The blank space on the right side of the chart is where the Sierra front end sits, why it doesn't show up in the screen capture is beyond me.

Went live with the CL auto trader.

However it just trades what the Solfest non auto trader trades.

Which means Automan looks more like this.

I'll throw this in here so you can see what Automan can really look like. This is a chart replay from February with an auto entry and exit.

The lines on it are from my actual entry and exit without Automan.

So Automan and Solfest are pretty close.

Now all I need is the market to do that again. :)


I Make Fire, Again

The last time Solfest "made fire" was when he coded the prices bars to turn blue upon meeting his trading parameters.

Now Solfest has made his first auto trade. (pause for applause)

Thank you, thank you, thank you very much, thank you, please sit down, please, thank you.

Now that I have basked in your applause I can tell you that the auto trade was done on the YM, I made 2 ticks, and I took an old fashioned manual trade on CL and lost 11 ticks.

HA, you can't take back your applause!

Now Solfest may have also made a little fire a few months ago when he linked his three charts together so he only gets a signal on the entry chart if the other two charts have signals in place.

This is required to be able to auto trade his system.

The auto trade today was not done using his system, so there is still some work to be done.

That said the signal was created, the entry did happen, and Solfest just sat there and watched.


Move Over Greece

We are German.

This is how you do things.


Had Enough?

Ok let's look at our environment in a different light.

With another one of those annoying young men doing fantastic things in fantastic locations while we sit on our collective asses videos.

It's a good thing the young men procreate like rabbits cause I don't think they all survive the fantastic things in fantastic places.

Maybe Red Bull and testosterone isn't such a good mix after all?


Rex Murphy: Oil sands are a triumph for the human ‘environment’

I’m lucky to be going to Fort McMurray, Alta. this weekend with colleagues from CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. I have a great wish to see what the green Jeremiahs deem to be the greatest blot on the visage of Mother Gaia, and to meet some of the soulless folk who work there. After all, environmentalists might ask: Who would take a job on a site that threatens the destiny of the planet, except people whose souls have been bought off with oil-company lucre?

Outside Fort McMurray, it is impossible to escape the furor over the Alberta oilsands. Its product is routinely described, lazily and slanderously, as the dirtiest on the planet. The Premier of Ontario, a province that owes much of its prosperity to its huge automobile industry shivers when he looks at Alberta, mutters about the dark forces of the “petro-dollar,” and implied (until he was scolded and half-recanted) that somehow Ontario’s fretful financial state is Alberta’s fault.

It’s almost a fantasy disconnect. Dalton Mcguinty can throw billions at General Motors and urge the feds to do the same, all to save the automobile industry. He ignores that four decades or more of Ontario’s prosperity wasn’t founded on windmills: It was based on gas-guzzling cars and trucks.

Down in the States, Fort MacMurray is the green lobby’s ultimate bogeyman. Environmental groups raise money by attacks on the oilsands. Fort McMurray and the Keystone XL pipeline that would take its bounty south. This rhetoric has even made it into presidential politics. The shameless and high-gloss National Geographic put out a hit-issue deploring the oilsands as the ultimate “polluter.”

Are Canadians falling for this propaganda, too? The bounty of our country has made us complacent, even smug, about the resource extraction that makes it possible. Canada is at the very forefront of the world’s developed nations. Our schools, hospitals, universities, arts and industries are at the very top of the chain — all because we have the energy to drive an economy that can support these great boons.

Yet how easily we bite the hand that feeds us. “Environment” has become a narrow, bitterly focussed word turning exclusively on hurts or despoilations of nature, magnifying the slightest alteration or disturbance of “the natural” as an unspeakable sin.

There is another wider, larger, humane dimension to the environment — larger and more vital than any reference to landscape. That is the human and social element, the business of supplying reasonable support for workers and their families, towns and communities, and ultimately wealth for the entire nation. We owe something, it is true to the rocks and trees. We also owe something to human beings as well.

