StockTraders.NET – What it is, What it is not, Where it came from, Where it is going…

In 2014,  I’ve decided to open a twitter account to share my ideas and experiences about trading and business in general. It proved to be a quite successful account and enabled me to connect to many great people worldwide otherwise I wouldn’t have met. Part of the ‘give-back’ to the community included me posting my Nasdaq trades to twitter in real-time and creating this blog so especially new traders can benefit from reading and learning from it.

In 2015, I have acquired StockTraders.net for a considerable sum. The idea was to create something for the benefit of the whole trading community. I wasn’t really sure what that really meant. I have run several polls on twitter and ideas but really haven’t done much with it apart from a few meetings with a few traders in Europe but didn’t go too far from a few concepts as I was getting ready to move back to the UK (from Monaco) I was very buy with my Venture Capital and Real Estate Projects which I am still very busy with my diversified business interests to this date.

Fast forward a few months, Titus, a good friend, great trader and a trading buddy of mine that I know for many years and I started to discuss ideas about StockTraders.NET – We didn’t want just another chatroom as we both simply do not need to make money from a chatroom (without bragging in any way, we are both extremely comfortable financially) and we were both already sharing our trading ideas for free with the wider community. Instead, we wanted something bigger. Much bigger…For many years, I was thinking and was surprised to the fact that the lack of having a one-stop shop somewhere on the net for the new trader. This is where he/she can buy anything from the hardware to charting software, from news software to best brokerages. Think about a Trader’s supermarket where there are lots of tested and tried products in one place.

Additional to that, as a trading community, how we all can start to do ‘Group Buys’ (Think Groupon concept for finance) so that our favourite products can become much cheaper than the normal retail ones. The idea was really good but was it viable? To test it out, I have started to contact many vendors. Most of them were very positive and very much liked the idea and were willing to discount their prices but in return they get volume sales (who wouldn’t?).

All good up to now. So we had a great business model. Potentially a profitable business for us but it also benefits the trading community as a whole and it benefits the Vendors who can sell their product to many new clients. Win-win situation for everyone! Hurray!

Unfortunately, life is only that easy in movies or on fake twitter guru accounts! In real life, life & business are both very hard. This project was no different. First of all, the vendors we have spoken to wanted numbers. I am talking about many hundreds of people to start a sensible conversation about the discounts they can provide for their products. That meant we needed to find many members. Many members mean that you need to have some kind of product so you can get and retain these members. That product could be a portal with a chatroom. A great portal with a fantastic chatroom means a great investment in terms of money and time.

We are not types who give up that easily. Afterall, I had been here many times with a lot of tech companies through my VC. This didn’t stop us. We have started creating, StockTraders.NET v.01 from scratch with a developing team which wasn’t really fit for purpose. We knew this from start however, given the circumstances (and being funding the whole thing from our own pockets,) we thought it was a good way of at least starting and accomplish a demonstrator to see how functionality can work and more importantly we could get feedback from the users so we could build a better version.

We went ahead and built the first version. The v.01 was up and running in relatively short time but it proved to be a very difficult development. The chicken and egg situation is your average coder doesn’t really understand trading. Your average trader doesn’t really understand coding. We had to become the ‘bridge’ in between which was not only nerve wrecking but also exhausting in many ways especially we were also busy with a lot of different projects needed our attention. Rob Research and Goose joined in the core team, who we knew very well (both are coming from financial institutional backgrounds and very experienced traders). Product rolled out, members started to signup (some with many tech problems) and finally we got there at the end…First version was running and feedback for our trading was phenomenal from the users but the feedback for the portal however, let’s say was not as enthusiastic (rightly so!).

Fast forward a few months, we have started v1.0 development with a new development team from London. This particular team came recommended by another business I have invested in several years ago. Professional team in Central London meant that I could be on top of them if necessary and this would be a much easier process. What did we say about Life above? Of course, it wasn’t easy. We have spent very considerable sum of money with these guys and we have got what I would call a half-baked solution. The company was going through a rough patch (which we found out later in the process). The solution was really good in some areas but absolutely rubbish in other areas. The solution worked in terms of growing our community even further and enabled us to have some core membership of about 200-250 people who were with us from the beginning. We are very grateful for their continued support today.

Fast forward a few more months, we have started talks with another developer company who already had a solution but it didn’t exactly fit with our requirements. By now, most of our users were demanding live stream and more education from us.  So, we have started working with the new team to build our custom solution. Once again, a lot of money has been spent, nothing comes cheap if you want quality. It is not only the money but also our time that really counts. We have spent countless hours developing and also testing the solution with the team.

In the new solution, we have decided to have 2 types of membership. A free membership (which we always had and will always have) and also the new Premium membership. Paid or Premium membership is only for the members who wants more such as streaming data, streaming widgets, more education, etc… The data doesn’t come cheap at all, and considering a 6-minute video uses about 2.5GB (720p HD) just for one user, you can imagine the amount of Amazon Web Services (AWS) data we will be using to broadcast to many hundreds of people (eventually thousands). Let alone the developments have been done and we continue doing and of course the admin’s time. So, we had to charge and we will keep charging for the premium services as we develop them. This will not really make any money for us in the short term and cover what has been spent so far but it will enable us to sustain the costs. This doesn’t mean that we will stop Free service in anyway. Don’t forget we are not here to build just a chatroom but a Trader’s community portal that benefits us all.

