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Trading philosophies and thoughts

Dancing with the market (ballroom dance style)

If you have seen ballroom dancing either live or in TV, you will know that the man usually lead the lady in the dance.  Well, guess what, in our dancing with the market, if you like to make huge profit, you will have to let the market do the leading.  As far as the market is concern, sexism is not a word and the market doesn’t care you are a man or a woman.

The market only has one secret to share, “follow my lead and you will be rewarded“.

BUT you will be punished harshly if you try to do the following:

-lead the market

-fight with the market

-step on the market toe ’cause you are stumbling on without discipline

-fall asleep while dancing with the market

-don’t pay attention when dancing

-being impatient with the market

-dancing to your own music instead of the market’s

-don’t practice the dance steps the market teaches you

-too fearful of dancing with the market

And what is the simple “secret” that dancing instructor tell their students?

-surrender yourself-

Yes, surrender yourself to the music, to your partner, to the flow of the dance.

In the same token, as a trader, surrender yourself to the market beat.

And what make the market beat?

Price Action!

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is your dancing partner we called THE Market.  Now, please follow THE Market lead by watching the step.  Wait, I mean the price action!

Good Hunting!

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“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

Yeap!  I got this quote from the book, “Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall- from America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness” by Frank Brady.

I’m still half-way thru the book but came upon this quote by Malcolm Gladwell.  I’m amazed at the dedication Bobby and the top chess players spent on their chess games.  Imagine if aspiring traders apply 10% of that kind of dedication; the reward will be tremendous.

Now, I’m more motivated to allocate more time to play chess, ooop! I meant to say- allocate more time to study and practice trading skills from my repertoire.

I’ve a feeling that this week is going to be a non-eventual week.  Price action isn’t going to take to the moon or fall off the cliff; instead, it is going to dance around inside the red box below.  Just my take of it, of course.

My equity position increased to 40% today and cash is 60%.

I found a 3D printer stock alternative called PRLB and it looked like it was bottoming out.  Since DDD and SSYS were kind of on a high side; I figured I could play PRLB for a catch-up.  Nevertheless, this is a super-high-beta stock and the volatility isn’t for everyone.  No, I’m not advising anyone to buy.

I also bought back USU, USEG, LMLP and a few suggested by iBC members such as HDSN, RBCN. and THLD.  Don’t worry, I’ll be applying my own trading style on these picks; but thanks in advance anyway.

Good Hunting!

Below is the daily SPY chart:

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“Only fear can defeat life”

I couldn’t agree more!  I read this sentence from the book, “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel.  For those who have not heard of this book, it is a fictional story of a teenager who survived 227 days on the ocean.   I bought this book for years but finally decided it was time to read it last week since I wasn’t actively trading (due to my promise to myself to take a break while price actions was trading inside the dead zone).

The author gave a full treatment on the subject of “fear” in one short chapter (chapter 56).  While the information provided in the chapter is “nothing new” since we all have at one point in our life experience fear in its naked form; it is still quite “revealing” to read the author’s recap of the essence of fear.

I’m sure everyone who are reading this post know and understand that fear is our worst enemy when it comes to trading.  While fear can destroy us “slowly” in our normal day-to-day living if you don’t do something about it, it will “accelerate” your demise in the trading world by paralyzing your ability to trade with a plan and thereby destroy any chance you have to improve your game.

You must FACE fear.  You must ACKNOWLEDGE fear.  Only by facing and acknowledging your fear can you then embark on developing a PLAN to trade with DISCIPLINE in spite of your fear.

Yes, it means you have to WORK at it.

Nope, it doesn’t matter if you follow the most successful traders on this planet, you will still lose your shirt if you don’t INVEST your time to become a disciplined trader.  Every successful trader trades with a style that is very much their OWN UNIQUE style.   And the odd that you can be successful by taking the easy way out in following the trades of any successful trader is a big ZERO.

You know why?


Just because a trader is successful doesn’t mean he has no fear.  It only means that he FINDS his own personal way to work around this fear and still be successful.  And guess what, if you didn’t spend the time and investment to develop the discipline need to follow a trading plan that is unique to your own personality; your fear will destroy the trades you took by following Trader X.


Does the following sound familiar?

1) Trader X bought AAAA

You just took a loss from previous Trader X’s trade; now you FEAR to take another one.

2) Trader X sold BBBB as a loss

You hesitate to take the loss because you FEAR stock BBBB will take off without you.  On top of that, you now decided Trader X is wrong to take loss so soon.

