That was fun

Wow, I still don't know what the barrel count said but whatever it was the market moved. The tally as follows starting with the first trade around 7:04, full stop, be, be, be, target, be, target, target, be, full stop, (switch to sim on second full stop) full stop, be, full stop, target.

I doubt I would have taken those last two trades live as the floor trading was about to close and we quite often see some strange price action in the last 15 minutes or so. That said the signals were there so I simmed them and they go into the stats.

Crazy day.

2 Minute Crude Oil Charts


An Epiphany

I haven't been the Swamiguru for a while so I know you are all desperate for some Swamiguru wisdom.

Every Swamiguru needs a mantra, a hook so to speak. GB007 has his "the urge to trade is greater than the urge to trade profitably". That's a good one.

So now I have come up with mine, feel free to quote me amongst your friends, oh right you're traders, friend.

Ok here it is, the market decides how much money you make, you decide how much money you lose.

The Swamiguru has spoken.

2 Minute Crude Oil Chart


Wall Street Warriors

I'm probably the last person on earth to watch Wall Street Warriors, but just in case you missed it here is the first episode of season 2. I'll let You Tube take you through the rest of the season. There are 10 episodes in season 2 and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I also watched season 1 and thought it was a bit of a joke so no need to go there in my opinion. Apparently they did film season 3 during 2008 but have not been able to find a network to air it. That's too bad as 2008 was probably the most "interesting" year in the capital markets since 1929.


Swinging the Bat

A hitter in baseball can fail 70% of the time and still be an all star. I coach minor baseball (little league) and spend a fair amount of time reminding my players of this fact. They want to get a hit so bad, for Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, that I quite often see them coming back to the dugout in tears if they don't succeed at the plate.

Sounds alot like traders. You can have a very successful plan with a winning percentage under 50% with proper money management. Yet how many of us (me being part of us) come back to the dugout after a losing trade looking like we just lost our best friend.

As I tell the 10 yr old baseball players, the key is not to focus on what just happened, the key is are you ready for your next at bat.

Are you?

Am I?

Solfest after a losing trade

Yesterday's strikeouts.

Today, a couple of homeruns.

'I Can See Clearly Now'

So as we all sit staring at charts I'll bet we all think we "clearly" see what is important. However as the experiment above demonstrates it's evident that we can all be looking at the same thing, yet each of us could see something different.



The Merc

I wonder if the Merc will ever stop floor trading?

Still waiting for the new documentary Floored which discusses that topic. Here is another little short from the producers of Floored.


Testing 1 2 3

Nice day today, took the boy to his 6:30 am hockey practice, went to Tim Hortons and got a coffee, came home and did some reading, opened charts, saw a strong signal, entered as planned, trade hit target, puffed out chest with pride, and then.......

Then I started to fiddle with some charts. No problem we traders always fiddle with charts, nothing major, brought up a 15 minute chart to look at this huge downtrend we were in, yep it's a huge downtrend, not sure why I needed the 15 minute to see that.

I have had a tick chart up for the past few days with my 2 minute chart study on it and have been tracking the results of my 2 minute trades with and without agreement on the tick chart. As I brought up the new 15 minute chart I must have re arranged the order on the monitor. I always have the chart I'm trading on the right hand side of the monitor so it is next to the DOM on the left hand side of the other monitor.

Somehow the tick chart wound up on the right hand side. I took the next 2 signals for full stops thinking I was seeing them on the 2 minute chart. Was also thinking I'm on to something here as there was no congruence on what I thought was the tick chart.

So in fact what your humble scribe (can't call myself a trader today) was doing was taking signals off the tick chart and looking for congruence on the 2 minute chart. Exactly the opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing.


Let's just keep this between ourselves.


Now the 15 minute chart is back in the bin, the 2 minute chart is back on the right hand side of the monitor, and I promise to leave well enough alone.

You can't see if my fingers were crossed when I promised that though.

This was the only valid signal, yes it was blue on the tick chart as well.

2 Minute Crude Oil Chart


Minneapolis Grain Exchange

The MGEX has ceased all floor trading. Volume has spoken as 80% of the trading had already moved off the floor.

Although I never get tired of watching floor trading I'm not sure I would have wanted to do it myself.


I take all signals except........

To take them all or to not take them all?

This was the question of the day in the trading room the other day. I seemed to be standing alone with my premise that I do not take them all. After two full stops I quit for the day, or at least go sim for the rest of the day. This caused much abuse to be heaped upon me from the take all signal boys.

Well taking all signals sounds good and in theory I'm all for it. However I don't trade theory I trade money and my experience has been that my trading goes significantly downhill as the consecutive losses stack up. So, for me, I have found it beneficial to stop at 2 full stops.

Beside my personal trading issues I also think that stopping for the day runs along the lines of cutting your losers and letting your winners run. Ok I admit that's a bit of a stretch. Yes I also used to quit after 2 full targets hit in the day. That was a stupid idea, why didn't you speak up.

All professional traders have risk management limits that they must live under. My question for the take all signal boys is, at what point do you quit? Never? You would just keep taking loser after loser, and this has no affect on your execution?

I doubt it.

With my system I need momentum to keep moving, and there are days where you get just enough to produce a signal and then it reverses. Sometimes this happens over and over all day. Do some days just find that range and stay in it? The answer as always in trading is sometimes.

Now the take all signal boys want my stats to prove that this is a financially sound idea. I must admit I don't have them. After quitting or going to sim my record keeping had been going out the door with my interest level. This was a mistake on my behalf, and that mistake has been rectified.