So what’s next? The immediate item on our roadmap is our discount financial products store. This will not be just a normal. ‘add to basket’ type store. Many more functionality (some of which you haven’t seen anywhere else) will be incorporated to this solution. We have done initial agreements with number of Vendors already so their products will start to appear on the shop first then we will roll out many more products as we grow the partnerships.

By now we have learnt our lesson not to give any dates in IT projects,  however we are aiming to get the first version of the shop up and ready by the beginning of the new year (if not earlier). So much testing and further development will need to be done by us and the development team, which we are all currently working on as we speak.

As always, I wanted to be as transparent as possible to everyone because: 1) so hopefully this experience can be shared and some lessons can be learned throughout the development 2)so hopefully some more people can appreciate our efforts here and understand what we are doing for what reason 3) hopefully you can join us and help us to grow and build our portal to benefit us all.

Thank you for your time. Very much appreciated.

Yours,

MT

https://StockTraders.NET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Key to Success

I was fortunate enough to attend and speak at TradersACause charity event in Las Vegas this month. This was my second time at the event and in my opinion it is one of the ‘must-do’s for anyone taking trading seriously especially if they would like to network with like-minded traders and industry experts. In the event you will find real people, real topics, no egos & just pure learning and sharing experience…the way I like it!

The title of my speech this year was: ‘The Path to Self-Motivation & Success’. I didn’t want to talk about just trading but self-motivation and & success in general terms. My speech started with one of my favourite stories, let me share it with you here:

In the middle ages there was a young man who was living in a mountain village. He was a perfectionist and was obsessed with being successful. He wanted to be very very successful. He asked: “What is the key to success?”. People in the village tried to answer but none of the answers satisfied the young man. One of the elders in the village told him about a wise man who was living at the top of the mountain, in a cave, and he might be able to answer his question. However, he also warned him about the dangers of the journey. It would take several weeks and he would need to face wild animals and snow storms on the way up. The young boy didn’t even think twice. He immediately decided to go and find the wise man who could finally answer his question…

1442995-1920x1080-desktopnexus-comThe journey took several weeks and finally the young man arrived at the cave. The wise man was inside. He looked at the young man said “Come inside, Boy! Tell me what is in your mind?”. The young man was very excited to see the wise man and asked him the question at once: “What is the key to success? Please tell me!”. Wise man smiled, looked at him in the eye and said “Come with me, boy!”. They left the cave, walked some distance and arrived at a mountain lake. The water was crystal clear. The wise man went in the lake, water reaching his knees and said “Come here boy, the key to success is right here” pointing under the water. The young boy was so excited; he went in the water immediately. He kneeled down to see and find the key but he couldn’t see anything. The old man said “It is right there, can’t you see it?”. The young boy still couldn’t see the key and put his head right near the edge of the water to be able to see better. Suddenly, the young man felt himself seized by a strong hand at the back of his neck. His head was forced down under the water, and held there firmly. He didn’t know what was happening but he needed to breath. Fast! Just as he was about to give up hope, thinking he is going to die there, the hand on his collar let go. Violently leaping onto the shore, the young man drew in his breath in heaving gasps. Oxygen flooded his lungs. His vision grew clearer, the hammering in his throat slowed down, his hands finally stopped trembling. The wise man looked at him and said ” What was the most important thing that you wanted when you were under water”. The young man answered “It was air!”. The Wise man continued: “You wanted to know the key to success. Now you found it… Do you remember, just a few minutes ago, how badly you wanted to take that next breath of air? When you want success that badly, you will have it. That’s the secret of success. The Success is WITHIN you – it is not somewhere to be found or told, you just needed to realise that you already have it..” and then the wise man left…

Young man sat down there for a few hours. He now realised the power of self and self-motivation and became successful in everything he did in his life….

Ask anyone if they want to succeed or not, and you’ll get a firm ‘Yes’. But ask them what they’re willing to give up, sacrifice, suffer, accept, tolerate and forego for that success, the answer is generally not as clear…

I then continued my presentation with Triangle of Success.

capture1

To be successful in anything we do, we need to have 3 key ingredients: Skill, Attitude and domain knowledge. Due to time constraints, in my speech, I focused on the most important two sub-ingredients which are Goal Setting & Self Motivation…

I have written an article about importance of Goal Setting in the past. You can read it here. I sunmmarised that the most important things to do when we set goals are:

  • Writing them down (It is scientifically proven that you are much more likely to complete the goal if you write it down and make it tangible)
  • Visualising Yourself Completing That Goal Successfully
  • Setting Interim Goals (so you divide a big goal into digestible smaller goals)
  • Evaluating Your Goals (There are thousand ways to climb the same mountain, if one way is not working – find another way)
  • Achieving your goal and Rewarding Yourself (Part of your motivation)
  • Repeat

Setting Goals might be easy enough but how will you motivate yourself to complete that task? In my speech I mentioned about the Self Motivation Formula:

M = E x I x V

M = Motivation

E = Expectancy (Will my hard work result in measurable progress toward the goal?)

