Tag Archives: Investing

BTFD

You all already know where I think this market is headed. However, the twitter streams are full of folks that are ready to declare yet another rally to new higher plateaus. Most investors don’t seem overly concerned about things. I certainly have not detected any real panic in either the sentiment readings or in the price action of the market.

There are still some pretty serious technical issues afflicting the market that have not been alleviated by the recent pullback. A myriad of indicators such as Put/Call ratios, Bullish Percentage indicators, volume studies, et cetera, are indicating weakness to come. I believe that the path of least resistance is to lower prices, and that the process has begun. Those are my personal opinions however, and that plus $3.50 will get you a Grande Soy Latte at Starbucks.

Anything is possible short term in this era of daily Central Bank injections of “monetary morphine” in the form of POMO. This stock market “crack” is in essence creating yet another asset bubble, this time through mispriced risk premiums in both equities and bonds. The chase for yield in a lower bound interest rate environment is the catalyst, but that is not the topic of today’s post.

You see, bubbles can go on for longer than even the most stubborn contrarian may be able to wait. Timing such reversals is treacherous at best and suicidal at worst. That’s not my point either. My topic du jour is of the incredibly obvious, yet to-date not talked about fact that the Fed’s open market operations since 2009 have created a unique moral hazard. This will act as dry tinder to the next real correction in the markets, whenever that may happen – and it WILL happen.

In the study of Psychology there is a theory of operant conditioning that was formulated by B.F. Skinner. Skinner’s theories were based on principles such as reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Skinner created experiments using rats that would provide positive and negative stimuli creating learned behavior responses.  His Law of Effect was in essence that responses producing a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again, and responses producing a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again.

I would argue that the Fed has done the same with us folks in the investor class. Just like rats we are conditioned that buying any dip no matter how small will be rewarded with profits. Conversely, selling stock short or betting on stock prices to fall will be punished with severe losses. This keeps the herd moving in the same direction, but it inflates the bubble higher and higher. This learned behavior response is manifested in two phenomena currently observable in today’s financial markets: BTFD and Pavlovian Short Covering (let’s call it PSC for shorthand). Unless you have been underneath a rock in the fetal position since 2009 then you already know what BTFD stands for, but if not I’ll tell you here.

BTFD stands for Buy the Fucking Dip. The first time I saw it referenced was in a YouTube video that appeared at least a few years ago. Since then, BTFD has become somewhat of an accepted truth. After all, anybody that has bought ANY dip of ANY size over the last 4 years has made money with very few exceptions. BTFD has certainly made many of its disciples very rich and that is one of the strongest positive reinforcements a human can receive. Not only does it reinforce the behavior in the initial participants, but it has created a tractor beam of groupthink. As more and more people have benefited from the learned behavior, the strength of belief has spread far and wide and its practitioners have been emboldened.

The flip side of the reinforced behavioral response is Pavlovian Short Covering. This is the act of reflexively covering short positions at the first sign of a return of strength to the bull side. This learned behavior is based on negative stimulus exerted upon bears time after time over the last 4 years. The tactics used to elicit this PSC is mainly through extreme, and some would say purposeful, manufactured violent short squeezes. Often these bear traps are sprung in the dead of night. Index futures rise in overnight trading creating a rush to cover short positions into the opening bell. Other times at key moments when the market is threatening to roll-over, there is an almost “magical” news item that comes out creating the squeeze. Sometimes, there’s no news at all, but a certain mysterious “hand of the Patron Saint of Bulltards” comes in and ramps the futures from certain failure. This hand of God typically lifts price up and past key areas where bears generally cover their short bets to avoid further and certain excruciating pain.

Any and all of these scenarios trigger PSC, and once it begins, a feedback loop comprised of weak handed short sellers and conditioned dip buyers combine into a glorious symphony of Federal Reserve operant conditioned rats.

Now this is all fine and good until somebody pokes an eye out. This conditioning is based on experience and results that have been extremely effective in the bull-run off the 2009 S&P lows. At SOME POINT however, (I would say that point has already arrived, but some will disagree) the trend changes, and the great Bernanke Bubble pops.

When this happens, the extreme conditioning response cultivated over the past 4+ years will serve to exacerbate the eventual declines. Initially bulls will not sell their positions when the market weakens and may instead continue to aggressively buy the dip. After all this has worked like a charm in the past – why change now? Bears on the other hand, gun shy and wary of all of the relentless traps, will not be eager to short, thus creating no fuel for squeezes.

Combine all this with the fact that there are currently many crowded trades due to the narrowing participation of stocks to the recent rally (see Market Halitosis for more on this). If things turn south the low volume on the exchanges will make declines more severe. Also, there is the very real possibility that if things get really ugly then the High Frequency bid will evaporate, further lowering liquidity. Thus the unique set of stimuli creating these learned responses will eventually be the fuel that enables real conflagration to erupt. This will be the point that everyone realizes that the new phrase to learn is STFR or Sell the Fucking Rip.

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Weekend Chart Porn

Yesterday I actually spent a few hours looking through some of my favorite chart sets. Things are interesting to me again technically for the first time in quite a while. I updated a few charts and published some of them online on Stocktwits and TradingView. My bio has links to these sites if you are interested in following me there.

Price is Truth is many things to me, and from time to time I may post market related topics because they are of interest. Many of my newer followers found me through poems, or photographs, or writings about my life challenges and I am thrilled to have you reading my words. You may not even be aware that I started this blog to document my market thoughts and experiences. Over time it has morphed into something a bit different but deep down I still have an interest and passion for financial markets and technical analysis.

It’s like an artist that puts her brush down for a spell, eventually she gets the urge to paint again. So I feel currently about charting. To that end, below are a few that I worked on this weekend.

What am I looking at here?

To those who don’t typically look at price charts these may look like chicken scratch but many of them have some notes that you can read to try to figure out what I am doing. If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you. Please note that my analysis is not to be construed as investment advice. Click on charts to enlarge.

VIX weekly seems ready for move higher.

VIX weekly seems ready for move higher.

 

The first chart I have for you is that of the VIX index. This is commonly referred to as the “fear index” since it tracks the market’s expectation of 30 day volatility of prices. It is constructed using the implied volatilities of a wide range of S&P 500 index options. When the VIX is low the market is said to be complacent and when it is high there is fear among investors. This chart suggests that after a multi-year “base” or consolidation that the VIX is ready for a foray to higher levels soon. This would correlate to a corresponding market swoon. Timing would be spring-summer of this year based on the chart pattern.