3) Trader X is holding CCCC thru the volatility while sitting on profit

You FEAR of losing the profit so you closed the trade to lock in profit even though Trader X is still holding it.

4) Trader X is still holding DDDD when the loss is now approaching 5%

You FEAR that the stock is going to zero; so you cut your losses (which by incident is the right thing to do but it’s just not part of Trader X’s trading plan).

Don’t forget, Trader X is NOT PERFECT and Trader X will have his usual % of trades that are wrong; however, by second-guessing Trader X and proving to yourself that you are “right” when Trader X is “wrong”, you are only encouraging your bad habit and allowing your FEAR to dictate your market decision instead of relying on a sound trading plan.

You see, there is no short-cut to become successful in trading.  Either you work on your discipline as a mean to control your fear or you may as well be the benefactor to those who win consistently because they find their way to work around their fear.

Here is how the author Yann Martel closed his chapter on fear:

“…if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, your open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”


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The “What-if” trap:: Do you really want to live there?

I’ve had my share of “what if” back in the old days.

“What if there is no QE3?”

“What if Spain default?”

“What if the Greek coalition fail?”

“What if there is solvency issue?”

“What if the market is over-bought?”

“What if I buy now and the market tank tomorrow?”

Well, I guess you get the thrift of what I’m trying to say here.  You can “what if” all you want; but all that is going to do is to freeze you from taking proactive action to grow your portfolio.

I know there are a lot of bears out there just waiting for the market to “tank” because they have all the logical reason for it to tank.  Well, maybe the market WILL tank; but it just won’t be tanking according to your time frame.  Maybe it will tank early next March?  How ’bout that?  No, wait, the market may even tank tomorrow or next week.  Or maybe not!

Regardless, if I follow the price action and the price starts to tank; guess what I’m going to do?  I’ll start liquidating my positions, locking in profit (probably give back some), and cutting my losses (if I buy late).  And then, if price continues to tank unabated, guess what?  I’ll start to initiate short position to commensurate with the continuing falling market until price action tell me the fall is over.

Meanwhile, your mind (and even mine!) will be developing thesis of where the market is heading based on the “lagging” information that is already out there.  No wonder that by the time you decide it is time to buy; you may be buying when the risk is much higher because the market already run enough for a correction to take place.

All this fundamental information we ALL can see, to me, are stale information.  Market is a forward looking machine.  It looks forward based on where all the big money is looking forward to.  We, the retail investors/traders, usually do not the fire power these big money players have.  Therefore, our prediction based on stale information can only have a 50/50 of being right because the big money prediction may be different from ours.  And even then, you may be right but way OFF in your timing.  Lo and behold when these big money becomes irrational in their way of prediction!

So, what should we, the retail investors/traders, do?

You guess it!  Forget predicting and just follow the price action.  When you follow price action, you are flowing with where the big money is going.  Meanwhile, while you are following the price action; ALWAYS think of protecting yourself.  ALWAYS think safety.

If you’ve been reading my posts; you knew that I traded both sides last week when the market was going thru the yo-yo sessions.  You also knew that by Friday, I saw price action began to show strength and began buying.  Thus, instead of wasting my time trying to predict where the market is going, I follow the price action and ended up being long from Friday to now.

Of course, I trade my own style and temperament.  Therefore, I really cannot tell you that my way is better than yours.  And I am definitely not advising you of anything here.  I’m simply typing my thought here for my own review later.  My whole point is that it is much more productive to spend more time learning the mechanism of trading (profit target and stop loss, option strategies if you preferred, etc) and then implement your trading plan based on price action.

Like some of you suggested here at iBC before, trade more (start with small positions) and think less.  In time, trading actively with a plan (this is very important) will help you develop good habit and overcome your emotional hindrance, mainly fear of being wrong.

When you trade actively (in a small way), you will learn that it is OK to be wrong.  In fact, you HAVE to be wrong in order to trade successfully.  Being wrong is no difference than losing a Black Jack hand.  You know you will lose some at the BJ table and win some with your basic strategy; why can’t you approach the market the same way.  It is OK to be wrong!  Just admit it QUICKLY so you can cut your loss QUICKLY!

Prediction is fun to write and even entertaining to read especially if ones tend to agree with the thesis.  But on its own without following the price action, you can watch the market run away and leaving you in the dust…

You know how I know?

Because I’ve been there and done that!

Good Hunting!

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It’s not what we think that matter, it’s what the price action says that does!

