A Little Bit of Manual is a Good Thing

Sure.

Auto is the motto.

Keep some pivotal stuff on manual, though.

It’ll give you something to do.

Because it’s pivotal stuff, it decides direction, or quantum, or what have you.

Position-sizing is ideally done on auto.

You can write an algorithm for it too.

Yeah.

You can take auto to the nth level and then some.

Keeping position-sizing on manual, though, for example, makes you remain in touch with portfolio expansion or contraction. Central.

In my opinion, setting risk:reward is a trade to trade thing, and depends upon the underlying chart. Hence, being manual here gives more dexterity.

Same goes for setting stop-losses.

Which auto strategy to look at, when, is by default a manual thing. It should be, anyways, in my opinion.

This adds spontaneity to life.

Spontaneity has a certain freshness to it which makes work fun.

Some strategies are better off when not looked at for days.

Manual helps here.

When an auto strategy stops working, one needs to manually fit it to work again.

If the strategy needs dumping, you’ll need to see to this yourself.

Creation of a new strategy – you got it – manual.

The manual stuff keeps you moving, and fit.

The auto stuff just goes on auto, and if that’s all there is for you, you’re going to start getting lazy.

Befriend manual, but don’t become a slave to manual.

A little bit of manual is a good thing.

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Useless vs Useful Expansion

I’m guilty of useless expansion. 

I end up doing it all the time. 

Can’t help myself, you see.

I like to keep exploring new stuff in the market. 

The silver lining is, the even though I might be expanding sideways, there are two good things happening also. 

There is no scaling up happening immediately. Good. 

There is also a lot of discarding going on. Things that don’t work out are eventually abandoned. Great. 

My issue is that I might have between 1 to 2 useless strategies in my repertoire at any given time. 

These strategies are not working. In fact they are dying out. Reasons can be many. A strategy might be sound, but it might not be a fit. 

For a strategy to work for you, it must be practically lucrative in the long run, and it must fit you. 

By the time I realize that a strategy needs to be discarded, money has been lost. Tuition fees? Yes. 

Ultimately, things boil down to a handful of successful strategies. It can even ultimately boil down to one or two successful ones.

Get there. I’m trying too. To do so, useless strategies will need to be discarded, like, now. 

The problem is, you don’t know that a strategy is useless till it has hit you a few times. 

Also, you don’t wish to discard something that you think might just work out for you in the long run. 

Fine. Keep grinding, and ultimately narrow down your sideways expansion, till you’re only working with strategies that are yielding, and show a long-term promise of being around. 

Right. 

You’re there. 

Now you can scale up. Doing so using a yielding strategy that fits is called useful expansion. 

Scale up slowly. 

You can position-size, and scale up using profits. This way you are not putting in extra principal. Let the strategy continue to prove itself by yielding. As long as it does so, you keep scaling up on your positions using the newly earned profits. 

Why is useful expansion not easy to maintain?

We get carried away.

We might scale up too fast, and then baulk at a loss when the size of the loss is too difficult to swallow. Large input can result in a largish potential loss.

Trading is about containing loss, and letting profits run. 

Scaling up too fast makes an early loss look big if we haven’t tasted the corresponding potential profits yet. Such an event can even cause us to abandon a successful strategy because we are disheartened. 

Therefore, try not to scale up by putting in new principal, if you can help it. 

Try scaling up on profits alone.

Position-sizing automatically controls the scale-up-scale-down factors by defining the size of a constant stop as a percentage of the principal remaining between trades.

Position-sizing makes one scale-up and scale-down on auto-pilot in a relatively balanced fashion.

Please incorporate this wonderful ideology (which comes from the stable of Dr. Van Tharp) into your trading strategy. 

🙂

Chancing

How does one discover the missing ingredient?

By chancing it. 

One keeps trying different mixes…

…till something hits. 

The hit is then fine-tuned…

…such that it is reproduced again and again.

Once the hit can be reproduced at will, one has got the strategy all together. 

A successful strategy is then let loose. 