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Bonds making a classic W bottom. Higher prices likely.

 

The next chart is that of the exchange traded treasury bond fund TLT. This liquid ETF blends the 10 and 30 year Treasuries into what they call a 20+ year Bond Fund. I use this as a proxy for the US Treasury market (specifically the 10 and 30 year bonds). Typically as equity prices increase, bond prices decrease. This is due to market participants wishing to gain greater capital appreciation from rising equity prices and the lower yield to maturity that bonds offer when treasury prices get high. Last summer when the Federal Reserve hinted that they would “taper” or reduce their monthly treasury purchases the bond market sold off and a parabolic bubble began in stocks. The problem is that now the average dividend yield on the S&P is under 2% and the TLT pays out over a 3% yield. At some point Treasuries become attractive again relative to equities since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Govt. and it’s ability to force citizens to pay income tax to raise capital to pay back it’s debt. Stocks hold no such backing and are much higher on the risk spectrum. When valuations in stocks are high as they are currently, this is an issue that money managers will consider when constructing their portfolio mix.

Crude completed a bullish fractal and now looks poised for lower prices.

Crude completed a bullish fractal and now looks poised for lower prices.

 

Next up is a chart of Crude Oil. Specifically WTIC or West Texas Intermediate Crude or Texas Light Sweet. This is the benchmark grade for US Oil prices. Europe has it’s own benchmark called Brent Crude. Oil prices are tied into economic expansion and contraction and only a robust economy can withstand rising oil prices without causing a natural dampening of growth through higher input and transportation costs for manufacturers, less disposable income for households due to rising gasoline prices, etc. What this chart is telling me is that oil prices have likely topped out near term and look to at least test recent lower levels around $90 per barrel. This is a chart to continue to watch- if prices break lower this could signal a slowdown in the economy and possible deflationary forces exerting upon commodities.

ES futures (S&P 500) may be carving out a topping pattern with a July low.

ES futures (S&P 500) may be carving out a topping pattern with a July low.

 

The last chart I will post is that of the Emini futures. This is the most liquid of the S&P futures contracts that trade out of the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). I have had these trend lines in place since last summer without adjusting them and price is looking currently like it may be carving out a head and shoulders top. This is still to be confirmed and frankly that is pure speculation on my part. However, I am basing my theories upon not just the price action in the index itself but in looking at different indexes, sectors, breadth indicators, currencies, and commodities. Only in looking at many different inputs can you hope to gain any accurate timing of the markets.

Based on everything I am seeing, I would not be at all surprised to see a 15-20% market correction this spring/summer to be followed by a decent rally. Once that rally happens we will have a greater idea if the market can make higher highs into 2015 or if the great bull run of 2009-2014 has topped out.

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Pissing On The Hydrant

My intention is to do some writing for this blog this weekend, but I never know if I will find the time. So this little post is a bit of a placeholder of sorts. My subject matter is likely to be market related as I am sensing something in the charts.

After many months where technical analysis was a waste of time, I have a strong sense that some changes are happening here and that charts will matter again very soon. 

Some of you will likely shrug shoulders and roll eyes and scratch heads. Some of you will be interested and some will not. Likely any post will be somewhat geeky and boring for non-traders but you may learn something if you slog through.

Anyhow, just a bit of a warning that my gut is sensing something here that I will do my best to explain when I have a moment to construct my thoughts properly.

Until then, carry on as you were.

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Due Propers

It has been around two months since I started really interacting with the greater community of traders that use the excellent social media gathering spots available for the industry veteran and market enthusiast alike.

In that time I have come to truly understand and appreciate the wealth of talent and spirit of community out there. I am glad to call many of you my friends. Some of you may even feel the same way about me, and the thought of that warms my heart as well.

It has been a joy to interact with you all, and many knowingly or unknowingly have either provided wisdom, perspective, and guidance, doses of reality or differing opinion.

When I started writing posts for Price is Truth I did so coming from a place of pain and disappointment. At first, this blog was going to be a way to expunge my bad experiences, and to hopefully find and reach some souls who could benefit in some way from reading about my past failures.

As this project is progressing, I am finding that my reasons for wanting to write are changing and what started as catharsis is now giving way to something else. I enjoy the sense of community out there. I am learning from all of you and want to give back, to pay it forward. Also in my heart is the need to give acknowledgement to those who have generously bestowed their knowledge and humor to me when I have most needed it.

To have that feeling of “getting it” with something as vast and complex as the financial markets is fucking amazing. It comes after years of striving and searching for some semblance of truth and frankly the process has damn near ruined me. Even now, I am one bad move away from losing my greatest and most cherished possession in this mortal world or beyond. That is my beloved wife, and her love for me.

The amount of patience and loyalty that she has shown me proves that the power of love is THE greatest energy in the Universe and is the true secret to getting all that you desire in life. I have not reached my goals YET, but that is not from ANY lack of support that my wife has shown me over the last four years.

Some of the other people that come to mind when I think back over my experiences loom large. Then there are some that are mere whiffs of something that added to the flavor of the stew. All were crucial however to my development in their own way and all are appreciated by me.

One of the first, a guy I met when I used to try to get info from Yahoo message boards is DaveBugs.  As most serious traders or investors know, such message boards are real dens of iniquity. The odds of finding real information, never mind making a lasting connection with a real individual who happens to be a kick ass trader (and part time mentor) is like 100 million to one.

But that is what I found in DaveBugs – This guy is a solid and one of the best investors I know. I met Dave on the KLIC board years ago. DaveBugs’ motto is “scale in, scale out – online commissions are cheap” and he understands seasonality and rotation better than most. If I can be half the investor that Dave is, I will be satisfied. Oh, and the guy barely looks at charts, which proves that there are a million ways to play the game.

Then how about Cheri1? She reminded me that the energy that you project is the energy you get back. A few weeks ago Cheri recommended a book to me that provided me with words and specific concepts about the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction.

I was then able to apply this perspective to a specific life-changing experience that actually happened to me personally several months ago. The clarity of purpose that this awareness has provided to me I give her credit for, because even though she and I barely know each other she has given me a gift that I will never forget.

How about Day Trader Rock Star? Rock Star for short. If you have never checked his show out, he is an amazing trader and a fantastic talent for providing entertainment and information to his viewers and listeners. Over a number of years I learned VAST amounts of information from him and the many fine and experienced traders that contribute to the public section of the site.  He provides his members with great value. He cares about his product and is not a shill. Johnny, we never met, but a hearty thank you is in order for what you bring to the trading community.

