Friday, January 22, 2010

The Weekend Trader - Seeking Suggestions

Note: You may want to consider periodically checking the comments section of this post as the "discussion" unfolds over the weekend ... suggestions which as of Sunday AM continue to pour in and includes my comprehensive response to one "open up the comments permanently" suggestion.

As suggested by one onlooker, I'm toying with the live TV idea today and have set up a demo "futurestv" site at www.livestream.com/donmillertv, also viewable below.  I'll be in and out from time to time playing around with it.


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While I'll let this weekend's video speak for itself, suffice it to say that I'm seeking your feedback and help in taking this "collective" trading community to the next level. 

Simply put, I have a very strong conviction that despite all we've done over the last few years to promote trader self-sufficiency, industry transparency, and mutual encouragement, there's "something" more to be done to continue to strengthen what has become a very unique trading (and life) community, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

Something unique.  Something important.  Something.

So, the comment feature has been activitated as I seek your input.

Have a restful weekend.

22 comments:

E said...

Hi Don

It has been my experience as a teacher, and as a parent, that we cannot change anyone but ourselves.

We can only lead by example.

Someone asked me yesterday if I could teach anyone to trade. I said "no"; their mind has to be prepared to win before skills can help them.

I agree 100% the goal is to create traders that can walk that fine line between confidence, arrogance, and fear, without a guru making calls for them.

I see you have your hat on... still got a bump from the picnic? (Lol)

Instead of a live chat room regular hours, why not a skull session end of day to see what "keys" traders saw as set ups etc.?

Post a favorite chart etc.

Hindsight even I can appear smart, but if we can't see it after, we will never see it before or during the move.

Nice weekend to all.

Donn Carroll said...

I went to a trading seminar weekend that the infamous Dennis Bolze put on at his house. It was a free seminar and donations were taken for charities. I think 75k was given. It was a great weekend we got to learn and rub shoulders with many serious traders that evolved into continuing relationships. It was a win win weekend. I am sure you could arrange a top class weekend some where nice that would be awesome. I look forward to more weekend trader retreats to connect with traders and share trading tips that have worked for everyone. We all want to become outliers. Blessings
Donn Carroll

x said...

Don, could you be so kind and record your appearance at Traders Expo and put in on blog? Greetings from Poland

Don Miller said...

Note: This was a suggestion emailed which I'm posting to further the discussion. (Name withheld for privacy.)

The Turtles...

The Jellies...

The Bamboo Forest

Don I think you already know that broadcasted live trading is a good idea. I'm going to tell you
it's a great idea and could possibly be industry changing.

Believe it or not I think the precedent has already been set in the Poker industry. Televising poker and enabling the viewer to see the pro's hole cards sparked an interest that set fire to the popularity of the game and changed the industry. While watching poker on TV the viewers realized "Hey, I can do that too."

Broadcasting your live trading will have a similar effect. As you said in your blog post, the industry is changing and you know there is - "Something unique. Something important. Something." - that can be done. Don, there is nothing more unique right now than "showing your hole cards."

There are allot of people out there that have lost money over the past year and a half while their money was being stewarded by trusted professionals. The industry is changing towards self-directed investments and people are looking for someone to show them how to fish.

I personally believe that through your blog posts over the past 2 years you've been tilling the land preparing for The Bamboo Forest. The Bamboo Forest of course being what I suspect will likely be the thousands of viewers that watch your live efforts and realize "Hey, I can do that too."

Once you've decided that you'd like to start planting the seeds the rest is incredibly simple.
Here is a company that offers exactly what you'd be looking for and makes broadcasting live to
thousands as easy as creating a YouTube video. Either of the Pro versions offer content ownership
protections to you as well. They offer allot I didn't mention and are worth checking out.
http://www.livestream.com/platform/premium_features_and_pricing

For the moment let's assume you've decided to plant The Bamboo Forest. If you get the most
expensive Pro Membership on the website I referred to then you'd be able to offer live and
archived live trading, at cost, for about $35 per month. The other option I suggest is to get a
couple of respected brokers to indirectly sponsor the live broadcast trading by placing some of their links on your page and in the video. (The company makes it easy to place ad's in your
broadcasts the same way we see ads at the bottom of some YouTube video's.) Yet another option
would be to do it one month for free and see what happens when you water The Bamboo Forest.

