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... Thoughts After Skimming SLA-AMT Pdf

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Hey guys, haven’t been around much. Not worth my time to watch everything I say in light of what one other human thinks may make for good business policy… Anyways I drop in every few weeks to see the independent discoveries (that were independently discovered and posted 3 years ago and 3 years before that and 3 years before that and… ;) ) This time I perused DBP’s SLA-AMT pdf and it occurred to me to take the risk of being banned or censored and log on and share some thoughts for those who might need it - whether they are beginners, “damaged” or whatever. As usual, I went to the last page and worked my way back. As often happens, it was worth it


My thoughts:

Appendix E can be the starting place, the very center, the core - instead of the final section appended to the ‘book’! It can be the focus - even over price action. It can be placed at the beginning of trading (self) education and operational development instead of near ‘graduation’. As the core, it can make all those “useless” ‘indicators, bands, whatnot’ that are not part of pure “trade price” exceptionally useful ! … especially in automation!!!!

An Appendix E as the core and fully implemented practically is as close to “the continuous nature of the market, the continuity of price, the continuity of transactions, the continuity of the trading activity that results in those transactions.” as one can get.


In my own journey, I was making ‘passing grades’ in the typical trader development curriculum. I was, of course, very committed… I can’t say how typical this part is, but I was one of the participants who was never ever going to grasp “Supply and Demand” the way you are was ‘supposed’ to be able to understand and trade “the Law thereof”. …

Then some ideas intruded! --- ‘get out ta crowd’ ideas!

What if I ‘typed’ the auction even before looking at the price action - or applying any other trading technique or whatever?

What if I leveraged emerging technology and did it ‘quantitatively’ via computer instead developing a practiced ‘feel’ skill for it (this was late 80's)?

What if I always kept it ‘in the moment’, granular / short time frame?

I committed YES to all three of those questions about MarketTyping - and, btw, endured several years of failing forward to discover what data to collect, how to package ‘patterns’ in auction participation, and finding the sweet spot for the complexity of the ‘categorization’ algorithms. It was the best decision (and leap of faith) of my trading life.


By making it the beginning instead of the ‘graduate level’ appendix, it allowed me to progress to making trade sizing my very next stage. And to make the next stage after that, inclusive ‘portfolios of systems’… systems that individually didn’t have to be adaptive / ‘robust’…


At the application level, By keeping it ‘micro’ / granular, it averted the typical ‘dropping through timeframes’ on charts for “context”, etc. It also allowed me to easily come off ‘straight lines’. It allowed me to return to projecting curvilinear “envelopes and bands”, etc. and as I mentioned above, to use indicators … btw, non addictively / selectively / non continuously

… This might be a good place to insert that this post should in no way be interpreted by anyone - the author or by avid or casual ‘studiers’ of SLA-AMT - as a slam on the material in the pdf. Like in any curriculum you will be always be ‘taking more than one course at a time’ anyways… and if ” trade price” fits your talents and inclinations, then by all means dig in. Nor should these comments be seen as a cut on DBP - he remains in my eyes the greatest trading forum poster ( / trading educator) EVER!


Ie as with most my posts, this post is not anti normal… it is pro bassackwards for those who need it…. so just


Step back and see if there is a way for you to see Appendix E “characterization” that puts it at the beginning instead of the end. If so, it may be the true way for you.

If not… still wishing you all the best.

Hope this finds my few friends herein (and everyone else too) doing well…


Gone again,



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> Question the best… ignore the rest.

“Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room;

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore benefit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there. ” - Lao Tzu


> “preconditions are not the same as precipitants.” - Robert David Steele


“There are no "setups" in Wyckoff, at least insofar as we commonly use the term.” - DBP

The ‘straight lines’ etc.eg.pg15 are actually the addition of one thing Wyckoff methods never provided - setups!

… members should be able to click Thanks 10,000 times per post instead of just once per post.


> “...supply and demand and the law thereof...”

“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” - Werner Heisenberg


“…out of fuel…”

regardless of the degrees of stochastic dominance present, ‘(varying) stochasticness is commonly viewed as a self-correcting process in which a deviation in one direction induces a deviation in the opposite direction to restore the equilibrium. In fact, deviations are not “corrected” as a variable stochasticlike process unfolds, they are merely diluted.’ - zdo ( completely twistfkn up a line from Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman)


What a great week to be a trader :)

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... the "Laws" of Wyc... were they based in pre-Newtonian assumptions? ... then transferred over to a midbrain people thang ?


