# Playing Over-hot Underlyings with the Call Butterfly

A call butterfly is a fully hedged options trade …

… with an upwards bias.

It consists of four call options.

…and 2 sells.

One can play any overtly rising underlying with the call butterfly, without batting an eyelid.

Why?

Firstly, and most importantly, one is fully hedged.

Meaning?

At first look, the call butterfly seems market neutral as far as basic mathematics is concerned, that is +1, -2, +1, net net 0.

So, net net, one isn’t looking at a large loss if one is wrong.

When is one wrong here?

If the underlying doesn’t move, or if it falls, in the stipulated period, then one is wrong,…

…and one will incur a loss.

However, the loss will be relatively small, because of the call butterfly’s structural market neutrality.

And that’s magic, at least to my ears.

Method to enter anything flying off the handle with the chance of a small loss?

Will take it.

Then, also very importantly, the margin requirement is relatively less, when one uses the following chronology.

Then come the sells.

Upon the upholding of this chronology, the market regulator is lenient with one on margin requirement, as long as the trade-construct is market neutral.

Typically, for one butterfly, total margin requirement is in the range of 50 to a 100k.

Now let’s talk about what one is looking to make.

5k per single-lot trade-construct, if it’s fast, as in execute today, square-off tomorrow, or even intraday, if expiry is close.

10k if slow, as in 7 to 10 days.

If the butterfly is not yielding because the underlying is not moving, then one is looking to exit, typically with a minus of under 3k.

Just do the math. Numbers are great.

What kind of a maximum loss are we looking at, if things go badly wrong, as in if the underlying sinks?

5k to 10k.

Can the loss be more?

If the trade construct is such that the butterfly can even give 40 odd k till expiry, one could even be looking at a max loss of about 15k too.

Here’s an example of a call butterfly trade that can lose around 15-16k, but has the potential to make upto around 45k till expiry. The graphical representation is courtesy Sensibull.

I mean, it’s all still acceptable.

Tweaks?

Let’s say one is losing.

Sells will be in biggish plus.

Square-off the sells. Yeah, break the hedge.

They are losing big.

With some time to go till expiry, if the underlying goes back up, the buys gain.

What one makes off the trade is proportional to how much the underlying goes up.

It’s riskier. Correspondingly, profit potential is higher.

Money risked here will be up to double of the fully hedged version of the trade, and one could lose this amount if the underlying does not come back up appropriately and in time. Pocketed premium of the squared-off sells softens the hit.

Therefore, it makes more sense to pull this tweak with at least ten days to go before expiry, giving the underlying time to recoup.

Got another tweak.

Underlying’s on a roll, and you want to make the most possible off the opportunity.

Square-off the sells at a huge loss.

Let the buys, which are winning big, run for some part of the day.

Chances of them yielding more are very high.

If the underlying promises to close on a high, square-off the out-of-the-money buy before close of trade, and take the in-the-money buy overnight.

Risky, though.

You could lessen your risk, and increase your chances of taking most profits off the table by squaring off the in-the-money buy and taking the out-of-the-money buy overnight.

Square-off the overnight buy next morning on a high, or wherever feasible.

With this particular tweak, the trade becomes somewhat more like a lesser exposed futures transaction, at least for some time, after the hedge is broken.

There’s another thing one can do with the call butterfly.

One can adjust it as per the level of perceived bullishness.

If -1 and -1 are set at the same level, one trades for averagely perceived bullishness.

If one -1 is closer to the lower +1, and the other -1 is above this first -1, then one trades for below average perceived bullishness.

If one -1 is closer to the upper +1, and the other -1 is below this first -1, then one trades for above average perceived bullishness.

Anything else worth mentioning?

Volume. Need it.

Scaling up needs to correspond to one’s risk-profile, requirement, temperament and acumen.

One can make it an income thing by scaling up, during bull runs, or generally, just in case an up move is tending to pan out.

One can make the call butterfly do a lot of things.

It’s a very versatile trade to play a rising market, with low risk and low capital requirement.

🙂

# Nath on Trading – IV – We’ve got Stamina

61). We’re able to take many, many small losses, without flinching.

62). Only that sets us up for the big wins.

63). We don’t second guess our stops.

64). In fact, we want the stop to hit. As in, hit me, if you’ve got the *****.

65). When the trade moves in our direction, we let it. We’re doing other stuff.

66). When the trade moves against us, we let it. We’re doing other stuff.