Come on now, it is not news that the Leftist Syriza coming out of the left field threw a wrench into the Greek election.  The uncertainty of it all, Pasok or Syriza, somehow doesn’t fade the market yesterday.  Despite our conjecture of potential doom and gloom, the domino-effect of Greece exit of Euro-zone, and the various bearish scenarios that may come out of this election; market still went up Friday.

What does that tell you?  Sometimes when market did not do what you (or we) expected it to do, that by itself is an important message.  Seemed to me the market is brushing off this uncertainty because the market knows that one way or the other, the rest of the world is not going to let a small country like Greece ruins the stability of world economy.

What about the lesson from the failure of Lehman?   Yeah, even I fell into the trap door using this example as a rebuttal argument.  Now, I believe it is BECAUSE of the failure of Lehman that the financial centers around world learned an important lesson and are much more ready to handle any financial fall-out from Greece exit of the Euro-zone if that is the path being chose.

Think about this, the stock market, as a barometer, does NOT like uncertainty; it would fall hard last week if the world thought Greece is important enough to fuck the world economy up.  Perhaps last year the world was not ready for Greece “situation”; but giving the last week stock market movement; the world may be ready for whatever may come from Greece this year.

Look at the weekly Dow Jones chart below, the volume for last week was 25% higher than the week before and last week was an up bar!  If you ignore the outside noises and just look at the chart, it is as bullish as anyone will like it to be.

I’m glad I nibbled my way back in with 55% invested; this is close to the middle ground with a 5% bias on the upside. Regardless of how the market behave on Monday, I’ve no regret on my decision I made on Friday.

You see, it is not what we think that matter, it is what the price action says that does!

And since price action is the King in my book, I always follow my King.

Good Hunting!




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The Pain of Being Wrong

Yes, there is nothing wrong with being wrong; but I have not forgotten that it is actually quite painful if not uncomfortable to acknowledge to oneself of being wrong.   It sure took me a long time to “get used” to the pain of being wrong.  Because I’m now used to the pain, I don’t have any problem executing my fail-safe plan (stop losses or lock in profit after giving back a chunk or so) even though I feel the pain.

Unfortunately, our need to be right is somehow ingrained into our mind; it is as much as our ego is an integrated fabric of our consciousness.  Without our ego, will The Fly even care about setting up this site for us mortal to pontificate our thought?  Do we even care to share?  Will we even trade?

With ego, pain WILL be a part of being wrong.  Yes, mental pain.  The kind of pain there can bring tear to your eyes even in the absence of physical pain.  Yes, this is the wonder of our powerful mind; so deal with it.  So, what can we do with this pain of being wrong without the use of narcotic to dull it.   No, you are not permitted to use alcohol either.

What I found out in my journey of trading is that the best way to snip this mental pain right off with only a small “ouch!” exclaimed from your mouth is to acknowledge your being wrong as earliest as possible.  The big pain comes when you simmer on the being wrong for too long.   As each our mind can only tolerate so much pain; the longer you take to acknowledge your being wrong, the more painful it becomes.  Usually, at the end, it is our “fight or flight” survival instinct that kicked in to relieve our severe mental pain by capitulating at the end.  And as most may fear, our capitulating at maximum pain somehow have a 50/50 percentage chance of happening right at the bottom (or top if you are short) of the market.  Nevertheless, capitulation always provides a much needed relief from the pain that has been bottling up for too long.

Bottom line, learn to recognize and acknowledge your being wrong as soon as possible and then take the immediate step to remedy this wrong as soon as you can.  With practice, you may not feel much of a pain at all.  There will be occasion that you may exclaim an “ouch!” a little louder than normal; but it sure beats screaming in agony because you are dangerously reaching capitulating point.

You see, with our mental design that comes with our ego; mental pain is a fact of life when we are wrong, why not make a habit of snipping this pain right off your back by admitting to being wrong sooner before it becomes a painful boil in your mind?

In the world of trading, the most convenient and easier way to acknowledge and admit to being wrong is by the use of stop loss.   The additional benefit of using a stop loss is that the act of using a stop loss means you are entering into a trade with a plan.

Good Hunting!

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Are you trading or are you really bargaining?

Let me start with some examples:

Example 1:

You followed your trading system, you took a long trade and was stopped out.  As it turned out, you were stopped out right at the bottom of the intra-day low (or daily chart if you preferred).  Price began to climb back up per your trading system original thesis which was to go long.


