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Trading is not easy, but it’s simple

NYC workshop with Dr. Alexander Elder.I got back from my trip to NYC to attend a workshop by Dr. Alexander Elder and Kerry Lovvorn. It was fun. First night we gathered at Dr. Elder’s apartment near Manhattan, a short walk from my hotel. I met other traders from around the world, cigars on the balcony and off we went to have dinner at a local Asian restaurant.

Next couple of days I attended the workshop, took notes and learned good insights. Alex and Kerry both talked about their start to trading, the journey and what they’ve learned over the decades; but also got more in-depth with trading showing some methodologies. After looking at my notes in the plane while flying back home, I noticed that several ideas were plain simple and didn’t need much academic skills or expensive resources. The idea of simple trading actually rhymes with several podcast episodes I’ve listened to and the famous Turtle Trader experiment that successfully focused on simple trend-following trading.

I’ve been working on a longer trend-following strategy myself and the trade on the chart below is hypothetical from my testing, not an actual trade as I haven’t gone live with the strategy yet. The green arrow marks my buy date and the red arrow marks my sell spot. It’s a low maintenance way of catching part of the trend, either up or down. There was a pullback in March that almost broke the trend but the sell signal didn’t trigger. Sure the strategy needs to be backtested on a much longer historical data and then put live with small risk size, but that’s the reason I’m not live trading it yet. Many good ideas to work on going forward.

SPY trend-following trade in 2019.

Some other good insights I got from the workshop were studying past trades by blocks of 10 not every single trade on its own cause you never know in which sequence your wins and losses will come in due to the nature of probability; two different jobs for an individual trader – an analyst when markets closed, a trader when markets open; why it’s good to stick to your system and timeframes; plan to trade and trade the plan etc.

It was great to see and talk to other traders from USA, Canada, Australia… My main takeaway from the trip was to keep a healthy balance between trading and life in general, and from the workshop to trade in simple ways. What makes trading hard is having the discipline to stick to your plan and not let emotions guide your decision-making. Going forward I will put less effort on day-trading and focus more on where the big money is flowing.

Lesson Learned: Trading is not easy, but it’s simple.

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