Another man I respect very much for his courage to speak the truth, as well as his trading perspective, and kick ass T/A, is Shanky from Shanky’s Tech Blog. Shanky taught me patience and the art of playing defense. In order to win the war, you need to survive the battles in between.

Shanky never asks for a dime, but brings it daily with great market commentary and some of the sharpest regular contributors around. If you want to mix it up with some smart guys, hang out there some afternoon.

Part of my learning process is to try to sponge knowledge from more accomplished or well-rounded traders. I am trying to expose myself to traders or market thinkers with perspective, with discipline and success on their resume. One of these is Stef540. Stef is an awesome trader, and a great and funny individual.  Her timeframe is shorter than mine, but I am still in awe of the way she pairs her book daily. Stef always enters and exits trades with precision and ease. From watching her operate I realize that a good trader can hardly help but to win in the end. They will never get themselves into big trouble knowingly and will always fold their hand when the odds stack against them.

Then there is a pro that I have come to know only in the last few months who is a real eye opener. This guy calls a hell of a market in his daily videos, which I personally think are the best free daily market videos out there. Of course I am talking about chessNwine from ibankcoin. The guy is mad talented, and funny as well. His frequent intraday posts are educational and often entertaining. Chess has a depth to his analysis with an understandable approach that is balanced and deadly accurate.

Even the faceless, nameless ones who took my money on the other side of trades gone wrong provide a perspective and wisdom.  They made me realize that every time you take a position there is somebody on the on the other side taking the exact opposite position and only ONE of you can win.  Trading and the markets are a zero sum game.

To make it in the markets every speculator needs to pay their dues. Nobody just wakes up a gifted trader or investor. Everyone requires the guidance and help of mentor, teacher or friend at one point or another to get them over the hump, or to show the way forward. Every single one of you who have been in the game long enough could make a similar list to the one I just made and point to a group of people to honor, and give their Due Propers.

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Market Halitosis

I did not create this Price Is Truth blog to specifically talk about stocks or Technical Analysis although I have many thoughts on the subject.

From time to time however, I may post thoughts about current market conditions if they can illustrate a point or if I feel it is worthwhile. This is one of those times.

You see, in a strongly trending market- up or down – certain technical indicators are rendered useless and others take on additional import. One long term indicator I have been watching since November of 2012 (yes – that is a long time to wait for a trigger) is the Ratio Adjusted Summation Index (RASI) which you can pull up on Stockcharts.com as $NYSI.

This is an adaptation of the standard and widely watched market breadth indicator, the McClellan Oscillator ($NYMO) and the Summation Index ($NYSIT) developed in 1969 by Sherman and Marian McClellan. If you wish to read more about this  – click here for information found on the most excellent McClellan Financial Publications website.

Anyhow back in November 2012 they put out a weekly Chart in Focus article that basically stated that most significant tops in the market could not come without a divergence between new highs and the RASI failing to hold the +500 level.

At the time the article came out the RASI had dipped below the 0 line and had bottomed and Tom McClellan (editor of both The McClellan Market Report and son of Sherman and the late Marian McClellan) speculated that the summation index would show a “neat trick” and provide the indication of fresh liquidity to fuel the market advance to new highs. He was proven correct.

However the end of the article provided another bit of advice (emphasis mine):

It is at the moment when the RASI cannot climb back up +500 that its other big magic trick becomes evident“….”Thus far, we have not seen such a failure yet.  It is really not typical for the stock market to see an important top at a really high Summation Index level, like the raw value high of +3689 seen back on Sep. 21, 2012 (RASI equivalent: +888).  A much more normal resolution is to see a dip down toward neutral like what we have just seen, and then a failing attempt for the RASI to climb back up above +500If we see that unfold in the next few weeks, with a failure by the RASI to climb back up above +500, then we’ll know that the typical weakness of the first year of a new presidential term is playing out according to the normal script.”

As it turned out, the RASI briefly stalled out at the +500 level but the next week powered higher and this indeed was the exact beginning of the 20%+ rally we have experienced since late November.

We are now in a situation that seems to suggest the long awaited divergence is coming to fruition and that this absolutely massive rally (and possibly even the longer 4+ year rally off the 666 SPX lows) may be showing it is ready to give up the ghost.

To wit, please see the most succinct and excellent chart by Jackdamn on Stocktwits that appeared yesterday:

nysi - nya

As you can plainly see, the $NYSI has failed at the +500 level after the $NYA has made marginal new highs. While this looks less than significant to the untrained eye, I encourage you to look at the July 2011 time frame to the left of the chart at the other time that this setup showed itself (although the NYSE did not make all time highs that time).

Please note that the NYSE fell from 8500 to 6500 in +/- 40 trading sessions (~25% drawdown). With the NYSE up 48% ($SPX up 59%) from those Oct 2011 lows we are now at a very tenuous moment.

This bad breadth could be a real nail in the coffin for the 2009-2013 bull run or it could just be one more indicator or divergence that gets blown away by POMO injections of liquidity and Central Bank largesse.

Time will tell, but I will wind down this post with a comment that Tom McClellan just wrote in his most recent Chart in Focus article that I take as a bit of a warning and a bookend to his Nov 2012 article:

“One of the topics that we have covered recently in our McClellan Market Report newsletter and our Daily Edition is the way that the NYSE’s A-D Line is finally showing divergences relative to prices.  And that message is getting amplified by seeing the Ratio-Adjusted Summation Index (RASI) turning down at the +500 level, which is a sign that the push to marginally higher price highs does not have liquidity behind it.  There are really useful messages that one can take from market breadth data, when sophisticated indicators and proper interpretation are applied. ”

His understated tone belies what I believe is the true import of this signal. I waited 9 months for it, but most impulsive BTFD bulls would not understand this type of patience and would probably chuckle at my conclusions.

I respond to that thought with an old saying: Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Don’t say you were not warned.

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Red Skies

As I have been traveling over the past few weeks there have been a number of days that I have not had the occasion or opportunity to watch the tickers. This has not been an issue for me currently, since I don’t have positions active that require my immediate attention quite like I did back in the spring of 2010.

Back then I had accumulated a rather large clutch of call options in that Wildcatter ATP Oil &Gas I mentioned previously. After my initial success with options I had started to fancy myself as an astute speculator and decided to up my position size by many orders of magnitude.

