Sunday, 30 April 2017

Imagine My Surprise

April's 27,000+ hits for this blog is probably a record. 28 quality posts, including this one, can't have hurt, and while an average of 1,000 hits a day would have been nice, more than 900 hits a day isn't too bad at all for an amateur. 

BotTrader posted a comment:
I see the Elmer Fudd of trading is at it again trying to drum up sales with his exciting tales of riches.

The interesting thing is that the P&L I used that day was similar to my results from yesterday, that’s no coincidence. I have hundreds, if not thousands, of similar days stretching back over my career. The reason for showing yesterday and the prior ones is that I think they are a fair example of what your objective is. I could easily show something more spectacular, I picked up just short of £1k this week in one race, but those tend to be quite aggressive results. The examples I’ve listed here are much more mundane and more in line with what you should be aiming for, albeit probably on a smaller scale.
Imagine my surprise to see Peter had to trawl all the way back to Aug 2014 to find another £1000 day when apparently he has thousands of similar days, maybe he just picked a day at random ;) 
"Imagine my surprise" reminded of the style of readers' unpublished letters to The Daily Telegraph which are very amusing if you haven't yet read them.

BotTrader's comment highlights an example of one of the 'soft' signals one should always be on the look out for when someone is after your money.

When the screenshot used to illustrate a post is almost three years old, it should raise questions to a discerning mind.  

Although reading PeeWee's blog is always a painful experiance, for the sake of my readers I did search out the one that BotTrader had brought to my attention, and other than the previously mentioned grammatical errors and childish phrases that permeate PeeWee's ramblings, there are a few other things that should stand out as red flags.

Take this for example:
The worst you can do over long periods of time when trading, is winning 50% of the time. If you practice you can bump up your winning trade percentage by getting better and better at spotting opportunities. Once you are in a profitable trade you then need to squeeze out of it what you can.
This is absolute nonsense, illogical and that a so-called 'expert trader' is spouting it as fact is highly illuminating. 

Trading is not about winning more than 50% of the time. PeeWee appears to reveal that his thought on trading are akin to betting on a coin toss, i.e. gambling. 

Plenty of traders have strike rates far lower than 50%, but the profits from those relative few 'wins' far exceed the losses from the majority of their plays.

A trader whose strategy is to lay at 1.01 for example will lose the vast majority of his trades, but if he wins more in total than he loses long-term, he's in profit.  

Successful trading has absolutely nothing to do with a 50% strike rate, and PeeWee betrays his ignorance of mathematics (again) by spouting such nonsense. Or he assumes his readers are idiots and aren't going to question his logic.

As for the final sentence:
Once you are in a profitable trade you then need to squeeze out of it what you can. 
Trades aren't lemons, even if PeeWee might be selling lemons. Trading isn't about 'squeezing' anything - it is about entering a trade at a value price and exiting at a value price. You're not going to always enter or exit at the peak or the trough of the move of course, although doubtless PeeWee is able to achieve this 101% of the time himself.

Enough on that. Next up is this:
Often the biggest mistake I make is hanging on too long. A wonderful trade ends up collapsing to a modicum of itself by post time.
Seriously? After goodness knows how many years of trading, the great PeeWee continues to make one of the most common trading errors of letting a trade run for too long? 

Never mind for now PeeWee's improper use of the word 'modicum' in this context!** 'Modicum' is a 'big' word though, inserted to impress his target audience, yet he himself hasn't even a modicum of common sense about trading.

Then we get this:
I’ll trade somewhere between 10-15,000 races in a year and that means I don’t need much per race to get a stupendous result on the year.
Presumably PeeWee means 10,000 (rather than ten) to 15,000 races a year, so let's look at how that works out. 

At an average of ten minutes per race, 12,500 races adds up to 2,083 hours. 

That's incredibly time consuming, and results would certainly need to be 'stupendous' to justify spending anything like that amount of time on trading. I'm not seeing any evidence that they are, especially when one considers Premium Charges.

Londoners work an average of 33.5 hours a week so that's more than your average full year of work. Where are the hours for running trading courses (to teach you how to spend 2,000 hours a year chasing a 50% strike rate which is meaningless anyway), and spending time by the pool?

Something doesn't quite add up when you look at the signals - and the signal is certainly not green.

Thanks to BotTrader for bringing this post to my attention. 
While I seldom trade or bet in-play these days, preferring the more time effective bet-and-forget method, (I don't have a spare 2,000 hours a year to waste), I did technically bet in-play on Friday night, though due to being disorganised rather then because of a change in strategy.

I missed the kick off for the Friday night Bundeslayga selection by three minutes, but still managed to get in at 2.18 which was rather fortunate given that within 18 minutes, Schalke '04 were 3:0 up!

Finally, a nice quote from Todd Combs, who was hired by Warren Buffett in 2010 to manage some of the Berkshire Hathaway funds.

Combs revealed in an interview what a typical day was like as a Buffett manager:
"I get in around 7 or 8 and I read until about 7 or 8 at night. And I go home and see my family and then I'll read for another hour or two in bed at night. And you know, there might only be three to four phone calls the entire week. So there are very, very few interruptions … But it's literally just reading about 12 hours a day."
Reading, and the consequent thinking, drives the generation of ideas, something I find also comes with exercising and writing.
Both Combs and [Ted] Weschler are understated, super-smart and spend most of their days doing the same thing Buffett and Munger do, with their noses in documents.
“These are the only two guys we could find that read as much as we did,” Buffett says with a laugh.
Actually Buffett’s not really kidding.
It's no surprise that Buffett's Boys aren't spending 2,000 hours a year chasing pennies on ante-post horse race betting. 

It's also said that: 
Reading exposes us to other styles, other voices, other forms and genres of writing. Importantly, it exposes us to writing that's better than our own and helps us to improve.
PeeWee would be well-served to trade a few less horse races and read a little more. 

** My ever-handy Writer's Reference Guide advises:

If a word is not in your active vocabulary, you may find yourself misusing it, sometimes with embarrassing consequences. 

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