Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Notes - No Idea

7:00pm First, let me get today's trade out of the way in terms of the good, bad, and ugly.

We'll start with the good: Three solid reads & trade sequences (strongly biased long at the open, the 1:15pm consolidation break north, and staying out of the late-day squeeze). The bad: Misplayed and got shaken on an aggressive noon short attempt (expecting weakness sooner and with a bit more "oomph" for one more push down) and I had a few too many range-break probe entries during the 2pm-3pm chop that shows I'm still struggling with the summer market's complete lack of midday pace and participation.

The ugly: Not that a modest draw is ugly by any stretch, and Mondays have never been my strength, yet considering the three solid sequences, it seems I bet pocket Aces far lighter than I did a pocket pair. And not once, but a couple of times. That has to be remedied ... and quickly. It will be.


Now, where do I start on the "Jellyfish" project feedback and responses?

Folks, I had no idea. No idea of the interest. No idea of who's been following this silly diary over the last year, or the impact the blog has had on so many. No idea of the stories of a continuing decline of quality trader educational opportunities, complete with the continuing sagas of disappearing gurus, teachers, and others whose schedules are "too busy" at a post-2008 time when the industry needs it more than ever.

And frankly, no idea that so many would consider working with me, who I would for the moment describe as "Joe Scuffling Human Being & Trader" with a flat to slightly declining equity curve. All I can say is that I've been deeply touched.

As I write this, my Outlook in-box is still "dinging" as I've been deluged with responses that are closing in on 100, and I feel somewhat like a clerk trying to hold the pre-opening doors closed before a Macy's bridal sale. Ummm ... please try not to tear each other up. Saying I'm a bit overwhelmed would probably be like saying I did "OK" last year.

So what's the status and where do I go from here? Well, as of right now, I have more questions than answers. The only thing I know for sure based on the pile of emails is that there's a need and overwhelming support to do "something".

First things first, which is to make sure whatever is done fully complies with all industry regulation. "Trader Education" ... which is what this technically would be ... is a very tricky and gray area, and I'm not a "skirt the rules" kind of guy. Thus far, I've spoken with Pat at MFGlobal and am currently waiting for a return call from their compliance expert. I also have calls into the NFA and CFTC. The ultimate response may very well drive the format and timing of the effort, as there are varying degrees of required registration (from none to lots) based on exactly what one is doing, and with whom they're doing it (pun not intended).

And yes, such an effort could even affect this diary in terms of format, discussions of personal record, disclaimers, etc. once one crosses that invisible line between "trader babbling about his own trading" and that "other" world that involves more than just self.

Second is the issue of selection ... and believe it or not, there are even regulatory implications to that (long story ... more as this unfolds). No good turn ever goes unpunished. Based on the overwhelming response, I admit that part of me wants to reach out to all in some way.

Third is admittedly a bit of an inner struggle in making at least a partial transition back to a side of the industry that I left a long time ago to ensure my market focus was placed 100% on my own trading. I'll just have to overcome that one.

Fourth is the issue of participant cost, which I'm also debating internally. A legal entity has to be established, infrastructure set up, potential license fees acquired, a significant time commitment allocated at this end, and on and on. Again, it's so simple when one is just trading for oneself and babbling about it. Whatever the cost -- again if we proceed -- rest assured it will be more than fair by industry standards and the effort will be of the highest quality. As I said on Saturday, I don't believe in doing things half-a$$.

I could go on, but this would never get posted today.

Please keep the feedback coming, keeping in mind I need to let the overwhelming response settle in at this end over the coming days.

For those that have inquired, you should have all received a note from me, and I simply ask that you be patient as things work themselves out.

A good goal would be to be more patient than my current trading.


Edward said...

The dearth of "honesty" as a way of life, whether it is used as communication between individuals, getting a message across to a larger populace, or even as a sales pitch has always been a mystery to me. Why is it so difficult?

I might be way off here (and probably way too philosophical) but everything you have done on this blog prepares you and the readers for a point true reckoning.

The great thing about the markets, like in sports (poker etc), is that they are great equalizers. Once you step out onto the field of play it does not matter how much flash, smoke and mirrors there are. In all these arenas, you find out very quickly what the truth is. You find out who has been putting in the work, who wants it the most, who is willing to lay it on the line etc.

In my opinion, the overwhelming positive response to this blog has come from your sentiment of honesty, which is a beautiful thing, because it hits at the heart of what the market is. Might be brutal, might be great, might not be what we want to hear, or see, but at least it is pure.

In being so honest, you are paying us, the readers, the ultimate respect. I would like to think, that as all of this stuff starts to get more complicated and involved (with the new project), as long as you stick to this simple premise everything else is second fiddle to making this a positive inflection point for all of us.

fchris said...

how about setting up a low-stakes Jellyfish table on Full Tilt Poker some evening, Don??

honray said...

Hello Don,

I am trying to understand how discussing your trading and mentoring during live trading sessions will improve *your* trading. How till it sharpen your focus on the market and increase intensity for you?

While I personally find it distracting to talk & trade, I assume you are already aware of the good & the bad since you have mentored before.

I hope you can shed some light on how the group would help you evolve and step up your performance again.

All the best,


Trader Kevin said...

honray: "I am trying to understand how discussing your trading and mentoring during live trading sessions will improve *your* trading."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Don necessarily said that would be the format. I'm not really sure it's even that helpful for participants.

I think it's probably more beneficial to do a post-mortem than real-time analysis. If someone gives you a trade before you see it yourself, is that helpful to you development? Would you have seen it yourself? No way of knowing.

And I think it's more about market structure than specific trades. Even the best set-ups are losers 30% of the time.

BTW, TraderFeed is awesome for discussions of market structure. Just my two cents.

Don Miller said...

Honray -

Ever get tired of the color of your living room walls and put on a fresh and invigorating coat of paint?

And yes, I've been down roads before and hopefully remember where the potholes are :-).