D . To boot I like being right..don't take constructive 'feedback' well :lol: and generally have no idea when it comes to numbers. I am very very persistent though..despite little emotional toy tossing episodes and maybe that's my edge..I just work like a dog demon :twisted: ..every single day..non stop...that's what it takes for me.
I agree with Kai here..the edge takes the emotional control requirement out of play to a very large degree. You still gotta train yourself though as emotion/psychology is a big part of things but it is not everything (at least in my experience. ) Finding an edge first helped me hugely in dealing with emotions.

On the emotional front : As suggested in previous comments here, above.. you can have an edge and still do the entirely opposite thing to what you should be doing with your edge..the mind is a funny thing for sure. Once you learn to see your emotions ( I am still learning) and observe the FOMO, fear of loss and wanting to be right , for example, you start to ask yourself why you have those things and what you can do about them and you (well I) realise that observation invokes change (like quantum :P ) and you can manage your edge more effectively as a result.. I am for example still entirely crap at letting my profits run..this costs me sometimes 2x profit.. so I am observing that as best I can and yesterday managed to overcome twice and fail twice.. 8-) Nothing changes overnight though mate. I once asked a Kung Fu master I was training under (7 hours a day :shock: ) what the meaning of the words Kung Fu were. He said .." It means that it is an art that takes time"- He was not wrong and trading I am sure is very much the same.Good luck!

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Kai
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Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:05 am

Just sharing my approach and process which to me arguably seems the shortest route to that specialist knowledge which a trader absolutely needs to extract profit from the market, not just in the short-term but in the long-term as well. I don't really know of a shorter route than that, besides being actively mentored by a top trader, but I'm always open to suggestions and I'm not being sarcastic either.
eightbo wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:40 pm
If op is anything close to me with giving back a lot after triggering slight edge and emotional control is defo better than baller edge and every now and then get clocked by a buzzsaw imo.
Think about what you're saying here, you'd rather have a slight edge than a strong one, period. That honestly makes little sense to me, even if you were a compulsive gambler of the worst kind which you're clearly not.
eightbo wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:40 pm
Just a case of finding a way to internalise how losses are part of the game whether that's seeing them as expense, cost of doing business, temporary drawdown, or even fear of turning losses into bigger losses, whatever works to achieve that click so your trading operation is airtight
Sure, but how realistic is that for the average Joe? To make their trading operation airtight emotionally and mentally, before they get their first edge even? If a clever, rational, young guy like yourself (without a lifetime of bad gambling habits) found it difficult to achieve that? When you said your results started weakening because of complacency sometime last year your immediate reaction was "I have to trade more efficiently to get the most out of my edge", but when my own results slowly started weakening due to complacency my reaction was "I need a stronger edge to trade more efficiently overall", which is a big difference because all of my focus went into the markets and edges.

I still think that you started "optimizing" too soon and are probably not getting much value from it even though I'm sure it feels great and like you're on the right path (which you are long-term), but I see it as taking the scenic route if you will, and perhaps pussyfooting around the main issue (and the only issue) which would be having a rock solid edge and as many of them as possible.

Let's talk percentages to make it a bit easier and I'm just spitballing here numbers-wise, but say your trading results get maybe a 5% boost by eating healthy, perhaps a 7% boost by exercising regularly and maybe 23% by investing countless hours into psychology books, around 15% if you eliminate all distractions and so on. Obviously, all of this self-optimizing (for lack of a better word) takes immense effort, but is the value really there short-term? If you can improve your trading results by say a flat 300% or 600% just by putting all of the focus into the market/edge itself and developing a new stronger edge or heavily reinforcing your existing one, and THEN for me it makes sense to start obsessing about efficiency and self-optimizing and over-thinking and personal development and psychology because the % return will be much bigger and should offer a lot more value at that point overall.

Not at all suggesting that your results must be weak or that your edge must be minor or anything like that, I'm just talking about the concept of it in general. In other words I'm saying why should anyone bother perfecting a minor edge when they can use that time to obtain a stronger edge instead, which they can then choose to perfect if they wanted to, or keep going further if their comfort zone allows it. In my opinion the first couple of edges, unless they're uber strong and life-changing, should mostly be used as stepping stones towards stronger ones, because investing everything into getting as much % from them almost feels like "having to settle for a minor edge" and cutting yourself short in the long run, and at the very least potentially greatly slowing down the entire process and the whole journey. The only way it makes sense to me to do that is if the person feels that for whatever reason this edge is as good as it gets and now they have no choice but to make the most of it, period.

It's even worse when a person has to spend a ton of time/effort just to use that "minor edge", and together with other obligations leaves no time or space for himself to even work on a better one, which means that eventually when this edge most likely weakens over time it could very well end up being a dead end street which puts a stop to the whole journey and it's effectively game over.

The whole thing feels a bit like opening a great swing position at the perfect value price but then just slowly butchering it all by exiting too much too soon and settling for the first bit of decent green that catches the eye, which I'm positive everyone on here will understand what that feels like.

eightbo
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Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:19 am

Disagree with you on this one.

Imo emotional control (ability to perform your edge accurately/consistently) is the more valuable skill than edge, as humans are good at pattern recognition if you put in the hours and are methodical you'll stumble into something which pushes you into slight profitability then you can build from there.

The other way round doesn't work. Hand a few new guys your legendary edge and let's see them produce profitable results. Come on, it's laughable. You see the world through your beliefs first then apply reason after that. When they catch the inevitable loss with the wrong expectations/beliefs it's going to tap into all kinds of trouble and they won't be able to execute what you've given them so the edge is rendered irrelevant at that point.

If you give someone the best muscle memory in the world at putting, think they're going to realise their skill on the final green when all the marbles are on the line? Only if they've properly managed their state first.
Last edited by eightbo on Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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