Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Notes - Lunch Meat Day

5:00pm Today was one of those days where I felt execution precision was mandatory from a scalping perspective, and I had my B game on most of the day to keep my head above water, albeit barely.

My bias was generally long on pullbacks and short on extension attempts to the north, and I thought the best opportunity came in the Globex session where a weak DAX couldn't push ES down below yesterday's breakout support, and once Europe began to strengthen slightly, ES caught a bid for a few points. The noontime bear trap extension also provided a decent opportunity, although the pace throughout the day was farily sloppy which required strong focus and precision. I caught some of both on light size, which was partially offset by the cost of fishing lures on other sequences.

So today contributed a ham sandwich to the weekly meal at this end, and tomorrow we'll go after something more than lunch meat.


Don Miller said...

All -

From time to time, and usually when blog traffic spikes yet again, I get requests for trading records from those who don't believe this blog or my results are real.

While it's sad that some feel they have to ask even after a full year of "bare it all" diary entries and additional years of transparency, I certainly understand new onlooker apprehension given this industry's sad reputation.

Sooooo ... to put the issue to rest YET AGAIN, here's a copy of a recent email response I sent to someone who doesn't believe successful trading is possible:


"First, I'm not sure of the context of your inquiry, but would welcome a phone call to discuss if you'd like to give me a number I can reach you at.

In the meantime, I'll go to my grave knowing with 100% certainty that it's possible to make a successful career of trading, and yes, I suppose I fall into that category along with others. I'll also die knowing full well -- as I've preached for years, including the last year of blogging and in recent talks -- that it's likely a very small minority, similar to those making a successful career on the PGA tour and other pay-for-performance endeavors who spend years honing their craft.

With respect to my legitimacy, all it would take is one simple phone call to a few highly respected industry references including Larry Connors (who co-wrote Street Smarts with Linda Raschke and has seen firsthand results during the time I worked with him developing educational tools) and my broker Pat Lafferty at MF Global in Chicago (who's been my broker since around the time I joined the Merc in 2004 and has intimate knowedge of my entire futures trading record). While Pat is probably precluded from sharing client data, all you'd have to do is ask "is this guy real?" as he knows me very well and is a man of very high integrity.

I also encourage you to read the last year of blog posts, where I've shared each highlight and miscue in a deeply personal diary that's almost a full year old now. Every letter, word, sentence, and statistic is 100% bona fide, and as I've said many times, I'd stake my industry reputation and CME membership on it. (I'm not selling anything or looking to manage money, so I have zero vested interest in blogging aside from keeping myself motivated and providing a venue for onlookers to talk as noted in the blog FAQ.)

I hope that helps and again would welcome a conversation if it would help set your mind at ease.

Again, trading is a very difficult skill-based endeavor where most fail for a host of reasons. No doubt about that.

Yet is is possible.

Best wishes."


'Nuff said and I don't want to waste any further virtual ink on the issue except to say that some day, we'll all be judged and held accountable for all of our actions. And while I hope that day is a long way off, I intend on being able to look God in the eye with my integrity 100% in tact.

Now let's focus on honing the darn craft.


Jason Elfenbein said...


A few months ago, in a different context, Jules commented here that she is sorry you have to keep apologizing for yourself. Your last comment left me feeling much the same way.

It can't have been easy to write a measured, even-tempered, and even kind, response to someone who was questioning your integrity, and whose time would probably be better spent worrying about something other than your results. Good for you, man.

I learn something here most every day.


Don Miller said...

JE -

Yea, I initially rolled my eyes when I saw the ?s and wasn't going to address it "again", yet I do fully understand where the legitimate inquiries (assuming they're such) come from, so I put it out there so we can all move on.


procol said...

I don't know why anyone would doubt the record here.

I have not read very much of the blog, but clearly this is the real deal and Don is not claiming anything supernatural.

The key to his game (if I may be so bold) is 100% effort, trading large size, minimizing commissions, and making a 'modest' yet reliable average profit per trade.

No different than someone that makes a retail item , nets only 50 cents on each one sold, but moves 10 million of them over time. No one would think to question a business plan like that.

Actually , pro gamblers do it the same way. Fairly small (<5%) net gains per dollar bet, but a very large 'churn'. Few if any make most of their money by making large scores on big bets.

Sounds easy but it isn't. You are trying to extract $ from folks trying to do the same to you. And they have more ammo.

But it can be done. Hard work though.

Unknown said...

Hi Don, great blog! I see you look at the DAX in the morning before the US cash market is open. Do you not look at the Eurostoxx50? Unless there is any German specific news the Dax will trade directly in line with the Eurostoxx 50 which is an index of the fifty biggest companies in Europe (since a large number of the DAX component companies are also Eurostoxx 50 components). The volume on the Eurostoxx50 (@FESX or FESXM9) is about 8-10 times the volume of the DAX i.e between 1 and two million contracts daily, while the DAX trades like the Russel and is ideal for scalping, the FESX trades more like the S&P. A large number of the component companies of both indexes are dual listed in the US.
Just a thought.

:) Happy trading....

Kev (UK).

Don Miller said...

All -

Note I'm working on getting back to the mental basics by moving the drawdown chart back toward the top of the blog, and the chip stack chart down where I can't readily see it.

The reason? I need to re-estabilish that scratch & claw, aggressive "coming back from a draw" mentality vigor.


MQ said...

Hey Don
I was just wondering what you thought of tools such as Market Delta, Time and Sales etc? There must be a good reason you don't pay attention to them but I understand that a lot of ex-floor traders use these to see what is really going on 'under the surface'. Sorry for the newbie question.
Thank you

Don Miller said...

MQ -

No, I don't use them, but like everything it's simply personal preference, as I continue to believe in KISS and try to avoid TMI (too much information) that would affect the ability to focus and react.

I'm sure some use them and they have their merit, but in my view it's just another way to see the same darn thing as a price & volume chart, and some of the tools may put more $ in vendor pockets vs. trader pockets.

Give me a single market, a couple of price charts with a handful of indicators, a small order entry window, an internet connection, and a 11" screen and I'll be very content.


Don Miller said...

Kevin -

I agree with your comments, and I dabbled with FESX trading a bit at this end last year.

Oddly, I could never get used to its rhythm from a trading perspective (much thicker than the DAX as you point out, sometimes even thicker and slower in pace than ES in my view), so I haven't paid much attention to it lately.


Anonymous said...

as Don has said many times here ... keep it simple.The less indicators the better.
Remain flexible and stay detached from a trade, the mkt. can do whatever it wants whenever it wants at any time and be focused on the structure of the mkt. and not on your account balance.