Question yourself above all others...


regarding others

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” – Andre Gide

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I was reviewing some of my charts and thought I would post an example of SLA and one of AMT covering the same day. I struggle real time when to differentiate one from the other as some days are less clear than others (like yesterday) I also have a tendency to scalp but I see the value in holding on and allowing AMT to work.




The distinction between trending and ranging requires the trader to make important decisions regarding what he wants and how he plans to go about getting it. This is made even more difficult by the fact that most traders don't even know that there is a distinction between trending and ranging and that a decision must be made.




Occasionally one will come across a situation in which the world of the box and the world of the channel merge, and while trading these can seem like rubbing one's stomach and patting one's head at the same [time], monitoring both will provide more trading opportunities – sometimes dramatic opportunities – than choosing one over the other.

pg 41




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More on “There are no "setups" in Wyckoff” p 45 SLAAMT


Bless Wyckoff’s and DB’s heart, maybe they never imagined automated trading.


If you automate, you will find it necessary to “have’ and ‘do’ setups (and triggers)... if you must you can make them fuzzy and call them “no(t) setups” if it helps keep your algos tuned to the auctions... but still - they are setups.


If you don’t automate... if you must/if it helps, then you can deny setups by pure emphasis and focus on what happens after ‘setup’ has formed...

or you can acknowledge that they are setups... in that a quorum of conditions have been met... and use them...


It is not an accident that SLTAMT, etc. came into mind a little bit. The person I am mentoring right now is all up in Wycoff - and I have to struggle not to slap completely silly some of the dumbass Newtonian laws and logic he has picked up / created / associated with the constructs... This thread is still ultimately about automation...

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Automate. Wyc[k]off.


looking at that together for me is almost a downright oxymoron.




:) this thread is ultimately about automation - not Wyckoff, and not automation of Wyckoff. It was started in reaction to what I call MarketTyping being placed at the very end of SLAMT instead of central or at the beginning.

it is a useless thread to the many... useful to a tiny few...


Some discussion...

To me “Automate. Wyckoff.” is not an oxymoron at all...

Wyckoff is already automated... many times... it is automated by as many brains who are attempting to apply it. Each instance of such ‘automation’ will utilize and emphasize certain aspects and neglect or be blind to other parts of his work. Each instance of such ‘automation’ will have greyware that is more ‘trainable’ in some areas of ‘wycof’ than in others. Each instance of such ‘automation’ will have been exposed to different wetware programming along the way. As with any automation, the goal is to limit processing to the salient factors. Understandably, in each instantiation, those parts of the Wyckoff way that the greyware and wetware can’t establish ready flow in will be heavily discounted. Db’s posting across the years is an excellent case study of such refining of certain aspects and de-emphasis / relinquishment of other aspects of ‘Wyckoff’. His attempts to distill the essence of Wyckoff have not and should not go unnoticed - but nonetheless, his greyware and wetware will omit / de-emphasize parts of the way that would be useful, even essential, to Wyckoff ‘automation’ for some other greywares and wetwares...




And regarding ‘real’ automation ... of the Wyckoff way.

It is nowhere near the top of the list of methods in amenability to automate but, at the ‘macro’ levels of the way, it IS possible to codify Wyckoff’s ‘9’ buying and selling “tests”. Automation of Wyckoff tests would certainly not be my cup of tea... but I have looked at it enough to determine feasibility. It should be noted also that there are significant exceptions/ambiguities/complexities that would have to be handled in areas of re-accumulation and re-distribution... but all trading system coding requires exception, etc. coding regardless of method...*

remember though, I’m not here to promulgate such - this thread is about automation in general, not automation of Wyckoff.

Btw... only a few could actually stay true to the original ‘material’ / logic ... most architects, during design, would resort to techniques that would make “Wyckoff purists” shudder - even though they could still come up with the same ‘trees’ and trades as discretionary traders would......

