Entries Do Not Matter

From the very first moment fledgling traders look at their first chart they being taught all the exciting things which seem to matter and none of the (somewhat) boring things that really do matter. More often than not there is an almost obsessive focus on trading tools, various indicators du jour, technical analysis in all forms and shapes, trading books/videos, trading seminars what have you. The average trader expends thousands of hard earned Dollars and many available hours on all of those things, and that is before getting their account funded and approved.

If you have visited here then you probably already know that none of this really makes an iota of difference when it comes to placing a successful trade. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to know your stuff – by all means you do need to understand the basic tenets of trading. But more does not equal better – as a matter of fact when you really boil it down to the most basic level all you really need to know is where to place a trade and where to get out. Sounds simple, right? Actually yes and no – it is simple once you know how to do it. Getting there takes years of hard work and quite a lot of practice.

What’s making matters more difficult are certain aphorism you will invariably come across – most of which are actually completely wrong. One of the biggest ones is that entries matter – more specifically known as ‘buy low and sell high’. Well duh – that’s common sense, right? Actually no – it is not. I assure you that entries are the most trivial aspect of a campaign. Your exit is much more important – so is your money/campaign management. There is a lot to doing the latter two properly and we have discussed some aspects of that in the past and we’ll probably be doing it again.

Now, I can literally hear you thinking right now: This is completely bonkers – of course my entries matter, what the hell is he talking about? So, you’re not convinced? Well, I can’t really blame you – after all years and sometimes decades of misinformation and brain washing are difficult to reverse. But there is hope for you (you’re here after all – which is a big step forward) and to put you on the right trail let me prove to you that entries do not matter via a campaign we launched twice in the past few days:

Here’s gold which if you’re a sub you recall I suggested as a very juicy short at the 2x inside day candle. I really wanted this one to resolve to the downside and for once I actually got my wish the next day. Entry at 1307.9, stop at the 1R mark at 1319 and Bob’s your uncle. yesterday it was testing our patience and today it dropped hard and earned us over 1.5R (thus far, the day ain’t over yet). If you took this one then don’t forget to lower your stop to the 1R mark at 1296.8.

However yesterday that little inside day candle (which tested our patience, remember) presented late comers with a second entry opportunity. Which I sincerely hope you took advantage of for obvious reasons. Now let’s see – that entry was at 1303.5 and the stop, based on the previous candle) was at 1311.8, again representing one R (risk ratio of 1% exposure). And what happened today? It banked 1.5R thus far and once again anyone who took it is advised to lower their stop to the 1R mark at 1295.1.

And there you have it – conclusive proof that entries to not matter. Yes, of course it would matter had you used the same stop but that is context and chart specific – it all depends on your particular lens and how price advances. Another big¬†implicit¬†lesson to be learned about price in general is that it doesn’t matter where it has been – all that matters is where it’s going. Let me repeat that because it is absolutely crucial that you wrap your reptilian brain around this little mind teaser:

It doesn’t matter where price has been – all that matters is where it’s going.

Which by the way also applies to your life in general but let’s not complicate matters by turning philosophical.

Some of you older dogs may remember Yahoo back in the late 1990s – while it was going up up up it was one of the most hated stocks out there. After all everyone knew that search technology was a trivial business to be in and that any value invested or perceived was all built on smoke and mirrors. Well, they were partially right but that really didn’t help them on the trading front. Many hobby bears got taken to the woodshed week after week attempting to short this thing which obviously went completely exponential all into 2000, pushing from single digits in 2006 to over $120 in 2000.

When it all came crashing down it did the very same move to the downside (in one year I may add – volatility is a bitch on steroids). But what was most remarkable to me was the change in sentiment among the average retail trader who either had been holding YHOO while it was going up or was now considering a steal based on where it had been. The guys who got burned watched it crater week after week constantly thinking that it couldn’t possibly drop any lower, could it? The dip buyers found themselves in their own little hell as they watched it drop from $120 to $100 to $80, $60 – all the way down to single digits again. Of course buying every single dip because after having dropped 20, 30, 40 bucks and more it suddenly was such a great deal now, wasn’t it?

Alright, so just in case I haven’t blown your mind just yet, how about this: Some of the most experienced and time tested trend traders like Bill Eckhard or Ed Seykota, and even the venerable Jesse Livermore actually follow(ed) an inverse approach – buying high and selling low! Yep, you read that right. But that’s a story for a different day ;-)

I have only one setup tonight and I’ll have to keep that one for my intrepid subs. But it’s an awesome one, so grab your decoder ring an meet me in my air conditioned luxury lair:


More charts and commentary below for anyone donning a secret decoder ring. If you are interested in becoming a Gold member then don't waste time and sign up here. And if you are a Zero subscriber you get free access to all Gold posts, which gives you double the bang for your buck!

Please login or subscribe here to see the remainder of this post.