Soon after, some bad news had hit the wires about one of their deep-water wells and the stock had immediately slumped from $18 down to $12 in one month. This left me withstanding a rather shocking and large drawdown in their value. However in late February of that year the stock (along with the broad market) had come roaring back and I had been made whole again by early May.

There is an old nautical saying that goes like this: “Red skies at night a sailor’s delight, red skies at morning sailors take warning”. It is based on practical seafaring experience that guides seamen to be prepared for an incoming storm if the early morning sky is infused with a reddish hue.

I mention this because on the morning of May 5th my bags were packed and my wife and I were about to leave for the airport for a long awaited trip to Maui, Hawaii. Before we left for the airport I wanted to take one last look at the tickers. In recent days I had seen the value of my positions swell greatly in value as ATPG and the rest of the market had enjoyed a bull rally. It appeared in most every respect as if our travels were coming at a time of smooth sailing for the markets.

This particular morning however had started off with a bit of a different tone, with many names and issues showing a decidedly negative action in the morning session. I rubbed my eyes and looked over the quotes again a bit quizzically trying to decipher why they had been so active and positive in the days prior, but were now acting in a manner that suggested urgent liquidation was the order of the day.

Stock after stock I quoted indicated that something was amiss that morning, yet I was leaving in mere minutes for the airport. There was not really time to do anything, unless I was prepared to take immediate and decisive action.

A portion of the call options I held for ATP Oil & Gas were June expiration and a portion were even further out in time, and as of that morning all were now solidly in the money, I felt no sense of immediacy. Furthermore the stock had just broken out above important prior resistance at $20 per share only days before. All indications were that this new higher plateau was certain to be maintained, short of any company specific news that could change its fortunes.

Off on our trip we went and my wife and I landed safely on our version of paradise some five hours later. After emerging from the baggage claim to the scent of tropical flowers and the views of palm trees gently bending with the constant trade winds, any thoughts of the stock market were far from my mind. That is until my phone rang while I was waiting outside the car rental terminal.

It was my cousin/broker calling, he told me that the tone of the session had deteriorated as the day went on and had ended even rougher. ATP Oil & Gas had slid under the $20 level it had broken above just days before, into the closing prints.

He wanted to know if he should sell out of my June calls the next day at a modest profit. This would ensure that if any further softness were to overtake the market in the coming sessions we could at least guarantee that we locked in some immediate gains, as the Junes were due to expire in six or seven weeks.

We decided that Cuz would watch the market and especially my wildcatter closely the next day. He would call me if things continued to deteriorate and I would make a decision at that time. If the day’s action was an isolated incident then I would continue to hold my position with the prospect of selling a good portion at yet higher prices in a week or so, when I returned from my trip. I hung up the phone and resumed my tropical adventure immediately.

The next day was glorious and I was certainly not thinking at all about stocks or anything much beyond the incredible view from our lanai and whether to book a morning or evening golf round when my phone rang and yet again it was my broker.

“MP, have you been watching what is happening on CNBC?” Cuz inquired.

“No, are the markets down again today? How is ATP doing?” I asked.

Breathlessly he went on to describe how the markets had been up on the open and our positions had started to recover from the previous day’s weakness so he had not felt any need to bother me.

He went on to say that then something unusual had happened on the exchanges. The Dow had dropped over one thousand points in mere minutes. Talking heads were blaming it on a glitch or some fat fingered trade. I flipped on CNBC and watched in shock as I saw the huge gash in the intraday chart and my head started spinning.

As my cousin and I were talking, the markets were coming back from the lows and it seemed that it all might be much ado about nothing. Although he mentioned that ATP had dropped to as low as $12 per share and was now trading at $16 and change. It went without saying that I was taking a large beating on my call options.

I decided that since this seemed a bit of an outlier event, maybe it was best to take a measured approach and not make a rash decision. I didn’t want to dump at a moment of extreme illiquidity and into panic selling. Option pricing was very spotty and the spread between bid and ask was as wide as the Grand Canyon. The reason, as you may have already surmised, was that the 2010 “flash crash” was going on at that very moment.

Over the next few days I checked in periodically with Cuz just to make sure that things were not getting materially worse, but as it happened to work out prices seemed to stabilize over the remainder of my week in Hawaii. Cuz assuaged my fears and I decided to deal with things decisively upon my return.

Back home the next week, I rolled up my sleeves and surveyed the carnage. The markets which had shown a bit of resilience in the days following the great crash seemed to now be sagging back towards lower levels that had been breached on that day of extremes.

There was no doubt that my positions had taken on a significant bit of water and now as I returned back to the helm of my financial frigate, I had choices to make. Scanning the news I noted that there was no company specific reason that my little meal ticket should have slumped so hard and not returned back to fair value as had many other issues. For some reason ATP Oil & Gas could not seem to get off the mat and was trading around the $16 level.

At this moment I made a fatal error in judgment.  I did not decide to close out my positions, not even the June contracts. I say this was a fatal error because around this time the BP oil spill happened and President Obama closed the Gulf of Mexico to drilling.

Since my wildcatter was heavily leveraged, it was relying on the production from its new Gulf of Mexico wells to meet some crucial debt covenants. This was a real crusher. Within days ATPG’s share price went over Niagara Falls and in my slack-jawed amazement I witnessed a sub $10 print and daily close at a little over eight dollars. ATPG had lost over half its value in two weeks and my call options were destroyed.

There is no need to bore you with all of the gory details, but suffice to say I was cleaned out long before President Obama opened the Gulf up for drilling again that October or November. And even though ATPG eventually made a gamely effort at rebounding into 2011, the warning shot that I did not heed on that fateful day in May was the deciding blow.

I could have salvaged a good portion of my capital if I had sold out when ATPG broke below $20, or even when I returned back home from Hawaii, and that would have been the correct thing to do. But I fell in love with the story, fell in love with the stock and my emotions and bias prevented me from jumping overboard at the first sign of trouble.

Like the Captain of the good ship ATPG, I ended up going down with the wreck as it was dashed violently against the rocks. If only I had paid heed to the old seaman’s credo, I may not have ended up in Davy Jones’ locker.

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Waves

This is just a real quick one here. I wanted to show you a chart that somebody on TradingView posted that I thought was pretty cool. The members name is  mantasg to give full credit. This chart is of the Australian Dollar / US Dollar forex cross and is a five minute chart.

The author has made the actual price invisible and instead has put the moving averages in a regular interval to create this ribbon or almost 3/D image of price action.

