KUSHAL JAGTAP
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How to become a more profitable trader

Kushal Jagtap at 09:32 PM - Mar 22, 2014 ( ) Views: 4,372

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1.       Vision, Objective and Goal. Why do you want to trade options? A real simple answer will be “to make money”. However, I think if you ask yourself few more questions, you will realize that there is something else. Is it because you love numbers, action of the market, ease of liquidity, or can make “easy money”, have low capital, etc? Have an end in the mind, set your objectives and goals for the year and year after, and of course have progress measures in place. 


2.       Failure to have a trading plan in place before a trade is executed. Without a specific trading plan, a trader does not know, among other things, what and how to play and why, when or where he will exit the trade or how much money may be made or lost. Traders with no predetermined trading plan are flying by the seat of their pants, and that’s usually a recipe for a “crash and burn.” If you don’t know how to design a trading plan, download a copy here.


3.       Money management. Part of trading success boils down to proper money management and not gunning for those high-risk “home-run” type trades that involve too much capital at one time. In the trading environment, we will win and lose. However, we need to be more right than wrong and when right, be big on right. When I was winning I averaged up. But when it started losing, I didn’t cut the losses. As you may know, options swings a lot +/- 30-40% in one day isn’t surprising. Imagine if you are fully invested and if the tide turns opposite to your direction, you can lose 30-40% in one day. My rule of thumb that I learned from various seminars, option trading forums, a maximum of 5% of overall portfolio per trade/underlying. You may choose yours, but have one in place. Learn to use risk/reward measure before starting a trade.


4.       Expectations those are too high, too soon. Beginning traders who expect to quit their “day jobs” and make a good living trading in their first few years are usually disappointed. You don’t become a successful doctor or lawyer or business owner in the first couple of years of the practice. It takes hard work and perseverance to achieve success in any field of endeavor — and trading is no different. Trading markets is not the easy, “get-rich-quick” scheme that a few unsavory characters make it out to be.


5.       Lack of “patience” and “discipline.” “Greed” and “Fear” will test your emotions again and again and are the ones generally that prompts wrong decision, at times. While patience and discipline are overworked and very often mentioned when determining what unsuccessful traders lack, not many will argue with their merits. Indeed: Don’t trade just for the sake of trading or just because you haven’t traded for a while. Let those very good trading “setups” come to you, and then act upon them in a prudent way. The market will do what the market wants to do — and nobody can force the market’s hand.


6.       “Overtrading.” Trading too many markets at one time is a mistake — especially if you are racking up losses. If losses are piling up, it’s time to cut back on trading, even though the temptation is to make more trades to recover the recently lost assets. It takes keen focus and concentration to be a successful futures trader. Having “too many irons in the fire” at one time is a mistake. Separately, just like any other business, there is a life beyond “trading life” as well.


7.       Failure to accept complete responsibility for your actions. When you have a losing trade or are in a losing streak, don’t blame your broker or someone else. You are responsible for your own success or failure in trading. You make the decisions. If you feel you are not in firm control of your own trading, then why do you feel that way? You should make immediate changes that put you in firm control of your own trading destiny.


8.       Not getting a bigger-picture perspective on a market. One can look at a daily bar chart and get a shorter-term perspective on a market or stock trend. But a look at the longer-term weekly or monthly chart for that same market can reveal a completely different picture. It is prudent to examine longer-term charts for that bigger-picture perspective when contemplating a trade.


9.       Don’t try to make back all your losses in one trade: Everyone makes losing trades. Sometimes you get the losers in a row, one after the other, and your account is smaller than when you started. You get frustrated and angry. You decide to take revenge on the market and make all your losses back and then some. So, the next trade you make, you increase the number of contracts or shares because your rage is overpowering your discipline and you’re sure that this trade will be “the one”. And…you’re probably wrong. The trade turns out to be loser as well and your account is even deeper in the hole. Sure, it might be a winner, but it’s not worth the risk. Don’t let your anger control your trading. Just because you’ve had a string of losers doesn’t necessarily mean your due for a winner. If you’re in the situation of having nothing but losing trades, a better idea would be to review your trading plan and see if there might be fundamentally wrong with it. Then you can correct it and see if that improves the results.


10.   Don’t stop trying to learn new things about trading, either by doing research reading books and articles. There are lot of free tools available on web (you can check most here) Everyone is getting smarter and more capable. The difference between the educated retail trader and the professional trader is getting smaller and smaller. That’s both good and bad. It’s good that bid/ask spreads are tighter now than they have ever been. But it also means that the industry is more competitive. Knowing what an iron condor is or how to calculate a roll value isn’t enough. There are many who already know that stuff. Making money in trading is very hard work. You have to be willing to devote the time and energy to try to find an approach to trading that might actually make you money.

A successful trading career isn’t built out of luck.



From: KUSHAL JAGTAP at 01:36 AM - Mar 24, 2014( )


What I Learned From the Best Trader I Have Ever Known

I know many traders and I have worked with many traders around the world. However, one trader who is, by far, the best trader I have ever known. He is an unbelievable trader. He is very consistent and he makes an incredible amount of money trading every day. You may have heard of him, he has been interviewed in trading books, and he often speaks at trading groups and trading seminars. I will simply refer to him as my “Millionaire Trader Friend” and I will tell you what I have learned from him.

I still remember the day that I had come to realize just how successful my Millionaire Trader Friend was at trading. Today I must admit it does not seem as impressive as I have been able to see and meet successful traders from all around the world, but I do know that he is an impressive trader and I still hold him in high regard. I have been luck to know my Millionaire Trader Friend and I have reaped many benefits from incorporating the lessons I have learned from him into my own trading. It is my hope that you too will benefit from what he has taught me.

These are the nine things I have learned from my Millionaire Trader Friend:

1. Do One Thing, and Do It Well

If there is one simple thing that I have learned from my Millionaire Trader Friend, the best trader I have ever known, it is this – to make money trading you only have to become an expert at one type of trade. There is no need to run several different trading systems. You may simply concentrate on one trading system, and if you trade it well you can become a very successful trader.

You may not even need to concentrate on many different markets, you may find that simply concentrating on one currency pair is enough for you to find many profitable trade setups. This is what my friend does, he trades only the GBP/USD and he has success with this.