You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later this afternoon.

Cheers,

Three Strikes You’re Out

Equities have been whipsawing near our inflection point at 1982 which led me to lose 1/2 R twice (one short and one long) and it looks like my third short entry is about to meet its maker at any moment. Looking at equities across the board the odds seem to support a continuation higher but this is where I have to draw the line.

Three trades per campaign is my maximum no matter what. Either way this one swings it’s going to be annoying as I did not have any directional bias and thus attempted to get positioned near inflection points. But as I internalized my emotional response today I realized that this was exactly when I needed to step back and follow what I preach – not let my emotions get in the way of trading. Fact is that right now I don’t see a good entry here and let’s be clear: the worst thing one can get drawn into are revenge trades or attempting to chase a big move.

Fortunately however my AUD/JPY campaign has made up for some of the damage on the equities side and then some – plus it may have legs. Nice breach there yesterday and today it managed to climb just a few pips short of the 2R mark. I’ll be putting my stop at 1R now and now we see if we got a runner here.

By the way, this goes to show that it doesn’t make sense to fall prey to one-ities (a.k.a. an obsession) for a particular symbol. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t HAVE to trade equities just because it’s on everyone’s radar all the time. As a matter of fact if it wasn’t for the blog I would probably only look it once or twice a week. The forex side is actually where most of the action is these days which is why I have been trying to get more of you retail rats up to speed. More on that in the coming soon – I actually have an exciting announcement planned for next week.

Two more goodies below the fold for my intrepid subs:


More charts and commentary below for anyone donning a secret decoder ring. If you are interested in becoming a Gold member then don't waste time and sign up here. And if you are a Zero subscriber you get free access to all Gold posts, which gives you double the bang for your buck!

Please login or subscribe here to see the remainder of this post.

You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later tomorrow.

Cheers,

Whipsaw Galore

In the past two weeks the S&P has been riding the express elevator several time between the penthouse (i.e. the volume abyss above 1980) and the attic (i.e. the volume hole below 1940) and then back again. There is no telling how far this trading range is going to extend (see Scott’s weekend update) but what’s rather clear is that getting positioned anywhere in between is tantamount to committing ritual seppuku – it’s not going to be fun and you can be sure there will be blood left on the carpet.

Which means if you insist on playing the S&P futures then being short near 1980 reduces your risk significantly. Yes, one of those days it’ll break higher but it doesn’t make sense worrying about that – simply put your stop above the volume abyss and if she breaches you can always flip sides with little lost on the short side. Same applies if you feel an insatiable appetite for long positions here – choose a salad instead and then wait until at least 1945.

Meanwhile at the VIX cave all those gyrations have been lifting us off the record low IV readings we’ve been enjoying as of late. As you can see by the ATR(14) panel – volatility of volatility is rising. And per Mandelbrot that big spike higher last week suggests that we might be seeing more. VIN/VIF is also creeping higher which means some folks are getting nervous.

In case this means nothing to you: It is a little known fact that the CBOE actually maintains separate indices for the near-term month VIX (VIN) and the far-term month VIX (VIF). Just pop those tickers into your streaming quotes and you too can watch not just the VIX, but the two components used in the VIX constant maturity blend.

And frankly speaking a meaningful correction is way overdue at this point. After all we have have not seen one since 2011!! Since we tested SPX 1100 it’s been but one directional crawl higher. Get this – counting all monthly green candles since we marked that low gets me to 27 compared with mere 7 months lower. Quite mind boggling – had you simply bought on the first of each month you would have won 74% of the time! Heck, I’d kill for these odds and so would you.

Of course – until that green trendline is broken the bears will most likely have to endure more of the daily pain they have learned to live with in the past five years. Calling tops is for losers (apparently) and until important LT trend lines are broken the trend remains intact.

Now having said all that let me present a short setup on the equities side ;-)

Well actually it’s a bi-directional one. Obviously the Russell has been clearly lagging all other indices and as you can see has not been participating in the sideways churn we’ve been seeing on the equities side. And if I am going to short ANYTHING in that sector then it’s going to be the weakest bitch boy I can get my claws on. The long side doesn’t look shabby but quite frankly I would be more excited about a failed failed hammer short here – plus it’s also an inside day. Pick your poison.

Gold – very juicy RTV-L plus IP-S today and I wouldn’t be feeding this one to you leeches if I didn’t have a lot more waiting below the fold. So grab your secret decoder key and meet me in the lair (we have air-conditioning):


More charts and commentary below for anyone donning a secret decoder ring. If you are interested in becoming a Gold member then don't waste time and sign up here. And if you are a Zero subscriber you get free access to all Gold posts, which gives you double the bang for your buck!

Please login or subscribe here to see the remainder of this post.

You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys tomorrow.

Cheers,





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    1. Entries Do Not Matter
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    4. Binary Proposition
    5. Time To Wield The Iron
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