All of it.
The passion, desire, and most of all … hunger … has returned.
It’s taken a while … a long while … yet I can truly say that for the first time in the post-MF Global/Book Authoring/Jellyfish Training era, my desire to climb the next mountain has returned.
Many will recall I had a similar feeling in 2007 when I was so frustrated with my lack of focus that I went completely off the grid to re-tool and re-focus, before beginning to publicly bare my trading soul on a daily basis … an effort which began completely as one of personal accountability, before it took on a life of its own.
If we were to use our crazy old movie analogies in our former blog life, we might call it Back to the Future … or is it Back to the Futures?
OK, the wit may have aged, the jokes less funny (assuming they ever were), and I may not be as quick and agile on the keyboard as I was when I was a spry 47.
Yet as I approach 53 in just a few short weeks, I feel as vibrant and alive as ever.
Frankly, I feel as I’ve been thwarted at every turn over the past few years, as if being the main character in the world’s “Whack-a-Mole” game. Or perhaps a contestant in the world’s real-life game of Survivor.
You see, it was 40 months ago – almost to the day – when I wrote the Catching the Rabbit post that was as popular as any I’d written to that time. We’ll get back to the interesting “40″ number in a bit. And frankly, since then it seems as if I’ve been on one long journey of trial, temptation, and tribulation that included momentarily losing access to my entire $3.0 million trading balance, a few health nuisances, loss of my dad & moving my mom, and so much more including a complete loss of passion for this business.
Oh, I tried various things to reignite that passion, including launching the Jellie program, finally accepting Wiley’s repeated requests to write Chronicles, do a few speaking engagements, and much more. And while these efforts were very well-received and I derived some personal satisfaction from each, they were energy-consuming and emotional-draining to a far greater extent than I first realized. Add life’s events to the mix, and you get the picture.
Oh, I traded … every day and on top of all other business concerns. Yet too often it was going through the motions in a laissez-faire “big whoop” manner.
Feel like sleeping in past 5am to miss THE most fertile, pure, and cleanest trading timeframe in place today with no U.S. session “cowboy” market rhythms? No problem, you’ve earned it Don. And you wonder why you end up in subsequent scamper mode??
I’ve often said there’s a razor thin line between sloppy mediocrity and astounding success. I know, for I’ve been on both sides, and too often my trading has leaned to the sloppy side.
And as I picked up the pace on the spiritual side, the conflicts and performance got even worse.
Remember my April 2010 Emmaus post where I discussed my personal spiritual battle and re-centering? Including the feeling of being caged? Well, in hindsight, I’ve felt a bit caged since that day as that awakening weekend seemed to tick off our enemy to no end, and he’s been relentlessly after me ever since. And of course the more I got involved with Emmaus and our local Alpha program in various leadership capacities, the more roadblocks were set in my path such that I was always unavailable or distracted during optimal and fertile trading periods.
Yet that was then.
And so here I stand – 40 months later – feeling freer than free and as if I’ve just been let out of a cage. My trading capital has been fully restored and is now once-again consolidated such that I can trade the full balance in a focused manner, I’m reading the market as well as I ever have, and have a renewed vision, desire, and energy level that has been 40 months in the making.
And if the number 40 sounds familiar in terms of personal testing, just Google it and you’ll find the examples plentiful and the parallels uncanny.
It was once said that if you put an eagle in a cage, it would eventually bite through the bars whether they’re of iron or gold.
Well, it’s taken me 40 months.
But I’ve bitten through them and am ready to fly.
Let’s see how far these wings can take me … and us.
My fishing game of catch and release begins. For in the end, we all must release it.
A farmer once took an egg from an eagle’s nest. He took it home and placed it under one of his hens and it hatched with a little brood of chickens. The farmer raised the bird with great patience and attempted to tame him. As the eagle grew, he realized something seemed to be wrong deep inside of him. Even though he had never known any other existence but life in the chicken yard, it just did not feel like home to him. He wanted to leave the chicken yard and take to the skies. He even tried to do so, and the farmer finally had to clip the eagle’s wings to keep him from flying away.
Since the eagle could not fly, he just sat in the chicken yard looking up at the sky. One day a storm began to brew, the sky grew dark, and all the barnyard animals scurried around for cover; the chickens were terribly frightened, as chickens are prone to be. The eagle sat watching the scene in front of him, realizing the storm did not frighten him in the least.
At that moment, he could not help but stretch out his wings, and as he did, he noticed that the farmer had failed to keep them clipped. Suddenly, his eye caught sight of a great eagle riding the wind above him, his wings outstretched in majestic form.
