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Some trading wisdom, tools and information I picked up along the way that helped me be a better trader. Maybe it can help you too.
Its a bit lengthy and I tried to condense it as much as I can. So take everything at a high level as each subject is has a lot more depth but fundamentally if you distill it down its just taking simple things and applying your experience using them to add nuance and better deploy them. There are exceptions to everything that you will learn with experience or have already learned. If you know something extra or something to add to it to implement it better or more accurately. Then great! However, my intention of this post is just a high level overview. Trading can be far too nuanced to go into in this post and would take forever to type up every exception (not to mention the traders individual personality). If you take the general information as a starting point, hopefully you will learn the edge cases long the way and learn how to use the more effectively if you end up using them. I apologize in advice for any errors or typos. Introduction After reflecting on my fun (cough) trading journey that was more akin to rolling around on broken glass and wondering if brown glass will help me predict market direction better than green glass. Buying a $100 indicator at 2 am when I was acting a fool, looking at it and going at and going "This is a piece of lagging crap, I miss out on a large part of the fundamental move and never using it for even one trade". All while struggling with massive over trading and bad habits because I would get bored watching a single well placed trade on fold for the day. Also, I wanted to get rich quick. On top all of that I had a terminal Stage 4 case of FOMO on every time the price would move up and then down then back up. Just think about all those extra pips I could have trading both directions as it moves across the chart! I can just sell right when it goes down, then buy right before it goes up again. Its so easy right? Well, turns out it was not as easy as I thought and I lost a fair chunk of change and hit my head against the wall a lot until it clicked. Which is how I came up with a mixed bag of things that I now call "Trade the Trade" which helped support how I wanted to trade so I can still trade intra day price action like a rabid money without throwing away all my bananas. Why Make This Post? - Core Topic of Discussion I wish to share a concept I came up with that helped me become a reliable trader. Support the weakness of how I like to trade. Also, explaining what I do helps reinforce my understanding of the information I share as I have to put words to it and not just use internalized processes. I came up with a method that helped me get my head straight when trading intra day. I call it "Trade the Trade" as I am making mini trades inside of a trade setup I make from analysis on a higher timeframe that would take multiple days to unfold or longer. I will share information, principles, techniques I used and learned from others I talked to on the internet (mixed bag of folks from armatures to professionals, and random internet people) that helped me form a trading style that worked for me. Even people who are not good at trading can say something that might make it click in your head so I would absorbed all the information I could get.I will share the details of how I approach the methodology and the tools in my trading belt that I picked up by filtering through many tools, indicators strategies and witchcraft. Hopefully you read something that ends up helping you be a better trader. I learned a lot from people who make community posts so I wanted to give back now that I got my ducks in a row. General Trading Advice If your struggling finding your own trading style, fixing weakness's in it, getting started, being reliably profitable or have no framework to build yourself higher with, hopefully you can use the below advice to help provide some direction or clarity to moving forward to be a better trader.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Do not throw a million things on your chart from the get go or over analyzing what the market is doing while trying to learn the basics. Tons of stuff on your chart can actually slow your learning by distracting your focus on all your bells and whistles and not the price action.
PRICE ACTION. Learn how to read price action. Not just the common formations, but larger groups of bars that form the market structure. Those formations carry more weight the higher the time frame they form on. If struggle to understand what is going on or what your looking at, move to a higher time frame.
INDICATORS. If you do use them you should try to understand how every indicator you use calculates its values. Many indicators are lagging indicators, understanding how it calculates the values can help you learn how to identify the market structure before the indicator would trigger a signal . This will help you understand why the signal is a lagged signal. If you understand that you can easily learn to look at the price action right before the signal and learn to watch for that price action on top of it almost trigging a signal so you can get in at a better position and assume less downside risk. I recommend using no more than 1-2 indicators for simplicity, but your free to use as many as you think you think you need or works for your strategy/trading style.
PSYCOLOGY. First, FOMO is real, don't feed the beast. When you trade you should always have an entry and exit. If you miss your entry do not chase it, wait for a new entry. At its core trading is gambling and your looking for an edge against the house (the other market participants). With that in mind, treat as such. Do not risk more than you can afford to lose. If you are afraid to lose it will negatively effect your trade decisions. Finally, be honest with your self and bad trading happens. No one is going to play trade cop and keep you in line, that's your job.