The first thing that I notice is how much this looks like “space/time fabric” or something sci-fi like that. It looks less like a price chart than an image or some mapping software.

wave energy in price movement

wave energy in price movement

The reason I like charts like this one is they show you the hidden energy behind price movement. Charts like these prove that the stock market is a waveform energy like everything in the Universe.

I have studied the intricacies of price at a granular level over the last 4 years and what you are seeing here is part of the “truth” of the market and of price, that I have come to know. There are interplays that factor into price movement and you can see plainly how areas that were prior resistance zones then create clusters of moving average support.

Also you can see the way the ma’s cluster and bunch together when they are getting ready to make a large move or change direction from an downtrend to an uptrend in this example.

Think of it like a steamship that needs to turn around. Such a large mass can not be forced to shift direction on a dime but needs instead to slow down and gather itself  before orchestrating the maneuver.

What other observations can YOU make by studying this chart?

Thoughts, comments or observations about this subject, or anything else are certainly welcome in the comment section below or you can email me as well. I want to keep the topics varied here so I hope that if one day it’s not your cup of tea that you will try again another day.

This one is a bit geeky I admit but thanks for humoring me.
Cheers, MP

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Ice Cube

I had been bearish on the markets and caught short, as many were, in the rally that began in earnest the Monday after Thanksgiving week in late 2011.

After all, the Eurozone had seemed destined for a melt-down, Greece was visibly cracking and the US markets had been in a funk of their own after the Debt Downgrade waterfall ride that summer. Looking at the chart, I had imagined that the end was nigh for the entire bear market rally off the 2009 lows.

But in a stick save move, both European and U.S markets were soon jolted out of their stupor with another robust bout of can-kicking, and boy did markets love can-kicking back then! So off we went and an absolute ripper to the upside was born.

All of this information is irrelevant except to tell you that I had blown out most of my speculative funds by September of 2012 by betting foolishly on tops that never arrived via SPY puts and other such Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction.

You see, back in 2011 I had opened up a day-trading account all on my own, separate from my accounts with Cuz the Broker (see this post if you are not caught up with that arrangement) and had blown through it until I was under the $25k limit and of course I ended up getting locked out of making more trades for like 3 months due to a horrible trap for little fish like me called the Pattern Day-trading rules.

It was an awful time, and by the end of that ordeal and after the massive rally I described above, I had gutted my bankroll pretty good and was less a speculator than a spectator and gun shy to make any more parlor bets.

I was still holding a few core positions (aka corpses) including a horrible short position in Chipotle that I had been wrestling with for a while. It was cramping both my style and my buying strength badly going into Q1 earnings, but then the fever broke on the burrito and things calmed down a bit for me and gave me some breathing room.

I had been doing a whole lot of stalking and not much trading as I mentioned, since I was pretty broke but one of the names that had intrigued me was Google.  I had the eagle eye on her that summer, that’s for sure.

That stock had been a real mover for a while both long and short. What I had initially noticed with GOOG is that once it cleared above $600 in July it REALLY started punishing those few shorts still bearish enough to be left in the name after its recent declines. I had been there and done that with CMG and knew the signs.  What I saw in the price action convinced me that Google had made lows and was going to go much higher than $600 and so I sat on my hands and waited for her to flash me a sign that it was time to fade the move.

Day after day it was a relentless march higher. Little by little, slowly squeezing and I could not honestly tell you why I did not just go long of Google as that trade seemed a dead lock cinch, and it was, for what seemed like ages. But it just kind of hypnotized me and I sat and watched and waited for my chance to pounce on the short trade.

Weeks and months went by and that stock teased and taunted the bears, often feigning weakness one day just to gap above on the next and start the squeeze all over again to new high after new high. Many times and many days I was tempted to initiate a short position but I told myself that I could not afford to guess, I had to have a good reason to short, I needed an edge and unless I had one I had to be willing and prepared to miss the trade. Basically I had one shot to be right, and I was going to err on the side of caution. Plus by all accounts the prospects for the company seemed sound, and a rule of speculating states that if there is no catalyst there is no trade.

Every time that I mentally noted a potential shorting area, the next day I would invariably be glad I did not take the bait. GOOG was rending the bears with vicious gashes daily and I wanted no part in that.

Eight, nine, then ten then eleven weeks in a row Google finished at higher prices. The weekly chart seemed like the very Stairway to Heaven itself with its erect ascent. By this time I was positively foaming at the mouth but it was almost a Zen discipline at that point for me to wait out the momentum. With a patience and quiet focus and calm attitude I just observed and watched for the change in character.

After waiting monk-like for the news flow to change and the catalyst to emerge I noticed something on a Saturday morning that piqued my interest.  Insiders had been selling in large amounts and they had cut their holdings by over 45% going into earnings in only a few weeks. While that is something worthwhile to note it is far from a smoking gun.

The next week I was watching GOOG even more closely and I noticed it start stalling out over 770 and I made a mental note about this. I was scanning the news feeds and read an article detailing a negative impact on current earnings due to some one-time charges.  Another noted potential catalyst.

Finally, the cherry on top for me was on the first Friday in October I read an online Investor’s Business Daily article that came out near the end of the trading session. The article about Google had a simple premise. It was bringing attention to the fact that Google was about to break it’s all time consecutive weekly gain streak .The article went on to mention that the record weekly win streak had previously been back when Google made its previous all-time high price per share back in November 2007.

Now here I am staring at this simple article and I got a feeling in my gut. Investor’s Business Daily usually did not peddle in such mediocre “news” and I took this as a contrary sign that sentiment was at or near peak levels for the stock. This combined with the other little clues gave me my edge.

Just then I look at the chart. GOOG made all-time highs near $775 and then all of a sudden as I am watching, it reverses off its record highs to trade under $770. I checked the clock and I had 30 minutes left in the session and the week and something told me that this was THE DAY.

Quickly I scanned the daily chart for clues on the right trade to take. No way could I short the common since I had no margin left due to my CMG position. I had to take an option trade but since earnings were coming up in a few weeks they were expensive.

I had to not only be right on the trade, but I had to pick the right way to express my bearish view using overpriced options due to upcoming earnings. That is not a recipe for success.

But I looked at the chart and my eyes saw it instantly. My eyes saw the pattern all at once and in an instant I just knew in my heart that Google was going to head down to at least $700, over $70 below where it was trading at that moment.

Now I had an end point but what trade to take? The 740×700 October put spread was pricing out at a grand and change and it gave me two weeks for the trade to hit. Suckers bet.