2. You Can Have An Extremely High Win Rate

There has been a lot written about win rates (what percentage of your trades are profitable trades), but what some traders do not seem to understand is that it is possible to have an exceptional win rate. 70%, 80%, even 90% is possible. This I have learned from my Millionaire Trader Friend – he has an incredibly high win rate, and I do too now because I have learned so much from him.

My Millionaire Trader Friend is continually improving as a trader. He is constantly figuring out ways to get better at what he does. He uses every loss as an educational experience – that is how he sees them. Every loss is a lesson that the market has handed him. I would not say that he embraces losing trades, but he does learn from them.

3. Patience is Rewarded

Another thing that I have learned from my Millionaire Trader Friend is that it pays to be patient. Profitable traders like my Millionaire Trader Friend wait for the perfect trade setup. Many traders who do not consistently make money trade for the sake of trading, I used to do this too. I used to look at the markets and ask myself “which way is the Pound going to go?” Now I look at the markets and say “Is there a trade I must take right now?” I have learned to be patient, and my trading account has grown accordingly.

4. The Best Time for A Trade is When Everyone Else Disagrees

If you think about it, it makes sense – the very best time to buy something is when everyone is convinced that the price is going to fall lower, and the very best time to sell something is when everyone is convinced the price is going to shoot to the moon. My Millionaire Trader Friend has taught me the importance of trading against the crowd. The crowd is reacting to the market, and my trading partner has taught me to react to the crowd, this simple change in mindset can produce incredible profits if you are willing to look like a fool (in the eyes of others).

5. Being Wrong is Not a Bad Thing

My Millionaire Trader Friend has taught me that even the best traders, like him, are sometimes caught on the wrong side of the market. There is no need to panic when this happens, but once it does a very good thing to do is to simply get out. Once you realize that your trade was not a good idea, there is no need to wait for your stoploss to get hit, when you know you have made the wrong move you can simply get out of the market and wait for the next trade.

This is what I have learned from my Millionaire Trader Friend – if you are absolutely certain that you made the wrong move, sometimes the best thing to do is to exit the market and then place a trade in the opposite direction. This can be extremely difficult to do, particularly if you have put a lot of time and effort into analyzing the trade.

6. Let the Trades Come To You

If there is one thing I have noticed about how my Millionaire Trader Friend trades (and this is not a unique characteristic, many of the very best traders I have ever traded with also have this characteristic) it is this he does not go looking for trades, he waits for them to jump out at him. This may seem like a weird way to trade, but it is precisely how he takes so many profitable trades. He waits and watches, and when the market gives him an opportunity to jump in to a good situation he enters the trade. He never trades simply because the market is open, and he sometimes sits in front of his charts for hours and never trades. I have learned from him that successful trading means being ready for the market to offer you “free money” – or ideal trading setups. When these setups come along I know it because I feel like I must take advantage of the opportunity the market is offering.

7. Create Your Own Trading Style

How many times have you heard some expert trader say something like “Fibonacci doesn’t work!” or “never trade during a news release” or “scalping is impossible in forex.” One thing I have learned from my trading partner (and from working with traders all over the world) is that the very best traders create their own trading style. This doesn’t mean that you must re-invent the wheel to become a successful trader, it simply means that many successful traders have found their way to success by adapting trading strategies and making them their own. It is not important that you trade precisely as other successful traders do, but it is important that your style of trading makes sense to you, because this will ensure that you stick with the trading strategy over the long haul.

My Millionaire Trader Friend has a completely unique trading strategy that he has created over time, by exposing himself to many different ideas and many different traders. His system is unique because it is his, and it makes sense to him. This is important because it means that he is better able to maintain confidence through the drawdowns that will inevitably occur.

8. Keep Learning

My Millionaire Trader Friend has such a high win rate, and is so good at picking high probability trade setups that some people may assume that he knows that he has the markets “figured out.” Not so, he is constantly learning, he has many trading books, trading magazines and we are constantly talking about trading strategies. He learns from some of the best institutions and research centers around the world because he has a constant thirst for knowledge. The fact that he is open to new ideas and the fact that he is an exceptional trader is probably not a coincidence. I think that many successful traders are open to new ideas. This doesn’t mean that successful traders switch trading strategies every month (my Millionaire Trader Friend has been trading the same trading strategy for years), it simply means that many successful traders are open to new ideas and new ways of profiting from the markets.

9. Everyone Has a Bad Streak

Even my Millionaire Trader Friend will have the occasional unlucky streak with several losses in a row. This is not that interesting to me, but what is interesting to me is the way that he deals with these unlucky streaks. He does not lose confidence, he continues to take the next trade setups, as they occur, and he does not question his trading strategy. He knows that anyone can flip a coin and get “tails” 4 times in a row, and that is precisely how he views an unlucky streak. He knows that in the long run he will make up the lost money and then some, so there is no need to panic.

I hope that you have learned something from my Millionaire Trader Friend, I know I have.



From: KUSHAL JAGTAP at 10:54 PM - Mar 27, 2014( )


Before you invest in stock markets

Lot of my friends ask me for how to start investing in markets.

I think one must do following basic things which will help him avoid some common mistakes.