TRADE DECISION MARKING: Before you enter any trade you should have an entry and exit area. As you learn price action you will get better entries and better exits. Use a larger zone and stop loss at the start while learning. Then you can tighten it up as you gain experience. If you do not have a area you wish to exit, or you are entering because "the markets looking like its gonna go up". Do not enter the trade. Have a reason for everything you do, if you cannot logically explain why then you probably should not be doing it.
ROBOTS/ALGOS: Loved by some, hated by many who lost it all to one, and surrounded by scams on the internet. If you make your own, find a legit one that works and paid for it or lost it all on a crappy one, more power to ya. I do not use robots because I do not like having a robot in control of my money. There is too many edge cases for me to be ok with it.However, the best piece of advice about algos was that the guy had a algo/robot for each market condition (trending/ranging) and would make personalized versions of each for currency pairs as each one has its own personality and can make the same type of movement along side another currency pair but the price action can look way different or the move can be lagged or leading. So whenever he does his own analysis and he sees a trend, he turns the trend trading robot on. If the trend stops, and it starts to range he turns the range trading robot on. He uses robots to trade the market types that he is bad at trading. For example, I suck at trend trading because I just suck at sitting on my hands and letting my trade do its thing.
Trade the Trade - The Methodology
Base Principles These are the base principles I use behind "Trade the Trade". Its called that because you are technically trading inside your larger high time frame trade as it hopefully goes as you have analyzed with the trade setup. It allows you to scratch that intraday trading itch, while not being blind to the bigger market at play. It can help make sense of why the price respects, rejects or flat out ignores support/resistance/pivots.
Trade Setup: Find a trade setup using high level time frames (daily, 4hr, or 1hr time frames). The trade setup will be used as a base for starting to figure out a bias for the markets direction for that day.
Indicator Data: Check any indicators you use (I use Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index) for any useful information on higher timeframes.
Support Resistance: See if any support/resistance/pivot points are in currently being tested/resisted by the price. Also check for any that are within reach so they might become in play through out the day throughout the day (which can influence your bias at least until the price reaches it if it was already moving that direction from previous days/weeks price action).
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use the TradeVision currency strength/weakness dashboard to see if the strength/weakness supports the narrative of my trade and as an early indicator when to keep a closer eye for signs of the price reversing.Without the tool, the same concept can be someone accomplished with fundamentals and checking for higher level trends and checking cross currency pairs for trends as well to indicate strength/weakness, ranging (and where it is in that range) or try to get some general bias from a higher level chart that may help you out. However, it wont help you intra day unless your monitoring the currency's index or a bunch of charts related to the currency.
Watch For Trading Opportunities: Personally I make a mental short list and alerts on TradingView of currency pairs that are close to key levels and so I get a notification if it reaches there so I can check it out. I am not against trading both directions, I just try to trade my bias before the market tries to commit to a direction. Then if I get out of that trade I will scalp against the trend of the day and hold trades longer that are with it.Then when you see a opportunity assume the directional bias you made up earlier (unless the market solidly confirms with price action the direction while waiting for an entry) by trying to look for additional confirmation via indicators, price action on support/resistances etc on the low level time frame or higher level ones like hourly/4hr as the day goes on when the price reaches key areas or makes new market structures to get a good spot to enter a trade in the direction of your bias.Then enter your trade and use the market structures to determine how much of a stop you need. Once your in the trade just monitor it and watch the price action/indicators/tools you use to see if its at risk of going against you. If you really believe the market wont reach your TP and looks like its going to turn against you, then close the trade. Don't just hold on to it for principle and let it draw down on principle or the hope it does not hit your stop loss.
Trade Duration Hold your trades as long or little as you want that fits your personality and trading style/trade analysis. Personally I do not hold trades past the end of the day (I do in some cases when a strong trend folds) and I do not hold trades over the weekends. My TP targets are always places I think it can reach within the day. Typically I try to be flat before I sleep and trade intra day price movements only. Just depends on the higher level outlook, I have to get in at really good prices for me to want to hold a trade and it has to be going strong. Then I will set a slightly aggressive stop on it before I leave. I do know several people that swing trade and hold trades for a long period of time. That is just not a trading style that works for me.
