Time For A Little Hedge

As you may recall I am still long the spoos, having trailed the current advance since 2013.75. Last week I proposed that we may be heading into yet another pre-X-Mas correction as the timing has us a little early in the season. Given what I’m seeing this morning we are literally sitting at the knife’s edge and that’s a great opportunity for a little cheap hedge:


Since I want to hang on to my ES long position I decided to hedge myself via the NQ, which shows us very nice context. Quite frankly I have no directional bias here yet – we could easily paint new highs today. But given the ST context this is a very effective hedge given the current inflection point.


Crude – I’m feeling adventurous and am taking a long here after a bit of short term volatility. It’s a low probability high payoff lottery ticket thus I’ll only throw in 1/3R.

Not much else out there this morning. As we head into the tail end of one of the most difficult trading years in recent history I remain very conservative when selecting setups. Sure 2008 and 2009 were tough but they also had their highlights if you were positioned right and were able to ride the trend lower. 2010 was a watershed moment for me in that it forced me to up my game and approach trading in a more objective and systematic manner. 2015 however has been nothing but an ugly sideways grind – basically we’ve been running all year and getting nowhere fast. Despite this we have managed to stay ahead of the tape but only because we remained nimble and refused to let wishful thinking or directional bias influence our trading. Let’s keep this up folks, because I don’t think 2016 will be any easier.

The future is now – so don’t bring a knife to a raygun fight. If you are interested in becoming a Zero subscriber then don’t waste time and sign up here. A Zero subscription comes with full access to all Gold posts, so you actually get double the bang for your buck.



Soylent Green And Orange

As I happily continue to trail this advance I cannot help but remind myself that it is a bit early in the season for a continued push higher. Far be it from me to second guess however and I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.


I would like however plant the seeds of objectivity early as to prepare you for the possibility of a second shake out that we may be heading into. In my experience in order for significant advances to occur we need to look out for attempts to frustrate and mislead the enemy. As we are currently in earshot of the old highs I propose two main scenarios in the coming week:

  • Soylent Green: We screw around a little more today but then bust higher and paint new highs. I could certainly do with a bit more X-Mas spending money (just kidding – I’m a crusty old Scrooge and I won’t buy much).
  • Soylent Orange: We bump our heads here today and then proceed back lower to retest at least 2041.5.
  • Soylent Red: I didn’t put that one on the map as the odds are very low – perhaps 15% max at this point. It’s the one where we turn and drop all the way. I just don’t see it any signs of that happening right now.

So there you go – if you’re still long right now as yours truly then do exactly nothing and let your trailing stop do the thinking for you. If you’re in cash then you do have a small opportunity for a short position here or in a few handles higher, but I would not risk more than 1/2R with a stop near 2110.


AUD/CAD Update – I’m moving my stop below that stack of Net-Lines now – my target is a few pips below 0.97. It’s been a profitable ride! Hope some of you got in.


Silver may be a long on a drop toward that diagonal I painted. Stop below that NLSL at 14.7.

More setups below the fold – we have a nice collection today:

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.

On a completely unrelated note, someone in the comment section asked Scott about the Rhonda knock out and I really enjoyed his analysis. Clearly Rhonda’s arrogance got the better of her as there was much talk about her allegedly being able to take down any male opponent. I won’t even go there but for me MA and professional fighting are often perfect showcases of what separates the 0.1% from all the rest of us. The sheer amount of hard work, dedication, and the threshold for pain it demands are not dissimilar to what we as traders face psychologically and mentally in the trading arena.

Just like in boxing there are millions of people out there who think they have what it takes to be great traders and often it only takes five seconds in a real fight when reality catches up with your hubris. As you know I have been training several arts myself for over 25 years and currently teach a rowdy group here in Valencia. However I would never dare to compare myself to a professional fighter who spends six hours per day training in the gym, facing up against other professionals under the guidance of seasoned trainers.

The same humility should be applied in trading on a daily basis as we are truly up against professionals who not only often have decades of experience but also much better tools than you, better information than you, faster access than you (e.g. HFTs), vastly more liquidity than you, and perhaps a much higher IQ than you (or access to people with advanced degrees and talent). That does not mean they are untouchable and we don’t have a chance but it’s good to always be aware of what we’re up against. Which in itself is an incentive to run like hell and never stop improving.