In my view, this is the first and deepest justification for Fort Mac and the oil industry. Jobs are essential for the human environment — for a woman’s or a man’s sense of self-reliance and independence. By this, I mean the right to be able to obtain what you need for yourself and your family from what you have honestly earned. Being able, because you are employed, to stay off welfare, to turn aside from handouts — this is good for the environment of human dignity.

It mightn’t have the smug appeal of a panda face, and you will not see it on the vivid posters of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, but having a job and earning a living is a great thing. Those who have been out of work know what a cruel “environment” that is — an emotional and psychological assault of frightful power. So we should celebrate some of the contributions that the oil sands have already made to the fundamental human environments of so many Canadians.

I have thought, and thought again, of my own province of Newfoundland, caught in the great calamity of the fisheries’ close-down in the 1990s, and how providential it was that “out West,” an oil economy was booming at the same time. Many Newfoundlanders (and Maritimers) migrated there in a time of real need.

Great social misery was averted because of the oil boom and Newfoundland’s related offshore developments: Thousands of divorces never happened, thousands of families didn’t break up, thousands of men and women didn’t fall into the trap of depression and worse, which so often attends long-term unemployment — because there was a great oil industry that allowed them the wherewithal to feed their families. It is a great story of modern Confederation: How Alberta, in particular, modified and mitigated the misery of Newfoundland — and other places.

I can summarize the entire case very simply. The environment is not just what you see on green posters. It is not just sunsets and tall trees. It is also the people living in it. And people need energy, and people need jobs. Projects such as the oilsands, which supplies both in abundance, should be celebrated for its cutting-edge technological and scientific prowess. It is Canada’s great national project for the 21st century. I look forward to the trip.

Rex Murphy, National Post


Don't Spit Into the Wind

Oil sands pollution comparable to ‘large power plant’, NASA data shows

It may not be “game over” for the environment.

Dr. James E. Hansen, climate scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who famously said that the development of the Keystone XL pipeline — which proposes to transport Alberta oil sands to the U.S. — will be “game over” for the environment, may want to review his own institute’s latest data.

New NASA data on its website shows that the emission of pollutants from oil sands mining in Alberta province are “comparable to the emissions from a large power plant or a moderately sized city.”

Chris McLinden, a scientist at Environment Canada who conducted the research, told the Financial Post that the study only looked at two pollutants but he was pleasantly surprised by the technology which could be used in more accurate monitoring of the oil sands, as part of greater scrutiny pledged by Alberta and the federal government recently.

“Let me put it this way, at the beginning of this six-year period, the pollution [over the oil sands area] was in the range of a medium to large coal-burning power plant, and at the end of the six-year period it was within the range of a large coal-burning power plant,” said Mr. McLinden.

While Mr. McLinden would not comment on Mr. Hansen’s claim, it does suggest that while the industry needs to keep an eye on rising oil sands pollution, it’s far from the grim picture painted by environmentalists.

“The top two maps above depict the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air above the main oil sands mining operation along the Athabasca River, as observed from 2005 to 2007 (left) and 2008 to 2010 (right),” says a note on the NASA website. “The lower map shows those emissions in the broader context of the western provinces of Canada and the northern United States from 2005 to 2010. All data were acquired by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite.”

The research did find elevated levels of pollutants, though. Data showed that the emissions had increased about 10% per year between 2005 and 2010, roughly the same rate as the growth of the oil sands industry.

“For both gases, the levels are comparable to what satellites see over a large power plant—or for nitrogen dioxide, comparable to what they see over some medium-sized cities,” said Mr. McLinden, whose findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters in February 2012. “It stands out above what’s around it, out in the wilderness, but one thing we wanted to try to do was put it in context.”

Financial Post is trying to get in touch with Mr. Hansen.

Yadullah Hussain, National Post



The message is The Guardian delivers "the whole picture".