*it should also be noted again that exceptions/ambiguities such as those mentioned above in the areas of re-accumulation and re-distribution are endemic to all ‘ways’, methods, and systems... and should be dealt with programmatically as best as possible... but to the extent they cannot be fully resolved , for the bottom line they can be addressed via proper sizing... ie beyond a certain point in any trader’s development (automated or discretionary), it becomes “fk trying to minimize risks further” and shifts to “emphasize optimal exposure”. MarketTyping first is the best way I’ve come across to address this... hence this thread about how I think most traders in the ‘voice of trading’s’ trance have it bassackwards

Worth attempting for most traders? No. but

Possible? Yes.

Advisable for a few to attempt? Absolutely!....




Moving on to another example... basic SLA would be relatively easy to code and would perform as well as most discretionary beginners right out the box...

-Generating and prioritizing the horizontal ‘lines’/’zones’ has been programmed for years.

-On one of the important micro levels, a big meme in Wyckoff circles is “software won't work to identify buying pressure and selling pressure”

That is a limiting belief. These days order and transaction flow analytics via code are generally superior to ‘continuous eyeballs analytics - especially if your code accommodates the reality that ‘volume’ / trade flow / etc patterns will mean one thing in one MarketType and another in a different MarketType, etc.

HFT has introduced a sort of ‘toxicity-driven' volatility and the first impulse is to make bid and offer replenishment models, etc, etc even more central and complex, but actually it turns out HFT has inadvertently rolled over and gifted us with a very old and basic ‘tell’.

-Generating/drawing’ angled ‘straight’ lines / trend lines and entry on crossover or on retrace after a crossover has also been programmed for years.

How strict or loose the trading rules for the system are would be up to the ‘automation’ creator... same as with the ‘discretionary’ ‘wet’ ‘automation’ discussed at the top of the post...


This is leading us back to ‘setups’ again...” Wyckoff. Setups. “ is also supposed to be a downright oxymoron. :rofl:

More later ...maybe...

Have a great weekend all



Trading is work. It’s not easy. There is no secret. Successful speculation requires capital, courage and good judgment. Capital is common. Courage is widespread. Good judgment is the only rare commodity in this industry.


D.B. Vaello

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Automate. Wycoff.


looking at that together for me is almost a downright oxymoron.


I must say I am very intrigued by your thoughts/suggestions


It's been tried: Tradeguider.

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:) this thread is ultimately about automation - not Wyckoff, and not automation of Wyckoff. It was started in reaction to what I call MarketTyping being placed at the very end of SLAMT instead of central or at the beginning.

it is a useless thread to the many... useful to a tiny few...


You may then want to retitle the thread if a moderator will do it for you. Or start a new one. In any case, the SLA/AMT is not about mechanical trading at all, much less automation. Yes, one must characterize his market (Appendix E) regardless of how he approaches it, if he wants to profit from it. But the purpose of characterization is to become familiar with the particular market and how it "behaves". If this can be coded and automated and that's how the trader wants to trade, fine. But that's not what the SLA/AMT is all about.


For those who don't visit the Wyckoff Forum very often, or at all, I've added a couple of things that represent big stumbling blocks. These will be found in Appendix F and the Afterword.

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You may then want to retitle the thread if a moderator will do it for you. Or start a new one. In any case, the SLA/AMT is not about mechanical trading at all, much less automation. Yes, one must characterize his market (Appendix E) regardless of how he approaches it, if he wants to profit from it. But the purpose of characterization is to become familiar with the particular market and how it "behaves". If this can be coded and automated and that's how the trader wants to trade, fine. But that's not what the SLA/AMT is all about.


For those who don't visit the Wyckoff Forum very often, or at all, I've added a couple of things that represent big stumbling blocks. These will be found in Appendix F and the Afterword.


Chillax, db.

Reverend Wyckoff is not under attack.

The flock is not under attack.

No one on the way to Wyckoff or the “knockoffs” is being waylaid.

No one is stomping in your threads rudely attempting to guide ppl away from the method when they are there only to understand how to use the method.

The pdf is not being reviewed.

As explained above, the thread simply explores the weaknesses of settling on the 'voice of trading' definitions of the "purpose of characterization" and proposes alternate sequencing of curricula for developing traders - with a little extra consideration in terms of all types of ‘automation’ (including wetgreyware automation - acknowledged or denied)... it’s not anti-coadunation at all.