Enhance Your Success Rate Below is information I picked up over the years that helped me enhance my success rate with not only guessing intra day market bias (even if it has not broken into the trend for the day yet (aka pre London open when the end of Asia likes to act funny sometimes), but also with trading price action intra day. People always say "When you enter a trade have an entry and exits. I am of the belief that most people do not have problem with the entry, its the exit. They either hold too long, or don't hold long enough. With the below tools, drawings, or instruments, hopefully you can increase your individual probability of a successful trade. **P.S.*\* Your mileage will vary depending on your ability to correctly draw, implement and interpret the below items. They take time and practice to implement with a high degree of proficiency. If you have any questions about how to do that with anything listed, comment below and I will reply as I can. I don't want to answer the same question a million times in a pm. Tools and Methods Used This is just a high level overview of what I use. Each one of the actions I could go way more in-depth on but I would be here for a week typing something up of I did that. So take the information as a base level understanding of how I use the method or tool. There is always nuance and edge cases that you learn from experience.
I keep a general high level Macro outlook for currencies. I dont get too deep into Fundamentals and just keep an eye out for news. If I am already in a trade I will hold it if its far enough away from my entry. However, I wont enter right before/during news as it can invalidate your setup.
I started with the basics of learning the standard price action formations/patterns and candles. You can find tons of free info on that online, google is your friend. Then I stared at charts and said "why did the price do that or do this etc" then after a while I started to understand what's happening without having to think about it and I can see the market structure without having to look as closely as I did in the past.
After many many hours of staring at 5 min charts for 15 hours a day 5 days a week I learned how to look at 5 min charts and be like "Oh that's a hammer on the 15 min etc. If you keep track of time you can do the same for hourly candles as well and you will start to see market structure naturally. However I typically trade in a two chart panel window so I have a 15 min and 5 min chart up when trading intra day so I dont have to think too hard about it.
Draw support resistance lines on Daily/4hr timeframes. I prefer to use body of the candle instead of the wick for support/resistance.
You can find support/resistance liquidity levels through out the day as well and trade those if the price retraces back through levels its already been through that same day.
It would be a bit length to explain exactly the best place to draw them. If your unsure there is plenty of free resources on the internet. Just try to use your head and look for price levels where the price was "Supported" or it "Resisted" that price level then slap a line on it. Draw as few or as many lines as you feel helps you and your style. I tend to lean on the side of fewer. I typically do about 6 lines main support/resistances (3 of each).
Draw two Fibonacci Extensions. One on the daily timeframe, and then one on the 4hr time frame. Then you can trade the Fibonacci levels and use them for TP targets or entry zones if price action respects the level. Also you can use it along with support/resistance and pivots if they happen to line up or are very close.
I cannot really figure out how to put it into words how to draw a Fib if you dont know how. I will have to make a picture to demonstrate it. If your interested post below and I will draw one up and post a link. Probably the easiest way to understand. Just keep in mind the Fib you draw on the 4hr time frame will be inside the daily timeframe one.
The TradeVision2020 dashboard that I use just helps me keep a tab on the current market post plus any swing strength/momentum a currency might have on higher time frames. Helps me look for shifts in the market or confirmation that the bias it already has in momentum is continuing. I have found that often currencies when they get really/weak or strong might continue for several days or even longer like a full week or more. We recently had what felt like 1 week or so of flat out Yen weakness which was making some things wonky. All it does is allow me to look at the dashboard instead of a million other charts.
I use two that work well for my intra day style. The Stochastic RSI is just like a RSI but its faster. The second is the Relative Vigor Index which I use to detect swings in momentum and divergences in bullish/bearish momentum. I have used many others in the past, but as I have grown and got better as a trader I have found making my analysis simpler has improved my trading.I dont like the whole idea of have 43 different indicators on 32 different time frames light up a dashboard to be green for me to enter a trade. With how I do it now, I have a clear understanding of what I expect to happen and why. That way when it does happen I understand the move and dont get freaked out if the market moves funny after I am in the trade.
Conclusion I use the above tools/indicators/resources/philosophy's to trade intra day price action that sometimes ends up as noise in the grand scheme of the markets movement.use that method until the price action for the day proves the bias assumption wrong. Also you can couple that with things like Stoch RSI + Relative Vigor Index to find divergences which can increase the probability of your targeted guesses. Trade Example from Yesterday This is an example of a trade I took today and why I took it. I used the following core areas to make my trade decision.