  1. Do not jump in trading just because of your friend, colleague, girl friend, boy friend, neighbor made greats profits.
  2. There is nothing called tips which can make you net profits. Selling tips is way to make safe money for tipsters.
  3. Please visit http://www.investorfirst.in and go thru basic guides. Also go thru CPFA study material.
  4. You must have basic computer skill and basic MS excel skill. Please find course like http://www.mkcl.org/mscit/.
  5. Please understand products. Do NCFM Certifications (http://www.nseindia.com/education/co…odule_ncfm.htm) or Also go you http://www.bseindia.com/ and find training courses from BSE training institute, you can also do NISM http://www.nism.ac.in/ for currency certifications.
  6. Manipal provides class room training http://www.nseindia.com/education/co…al_edu_prg.htm who teach proper courses.
  7. Do not attend any private courses about markets most of them are about to sell their products.
  8. The cost involved in training can be zero if you do not take exams and download training material (it’s free). I suggest going for exams, it’s not costly.
  9. Read business papers & watch business TV channels for three months and track all tips, you will learn that free tips make you NET big losses. So stop reading business new papers, magazines for free / professional tips. You will learn running business daily, business TV channel, being job of anchor on TV channel, being Analyst on TV channel is safer way to make money than trading.
  10. Prepare your Financial Planning in excel sheet. ( CPFA material provides all details) and find amount which you want to risk from your hard earnings. Please ensure you have insurance for health (family floater), accident insurance and your EMI for next 6 months are in bank & you are already investor in pension schemes or Postal MIS schemes.
  11. If you lose all money while you are trading in markets, your BP should not go up or you should not lose calmness. Remember you are coming to markets, it’s your greed pushing you to go to markets. You must know how to stop, when to stop. Your family should be aware of your plans on trading game.
  12. Investment / trading amount should be in separate account than family account & should be divided for different investment vehicles like Mutual funds.
  13. Please be clear about your risk limits, available quality time to spend on investment/trading activity.
  14. Open your account with two brokers, I suggest Motilal Oswal and Zerodha. MOSL is full service provider, they offer good fundamental reports and Zerodha is discount broker who offers one of best trading terminal. Remember big banks or brokers are here to take big brokerage and not to make you rich. Please see quality of service. Please do not start trading once you open account.
  15. By now you must be have done NCFM / certification in Capital markets, FNO, Options.
  16. Please understand benefits & risks of trading in cash, Futures, Options and markets like equity, commodity, currency.
  17. Do not select options as your first choice because it can double your money in 3 hours, remember it can make it close to zero in few minutes. Ask people who bought Infycall options at ATM calls before results for almost last 2 years. They all lost 90% money in 2-3 minutes. Options is most complex and different game.
  18. Now know important resources like trading holidays, market timings, results calender, events calender. Knowing events, results dates just does not help, you need to know actual timings. Like RBI event, it happens around 11 am in morning, markets will not move before that or Reliance results comes post or Infy results always come just before market starts. All channels and print media gives non sense historical info which does not help initiating any trades in first place. If you see news, analyst discussions and then go to trade you will see price already moved in that direction, so you will be mostly last person in row to trade.
  19. Please buy second hand books of technical analysis explained by Martin Pring, Alexander Elder Second hand books are studied by someone, the person who reads book before you marks important lines, comments, it helps to get this faster and books are also cheap in second hand market.
  20. Do technical analysis course with either NSE, BSE or Technical analysis explain is enough. Remember Technical analysis is all about Stats and not any mechanical or engineering thing.
  21. Now get a copy of Metastock, Amibroker (you can download trial copy or get one from roadside shop in Mumbai). Get eod data by using getbhavcopy.com or get datafeed from any vendor.
  22. Learn patterns, moving avg, RSI at minimum.
  23. Please understand one thing, you must know if stock is in bull or bear market, if it’s above 200 moving average line, it’s called long bull market. Stock may be in bull or bear market, it may have direct relationship with Nifty or Industrial index or may not. Like Nifty went down but Tata motors & Hero Honda went up, so don’t get carried away.
  24. Once you learn to read charts (you can read them on * finance, google finance as well), it will help to figure out if you can buy/short stock.
  25. The most important thing is you need scanner, you can not go thru 4000 stock charts every day to find out any opportunity. Decide your scanners and indicators in your technical analysis software. Apply one of trading systems discussed on forum and walk back to last 10-15 years on eod chart and see what happened. If you would have placed orders in past, would you make money?
  26. Do complete analysis for at least Nifty and Sensex and it’s relation ship on eod charts like Dow, FTSE from 1997 (for eod) onward as minimum.
  27. Take a exam given in trading for living or technical analysis explained and some psychology test for traders/ investors. This will help.
  28. Now understand brokerage calculator, back testing, use of averaging in loss making or profit making positions.
  29. Understand broker terminal, emergency way to run SL. Ordertypes, taxation on profits, reading contract notes, benefit and risk involved in leverage.
  30. Start paper trading for at least 3 months on daily basis. Learn from it.
  31. Now make sure you have best quality, high end infrastructure with N+1 redundancy (fail-over systems in place). Best quality eod and intraday (if day trader) data feed. (commercial data feed makes sense as it saves time in managing data like adjustments for splits, dividends etc).
  32. Go thru bulk data deals every day.
  33. Once your systems are up and running, do a dry run.
  34. Learn money  Probability rules.
  35. Divide your amount to 10 pieces, Have 1:3 risk reward ratio. This will keep you safe. If you have say 100 Rs, you can do 10 trades of 10 rs. each. If you lose 1 Rs, get out. If you lose money in 7 trades out of 10 then you lose Rs. 7 and assuming you will win in at least 3, you make 9 Rs. So 9-7=2. (Rs. 1 will be taken by STT and broker) and you will make 1 which is 1% in worst case. There are lot of ideas like this.
  36. Identify possible trade by using scanner on eod basis or intraday, have risk reward as 1:3.
  37. Enter in trade with as per decision. Do not enter SL in systems if you are eod trader, if you are intraday trader enter SL in System.
  38. Follow your rules strictly. No emotions.
  39. Have trading diary, remember when you win, someone loses , when you lose, someone win but industry (stock exchange, banks, brokers, Govt, Sebi, NSDL/CDSL) will always make money in all cases. It’s not zero sum game. If you want to go from Pune to Mumbai and you go in opposite direction and trigger SL, next time you have to travel Pune Mumbai distance + loss in last trade + brokerage etc. So it pains. Generally 70% of total trades make losses and only 30% make money and those 30% have to wash out losses made by 70% trades + brokerage etc and give you great returns.
  40. Identify your targets, like banks give 10% PA, market gives 20%, FNO can give 100% on daily basis or can take 100% on daily basis. Take care and all the best.

Remember Sell- Buy = Profit or loss, Time frame can be 1 min or 1 year or 10 years.  It has to beat inflation rate, bank interest rates.  If you do Sell – Buy on every second, minute they call you HIGH FREQUENCY TRADER if you hold security for one year + and sell they call you Investor but both liquidate / reverse positions and realize profit or loss.