And let’s leave the thread name the same. It is SO literal... thoughts after skimming... exactly what happened. ..

When you posted you’ve added new material I didn’t initially go skim it and with each passing day likelihood decreased that I would ever go skim it... but then you come in here and promote it... now

if I do go skim it, what do you think I will do if I have happen to have thoughts after skimming it ? ;)


If we’re going to get ridiculous - you could start a thread entitled “my thoughts after skimming your thoughts after skimming SLAMT” ?

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“It has been tried”

If digital automation is not your thing then that should settle it for you.

So - seriously and respectfully -When would now be a good time to click out of this thread and spend your precious, limited time studying, developing and practicing your own specialization in trading.


















“It has been tried”

The Sanskrit translation is “it can’t be done”

reminds me of this cut and paste...

They really ought to have known better.




"Heavier than air flying machines are impossible."

-- Lord Kelvin


"Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if

not utterly impossible."

-- Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902


"Aerial flight is one of that class of problems with which man will never

be able to cope."

-- Simon Newcomb, 1903


"The resistance of air increases as the square of the speed and works as

the cube [of speed].... It is clear that with our present devices there

is no hope of aircraft competing for racing speed with either our

locomotives or automobiles."

-- William H. Pickering, Director, Harvard College Observatory, 1910


"The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across

the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our

modern steam ships. . . it seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly

visionary and even if the machine could get across with one or two

passengers the expense would be prohibitive to any but the capitalist who

could use his own yacht."

-- William Henry Pickering, Astronomer, 1910


"By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through

mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth's surface. The field

for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting

purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain."

-- Hugh Dryden, 1908


"The director of Military Aeronautics of France has decided to discontinue

the purchase of monoplanes, their place to be filled entirely with

bi-planes. This decision practically sounds the death knell of the

monoplane as a military instrunent."

-- Scientific American, 1915


"Even considering the improvements possible...the gas turbine could hardly

be considered a feasible application to airplanes because of the

difficulties of complying with the stringent weight requirements."

-- U. S. National Academy Of Science, 1940




"It seems as if we may also be forced to conclude that the supposed

connexion between magnetic storms and sun-spots is unreal, and that the

seeming agreement between periods has been a mere coincidence."

-- Lord Kelvin, 1892


"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."

-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895


"Radio has no future."

-- Lord Kelvin


"The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind

of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformations

of these atoms is talking moonshine."

-- Ernest Rutherford, 1930


"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will be


-- Albert Einstein, 1932


"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil?

You're crazy."

-- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill

for oil in 1859


"No one will ever be able to measure nerve impulse speed."

-- Johannes Muller, German Physiologist, 1846


"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the

intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon".

-- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed

Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, 1873


"Fooling around with alternating currents is just a waste of time. Nobody

will use it, ever. It's too dangerous. . . it could kill a man as quick

as a bolt of lightning. Direct current is safe."

-- Thomas Edison


"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as

a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."

-- Western Union internal memo, 1876


"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay

for a message sent to nobody in particular?"

-- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment

in the radio in the 1920s


"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

-- H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927


"As far as sinking a ship with a bomb is concerned, you just can't do it."

-- Rear Admiral Clark Woodward, 1939


"I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur

regardless of all scientific advances."

-- Lee De Forest, "the father of electronics"


"There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of

insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth's gravity."

-- Forest Ray Moulton, astronomer, 1932


"Landing and moving about on the moon offers so many serious problems for

human beings that it may take science another 200 years to lick them."

-- Science Digest, 1948


"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

[This is actually right: computers these days usually do weigh no

more than 1.5 tons.]


"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943


"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with

the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that

won't last out the year."

-- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957


"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

-- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment

Corp., 1977 [DEC went on to founder in the PC market.]


"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better

than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible."

-- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's

paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service [smith went on

to found Federal Express Corp.]


"You'll never make it -- four groups are out."

-- Anonymous record company executive to the Beatles, 1962


"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even

built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or

we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come

work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard,

and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college


-- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and

H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer


"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

-- Bill Gates, 1981


"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."

-- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929


He ‘really ought to have known better’.


