New Direction for My Trading and Services Offered at DaytradingBias.com

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I found someone to take care of my website revision last week. If all goes well can put the project back on track. Not quite what I planned for but then it may be better this way since going forward I will likely offload more site duties to these professionals.

After serious brainstorming and consideration, I will try to roll out several real-time trading signals of my core trading systems. Some of them are designed to work with Forex while the others are mainly for Emini S&P and NQ. I am also in the process of setting up trading accounts to track these systems with real money.

Main obstacle right now is choosing the right brokerage and platform for the automation. This process is way more tedious than I thought. Some brokerages that are my preferred choices do not support open platforms working on many brokerages. I need to find a middle ground for which I can trust both the financial stability of the firm and also the technology. Anyhow, the  process itself will be worth documenting along the way because these models are also (almost) the same systems I will trade in my fund.

What I hope for is that in a few months time, definitely within this year, I will automate all my trading, including my usual day trading of the Eminis. I have mentioned this before of my intention to go all mechanical one day for various reasons. This means that I will give myself more time in pursuit of other things.

Big changes coming. I will keep everyone posted.

Thoughts on this US Presidential Inauguration Day

Today is the inauguration of the 45th US president. Donald Trump will become the US president for the coming 4 years. Interesting, however, is that the focus in the mainstream media is not about this event. Instead, the top stories are flooded with negative comments, both on Donald Trump himself and how bad his presidency will become, coming from famous people who messed up the world very badly over the past decade.

First I saw on the news, the US congressmen, the infamous bad actors, are “grilling” the nominees of White House important positions. I thought the US Presidential Election already told us what the people of US are thinking. Why are these crowns allowed to have a second say on Donald Trump’s choices? Definitely an interesting way to make sure Donald Trump cannot run the country according to his vision.

Second, the name George Soros went to the top on multiple financial news outlets. Well, Soros being an “activist” and exposed for his “work” in funding all kinds of “unusual” activities worldwide to create chaos, told the press that Donald Trump will fail. Why is Soros so doomy? In my not so humble opinion, I think he is talking his book again. Maybe he is very short and need a outlier-sized pullback in the markets to get out of his troubled positions …

Third, the famous actors and actresses, teamed up with famous Hollywood figures, protested against Donald Trump in front of his Trump International Hotel in New York City. I remember some of these figures said they would emigrant to Canada (or other places). Why are they still there?

Here is a fun comparison of the importance of various things over time according to Google Trends.

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Obviously, Obama is not wanted since 4 years ago (that tiny blip in Nov 2012). On the other hand, Trump is so famous that we did not see a major surge in searching for his name unlike 8 years ago, when Obama was relatively unknown and being elected as POTUS for the first time. But both of them are not important, after all, as people searching on gold consistently beats them both.

And of course, jobs have always been in the mind of the normal people.

But none of the above matters when porn is added to the comparison. I guess it is fair to say sex being a primary human need is far more important than politics or work …

One thing I know for sure – the name Donald Trump will be a front page stable for the coming years whether you like it or not.

The Awkward Real Estate Dynamics in China

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Unlike any other country, China has experienced a prolonged growth in its real estate markets for a very long time. In fact, much longer than any other ones we have seen in the other countries in the past. Is it something sustainable? Well, I am going to discuss about this from a slightly different angle instead of the more traditional evaluation approach. Namely, I will look at the whole situation from the study of the participants in this interesting market.

The Rising Tide Lifts Everyone on Board

Over the past thirty years, China has been undergoing huge reform in its real estate market. The efforts to modernize the major cities and the relaxation of regulations to ownership of realty created the biggest boom in real estate markets across the country. Many people were assigned title ownership to various real estate and related resources as the laws changed. This alone created massive amount of wealth into the hands of the people who had the right connection or status at the time.

Let’s ignore the issue of fairness and whatever moral value you uphold for the moment, as this article is not about that at all.

What is important, however, is that this wealth effect has profound impact on the psychology of the people in China.