67). That’s because we fully understand the function of our stop. It will take us out of the market, whether in loss or in profit. It’s dynamic, you see. It moves with the market as per the definition provided by us while punching in the trade.

68). We’re not afraid that our stop could be jumped. Can happen, in a panic. Hopefully, our technicals will have placed us in the right trade direction before huge and fast moves. It comes to mind that this kind of move occured at least twice in the last six years, once with the swiss franc, and once during Brexit. If we start worrying about such one-offs, we won’t trade at all.

69). We look at the technicals, and we listen to what they’re saying. The trend is our friend. We trade with the trend, either on fresh highs (fresh lows) or on pullbacks, depending upon the conditions.

70). This is trading, so I personally don’t look at fundamentals. However, cook your curry the way you like it.

71). We might zero into tradable underlyings with screens or searches, but…

72). …we eyeball into final trade selection.

73). Yes, the chart needs to look and feel just right. All but the one tradable entity are rejected by the look and feel of the chart. The one remaining is the one we trade. If none remains, we don’t trade.

74). Price is king. We’re into price action.

75). Indicators only indicate. Price does the talking.

76). What the price is saying will reflect in the indicator, but with a time-lag.

77). Do we want this time-lag? I don’t.

78). Thus, price action it is, for me. However, everyone is looking at the same price.

79). Therefore, we need to think slightly out of the box, to make money.

80). Edge + out of the box thinking + stamina nails it.

# Robotic Stock Selection Anyone?

No…

…thank you…

…is it?

Sure, stockscreens.

We use them all the time.

A stock screen is a robot.

So why am I still saying no thank you?

I use stockscreens day in and day out.

I use them for trade selection, and I use them for long-term stock selection.

However,…

…(here comes the hammer),…

…the final say is mine.

I’d like the human touch to answer yes or no.

Also, out of say a hundred selections, I can still say no to all.

And, if something catches my eye, I can dig deeper.

I’d like to keep all these things in my hand.

I’d like my market approach to be with open eyes and usage of common-sense.

So where are we exactly?

Somewhere between one-fourth and half robotic.

That suits us.

We save hours of sweat labour.

After sweat labour has done its work, we start applying our minds.

We take over where the robot has left off.

# MP vs MoS : the lowdown on Trade-Entry

Margin of Safety (MoS)…

… hmmm…

… wasn’t that in investing?

Well – surprise – it’s in trading too.

You can enter a trade with MoS.

How?

Ok.

ID the trend.

Wait for a minor reversal.

Let the reversal continue towards a pivot, or a support or a what have you.

During this reversal, whenever you feel that you have considerable MoS, well – enter.

Why shouldn’t you wait for the pivot to get touched?

Things happen real fast at a pivot. Upon a pivot-touch, you can lose your comfort-zone even within minutes.

Two vital things can happen at a pivot.

Either there’s a quick bounce-back, or the pivot gets broken.

Pivot-break is not a worry for you.

Why?

Because you’ve placed your stop slightly below pivot, after the noise.

Upon pivot-break, you get stopped out. You take the small hit and move on to your next trade.

Eventually, things heat up.

There is movement.

Tops get taken out.

How do you enter here? (Needless to say, for shorts, everything is to be understood reversed).

Momentum play (MP)…

… is the weapon of choice.

You set up a trigger entry after a top or a resistance or a what have you, and wait for price to pierce, and for your entry to get triggered. Then you place your stop, below top or resistance or what have you.

MP vs MoS is a matter of style.

If you’re not comfortable changing your trading style to adapt to times, that’s fine too. Stick to one style.

If you’re conservative, stick to MoS.

In a frenzy, however, MoS might almost never happen.

In a frenzy, entry will be triggered exclusively through MP.

You call the shots.

# What’s it Gonna Take Today, Pal?

Indicators.

Fibonacci.

Moving averages.

Price action.

Isn’t everyone following all this?

Do the markets behave accordingly?

No. Not really. Sometimes, sure. Generally, no. Just my opinion.

So?

Where does that leave you?

There’s not much planning to it really.

Oh yeah?

Pray on what basis is one to enter then?

Study.

Then overall feel.

What?

Yes.

Gumption?

So?

With no study, direction’s a 50:50.

With study leading to overall feel translating into gumption, this ratio could well become 55:45.

You don’t need more.

Blackjack odds for the card-counter are perhaps 53:47 at peak.

