Monday, October 26, 2009

ALSI daily range

During last several months, most of the systems that are traded by members of some South African web based trading communities are producing very different results when compared to their historical performance. Systems are based on moving average crossovers or penetrations on different time frames, including 5 and 15 minutes. Idea behind those systems is to catch 2-5 days long directional movements and to score as many points as possible. Somewhere in May number of points won by systems dropped significantly. What can be the reason for that?

Picture on the top clearly shows that daily range (High to Low) on ALSI dropped from around 900pts a year ago to 500pts at present. On the top of that, from mid Jun ALSI had only 6 (SIX) trading days when daily range was above average for the year. Best part of last three trading months daily range was bellow first standard deviation.

This can be one of the reasons why systems are not behaving like they did, but probably not the only one.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Becoming better trader

Many people started with trading or investing on stock exchange for one simple reason - to make money. This reason is valid, but will it help one to survive out there? I don’t think so and there are numerous reasons for that.

First and the most important is that one doesn’t have any experience or knowledge about the game and still wants to play with the pros. Following the same principle - Would you take boxing match against world champion and, on top of that, would you expect to win it? Would you expect to go into surgery and do heart operation and expect to be successful? I guess not. So, why trading is any different?

To become profitable trader one must invest time. First on to do list is to read as many books as one can. That way one will develop very broad knowledge about what is going on. Only after extensive education one will be equipped to make his conclusions on what is to be liked, if anything at all. Following step is to read as many book as possible on specific field of interest.

However, if one after all the reading realizes that one doesn’t like anything related to trading, then do something else.

Finally, after one finds niche and market that one wants to trade, that is when one more educational effort is to be undertaken as one has to find out as much as one can about it. After all of that, paper trading for few months in real market and day-to-day conditions is to be taken seriously, simulating trading as much as possible. Please note: It will never be the same with money on the table, but please try it.

So, let’s refresh - We want to trade to make money.

From day one money was not made, while a lot was spent on books and courses, while precious time was spent too. That is correct way, as at the beginning one should forget about making money. One should focus on becoming better trader; one should focus on following his system 100% of the time, while finding better ways of trade execution. Making money is result of all actions previously stated – it is not a cause! Simply, if one focuses on efforts to make money, one is placing the cart before the horse. One must focus his attention on improving his trading. To make money one must forget about making money.

Of course, one shouldn’t get stuck in his head. It is very beneficial not to get caught up daydreaming about all the different things one could do when first 1000 points winner is made. Grand plans and spreadsheets considering development are not to be created. Those activities may seem intelligent, but they don't actually help one become better trader and all they do is keeping one stuck.

Although, the road to making money may seem long, the process of getting there is actually quite simple: One should do whatever it takes to make a daily habit of improving his knowledge, even if baby steps are being made at first.

Again, this is marathon, not the sprint.

Trade with trend!