The media is a powerful entity, an entity with one purpose.

The purpose is to make money.

I could make the point that it's evil for the media's sole purpose to be making money.

I could, but that would be hypocritical because it is mankind's sole purpose.

You may argue this point, you may argue that you, and others, have more than one purpose. You may argue this point, but you would be wrong.

You, and I, may think we have other purposes for our lives, purposes like love, charity, environmental purity, and the like.

You, and I, may argue this, but we would be wrong.

We're ok with those other purposes, we may think we place those purposes above money, we may think that, but we would be wrong.

Take away the money and our sole purpose in life becomes very clear.

Take away the money and all other purposes go away. They go far far away and we move to a zone that may even surprise us.

We will do anything to get money.


We are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and even kill to get money. You may argue we would be willing to kill because those we love need the money too, you may argue this, and you may be right. (aha fooled you)

Money comes first.

Money comes first for the media, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, oil companies, bankers, and traders.

Money comes first.

The environmental movement is a business. A business whose main concern is making money. Over the years the business moves it's "outrage" to the largest income stream, whether it be population growth, nuclear power, clear cutting, saving whales, or now the oilsands.

Al Gore set the stage for the latest "outrage" with a movie.

One day a few years back Al Gore flew to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and gave a luncheon speech, that same day he flew to Calgary, Alberta and gave a dinner speech.

Then Al Gore flew home.

Al Gore does not have wings.

Al Gore's plane was not electric.

Al Gore's plane was not a glider.

Al Gore flew on petroleum across North America so he could make money by telling us to stop using petroleum.

Al Gore could have stayed home and done a live video link to Saskatoon and Calgary using really cool internet technology. (remember he invented the internet)

Al Gore would not have been paid as much for that delivery method.

Money comes first.

There is usually more than one opinion on most subjects in the media. However the opinion that makes them the most money is the one that gets the most "ink".

Fortunately you have me to help you find the "underprivileged" opinions. :)

Death and destruction always sell better than things look pretty good.

"If it bleeds it leads" someone once said.

Money comes first.


A Window Opened

Well there it is, or actually there it was. Our first day of "chat" is in the bank and I have to say I actually enjoyed it.

We all came out of our isolation chambers and gathered together without any fist fights or declarations of war.

I believe the grand total of guests for the day was 6 and that was 5 more than I expected.

We had a trading manure spreader, a big secret agent from a foreign land that cannot be identified for fear of death, a flying monkey from California, a handsome Irish painter from Portugal, a Fibonacci trader who only plays golf, and a guru who cannot speak.

In other words just another day in the pit.

Oh and since there were witnesses I had a trade that made 5 ticks and I may have altered my system exit and become rather agitated when price turned back my way and ran after my suspect exit.

Yes a lovely display of calm, cool, and collected trading on my behalf.

Turns out it would have hit my be if I hadn't adjusted the exit anyway.

Still I tinkered and yes, Solfest hangs his head in shame.

On a brighter note I do feel I have done my small part to promote world peace via trading rooms.

Your Welcome.

As I scroll down the blog I don't see any charts so I guess I better add one.

We talked a little about trading psychology in the room today. Since some idiot named Solfest displayed the shortcomings of his human trading mind so brilliantly I thought I'd better display the evidence.

One entry that we could all agree on.


Yes the Solfest, the system, and the ego.

However the three of us in one (no not the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) all had different ideas on the exit.


You Don't Say

I do say.

I think.

All this "talk" about isolation got me thinking about, well, about my isolation.

It has me thinking about talking to people. People who trade for a living, or at least try to.

I have been in 2 other chat rooms in the last 5 years, one with about 80 people or so and one with 5 or 6 people.

I'm now down to skype with one.


What does that say about me?

Chat rooms can be good or bad or both in the same minute. The idea is good, create a virtual trading floor to commiserate with yer fellow man.