Ok, so you’ve got your 55:45, what then?

Formula?

Simple one.

You cut the wrong call. Nip it in the bud.

Let the right call continue being even more right.

Learn, perhaps the hard way, to let the winner continue winning.

That’s the risk you have to take, to win more.

There are no free lunches in life.

# Can I Really Really Really Do Without Fundamentals?

I like to trade without a bias.

Lack of bias means freedom…

… freedom to think independently…

… not falling prey to another person’s opinion…

… which then allows you to listen to your system…

…setup demarcation…

…trigger-entry…

… trigger-exit…

… exited.

That’s it, move on to the next trade.

News gives me a bias.

No news.

You know what else gives me a bias?

Fundamentals.

I don’t wish to look at fundamentals.

If my eyes are seeing a setup in the EuroDollar, I would like to take it without the nagging thought of “what will happen if Scotland says NO or YES”.

I don’t want to care about inflation numbers, or job figures, or industrial output or what have you.

I mean…can I just …do it?

Meaning, can I just do away with fundamentals, and focus on technicals only, which is my area of specialization?

Sometimes, I get a little unsure.

I start looking around.

How are others doing it? The experts, that is.

My uncertainty gets fanned a little more, when I see experts not really ignoring fundamentals, even though they might be specialized in technicals. Hmmmm. I’m still not happy looking into fundamentals. I mean, why should I take time-out from my strong suit, and devote it to my very weak suit?

No, I decide. I’m really not going to look at fundamentals.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Let me just see if the worst that could happen is bearable.

Ok…I ID a trade…demarcate a setup…and the trade goes against me because of the announcement of some number in the afternoon. People looking at fundamentals would have waited for the announcement of the number and then traded. Fine.

In the world of trading, it is always good to have the worst-case scenario unwrapped and right before your eyes to see what it really means.

You know, I can take this.

Would you like to know why?

Firstly, I would like you to understand that we are looking at large sample-sizes here. Any sensible reasoning would only apply to large sample-sizes.

Over the long run, and over many, many trades, Mrs.Market will go either way after an announcement of a fundamental number with a chance of roughly 50:50.

If this is true, it is very good news for me, good enough to just kick fundamentals out of the equation.

At times, the market reacts as per the crowd’s anticipation.

At other times, it reacts in the opposite fashion.

I assume that the ratio of the above two directions taken by Mrs. Market over a very large sample-size would be 50:50.

I think my assumption is correct. I don’t want to go through the labour of proving it mathematically.

Ok, let’s assume that my assumption is correct. I then kick fundamentals, and go about my work while relying on my strong-suit, i.e. technicals. This trajectory will very probably have a happy ending.

Now let’s assume that my assumption is wrong.

What saves my day?

Technicals.

Technicals very often give setups that factor in crowd behaviour and crowd anticipation of market direction.

Technical setups get one into the build-up to an announcement.

More often than not, one is already in the trade, in the correct direction, enjoying the build-up to an announcement without even knowing that the announcement is coming, if one is not following fundamentals.

Technicals can actually do this for you. I’ve seen them do it. I mean, the GBPUSD has been giving short setups during the entire 1000 pip run-down recently. To have availed such a setup, people haven’t needed to know that a referendum is coming. All they’ve needed to do is to take the trade once they see the setup.

Actually, that’s it. I don’t need more.

I don’t need to reason anymore with myself. Everything is here.

I think I can let go of fundamentals safely.

Even this trajectory should have a happy ending.

# Charting Charting Charting

Why don’t you just…

Not the level.

Not the expectancy of a turnaround.

And, although I still do this because it gives me a kick, why do we even trade corrections?

Why can’t we just trade the sheer chart?

Every chart is either going up, down or nowhere.

So it’s pretty obvio, that the first step would be to…

… to what?

… to decide where the chart is going.

Again, it should be pretty obvio, that if a chart is going nowhere, then you are doing… what?

Are you trading such a chart?

NO!

Wait for such a chart to break out in one particular direction.

Wait for the LTT to turn in this direction.

Then trade this chart. Not before.

Yeah, LTT stands for long-term trend.

Yeah, we’ve befriended the LTT so much, that we have an abbreviation going for it…

Once you’ve sorted out the direction, look for an entry setup.

Be patient.

If the entry setup hasn’t formed yet, wait for it. If you can’t stop your twiddling fingers from doing something, feed in a trigger entry in case of a hypothetical setup formation within the next few hours / days, if your trading station allows this.

