Archive for August, 2013

How time flies.

Four years after the beta Jellie team began its journey of trading discovery and laid a course for dozens of others, and after a brief two-year Jellie development hiatus, Jellie Team #10 took to the market “current” this past week.

And  while I’ve been very proud of the effort put forth by Teams #1 through #9, I’ll say with conviction that Team #10 stands near the top in term of its dedication and work ethic, ranking among the best professionals with whom I’ve ever worked.

Ten traders spanning Massachusetts to Hawaii. Nine men and one woman, with the latter confirming my longstanding belief that there are far too few females in the industry as they’re often better suited for this traditional “man’s game” given their lesser ego, ability to multitask, and arguably increased maturity level via many men in this field.  Average Age 45, which was very much in line with the overall Jellie age of 48.

Call it one highly-intensive week of P’s including professional, productive, and yes … profitable as the team successfully navigated and adapted to the ever-changing market sea which often ebbed and flowed, ending with a surprise Friday afternoon gift from John Kerry which created one final wave to ride.

I fully admit that I sometimes wonder if we’re still making a dent in increasing the quality of trader education of which I’ve been so highly critical over the years.  I’ve also wondered, given a two-year break that included an industry MF Global meltdown promulgated by “he who shall not be named”, and more recently taking time to formally document my trading memoirs and deal with the passing of my father, whether the live Jellie portion of the “Webinar-Live” duo could maintain the same level of intensity and produce the same level of output as in prior years.  Said another way, could we recapture the same magic?

To be sure, this year I incorporated a survey to formally gather and assess participant feedback at the end.  For just as the market is always right regardless of our preconceived personal beliefs, participant reactions far outweigh my personal views as to the effectiveness of the Jellie concept. So I had each participant score several program attributes on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 reflecting excellence.  To Team #10, here was your collective average response:

Oh ye of little faith.

Of course as with life, there will always room for improvement and we’ll continue to tweak as appropriate. Yet apparently based on your feedback, program honing over the years and a slight retooling in terms of program length suggest that any remaining gaps are narrowing to a sliver.

Let me be clear in that any credit directed to this trader-temporarily-turned-mentor (please note that order!) should immediately be deflected to the members of Team #10 and those that proceeded it by laying the groundwork.  Yes, I lead, facilitate, and take on the role as lead trader.  Yet as in war, the true credit should be laid at the feet of the troops and not the general.

In fact, this “troop” bonded to such an extent that has caused me to take the unusual step of planning to continue working together in some manner as we move from this time and place.

Napoleon Hill would call it the mastermind principle. Others might say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Either way, this week went far too well to simply stop the incredible personal and team momentum established.

A two-year hiatus.

Several key personal life events including the earthly robbing of industry assets and the life of a father.

Yet here we are now on the proverbial “other side”, and the sun is shining more brightly than ever.

To Team 10, you have potential beyond that which you will ever know. Don’t ever let yourself or anyone else doubt what we know to be true and possible.  Like the market, some will question, doubt, or try to trip you up.  They’ll never understand your methods, motives, or results.  They’ll also often be on the other (“retail” or “wrong”) side of your trades.

Stay the course.  For you know what is true and real.

It remains true that only a small minority consistently succeeds in this business.

It’s just that today, that minority just got a bit larger.

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Aug
03

The Weekend Trader – Lots of Catching Up

Posted by: Don Miller | Comments Comments Off

At it’s been some time since we last did an extensive brain dump, let’s have at it and reflect on various musings in what may hopefully be a reinvigorated start to our popular Weekend Trader segment.

“Trading After Dark” Following Star Trek?
Is anyone old enough to remember the  initial Star Trek TV series? While that show did well at the time in small circles, it was ahead of its time and received a wider viewership as years progressed. I guess you could say it “aged” into its own phenomenon. Fast forward to our six Trading After Dark “episodes” from a few years ago where we analyzed actual trade sequences and performance, which now seems to be finding a second wind based on emails and renewed interest, including some sort of possible TV syndication.  If you’re new to the blog, or looking for a jump start to your passion, confidence, or simple belief in the business trading, I encourage you to check them out and I’ll keep you posted as to evolving plans should then pan out.