Don, you're the man, and I hope I've helped you see that you already know this is the next step
and worth pursuing. Regardless, I really appreciate how you put yourself out there and I thank
you for what you've already done for the trading community and myself.

Sincerely,

H.

Don Miller said...

Another email for discussion:

Hi Mr. Don Miller,

First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge throughout your blog, I am much indebted to you. I am ofcourse one of the quiet students and observers.

My suggestion for you sir,

Obama says no bank should have proprietary trading, therein lies your opportunity to start a hedge fund. Challenge your confidence and ability, diversifying your strategies and seeking more knowledge. Walk the path of the many champions of this industry such as paul tudor jones, george soros and james harris simons. You will be able to build a business in your name that will never perish and can be inherited by your family. The more money the fund is able to make the more of a difference you are able to make to the world.

Kind regards,

S.

Steve said...

Hi Don,

Great idea above !!

Later on, do you think you might be able to record the Audio for POD cast or even better record a video of your appearance at Traders Expo and put in on blog?

Thanks for your very superior blog and past videos !!

Don Miller said...

OK, you've got me thinking in overdrive & I'm toying around with livestream today ... including setting up a free beta site at www.livestream.com/donmillertv.

Perhaps we start with a pre-market briefing or post-market wrap daily using the freebie (limited to 50 though) and see how that goes.

Frank said...

Hi Don,

I definitely think the live stream is the way to go. You always say, "for those that want to look over my shoulder". Well this is the utimate way to have people interested look over your shoulder. Bring your blog to a live real time journal.

FrankM.

MemphisBelle said...

Don, you are the man and trader to help lead what I hope is just the vanguard of live trading on the web. Honestly, this is the most exciting news I've heard in a long time.

The technology is here and transparency is the outcry of the times. Watching is an excellent mode of learning and yet remarkably, the landscape of live trading on the web is barren. We literally have millions of pages of written word, countless DVD's and YouTube video's of trading strategies but how many live streaming platforms are there? Of, course it not easy and there is risk but there must be some more who rise to this challenge. A shout out to TodayTrader here! We've got the poker players but where are the traders?

I have enjoyed your blog immensely especially because of the unique and diverse range of philosophy and insight you share. I can think of no better voice on the web right now when it comes to sharing with all of us the true art of trading.

Go for it! The future is now.

Thanks for your great blog too!

Bill said...

Hi Don,
I also have been quietly following
your blog and I think live trading like this would be the ultimate way to show the transparency of what real time day trading is really about. It could be a real eye opener to alot of traders or would be traders.
thanks
Bill

Don Miller said...

Another email on this weekend's topic:

Don,

I purchased the Jelly Study sessions in November and have been very pleased.

I want to give my full support to the respondent who suggested
www.livestream.com. I think it's a great idea. I know I would benefit from being able to spend a few weeks looking over the shoulders of other traders.

I know that taking on this type of commitment is probably somewhat daunting. In order to take some of the pressure off yourself you could, from time to time, hand over the hosting responsibility to other traders that you trust.

regards,

J.

David said...

Hi Don,
I really enjoy your blog and your candor. Perhaps a pre-market briefing of what you expect, what you're looking for in the market and why would be helpful. But that's just tactical stuff.

When you're talking about something great, you're talking about changing people's lives for the better. Your mission of self-sufficiency is a goal of many. If you build it, they will come.

What you're referring to in my humble opinion is utilizing character qualities that you and other's have, and the time and resources (which is why we all need to become self sufficient at trading) to be a blessing to others.

That blessing may come by anonymously helping people in tough situations, doing work for others without asking to cover expenses, investing in others people's lives without thinking we need to make them traders, but meet them wherever God has them at this stage in their lives.

Traders making a difference in the world we live in, AND getting the heck out of corporate America and being self sufficient is that starting point.

The target is other people. The criteria is "blessing" and the value is priceless.

Dream big my friend...dream big.

Airelon said...

Though I've had success last year Don (43% last year) I've had nowhere near the success that you have in the last few years. I'm still working on my first million.

But as we both blog here at blogger & we both video at YT in order to embed on our daily blogs, & we both have the same sort of goals for other traders? (Namely- transparency and the understanding among traders that trading is about knowing how to be banged up on a daily basis) ... here are a few thoughts and things that I've learned in my time as a trader / blogger. Take them for what you will...

1) Comments - If you're interested in promoting the community. Man I'm telling you, you MUST open the comments so that everyone can comment. People want to feel like they are interacting with you.

