Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday Notes - Groundbreaking Day

5:00pm What's that ... some market pace and intraday range?? A midday 5-minute ADX over 40?? And the VIX trying oh so hard to break into a daily uptrend?? Hand me a Kleenex as I'm getting all misty eyed.

While for a moment it seemed that I almost forgot how to pedal the bike on a downslope ... the key word is almost as after pinching myself that the market was indeed showing some E-M-O-T-I-O-N, I managed to get my game face on long enough in the late morning and early afternoon session to take a couple of chunks out of the 5 & 15 minute downtrends (wholesale shorts on trend pullbacks, wholesale longs on unsustainable extensions) to more than offset some morning probe losses incurred while I was trying to position short.

And while it wasn't a home run, I did manage to close the session on my intraday equity high and didn't trade after 2pm, opting to pass on the late-day whipsaw as I didn't care for the pace and I chose to instead keep my extremely modest 2-day personal momentum in tact. Yet the pace associated with the late morning push was about as good as I've seen (and felt) in a while, and even the late day wholesale overshoots would have been prime for the taking at this end if we had just a bit more time in the day.

My only complaint ... and it's really not a complaint per se, was that I was extremely quick on covers given the market's tendency lately to tease us with trends much like Lucy pulling the football from Charlie Brown.


Which brings us to today's edition of the daily Project Jellyfish Update. btw, it seems we've again inadvertently stirred industry interest beyond our core collection of blog onlookers. It's a small ocean indeed.

Call today groundbreaking day (btw, note the hardhats ... lesson learned) as we're quickly moving from conceptual to reality. I obtained the IRS EIN number for the new entity today, and by tomorrow evening will have filed the necessary paperwork with the state to officially launch "Jellyfish Enterprises LLC".

I'm also pleased to report that I indeed spoke with the CFTC this morning who referred me to an excellent rulemaking and case law governing trader education and seminars that's very clear on what requires CTA certification and Commission registration and what doesn't. While I passed the Series 65 and have acquired a host of initials over the years (CMA, MBA, etc.), I'm not a CTA, nor do I purport to be. What I am, is a trader.

And so with a few careful tweaks to the intended program and jellie selection process, it's clear that the effort qualifies for exemption from registration, and we can get on with the more important matter of building traders. One of the actions I'll be taking to ensure there's no question whatsoever is to select a good mix of participants. Doing so will ensure I'm not tailoring advice based on individual characteristics ... which is a key line in the sand from the CFTC's perspective.

Now to the planned format ... still subject to change, but I'm getting close. The core effort will consist of 20 traders ("Jellies") who will be locked in a virtual Internet room (the "tank") with me during the day for ten weeks. During that time we're going to live and breathe (or however Jellies survive) a trader's life hour by hour and day by day as we attempt to make sense of what the market's current rhythm ("wave") is telling us.

Our job will be to learn how to float, react, and sting -- or be stung -- essentially using live market action (the "current") as the best teacher of all. For legal reasons, I can't direct the other Jellies' trading, yet that shouldn't at all detract from what I expect will be a highly-intensive educational effort.

Now once (perhaps sometimes twice) a week at night, the Jellies will be moved to a larger tank for a mandatory 1-2 hour feeding, at which time they'll be joined by other hungry sea creatures, including those with day jobs or those who weren't able to fit in the initial tank.

OK, enough puns. Seriously, as this continues to take shape, I firmly believe the proposed format -- as crafted in part by all of you based on your comments -- is a win-win all around, and I intend on making the evening "feeding sessions" highly worthwhile, as the formal "lectures" will occur at that time and be complete with interactive Q&As. At this end, it will be the most intense training I've ever been associated with. I apologize if my excitement comes across as hype ... you know how I feel about that by now. I'm simply excited.

What's left at this end is to select the initial group of Jellies, construct both the intraday and night tanks, complete some administrative stuff that goes with a new venture launch, and finalize the participant cost for the Jellies and the other night creatures.

And a special note on cost. While I don't think your eyes will bug out, please understand that this effort requires a solid infrastrucure and large commitment from this end both during and after hours. Having said that, my plan has always been to price the Jellie effort below some of the higher-end training mentorships and "home study" courses, and the ten (or more) night sessions comparable (as a total package) to other industry one-day seminars. Simply put, I want everyone coming out of this experience feeling it was the best educational value they've ever received.

Yes, it's true that as a trader I've certainly been hard on some of the industry's "trainers". So once again, it's time for me to put up or shut up.

I intend on putting up.

Enjoy the evening.


Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to see this group formed and floating along.