The reality is sometimes not so good. People are rude when there is no face to face contact. Ever been in an elite trader forum, it's unbelievable what they say to each other some times.

So in order for this to work there has to be a few rules, rules about what you should not do, and rules about what you should do.

Should Not Rules

Rule #1 No selling.
Rule #2 No teaching, teachers are wanna be sellers.
Rule #3 No questions on others trading systems.
Rule #4 No posting dollar figure results.

Should Rules

Rule #1 Participate.
Rule #2 Be civil.
Rule #3 Post trade results (if you want to) in ticks.
Rule #4 Feel free to talk about how you trade.
Rule #5 Random mooing is encouraged.
Rule #6 Feel free to mock Al Gore.
Rule #7 Feel free to adore Margaret Thatcher, Ayn Rand, Thomas Sowell, and Milton Friedman.
Rule #8 Feel free to come into the chat room to see Solfest sitting there by himself, laugh at him, then leave immediately.

I reserve the right to add or delete rules at any time.

I'll be in the room from 7:00 am to 12:30 pm MST, unless I'm not.

We will see how this goes and if it sucks I'll just delete the thing.

That works.


Maybe We Do Need Trading Floors

Perhaps the solitary world of an independent trader is not the right environment for trading success.

One may find oneself randomly mooing and referring to oneself in the third person whilst demanding, in old testament english, a serf bring oneself coffee.

Although my first thought upon seeing the video was, finally some peace and quiet.

The death row guy in the last video said he just went to other places in his head to survive. He didn't realize it was a problem until he discovered he couldn't stop doing that.

You mean everyone doesn't do that?


We volunteer for our isolation.

Are we mad?

Am I?

Why does The Shining appeal to me?

Does the world really need the colour green?

I think not.

The bottom line is the isolation really only bothers those nutty extroverts.



"Flip the classroom".

Ya think!

Go home and watch these videos, come back to school to try the work, if you have any problems ask your teacher for help.

Why that's crazy!

Our current system is fall asleep in class while teacher drones on about some stupid math concept, get assigned homework, go home and ignore it until 10:00, then ask Dad for help, Dad asks why are you doing this, kid says I dunno, Dad storms off, ask Mom for help, Mom freaks out as to why this has been left until 10:00 PM, Mom (being actually kind and loving) tries to remember math from 20 years ago, Mom fails in Kid's eyes cause she is sure Mom is doing it wrong.

Everyone goes to bed angry.


Kahn Academy



I love reading.

More specifically I love books, I love the look, the smell, the feel, everything.

I have to specify that because you can now read books on a device.

A device.

A cold hard device. Yuck.

I digress.

Books are my education. Oh I went to school but I didn't find much that interested me there, basketball, track & field, and girls were interesting, that was about it.

My parents read. I saw this. I went to the library in my school and my Father took me and my siblings to the public library once a week so we could read some more.

I have now surrounded myself with books, as I sit here at my desk, with my idiot screens showing a remarkable lack of blue bars, I look over the screens and I see books, a whole wall of books. There's another wall of books in the living room.

I love books.

I wasted my "formal" education.

Books saved me.

I could say they taught me everything I know, which is true, but the proper tense is teach. They are still teaching me, they will always teach me because I will never stop reading to learn.

I went to my old high school a few years ago, they had done a massive renovation and were showing it off. The old library location was now a cafeteria, the new library was in an old classroom. I have more books in my house then they have in that "library".

I asked them why so few books. They said the kids get most of their information online.


My wife and I read.


My kids do not read.

They text, play Xbox, and demand more Apple products.

I have failed them.

This man was "saved" by books.

Lest we forget.

The documentary film makers make a nice movie but are a little fuzzy on the details, Kamkwamba explains it better here.

Every Now and Again

Yes every now and again you have a day.
A nice day.
A day with a trade.
A day with a trade that works.
A day where you read a nice story.
A day where you watch a nice video.
A day that you post a nice blog piece about the nice story.