I – Instrumentality (How likely is that I will be rewarded or punished)

V = Valence (What is the size of my reward at the end?)

As it can be seen from the formula, Motivation multiplies with combination of the above. When setting goals, you need to think about the above ingredients and decide on the ambition of your goals.

And never forget, The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is YOU. Believe you can & You are half way there…

I hope this helps.

Yours,

MT.

Some Useful Trading Tips

Here is a few tips to help you to become a better trader:

Cash is a positon too!

Most new traders think that a trader should be trading all the time, never miss a good opportunity! However, the reality couldn’t be more different. We are humans not algo traders. Day trader, momo trader or swing trader, quality is always more important than quantity. NEVER enter in a trade without a plan and certainly NEVER enter in a trade because of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Don’t ever forget that CASH is a strong position, too. It enables you to act when there is a good opportunity.

Consider Swing Trades

I personally like swing trades for number of reasons. I am a busy guy with number of Business interests. I don’t (and some cases can’t) spend my all day in front of a PC watching stocks. In swings, I generally look for good setups to enter in a trade, add, add more, hammer and exit. This tried and tested method generally works very well for me but wouldn’t work for most of the new traders (or traders with small account sizes) because of their account size and the maximum pain they can take in a swing positon. Perhaps starting small, testing the system and learning from it is the best for the new guys. I always have a plan while swinging. This plan includes where I enter, where I add, where I cover or if it goes against me where I exit the trade. Before entering into any trade, I always know what my maximum loss will be (NEVER change this during the trade!) and what I expect from the trade (i.e. how much I want to make from that trade – when reached, I am out). If it works against me and if it makes me nervous, I cut it out and move on to the next one. Sounds easy? Probably yes. However, in practice, this method needs immense discipline which you can’t develop overnight. It takes years for change to take place and constant practise to maintain it. Most new traders are looking for that magic formula to enable them being profitable overnight. Let me tell you: IT DOESN’T EXIST. If anyone telling you otherwise is after your wallet.

Set Trading Goals

I covered importance of setting goals previously in here. Setting goals for yourself will make you not only a better trader but also a more successful person in every part of your life. The goals you set should be achievable and measurable so it is crystal clear to you when they are achieved so you can move to bigger goals. If you are a new trader, your first goal should be not making profit but PROTECT your capital. If you can achieve this, then the sky is the limit…

Admit Mistakes and Learn From Your Mistakes

We are humans. We all have Ego. Admitting mistakes is not in our DNA. However, one thing you will notice from successful traders is they all admit their mistakes to themselves and to others. We all do mistakes daily. Important thing is learning from those mistakes and try not to do them again. It is a process and will take time. In trading, the same mistake can manifest itself in many different ways. The only way to learn is to experience it. You can ask, read or learn from others but the real learning only happens when you experience it in real life. The most important thing here is minimising the impact of your mistake. This in my opinion comes to admitting mistakes quickly, take action and always trade with correct trade size that you are comfortable with. You can read more about trade size here..

Constant Learning & Adapting & Having an EDGE

One of the most important things in life for me is constant learning. I am a student of life and I love learning new skills whenever and wherever I can. Similarly, I love getting more out of my trading and adding more ‘weapons’ to my trading arsenal by learning different types of trading, different types of trading vehicles and methodologies. Don’t forget, the market is constantly changing, there are number of different ‘cycles’ in the market. The best traders can see and analyse these cycles and make informed decisions about their positions and type of stocks in their portfolios. They scan stocks accordingly. They plan accordingly. One thing you need to do to become a better trader is ADAPTING. You need to adapt to the market conditions and change with the market. As a trader, you always need an EDGE. The change in market and your speed of adapting to that market is one way of having an EDGE. Information is another. Always KNOW what you are trading. Research the stock (or chart if more of a technical trader) and always know why you are trading it and what is your EDGE against other traders. If you can’t find the answer, move on to the next stock until you know you have an edge. And don’t foget any fool can enter in a trade, but only smart one knows when to exit a trade. Be smart.

MT

 

 

Some of my favorite Trading Quotes

“I think to be in the upper echelon of successful traders requires an innate skill, a gift. It`s just like being a great violinist. But to be a competent trader and make money is a skill you can learn”. – Michael Marcus, Trader

“Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.” – John Maynard Keynes

“No profession requires more hard work, intelligence, patience, and mental discipline than successful speculation.” – Robert Rhea

“In bear markets, stocks usually open strong and close weak. In bull markets, they tend to open weak and close strong.” – William J. O’Neill

“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.”– J. Nehru

“You don`t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” – Bob Dylan

“The market does not know if you are long or short and could not care less. You are the only one emotionally involved with your position. The market is just reacting to supply and demand and if you are cheering it one way, there is always somebody else cheering it just as hard that it will go the other way” – Marty Schwartz, Pit Bull

“More men have become great through practice than by nature.”– Democritus

“Volatility is greatest at turning points, diminishing as a new trend becomes established.” – George Soros