There’s no up or down anymore, to be honest. You are going where the chart is going, period.

You are also not asking the stooopidest question of them all…

… you guessed it… “Did the sensory index go up, or down?”

Just forget about the sensory index, ok?

I mean, we’re so done with sensory indices in this space.

Why?

DLF could tank 20 bucks on a day the Sensex goes up. Dow Jones could be down 50 points, but Pfizer could just spring into a stellar upwards move. Why should we have lost the short-side opportunity that DLF hypothetically gave, or the long-side opportunity that Pfizer could present, for example? We will do exactly that, i.e. lose the opportunity, if our focus is on the sensory index.

Focus on the underlying.

To be more precise, focus on the chart of the underlying.

🙂

# And…How Much Connection Time Exactly?

Well, somebody’s got to ask these questions…

Don’t see very many around me doing so, so I just thought what the heck, let it be me…

This one’s not for all you test-tube jocks in the lab, you know…

Nevertheless, this is a very important question.

Answer it wrongly for yourself, and market-play will wreck your life – all avenues of your life, that is.

And, answer it correctly for yourself – lo and behold, you’ll actually start enjoying your market activity.

The human being ultimately excels in anything he or she enjoys doing.

This means that if you answer this question correctly, your market activity will yield you profits.

Told you. This question is important. Answer it.

Let me tell you how I’ve answered it for myself.

Before that, please understand, that my answer doesn’t have to apply to you.

However, for those who don’t know where to begin while trying to answer the question, it’s a start.

I detest giving Mrs. Market too much power. This was my clue initially, and I built up on this fact.

Initially, Mrs. M used to take over my life. She used to govern my emotions. It started to rub off on my family. I knew I had to draw a line.

I started to trade lightly – amounts which my mind could ignore. Then, I did one more thing.

I started to connect minimally. The was the key step, and it swung the emotional tussle in my favour. Mrs. M’s days of emotional control were over.

What does minimal connection mean?

You only connect when you have to. Period.

When you don’t have to connect, you just don’t.

I’ll tell you when all I connect to Mrs. M.

Order-feed – 0 to once a day. Very rarely twice for this in one day.

Connection for me is having my trading terminal on, and seeing live price-feeds face to face.

My market research is all offline, so that’s not a connection for me.

Squaring-off a position – again 0 to once a day. Very rarely twice a day.

Watching the live price-feed – 0 to once a day, and only if if I’m unclear about the buying-pressure versus selling pressure ratio.

That’s it.

When I don’t identify a potential trade in my offline research, I don’t connect at all.

When do I connect next?

Whenever I’ve identified the next trade, or a squaring-off situation, all offline.

There can be two or even three day stretches when I just don’t connect.

I use options, because they allow me this kind of play for Indian equities.

Why am I stressing upon the value of minimal connection?

Connection means exposure to the “Line”. You’ve met the Line before. If not, look up the link on the left (“The Line”).

Connection to the Line taxes your system, because market forces interfere with your bio-chem.

Keeping the connection minimal keeps you healthy, and you can go out and do other stuff in life, which rounds you off and refreshes you for your next market-play.

Keeping the connection minimal detaches you from Mrs. M. You are able to detach at will. This lets you focus on your family when your family members require your attention.

Keeping the connection minimal makes the task of swallowing your small losses smoother.

Lastly, keeping the connection minimal helps you let your profits run.

So, how does one define minimal?

Do the math, and come out with rules for your minimal connectivity, like the ones I’ve come out with above, for myself.

After that, while sticking to your rules for minimal connectivity, only connect to Mrs. M when you feel the burning desire to do so, like for example upon the identification of a sizzling hot trade, or for the order-feed of a trigger exit after a profit-run or something like that.

Yeah, you minimise even after your rules.

# So…What Does Trade Selection Hang Upon?

Feeling.

Feeling first, feeling last.

Math in the middle.

That’s my recipe for trade selection.

For me, trading is an art.

I rely a lot on gut.

Many people tell me that’s wrong.

Everyone’s got a right to their opinion.

What works for Jill might not work for Jack.

People tell me to get emotion out of the way.

Emotion can be an ally too.

Just try and get the hang of your gut feel.

Let the trade speak out to you.

You’re looking at a chart, and the chart should shout out to you – “Trade me!!”

That’s what I call “Feeling First”.

