What if your system doesn’t allow you to second-guess yourself?
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful situation?
And you’d be right there, in the middle of it all.
What would such a system look like?
Right, it would only go one way.
Long-long. “A-la-la-la-la-long”, to quote Inner Circle!
Why aren’t we talking about a short-short system?
Theoretically, we could. Theoretically, everything is possible.
Well, a short-short system would have no limits on your potential loss, if the trade went against you. That’s the fundametal problem I have against a short-short system, without even having gone into the whole leverage discussion.
You could bring the stop argument.
Just take a deep breath.
Take a look at the average price-speeds of both directions, long and short.
The average price-speed in the short direction is far higher. Price-jumps are greater. The probability of your stop getting high-jumped over is much higher in the short direction. Frankly, that doesn’t work for me.
Also, which market allows you to set an overnight stop, barring the international forex market?. None that I know of, at least in India. No stops overnight means potential exposure to a large drawdown upon next market-opening, and here I’d like to be in a long-situation, because loss is capped.
Therefore, when we’re discussing a system that doesn’t allow us to second-guess ourselves, I will only discuss a long-long system.
What does long-long mean?
Yeah, we’re talking about a system, where you’re looking for long trades all the time. You don’t look for trades to go short in-between. There’s no shorting in the equation whatsoever. The moment you start thinking about shorting, you start second-guessing your long-approach.
What does that mean for someone applying such a system?
It means that the whole world might be crumbling apart, and one is still looking for long-trades. Yes, one could take some hits here. One just needs to make sure, that one’s consecutive drawdown doesn’t exceed a bearable level. Also, as losses might pile up, one position-sizes one’s way through. The concept ot position-sizing has been pioneered and elucidated by Dr. Van K. Tharp @ www.iitm.com.
It also means that when your underlyings start to run, you’ll be piling up winning trade upon winning trade.
The thing is, nobody knows when what is going to run. If you’ve taken all second-guessing out of your equation, you’re aligning yourself with the correct direction once things start to run. Going the other way now would mean further losses.
Then, it further means that if you lock in a big winner in a running market, your paper profits can now be used to harness even greater profits in the same trade. Such big winners provide a big boost to your trading corpus, and, in my opinion, are the difference between winning and losing in the markets. One needs to keep oneself aligned correctly when such opportunities come along. A long-long system will keep you aligned, no matter what.
You could argue about dry spells.
In any dry spell, or when markets are tanking, there are still underlyings that are going up. You just have to identify them. Today, such identification is not difficult at all.
For such identification, you need market software, a data feed, and an algorithm which defines what you are looking for. Your software then scans the entire breadth of the market you’re in to try and find what you’re looking for, and opens corresponding charts for you for underlyings that are still going up, or where there is buying interest, buying pressure, unusual increment in volume or what have you.
Don’t let the word algorithm scare you. You don’t have to learn a new programming language to put an algorithm together. Common-sense is enough. You know what you’re looking for. Let’s say what you’re looking for involves volume and price. You look inside your market software. Then you couple two algorithms together into a new algorithm which defines what you are looking for. You see, a typical market software like Metastock already uses algorithms for volume moving average, price etc., and these are visible to you. Just copy-paste and make a new algorithm that suits your purpose.
Lastly for today, decouple yourself from the market during trading hours, except when you’re feeding in the trade. Analyze your current trades when the market is closed. Intuitively, you will probably feel that your decisions during off-market hours will be better than when you’re coupled to a live market. Find out for yourself. More on this some other day.