Fundamental Bias: I already had a bullish fundamental outlook on EUUSD with expecting the markets to price in future similes due a higher an higher chance of Biden winning on paper as the election closed in and a "Blue wave" coming which would lead to a weaker dollar. Also, the Euro Zone is getting hammered with COVID pretty hard plus Brexit drama so I had a strong Euro bias.NOTE: As frame of reference, all the other pairs I trade I traded as if they were ranging and trade a range. Markets are messed up right now.
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use a tool that gives me a currency strength/weakness dashboard called TradeVision2020. Helps me track individual currency strength/weakness intra day. Took me about a month to get used to it, but helps me keep track of intra day strength/weakness that can add a bias to trade direction as the day unfolds. Like "Will this run have a 2nd or 3rd push higher" or "I should look to TP at the first sign of weakness in the push" type bias data. You still got to use your brain and figure out the best decision. It wont make choices for you, its only a guide.NOTE: I am not trying to adverse the tool (if providing the code is against sub rules let me know), its just a tool I use every day that helps me with directional bias calls. I am sharing the coupon code that was given to me when I found out about the tool in the TradingView forex chatroom and the guy gave me the code to use when I signed up. I dont want someone to read the name and want to try it out then overpay for no reason. The coupon will give you 40% off. Coupon Code: 3F7A0T5T
Higher Timeframe Analysis: Detected some early signs of Bearish Divergence on the 1hr chart using a on a higher time frame using a Stochastic RSI. Then I saw more confirmation on 5 min charts using Relative Vigor Index to help time my entry mid session.
Pivot Points: I treat pivot points like support/resistance and trade them as such using price action to give me some idea how its being treated by the market. Pretty straight forward.
It may seem like a lot of stuff to process on the fly while trying to figure out live price action but, for the fundamental bias for a pair should already baked in your mindset for any currency pair you trade. For the currency strength/weakness I stare at the dashboard 12-15 hours a day so I am always trying to keep a pulse on what's going or shifts so that's not really a factor when I want to enter as I would not look to enter if I felt the market was shifting against me. Then the higher timeframe analysis had already happened when I woke up, so it was a game of "Stare at the 5 min chart until the price does something interesting" Trade Example: Today , I went long EUUSD long bias when I first looked at the chart after waking up around 9-10pm Eastern. Fortunately, the first large drop had already happened so I had a easy baseline price movement to work with. I then used tool for currency strength/weakness monitoring, Pivot Points, and bearish divergence detected using Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index. I first noticed Bearish Divergence on the 1hr time frame using the Stochastic RSI and got confirmation intra day on the 5 min time frame with the Relative Vigor Index. I ended up buying the second mini dip around midnight Eastern because it was already dancing along the pivot point that the price had been dancing along since the big drop below the pivot point and dipped below it and then shortly closed back above it. I put a stop loss below the first large dip. With a TP goal of the middle point pivot line Then I waited for confirmation or invalidation of my trade. I ended up getting confirmation with Bearish Divergence from the second large dip so I tightened up my stop to below that smaller drip and waited for the London open. Not only was it not a lower low, I could see the divergence with the Relative Vigor Index. It then ran into London and kept going with tons of momentum. Blew past my TP target so I let it run to see where the momentum stopped. Ended up TP'ing at the Pivot Point support/resistance above the middle pivot line. Random Note: The Asian session has its own unique price action characteristics that happen regularly enough that you can easily trade them when they happen with high degrees of success. It takes time to learn them all and confidently trade them as its happening. If you trade Asia you should learn to recognize them as they can fake you out if you do not understand what's going on. TL;DR At the end of the day there is no magic solution that just works. You have to find out what works for you and then what people say works for them. Test it out and see if it works for you or if you can adapt it to work for you. If it does not work or your just not interested then ignore it. At the end of the day, you have to use your brain to make correct trading decisions. Blindly following indicators may work sometimes in certain market conditions, but trading with information you don't understand can burn you just as easily as help you. Its like playing with fire. So, get out there and grind it out. It will either click or it wont. Not everyone has the mindset or is capable of changing to be a successful trader. Trading is gambling, you do all this work to get a edge on the house. Trading without the edge or an edge you understand how to use will only leave your broker happy in the end.