A final point I would like to offer is that trading, just like boxing, is an activity that requires constant practice and is not something you can learn out of a textbook. It’s great to know how to throw a basic punch, to jab, counter, hook, block, feint, etc. but in the ring or in the battle field you are operating under great amount of stress and often pain. The lessons learned right there and then will hone the type of skills you admire when watching professional fighters/warriors.

Scott said that “in that the boxing clinch/cover up is a good way to get grabbed and thrown by someone who knows judo.” Excellent point and this is what Bruce Lee called the ‘attack by immobilization’  which is part of the five ways of attack Bruce Lee describes in JKD:

  • Single Direct Attack
  • Attack By Combination
  • Attack by Immobilization
  • Progressive Indirect Attack
  • Attack by Drawing

By charging and overwhelming the defense Rousey manages to create her opening for her famous armbar as Scott points out. Floyd Mayweather also has mastered a loophole in boxing in that he reverses holding/hitting into hitting/holding (via his forearms and wrists). He then follows up with damaging blows as he was able to shift his opponent out of his rhythm/equilibrium. Another technique employed to break open a stubborn wall in boxing is to punch down the glove of the opponent and thus create an opening.

Which is why I enjoy very much training MA/systema as as soon an opponent clinches up I am able to get to work on his legs. I am also working on entering deeper into his attack which is something that wouldn’t work for boxers unfortunately.

This is a brilliant video that shows some of this in spectacular detail:

It took quite a bit of effort to combine all these real life examples and if there is a warrior lurking deep inside you then I’m sure you will greatly enjoy this brilliant video :-)


Misses Mean Reversion 2015 Runner Ups

A few years back I wrote a post [1] in which I profiled one of the main deadly sins of retail trader ignominy – the ubiquitous and often almost fanatic anticipation of mean reversion. I am not going to regurgitate my point; if you are a culprit (and you know you are) then I strongly recommend you read my old post and perhaps also one of my more recent ones [2]. If you’re a noob here then you may also want to point your browser toward our all time favorites page [3]. The holidays are nigh and tis the season to debug your brain and start the new year fresh.


However book knowledge is one thing – seeing things play out in reality is quite another. Let me present to you Ms. Gold, our first runner up for our ‘Misses Mean Reversion 2015′ contest. She’s quite a tease, enjoys frustrating gold bugs for months in sideways ranges for months on end, only to finally slam them with a relentless sell off which counts eight consecutive lower lows (CLLs) followed by 7 CLLs.


Not to be outdone here’s Ms. Copper – she’s been popular since the bronze age, thrives in industrial production, but is particular fond of electric circuits. She managed to paint 11 consecutive lower lows this year and she doesn’t look she’s breaking a sweat just yet.


Last but not least here here’s Ms. Silver – she’s got a special shine and is particularly interested in jewelry and fancy cutlery. Most recently she managed to paint 15 consecutive lower lows and thus far is our official winner of the Misses Mean Reversion 2015 contest. Congratulations!!


Moral of the story – whatever you have been told about mean reversion is a lie and will fail you when you most expect it. This spells true in particular when it comes to trading the futures as well as forex. So next time someone suggests mean reversion to you – keep calm and just say no.


On the equities side we seem to be building a base on top of the 100-hour SMA after the initial short squeeze higher. So far so good…


I really like the context on the daily NQ futures which I have highlighted above.


EUR/CHF update – that was quite a ride in the past few days but it seems it’s finally ready to bust higher. Putting my stop below the current Net-Line Sell Level.


Soybeans update – that was one of yesterday’s setups. Moving my stop to break/even here.

More goodies below the fold…

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.


A bit of even risk later today when get the FOMC minutes, so I don’t expect too much activity before 2:00pm Eastern.


    Zero Indicator

    Darth Mole Alerts

  1. poll

    • How many discretionary trades to you place per month?

      view results

      Loading ... Loading ...

  2. NinjaTrader

    search warrant

  3. recent misdeeds

    1. Happy Thanksgiving
    2. Great Call Flawed Execution
    3. Time For A Little Hedge
    4. Soylent Green And Orange
    5. Misses Mean Reversion 2015 Runner Ups
    6. The Mad Momo Ratio
    7. Europe Will Never Be The Same Again
    8. E-Mini Session Wrap Up Video
    9. Support Zones
    10. Short Term Inflection Point