During my career as a heartless futures trader, I’ve wasted about four years trying to decipher the intent behind every price fluctuation and in doing so disappeared down a number of fruitless though mildly interesting bunny tunnels. It’s a natural thing to do, as the basic mechanics of trading ultimately become tedious and unfulfilling, at the very least in an intellectual sense, so of course one tries to go deeper and deeper to squeeze more meaning from the motion, indeed the profession as a whole. Or hole.
Now I’m down to one free web-based chart and have let it all go, it’s such a relief. Four monitors, 85 charts with various pointless divisions of time, range and volume, bid/ask order book overlaid with pit noise, Tick, Vix, put/call open interest, A/D and Trin. What on earth was I doing, apart from muddying the water and creating diversions to avoid facing the simplicity that was always there. I suppose it’s kinda hard to accept that an innocent child with the proverbial crayon would probably do the job better, especially for the inquisitive male ego “But… but … you mean that’s all I have to do? Can’t be right. So let’s misovercomplexify it” as Bush might say.
Notwithstanding I think basics still need to be grasped: the formations and background levels of commitment and emotion that manifest as, for instance, an even-handed fierce fight; a non-commital can’t be bothered to fight; woah that hurt and I grimly held on but now it really hurts capitulation; directional grind, whippy uncertainty etc. Vague levels of view (or lack of it) and positioning, but beyond that I no longer care why anything is happening outside of the nebulous bigger picture. Perhaps it gets more exciting when you can see the less obvious coming, but you don’t need to. Pursue another (parallel) career if you want creative rewards, enlightening explanations or a sense of having produced something tangible.
Accept that for the market to work it needs to occasionally misdirect – savagely – often during a dull moment (biggest moves often come out of these) but that it is, yes, generally quite obvious. Look at [redcated] on Trade2Win nonchalantly sweeping pips into his basket with nowt more than the outrageous simplicity of price. Draw a few simple lines, exercise patience and hit those small areas of high probability again and again. That’s all we can do. Thus it must follow that battles will indeed be fought in these obvious areas, as that’s where the seasoned money will always be. It cannot be any other way. Our money, playing the waiting selective game. Not their money, cause they’re impulsive, impatient, clueless, adrenaline diet disciples, or so rumour has it.
The disillusioned trader can allow their other interests to answer and fulfil the needling question ‘but surely there is more’. Without doubt there is, but I haven’t found it in trading. Indeed the searching obscured the very thing I didn’t need to look for.