“Sh*t! Stopped out at the low again!  I knew it!  Why did it have to happen to me!  Now the price is going back up; if I’m jumping back in, I’ve to pay higher price than I stopped out for.  Sh*t,  it just took out the yesterday high!  Damn, I can’t jump back in with this price!  It’s more expensive than when I first got in.”


“Hooray!  My thesis (aka as trading system signal) is still on after all.  Price took out yesterday high!  There may be a chance I can make this trade work.  3x profit here we go!  [Click, click and click]  Just bought back some close to yesterday high.  I’m going to put a stop below today intra-day low (or day low if you preferred).  Now, let’s kick some ASS!”


Example 2

Price reached your profit target but reacted suddenly so you gave up a point.  Per your system, you should take your profit now.  Even though you gave back a point, you still made 5 points profit.


“I want that point back!  I’m going to wait for price to go back up there before I take profit.”


“Holy Smoke!  That was a sudden 1 point drop.  I’m getting the fuck out of here with my 5 points profit.  Adios!”

Example 3

Price reached to a point where you should be taking your loss.  You only have a mental stop because you didn’t put on a physical stop for whatever reason.


“Holy shit! I’m not sure if I want to take my loss here.  I’m afraid I’ll be selling at the bottom.  Yesterday down day was already over-sold.  Fuck it, I’m not going to sell now and have to buy back at a much higher price later.”


“The train stop here!  I’m putting a market order!  Come on… come on… get me fucking fill already!”


Example 4

This is actually a week later after example 3 above.  Prices were down all last week.  Per your trading system, you should have taken your loss last week based on example 3 above.


“I’m fucking dead already!  What is the point in selling here now?  If I sell here,  I’m definitely selling at the bottom.  I’m going to wait for that Hail Mary piss on your face rally that is gonna get me back to the price I wanted.  Come on, give me your shit! I’m not afraid anymore.  I’ve resigned my fate to the stock god now. ”


“What are you looking at me for?  What?  What did I do with the stock?  I don’t remember, didn’t I sell it last week already?”


The way I see it, we always carry our past with us in our head.  Because of all the history, we tend to compare our current action against the past.  Perhaps, in some perspective, it can be beneficial because it helps us to avoid repeating past mistakes.  On the same token, this “comparison” of the past can also hamper our trading success.  Perhaps due to our genetic programming or cultural upbringing, when $$ is involved, we start to compare prices.  And when we compare prices, we somehow automatically enter into a “bargaining” mode in our head.

For crying out loud!  Do you really want to bargain while trading?

Below is my take of unproductive thinking when trading:

– if I cut my loss now, I may end up paying more to get back in.  Definitely not as good a deal if I  hang on with my original entry price.

– I loathe to pay the the whip-saw prices for jumping in and out.

– I probably have to pay higher price to get on board.  Price hasn’t taken off yet but may soon be; but I think I can count on saving a few penny here to enter. (Meanwhile, you are completely obliviously to the dollar the trade can give you.)

Listen, in trading, getting a bargain is SECONDARY to survival!  When you bargain in the business world, you have the luxury of holding off your purchase until you negotiated a price which you think is a good bargain; but in the trading world where the health of your portfolio is hanging in balance based on the decision you make, sometimes your getting “pissed” at losing a bargain and trying to hold out for a better price can cause even more harm than good.   Not to mention that you are not cutting your losses quickly but also giving up great opportunity to lock in gain because you are trying to bargain for a good price.

“I refuse to get out until the bargain price I wanted come back!”


“I refuse to get in until the bargain price I wanted is filled!”

Good luck!  ’cause we don’t know if the bargain price you want will ever come back!

Now, tell me.  Are you trading or are you bargaining?

Good Hunting!

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Market gives and market takes- The cycle of (trading) Life

And this is the market truism I live by.  At least, it is my market truism.

With great eager, market walked down DDD and slapped me on the face this morning.  And what did you do when a 500 lbs gorilla slapped you?  You run away as fast as you can!  And so the market took back what I thought was a nice profit from yesterday run-up on my beloved DDD.  Did I just say “beloved”!  Holy Shit!  So that was what happened.  I was momentary in love with my DDD and forgot to lock in at least half of my profit by putting a stop at mid-point of yesterday bar.

Well, once the low of yesterday bar was taken out, the pain on my face became very real so I bailed.  If there is any candlestick bar I dislike the most when it is against me, it is the BAD ASS ENGULFMENT BAR.  When I see bar like this against my position, I run.  I will run like there is no tomorrow.