I mean, whoever made that proverb about first impressions sure knew what he or she was talking about.

So, after your first impression tells you that a chart is tradeable, you then need to see some kind of a mathematical fit going for you.

You try and fit some mathematical model into the underlying’s previous behaviour, and plan the trade into the near future based upon the future-play which your model spits out.

You calculate a stop according to your money-management rules. Just more math.

Now comes “Feeling Last”. You look at your chart, which contains the entire map of your trade.

At this stage, your gut must speak to you.

Yes or no.

Nothing else.

Are you pulling the trigger or are you not pulling the trigger.

If not, then no whys. It’s a no. Learn to take a no. Look for another trade setup, elsewhere.

If yes, then again – no more whys. It’s a go-ahead. Have the guts to follow through.

Keep it simple.

The best ideas in the world are – simple.

# Who’s Responsible for that Last Technical Bit?

You’ve got your chart open. Scrip’s been falling.

You plan to initiate a buy on that last support. Still a few percentage points to go.

Scrip might not reach it, huh?

What you need to understand is this – for nothing comes nothing.

You don’t want to risk a buy at current market price. That’s a fact. An acceptable one. Fine … as long as you are willing to pay the price for this fact.

The price is that you might not be in the trade as the scrip might take off without your stop-type trigger entry price being hit.

The up-side is that the scrip might correct to your buy price, triggering your entry, and thereby giving you a perfect technical entry point, along with a great margin of safety, since you’ll then have bought low as compared to current market price.

Is this trade-off acceptable to you?

Yes?

Fine. In my opinion, you would not be doing anything wrong in going ahead with your planned course of action, as long as you have mentally accepted the trade-off.

What’s the other guy at? You know, the fellow who’s entering at current market price. Well, he’s taking a risk. He’s buying a little high, without margin of safety. What’s his trade-off? For starters, he’s in the trade. Scrip can take off immediately for all he cares, leaving you behind. He’ll be most happy. What’s his down-side? Scrip can correct to technical support, your buy-point. He’ll already be in a losing trade, and you’ll be just entering. In his worst-case scenario, his stop will already be hit as you are just entering. If the scrip takes off on him now, he’ll probably be puking. Yeah, that’s his trade-off. He’s accepted it mentally. After such acceptance, in my opinion, he’s doing nothing wrong by entering at current market price.

What’s going to happen?

No one knows. Either of the outlined scenarios can play out.

Who’s that last technical correction left for? Yeah, who or what exactly will be responsible for that last technical correction?

An event. A negative one.

At this point, a negative event can happen. On the other hand, it may not happen.

If it happens, the scrip will very probably open at the technical buy point the next day, and your buy will be triggered.

If there’s no negative event, and buying pressure goes up, the scrip will take off without you.

Why is that last bit left to an event?

Events give prices a push or a pull, depending upon their positivity or negativity.

That last support was made a bit low, right? You were wondering how the scrip reached so low, huh? In high probability, an event pushed it low for a few hours, and a low was made. If this low coincided with a past low, one started to speak of a lowish support, which was a little low considering current market price, and for which the scrip needed a pull-back to reach.

Like this morning’s pull-back. The US decides to allow air-strikes in Iraq. Japan opens 3% down. India opens 1% down.

A lot of scrips open really down this morning.

Some of them even open at lowish supports they were not (at all) intending to touch yesterday.

# Playing the Stock or Playing a Scenario?

Everyone’s approach to the markets is different.

Today I speak about two approaches.

One can choose to play the stock.

Here, one decides to follow the same stocks everyday. One decides to learn their nuances. The number of stocks that one follows is manageable. As a thumb-rule, one should be able to count them on one’s fingers. No more. One should be able to recall the stocks one follows in a jiff, with no sweat at all.

The chart of a stock begins to make sense. Trading plays emerge. One needs to then follow the progress of the same stocks everyday, and take trades as and when entry setups make themselves available. This methodology requires following the action everyday, live, during market hours.

What if we don’t want to be glued to our screens everyday?

Can we still get one action?

Yes.

How?

Simple.

We then don’t follow any stock in particular.

We define a scenario which contains all that we want to see in the chart of a stock at that point of time, when we decide to follow the markets and perhaps take a trade.

We then convert this scenario into an algorithm.

Again, don’t let the word algorithm scare you.