A random guide for scalping - Part V - Understanding Intraday Liquidity
Hi there guys, Welcome back to my weekly rants. Decided to add some info that should be pretty useful to your daily trading, thanks to the comments of u/Neokill1 and u/indridcold91. If you have not read the rest of the series, I recommend you take your time and read those before continuing with this piece (check my user activity and scroll down...) This rant is based on this little comment I posted on the last post: Price moves because of the imbalance between buying and selling. This happens all the time. Price move where liquidity is, and that seeking of liquidity makes the price to go up and down. Why price extends on a particular direction? Because longer term players decide it. So the idea behind what I'm writing about is to follow that longer-term trend, taking advantage of a counter-trend wave that is looking for intra-day liquidity. If I'm bullish on the week, I want to pair my buying with intra-day selling. Because I expect longer-term traders to push price by buying massively. And instead of riding a big wave, I want to ride that push and get out before it retraces. And also answers to this: why for example would it make sense to draw support/resistance lines on a EUUSD chart? Why would anyone "support" the price of a spread?What are you predicting to happen by drawing those lines, that someone will exchange their currency there simply because it's the same price they exchanged it for in the past and that number is special to them? A good question that deserves an answer That question is a pretty good one, and one any trader worth of that name should ask himself why. Why price reacts the way it does? Why price behaves in predetermined ways? Why if I draw a line or area on specific candle places, I expect the price to react? And the answer is simple and at the same time kinda complicated and fascinating. Why price rallies and rallies andd rallies and then suddenly it stops at a point ,and reverses? . The answer is , because there are sellers at that point. There is liquidity there. There is people at that point that decided it was worth to sell enough to reverse that rally. All the market does is to put together buyers and sellers. If you want to buy something at some price, someone must agree with you. If no ones agrees, then you will have to offer more. When buyers and sellers agree on similar terms, price is stable. Buying and selling happens on a tight range, because both consider that particular price range worth. But then, perhaps, someone wants to buy big. And there are not enough sellers. This big boy will dry the available liquidity , and it is hungry for more. So price will move from a balanced state to an imbalanced state. This imbalance in volume between buyers and sellers will cause the price to move up, taking all available liquidity till the monster is satiated. Then the exhaustion of bids, or buying, will cause the price to reverse to a point where buying interest is back. The same applies for selling activity. The main take away you should get from this is simply that the market keeps moving from balance to imbalance to balance to imbalance all the time. And the points where the big bois deploy this activity of buying , of selling, of protecting levels, of slowly entering the markets, are mostly predetermined. Surprised? Most of the institutional activity happens at : 00 ,20, 50 and 80 levels. So why drawing a line makes sense? It makes sense because when price stalls at some point, is because sellers or buyers stepped in and stopped the movement. Its a level where something interesting is happening. It's a level where liquidity was present, and the question is, what is going to happen the next time price touches the area? Is someone stepping in to buy or sell at this point? Or perharps the first touch dried the liquidity, and there is nothing preventing price from going up again?? Lets see a real example of a trade I took today on GBPUSD, where I analyze step by step the balance and imbalance of the market liquidity in real time at those levels. The only way to see this is usingfutures. Because forex is a decentralized market and blah blah blah, and futures are centralized so you can see the volume, the limit orders through the DOM and blah blah blah.... So first things first, read well this articule : https://optimusfutures.com/tradeblog/archives/order-flow-trading Understand well what is said there. Take it easy. Take your time. And then come back to me. If you have followed my work, you know how I like to ride the market. I want a retracement on the most liquid moment in the market - the NY-London Overlap, and I need a daily BIAS on the pair. For today, I'm bullish on the GBPUSD. So lets check the pics. https://imgur.com/a/kgev9lT The areas you see marked on the 30 min charts are based on the price relationships that happened last Friday. As you can see, those areas are always in a place where price stalled, retraced, pushed through,came back to the area and reacted in some way. Are those black magic? Why price reacts so smoothly today on them? Ah you Criptochihuahua, this is 20/20 insight, you are lying.... Those points are marked before today's