A lion share of yesterday profit of DDD was taken back by the market; just like that.

Market gives and market takes!

Sure, with hindsight, some of you might say that I bailed out too quickly.  You didn’t let the day to finish before calling it the Bearish Engulfment bar.  Well, excuse me.  It is exactly because I believe in the market truism (see subject heading) that I’m not going to “wait” for the market to take more than I was given.  In other words, market can take the paper profit that was given me; but I’m not going to let it takes my hard-earned cash that was converted from paper profit before.  Once I converted paper profit into cash; this cash belong to me.  And I will play defensive in anyway to protect my cash.

If I lost money due to stop losses; then that is my business expenses I’ve to pay out of my cash; but if you let a paper profit turn into loss (especially when it was a nice decent size profit), then you are killing your business.  It is akin to buying your customer a gold watch for stringing you along with the promise of a deal and then left you high and dry ’cause you were just being used to get a better deal from another seller.   Who does business like that?

Folks, hindsight sucks!  There is no need to wallow in our self-pity for not being able to call the top or bottom.   First, we are not blessed with the power of precognition; so why are we beating ourselves up after we close our position or miss an opportunity?  Is there an almighty being scolding you for not using the power of precognition that you possessed to make perfect market timing decision?

DDD is now up a point from where I sold and WPRT is up 2 points after I sold.  Big F**king Deal!  Yes, I was away from my desk so I didn’t have a chance to reconsider going back in like I normally will do.   But giving the way the market is behaving right now, I’m not going to buy back DDD or WPRT yet.

Btw, I missed the whole AAPL rise to the moon; so did I cry about it?  No.  Why?  ’cause I was never looking at AAPL at a trade.   So, why should I cry about the missing gain for DDD and WPRT when I was no longer in the trade?  Ok, maybe “cry” is too strong a word; how ’bout- why should I feel bad about missing the gain that I “could” have?

Did you see how ridiculous it is when you stop for a moment and think about this.  Say, you just open a broker account for the first time and is very eager to invest.  You look at all the charts of your favorite stocks you have been keeping an eyes on.  Obviously, there is a lot of charts with uptrend or downtrend and you are looking for an entry point to get in.

Wait!  Stop right there.  While you are looking for entry point, do you feel bad (if not crying) that you missed all the uptrend you saw on the chart?  No?  Why should you?  You just open your account!

Then why should you feel sad (if not crying) that you missed the trade based on hindsight after you got out?

The point I’m trying to say is that whatever decision you made at the time of the trade is based on information, the risk tolerance, and your mental condition at the time.  Once the decision is made, the whole trade is OVER.  The only thing left is a lesson to learn.  And the ONLY thing to do is to look what is in front of you; not behind you.  BE that guy who just open his broker account for the first time and look at the whole market with a fresh mind.

Am I off the tangent in my post here?  Nope!

Market gives and market takes.

Just remember this, the gains that you thought you missed by getting out too soon; the market could easily take back.  Just like my DDD paper profit.   Once you accept this truism, you will then be able to look at the market with a fresh mind every single time you close a position (with loss or gain).

Market gives and market takes, it is the cycle of life in the trading market.  Our job is to prevent the market from taking back too much.  And to do that, you have to play defensive even when you are on the offensive.

Despite my getting out too soon today, I’m still up 15% for the year.

Current cash position: back to 75%.

Good Hunting!


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What’s wrong with being wrong?

Jesse Livermore was famous ’cause he was the king of the trader back in his time and made millions; but at the same time, he also gave it all back.  Without doubt, his famous book, “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre, contains treasure of trading wisdom which are timeless.  Nevertheless, the most important lesson I took to heart is from Chapter XII where he described how he gave back nine-tenths of his stake (in milions).  Here is an excerpt from the book:

“It seems incredible that knowing the game as well as I did and with an experience of twelve or fourteen years of speculating in stocks and commodities I did precisely the wrong thing.  The cotton showed me a loss and I kept it.  The wheat showed me a profit and I sold it out.  It was an utterly foolish play, but all I can say in extenuation is that it wasn’t really my deal, but Thomas’.  Of all speculative blunders there are few greater than trying to average a losing game.  My cotton deal proved it to the hilt a little later.  Always sell what shows you a loss and keep what shows you a profit.  That was so obviously the wise thing to do and was so well known to me that even now I marvel at myself for doing the reverse.”  (from Chapter XII)

In his defense, Jesse said he was the victim of a magnetic personality with a brilliant mind.  Somehow, he allowed his belief in someone else’s fundamental aspect of the cotton trade to supersede his intimate knowledge of the price action which was telling him that his timing was very wrong!  Yet he kept on averaging down!