I am now keeping all live and sim stats along with another technical setup that I want to see the results from.

We shall see.

Today was all live as I had 1 full target, 1 full stop, and 3 bes.

2 Minute Crude Oil Charts


Lehman Bros, One Year Later

Here is a link to a well done video by the Financial Times on the collapse of Lehman Bros.

A list of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history as compiled by CNBC.

Natural Gas

Look at the spike in volume and average true range on the daily nat gas chart. Why it's enough to make you think you could day trade this product.

Daily Natural Gas Chart
144 Tick Natural Gas Chart


Computer says Yes!

Today Solfest's trading computer said yes, I was able to reload XP without losing any of my data.

With a little help from VT. :)

I hope you all peruse Long & Wrong on a regular basis, Mr. UF doesn't write that often but when he does it's worth reading. We colonials must thank him for the British humor.


More Charts

2 Minute Crude Oil Charts

Some nice moves in the crude oil market today. I'm sure DT is going to ask so here are the results. The first signal hit target, I missed the second one, third one hit target, and the fourth one was a full stop out.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

A Chart

2 Minute Crude Oil Chart
I moved the stop to break even + 1 a little early on the first signal and that's what I got. It then ran to target of course. Fortunately I got a second chance and behaved myself as it hit my target.

This machine is running vista so things look a little different. I had to program sierra again as I had not updated it as per the settings on my regular trading computer. I dropped one EMA as it seemed redundant. Hopefully the other comp gets back into service today as I can only run one monitor with this one.


Angry White Men

As per my previous post when all else fails, go postal.

This just proves man is not meant to sit in a cubicle pecking away at a keyboard. We are hunter gatherers, warriors, men of action!

Blue Screen of Death

Solfest's trading computer is currently displaying the blue screen of death. :(

Message as follows:

STOP: C0000135 (unable to locate component)
This application has failed to start because KERNEL32.DLL was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Geek Speak

I watched these two interviews on the weekend, I would consider Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates to be the world's top geeks. Here are their interviews with Charlie Rose.

Interesting to see how badly Bill wants to take a piece of Google's pie.

This was the first time I have ever heard Eric Schmidt speak and I must say I liked what I heard. He still thinks the best way to learn is to pick up a book and read. :)

Solfest should quit complaining about the price of cable and realize what a wonderful world he lives in.

I traded until about 9:30 MST today and then went golfing. Looks like I got the gold and left the shaft for everyone else.

Sorry bout that.


The future value of Solfest's cable bill

As Solfest has run out of things to say about all things trading Solfest has decided to follow the tried and proven Hollywood format of stealing someone else's format.

Solfest enjoys reading Rocky Humbert and this post is a blatant rip off of his highly successful blog. Solfest hopes that Mr. Humbert realizes this is actually quite a compliment, and Solfest also hopes he does not have to retain an attorney.

Today Solfest received his monthly cable bill and to his horror saw his second price increase in 5 months. Solfest’s cable company did assure him that they are "committed to providing you with the best programming and service available."

Solfest notes that the word "available" is key to their commitment as Solfest has no other cable options to "avail" himself of.

Solfest also notes that he "tortures" the trophy children with basic cable services only in order to preserve scarce capital. Solfest's recollections of his own tortured childhood with rabbit ears and 2 television stations to choose from does little to sooth the trophy children's concerns.

Perhaps once the trophy children see Solfest's brilliant future value calculation of his cable bill the trophy children will see the wisdom of his ways.

Solfest paid the cable company $34.60 per month in March 2009, then at the request of Solfest's cable company he paid them $35.65 in April 2009, and then once again at the request of Solfest's cable company he paid them $37.75 in September 2009.

Solfest's mathematical skills have computed this increase as such:

(($37.75 - $34.60)/$34.60)*100 = 9.104%.

Solfest must now make the large assumption that he will not see another cable bill increase before the end of year so he can use this percentage as an annual percentage increase.

With this percentage increase in hand and Solfest's mathematical skills tapped out Solfest turned to the power of the internet to discover the future value of his cable bill in 50 years. This computation does make another rather large assumption that the pace of cable bill increases will not increase over these 50 years.

The results are in. Solfest will be paying $2,944.09 per month for basic cable service by the year 2059.

All this heavy computing got Solfest thinking, what if Solfest cancelled cable and then invested the $37.75 on a monthly basis for 50 years at Solfest's cable company's annual growth rate of 9.104%?

Solfest once again turned to the power of the internet and discovered he would have $401,473.19 in 50 years time without ever increasing the monthly contribution.

Solfest is now wondering if you can connect rabbit ears to a LCD TV.

To ease Solfest's pain he listened to Eric Clapton and watched some TV via the internet.

TV via the internet, this may catch on.


So what do you do for a living?

What is the worst thing about this job? Is it the stress, losing days, emotions, uncertainty, doubt, indecision, insecurity, and solitude?


It's having to explain to someone what it is you do for a living. It drives me crazy. I have tried many different answers, sometimes I go for the quick answer to which I get puzzled looks. Then the next time I go for the long answer to which I get sleepy eyes. Most of the time I just say "I'm a commodity trader", and to whatever comes out of their mouth next I just nod.

But now, I have it, here it is, a video called the 'A Day With a NYMEX Trader'. I will just point them to this post and all will be well.


Oh, except I don't actually go down to the NYMEX floor, I, ah, well, I trade the same product as they do except I do it from my igloo in Canada.

I still foresee some problems.