Who knows how many total, but in one thread alone Db has + 80 posts differentiating ‘Wyckoff’ from ‘VSA’ (and for some reason he even pitched in and helped differentiate VSA from “VSA-TG” in the process). Question this - If the “knockoffs that followed” Wyckoff are not authentic Wyckoff, then an attempt to automate VSA is not an attempt to automate Wyckoff. Which way is it going to be, db ? Duplicitous?

Beyond the benefit of the obvious economies in a one line slur - he ‘really ought to have known better’... twice.


Another not so minor distinction - for the few - until ‘It” (TradeGuider in this case) sends actual orders and manages actual positions, “It” has not been tried. ...

He ‘really ought to have known better’.... thrice.


In another post/thread, I may draw some parallels someday between what motivated Wyckoff and Williams to begin with... and what motivated them to produce ‘courses of study’(...btw it’s not pretty). But for now, let’s just focus down on TradeGuider a little bit... imo, sales success was more important to TradeGuider than product development and improvement. They were indifferent to sustained development - if they ever really cared at all - beyond getting some software out there to elicit seminar training session enrollments where the big bucks were. For the most part, they shipped the first efforts that compiled / didn’t crash and were done with it. Fifty percent hit rate was enough ... They claimed to apply Artificial Intelligence but that was just a rip-off promotional buzz phrase. In reality all they did was utilize marginal fuzzy logic for the price patterns. The volume patterns were strictly pre-programmed VSA ‘micro’ patterns. Folks - db’s pronouncement notwithstanding - and whether you’re talking “It” as automating Wyckoff or “It” as automating VSA doesn’t matter - TradeGuider does not even begin to qualify as a real , honest ‘try’ at “It”

and He ‘really ought to have known better’.- four different ways now...


And, like - does https://community.tradestation.com/Discussions/Topic.aspx?Topic_ID=88600

qualify as a “It has been tried” with SLA ???

Hell no!!! He ‘really ought to have known better’... times 5.











If you’re still reading, all I can say is you were notified. This thread is about ‘automation’ and is in the Beginners Forum section. ... if you’re not into that then again I would suggest you return to developing your own ‘wetgrey automation’ as soon as possible ;) ... and may the wyckoff be with you :)

Edited by zdo

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Chillax, db.

Reverend Wyckoff is not under attack.

The flock is not under attack.

No one on the way to Wyckoff or the “knockoffs” is being waylaid.

No one is stomping in your threads rudely attempting to guide ppl away from the method when they are there only to understand how to use the method.

The pdf is not being reviewed.


In which case there's no need to mention my work at all, much less title a thread after it.


Don't be disingenuous.

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In which case there's no need to mention my work at all, much less title a thread after it.


Don't be disingenuous.


It’s literally “...thoughts after skimming...” a current example of (state of the art) trading literature - period.


It is ok to refer to voice of trading materials for examples and illustration.

And ...It is even ok for the (now confirmed) voice of trading to try to silence non voice of trading talk... after all, dominant paradigms might be being challenged... anxiety that big trouble might ensue if more than a tiny few consider non consensus ways and perspectives.


Take it however you take it.

Call it whatever you call it.

Feed in and keep the thread alive as long as you want...

You are welcome to speak to your audience through this thread as much as you like or need...

just remember though, my intended audience is very tiny...


Wishing you all the best,



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For those who are interested in trading price without indicators:


The Secret Trading Strategy From The 1930s That Hedge Funders Don't Want You To Know About






I seem to get after you a lot on the ordering of your material. First Things First stuff. In the original SLAMT pdf, what you put last should have been first, etc. so...

Regarding ‘campaigns’ - It’s rather late in the ‘course’ to be bringing that up

Ie it’s not an advanced topic to be studied ‘later’. It is a BASIC topic... belongs at the front of the ‘course’... . (That is - unless it is now only beginning to really sink in for you. In that case - you’re excused.)


Way back, I wasn’t so sure *, but in the intervening years since I first started studying this I have been forced to acknowledge it**. And I have settled on the conclusion that Wycff also FIRST recognized ‘campaigns’ as basic, then chose( or was ‘chosen’ / forced) to develop techniques that operated outside of campaign technologies. ‘Surefire’ trading entails being ‘inside’ a campaign - period. Few of us can be inside campaigns.