You're right, you * * DO * * have something very special here. The reason is - is because folks like you and I are ACTUAL traders. Not people that talk about the markets and don't trade them. People who actually trade and understand that what trading is "REALLY" about? Is withstanding the losing trades & 'treading water'. I'm telling you - you have to keep the comments open if you want to keep building a 'community'.

What I do, to cut down on the absolute *crud* that shows up in comments? Is to set comments here on blogger to a layout, where they have to be "approved" by me before they are posted.

The pain there is that you have to skim each & every comment before it appears here. If you can speed read and skim this really doesn't present any real problem. Another negative however is that you are a much more recognized name in the trading community & you'd probably have 10 x's the comments I'd have - to wade through & approve. Maybe look through twice a day? Just a thought.

The positive is that the crap doesn't get through to the rest of the community that you are trying to build. But people need to feel that they are connecting with you in some way.

2) Don't do a live "day by day" - because of what you mentioned in this video. You said "To get beyond just ME". Don, you have no idea how much I hear you on this one.

I tried it. I tried the "live, voice, just talk with Dan, as I trade" thing. I opened a Voice server that I hung out in the days that I was trading. People could just talk with me - VOIP, as I traded and invested, and could ask me any question.

But I wanted it to be about more than just "me". It couldn't be just about "Dan", but that wouldn't make people good traders. However in practice, what happened, is that it turned out to be was "If this profitable guy Dan isn't in the room, no one will use the server". People just waited for me to show up.

So honestly, my suggestion? Open the comments, but approve them first. Of course, only if you have the time to do that sort of thing. You have a much larger audience than I have, so I'm just saying what I've noticed and noted, in my own personal experience.

3) Community building? I'm telling you - Podcasting does wonders for building communities. I use podbean, & I'm currently probably the top rated trading podcaster there. Come on, take me out man. :)

What's great about it, is that you can go on for 30 minutes if you want, & you're not limited to 10 minutes, if you want to attack a subject, & people don't need to 'see you' to listen to you on a particular subject. It's more 'radio' in it's approach, but opens up a whole new audience.

Just some thoughts to bang around in your mind. It's what's worked for me in terms of "community building" as well as "making it not about Dan"

Wish you well Don, and I always find a kindred spirit - as I read along with your "blogged journal" here.

Dan

Don Miller said...

Furthering the discussion via another email:

Good Evening Sir,

The biblical story of Esther keeps playing in my mind over and over again, as I think of you, your gifts and the incredible opportunity of broadcasted live trading that you—and only you—are capable of successfully orchestrating.

" ... for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14b)

Blessings,

B.

Don Miller said...

Hi all.

Thanks very much for all of the input, and here's a not-so-brief response to the old "open up the comments" idea, for which I must continue to be resolute and very candid on why I made the change some time ago.

The #1 reason -- which has been reinforced in spades as the result of reading and reviewing comments to this post -- is simple: time, focus, and energy.

Those that seriously -- and I mean SERIOUSLY -- trade will understand this. For they'll understand that managing time, focus, & energy ... while also blocking out other traders' strategies beyond that which YOU implement to retain the necessary "constant" of trading ... are THE most important ingredients to maintaining trading at a high level. As such, I must guard these components of my trading from the depths of my soul.

Auto-comments won't work since I have no intention to turn this into a chat site (there are plenty on the 'net to fill that space including ET, etc.), nor will I ever post unprofessional, disparaging, tearing people down type of posts.

[btw, I've NEVER had an issue with people disagreeing with me, or even disliking me over the years ... and that had nothing to do with the decision which was made at a time when posters began battling with one another.]

So it's simple, really. I can offer and facilitate interactive chat ... or I can focus on my primary living and source of income. And I MUST ... repeat MUST ... manage my off-trading time in such a way where I can shut down mentally and retain a sharp mind.

So it's really not a tough choice at all. Trading and managing a serious multi-million dollar fund and managing free chat are usually mutually exclusive activities.

Which brings me to a related thought. It's becoming evident that I may be reaching a point where interest has become far greater that what one person can effectively manage.

A reminder to all that every effort at this end over recent years has remained a one-person shop. Trading, blogging, Jellie teaching, Webinar recording, website creation & management, email reading & responses, NY speech writing & presenting, personal bookkeeping and income tax management for multiple businesses, the ADA charity involvement, family finance management ... I could go on and on.