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” – Mark Twain

“Panics do not destroy capital—they merely reveal the extent to which it has previously been destroyed by its betrayal in hopelessly unproductive works.”– John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)

“Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities, each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into habit and then are fitted together in a synthesized whole. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any one of those actions; only the fact that they are done consistently and correctly, and all together, produce excellence.” – Daniel F. Chambliss, Professor of Sociology

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“Every trader has strengths and weakness. Some are good holders of winners, but may hold their losers a little too long. Others may cut their winners a little short, but are quick to take their losses. As long as you stick to your own style, you get the good and bad in your own approach.” – Michael Marcus

“The goal of a successful trader is to make the best trades. Money is secondary.” – Alexander Elder

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese proverb

“A great trader is like a great athlete . You have to have natural skills, but you have to train yourself how to use them.” – Marty Schwartz, Pit Bull

“One characteristic I’ve found among successful traders is that they function effectively when they’re not trading. When markets become very quiet and range bound, they occupy themselves with a variety of activities, from sharing ideas with peers to conducting research. Traders who do not tolerate inactivity well inevitably feel the need to trade, often when there is no objective edge present. For them, losing money is less onerous than experiencing boredom.” – in Trader Feed

“To be a super-trader, you’ll need an edge to overcome the laws of probability and the uncertainty of the marketplace. That edge comes from information flow, the ability to correct your habits in terms of the market’s characteristics, and being able to take risks, cut losses, expand your information network, ferret out ideas, and take recommendations.” – Trading to Win, Ari Kiev

Two rules for investing/trading:

Rule number one : most things will prove to be cyclical

Rule number two : some of the greatest opportunities for gain and loss come when other people forget rule number one

Howard Marks

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell. If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd.” – Sir John Templeton

“Money won’t buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem.” – Bill Vaughan

“A lot of people get so enmeshed in the markets that they lose their perspective. Working longer does not necessarily equate with working smarter. In fact, sometimes is the other way around.” – Martin Schwartz, in Pit Bull

“The markets are the same now as they were five or ten years ago because they keep changing-just like they did then.” – Ed Seykota

“I have been trading for decades and I am still standing. I have seen a lot of traders come and go. They have a system or a program that works in some specific environments and fails in others. In contrast, my strategy is dynamic and ever evolving. I constantly learn and change.” – Thomas Busby in Trade To Win

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí

“The ability to foresee that some things cannot be foreseen is a very important quality”. – Rousseau

“A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains” –

Dutch Proverb

“Investing is no different. It is a game of repetition where hundreds of small actions result in one larger result. But most importantly, it is a game of risk management. It is not the home run hitter who wins in the long-run. Rather, it is that strategist who devises the best long-term plan who ultimately wins. While hitting home runs is sexy it is rarely a recipe for success in the investment world. Aim high, but play small. Over time, good risk management and patience wins. Power is no substitute for precision and patience. The same is true in the world of investing.” – in The Prag Cap

“The game taught me the game. And it didn’t spare me rod while teaching.”– Jesse Livermore

“I think it was a long step forward in my trading education when I realized at last that when old Mr. Partridge kept on telling other customers, “Well, you know this is a bull market!” he really meant to tell them that the big money was not in the individual fluctuations but in the main movements-that is, not in reading the tape but in sizing up the entire market and its trend.” – Jesse Livermore

Michael Marcus taught me one other thing that is absolutely critical: You have to be willing to make mistakes regularly; there is nothing wrong with it. Michael taught me about making your best judgment, being wrong, making your next best judgment, being wrong, making your third best judgment, and then doubling your money.” – Bruce Kovner, hedge fund manager

“Losing money is the least of my troubles. A loss never troubles me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong – not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocket book and to the soul.” – Jesse Livermore, Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator

“I have learned through the years that after a good run of profits in the markets, it`s very important to take a few days off as a reward. The natural tendency is to keep pushing until the streak ends. But experience has taught me that a rest in the middle of the streak can often extend it.”– Martin Schwartz, in Pit Bull

“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” – Rene Descartes

“A peak performance trader is totally committed to being the best and doing whatever it takes to be the best. He feels totally responsible for whatever happens and thus can learn from mistakes. These people typically have a working business plan for trading because they treat trading as a business” – Van K Tharp

“If somebody had told me my method would not work I nevertheless would have tried it out to make sure for myself, for when I am wrong only one thing convinces me of it, and that is, to lose money. And I am only right when I make money. That is speculating.” – Jesse Livermore

“The most important organ in the body as far as the stock market is concerned is the guts, not the head. Anyone can acquire the know-how for analyzing stocks.” – Peter Lynch

 

“I discovered, from the analysis of over 25,000 people, that men who succeed in an outstanding way, seldom do so before the age of forty, and more often they do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of fifty.” – Napoleon Hill, Think & Grow Rich

“Obviously the thing to do was to be bullish in a bull market and bearish in a bear market… I came to learn that even when one is properly bearish at the very beginning of a bear market it is not well to begin selling in bulk until there is no danger of the engine back-firing.” – Jesse Livermore

“Beginners focus on analysis, but professionals operate in a three dimensional space. They are aware of trading psychology their own feelings and the mass psychology of the markets.” – Alexander Elder
“Money doesn’t always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars.” – Hobart Brown