"All the varying phases of stock market technique may thus be studied and interpreted from the buying and selling waves as they appear on the tape." Richard Wyckoff

These are the words of an ‘outsider’. But he could not actually set aside or ignore or leave behind considerations of campaigns to focus on developing his techniques. His techniques are his own abreaction to campaigns. He was attempting to crack campaigns from the outside - whether he could continue to consciously acknowledge that or not. (Btw, most lose sight of it, but ALL TA methods are attempts to crack campaigns from the ‘outside’ ***.)


In your course(s), rather than jumping directly into Wycff techniques, you should first send your student off to form his or her own conscious gestalt of ‘campaigns’, instead of asking them to leave them unconscious or take them on unconsciously ( ... or up until this point not even allowing students to even ‘believe’ in campaigns ;) )


and Out... unless you come back with something to the effect that "None of this matters to the practical practice of the techniques..."


All the best,




* http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/volume-spread-analysis/3736-vsa-crock-not-8.html#post49972

** funny story - my first job in the business was in an options room. It was the closest to direct access to a campaign I ever came... I caught on - but paradoxically I didn’t REALLY catch on until later - shows you how slow some ppl can be...

*** http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/stock-trading-laboratory/18588-volume-breakdown-how-much-comes-technical.html#post194359

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A few months ago I posted a comment in the Trading Price thread in the Wyckoff ‘forum’? and just now noticed that post was censored. This morning I was just reviewing recent SETUPs on some daily charts and decided to spend a few minutes posting an alternative message for those who might need it...


Partial list of terms and usage local to this thread

SETUPs = any ( usually best seen as tiny  ) shift in probabilities detected via your own individual contextual representation of the auctionS

TRIGGERs = any actionable data pattern occurring coincident with or following a SETUP. Traders best serve themselves by optimally matching their TRIGGERs techniques to their SETUPs

auctionS = the ‘market’ for an instrument is comprised of multiple, simultaneous auctions - not one auction. Each of us creates a representation from the data we have of the auctionS. We each trade our own representation and not the ‘real’ market. Hopefully yours are an increasingly accurate representations.


Let’s look at that thread


"Setups": There are no "setups" in Wyckoff, at least insofar as we commonly use the term.

OMG, there‘s almost nothing but SETUPs in Wyckoff! Example: Go study the original rw material. Therein he lists the “Indication” of 8* Buying Test SETUPs and states specifically what type of charts they are determined from.

Or look at this post. (http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/wyckoff-forum/19610-trading-price.html#post199178 ). Finding the “range” then assessing subsequent price movement post “range” is nothing but SETUPs - pure and simple.

There‘s almost nothing but SETUPs in Wyckoff. I could go on and on with SETUPs examples from original and sect rw materials. Springboards, etc etc etc. To do rw justice - the highest quality SETUPs rw was teaching was knowing where things were in the current campaign (not his term).


A SETUP is a SETUP is a SETUP. It doesn’t matter whether one sees it and processes as continuous ‘video’ or static ‘snapshots’ - it’s still a SETUP by any definition. Regardless of the type of data used, the scope of time considered, or the dynamism of the patterns,if you are looking for a sufficient shift in probabilities (which you are or better be doing) before you turn to entry techniques (TRIGGERs), you are using SETUPs - period.


Also, re: “as we commonly use the term.” -

‘we’ don’t ‘commonly’ use the term “setups”.

There are as many appropriate models for "setups" as there are traders. The quality (actually at CNS / 'progarmming' level all SETUPs are quantitified ) of all SETUPs is emphemeral - good one time, not quite so good the next, and sometimes outright deceitful. (Yes, market data,‘charts’, etc do sometimes lie :). )


He did not say that if price does this, you buy and if price does that, you sell or short.

Yet that is exactly what db freakn does and teaches... if ‘condition this’, ‘condition that’, (SETUPs) - regardless if you process it CONTINUOUs or DISCONTINUOUs **- and ...and then ... if price “does that” / crosses above your straight line and, you buy ... and if price “does that” / crosses below your straight line, you sell or short (TRIGGERs).


Add statements like “Forget about diagrams and templates and pretty pictures. Focus on behavior.” Then immediately turn around and offers straight line TRIGGERs for those who don’t handle ‘video’ mode as well...