Those Who Won Big Without Knowing Why

Those individuals and their families who got the chance to ride on this boom have no idea why and how they actually become wealthy over such a short period of time. Just like any other people in the world who have similar kind of fortune, majority of people who won this lottery game of real estate attributed the success to themselves being smart, to their country being strong and for some with nostalgic beliefs, that Chinese civilization somehow helped them to get to where they are now.

Of course all of these thoughts are plain wrong. They are put into the right place at the right time. i.e. dumb luck

Well, ignorance is a bliss …

Those Who Have to Park Their Money Somewhere

During this wild west type of economic expansion and discovery process, the must have element of corruption and grey area deals for which money are made unethically, of course, are happening everywhere in China at the same time. These money, however, cannot enter the modern banking system easily because, even China does monitor outlier deposits, after all.

One of the obvious routes to park the money, of course, is with real estate, just like everywhere else in the world.

In fact it is a good example why real estate markets are the number one choice for dirty money. Since these money cannot be taken to the bank to exchange for the banknotes with the highest value, the space the money will take up now matters. Just imagine the actual physical size of the paper money needed to hold the value of a property. With small denomination banknotes, they will occupy more space than the property itself!

The Speculators Who Thought They Know

And then there are those short term speculators who think they know how to profit from this real estate boom in China. Of course there are many people who made a lot of money from this bull run. It is again no difference from speculation of real estate in any other parts of the world. The funny thing is, however, how leveraged these speculators can be.

According to various studies, Chinese speculators are the most leveraged speculators in real estates comparing to any other places in the world. Their voodoo beliefs in real estate markets can never drop drive them doing things that any people with common sense would never do. Yet, those with common sense are the ones who have been left behind in terms of financial well being over the past ten years.

So Who are the Suckers Here

Normal hard working people without special trade skills like a professional designation (i.e. doctor, accountant, etc.) will never see the light to even paying for their down payment for a decent apartment in China. Those young professionals will be able to afford buying their own property at the cost of turning into debt slave for the rest of their lives. Yet, they represent only a very small percentage of the population. Hence the important players in the real estate game in China are those who are already on board, either by dumb luck or out of necessity (e.g. dirty money) and those active speculators who continue to actively buying and selling in the current market environment.

Since the dominating players still playing this game are relying on the Chinese government to support the real estate markets as oppose to having at least one valid reason, I think that everyone in this game are suckers at this point, maybe except the central Chinese government itself. It is just a matter of time the Chinese housing market will collapse significantly.

Feature Image: Stanley Street Market in Hong Kong

What’s Wrong with This Picture on the US Stock Market

Here is the sentiment indicator from stocktwits on SPY, the ETF on S&P500.

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And the sentiment for emini S&P below.

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We seldom get a significant selloff from such bearish sentiment … bears have to be more careful to avoid turning into roadkills during this holiday season.

One Good Idea Turns Into Reality. What’s Next?

lightbulbi15Earlier this week I prototype an idea called Emini S&P500 Battleplan as suggested by many premium members. It has been very well received. The idea is to post what I see from my charts instead of just describing it in the real-time commentaries before market open. Although it is still very simplistic so far, feedbacks from my members is telling me that they love the idea and it is very helpful for them. Very glad I took the plunge and just made it happen first without worrying about how difficult or how time consuming it can be.

Emini S&P Daily Battleplan

This experience has taught me two things.

First, I need to test out new ideas without worrying too much. I hesitated to do this for months just because I worried too much – like it would take up too much time and that my charts could be too messy to show people. Now that I took a leap of faith to start the project first and see if it can work out, the obstacles are not as big as I first thought. The key is to actually doing it first so that I learn from the process on what the actual requirements are.

Second, listen to my members is very important. They may not know exactly what they need for their trading but when many of them telling me something similar the pattern emerges. My role is to find a way to fulfill what they need and paying attention to what they are asking for is key to achieve this goal.