“Win or lose, everybody gets what they want out of the market. Some people seem to like to lose, so they win by losing money.” – Ed Seykota, trader

“To be a good trader, you need to trade with your eyes open, recognize real trends and turns, and not waste time or energy on regrets and wishful thinking.” – Alexander Elder

“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” – John Maynard Keynes

“The markets are unforgiving, and emotional trading always results in losses.” – Alexander Elder

“When a falling stock becomes a screaming buy because it cannot conceivably drop further, try to buy it thirty percent lower.” – Al Rizzo

“Your ultimate success or failure will depend on your ability to ignore the worries of the world long enough to allow your investments to succeed.” – Peter Lynch

“There is only one side of the market and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side.” – Jesse Livermore


“I know at last what distinguishes man from animals; financial worries.”

Romain Rolland

“Learning trading means living a few years of your life like most people won’t,so that you can spend rest of your life like most people can’t”

MonacoTrader

Top 5 Trading Mistakes and Practical Tips

We all do mistakes. It is part of the game. I wanted to compile Top 5 most important mistakes that traders (including myself) do and what to learn from them and how to avoid making the same mistake again. The most important thing is to realize the mistake and then take appropriate action to correct it.

Let’s have a look at the type of mistakes:

(New) traders expect too much too soon…

If you are in a new relationship, you know that relationships require commitment and hard work! You need to get out of your comfort zone and do things that you normally wouldn’t do to please the other half. In time, hopefully it gets easier, you know what your partner’s likes and dislikes (and you wouldn’t take her to Malaysian restaurant ever again if she has nut allergy – like I did it with my wife when we were dating). Trading is like relationships. You can’t expect too much too soon (if you do, you will get a slap!). You need to learn, absorb as much as you can and work on it. Things take time, trading is not a get rich quick scheme, in the contrary, it requires discipline, hard work and total commitment to make it a success. It is not uncommon for good traders to spend a few years to get to the top of their game. And don’t forget, as a trader, you are a student for life, constantly learning and adapting to ever changing market conditions. So next time when you think you traded for full 10 days and still can’t make top dollars, think about how much it would take to master anything in life. Tip: A trading diary is a good way of recording your lessons in trading. So you can go back and see what works what not for you. In time, you will see the changes and improvements which will motivate you and make you a better trader.

Undertrading or Overtrading

This is a common problem for newbie and also for experienced traders. Unfortunately, human nature is greedy. We are never satisfied with what we have (this is also part of what advances humanity as a whole). We don’t or can’t see ourselves overtrading until the session is finished. Then we review the day see that we have overtraded to make more money. Or perhaps over traded and took more risk to be able to finish the day in green (and most of the time you will end up more in red). In some circumstances, some folks are scared to take great trades and giving up easy potential profits because they are not willing to enter a trade when they see a good opportunity (undertrading). Both of these can manifest themselves in variety of different ways. I chat to many traders and see this often (including myself). Tip: The best way to overcome overtrading or undertrading is to have a trading plan for the day. You can write this down or tell to yourself that what do you expect to achieve from the trading session. This of course very much depends on the overnight scans and also morning action, so your plan will change according to this. Once you reach your trading goal for the day, make sure you are not starting to take trades are much riskier than your normal setups. When you are in Euphoria from your winnings, you tend to think you will win with any given trade (absolutely not good trading habit). This happens to me a lot and lately, I start to leave the session all together to give myself a small break to come back to planet earth! This way, I can think more sensible and take calculated risks again instead of any risk! Easier saying then done, still working on this and leaving the session for a break and go for a coffee or drive is my way of coping with it. Everyone is different, whatever works best for you. Find it.

Lack of Patience

It still amazes me how patient we can get in a losing trade (and not cut it off and take the loss – unless it is a planned swing trade it is completely different story) and if we are winning how impatient we can get…We just want to take that profit (although you know that it is too early!). This is a psychological phenomenon. If you are wrong, human brain tries to find reasons why you are right (i.e. you start looking at Twitter for supporting arguments for your loosing trade, you look at the internet and read anything available out there to prove your point to yourself and others) but the reality is you are wrong. Market is acting against you and you are wrong. Period. If you are winning, Fear of Missing the Profits, kicks in and you look for any excuse to get rid of that trade so you can proudly say you made money on that trade. Tip: Patience is a learned process. It can be developed as a trading habit. As a hyper-active person, I haven’t unfortunately blessed with patience. However, some of you following my trades know that I can be very patient when it comes to some swings (especially if I am convinced about the particular trade). I frequently make very good money on that patience (perhaps most of my largest wins come from patient trades).  One important thing here is not mixing patience with hope. They are completely two different things. If you are in a trade and ‘hoping’ that the price action will change and hopefully you make money, you need to cut it off there and then. Patience is acceptable when you have an edge. The edge that gives you confirmation and conviction of that trade. Otherwise simply let it go….

Size…Size….Size…

I have written about size control in my blog a few times. In my opinion, controlling trading size is the BEST thing you can do in trading. Most traders take too much risk with trading size compared to their account size. I am seeing too many (especially new) traders smoked with only one or two trades simply because they played too big!

