Trading isn’t rocket science – but to listen to some traders you would sure think it is. On the bond chart below the yellow box shows the last time we tried to buy the bonds that entire session (this was Friday July 12th trade); we actually had to reverse when the buy failed so miserably – but then each arrow shows other places we are able to sell the market.
Take a look at a few things on that chart: the high is 135.01…the (first) low is 134.00. Hmm…maybe “round numbers” are places to pay attention to when trading bonds. Look where the 3rd arrow is – the top of that move was 134.14…back a bit on the center/left of the chart is a 134.13 low…hmm, maybe bonds respect old highs and lows….
But you get around many traders and it’s almost like they want to show each other how much they know….and spout out the latest catch phrases and all that…. Well, traders leave that stuff for the talking heads and focus on trading.
One thing I’ve experienced lately is how little work some folks will put in in their attempt to be successful traders. The headline of this piece pretty much happened to me….a few years ago a marketing group asked me if I’d give a free presentation to their client base; I agreed to do it IF I could charge (I think it was $18 or something and I’d include access to my trading room for a month….it’s been years so I’ve forgotten the exact details) …but it was one guy’s actions that a few of my clients still laugh about.
A guy from the presentation logged in one morning in my trading room– I remember he came in “late” – maybe 9am – and immediately started to flood the message board with questions: “are you using 5 minute charts?’ “Do you use blah blah blah” “are we buying?” “Do you look at XYZ” …well I couldn’t answer – the market was busy – and after 5 minutes the guy typed in “I’m out of here”…cancelled his $18 payment – and we never saw him again.
We’ve all talked about this, but does someone expect to take one semester of med school and become a successful doctor? Does someone take a months worth of golf lessons and expect to become the next PGA tour champion? Does someone take a month of accounting classes and expect to be able to bill $500/hour for tax advice?
But we see it all the time in trading.
Trading isn’t rocket science – but it takes a commitment and a singleness of purpose to have any chance of being successful.