God speed with the endeavor.


Anonymous said...

Don, I can totally identify with the 'ground breaking" range day was my best day in 4months surprising me (pleasantly) with the range of movement on the index. WTG - "where did that come from". Perhaps today the market teased us with a pacy can only hope.

MK said...

Hi Don,

I very much applaud your efforts to help other traders. Having read your journal daily since its inception - you are the real deal. Thank you.

The feeding tank idea is great and I would like to make a suggestion on this to make it tremendous (if possible). I live on the other side of the world in a brutal timezone if I was to do anything during the USA session. For this reason, I focus all my trading on Asian markets so I can still have some sort of a life. I'm sure there are many other traders in the same situation as me. For this reason, and if it isn't difficult to accomplish, would you consider recording the feeding tank sessions and archiving them so they could be reviewed as availability permits?

My sincere gratitude,

Severino said...

Well, I guess my attempted lobby of the troupes for anything other then Jelly doughnuts, I mean Jellyfish, has been to no avail. "Jellyfish Enterprises LLC"

Oh how quick we are to forget once they have grown up.

I guess it is open then.



MBAGearhead said...

Don, (aka Master Jelly!)
Not sure if fits inside CFTC or other requirements, but you might consider incorporating a "donation" into the cost structure. It would have to be voluntary I would guess but might allow you to keep the fixed initial tuition of the Jellyfish training at a bare minimum and ask that participants pledge to donate 10-20%(?) of their net profits over the next X-years (hopefully they have some!) to The American Diabetes Association with some sort of tag so you can see the total accumulation of Jellyfish donations. Of course the more successful the program and the training, the more of a win-win for all!

Don Miller said...


That would be tough for many reasons. In terms of "bare minimum", I'm hopeful that participants understand the true depth of what we're trying to accomplish in terms of 400 or so hours of full immersion.

This is serious stuff and I don't intend on putting in a "bare minimum" effort.


austinp said...

Don, unless LBR already beat me to it, hope I'm the first to congratulate you on a return to the educational side of this profession. You were at it before I was, so there aren't any surprises ahead.

You will work longer & harder for others than you would yourself. That will pay dividends for everyone involved, yourself included. You will learn as much as any other person in the program does. You will have fun talking "shop" with a group of people who speak the unique language. And you will enjoy the company of highest quality people, without question.

Wish you'd done this ten years ago when I needed someone to shorten my own learning curve. Trial & error via self-taught road was long, twisting and full of heavy tolls. You'll surely spare some from navigating the same torturous path.

I predict the initial course will be just the start of a longer, fun-filled educational role ahead. Congrats again, and welcome back :)

Don Miller said...

Hey Austin -

Yea, I guess I'm putting one toe over the line ... if not a foot and part of a leg, but I'm keeping the other foot firmly entrenched on the trading side!

I'd forgotten how much "fun" setting up infrastructure was (not!!).

Stay well.


MBAGearhead said...

Hey Don, I didn't mean to imply any sort of bare minimum effort on part of trainer or trainees. You had blogged that you intend to donate a portion of any webinar proceeds to the American Diabetes Association. I was just trying to think of some way to make an even bigger impact on your charity. My mother was diabetic too so I appreciate your efforts!

Don Miller said...


Got it :-). Thanks for the follow-up.


austinp said...

"I'm keeping the other foot firmly entrenched on the trading side!"

How could you teach anything to anyone otherwise?

Fearless forecast: the vocal minority on public message boards will howl about you being a failed trader, needing the money by vending, etc.

Hey, it's a free world. Let those who wish to learn by market experience alone proceed to do exactly that. If anyone thinks that path is a free education, they are in for quite the reality check.

Have fun with your group. Unique name you chose. I'm half Sicilian... I love calamari = lol

Don Miller said...

Austin -

Yup ... probably the same group that a few years back said, if you're so good at teaching, prove you can trade ... lol.

I keep forgetting I owe them my thanks for firing me up for that last run.


Anonymous said...

Hi Don: So have you given any thought or have any guidelines in reference to selecting the initial group of Jellies??

Will this issue be addressed in a future webinar??

Very exciting and life changing times ahead!


Don Miller said...

Dominic -

As I mentioned in today's post, it will be a cross-section of traders so that we have a good mix.

And yes, I think a preliminary webinar might be a good idea and I'm working on that.


Diem Trader said...


This is exciting!
I truely believe you have the desire to create a great group of traders. I love the immersion idea as thus far every training I have taken has been half done. They were more of here is your training, 'have a nice day' :)

Rdftrd1 said...

anxiously awaiting sartup