Trade size is directly correlated to the risk of that position. The more size you have, obviously the more risk you are taking at a given trade. Most good traders chose not to go full size in a position but keep adding to a winner. In this way, you can just risk the profit and have a nearly risk-free trade. But we all know that, life is unfortunately not that easy and trades go against us. In this case, the importance of the trade size once again come to play….

Tip: For me it is very easy. If the trade is making you nervous (a bit of nervousness of course normal, what I am talking about is being very nervous / being scared from that trade – it can take you out if it goes against you) then you should be out of that trade immediately! Not later, do it now! Like the bees programmed to protect the queen bee, your number one job as a trader is protecting your trading capital. For most traders, if they are smoked, they don’t have another chance to come back to trading. That’s it. So next time when you trade, manage your trading size accordingly, if it starts to get you really nervous, you know what to do…And don’t forget, it will be your fault if you are nervous, because it means you are trading with wrong trading size!

Failing to accept responsibility against your own mistakes

Forget about accepting responsibility for your own mistakes, some traders do not even realize they have made a mistake (see some AVXL cult longs). Realizing your mistakes will make you one step closer to become a better trader. Accepting responsibility for your mistake is great for you for two reasons: 1) You know what you have done wrong so you will hopefully learn from that mistake 2) Now you know what works instead, next time you will use that to your advantage to make a successful trade. I am unfortunately seeing a big blame game between traders. A wrong trade is never their own fault! It is always someone else’s fault (someone told me to buy this, someone told me to sell this otherwise I wouldn’t, etc.). Tip: GROW UP! You are responsible for your own actions. It is all good that we share information via internet or other mediums but it is ENTIRELY your responsibility to enter a trade or not. If you do, you should have a PLAN in the first place – why you entered in that trade. Have you executed that plan to A to Z? If the trade went against you what was your risk mitigation plan? Don’t forget self-justifications distort reality and if you are not in reality you are not learning. So next time something goes wrong, first understand what went wrong, then accept your mistake and think about what you learned and what you will do about it next time. I also strongly suggest to write this down (we tend to forget mistakes easier than our success).

I always tend to take responsibility and announce my mistakes to my friends and followers. I like doing this because I am learning something new every time from my own mistake. I also have the upmost respect to people who do the same in our community. We are very blessed with great traders and we can also learn from each other’s mistakes.

Thank you for your time and I hope you found this useful.

MT

Trading Psychology and Emotions

Trading Psychology and emotions play the biggest role in your daily trading. Let me elaborate on this more in this article.

Dr. Van Tharp, a leading psychologist, is very well known for breaking down the trading process into three categories that affect traders. He categorises them by importance as follows:

  • Trading strategy (10%)
  • Money management (30%)
  • Psychology (60%)

The fact that trading strategy is the least important factor in Dr. Van Tharp’s trading process above, this suggests that regardless of how successful your trading strategy is, your psychology is the key to being successful in trading.

In one of my previous articles we looked at Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and how it can affect your trading. Fear & Greed are the two emotions that have a negative impact on your trading journey. Experienced traders know that the greed makes you to try to take too much profit (when it is not there) and you end up with less profit or loss. Similarly, fear causes you to cut your positions quickly in loss or less profit where you could make much more.

Another important psychological factor is the ‘Ego’. We all have an Ego. We all want to be right. A trader highly influenced by his own ego will never admit that he/she is wrong. This means that, he will never be able to learn from his/her mistakes as he is unable to see those mistakes in the first place. This will ultimately result on more losses and get him/her out of the game all together.

Another aspect of emotional trading can be summarised as ‘revenge trading’. In revenge trading, the focus of the trading shifts from finding the best trading setups (according to trader’s own strategy) to fastest way of recouping losses. The trader focuses on winning the losses back (very similar to a loser gambler attitude) and ends up losing more money.

The final aspect of emotional trading is over trading. This mainly happens after big wins and the trader greed kicks in for more profits. The whole situation ends up with losing the previous gains or accumulating big losses in the process. This is a Greed based human behaviour that can be seen in experienced and inexperienced traders. Difficult to control but not impossible.

So how can we cope with our own Psychology and Emotions? You heard the trading term: “be like a robot” that comes to mind. Easier said than done! The trading algos are much more profitable than humans (when they are using a profitable strategy) for one reason only, they cut out the emotion from the equation!

As a human trader, your only weapon is discipline. You might know about what to do but applying discipline to your trading will require time and experience. As good old Warren Buffet says: “You can’t make a baby in a month by getting 9 women pregnant”.