You don’t need to know how to programme. Your market software should allow you to put your algorithm together by combining chunks of simpler algorithms which define singular pieces of your scenario. These simpler algorithms are visible in your market software. You then need to copy, paste and combine your copy-pastes together with mathematical symbols. This is a vital statement. This is technology-power at its peak. This practically puts a very powerful weapon in your hands.

From this point onwards, trade identification is a piece of cake. Your let your algorithm run through the gamut of stocks quoted on the markets. Your software does this for you in under a few minutes. Your algorithm picks those stocks that are currently exhibiting your scenario, and opens their charts for you. You need to define your algorithm in such a way, that not more than 50 charts open up. You then sift through the 50 in about 5 minutes. Just pure eyeballing. You narrow the 50 down to 5, which are showing good entry setups. You pick the stock with the best setup. Then you feed in a trigger entry order in your trading account. The whole exercise take less than 15 minutes.

Isn’t that wonderful?

# How to Swallow Small Losses…

… as if nothing has happened … is one of my biggest trading goals.

You see, our society teaches us not to lose.

It doesn’t teach us that we can lose a bit 5 times, and after that we can win big, recovering all our losses and making money overall.

No.

It teaches us to try and win all the time.

That’s the exact reason 90%+ of all society members actually lose in the markets. They’ve not learnt how to lose small, move on, and take the next trade.

Mrs. Market won’t budge an inch for you. You’ll have to make the adjustment.

So how does one take a loss in one’s stride?

Only one type of loss is immediately digestible – a small one. Therefore, define your risk in the market. Cut and scoot when required. Don’t get married to your trade.

Then, once the small loss has happened, and has been taken, it will nag you.

It’ll be there, trying to bite your brain in the background.

Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – … … [what’s the difference between implementation and entry? Well, you could be implementing the trade through a trigger, which is not equivalent to entry yet].

Don’t let the nagging bother you by keeping yourself busy with Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – Next Trade Identification – Implementation – Entry – Management – Exit – … …

If you give in to the nagging, it will grow, and will slow you down. You might snap at a family member. You might go into depression. You might freeze. DON’T. Don’t give in to the nagging. Don’t let it grow. Don’t let it slow you down. Maintain your family equilibrium at all costs. Move on.

The nagging is worst if there’s been a close below your stop, and the market is to open the next day, or after the weekend. You have to deal with this one. If you’re not able to deal with this particular situation, you’ll either need to expose your mental stop prematurely and feed it in intraday (before there’s been a close under it), or you’ll need to follow the progress of your trade from half an hour before next market open onwards.

Yes, this last one’s tough, and you need to absolutely work your way around it.

You can do it with a bit of practise.

🙂

# Emotion in the Marketplace – Enemy or Ally?

Either or…

… choice is yours baby.

I’m not going to pretend we don’t have emotions.

We do.

We need to make these work for us.

Everyone feels exhilaration upon winning.

We’re down after a loss.

Before you enter the marketplace again, dump all this somewhere …

… which, btw, is the most difficult thing in the world.

Didn’t anyone tell you that? What about your professor in financial college? Oh, I forgot, he or she never had his or her own money on the line, so he or she didn’t know this one.

Arghhhhhhhhhhh@#\$%^!

Don’t learn anything about finance from anyone who doesn’t have his or her own money on the line, and that too regularly on the line (((financial theory is worth mud unless it is realistic, applicable, and ultimately…profitable).

So, what is this “line”? [More about “The Line” here – https://magicalbull.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/the-line/ ].

The line is an invisible connection between the vicissitudes of the marketplace and our emotional centres in the brain.

The line gets activated once one is in a trade, or once one has initiated an investment.

Once the line has been activated, we need to deal with its effects upon our systems. For optimal efficiency, we need to nullify the effects of the line on our systems. After that, we enter the marketplace again.

So, acknowledge whatever emotion you are experiencing. Then deal with it.

Dump the emotion of a loss in a safe place, to be nullified by a big future win.

Dump the emotion of a big win in another safe place, lest it causes you to exit improperly and prematurely.

How does one nullify this particular emotion?

You see, your next activity in the marketplace can make you blow up, if there is any remnant hubris from a previous big win.

You close your eyes, tell yourself that under no circumstances are you going to suffer the humiliation of blowing up, you centre, focus, you identify the next trade, and then you just take the next trade, as if nothing has happened.

You have to work yourself around your own emotions. In the marketplace, emotions are your allies only if and when they are properly dealt with before the next market activity.