Folks, the answer is obvious to me, but You will have to dig little bit for yourself to conclude whether db is advising you to ignore all SETUPs and trade exclusively on TRIGGERs or whether he is attempting to set a far too narrow consensus definition of SETUPs (as many in the ‘voice of trading’ community do) or whether he gets so invigorated about trading video mode as an alternative to static snapshots that he is running a fake and confusing mish mash up wordfckn of SETUPs with TRIGGERs -then proffering an ‘alternative’


I offer a different message - In general, with any systems work , the more inclusive your context is, the more calendar time it encompasses, and (then by necessity / naturally ) the more ‘layered’ your SETUPs are - the better. But the reality is that each trader is a sample of one. If it has a positive expectation and if it is a fit for you and your proclivities, it is perfectly ok if you use snapshot chart patterns of the last x bars for your SETUPs. If it is a fit for you, it is perfectly ok if you use indicator patterns for your SETUPs. If it is a fit for you, it is even perfectly ok if you actually only use TRIGGERs ( as long as your hit rate is > 80% and you exits in wins and losses are brutally strict and always small. :) )


You can’t just exclusively ‘look‘out there’ to the internet and teachers for SETUPs that work. Realize all SETUPs ‘work’ (when and to the degree they do ‘work’) and you need to be looking ‘in there’ AND ‘out there’ to find SETUPs methods that match the features and idiosyncs of your bodybrains. Idiosyncrasies like what TIMEs you bring to your processing of your representations of the AUCTIONs.


You may be allowing completely Thing1*** processing on all your SETUPs or you may be forcing them as far as possible into the Thing2 processing or you more likely you are running some (effective or not so effective) combination of Thing1 and Thing2 processing. Wherever you are at on the spectrum, you are still using SETUPs. And if you are not consciously using SETUPs, then guess what - you are unconsciously using/ ‘doing’ SETUPs.


Find and build awareness of your own personal combination of Thing1&Thing2 processing you use to arrive at your SETUPs - then, to optimize your strengths, learn to slightly slide that combination of Thing1&Thing2 processing and slightly move what signals you when to shift from Thing1 to Thing2 . Notice how this message is different from the 'you better throw anything I'm not teaching away" message. Notice how this message is different from the typical ‘voice of trading’ guru message - which usually goes something like “ here is how I perceive the world and the markets and [even though I could never adequately explain or even describe it to myself, let alone you] this is how you need to perceive the world and the markets. I learned my Thing2 processing from a Master so mine is the best way to trade and if you don’t copy it, you will fail and be disappointed. ...I’m able to consistently act as if my Thing1 processing has zero influence on me, so you better aspire to that too.”

The message again - Any SETUP methods are fine if they are a match for you. Any TRIGGER methods are fine if they are a match for you.


More later... maybe.



*(btw the 9th item on his list is just about the same definition of SETUP I’ve offered above )


** might get around to adding those to the Partial list of terms and usage local to this thread and also discussing how db is mishandling the word “continuous” ... someday


*** Thing1 and Thing2 is fun clusterfk labeling - utilizing Dr. Seusse’s Thing One and Thing Two characters from The Cat in the Hatbook overlayed on brain processes Daniel Kahneman has broadly characterized as System1 and System2 in his works on heuristics, etc. Layman level material can be found in Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow book

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When I read something like “There are no "setups" in Wyckoff, at least insofar as we commonly use the term.” http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/wyckoff-forum/19610-trading-price.html#post199118 I need to remind traders of a couple of things again. A SETUP is a SETUP... is a SETUP is a SETUP. Here’s why. No matter what data you view and what methods you apply, you NEVER “understand what traders are doing and where [and]... their behavior” . Hopefully you get closer and closer to “understanding” but in reality - No matter what data you view and what methods you apply, you are ALWAYS and forever working with your own representation of and projections on the AUCTIONs... and not with what is actually happening. Let me say that again - No matter how good you get at using the data you view and what methods you apply - you are still ALWAYS working with your own representation of the AUCTIONs... and not with what is actually happening. You can get better. If you’re using price change patterns and accompanying volume info to form a SETUP instead of a graphical pattern - you are still forming a SETUP. It is based in information and processing from a vantage point on around the ‘circle’ from visual/graphical patterns, but still it’s just a SETUP... still just an assessment of changing opportunities and risks.


