Thursday, September 22, 2005

Worth investing in?

Dr Bing asks,

“how can we determine if a trader is great or his software is worth buying?”

You ask me as trader and developper of Futures-Trader, which is my own trading platform.

But does it really matter? You ask 2 questions which have nothing to do with each other.
One is relatively simple to answer, the other, well you can believe me or not, but first the easy one:
Is my software worth buying? The software is a tool, so you expect it to do what you want to do with it: Enable you to trade futures.

To decide, if it is doing that, you can download it from my website and test it in Simulation-mode for as long as you want. If it convinces you, then you can get a 2 week trial and test it in real trading to see, that it works real as good as it does in Sim-mode.

I use Futures-Trader for my own trading, actually I started developping it, because there was no software doing, what I considered necessary for my trading when I started with the project. I followed some blind paths in trading over the last 3 years since I switched from stock trading to futures and the software shows some of these paths, which I followed, but then abandoned, because for me they were not profitable, they were not my style. But as I have customers using some of these functions, they stay in the software. And as as traders we often go circles I myself have come back to some of the tools I abandoned 1 or 2 years ago to use them now with better market wisdom. Of course that also means, that the software has become a complex tool over time, which needs some learning time to use all of it’s features.

The benefit you have, that I’m not only a software developper, but also a trader is, that I use the software daily myself for my own trading, so the features I add are used right from the start by myself for my own trading, as otherwise I would not add the module to Futures-Trader (unless of course someone in my Yahoo-Group proposes an Add-On which intrigues me and which I think might be a worthy Add-On, making my trading day easier as well).

So do you need to know, if I’m a good trader to decide, if you like my software? I don’t think so.

But you also asked, if I’m a great trader?

No, I’m not. But I’m becoming every day which passes a better trader. I’m taking it one step after the other and I’m going forward. I have set-backs as we all have them, I find myself for some time in a range, then I leave that range just to find myself in the next range. That’s trading, that’s the business we are in.

Do I post live trades, do I post my results?

No, no longer. I did so for quite some time, when I started with my 2.500$ account 2 years ago to learn futures trading. I posted hopeful developments and nasty setbacks, just to show, that most of us have to go this hard route. There are just a few born traders, the others have to learn it and we all pay our tuition fees. So why did I stop posting live trades or results?

Because it was distracting, because it put myself under unnessessary pressure. I don’t need to show someone something, I get no ego-boost from being the great trader in a chat-room, knowing others might start mirroring my trades. I need noone, I have never spoken to before, querying my trade, when it is hanging around and not performing as I expected or, when it is going as it should, someone coming along accusing me to have posted my trade late, (so he could not jump on the train, which had left the station 2 minutes ago). No, there is no reason to do that. I’m responsible to just one person: Myself.

I want to be able to look in the mirror and say: Hey Chris, well done, really well done today.

Do I know, if the traders writing the blogs I read trade real? No. Do I care? No.

I read the blog and decide, if what is written there makes sense to me. Take an example: Sport in his Traders Paradise Blog is often accused of not trading real, so he is now posting pictures of his Trading setup, showing his chart with arrows on it. I really don’t care, whether Sport makes money trading his system. I think he does, because I follow him now for years and someone doing that in Sim-mode would have no reason to do, what Sport is doing for 3 years now (he trades longer, I just know him for 3 years I think). But whether he trades 1, 2 or 20 contracts. It makes no difference. The only really interesting bit of information on his last entries were the charts with the Autotrading signals on it. These I took and checked whether I got a signal on my charts as well. I’m not interested in Sports tradesetup or his Mother of all Shorts system, but I’m sure interested in seeing if his setup matches my own signal. And if he has a winning signal where I have none, I try to see, why, where do we differ, what indicator, what PA signal is he following, that gives him his signal, while I got none. (Of course using the same timeframe.)

So, I will not start posting live trades again, at least not in public. And I won’t post my balance on a regular basis. It’s up to you to read my blog, to decide, if this Globetrader (or croc), whom you know from a picture and whose real name you know is Chris is real or not.

I will not help you with this decision, because I really believe, it won’t help you on your way. I met some great traders on the way, with some of them, I’m now in daily contact and it was always the same in the beginning: Trust. I trusted them to trade real, to tell me no BS and to have no hidden agenda. They trusted me to respect them, to be worth of their trust in me, when they confided in me information not to be released to the public.

Of course I also met some not worth of this trust,and it sometimes hurts to learn the truth. But that’s life. I have decided to live my life, to trust another one with the risk of getting hurt. The emotional joy of meeting someone worth of your trust is sure worth it. But I’m telling you nothing new here. As a trader you know this all too well. At least if you trade real yourself.