Loss can lead to depression and ultimate exit from the marketplace. One needs to understand and accept the concept of taking small losses. Why small? Why not small? You can define your loss. You can cut it when it’s small. Once one has understood and accepted the idea of taking small losses, these won’t bother you any more. That’s how you set yourself up to win big. Big wins, unless dealt with properly, lead to hubris, which can cause one to blow up permanently. We work ourselves around the negative potential of big wins through visualisation.

Once you’ve sorted out the emotional angle…well, just take the next trade. Don’t wait. Just take it.

# Three Ways to Double Down

To win big as a trader, one needs to understand and implement a strategy of doubling down when things are looking good.

The difference between mediocre success and mega-success as a trader is linked to a trader’s ability to double down at the proper time.

We’ve discussed position-sizing. That’s one way to double down.

A day-trader, or a very short-term trader has the luxury of seeing one trade culminate and the next trade start off after the first one culminates at its logical conclusion. For most longer-term traders, many trades can be occurring simultaneously, because started trades have not yet come to their logical end, and new opportunities have cropped up before trades commenced have come to their logical end.

What do such traders do? I mean, they do not know the final outcome of the preceeding trades.

Yeah, how could such traders position-size properly?

Well, a trade might not have come to its logical conclusion, but you do know how much profit or loss you are sitting on at any given point of time. The calculation of the traded value for the next trade is simply a function of this profit or loss you are sitting on. Simple, right?

Well, what if you don’t like to position-size in that manner?

What if you say, that here I am, and I’ve finally identified a scrip that is moving, and that I’m invested in it, and am sitting on a profit. Now that I know that this scrip is moving, I’d like to invest more in this very scrip.

Good thinking. Nothing wrong at all with the thinking process.

You now pinpoint a technical level for second entry into the scrip. Once your level is there, you go in. No heavy or deep thinking required. As a trader, you are now accustomed to plunging after trade identification and upon setup arrival.

Question is, how much do you go in with?

Is your second entry a position-sized new trade? Or, do you see how much profit you are sitting on, and enter with the exact amount of profit you are sitting on? The latter approach is called pyramiding, by the way. Pyramiding is a close cousin of position-sizing. Normally, one speaks about pyramiding into one very scrip, when the trader buys more of that very scrip after showing a profit in that scrip. Once could, however, also pyramid one’s profits into different scrips.

When you’re pyramiding into one very scrip, you’re putting many eggs in one basket. Right, the risk of loss is higher. The thing going for you is that this risk for loss is higher at a time when your profits are up in a scrip that’s on its way up. Therefore, the risk during a downslide is higher, but the probability of that risk’s ability to result in an overall loss for you is lower than normal. You understand that you have balanced your risk equation, and with that understanding, you don’t have a problem putting many eggs in the same basket. After all, it’s a basket you are watching closely. Yeah, you know your basket inside out. You are mentally and strategically prepared to take that higher risk.

There’s yet another way to double down. I’d like to call this the “stubborn-bull trading approach”.

Let’s say you are sitting on a profitable trade. Yeah, let’s say you are deep in the money.

Now, a safe player would start raising the stop as the scrip in question keeps going higher and higher.

On the other hand, a trader with an appetite for risk could risk more and more in the scrip as it keeps going higher and higher – by not raising the stop, till a multibagger is captured. On the other hand, this trader would also be setting him- or herself up to give back hard-earned profits. Yeah, no risk – no gain.

What’s the difference between the stubborn-bull trading approach (SBTA) and investing?

When you’re adopting the SBTA, you’ll cut the trade once it loses more than your stop. You’ll sit on it stubbornly only after it has shown you multibagger-potential, let’s say by being up 20-50% in a very short time. You’ll keep sitting on it stubbornly till your pre-determined two-bagger, three-bagger or x-bagger target-level is reached. After that, you’ll start raising the stop aggressively, as the scrip goes still higher. Eventually, the market will throw you out of your big winning trade. You see, the SBTA strategy is very different from an investment strategy. For starters, your entry into this scrip has been at a trading level, not at an undervalued investment level. Undervalued scrips normally don’t start dancing about like that immediately.

Let’s be very clear – to reap big profits in the long run, you, as a trader, will need to adopt at least one of these doubling down strategies – position-sizing, pyramiding and / or the stubborn-bull trading approach.

Have a profitable trading day / week / month / career! 🙂