I called my Cuz (remember I had blown out my trading account) and told him what I wanted to do and told him to get the trade on no matter what. I hung up the phone and watched Google trade the last 5 minutes of the session.

Like a sign from the heavens, the overall markets rolled over at that moment and Google dropped at least five bucks in the last five minutes and closed the day at $767 and change.

Monday came and the market opened to a big gap down, and Google opened up down six dollars per share right off the bat at $761. I never took even one penny of heat on the trade. Over the next week or so Google chopped up the late to the party shorts. My spread fluctuated in profit, but my entry was too good to touch and by the day before earnings Google closed at $755. This encouraged me but by no means was anything certain.

The day of earnings I was a bit nervous. Not only was this the day of reckoning for my crazy option gambit to either make me money or turn to mush, but my other major deal Chipotle just happened to be reporting the same day at the same time.

I had a ton of nervous energy that morning and I needed to blow off some steam. It would drive mef crazy if I watched price all day so I went for a jog during the lunchtime doldrums.

During my jog I felt a little sense of peace wash over me.  After all, I had been calculating, patient, observant and purposeful in stalking the trade. Some clues had emerged that I was on the right track and the trade had gone my way immediately. So as I returned back to the house I had buzz in my head, but I was anticipating something good was about to happen.

Once inside, I quickly checked the screen to see how Google was trading. It was down from the price I had left it at, another positive sign. After a few minutes of watching, something happened that made me audibly yell. In an instant GOOG dropped like a stone on HUGE volume, $750 then $730 then $710 then $695 then $685!!!! What the FUCK? What just HAPPENED? Earnings were not for over an hour still to come, and all of a sudden the stock had dropped over $80 in mere seconds.

What had happened was that somebody had released GOOG’s earnings report before the bell. It was a fat finger “mistake”. I have found in life that there are few, if any coincidences, but in any event here I was sitting on a huge gain on my spread.

I immediately called my cousin and had him buy me a weekly 740 call for a hundy or so as a hedge, in case this was a huge mistake and we got a reversal. By doing this, I had locked in some type of gain and it bought me time for price to possibly keep falling, and to let the option pricing settle down so I could get the best exit possible.

Soon after that, the market closed and CMG reported a down quarter. The stock immediately tanked hard. Five minutes and $50 down later and I was looking at Aces over Kings. Slowly I walked over to the liquor cabinet and poured myself a whisky on the rocks and settled down into my chair to await the CMG conference call.  I remember the feeling well. How the planets had aligned perfectly and the sun had shined on me for that one day. How the Google trade had needed to be perfect and it was just that. The perfect trade. As I savored my drink in silence I had a thought and pulled up a song by Ice Cube on YouTube and blasted it.

After all, I thought to myself that today was one for the ages. Today was a good day. I didn’t even have to use my A.K.

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GDX looks good here

Some of the most popular posters on Stocktwits seem to do little more than draw a simple trend line and say something like: “GDX looks good here” or “HAL looks good” or “SPY looks ready to move” and there are like 5 likes and 350 views and it’s just the most stupid inane shit I have ever seen in my life.  And these folks have like 862 followers and I just wonder what the deal is.

Everyone looks smart in bull markets as long as you are bullish, but how about something original please? There is no award for originality or going against the grain right now. If you are not a raging bull you are shunned like a leper.

Even my charts only get a tepid response compared to individuals that don’t seem to say much or offer anything new at all.

My conclusion is that the average person out there is enamored with success, with confidence and with a narrative that is inspiring and uplifting. Most do not want to wallow in the gutter with Bowery bums, or spend a week with a career criminal, or heaven forbid a bear in the markets.

It is the same reason the overall bias for stocks is to the upside and most investors and traders (including some of the most intelligent individuals that I have come to know in the investing community) are dyed in the wool bulls. Some never short stocks and would not consider it, even in a crushing bear market for the Dow.

Come to think of it, if things had progressed differently in life for me over the past few years I probably would be more in that camp as well. Why spend precious time in life dwelling in negativity?

One of my followers on Stocktwits this week suggested a book for me to read that focuses on the power of positive thinking as a guiding force in changing one’s life and fortunes. I believe there is merit to this overarching philosophy, so I ordered it yesterday and will be reading it soon. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I have a chance.

Going forward, I will give an honest effort not to dwell in negatives excessively since part of my growth will come from putting my past behind me.

I still feel passionately that some of the stories I have to tell, while seemingly depressing or negative can be used as a positive for somebody to learn from without having to endure my hardships. Just don’t expect Price is Truth to all of a sudden turn into sunshine and unicorns and rainbows because that is not me.

Last week I had a little bit of a pity party for myself about taking the CMG short into earnings and passing on the GOOG short that I felt I had an edge on. There was even a commenter that felt that what was missing from my post was an explanation of WHY I had forgone the trade with an edge, and instead went with one that had none.

He brought up a valid point and comment (and by the way I would love to get more comments and feedback.

If there are others out there who can relate to my experiences in some ways, or who have their own stories or perspectives that they would be willing to tell, I WOULD WELCOME HEARING FROM YOU in the comments section (or you can contact me privately via my email as well – see my bio).

Nothing would make me feel better about my efforts than creating a community of individuals that support each other. My goal with this blog is to find ways to overcome barriers to personal success and learn effective ways to harness the incredible powers of the Universe.

OK, enough of that – I have a feel good story coming up next. I’ll try to post it tonight. It involves the same stocks from last week GOOG and CMG and it was one of the best trading days of my life. Stay tuned…

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Edge

Today is a good example of what keeps me under the water. Today is an example of my messed up karma. Now don’t think I am bitching or crying here because I am not and I am far past that point anyhow. And I am actually thinking that my karma is improving of late although today does not help my argument, I grant you that.

We are not really going to go into details about today right now…all things in their time and plus the wounds are too fresh to really poke around much without a bunch of pain coming to the surface and I don’t really feel like punishing myself today.

I did some positive things today, I went for a jog and lifted weights and I am even writing something here and that is a positive as well.  But I still feel like a piece of gum on the bottom of your shoe at the moment because I HAD the right trade and I backed the wrong horse AGAIN!

Man it is tiring to be so bad for so long. It is literally just a fucking beat down. Losing begets losing. Loser mentality leads to loser trades and loser results.

