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  1. Or is it that you can't make it work? I often see that the focus of posts is on how and why a strategy wins rather than the profitable application of a winning strategy. This may be for a multitude of different reasons which I'll leave to your imagination. But let me ask this question. Is the real key to a trader's success based on their system's potential for profit? If it is, then why is it that the occurrence of traders who fail to make money, jumping from system to system which have been used profitably by other traders past and present, is so frequent and persistent? Logical well thought through strategies of course are a prerequisite, but it is my contention that they are not the defining factor on a trader's road to success. A really important aspect to the success or failure of a strategy is to many what is the 'peripheral' information. How to make a good system work. Most of you will have heard the trading adage or a variation of it that "No system can win all of the time". Think about this for a minute. Why is that? All things equal, couldn't there be a system that wins all of the time? No. All things aren't equal and the trading landscape is constantly changing and undulating. This is also why markets aren't random as some suggest. Here are a few important 'peripheral' factors to the success or failure of your system:- Time What time of day/week/month are you trading? Economic Events/Releases Before and after key economic releases, markets can behave very differently which can of course impact your system. Current conditions Is the market trending or bracketing? Is it moving up or down? How volatile is it? Is it within recent activity or exploring new prices? Phase Location Where in the current trend or bracket is the market trading? For example, are you attempting to execute a trend strategy in a dwindling trend? Stop Type Selection What is your stop based on and how big is it? Is it fixed by number of prices, based on s/r levels or volatility based using say a channel or even an ATR method? Market Selection Which markets are you applying the strategy to? Knowing that different markets have different participant bases, you can more appropriately apply techniques to markets with more beneficial characteristics. To be a profitable trader, you need to step it up and be a pro in the way you approach your work.
  2. . If you really are interested in getting enlightened, one way would be to go off to Tibet, crawl in a cave, and sit there meditating for thirty years. Another equally good way – but much, much faster – is to trade the S&P. (Bill Williams) Motivated by Frank's excellent MIP thread, I'm initiating this thread to explore Larry Phillips' Zen and the Art of Poker. A lot of smart stuff has been posted on message boards, and much of it has been lost, not because it has literally been deleted (though that is sometimes the case), but because it has been forgotten. People move on, they quit, they die, and it's important to pass the good stuff on so that those who read it when it was posted aren't the only ones who benefit. Years ago, a guy named William posted the rules from Phillips' book one by one in order to encourage reflection and discussion, and this is my purpose as well. I'm not going to post all the rules because, as I said to William at the time, not all of them are as clearly applicable to trading as others. But you will see how very applicable to trading many of these rules are. There's been quite a lot of editing here. William edited the rules himself, and I've edited William's elaborations to some degree. Keeping that in mind, the bold entries are from Phillips' book and the rest, unless otherwise attributed, are William's. I'll post the rules one at a time, and I encourage those who are interested to read each one, think about it, and post those thoughts here. This thread may then become a means by which traders may grow.
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