open, simply because of the price relationship I described earlier. And if you remember the earlier rant, price stalls in there because sellers or buyers were present. So I would expect that the levels are still interesting, and we should be watching carefully how price reacts in real time. Now, today I got at 1.2680 and got out at 1.2725. Let's check the 2nd pic, keep following the narrative with your own charts. What you are seeing is the first touch at the big figure with the total volume chart, and the bid/ask order flow chart. You can see how the price is pulled toward that level through the exhaustion of offers being filled. You can see how exactly they are depleted at 15:51. Why? Because at the next min, you can see how there are no offers being filled, compared to the bids. Remember, when offers are getting filled , price pulls up. When the bids are predominantly being filled, price is pulled down. And also take a look on the volume. This is key. If an imbalance is to happen, is because there should be a huge difference between bids and asks. Good volume on such a level, good sign. Price hugging the level without good volume, the level will most likely be broken. Look at the next pic. See the price behavior in combination with the volume? Price is hugging the level on low volume. Great signal. That means the level is not that greatly defended, at this point. What are we looking for? We are looking for the bids to be exhausted at our next level with a good volume reaction. Watch what happens. Next pic is our retracement , and we are watching carefully. And look at that beauty. Do you see the volume? Do you see the bids exhaustion? Do you see how the market orders are getting absorbed by the limit orders at that point? Someone does not want the price to go down. Price jumps as a result. It does not huge the level. Do you see? I'm all in, I want to take part of this trade. But wait, there is more.... look at the next pic, because you yet have another opportunity to get into this train.... at 17:23.. Even a bigger reaction, while on the other side.... we got more hugging... No more pics for today. You see what happens next. The level gets broken and price rallies to take the previous day high. Trade was a success. So I hope this added some value, and explained why drawing lines is useful, and how levels are indeed defended. P.S - I lied: Extra Pic, you got a VWAP chart with Standard Deviations. You can see how the pullback nicely fits in our long framework as well and adds confluence to the trade. Research about this :)
I plan to start my live daytrading sometime within the next year. I plan to go into forex, with an extremely small ($500) account, and build up from there. Not ideal, i know, but I am a college student and bigger investments aren't really an option. I want to backtest the SHIT out of all my strategies, and I want to set up a realistic environment to do so. I believe i'm ALMOST there, but there are a few tweaks that I just don't know how to do. I am using a Thinkorswim papermoney account, which I have already linked to live data. Here are my questions;
The minimum balance I can have is 25K. I realize that's the lowest you can trade stocks with, so i'm assuming you cant override it? I wanted to simulate my actual future account size.
I have "live data" that doesn't seem to be live? I don't know if it's because my charts are set up wrong or what, but I am not seeing candlesticks develop as I watch the charts. I have the intervals turned down as low as I can, but the last candlestick on my EUUSD chart is from July 28th. Is there a way to get the minute by minute chart updates? wouldn't that be the best way to make trades?
I know its a cringey noob question, but what "numbers" for account info should I actually pay attention to? I was just looking at "Forex Buying Power". I also turned on commission based, which I am assuming makes the trades more realistic, no?
Any other tips on how to make the best backtesting environment would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Hi Everyone, Brand new to reddit here (not sure how I escaped this deep deep black hole of internet for so long). I hope this is the right place. First, I am here to distil what I have learned over the years of being a fool of the market. I’ll then try to piece together the checks and balances I have decided necessary to maintain long term success in investment management and trading. I will break it into two distinct product lines: Cash Equities and CFDs (index/forex) via FXCM/IG etc, as well as a General Risk Management section. I have read extensively, like the usual Jack DSchwagger series, Stock Operator etc. If you haven’t read these I suggest you start there first. General Risk Management and Setup: Positioning/Size I cannot tell you how often I have been burned with poor position management across either cash equities or CFDs. I distinctly recall putting on a massive “no brainer” trade against the EUUSD in 2014 December. Entry 1.224. I got stopped out and lost 50% of my trading capital in 4 hours due to a margin call. I wasn’t even trying to scalp, I just wanted to get very, very rich. (I would’ve too if it weren’t for those meddling kids). The other side of this is that I express my cash equities portfolios in the form of “high conviction” trades/investments. Take A2M.AX. Average Entry of 6.XX through averaging up. It currently sits at more than 70% of my portfolio, even though I have a 12month timeframe. I have a higher conviction on Cash Equities with a far longer time frame than I do CFDs. Hence I position heavier. There is a 2% rule floating out there that I semi-agree with. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, as I would describe myself as much more of a risk taker and less systematic than I would like. I understand also there are more schools of thought, mechanical, pure TA etc etc. But no matter what fire you choose to play with, I think positioning has been the reason why I have lost money over 90% of the time, even if directionally I am 75% right within my time frame. How do you guys balance your portfolio for maximum returns? Thoughts on 3-4 stock portfolios? Thoughts on CFD margin/position sizing for TA/discretionary? ( I know it will vary by style but would love to hear). Trading Diary When I first waded into CFDs, I knew I wanted to keep a record of all my trades, in the hopes that I can reflect on what technical/fundamental ideas I opened and closed my trades in. A trading diary and reflection on those trades is huge in order for you to stop repeating really stupid mistakes. Until recently I never had the mindset of actually sorting through the wins and losses of my past trades. YOU MUST HAVE A SYSTEM of going through the past days/weeks worth of trades. Reflection and reinforcement is key. I think starting a blog for yourself is not a bad idea. It may not have readership, but it carries the important function of reflection and learning. Just as I am doing this very moment.. Research/Information Funnel The Economist. Period. *infinity. Start here. (Especially relevant for macro) When I first started in Cash Equities I made the novice error of joining forums. Granted there is some great content that someone else more experienced has found and analysed, thus cutting down your research time. Right? Wrong. I think it actually causes a shift in your behaviour to trust and rely on their primary opinion. If they’re right even once, you will now face a bias and think of them as a beacon of truth. Read Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow. As humans we’re inherently very lazy. Don’t let it make you take shortcuts. I put this in general risk because information and bias is a HUGE risk to how you formulate your trading or investment thesis. Even I noticed that the majority of my information sources including twitter liked to preach the “melt up” of the spooz etc. Confirmation Bias exists, especially in Investing. These guys had been talking of a market that was too strong for at least 2 years. Even though it finally semi-happened, they were still wrong for two years! Do you believe it would be valuable to find a peer group IRL as an additional source of information/debate? Timeframe This closely relates to position/sizing. Timeframe goes hand in hand with positioning and how we wish to express risk. A low beta Banking stock with healthy dividends might warrant a larger position size if you look at it from a 10 year view point. The spooz on a 20 year view point would warrant a very different mindset when compared to a tick chart. I have found it more helpful when thinking about timeframe as not “predicting” when I think something would happen, but use it as a matter of determining sizing.Am I really comfortable TSLA as 50% of my portfolio for 20 years? Hmm Health Something I feel understated and forgotten about is the fact that sitting down for 10 hours a day with your eyes following green and red isn’t healthy. A healthy body will produce far better results if your headspace is clear and your emotions are in check. I would put more than a fair share of my mistakes as being due to emotionally driven trades (lose x find 2x) or trading when my physical mind is no longer sharp. Trading and Investing is a full time endeavour. Unless you are extremely fortunate or lucky in how you express your trades and investments, it will take a lot of time and involvement to find an edge that is more than just market. *I mean, isn’t that why we are here? * [Edit] How do you guys ensure you’re balancing work or study and investment? I find myself mostly 100% work ever since graduating uni. This turned out far longer than I expected. I would love to hear all feedback. Put me in my place! This is especially because I am about to commit more time to this as I bring it into a truly serious endeavour. [Edit] Removed personal info
I have been thinking about inflation and market cap a little bit more. In that post I have debunked the hyperinflation claims nonsense, but it got me thinking about the nature of inflation as probabilistic in nature. I think the supply size doesn’t even matter at all, all of it is market based, and I tend to view inflation now as rather a vacuum of value or a transfer of value rather than a supply increase. Simply put the supply is just an arbitrary number it has no value, it only has value in the context of a price. Thus the value of an asset is it’s market cap.
