I’ve been reading a couple books on trading stocks since this is something I can do outside of market hours. The first book is How to Make Money in Stocks by William O’Neil. I’ve read this book before and used to trade stocks with the O’Neil approach until I switched to ES, but reading it again now was like someone turned on some major lights. I guess I’ve really matured as a trader and now I’m ready for O’Neil’s teachings. I thought I understood it years ago but I was wrong. Just like maybe in another 4 years from now I’ll understand it even more than I do now. I’ve heard of people reading it 20+ times. It’s that good. I’m sim trading some stocks while waiting for my account to be re-opened at Interactive Brokers. So far the results are ok but it’s just for practice. Soon I’ll be trading ridiculously small sizes with real money. I like the fact that we can do that. If anyone is interested in collaborating on trading stocks using the “O’Neil approach” get in touch with me. I stopped it in 2008 when the top wiped out my gains and then some and focused on day trading. So I still consider myself a beginner at this approach. I’m not necessarily going to trade exactly as O’Neil (buying breakouts), but there are a lot of good ideas in that book.
The next book is Trade Like an O’Neil Disciple which is written by two of his former employees. They made incredible gains, which the authors claim were audited and verified. They tell how they did it. If there was a book written by a futures trader who had his trading records audited by a big accounting firm, then I’d be very interested. I am not aware of any such book. Why is it that we have stock traders with verified track records but no futures traders?
This second book is really for people who have read and appreciate the first book. It goes into detail about various stock trades. That was the boring part. The great part was all the little bits of wisdom from William O’Neil. I have to be honest, I skimmed over some of the details on previous trades but I took a lot of notes on the teachings of O’Neil.
Here is an example quote:
In the end, traders must insist that they trade alone, free from distractions and interference from the outside world, whether such distractions come from business partners, the media, or any other source of external input that can throw you off your path. Remember this rule: Trade your plan, and plan your trade, and do it all with a minimum of outside influence or input, preferably remaining in the Livermorian ideal of “trader’s isolation.”
When I read that, what immediately came to mind was Twitter. I know what I’m looking for and I have rules telling me when I can enter, where to put the stop, where to scale, etc. So why do I need twitter? Since I read that quote last week, I completely exited my Twitter client. It’s hard to break a bad habit so occasionally when the market is slow and I know I don’t have a trade coming, I’ll run Tweetdeck and read the recent tweets and then quickly exit having realized I’m better off without that distraction while trading. There are some excellent tweets from FT71 and GoldTrader, but they don’t trade like me so it’s better if I read their tweets when I’m not trading.
Two days in a row that I’ve come up empty handed in my 90 min window. Yesterday I didn’t take any trades. Tonight I took a shot at a long at 79 but scratched it for a tick. That’s one reason I started writing this blog post, to keep me busy so that I won’t force a trade.
We haven’t given back any gains over the last two days so my big picture bias is still bullish.
I didn’t meet the Velocity minimum and they have not replied to two customer support enquiries about it. So I think they’ll sock me with a 30 euro fee. In a few minutes I’ll deactivate my platform and trade with Mirus next month. Mirus has slightly higher commissions but no minimum and since I’ll be on vacation for most of August, Mirus makes more sense.