But again this is not me trying to cry a fucking river here. This is me talking about how you can be right and wrong at the same time and how if you have no edge you have no trade. That’s right no edge no trade. I thought I had an edge on one play and actually I did have one until a few days ago but as of this morning my edge was gone and I should have faced that fact and dealt with it properly but instead I let my bias screw me when I had another perfectly good trade in the bag and did not take it.

I backed the wrong fucking horse…again.

The trade I did not take was a stock I actually have good trading karma with and the other I have suffered and wrestled with for years. Another one of those corpses I talked about a few posts ago. Did I mention I even had an edge on the good one?

If you don’t trade you really have no idea what I am speaking about when I say I had an edge. Let me explain. At any given moment a stock can either go up, down, or trade flat or sideways. At any given moment of time you could literally flip a coin because even though I am a firm believer in charts and technical analysis in the short run anything can happen.

But an edge is like a little sliver of something you can lean against. Something you can hold onto when things seem to be going against you because after all, you have an edge. Something not everybody is aware of or something that not everybody even knows exists.

Take the example of blackjack. Say you are sitting in the anchor position at the table – commonly called third base or the position to the dealer’s right hand.  Third base is the most important player at the table since he is the last to act before the dealer.

Now say that the table is full of players and as I mentioned everybody acts on their hands before you get to act since the dealer goes from their left to right as the order of play. The dealer is showing a 10 value card up and needs to check if she has blackjack so she takes a peek underneath the face down card. She ends up without a 21 so play continues.

The first few guys bust and then let’s say the next couple of players hit their hands a few times but don’t bust and stand at some total. Now play comes to you and you are sitting on a marginal hand, say it’s a 12 which in most cases is a tough one to sit on and not that great to hit either since any 10 card and you bust. But in this instance you happened to have accidently caught a peek at the dealer’s hole card when she was checking earlier and you know she is sitting on a 6 in the hole.

That, my friends, is called an edge. It does NOT guarantee that you will win the hand. After all if you hit you might bust and if you stay the dealer can still out draw your hand but what you have is knowledge of something that nobody else knows (besides the dealer of course) and you can use that knowledge to shape how you play the hand.

In this example, especially with a few players sitting on their draws the correct play knowing the dealer has 16, is to stand and let the dealer try to improve since she must hit that 16. If you did not know what she held underneath, the temptation would be great to hit the 12 to try to improve the hand at least marginally, since a 12 won’t beat anything but a bust.

And the odds would be against you. But since you know you stand pat and take your chances with the dealers draw.

With an edge the odds are suddenly tilted just a little bit more in your favor. And I had an edge on a trade today and I took another one and lost and the one I had an edge on would have paid nicely. C’est la vie I guess but it chaps my hide to be a dumbass and not learn and not progress. It is a beat down and as a trader the most important currency besides a bankroll is to keep your confidence high. The only way you do this is to make winning trades or cutting losing one’s when it is the right thing to do.  See, it’s not even about always making money on a trade but in making the right trade at the right time. That keeps your self-confidence where it needs to be to able to play and to win in the caged death match we call the market.

I’ll recover but today is a setback, I won’t lie to you. Today was a little setback to my psyche.  I told you I am not healed yet, I am a work in progress. I will give you the good with the bad. I am human after all and if you were looking for the super trader dude who always wins and is cocky and gloats about how fucking smart he is that is not me. Go read any number of trading sites that will only tell you about how they always win and go jerk off to it because that is fantasy like porn is a fantasy. I am more like the fat chick at the party that has a great personality but nobody wants anything to do with.

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Swine Flu

Just a bit ago I was doing what I always do seemingly all day every day, that is checking charts when I noticed that Novavax was up like fucking 25% or 30% from the last time I had seen the chart and that couldn’t have been more than three or four days ago. That always happens with that frigging name, shitty price action for months and then if you stop paying attention for a few days its WHAM! 30% in your face asshole, where were you? Missed the Swine Flu train again?

Anyhow, that reminded me of a story from way back about NVAX when I was still a widdle biddy guppy in the big bad ocean. From before I had even lost anything really and I was just full of piss and vinegar.

So I have no idea how I even found the ticker that day but I think it was on some list of daily % gainers or some such thing on Yahoo Finance. This was back in ’09 around June or July come to think of it so pay attention here because this could be a similar story coming to a theater near you soon. Anyway, Novavax was having one of those weeks at the time just like it is having this week, big moves on volume, acting all frisky and shit like something was up with it and somehow I got involved with a few thousand shares at $3.40. I remember the price well…$3.40 and I chased it, of that I am sure. I even think my cousin who was my stockbroker may have tried to sway me away from the flavor o’ the day pump and dump and he may have warned me against chasing it after such a move.

At the time I wasn’t even trading my own account, my cousin was handling my wife and my retirement savings or what was left of them after I yanked all my money out of Ameriprise Financial at the end of ’08 (yes, of course near the bottom, could it be any other way for me?) after Lehman and TARP and all that good stuff and my Ameriprise broker at the time was trying to tell me that dollar cost averaging was going to make me rich from the sell off. I called bullshit and transferred my accounts to my Financial Adviser cousin post haste. I was not going to let some uncaring, order taking sumbitch squander away the MP family fortune. No fucking way, I would be the master of my destiny, I would show Troy the douche bag broker from Ameriprise that I was smarter than the market. Blood is thicker than water and all that crap, cuz would not steer me wrong.

Little did I know that if I had kept my money with that horrible Americrime with it’s horrible front end loaded crap that woefully underperformed any benchmark you could care to use I would have been 1000% better off four years later. Troy I am so sorry.

Little did I know that I should have fired my cousin soon after this little episode with Novavax commenced, that it should have served as fair warning that no profit was too great to let slip away and no loss that was small would be ever be cut quickly and moved on from. The “drag dead money along for years” precedent was established I believe with this very NVAX campaign. I still have a few corpses lying around to this very day.

So in I was for a few thousand shares at $3.40 and life was full of promise. The next day I woke up to a 12% gap down or some shit cause all I remember was within no more than two trading sessions it went down below $3.00 to like $2.80 or some horror-show. Now, to my credit I was a guppy but I had not developed bad habits yet and I cut half of the position down right around $3.00 on a bounce so now maybe I was in for a thousand shares and had taken a $400 loss. So far things had not gotten too horrible, right?