From: KUSHAL JAGTAP at 09:42 PM - Mar 29, 2014( )


Trend Following Trading Introduction

What is trend following trading exactly? Author Van Tharp offers:

“Let’s break down the term ‘trend following’ into its components. The first part is ‘trend.’ Every trader needs a trend to make money. If you think about it, no matter what the technique, if there is not a trend after you buy, then you will not be able to sell at higher prices … ‘following’ is the next part of the term. We use this word because trend followers always wait for the trend to shift first, then ‘follow’ it.”

Some other expressions of systematic trend following from pro trend traders:

“Systematic managers trade by following non-emotional sets of trading rules often based on mathematical models of market behavior. Systematic managers use their judgment and intuition in designing their market models and trading systems. Discretionary managers, on the other hand, apply judgment and intuition in making every trading decision.”

Another view:

“A trend follower attempts to identify developing price patterns with this property and trade in the direction of the trend if and when they occur. They use only the current and historical price of the asset to make trading decisions and the approach can be summarized by the expression follow the herd.”

Still people ask: “What is a trend?” One of the best discussions I have seen on the subject comes from top trend follower and one of my mentors, Ed Seykota:

“A trend is a general drift or tendency in a set of data. All measurements of trend involve taking a current reading and a historical reading and comparing them. If the current reading is higher than the historical reading, we have an up-trend. If lower, we have a down-trend. In the improbable event of an exact match, we have a sideways trend. The direction of the trend depends upon the method we use to perform the comparison. Real instruments fluctuate minute-to-minute, day-to-day and year-to-year. We have, therefore an enormous supply of historical points to use to determine trend. As such, we can determine as many instances of trend as we please, in any direction that we please. There is no such thing as the trend; there are countless trends, depending on the method we use to determine a trend. People typically pick a method for determining trend that fits with their current positions and/or view of the market. All methods of defining trends compare various combinations of historical price points. All trends are historical, none are in the present. There is no way to determine the current trend, or even define what current trend might mean; we can only determine historical trends. The only way to measure a now-trend (one entirely in the moment of now) would be to take two points, both in the now and compute their difference. Motion, velocity and trend do not exist in the now. They do not appear in snapshots. Trend does not exist in the now and the phrase, “the trend” has no inherent meaning. When we speak of trends, we are speaking, necessarily, from some or another view of history. There is no such thing as a current trend. When we speak of trends we are necessarily projecting our own definitions. With that in mind, we can proceed to examine ways to define, compute and use trends.”

There are many ways to describe trend following, but they all come back to the same strategy.

Trend following trading is reactive by nature. It does not forecast or predict markets or price levels. Prediction is impossible. Trend trading demands self-discipline to follow precise rules (no guessing or wild emotions). It involves a risk management system that uses current market price, the equity level in your account and current market volatility. Trend traders use an initial risk rule that determines position size at the time of entry. This means you know exactly how much to buy or sell based on how much money you have. Changes in price may lead to a gradual reduction or increase of your initial trade. On the other hand, adverse price movements may lead to an exit for your entire trade. Historically, A trend trader’s average profit per trade is significantly higher than the average loss per trade.

Trend trading is not a Holy Grail. It is not a passing fad or hyped-up secret black box either. Beyond mere rules, the human element is core. It takes discipline and emotional control to stick with trend trading through inevitable market ups and downs. Trend following seeks to capture the majority of a market trend, up or down, for profit. It aims for huge profits in all major asset classes — stocks, ETFs, LEAPS® options, bonds, currencies, futures and commodities.

Think of it this way: trend following is the only strategy that you could trade on a desert island. As long as you have market data each day, everything else is useless (i.e. CNBC, news, fundamentals, broker opinions, talking heads, etc.) for making the big money.

A Trend Following Story

When the first edition of my book ‘Trend Following’ hit the streets I had hoped to assemble the first comprehensive look at trend following trading. That goal was realized. How did I know? Since the first edition of ‘Trend Following’, I have met literally dozens of trend following traders managing collectively billions. Their feedback is validation. I never could have expected that a then obscure book would lead me to the likes of Nobel Prize winner Harry Markowitz and hedge fund managers Boone Pickens and David Harding, but it did.

Bottom line, forget stock markets only going up. When the Fed rigs rates to boost stocks to unsustainable levels, bubbles, bubbles and more popped bubbles are normal. So can you really stomach your advisor telling you to, ‘just hang in there’? Mutual fund managers and financial advisors charge huge management fees and deliver no return. Let’s face it, mutual funds’ buy and hold (hope) scheme will leave you underwater 20 years from now just like Japan. Guaranteed. Even during bull markets 90% of mutual fund managers fail to beat index averages. A child guessing could have beaten the overpaid suits. It is crazy to stick with a manager, broker, or any other sort of ‘professional’ who just takes your money to churn fees.

Top Reasons for Trend Following Investing

Author Seth Godin said it well:

“Golf is not safe. My grandfather died playing golf. Speaking up is not safe. People might be offended. Innovation is not safe. You’ll fail. Perhaps badly. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what are you going to do about it? Hide? Crouch in a corner and work as hard as you can to fit in? That’s not safe, either. Might as well do something that matters instead.”

I live and breathe my research firm. Reaching and teaching people the lessons and laws of trend following–is a huge adrenaline rush. Take advantage of the research acquired by myself, and my staff and you will both make and save a great deal of money. For your associates, friends, and family–some bullet point ways to describe and explain systematic trend following trading:

