Archive for May, 2011

May
20

The Weekend Trader – Increasing the Value of Education

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

Hi everyone.

In the spirit of this week’s college graduations and to continue to stress both the importance and availability of quality education, I’d like to offer a further discount of the 16-Hour S&P Jellie Trader Webinar series this weekend.

I say “further” because as many know, when I decided to accept the increasing requests to return to trader education after a multi-year hiatus to focus my market engergies 100% on my own fund a few years ago, I agreed to do so only under the conditions that the education be both extensive and affordable, and that a portion go to a charitable cause.

As such, I chose to place the initial and ongoing tuition at 50% of that which was recommended by several leaders in the financial industry (largely out of respect for emerging trader budgets), and have given 5% to 25% to our charities … initially the American Diabetes Association, and more currently, GrowUganda.org.

So to magnify the theme of affordable quality education this weekend as I hit the road for a seven-hour drive to the heartland of New York, we’ll take the acclaimed 16-Hour $1,500 Jellie trader video course down to $1,250 for the next three days.  Simply email me at don@donmillereducation.com and I’ll email a special PayPal invoice for the reduced amount.

You can find a full course syllabus and unsolicited participant feedback on the educational site.  The series of course chronicles the 8-week journey of the beta Jellie team, and includes a comprehensive conclusion as prepared by the twenty participants as to their key take-aways.  A reminder that their key guest posts remain available on the blog.

So call this weekend all good.

The Bruins (for folks west of the Mississippi, that’s Boston … not UCLA)are ahead in the Stanley Cup Semifinals, the Red Sox have recovered from a horrendous start (we’ll save that complete “perseverance” analogy for a different time), and the Circle of Life continues as we celebrate another step on Courtney’s life journey.

I might as well allow others to benefit as well.

Have a fantastic weekend.

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May
19

Thursday Notes – Graduating Into Life

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

A lot has been written and passed around the industry about my successes in the mid to late 2000s.

And while the 800%+ 2004-2010 performance (including an industry leading 2008 performance for my asset class which was chronicled on a daily basis on the initial blog) is indeed 100% real, I’ve tried more times than not to use this blog and other public pulpits over the years to talk about the tougher times.

For example, the early days when I – like all accomplished traders before me – repeatedly fell as I was learning the ropes.  For such was a strong theme of my public speaking and daily TradingMarkets columns and lessons in the early 2000s.

The slumps or days when it seems that I’m fouling off pitches that are so close to home runs that the bitter taste in my mouth burns.

The bangs on the head, such as those infamous October 2008 and May 2010 days.

And those occasional days — and they still happen to all of us from time to time — when I simply didn’t have the dedication, heart, nerve, or courage to trade to my level of potential.

You see, as I mentioned in December’s presentation to Linda Raschke and her team, this business is ALL about maximizing gains when the opportunity arises and you’re on your game, and minimizing the damage when all of the above happen.

And oh, will they happen.

And they’ve happened in spades to this trader.

For one doesn’t reach the heights of either the industry or - more importantly – one’s true potential, without getting dragged through the mud and barbed wire of this business.

As a trader and instructor, I find too often that traders are unwilling to do two things:  (1) “Do whatever takes” to make their business work, and (2) playing it far too safe … i.e. having a tremendous lack of heart or nerve when conditions MANDATE they do.

And when I sub-optimize my own performance, I too fall into those same categories.

Examples:

Want to profit from a highly anticipated MATD?  Well, you’d better be willing to get your a$$ up at 3am ET to catch the far higher probability and better paced Europe open than what many international traders refer to as the whippier U.S. “Cowboy” open.

Most of course won’t for a number of reasons … and thus settle for, well … average.  Here’s a hint to all those who wonder how someone can achieve the returns I have.  Get up earlier and work harder than everyone elseFor example, it’s now 6:13AM ET as I write this and my MATD trading is pretty much done for the day as I was up at 3AM.

Have that 90%+ probability setup?  You’d better have the focus, courage, and nerve to both take the trade AND maximize your bet size.

See the whole world running for the buy or sell buttons?  You’d again better have the nerve to step in and take the other side at the right time  – and EVERY TIME — while embracing that ever-so-critical concept of variance that reminds us that you WILL get dragged through the mud during those rare times when the far lower probability occurs.  And you’d better have learned WHEN such timing is right.

At this end, when I don’t do the above, I might as well simply write a check out to other traders.  And yes, opportunity cost is AS critical as real financial loss … even more so for traders who truly “get” this business.

# # #

In three days, my oldest daughter Courtney will be graduating from Ithaca College.  She’ll have diploma in hand as she pursues her career in the media industry. 