My personal advice is as follows:

  1. The start point should be working on your ego. When you are wrong, admit that you are wrong. This will be difficult at first, but in time you will see the benefits of doing so. You will be able to see your mistakes. What went right and what went wrong with that particular trade.
  2. Have a trading diary. We are humans, we forget! My suggestion to especially new traders is having an excel sheet and note down every single REAL trade that they have done (not interested in paper trades as they do not reflect the emotion of losing real money). Make sure to have a separate column for your notes, note down everything why you entered in that trade, why you exit? did you follow your initial plan (this is very important), if not why not? Take as much notes as possible so you can go back and see what happened to your trade. What went well and what went wrong. The pattern will start to emerge when you have at least 100 or more trades, you will be able to see the bigger picture. I Cannot stress this enough, HAVE A TRADING DIARY (even if you are an experienced trader).
  3. Be DISCIPLINED! Once you have a working strategy, follow it to the letter! It is not always easy to do so, but you will get better in time if you apply discipline. Also make sure to have some trading goals (my article on setting goals can be found here)
  4. Set your expectation accordingly! Trading is not easy, do not expect easy money. Know that you will have to work for your money. A lot of hard work needed to be a successful trader.
  5. Find out what works for you. Be honest with yourself. If you are overtrading, what is the best thing to do? Some people can control themselves in front of the PC, some simply cannot. After a successful trading session, I often take a coffee break to clean up my mind and more importantly my emotions. If it is a particularly good trading day, I go for a drive in my car. Whatever works for you. Perhaps go dip in the water, have a coffe, drive, call a friend, etc.
  6. Enjoy what you do! Yes, trading is hard work but there is nothing more satisfying then knowing your strategy works, you were disciplined and executed that trade according to the plan (or avoided that big loss successfully).

I hope it helps. Have a great weekend.

MT

 

 

 

Trading Psychology – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

There are number of ‘Fears’ that a trader will experience in his/her career. The most important three fears that often manifests themselves are: Fearing of Missing Out (FOMO), Fear of Loosing Money (FOLM) and Fear of Being Wrong (FOBW). In this article, I will specifically focus on FOMO, what it is, how it can affect your trading and how to prevent it (as much as you can).

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO):

Fear of Missing Out is a well researched psychology topic that is not only true for trading but also for every day life. Most scams (and well scripted marketing) work due to recipients’ FOMO ‘triggers’.

If you want to understand FOMO better, I strongly suggest reading two research paper by Kernis (2003) and Ellion (2007). They argue that self-determination theory (SDT) a macro-theory of human motivation provides a useful perspective for framing an empirically based understanding of FoMO. According to SDT effective self-regulation and psychological moods are based on the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs:

  • competence – the capacity to effectively act on the world,

  • autonomy – self-authorship or personal initiative, and

  • relatedness – closeness or connectedness with others.

Today’s retail investor is a social animal. We are following each other on social media (twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.) and also bombarded by emails and other media channels. We are being sold ideas and concepts every single minute of the trading hours (and pre-trading and after-hours). What we are really trying to do is to feed the three psychological needs above and/or try to get confirmation (and comparison).

We follow each other, we hear news that this is the must have stock (or the stock that needs to be shorted immediately). We see so many people are doing the same thing and we feel left out (the feeling is: everyone will make big bucks and if I am not doing anything! I will simply loose out on a great trade!) or worse,  in some circumstances, you might be already in the trade but you start doubling your position (just because everyone else is doing the same) and pay the price later. We all know that if everyone is doing the same thing, the trade becomes crowded and thinks start to turn for the worse…

Realization and Action

As traders, we need to realise something very important as early as possible  in our trading career. We simply can’t catch every stock move and we can’t trade stocks every minute of every day. This is a fact! If you can accept this fact then you have ultimately accepted that you will miss some trades (this is perfectly OK!). The real rule to be successful in trading is to have a working strategy. Everyone trades differently, no two traders trade exactly the same way so your strategy will be different then my strategy however there might be similarities that puts us on the same set (i.e. short trader, long trader, momo trader, stock trader, fx trader and so on..). Don’t feel like an outsider or feel being wrong just because you are trading differently to someone else or to a group of people. Don’t forget there is money to be made  in so many different ways from the same stock.

All traders struggle with FOMO time to time. If someone is saying they don’t struggle, they are simply lying to you. Trading experience of course helps with this immensely. My simple rules that help me to stay in check are:

  • The Action Plan: Always have a plan before entering in a trade. Ask yourself what is your edge for entering in this trade. You need to KNOW why you are entering, what size you will be using,  when you will be exiting and what you will do if the trade goes against you. You are not going into this trade just because some guru or a friend thinks it is a good idea. KNOW your trade and KNOW what you want from it EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU TRADE!

  • Be Disciplined: As you now have an action plan, the truth is executing that action plan is more difficult than to have an action plan in the first place. This requires discipline and determination. Don’t forget that HFT algo that you are trading against doesn’t have emotions and will follow rules to the letter. You should try to do the same (as much as you can).

  • Learn to be happy with your achievement: We all want to make a killing from a trade. Reality is trading is extremely difficult. Once you have executed your plan effectively, either you made a profit or a loss. Either way, you have done what was necessary for the trade and successfully filtered out the noise – well done on that. Even though it was a loss, you cut it on time as per your action plan. This is great news. If your trading strategy is profitable, in the long term you will make serious money from trading. As you are following your rules, you WILL be consistent and you will achieve consistency in trading.

I hope this helps. Have a nice weekend.

MT

 

 

 

 

Trading IPOs – What to look for

IPO = Initial Public Offering. If the company has never issued shares to the public directly, it is known as an IPO.