  • Profit in up and down markets: Trend following doesn’t swear an allegiance to a bull or bear market. It follows trends to the end. No matter how ridiculous trends might appear early and no matter how insanely extended they might appear at the end, follow trends. Why? They always go farther than anyone expects. Ignore momentum at your peril.
  • No more buy and hold, analysts, or news: Trend following decision-making doesn’t involve discretion, guesses, gut feelings, or hunches. It’s not day trading or buy and hope. It doesn’t involve passive indexing, in and out trading, or fundamental analysis. No more 24-hour news cycles, daily turbulence, or sensational hype. No black boxes or magic formulas either. Let go of the Holy Grails.
  • No prediction: Trends exist everywhere, always coming and always going. Markets are no different: They trend up and down. That said, no one can predict a market trend, you can only react to one. Trend following never anticipates the beginning or end of a trend. It only acts when the trend changes. There is no need to figure out why a market is trending, just follow it. You don’t need to understand electricity to use it.
  • The big money of letting profits run: Trend following at its best aims to compound absolute returns. It doesn’t shoot for average. The goal is to make the knock your socks off returns, not passbook savings interest. Trend following also has the unique ability to lie and wait for targets of opportunity. That means killing it on unpredictable surprises.
  • Risk management is top priority: Trend following always has defined exit protocols to control injury to your account. Stop losses and proper leverage usage are standard practice. Trend following also has low to negative correlations with most other investment opportunities.
  • Takes advantage of mass psychology: Trend following takes advantage of panicky sheep behavior. Strict discipline minimizes behavioral biases. It solves the eagerness to realize gains and reluctance to crystallize losses. Too many people believe what pleases them. Most behaviors are simply driven by the impulsive moment of now. Trend following wins because of that.
  • Scientific approach to trading: Trend following doesn’t require a belief, but rather it relies on unwavering scientific principles. It has a defined edge just like the MIT card-counting team that beat Vegas casinos. Be the casino, not the hapless player. Trend following uses rigid rules rooted in numbers. Think process not outcome. Remember, frequency of correctness is not the issue, the magnitude of correctness matters. Winning percentage means zilch.
  • Strong historical performance in crisis periods: Trend following is adaptable to differing climates and environments performing best during periods of rising volatility and uncertainty. The unknown will happen again. Are you ready? You have to be able to ride the bucking bronco. Ride the storm out and stay alive.
  • No traditional diversification: Trend following is not restricted to any single market or instrument. A focus on price action allows trend following to be applied to an exceptionally large variety of markets. Price is the one thing that all markets have in common. A trend trading system for treasury bonds should also work on the Euro and stocks. Trend following is robust.
  • No government reliance: Forget Social Security, bailouts, stimulus plans, and roads to nowhere. Those won’t help you to make money; they only help you lose. When the Fed puts on or takes off the training wheels (read: rate manipulation), will you be ready to mint cash or will you sit there and just take it again? If your portfolio is grounded in sound principles you can win no matter what happens.


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Kushal Jagtap at 11:00 PM - Mar 30, 2014 ( )

@ Everyone

I am here you dislpay the real charasristic for stok market ; belive me it is  not an easy way to earn proft ; but who is WELL QUALIFY will definaly be WINNER,

BUT I AM NOT SO.

WJY I AM SHARE -- IT HART TEACHING EXPERANCE TO LOOSE MONEY BUT TOSE WHO EAALLY EANING IS NOT BREAVE HARTED TO SHARE THER EXPERNCE

THER IS EXCELLENT EXAMPLE YOU MAY BE KNOW BUT I AM AVOIDING TO SHARE THOSE IF YOU MAY KNOW BUT I AM PROMISED I WILL BE DEFINATLY BE THE TOP OF THOSE ; WHAT I BELIVE AND I SWAER .

Amlan B at 08:03 PM - Mar 30, 2014 ( )

Thanks for this eye-opener .

Kushal Jagtap at 07:31 PM - Mar 30, 2014 ( )

How long it takes to be a profitable trader

People underestimate the time it takes to succeed as a trader. Some people come here and think they can sit with me for a week and become great traders. How many people when they went to college would’ve thought to walk up to the professor and say ” I know the course is for a semester, but I think a week should be enough for me to get it.” Getting proficiency is the same in trading as in any other profession it requires experience, and experience takes time.

A man who attended one of my seminars a number of years ago asked me, “How long it take me to become a professional trader so I can quit my job and support my family?”

    “Three to five years, ” I said.

    “What! I’ m going to do it in six months,” he answered.

    “Well, you’re probably a lot smarter than I am, ” I said. “I didn’t make any money in my first five years.”

It’s seven years later, and he’s still not profitable as a trader. You can’t expect to become a doctor or an attorney overnight, and trading is no different. It’s a vocation that takes time, study and experience. Wisdom is a product of knowledge and experience. If you have more knowledge, you can get away with less experience and vice versa. If you can get both, the learning curve is very steep.

This is an interesting article from Stock market wizard….Mark.D Cook interview.

A lot of new traders come into the markets thinking they can just make money from day one. I think this attitude is a result of adverts from mentors and brokers….a lot of people I know came to trading because they saw an advert on the internet. Some programmer has found a system that makes 1400 percent per year….or some mentor can take you on a day course, they show you their strategy and you will be slapping your boss next week…and trading fulltime. A lot of adverts are miss-leading and new traders are usually attracted to the markets for a wrong reason…..GET RICK QUICK SCHEME…But they soon will be shocked when the promised riches turns into a nightmare of their life when they blow thousands of they hard-earned money.

I think I agree with Mark, that it takes at least three years for a trader to be profitable and start trading for  living….some people might be profitable quicker than others…or even in less than year, but that’s very rare. So if you are a new trader, don’t be fooled that you can be taught how to trade on a two-day course…learning to trade is a process not an event.  You have to be willing to work hard and pay your tuition, which is the money you lose while you’re learning how to trade. A question I get most of the time is “How long does it take me to be a profitable trader”…and a lot of people who ask this question don’t want to hear that it takes at least two-three years depending on individuals. As soon as you tell them this, they think you don’t know what you are talking about, they know they can do it in five-six months. Try to contact them in 12 months time….usually reality have kicked in, they have lost money…some lost their marriages and they are still not profitable…some of them would have already quit by then.

If it takes at least two-three years to be a successful trader…WHY then do people who have been trading for two-three years think they can be mentors to other new traders…they charge a ridicules amount of money to teach new traders whilst they are still learning themselves and they still havent made any money in the markets. I wouldn’t pay a penny to anyone who have been trading for less than six-eight years to mentor me. When I looked in the dictionary, a mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher…One of the most valuable assets your career can have is a good mentor, so you have to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Last quote of the interview:

“How long do you think it will take for me to succeed?” I tell them, “three to five years of twelve-hour days and losing money.” Very few people want to hear that.

Manoj Kumar at 02:56 PM - Mar 30, 2014 ( )

excellent work !!!

Rakesh Padhi at 10:09 PM - Mar 29, 2014 ( )

Buy when FII's are buying and Sell when FII's are selling.