The eagle that was raised as a chicken looked again at the chickens scurrying around frantically, then returned his gaze to the eagle soaring peacefully above him, then looked back at the chickens and then up at the eagle again. He heard the eagle let out an awesome, piercing cry. In that instant, he knew he had to get out of that chicken yard! A mighty gust of wind swept beneath his outstretched wings and lifted him into the air. With a shrill scream of victory and freedom, he left the barnyard forever.
”Don’t Give Up by Joyce Meyer”
Folks, this passage – while meant to guide Christians – has so many profound trading analogies, I had to post it.
Ask yourself: Are you a chicken trader … OR an eagle trader?
Do others want to cut your ambitions short?
Have others (Farmer Corzine for many) clipped your wings?
Have you forgotten that you ARE an eagle?
Do critics not know how to fly and thus tell you it’s impossible and that you’re simply a chicken?
Some have asked why I’m stepping up sizes to 400 lot trades, why I’ve begun a trader comic strip to further reignite my passion, why I’m going somewhat off the grid, and why I’m looking to partner with someone who is doing similar.
Let me put it this way.
If you’re looking for me these days, look hard and look up … because the breaking news is I’ve just left the barnyard and am soaring with other Eagles.
Thank you Bill Dykstra for reminding me who I am, and in Whose nest I belong.
As my fund ramps up and search for a large size trading partner begins …
View all issues of Miller’s Trading Chronicles here.
It’s been a while since we’ve done this, so let’s take a look at today’s trade plots with zero commentary so you can try to determine trade premises, what worked well, what stunk it up, where losses were nipped, and where gains were pushed. (Hint, have your hourly chart handy as well.)
Some find this more helpful than the actual commentary, since it … ummm … forces you to think!
The chart is a 5-minute chart of ES (click to enlarge), courtesy of FuturePath Trading’s Photon platform, and the sequence I’d like you to really think about is the very last batch on the far right. (Oh, and see if you can find the three sequences that were losers and required stops and the two mini-outliers that more than paid for them.)
We’ll discuss more via Twitter at @millerdon.
First, on the Jellie trader training front I’m pleased to announce that the dates for the only 2014 live training effort have been set for Monday March 24 through Friday March 28.
As always, I won’t mass-market this and will only mention it on this site such that we continue to attract serious, professional participants.
Last fall’s session with Team # 10 was a banner effort as we continue to refine and retool based on participant feedback, and I expect no less from the upcoming session.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if interested in participating.
PivotPoint Funds Update
For those of you who would prefer to have someone else manage your funds using a wholesaling system very similar to the strategies we teach our traders (the only difference being John uses a 2-4 day hold period vs. intraday), please check out John Norquay’s latest videos where he explains the ”engine” behind his approach, including how the strategy performs in a down market. Video #2 was just loaded today.
I’ve spent a great deal of time reviewing his strategies in-depth, and continue to be impressed by the combination of strategy, transparency, and results compared to the market.
Wow … did I not expect the surge in blog and twitter volumes based on one simple ThinkOrSwim post … quite the network!
Anyway, plans continue to evolve at this end, including a lengthy discussion with Donnie Roberts today who is one of the founding principals of the firm.
To clarify a few things in response to several emails, thus far I’ve only moved my large equity balance to trade the S&P ETFs, but am also exploring adding futures as a secondary option to my main Photon platform which continues to rock. I’ll also continue to run parallel charting for the time being (primarily eSignal) to ensure platform reliability and provide for necessary redundancy.
On the personal trading front, I’m making personal accountability plans with another trader as I ramp up focus, intensity, and sizes given the nice pick-up in volatility. This year, I WILL have that $100k day which has thus far remained elusive.
Miller’s Trading Chronicles
Lastly, we’re going to have a ton of fun this year which a new ongoing comic strip that details the trials and triumphs of this trader and our industry which picks up where the Chronicles book left off. For now, I’ll simply lead off with the following teaser …
OK, it’s been a while since my last post, but in today’s video I discuss several exciting enhancements at this end including an update on PivotPoint Funds and personal trading transition from TradeStation & eSignal to TD Ameritrade’s ThinkOrSwim platform, while simultaneously eliminating the IRA 3-day settlement obstacle for equity trading.
And oh, on the topic of volatility … it’s baaaaack!!!!
Links to content addressed include:
In addition, while I didn’t discuss this one on the video, major congrats to John’s wife Cherie who just completed her first CD, “Remnant” which was produced by Grammy award-winning producer Phil Naish (Steven Curtis Chapman). The CD will be released next month, and you can actually hear all of the songs on Cherie’s site. She has an incredible angelic voice in Amy Grant type fashion, and don’t be at all surprised if she becomes a household word.
Lastly, email me at email@example.com if you’re looking for a good TD Ameritrade contact or want to share ThinkOrSwim stories.