She’s heading to the west coast, doesn’t have a job yet, yet is willing to do what it takes and go through the trenches to make it work.  She’s also confident that her God-given and honed abilities will further develop and serve her well. 

Courtney is clearly taking a risk as she forgoes a more traditional and stable road of initial security to pursue her passion.  And she’ll undoubtedly go through her struggles, get repeatedly banged on the head, and even get criticized by a few in the “cheap seats” who will never take the field.

Winning or losing won’t be the issue.  Giving it her all will be.

Sounds like a trader I know.

Yet as was once said by someone far greater than me, and which I first posted on April 16:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.  – Teddy Roosevelt

Across the world this month, hundreds of thousands of students are graduating from high schools and colleges.

Yet as is the case in this business of trading, such an event simply marks the beginning of a life long journey in which there is no true graduation.

And while education - whether it be college or our highly acclaimed Jellie trader video course – can instruct us how to circumvent the mud and barbed wire, we must still set sail every morning knowing we’ll get dirty and scratched.

For such battle scars will make all of our nights to dance possible.

May God richly bless Courtney, all graduating seniors, and all educators and traders throughout the world.

Categories : Motivational
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May
13

The Weekend Trader – Continuing the Journey

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

This weekend’s video covers a number of topics including the May 10 PivotPoint sequence, re-reading the hundreds of prior posts for reinforcement, the upcoming Jellie Training Session, my recent Walk to Emmaus, and some life and blog “adjustments” as a result of the Walk.

Have a great weekend … I love you all!

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May
10

Tuesday Notes – PivotPoint Fund Buy

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

Wed 12:45PM Update – Protective stops triggered on this midday.

I’ve attached a real-life example of how we apply the Jellie S&P intraday trading techniques to larger timeframes.

Specifically, the chart reflects Tuesday morning’s PivotPoint Advisors S&P long trade entry, which was triggered on the break of the hourly down channel to continue the underlying day and week bull cycles.

As with any trade, the extent of the move is now up to the market, with the initial reassess point set at a trade below 1340 reflecting a solid low risk/larger reward ratio.

Jellie students will recognize the trigger that reflects our program mantra, “the market can’t go up a lot until it starts going up a little”.

A reminder for those interested that we post weekly technical analysis and portfolio updates each Monday morning in the Briefing Room tab to continue our ongoing mission of industry transparency.

Categories : PivotPoint Advisors
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May
09

The Weekend Retreat Trader – Do It Anyway

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

On the heels of my second weekend Emmaus walk, and as I make my return to everyday reality and public posting, I was reminded over the weekend of the poem once found hanging above Mother Theresa’s bed in Calcutta – also often attributed to Dr. Kent Keith.

And yes, like life itself, the words relate in spades to trading psychology (especially the lines highlighted in red), as well as this trader’s highly public diary.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

As in life, give it all you have in this business gang … every single bit.

And never let those who give less tell you otherwise.

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May
01

The Weekend Trader – Trading: The Mirror of Life

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

Friends,

At this end, the coming weeks will include a number of personal efforts — in addition to ongoing trading and PivotPoint management businesses – which will reduce the frequency of blog posts over the short term.

For example, later this week I’ll be with the Southern New England’s Emmaus team helping coordinate this spring’s men’s walk and attempting to pay last year’s personal walk experience forward (here’s the link of my talk that I posted a few weeks ago, as well as the recap of my own walk that I posted on the initial blog in April 2010).

Then, in subsequent weeks, I’ll be supporting my wife Debra’s involvement with the woman’s walk, journeying to see my oldest daughter Courtney graduate from Ithaca College, and then hosting a send-off for Courtney as she departs for the west coast to pursue her own career and dreams.  All while continuing my on-going business responsibilities.

Yet during this time where my schedule prevents more frequent posting, a reminder for both new and charter onlookers that this ongoing virtual book of over 860 pages remains fully accessible.  Key links include:

Initial July 2008 – July 2010 Blog
Ranked among the top trading blogs on the ‘Net including 731 fully transparent posts, complete with “Key Post” links in the lower left margin.

Trader Educational Services
Includes the industry-acclaimed Jellie Webinars and Live Training Effort with a portion of proceeds going to support our charitable causes.

PivotPoint Advisors Weekly Technical & Portfolio Briefing 
The current week’s briefing includes a review of our last sequence.

At my end, I often find that I get more out of content the second and third time around, and strongly encourage you to consider re-reading this virtual book – whether in part or in its entirety – if you’re looking for continued trading insights.

Throughout the blog, and using the model and example set forth by the world’s greatest Teacher, I’ve tried to use the tools of parables and analogies extensively to better illustrate trading concepts.

For as I’ve said time and time again, trading mirrors life and vice versa.

And such “reflection” can often be clearer the second time around!

Categories : The Weekend Trader
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