C Rama Prasad at 12:44 AM - Mar 28, 2014 ( )

Thank you. Perhaps trading is one of the toughest professions in the world though it appears otherwise.

Subramanian K at 09:27 AM - Mar 23, 2014 ( )

Dear Kushal Sir,

I am very grateful for the articles. Timely. Great work.

Subramanian

Kushal Jagtap at 12:45 AM - Mar 23, 2014 ( )

Explaining Market Success

 Numerous books have been written on the topic of trading success.  Nevertheless, it is unclear how expert traders obtain their expertise.  Several explanatory models are implicit in market writings:

 1)      The psychological model – What makes great traders, this model asserts, is self-mastery.  Great traders don’t necessarily possess better trading methods or secrets, but apply common wisdom more consistently, with less emotional interference, and therefore with better risk management.  Developing trading expertise is a function of developing oneself in this model.

 2)      The scientific model – What makes great traders according to this model is superior research.  Markets exhibit cause-effect relationships, and these relationships shift over time.  The role of research is to uncover these patterns and capitalize upon them.  Such a model is, in a sense, the opposite of the psychological model.  It hypothesizes that, once you discover inefficiencies in the marketplace, these can be incorporated into mechanical systems that eliminate any troublesome human elements from trading.

 3)      The hidden pattern model – Success in the marketplace, this model emphasizes, is a function of understanding.  Patterns exist in the marketplace that do not shift over time, but also that are not necessarily observable on the surface.  The role of the great trader is to successfully decipher and apply these universal patterns.  This is not so much a function of research as experience; such approaches to trading as charting, Elliott Wave, and Market Profile are not systematic approaches to trading, but instead rely on the trader’s interpretive skill.

 4)      The performance model – Trading is viewed as a performance activity, like athletics, in this model.  Successful trading can be broken down into component skills and aptitudes that can be honed through intensive exposure and practice.  Expertise is less a function of explicit research or pattern-based interpretation as rapid execution of perceptual and motor skills. 

 No doubt each of these models possesses elements of the truth, and it is quite possible that all of these models represent a portion of what it means to be a great trader, not unlike the descriptions of the elephant offered by the proverbial blind men.  Models one and four emphasize qualities of the trader; models two and three stress the underlying qualities of the marketplace. 

 In a sense, these models are like lenses that traders wear, shaping how they view the world and prioritizing what they work on.  They reflect deep belief structures about the nature of the world:  whether reality is fixed (capable of being captured by universal patterns) or changing (capable of being captured through ongoing research); whether knowledge is explicit (obtained through psychological reflection) or implicit (reflected in performance). 

 Because these models of market success are drawn from our fundamental views of the world, I suspect that they are far less amenable to modification than is commonly appreciated.  A researcher will be turned off by Elliott Wave theory not because of objective evidence (which the researcher finds lacking and the Elliotician sees aplenty), but because the very notion of fixed, unchanging Platonian realities does not mesh with a perspective that emphasizes dynamic interrelationships.  To a trader who views trading expertise in performance terms, the idea that success is a function of mindset simply does not register:  Can one become a good surgeon through self-development?  And yet can one perform without the right internal harmony (as the recent experience of the Los Angeles Lakers demonstrated)?

 Perhaps the successful trader differs from the unsuccessful one, not because of the superiority of one model over another, but because he or she has found a model for professional development that fits with his or her basic personality, outlook, and experience sets.  The unsuccessful trader may lack a coherent model altogether—impulsively shifting from working on self to working on market, working on research to working on discretionary interpretation.  Or unsuccessful traders may pursue models that utterly conflict with their fundamental personalities traits and life experiences, as in the case of intuitive individuals who attempt to force their trading into mechanical schemes.

 In that sense, the models are like religions:  There may be multiple paths toward spiritual growth, but it is necessary to find a path that speaks to you.  One cannot be a devout Christian one day, a disciplined Zen practitioner the next, and still later an Orthodox Jew.  By asking fundamental questions—Where is opportunity in the marketplace?  What competencies do I need to capitalize on this opportunity?—you can begin to grind your own lenses and formulate a plan for furthering your success.

Kushal Jagtap at 12:42 AM - Mar 23, 2014 ( )

A Trader’s Self-Evaluation Checklist

 1)      What is the quality of your self-talk while trading?  Is it angry and frustrated; negative and defeated?  How much of your self-talk is market strategy focused, and how much is self-focused?  Is your self-talk constructive, and would you want others to be talking with you that way while you’re trading?

 2)      What work do you do on yourself and your trading while the market is closed?  Do you actively identify what you’re doing right and wrong in your trading each day—with specific steps to address both—or does your trading business lack quality control?  Markets are ever changing; how are you changing with them?

 3)      How would your trading profit/loss profile change if you eliminated a few days where you lacked proper risk control?  Do you have and strictly follow risk management parameters?

 4)      Does the size of your positions reflect the opportunity you see in the market, or do you fail to capitalize on opportunity or try to create opportunities when they’re not there?

 5)      Are trading losses often followed by further trading losses?  Do you end up losing money in “revenge trading” just to regain money lost?  Do you finish trading prematurely when you’re up money, failing to exploit a good day?

 6)      Do you cut winning trades short because, deep inside, you don’t think you’ll be able to make large profits?  Do you become stubborn in positions, turning small losers into large ones?

 7)      Is trading making you happy, proud, fulfilled, and content, or does it more often leave you feeling unhappy, guilty, frustrated, and dissatisfied?  Are you having fun trading even when it’s hard work? 

 8)      Are you making trades because the market is giving you opportunity, or are you placing trades to fulfill needs—for excitement, self-esteem, recognition, etc.—that are not being met in the rest of your life?

 9)      Are you seeking trading success as a part-time trader?  Would you be seeking success as a surgeon, professional basketball player, or musician by pursuing your work part-time?

 10)  Can you identify the specific edges you possess over the many other motivated, interested traders that fail to achieve success in the markets?  Do you really have an edge, and—if so—what are you doing to maintain it?