MarketCap based valuation & inflation
The market cap is the ultimate value of an asset, relative to a major currency. This still opens up new cans of worms since it’s all relativistic, to get an absolute value you might want to measure it compared to a basket of major currencies like the Dollar Index, and so on. But the market cap gives the best valuation of an asset, so let’s just use USD as the benchmark. The market cap is market based so as the market tends towards efficiency, the price will reflect eventually it’s true value. However the market cap is still an uncertain valuation technique since it assumes that the hard cap is sacrosanct, which I don’t think it is (derivatives, and forks could extend it, not to mention fractional reserving on exchanges). By the way this applies to fiat currencies too. As demonstrated in the previous post the 21m hard limit of Bitcoin can be extended to 27m assuming the forks are derivatives of the original coins, which is a stretch but currently it does influence the price of eachother (high correlation) so for now it’s true, later it might not be (the forks might decouple). So we see that the M1,M2,M3 sort of supply classification is reasonable for cryptocurrencies too, the M1 would be the immediately usable blockchain coins out of which M0 would be personally held ones and M1 the ones on exchanges, the M2 would be the “investments” which are the forks too, as speculators put money in there in hopes of them going up in price and of course the savings and lending schemes in many Bitcoin based businesses, and the M3 would be the derivative tokens (like Ethereum’s tokens and Bitcoin’s colored coins) and leverage (many exchanges are allegedly operating on fractional reserves) and so forth. Now the thing I observed and this made me think about it, is that many new cryptocurrencies are essentially worthless. So what stops people from creating millions of new ones a day? Nothing since it cost’s almost nothing except the minimal electricity and mining operation setup. So perhaps a couple of dollars of hosting and electricity costs to setup a new one, not totally free, but anyone can essentially create millions of new ones. So what stops the hyperinflation? As pointed out in the other post that the inflation is not in the supply but in the market cap. So if you create “XYZ coin” with 1 trillion supply but a market cap of only 1$ and a price of 1E-12 . You haven’t created an inflation of 4,762,004.76% to Bitcoin for example. You have only created an inflation of 1$ worth, that is “stealing” away 1$ worth of value from Bitcoin as you transferred that value from Bitcoin into your worthless coin. You have only created an inflation of 0.00000000063464788980% to Bitcoin. Also the value doesn’t come out of thin air, you didn’t just print up that 1$ out of nowhere, you had to put in at least that amount of effort into coding your new currency and setting up the web servers and so on. So inflation is not supply based, it’s value based. And this holds true for fiat as well.
Now in cryptocurrencies market cap is misleading sometimes. Some exchanges have a minimum price of 1 satoshi. So of course if XYZ coin will have an 1 tn supply it may look like it’s worth a lot , in this case 10,000 $, but we know your XYZ coins is not worth that, so it’s misleading. Now of course the orders won’t be executed at 1 satoshi, there is no way to create value out of nothing, most of these worthless coins won’t even have a Bid wall, only desperate people trying to sell all of it at 1 satoshi but no buyers, thus the coin may be worth 0 or between 0 and 1 satoshi. If the resolution of the price would be higher ,I am sure the market would find a suitable price for it in that range. Either way you won’t be able to steal value out of the coin. Printing money simply doesn’t create wealth.
Volume & Probability based inflation
So then what to do with these situations? And by the way fiat currency can be mispriced like this due to capital controls and other regulatory barriers. So simply multiplying the M3 of the EUR with it’s EUUSD price won’t give it’s value. So I thought an even more accurate way to look at inflation is the volume itself. I mean the dormant coins have no inflationary effect. For instance Satoshi lost 1 million coins allegedly, now we can’t know for sure,but given that the coins haven’t been moved in almost a decade the probability is high. So we can just assign a probability to that. Say 90% probability that the coins will never be moved. Okay then that is a -900,000 supply for Bitcoin. Similarly many people lost their wallets and will continue to do so, so the usable supply is shrinking. So the best metric is to look at the money velocity or the transaction volume, say in a year. That can be a good metric. Some research is needed on this. Now this gets complicated because we also need to add in the transaction volume on the chain and the transaction volume off chain, like exchanges. As 3rd party middleman do a lot of inhouse micro-transactions. But basically the big picture can be seen on the transaction volume. So the most important metric of Bitcoin is the transaction value in BTC, which can be seen here:
As you can see it’s pretty stagnant and stable, I my opinion this is the true metric of inflation of Bitcoin, because this reflects how much coins are active and dormant. By definition dormant coins are not sold, this not increasing the coins in circulation, so they can’t siphon off value from Bitcoin by increasing it’s tradeable supply. Thus Bitcoin has a maximum 0.85% “siphon” rate/ day, correlated with it’s true inflation which could be estimated by observing this, removing duplicate transactions and estimating the sell activity on exchanges to be more precise.
M3 & Conclusion
So it’s kind of ironic but I think the FED is right when they say that M3 doesn’t affect inflation that much. They have removed the M3 data in 2006 from their website which I don’t like due to transparency reasons, but they are right in saying that M3 doesn’t affect inflation that much. I am not saying Keynesian economics gives a perfect answer I am just saying that hard limits aren’t entirely correct either. Besides the USD M3 can be easily reconstructed and estimated and it really shows not much impact on inflation. So this concept can be extended to fiat currency too, we know the volumes of Forex markets, at least at the central hubs which are reported by the World Bank periodically, so we could estimate the value of fiat currencies based on their transaction volumes on Forex markets. This should be a much better approach than silly CPI indices.
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