“Chronicles” Rip Tide
My feeble mind is admittedly still trying to put the “Chronicles” book effort in some sort of perspective as time begins its post-publication march.  As I said when I was writing the book, time will ultimately be the judge as to its true impact on the trading world. I must admit that while we worked tirelessly to produce a quality, no-holes-barred resource unlike any other in the business, I didn’t expect the outpouring of industry leadership support from the likes of Raschke, Connors, et al who have ranked the effort among the best they’ve ever read, nor did even the publisher John Wiley & Sons expect Amazon to formally recognize it as one of the best books on Leadership and Business last month.

This latter unexpected point perhaps speaks best to the true undercurrents of the work, which was also reinforced by a chat I had with a reader from Texas this week who has recommended the book to several of her non-trading friends. For it’s these undercurrents – much like the below-the-surface yet powerful rip tides on Cape Cod – that in my view confirm that the “real” Bamboo seeds I was trying to plant.  Yet – and as was intended – you also have to somewhat “look” for them throughout the reading.  Thus I suggest if you get to the last sentence of the final chapter which asks, “Is this a book about trading or life? I’ll let you decide.” and wonder what you missed, my advice would be to re-read it trying to answer that very question, with particular emphasis on the Preface, Introduction, Part I, and Part VIII.

The Gift of Age
Continuing these thoughts, one gift that a maturing age provides us is perspective and humility, including the fact that life isn’t about who ends up “most popular” or with the most tiddly winks at the end. I say this because among the many book accolades, a few have indicated they were disappointed with my frequent mention of setbacks, stumbles, and mistakes which preceded the course corrections. Yet as I state in the book, 52 years of life have proven to me that life’s mistakes provide the necessary bedrock foundation for any degree of future success, and that history untold or misunderstood will simply be history repeated.  Yes, the book includes a degree of triumph and self-actualization.  Yet as intentionally stated in the subtitle, the necessary road map to such a place invariably leads us through multiple valleys before one can see … never mind attain the peaks. And such can only be accomplished as the result of time, age, and wisdom.

Beware of % Return Performance Figures
I have a very small cash futures “play” account (about $10k on Jan 1) that is up an annualized 105% this year.  Yet don’t let what seems to be an inflated % fool you, as to me, it’s all about tangible P&L … which in this case, is a tiny $8k. Unlike my primarily accounts, I don’t trade it frequently (a couple of trades a month). Take-away? Don’t get too caught up on rates of return.  Last I checked, my daughters’ two colleges were looking for a total of $400,000 in tangible dollars versus some intangible percent.

The Globex Trader
Back to the “After Dark” topic, as many know, I continue to be a huge proponent of trading outside of the normal Pit 9:30am to 4:15pm ET hours, especially in the early evening or Europe morning where probability is often highest and manipulative U.S. market maker games at their lowest. To that extent, I’m considering new ongoing personal journal entries specifically addressing this period, which may also help part-time traders who have full-time obligations during the “standard” U.S. hours.  Plus, we’ll have some more fun.  Look for more info on this as I think about how to position such an effort.

Upcoming Live Jellie Program
Finally, and intentionally mentioned at the end of today’s segment, we’ll be running our only live Jellie Trader Training effort of 2013 during the week of August 26. It will be our 10th session in what has been a well-received effort, and we’ve compressed the timeframe and reduced the participation tuition for this year’s event based on feedback and to accommodate those who can’t devote an extended period of time.  As with the earlier efforts, I don’t mass market these and there will be zero mention of the August effort outside of this journal as my approach will remain trying to help those who knock on the door, versus going around doing the knocking.  As I’ve said before, it may be a lousy sales approach, but I’m not interested in selling. In any event, I’m looking forward to once again going all-in for a “drink-from-the-firehose” week of trading and training.

Additional objective information relating to the Jellie program from actual participants is available in the form of both “tank transcripts” and Jellie-authored blog posts.

Have a great week!!

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