And like everyone else, then there are all of the family responsibilities for a family of four, one of which has a lifelong medical condition.

Oh, did I mention trading????

So to date over the years, I've had ZERO staff or support (although one of the Jellies agreed to "administer" the ongoing intraday Jellie communication link for me ... a non-profit endeavor).

And while I'm not asking for sympathy (the term "Haiti" quickly comes to mind), my point is that interest may be signaling it's time to become more than a single-person effort ... something that I've been giving a great deal of thought to this weekend via a few conversations.

More later ... please keep the suggestions coming.

Don

MilesT said...

Hello Don,

In my opinion, watching a pro in action is one of the most important learning tools in any endeavor. For aspiring traders that is what proves most elusive to find. Being afforded the opportunity to become a jellie would be the pinnacle but you can only reach so many via that route. I can imagine a library of trading videos of successful traders as they work themselves through various trading days, including the slow times. Aspiring traders could develop a feel for what it takes to be successful through observation. Some would be turned away from trading, deciding it is not for them, hopefully saving themselves much time and money. Others would have a clear idea of what awaits them. A fee could be applied to this library to cover operating costs and royalties going to approved contributors.

Personally, I would love to be a jellie but I cannot afford to make the blind leap from my day job so I keep trudging away in the evenings working the foreign indices the best that I can. I am very excited about your decision to entertain this idea and I am very eager to see the results.

Thanks again for putting yourself out there the way that you do.

Miles`

steve said...

Not much of a comment to add here (add you don't have to publish it) other than "it sounds GREAT!", but have you talked to your interviewer, Matt? He already does a live trading feed for his members with education as the goal, and it seems to work out for him. Steve

wblueyonder said...

Don:

I've enjoyed your blog for some time and always enjoy the depth and sincerity of your observations.

Some thoughts -

KISS --- keep it simple and straightfoward, minimize the "free association" topics and work from a succint agenda.

Consider Socratic Method: Ask the leading questions to communicate salient points and let folks ruminate on the answers to those questions before offering your insights -- it sticks like glue when folks put some skin in the thought process and are engaged to "work for it".

Those are the primary thoughts I wanted to convey.

Regards,

Mark Sanchez

Don Miller said...

Last comment from this end after a great deal of research this weekend on live webcasting of trading.

Ever wonder why there's no live "webcasting" of stock or futures trading?? [I mean besides no one having the guts to do it live?]

An enormous amount of legal risk in terms of liability for both the video streaming provider and content provider that has most prohibiting any content close to dealing with finances or business.

I still applaud the concept, yet implementing it may be all but impossible ... despite the available technology.

Ken said...

One word: Forex

Benjamin said...

Hi Don, thought id take the opportunity of the comments to say thanks and keep up the good work. Having followed the blog since its inception I still find it as motivating as ever.

Regards
Benjamin

Don Miller said...

More feedback from an onlooker who asked this to be posted:

25 viewers already on Monday at 03:00 NY...
The tension is mounting!

For what its worth, my idea is to organize some kind of trading tournament in a 'MATCHPLAY'-type format.

In golf, as in trading, the standard tournament type is 'strokeplay', where every shot counts. And then for the Ryder Cup and a couple of other tournaments they switch to a 'matchplay' tournament style, or 'head-to-head' format - all you need to do is beat your opponent, it doesn't matter if your score is +5 if your opponent shoots +6, you win!

Has this ever been done before in trading? I doubt it. It would test a completely new set of skills, encourage a more aggressive trading style. It might help some traders to learn to think outside the box, not worrying about PnL as the sole goal is to beat your opponent. But in the meantime they would develop skills that they were never aware of. Pushing themselves to the limit in a 'fun', low risk, low cost manner, if you like.

You could trade a single product, say ES, or perhaps a couple, and each trader's position would need to be kept 'hidden', at least partially, though each would have to know their positon in the game, i.e. whether they are winning or losing..

You could create a tournament with 1024 traders, say, with ten head-to-head rounds, culminating in some kind of final. Each entrant would post some minimal stake (or not, if a sponsor was found?) and the bulk of the prize money would go to the winner, with a small % to some worthwhile cause.

What is more, trading matches at the latter stages of the tournament could be recorded, LIVE! Rather like a great grandmaster chess tournament.

It would the first of its kind!

Obviously a lot to set up, but that's my idea anyway...maybe it will trigger some other good ideas!

Best, Ben