At first it is on manual.

Ultimately, it comes on auto, or semi-auto, whatever best is possible. 

There has come and passed a stage, when this same strategy has not been winning. 

Aha. 

What is the difference between the mix of that stage and the current – winning – mix?

It’s some kind of a twist you’ve discovered. 

Something you are adding, or doing differently. 

This something is making the strategy win. 

Congratulations!

You’ve kept trying. 

You’ve been in the field. 

You weren’t away from the field, ruminating. 

You were getting action. 

Losing action, but action. 

Losing action has huge educational value. 

It tells you how not to do it. 

You keep twisting, fitting, tuning, upon loss. 

You chance new stuff.

Eventually, something clicks. 

You develop that something further and take it to the nth. 

Where does that leave you?

You have to keep chancing it. 

There is no way around this. 

Make funds available for the R&D. 

Have the courage. 

Don’t be afraid of a hundred losses. 

Winning is around the corner. 

The Difference between Winning and Losing

It’s a whisker. 

You’re doing everything right. 

You’re following a proven strategy. 

You’ve adapted. 

You’ve removed many mistakes from your resumé.

Your strategy has undergone refinement. 

Why haven’t you started winning yet?

Yeah, we’re used to asking million dollar questions by now. 

In fact, such questions are all we ever ask. 

What do you think is the answer?

The answer is you. 

Yes. 

There’s something about you. 

It’s not fitting. 

You’ve got two options. 

Either make your strategy fit to this something, or …

… make yourself fit to the strategy. 

Both options can work, and you can start winning. 

Which option is easier to implement?

I think the more relevant question here is a different one. 

Which option befits the situation?

I’ll give you an example. 

I’ve got time issues. 

I make my market strategies fit my time issues. 

I can’t change my time issues, for something or someone will fall short then. Like everyone, I have many commitments too. 

Therefore, I fit my market strategy around me. 

I keep fitting, fitting, fitting, till the strategy either works, or is discarded for want of a win. 

Yeah, that’s me. 

Maybe your situation is different. 

Maybe you need to cater to the public. 

You’re not expecting the public to change to your whims and fancies, are you?

Not as a newbie, no no, that would be a cardinal sin. 

After all, the public is your paymaster, right?

Customer is your king, or queen. 

It becomes different when you turn into a celeb. 

Then you can dictate fashion. 

However, till you become a celeb, fit to the public, if you want to win. 

Behave in a manner that people want to pay for what you have to offer, again and again and again.

Maybe there’s a slight whisker of a trait in your behaviour that people don’t like. 

Change it. 

Whether you’re changing yourself, or fitting your strategy to meet your unchangeable nature or schedule, sometimes it’s only a whisker that makes the difference between winning and losing. 

People have lost olympic medals by one-hundredth of a second. 

What’s that millisecond lag in your own life that you need to get rid of?

Fitting

I have this Wills fleece sweat-shirt since ’98.

Love it.

It’s a fit.

Can wear it for anything.

I’m sure you own or do something that just fits.

Very few people in the market understand the value of a fit.

What does a fit feel like?

It comes naturally.

No prompting or pushing.

It’s the essence of your strategy which resonates with you.

A fit holds you and moves you forward.

It makes you money till it continues to fit.

The ideal fit lasts a lifetime.

Nuances.

Everything and everyone has nuances.

A fit happens when nuances are out of the way. They’ve been dealt with in a full and final manner. They appeared, sure enough, got knocked out, which is when they disappeared. What remained was pure you and your fit. The two of you united.

Why is this fit so important?

We’ve spoken about the money angle. A fit makes you money.

There’s the family angle. A fit doesn’t let your market-life harm your family-life. Hence it ensures its own longevity by vitalizing your market-life and also your mental health.

A fit then possesses the versatility to deal with stumbling blocks along the path. Travel? You implement your strategy successfully despite travel. Schedule? Fit works around it. Diet? Fit changes diet, till diet fits.

Don’t underestimate the power of a fit.

🙂