Kushal Jagtap at 12:32 AM - Mar 23, 2014 ( )

Why Traders Lose Their Discipline

When traders lose money, they often attribute the problem to a lapse of discipline.  Such a lack of consistency, however, is actually the result of many different problems--not the cause.  Traders lose discipline with trading for the same reasons that dieters lose discipline with dieting or people getting in shape lose discipline with exercise.  Quite simply, our moods, needs, and mind states of the moment tend to overwhelm our longer-range intentions.  We pursue short-term pleasures (and avoid short-term discomfort) at the expense of longer-term rewards.

Here are some common reasons why traders (and most other human beings!) fall short of being fully intentional:

  • Environmental distractions and boredom cause a lack of focus - All of us have limits to our attention span and these are easily taxed during quiet times in the market;
  • Fatigue and mental overload create a loss of concentration - The demands of watching the screen hour after hour make it difficult to be sharp, creating fatigue effects that are well-known to pilots, car drivers, and soldiers;
  • Overconfidence follows a string of successes - It is common for traders to attribute success to skill and failure to situational, external factors.  As a result, a string of even random wins can lead traders to become overconfident and veer from trading plans--especially by trading too frequently and/or trading excessive size;
  • Unwillingness to accept losses - This leads traders to alter their trade plans after trades have gone into the red, turning what were meant to be short-term trades into longer-term holds and transforming trades with small size into large trades by adding to losers;
  • Loss of confidence in one's trading plan/strategy because it has not been adequately tested and battle-tested - It is difficult to tolerate even normal drawdowns unless you have confidence in your methods.  This confidence does not come from mere positive self-talk.  Rather, it is a function of testing your methods (historically and in real-time) and seeing in your own experience that they truly work;
  • Personality traits that lead to impulsivity and low frustration tolerance in stressful situations - Psychological research suggests that some individuals are more impulsive than others and less conscientious about adhering to plans and intentions.  These personality traits often are accompanied by stimulation-seeking and a high degree of risk tolerance: a deadly combination.
  • Situational performance pressures - These include trading slumps and increased personal expenses that change how traders trade and lead them to place P/L ahead of making good trades.  By worrying too much about how much money they make, traders can no longer follow markets with a clear head;
  • Trading positions that are excessive for the account size - This is much more common than is usually acknowledged.  It creates exaggerated P/L swings and emotional reactions that interfere with cool, calm planful behavior;
  • Not having a clearly defined trading plan/strategy in the first place - Interestingly, many traders do not consider themselves to be discretionary traders, but in fact do not have a firm, explicit set of trading rules that they follow.  It is difficult to be consistent with a plan (and to evaluate your consistency), if you don't have the plan clearly laid out;
  • Trading a time frame, style, or market that does not match your talents, skills, risk tolerance, and personality - All too often, traders veer from their plans because those plans are ones that they feel they *should* follow, but that don't truly come naturally to them.  These departures from discipline are actually unconscious attempts to trade in a style that is more in tune with the trader's skills and talents. 

As you can see, not all discipline problems have their origins in the trader's psychology.  Many times, the loss of discipline reflects problems with trading itself.  Discipline in trading is not so different from "discipline" in a romantic relationship: if you're doing the right things, there's little need or desire to stray.  But if your trading is not meeting your needs, it's all to easy to break your trading vows!

Kushal Jagtap at 11:40 PM - Mar 22, 2014 ( )

How to make money consistently?


This is an ever intriguing question. My two cents on this, the answer is very simple in theory but extremely hard practically. The answer is a disciplined, well-defined investing approach (several versions, paid or unpaid, on how one articulates it but the essence is same). Most traders and investors on the wall-street, stocks or options, understand the basics and know the numbers (except few who might be trading for fun or excitement). There is no rocket science behind the stock investing but still this is one of the most complex things. I ponder over this time to time. Why less then 5% traders make money? Why simple investing into index fund (can be purely mechanical) outsmart most mutual funds? Mr. Warren Buffet’s investing method is no longer a secret, numerous books have been written, and in fact his holdings are also disclosed and made public. There are several screeners that can help you find the companies that might be potential candidates for Buffetology (Check out OP’s toolbox for screeners). Thousand’s of books have been written but why there is no other Warren Buffet so far (there are few arguably running candidates for that race though like Mr. Eddie Lambert or Mr. Joel Greenblatt, but my point is different)? Why (leave aside the reason that they may have lot more information or influence that average retail investor may not, but that’s not really the point)?
In my opinion, the reason lies in “greed” and “fear”. One of the two strong emotions that at times rules brain. When there is inflow of the money to the trading account as trade makes money, one doesn’t want to get out because the trade is making money (have you heard…let the winner run….but after a while even winners are also tired and need pause and sometime collapse too). Similarly when the trade is losing money one might be either “wishing” or “panicking”. Wishing, that it will come back and make money or “panicking” when there is first sign of “wash and rinse”. I have been in that camp where speculation was riding high, so high that I wanted to double my money every single trade and every single day. Unfortunately I did that 1 time, 2 times, 3 times and time and time again and proved that it was possible. To the tune that I made over 1200% in one trading day to give it all back the next morning. Fortunately, I proved this also 1 time, 2 times, 3times and time and time again. No, Neither I am about to recommend some magic formula or wonderful stock option trading tips or software or advisory nor I am saying that I have become a saint, I am still a human being who is driven by emotions but I think now I have started to accept the reality that making money is not easy. It takes time to learn craft and tone any money making system (emphasis on System) be it a neighborhood shop or option trading.
Net, I would like to leave it open to the readers to think hard? Are you making money? If yes, what is working and why and is meeting my time and effort objectives? If not, think again, what’s not working and why? I thought about some resolutions for my trading style and shared with OP readers, here is the link for reference



Kushal Jagtap at 09:42 PM - Mar 22, 2014 ( )

Which mentor? Can you name one?
Possibly, you may have few coaches in mind. Perhaps you are thinking to subscribe one of well known one’s services. They may be telling their fee is well worth, it’s cost of trading better and so on.

I don't know you personally or formally. I don't know where do you live or what kind of trader you are. I don’t even know your first name.

However, I know the answer about best trading coach for you.

What the heck... Do I have a crystal ball or something. No, I don’t. I just have the experience, that’s all. Before any further suspense let me name the best mentor/coach for you:

It's you but nobody else.

