am indebted to the original FuturesTalk moderators, Barry
Burns, Morris Pomey and Gil Eldridge, the many leading
traders who were introduced to me at DTUSA seminars, and
others whom I have sought out in books and seminars for
the training I have received since becoming a fulltime
trader in 2002. Prior
to joining FuturesTalk I was mentored through Chris
Mercer’s Tradesight services and Mark Lycos’
Firetraders services and chat room where Chris also
trading methodology might be described as a montage of
what these named persons have advocated—with notable
montage analogy illustrates my belief that it is important
to avoid adopting carte blanche any singular trading
ones own style consistent with personality traits, skills
and most of all psychology is critically important.
Furthermore, I believe that traders must
continually learn and change to maintain that necessary
‘edge’ that underlies all successful trading.
I am no exception.
have done day, swing and position trading in stocks,
options, and various index and currency futures, beginning
with six months of fulltime daytrading stocks and options
in 1978—and taking my sizable trading account to zero.
A subsequent business career left little time for
trading until I made a commitment to fulltime trading as a
profession in 2002. Presently
I trade mostly intraday the CME Globex Russell 2000 and
Euro futures and am thus typically flat at the end of my
trading day. I’m
especially drawn to euro futures because good trading
opportunities regularly appear 16 to 22 hours a day.
This means that trading can be multiplexed with
other activities essentially anytime anywhere in the
egos come with the territory of good trading.
I’ve learned that there is a common ‘right of
passage’ most trading survivors experience:
they trade and/or ‘invest’ with high
expectations; lose a lot of money; learn why they lost it;
humbly unlearn most of what they ‘thought they knew’;
and then pursue a long difficult learning process as they
develop and practice a ‘their’ trading methodology.
So is my experience.
While I consider myself a professional trader and
am happy to share with others my discoveries and methods,
I realize that three years trading full time represents
limited maturity in this business—and I do treat trading
as my primary business.
Having spent 23 years as an executive and CEO
consultant in seven emerging high-tech companies
(including an IPO), I find that trading requires the same
type of disciplines that were needed to be successful in
my entrepreneurial business endeavors—with a few
important additions also.
a trained engineering physicist (Ph.D. in Semiconductor
Physics from Washington State University) I adopted early
the mentality advocated by many (but notably not all) that
one should look to primary data, namely price action and
more specifically patterns of support and resistance, as
the main focus for developing a ‘trading edge’
use charts displayed on candle formatted time and tick
charts from month down to 1-minute timeframes.
My charts include indicators such as moving
averages and stochastics that synthesize the primary data
into forms that I have found useful in formulating rules
for when and under what conditions I ‘allow myself’ to
make trade entries and exits. I presume these charts to be composite representations of
human trading behavior that contain information I can use
to give me that essential edge.
I practice rule based trading, meaning that my
entry and exit decisions are based on rules in principle
devoid of emotion or subjectivity.
Since I don’t use automated computer algorithms
for entries and exits, human judgment and emotion is
understandably present, but under control (hopefully), in
my trading. Certainly
choosing and modifying my rules requires much judgment.
Simply stated, trading is a highly personalized art
trading as in football, execution is everything.
I create and use my playbook (rules) against my
opponents, the latter being the other traders with whom I
am competing. I
am the quarterback, the primary executer, and my personal
strengths and weaknesses on and off the field have as much
to do with my win/loss record as does my playbook.
My purpose in trading is to produce income and net
worth, but equally important I do it because of the
enjoyment and satisfaction I receive, not to mention the
camaraderie of sharing my experience in FuturesTalk.
And, God willing, I hope some day take my place
among the top tier of trading pros.