So now the fun starts. Within a few days NVAX starts going absolutely bat shit crazy to the upside. I mean I think within a week it was trading above $5.00 per share and I was making money. I think it finished the week under $5.00 but at that point I was playing with some house money and my balls started getting lower and that Novavax looked like a winner and I was starting to look smarter by the day and I was already thinking about how I could make a living doing this and fuck working again for the man……

Now keep in mind at this point Novavax was like way in debt, no product approval, no chance in hell of actually getting anything awarded to them any time soon – in fact they are just fucking now in 2013 just starting to look like a decent upside trade but I digress. So NVAX had gone from the $3’s up into the 5’s and now it some rumor pops and this thing goes parabolic with a HUGE gap up on unbelievable volume to over $7.00 a share.  Had I been scaling profits along the way? Did I take this moment to lock in my original investment and let the rest ride? Did I take full profits and buy upside calls to replace my stock and reduce my risk? No, No and No. Did I do anything? No. I was the smartest guy and I knew what I was doing right? I mean didn’t everyone get doubles in a month?

The next day THE gap down happened. At the time I thought the two candles up above separated from the rest of the chart seemed oddly ominous but I could not put my finger on why or be sure that this was not just another of the famous Novavax head fakes that I had gotten very used to. I was no technical analyst at that point and anything as esoteric as an “Island Gap” Japanese candlestick pattern would have escaped me completely.

As it turned out, Novavax has yet to revisit those prices from the day of the island gap over four years later. I believe I sold the last of my shares from the remaining Thousand at a price of $2.00 back in July of ’12 and at the time I remember feeling like I got a great price on my exit since shares had traded as low as $1.10 and I had held out from selling at the lows.

After all, I had learned a thing or two about Novavax and about the markets in the subsequent years of dragging its dead carcass along with me hadn’t I? Yes that is correct, I never sold. Not at six dollars or five dollars or four dollars or even at three dollars when I was back to a loss.

NVAX got back to $3.00 and under within a few months of its climax and I not only did NOT sell with profit I dragged that fucking carcass along for three fucking years before I dumped those last shares and price never got above $3.50 the whole time…that is dead fucking money people.

As it turned out the $2.00 fill I sold out at was near high tick for another few months and I felt pretty good that I had rid myself of the curse but sure enough as these things are wont to do in the markets a few months later after I had sold my final shares the chart started firming up again and now the company is starting to hit milestones and get grants and now the chart shows promise and now I have been stalking it for a legitimate trade again since I always kind of had a warm spot for that old dog. But I ain’t gonna chase it this time. I ain’t gonna chase it.

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Price is Truth

First off I need to get it out there right off the bat.  I am a net loser in the markets. I have already lost so much money that on paper it will take an act of God to ever get on the green side of the ledger. I have blown up several trading accounts and am currently short-stacked.

It is a terrible feeling because just as I have tapped my resources my knowledge and wisdom have grown exponentially.

Why do I even care about the markets at this point?  Really I should hate them – they should revolt me. But they don’t.  Each day is like a new puzzle waiting to be solved. Each day is a day that my thesis du jour gets tested and proved to be right or wrong.

How do I know if I am right or wrong?

Price is Truth

This is a powerful lesson that I had to learn. That I am still learning.

One of many lessons that I have learned in the last four years of my life since I was laid off from a great Advertising sales job in 2009 because of the credit bubble popping. That is the moment that I stumbled upon what I now consider to be my great passion, the financial markets.  If I had known then the road I would take when I started paying attention to the market there is no way I would have gotten involved in this den of vipers but here I am and I cannot shake its gravitational pull.

The market is a harsh teacher and critic and takes no prisoners and does not respond to any one person’s hope or desire.

The market is on her own schedule and rhythm and if you align yourself properly to her energies you can surf the wave with great success and seemingly with little efforts but if you take for granted the sheer power of the forces that you are tapping into you are putting yourself at risk for mortal peril.

The only thing that can be used to judge success is price.

It’s really a simple concept but some people never do ever truly grasp the significance of that concept and forever are in search of the holy grail of investing and the secret to long-term wealth from the markets.

But I am convinced the secret is somewhere in the price action.

Why am I writing this? Well partially I feel the compulsion to write about my experiences to get them on paper so as not to forget the really important lessons.  This is partially a self-journey, a healing process if you will.

Not that I can really ever truly forget what I have done since many of my choices ended up costing me hard earned money and confidence. Costing me trust from my wife that I love and the wife that put her faith in me. Costing me years of time spent on a losing proposition – putting me at great risk of future gainful employment in the middle of arguably the toughest economy since the Great Depression.

In other words I fucked up big time. I gambled and I lost and it hurts like hell.  I have nobody to blame but myself and I take full credit and responsibility for my gains and losses.

That was another lesson I had to learn.

I have seemingly made every possible mistake there is to be made in the markets and I still make them.  But I am in the process of working on my faults one by one. Desperately searching for the discipline to conquer my inner demons.

I have learned incredible things along the way. I feel I have something to offer to those who are looking for a different perspective and a story to tell the world about how the game is played even though I never worked in the Investment industry and don’t have any licenses to offer investment advice and frankly if you came here to get any of that you were always going to go away sorely disappointed and that is fine because that is not what I am doing here.

Do I think I have the skills to pay the bills? Fuck yes, in fact I believe in my skills to the ends of the earth. Why? Because of the sheer amount of time I have put into my craft. I have a passion for it, plus a natural gift for seeing subtle differences that others miss.

But only through actual time spent watching price tick by tick, year by year and observing and understanding all of the interactions do I now feel that I function on an almost unconscious level when I look at a chart.  I am a bit of a charting savant and spend way too much time daily looking at charts. Call me a chart geek and I probably would not argue the point.

That in itself means NOTHING. That in itself is NOT any big fucking deal. There are a ton of great chartists and everyone is looking at the same thing. I am not patting myself on the back here in fact I am saying that it really does not matter except that I want you all to know that you can be really good at one piece of the puzzle but to be successful in life or in the markets the end result is what really matters. Scoreboard bitches!

If only I knew then what I know now – If only…but you cannot roll back the clock and there are no do-overs in the markets or in life. I am short stacked and now I need to play small ball until I can build myself back to where I need to be to fully utilize my talents and hard earned wisdom and that is all on me.

Despite the pain and misery and suffering the markets have bestowed on me I will not quit. I feel in my soul that the tuition paid in my blood will eventually come back to me and that there is a reason for my twisted and wicked path to date. There needed to be the pain first in order to get to the pleasure later when it will really matter.

I invite you to join me on my journey and maybe in the process we can all learn something important about the markets and more importantly about life and about the infinite wisdom of the Universe.

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