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  1. #1
    Senior Member analyst75's Avatar

    Where Is The Money? !!!

    One of the frustrating things about being a trend follower is that it takes time to overcome the inertia of a new system, particularly if that system is based upon slightly longer time periods such as weekly data. Part of the frustration that traders encounter is based upon the simple mechanics of how systems work. A system that is correctly designed takes its losses quickly and allows its profitable trades to simply roll along.

    This results in the system instantly going into drawdown and it is this drawdown that causes traders to develop friction with their system. This friction often leads to tinkering as they attempt to force the system to give them something it cannot give. This is exacerbated in times of a flat market – you cannot force returns from a market. The All Ords of late has not really been a stand out performer as can be seen from the chart below the market has been slowly grinding its way up in a broad channel.

    With this in mind I thought I would look at the yearly returns for the various stocks within the All Ords – so I found some data on their percentage returns and stuck it into a frequency histogram to see what the performance of individual stocks looked like.

    Please visit this link for the charts and images that come with this article:

    I have a arranged the data into a serious of blocks and did a count of the number that fell into that category. I also calculated the average performance of the group which for this period stood at 17.09%. However, if I drop out the 200% and above outliers this average value falls to 13.04%. As you might have guessed the majority of values cluster around the mean with a long right handed tail. This sort of distribution is common with stocks since we have unlimited upside but limited downside – a stock cannot decline more than 100%.

    Our psychology dictates that we are instantly drawn to the right hand side of the chart and the extreme outliers that occurred over the past year. And as traders these are the sort of trades that we hope ours might evolve into. However, in doing so we ignore that left hand side of the chart. The majority of stocks (60%) have below average performance.

    You may assume as a trend follower that this is not an issue since you would avoid these large losses and poor performance by the use of stops but that ignores the reality of the actual trading process. As a mechanical trader you will not incur these losses but you will burn time wading through these non performing stocks before you hit the ones that do perform. You waste time, a little bit of money and a lot of patience dealing with this mediocre performance.

    My anecdotal experience has been that trading returns are made up of a lot of modest returns and a tiny handful of trades that do very well but to get to the ones that do very well you have to crank through a reasonable number of trades and you have to keep going.

    This is where the notion of emotional resilience comes into its own in trading and the ability not to tinker with the system hoping that it will generate these sorts of trades. Systems don’t actually generate these sorts of trades – the market does so you cannot actually build a system with the preconceived notion that it will find you trades that generate a 500% return. What the system does do is generate a population of trades, most of which will be duds and hopefully a few large winners. But in the beginning all trades look the same.

    Author: Chris Tate

    Article reproduced with kind permission of

    More helpful quotes from professional traders are added below:

    “As always the battle is not with the market but with yourself.” – Chris Tate

    “Get any group of traders together and you will notice that the novices tend to talk about indicators and charting patterns, whilst the professionals discuss trading psychology and money management. In the beginning, you’ll underestimate the importance of these two key areas.” – Louise Bedford

    “Most people have an “interest” in becoming consistently profitable traders. However, few possess the essential ingredient of “total commitment.” Total commitment is what is demanded for a high level of success from any endeavor. A trader with commitment will take the money away from 100 traders who have only an "interest.” – Joe Ross

    “In fact I would say trading without a stop is like walking a tight rope without a net. You should always place a stop, not because you expect the market to go against you, but to protect against the unexpected. The worst losses I've seen have resulted from a trader not having a stop order in place and the ensuing deer-in-the-headlights paralysis that sets in once losses start to mount.” – Andy Jordan
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  2. #2
    Junior Member BinaryScamSniffer's Avatar
    Your observations epitomize a common misunderstanding that most of the newbie traders tend to have - uncalculated holding term, especially in case of a sudden increase or downfall. Hypothetically speaking, the first reaction when the charts announce a bear market is to sell the stock immediately and accept the loss in order to prevent some further repercussions, in most of the cases traders don't endeavour even a bit to predict the dynamics from this point on. Similarly, ground breaking price increases that literally generate a profit of 400% in a month are often followed by bubble bursts soon afterwards. To exemplify, in 2013 after a constant price increase the bitcoin price reached a peak cost of over $1000, but it droped sharply soon afterwards to less than $300. It proves once again that everything good comes to an end and you shouldn't have ‘strike positions’ that you rely on almost entirely.
    To understand the variety of options that available in such situations, it is vital to know the types of derivatives. An instance of a lucrative one is the ‘Swap’, which entails the collaboration of two parties meant to hedge against interest rate risk, but the only issue is that this trading transactions are practiced mostly by institutional traders.
    However, it is right that generally traders derive their profit from a few positions, while numerous others generate merely a few dollars. It is even more rife among the inexperienced ones. In order to fix this issue, the only thing you are potent to do is to choose the stocks more scrupulously and predict objectively. It proves once again that the quintessential part of trading is stock analysis.
    To conclude, the system is indeed quite problematic and less significant,while what truly matters is the market events and the appreciation of their impact. Under this circumstances your main focus must not be on designing a system, but in depth technical and fundamental analysis.

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