A day like today.

The nice blog piece about the nice story is coming up next.



Well, maybe just hold.

Some more behavioural economics for you.

I love the little grin on Shiller's face as he talks about economics.

He looks like he enjoys the whole thing like a game, or more specifically a man with no skin in the game.

Seems like he has said this before.

There's a real danger in listening to people who have done nothing in their life except write books.


The Right Edge

The Entry

The Result

Ya that edge, the right edge of the chart, the one that's blank if you scroll over a few clicks. That's real trading.

We have the historical data and our indicators indicate based on that data, but the future is always blank.

Then it fills and we live with our probabilities.



I Am Definitely Canadian

Welcome to the International Headquarters of Solfest Capital Inc.

We're snowed in, hunkered down, and waiting for our 2 week summer that arrives sometime in August.

Yes these pictures are from this morning.

Anyone who lives in sunshine near an ocean needs to just shut up.


I Am Canadian

You can tell this because I feel bad that I have offended a fellow trader.

I tried to pretend that I didn't feel bad by bolding stating "too bad" on MBA's blog. But after another day of introspection my Canadianess feels bad for offending YM.

I offended him with this statement:

"Discretionary trading is charity work. You just give it all away."

YM must be a successful discretionary trader. Upon further review I had to admit I wasn't even really sure what a discretionary trader is. I mean how do you define it?

They trade by feel?

Tape reading?

Must be price action, yes?

Maybe another successful discretionary trader can tell me. YM won't because he no longer reads "trading bloggers".

The statement was meant to be funny, also true in my experience, but mostly fuuny. I thought it was funny. For the most part the blog is meant to be funny.

If it isn't funny don't tell me.

YM didn't think it was funny.

We work in a solitary business, the trading floors are no longer required, but maybe the camaraderie of the floor is?

Some contact with humans who share the same interests and the same struggles must be good for the soul.

I enjoy what I do, I enjoy reading about it, talking about it, writing about it, and I enjoy hearing back from those who read my thoughts.

I think laughter is required for life to exist.

It's also good for business.

“Good moods, while they last, enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems, whether intellectual or interpersonal. This suggests that one way to help someone think through a problem is to tell them a joke. Laughing, like elation, seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely, noticing relationships that might have eluded them otherwise – a mental skill important not just in creativity, but in recognizing complex relationships and foreseeing the consequences of a given decision”.

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

To sum up, we Canadians are very nice, we don't like to offend anyone, but we do have a breaking point.


Say What?

Daniel Kahneman talks about his new book in an interview with Charlie Rose. He states that traders cannot use data to predict the market, but baseball teams can?


I can sum up Kahneman's Ted talk in three words, humans are stupid.

As traders I think we can equate the experiencing self and the remembering self with our definition of recency bias. As Kahneman notes with the colonoscopy example our memory of the unpleasantness is based on the severity of the final seconds of the experience only.

This brain we all suffer with causes us to do strange things in life. In the trading pits it causes us to lose money. Lose money because we cannot get past the immense weight we place on the results of the last trade.

Yes, the last trade, one trade.

Our last experience demotes the other experiences in our memory. We then use this, now very faulty memory, to make decisions going forward.

Imagine (let's be honest none of us have to imagine) the destruction of wealth our decisions have caused based on the last trade. Changing the plan, changing the product, changing the time frame, and on and on.

We may think we have a plan, a system, so we are system traders, quants if you wish. We think that, but every time we change the system based on a ridiculous sample size we quite rapidly turn our system trading into discretionary trading.

Discretionary trading is charity work. You just give it all away.

We can't trust ourselves to make rational decisions because we are not rational.


We know we have to put systems in place to save us from ourselves. We know we have to keep trade statistics to reference in place of our faulty remembering self.

We know all this, but the question is, will we leave these systems in place long enough to allow the experiences to form a rational memory?