Having a chart or two makes it much easier to explain what I have in mind. Yes it is actually difficult to post the charts because some of the charts I use actually reside in remote servers. It took some coding magic to allow me to take screenshot from them and now it is as easy as working with charts on my desktop computer.

There are various drawbacks of posting my morning summary before market open in real-time commentaries. For example, people who login after market open may not be able to see my morning summary once many messages have been added.

Now both issues are resolved with the battleplan idea, I have setup a home page for the battleplan posts so that premium members can refer to them when they study the historical charts themselves. This should be very useful in helping traders to understand and develop the thought process in formulating their own plan before the start of a trading day.

Real-Time Custom Market Breadth Chart

Thank you everyone who emailed me to sign up for the alpha testing of the real-time custom market breadth chart. Once it is ready I will email you all with the access information. We are still working out some technical glitches before the alpha release. I will keep you all posted on the progress.

In the meantime, I will write up several articles explaining what these custom market breadth indices can do.

I have already revised the titles to two of my older articles and included them into the Trading with Tick Index series. The two articles, S&P 500 Tick16 and Tick1K and Its Divergence Signals were written long before I started the series hence I never thought of them being part of the series. Now that I am making the custom breadth indices available to our members, it is a good time to add them to the series so that everyone will get a proper introduction on custom tick indices.

Hopefully the real-time custom market breadth chart will be another good idea turning into reality.

Mental and Emotional Maturity

taking_selfieI was talking to several beginner traders at my friend’s trading firm the other day. The topic of high probability trades came up several times as these young traders like to get some trading tips from their boss and me. We both told them high probability setups are overrated. You can guess that our point of view confuses these traders a lot. I promised to write about it this week and here is the explanation why one should not obsess with high probability trading setups.

The Psychological Need of High Probability Trades

The reason why traders and in particular, day traders, having the psychological dependency on high probability trades is that it feels good naturally after winning and feels bad after losing. It is normal to have such feelings. But many people do not realize that the accumulation of such emotions are not in equal weighting.

I have posted a video by Shawn Achor earlier this year on exactly this topic. In short, we need about 5 times of happy or feel good events a day to offset one upsetting event in the same day to keep us in a balanced mood. Now think about the number of trades a day trader may make on a single trading day. Just 3 losses, no matter how small they are, as long as upsetting feeling were triggered, the trader will need 15 feel good events to offset the emotional imbalance.

Hence traders tend to look for high probability setups so that they can feel good with their trading. After reading what I wrote above, it should be clear that usual high probability setups at 70 to 80 percent are just not good enough for anyone to really feel good with their trading. Winning rate above 90% is needed to make a normal person to feel comfortable with their trading.

Mental and Emotional Maturity Matters

Even if you have a very high probability trading setup, it is not going to stay at such high level all the time. What if the winning rate dipped down to 70% for several days a month? The emotional upset resulted from the dip can be disastrous as the trader will easily be lured to trade madly. As we all know, one mismanaged trade can wipe out all the gains and more if the trader fails to exercise proper money management. Higher the dependency on high probability trading setups, the more likely the trader will have these very bad trading days from time to time.

Thus depending on high probability trading setups is not as good as learning to deal with the emotional imbalance caused directly by trading. Having the mental maturity to understand that trading is psychologically challenging in nature, a trader can focus on improving their own emotional maturity so that they are not affected as much by their trading activities. In other words, learning to forget about high probability trading setups all together and focus on the better execution of the complete trading plan only.

Same Principle Is Applicable In Life

Not surprisingly, mental maturity and emotional maturity are strong indicators for people who are successful in life and in fields outside of trading. I choose to use the term mental maturity over mental toughness because it is not just toughness one need to do better. Mental toughness can carry you through difficult times but you also need mental maturity to find solutions to solve various kinds of problems with work and in life.

Emotional maturity gives us the ability to better handle relationships in our social circle. It also entails better mental health in general, allowing us to live relatively stress free. But most important of all, it allows us to maximize our ability to utilize our knowledge and skills. If there is something called destiny, emotional maturity is the key to get a better one.