The lesson I learned from this chapter is that you must always open to the idea of being wrong at any point in time during your trade.  There is no if or but.  The answer is very clearly displayed to you in the price action of the market.  If you don’t have a profit after you are in within a reasonable time, you are wrong!  Simple at that.

So, what is wrong with being wrong?  NOTHING!  If you are wrong, just admit it, close your position and move on.  It is only wrong if you refuse to admit that you are wrong.  Guess what, you can always go back in if market condition change and your stock begins to show sign of movement in the direction of your thesis.  It is just that at the time you took the trade earlier, the timing was wrong.   Like I said before, sometimes you can be lucky to defy your being wrong and get away with it; but in the long run, you will pay the ultimate price- a decimate to your portfolio.

Now you know why I sometimes acted kind of “jumpy” in my trades.  In and out, in and out, and in and out.  But overall, I make money.  Perhaps not a 10 baggers or a big-hit wonder; but enough for me to enjoy my time at the market.

You see, there is nothing wrong with being wrong.

Good Hunting!

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Finding your own trading style

How many of you have a trading style you called your own?

If you have one, congratulation!  If you don’t have one, you need to work on refining your trading techniques until you start making money.  Once you do, you have your own style.

When you see somebody you like to read on the blog posts a stock idea, do you follow the suggestion and cross your finger and hope for the best?  And when this person proclaims that he is loading up the truck on this pick he posted, do you add more based on this information?  If you answer yes to both questions, then you don’t have a trading style of your own.

While there are benefits to be had in seeing other people posts their stock picks that comes with their argument and thesis, the contributors who posted their picks (either buying or shorting) usually have their own trading goals and loss limit based on their risk tolerance and the “size” of their portfolio.  I said “usually” because there may be a few out there who post their pick with undying belief on the stock they love.  In other words, it will be like following a blind man with nothing but “faith” that this blind man will lead you to salvation.  And if you happened to win big based on this blind faith and was lucky to cash out; congratulation, you just won the lottery!

In trading, there is no short-cut.  If you don’t want to spend the time to study the technical analysis (TA) and go thru the trials and errors in finding the right TA that works for your personality as well as tailor-designed to your individual strengths and weaknesses, you have a high probability of being part of the 90-95% of the people who failed in trading.

So, how do you start?  By taking a first step in reading a trading book, trading video, or pay for a live seminar to learn the trading skill.  You won’t become good with the TA right off the bat; but your tenacity, dedication, and persistence in “applying the TA” will carry you to eventual fruition.

It took me many years to discover my “hunting” trading style.  Just because it works for me does not necessary mean it will work for you.  My trading skills evolve over years of trials and errors and now they become part of my “habit”.  These skills, like averaging up and dumping my position as the sound of a hiccup without a care if the stock is going to take off without me took me years to refine.  Yes, sometimes, I do give up runner who ran so fast that to jump back in will be suicidal.  But at the same time, I also locked in many profits that could have gone back to zero or worse.  Overall, from my personal experience, the benefit outweighs the cost. But these are very personal trading skills that make me who I am now as a trader.

My point here is that you need to find your own style if you don’t already have one. You are going to pay your due regardless; then why not learn something from the expensive lesson by being more systematic in your trading execution.  Trade with a plan based on what you learn from book, video, or live seminar.  And from there on, you will begin to evolve as a trader by continuing the process of finding your own style using the lesson you learned from each trade you made.

Instead of saying, “Damn, I thought trader A has that pinned down.  I wonder if trader A is still holding the position.  I’m hurting and I don’t know what to do?”

Going forward, you want to say thing like,

“Damn, why did I not follow the signal to sell my position?  What should I do to stick to the gun?”


“Where should I put my stop so that if the trade bombed, my loss will be limit?”


“This stop limit is too much for me, I’m going to pass the trade”


“Trader A has this pick, but from my interpretation of the chart, the volatility is too much for me.  I’m gonna pass.”


“Trader A must be crazy, no way I’ll take that trade when it is already up so much.”


“Trader A pick looks good; but I will use my own stop loss and profit target for this trade.”

In summary, if you don’t already have your own trading style or working on one, time to get busy.

Good Hunting!

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