I particularly like the IPO plays and made some serious money from them. I own and opeate a Venture Capital business which helped many tech companies in Europe that eventually floated them in the UK’s AIM and also ISDX markets.

So What to look for in a successful IPO:

Timing

Timing of the IPO is everything. If you have a company that sells a fantastic product but currentrly there is no market place for it then that IPO is doomed. We have seen early cloud service provider IPOs with great products that came to nothing because the time was not right. The people were not using cloud services and did not know what cloud actually is. So ‘Timing’ and market acceptance and knowledge is the key to a successful IPO.

Market Leader

Most successful IPO companies are already market leader in their sector. The niche sectors tend to be performing better. If the company is already struggling with the competition and not the market leader or shortly becoming a market leader than it will be a good short after the initial run (if there is any)

Board of Advisors, Agents and Underwriters

The companies with strong board of advisors and IPO agents tend to do better because they know how to sell their offering. Always check who the advisors are and their performance.

Market Conditions

Altough it is not always the case, if the first day of the IPO is on a bad market day, the growth of the stock can be limited. Think about the market psychology…

The First Trading Day – What to look for

The very first day of the IPO is the most raw form of the stock price. There are no historical charts to look for, there are no resistance or support values, there are no short interest (yet) – basically this is when intraday technical analysis becomes most valuable. There are number of important factors that will affect the price on the first day. The most importants are the number of shares offered to the public (float) and the valuation range of the given company. The smaller the float  the more volatile the price will be. This is a simple supply and demand equation. If an IPO is priced relatively conservatively (i.e. below or similar to other companiues from the same sector with the same size), demand could be higher, and vice versa. Based on the actual demand in the marketplace, the IPO price can also be raised or lowered in the days leading up to the offering.

One of the biggest advice I can give you is: ‘NEVER CHASE!’. Only pay for what you think its worth not the other way around.

In the first day trading, I generally look for a range to form after the initial 15-20 minutes. This enables me not to clash with the early investors (the ones that bought pre-IPO and they now might empty the tank!). So after the first 15 min, if the price is holding, it is almost always a very positive sign.

Once we have more data on the charts and range starts to form, I start to use my own technical analysis on 1 minute and 5 minute charts with extreme risk management (expect volatility).

Don’t forget, if you are chasing an IPO just for the sake of it or because of the hype, you might pay big for it. Always have a plan before going into an IPO trade (in fact in any trade) and execute your own plan and don’t let others to decide the price for you.

I hope this helps

MT

For Information: Top Ten Global IPOs (From Investopedia)

1. Alibaba Holdings Group (NYSE:BABA), a diversified online ecommerce company based in China, went public on September 18, 2014 at a whopping $21.8 billion. Four days later, underwriters exercised an option to sell more shares, bringing the total IPO to $25 billion. Although technology companies traditionally list on NASDAQ, Alibaba chose the New York Stock Exchange for its debut and used underwriting primarily from Credit Suisse.

2. ABC Bank, otherwise known as the Agricultural Bank of China (listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange), is one of China’s five largest banks. ABC Bank went public on July 7, 2010 at an initial offering raising $19.228 billion. The follow-on greenshoe offerings from underwriter Goldman Sachs Asia brought the total to over $22 billion.

3. ICBC Bank, or Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange), went public on October 20, 2006, fetching a total of $19.092 billion. At that time, ICBC Bank was the largest mainland Chinese bank and the third large Chinese bank to go public.

4. NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM), a Tokyo‑based telecommunications player, went to the public market on October 22, 1998, raising $18.099 billion. Underwritten by Goldman Sachs Asia, this IPO launched NTT to the third largest market cap for a Japanese company.

5. Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) rounds out the top five. This debit and credit card processing company entered the public market on March 18, 2008, and raised $17.864 billion—no small feat during a global financial crisis. It is the largest IPO for any U.S.‑based company.

6. AIA (OTC:AAIGF), a Hong Kong-based investment and insurance company, was offered to the public on October 21, 2010. It raised $17.816 billion and become the third Hong Kong-based financial company on this top 10 IPO list.

7. Enel S.p.A.(OTC:ENLAY) listed on the New York Stock Exchange on November 1, 1999 after it raised $16.452 billion. This Italian company competes in the gas and electric market in Europe and the Americas. It is the only utility company on the top 10 IPO list.

8. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was one of the most-hyped IPOs in history. It listed on May 1, 2012 and raised $16.007 billion. This social media technology company’s launch was riddled with trading issues and questionable information-sharing accusations. Nevertheless, it still became the largest technology IPO in U.S. history.

9. General Motors (NYSE:GM) debuted on November 17, 2010 after emerging from a bankruptcy filing one year earlier. This U.S.-based car manufacturer raised $15.774 billion in its initial public offering.

10. Nippon Tel (NYSE:NTT) is a Tokyo-based telecommunication provider. This is the oldest IPO on this list. The company raised $15.301 billion on February 9, 1987.

Read more: Top 10 Largest Global IPOs Of All Time (BABA,V,DCM,FB,GM,NTT,ENLAY,AAIGF) http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/011215/top-10-largest-global-ipos-all-time.asp#ixzz3oRwNHv7R
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