Blogging activities to be greatly reduced!

Effective immediately, I am greatly curtailing blog entries and communications via blog replies, email, Twitter and StockTwits. See the end of this post for details.

I started this blog in March at the request of John Wiley and Sons in order to support the promotion of my book, Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader. I thank all of you who bought the book. I had not previously been involved in an online community and knew nothing about the technology or process.

Wiley connected me with StockTwits. I deeply thank Phil Pearlman, Howard Lindzon and Sean NcLaughlin of StockTwits for their devotion to me in this process. The team at StockTwits is great. They have selected an incredibly talented group of bloggers – men and women who understand markets and trading.

Social media is like quicksand. It can shallow one’s life. I need to focus my energy and attention toward three priorities. To this end, blogging and Tweeting is not the best use of my time. It takes my energies away from where they need to be. It is a distraction. It is an interruption. It intrudes upon the state of emotional calm and clear headedness needed for successful speculation. It is the cause of unwelcomed conflict and aggravation. It divides my focus. To be truthful, writing the book did many of the same things, which is why I don’t see another book in my future.

My three major priorities are as follows:

  • Proprietary trading
  • Establishing a mentorship community  to pass along the components of trading which are most important (read on for this one)
  • Launching an investment pool that reflects my philosophy market speculation and risk management

Proprietary trading

Trading requires an usual level of concentration. The blogosphere has interrupted my concentration in ways I won’t go it to.  I need to refocus on trading without divided attention.

Establishing a mentorship community

I believe in mentorship. I believe in “paying it forward,” as the current saying goes. I desire a strong mentorship relationship with a manageable number of novice and aspiring traders who are willing to take the steps necessary to move to the next level, and then the next level and so on. Additionally, I have always found that seeking clarity about trading through mentoring efforts has improved my own trading. So, I admit a selfish motive. Also, because mentoring focuses on trading principles, and not on day-to-day market behavior, attention to the markets is not a requirement of the endeavor.

Let me be really clear on a couple of points. Sharing a bearish or bullish opinion on Silver, calling for a top in stocks, setting a chart level for stops, establishing a price target – none of these things really matter.

Trading success has very little to do with what stocks or precious metals will do next week, next month or next year. Call the top in stock indexes was easy. It took no brains. It was as easy a top as I have ever seen. Trading the decline — that was the tough part. Trading is a lot like poker. It matters little what cards you are dealt. It matters much how you play the cards you are dealt. 

Success in trading starts with seven things:

  1. Human personality and character traits consistent with assuming risk
  2. Proper capitalization
  3. A correct perspective of market speculation
  4. A comprehensive understanding of risk control protocols and statistical probability theory. Using protective stop orders must properly flow out of a correct understanding of probability theory. Using protective stops is not the same thing as sophisticated risk management. Risk management is far more complicated than the vast majority of novice and aspiring traders comprehend
  5. A keen understanding of human frailty as the biggest hurdle to profitable market operations. Traders need tools for recognizing and managing human emotions
  6. The development of a comprehensive trading plan, addressing all possible contingencies. A trading plan must reflect the unique personality of the trader.
  7. The patience and discipline to correctly execute the guidelines and rules dictated by the trading plan.

Email, blogging and the Tweet world are not the proper forums for mentorship.

Any trader who wants to be considered for a mentor relationship must first spend 2-1/2 days face to face with me. It is to this end that I have partnered with Elliott Wave International to offer two Traders Boot Camps, each limited to 20 traders. Atlanta in October was oversubscribed and there is a waiting list. There are a few spots open for Orlando on December 1-3. Click here for information.

I cannot consider mentoring another trader unless they come to the correct understanding of the seven points above and have formed a strategy to reach certain goals. By the way, I have no desire to create other chart pattern devotees. It does not matter to me how the folks in my mentorship community trade. I will not advocate for any specific approach. I will advocate for certain best operational practices.

Will Boot Camps be offered after the December event? I have no idea at this point. At this time there are no plans for any more Boot Camps. The answer to this question depends upon two things:

  1. Can I build the mechanisms to mentor more than a certain limit of traders?
  2. Are there enough novice and aspiring traders serious enough about being successful to stop searching for short cuts. Are you searching for short cuts?

The answer to question #1 rests with me. The answer to question #2 is up to you.

Future blogging and Tweet/StockTwit involvement

I have no desire to disclose to thousand of people my thinking about every wiggle a given market makes on a day to day basis.

My desire is to teach a few people the realities of trading and to set them on a path that allows them to be independently success in market speculation. The mentorship program has this goal.

This blog will continue on a much more limited basis. I will try to post once each week or every other week on either a chart pattern of major magnitude or on a general trading concept. I will make my first post along these lines within a few hours of this correspondence.

The “reply” function of the blog will remain enabled in case readers want to engage each other. I may monitor the interchange and may from time to time add my two cents worth. I will be unavailable by email, except to folks in the mentorship program.

Once I have identified a significant chart pattern on the blog, such as the head and shoulders top in the stock indexes, I will not provide a running commentary. The initial identification will stand as my statement on the market. I will alert you to the really big patterns. It is up to you how you will trade them, and that’s the way it should be if you, as novices or aspiring traders, ever want to become a good trader.

Well, this is where I have come out on my involvement with online and email interaction. Sorry if it is not what you would prefer. I hope to dedicate another 8 or so years to the industry. In the process I hope to help a certain number of traders become the best they can be. The mentorship program is the only way for aspiring trader to gain greater access to what I have learned about trading. A mentorship program is the only way I can systematically transfer that knowledge. At this point there are only a few spots left for well capitalized novice or aspiring traders.


The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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