Yes, believe it or not but you are your best trading couch for your trading. Learn to rely on yourself. Don't be scared. You don't need anybody to hold your hand. You are grown up person, no longer a kid. You have to learn from your own success and mistakes. Let me emphasize, your own success and mistakes, nobody else. Especially, your own mistakes. Forget about those misery merchants, who loves to see other people's mistakes. They are not real traders. They are just looking for other peoples mistakes to feel good about theirs. They are just sad failed people. Yes, you can learn certain things from others success but not their mistakes. If it was possible, world would have been a wonderful place to live in. No, we look at others mistake and probably say what an idiot with perhaps a dripping grin, then we go away and do same or similar mistake anyway.

keyThe key is, we just have to do more of what is working and less what's not.

One of the best tools to become your own mentor is to keep a journal, in our case trading journal. Why is so valuable? It's the trading journal where you enter all your trading activities such as entries, exits, reasons, time and all other related items. We are not blessed with a kind of memory that computers have. Most of things fades away as time passes. However, our trading log entries will always be there for us to come back and check out what has happened exactly as we entered. As we read it, we'll re-live the events and grasp the facts as to how and why we did things.

TRADING JOURNAL FLOWCHART

Trading journal will show us our strength and weaknesses so that we can identify the areas need working on in order to improve our trading. Trading journal will be the base to develop your trading skills. You need to keep it going on daily basis. You cannot afford to stop when you start winning more than loosing. Remember, best way to perfect our skills is repetition.

trading-journal-flowchart

Trading Journal Flowchart

APPLICATION TO USE FOR TRADING JOURNAL

It may sound bit tedious and time consuming keeping a trading journal at first but you'll come to appreciate it once you start to reap the quantifiable benefits from it. Once you get use to it, you may even start enjoy writing your beautiful trading journal.

question-darkWhat's the best application

to use for creating and maintaining a trading journal?

Answer will depend on your priorities and preferences.

Spreadsheet Applicationspreadsheet-apps

You can use spreadsheet application if you don't mind formatting limitations but love it’s auto calculation features. In the event of liking to use spreadsheet, you don't need to buy Microsoft Office. There is a good free alternative called "Open Office" and it does the job as well as MS Excel.

Spreadsheet version of AG Trading Journal has been created in Open Office Spreadsheet. It doesn’t have any formulas as yet. Just labels. I hope to find one kind volunteer who is good with spreadsheet formulas to make it work as it intended. If and when this done, I’ll replace the file accordingly with additional usage help as needed.

Open Office is compatible with Excel. While you can open Excel files with Open Office Spreadsheet, as you’d have guessed it’s not possible to open Open Office original Spreadsheet files with Excel. However, Open Office offers option to save in Excel file format. I have saved “AG Trading Journal” spreadsheet file  as Excel 2000 in Open Office and opened with Excel 2007 without a problem.

Rich Text Editorrtf-editor

Alternatively, you can use a Rich text editor if you prefer more freedom on formatting and don't mind calculating figures manually. You can even use on-line applications such as Google documents if you want to access to your journal from other locations with net connection. Call me paranoid but I don't like storing any confidential information on-line in somebody else's servers.

I have included a sample screen captures of Trading journal created using Rich Text Editor. I use not so well known application called "TexNotes". I have been using this little application since 2005 for various data collection and organization. Tried other rich text editors including Microsoft Notes, Word etc., but I found "TexNotes" superior when it comes to features and usability for my purposes.

With TexNotes, I can get my charts into my journal with ease via it's screen capture feature or copy paste from other  mainstream applications such as web browsers.

I can edit format tables with such ease that I have not seen in other applications.

One of the neat feature of this application is to add annotations anywhere in your notes, rather than putting footnotes and brackets etc. [I may be sounding as promoting this application but I'm not. I'm just extremely grateful to those whoever put together this application as it has been helping me a lot on a business and personal levels.]

The downside is, I have to calculate figures manually. TexNotes is a RTF editor not a spreadsheet application. Data on table cells entered manually, there is no calculation function. In my case it's not an issue. There are not many days I close more than 5 trades. In some days none. I can calculate figures manually without a problem. Perhaps I'm bit backwards in this respect but calculating figures manually gives me an extra pleasure.

If you want to view my sample TexNotes file you need to get the application. Please note TexNotes is not a free application. It's a shareware costing $20 for full registration. Ace Gazette do not have any affiliation with "TexNotes" application developers or publishing company. Please don't take my satisfaction with the application as an endorsement. They have fully functional 30 days trial version. Even though it has a minimal price tag, I'd hate to find out that somebody bought it after reading this and is not found useful for their own purposes. Best to download the trial version first and see if you like the application or not. At first, it’s rich feature set may look overwhelming but you don’t need to use them all at once. "TexNotes" is one of those application that as you more a you fall in love more and more.

I was even going to include  "TexNotes" application’s box cover here but decided not to as I have said enough good things already.

SPREADSHEET TRADING JOURNAL SCREEN SHOT

I put together trading journal spreadsheet for those who prefer auto calculations with additional functionality over manual option of RTF editor. Unfortunately, I’m not good with spreadsheet formulas, so it only contains cell labels and layout. Perhaps some kind hearted spreadsheet expert will apply all the required formulas so that we can have a fully functional spreadsheet based trading journal. As and when all required formulas applied and it’s working fully, I’ll update it accordingly on AceGazette.com/Resources/Downloads page.

The logical option to operate trading journal would be per individual account based rather than putting all accounts transactions in one journal. I only put the “Broker” column for quick reference.

trading-journal-screen-shoot

TRADING PLAN SCREEN SHOT

A partial screen shot of a simple trading plan I put together on Rich Text Editor TexNotes.

trading-plan-screen-shot

RTF EDITOR TRADING JOURNAL SCREEN SHOTS

Monthly view of RTF Editor based Trading Journal

trading-journal-rtf-mothly-screen-shoot

Annual view of RTF Editor based Trading Journal

trading-journal-rtf-annual-screen-shoot

FILES

The PDF version of this article together with sample trading plan and Journal files may be downloaded from Ace Gazette / Resources / Downloads page. freely.

As closing note, I’d suggest take your time to build your trading plan and journal. Don’t rush... Don’t cut the corners. Chew all the fat first. As saying goes, measure it 100 times to cut once.

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