Here is my bitch with db’s thread. To frame it as something ‘further than’ a setup is not accurate. To be more truthful, it should be framed as a SETUP derived from different processing and representations of info, rather than as a method ‘above’ SETUPs. Also, data feed traders (vai charts, technicals, and t&s,etc, etc ) typically often attempt to Relinquish any interest/concern in value assessment... relinquish it to the market, to “behavior” to determine. Point is - Those who retain or emphasize value assessment of fundamentals or whatever in their work are still also trading SETUPs. There is no getting away from ‘setups’.


Anyways, when I read something like http://www.traderslaboratory.com/forums/wyckoff-forum/19610-trading-price-2.html#post205049 “Spending one's time memorizing and searching for "setups" is generally unproductive. For one thing, setups have variations. This fact alone ensures that the number of setups will multiply like rabbits. Then there is the problem of "analyzing" all the minute aspects of the setup in real time in order to determine whether or not it "fits". ...”

And then two paragraphs later same poster describes a SETUP that was easy for him to “memorize” and - even though it does have “variations” that “will multiply like rabbits” and it doesn’t take too much of his Thing2 “analyzing” for him to handle “all the minute aspects of the setup in real time in order to determine whether or not it "fits"” - that’s when I question whether or not he is simply unaware or is intentionally misleading...


Rather than sell “simplify simplify, simplify”, imo it is better to sell “it needs to be as complex as it needs to be”. The reality is complexity / variation requires ‘fuzzy’ operating. Complexity, variation, and fuzziness ... things wycofians, etc, etc, and many types of traders naturally want to eschew. But re: “there is the problem of "analyzing" all the minute aspects of the setup in real time in order to determine whether or not it "fits".” If you cannot find a workable fuzziness in your “determine whether or not it "fits"” work that is a sign you possibly need to move on around the wheel from whatever patterns you are using to some other representation of the AUCTIONs for a basis of your SETUPs. It is not a sign that chart patterns basis of SETUPs are ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. Ie Beware ‘voice of trading’ vendor talk that sounds like ‘ My method works so all other methods are bad and wrong and way less profitable’


If you are not a match to a method you can study, practice, and apply it till you know it inside and out backwards and forewards, from above and from below but you still will not thrive. You are going to see ‘it’ how you see ‘it’. You do not know and he does not know and will never know how wycoff really saw ‘it’. The major / first vast individual variation to honor is your own. The “fit” to emphasize is the fit of you to a method.... not how fuzzy or clear your chart, indicator, or pv SETUPs are...


He is especially getting flak from me currently because he has represented that his way is actually getting at a special reality instead of another perspective, another way of representing SETUPs. Maybe it’s just the vendor talking... if that’s the case then we can let this just be a lesson in vendor talk and leave it at that... Hopefully, those who need his material and find it will be better served and those who are ‘pilgrims’ passing through at the moment will not be unduly sucked down the wrong hole any longer than they should be...


In the past, Db has gotten all offended when I comment like this but the reality is he doesn’t need to compare, contrast, and disparage methods that utilize different data from P and V - in the same way one doesn’t need to rip Bach to teach or share an appreciation for Beethoven. That’s offensive :). He’s asserting failure of a certain class of SETUPs and superiority of his SETUPs. But the ‘failing’ of a method is NOT a failure of the method itself. Rather, it is a failure of the trader to match to a method that aligns to his own nature.


I could make a strong case against SETUPs too ( using a completely dissimilar way from db’s projections on / ‘channeling’ of rw- btw.) But doesn’t matter! The chances of you avoiding using SETUPs is zero. 

Which brings me back to my old “find your own way” song. You simply may not be able to perceive and “understand” the types of pattern a wycoffian does. Find your own way. Be reminded, a good wycoffian literally can not adequately ‘see’ and ‘understand’ bar chart patterns ... which is why they are forced, or at least urged, to find another way to represent the AUCTIONs for themselves.


The following doesn’t even begin to describe my differences in perspective, but incidentally, my introduction to ‘trading price’ (via weeks with a private trader, late 80’s) came before my ‘time with’ Wyckoff (via Hank Pruden, early 90’s)... The main point is that I have nothing against wyc or tp... Eternally grateful for my exposure to both. If it is a fit for you - go for it. If it is not a fit for you - don’t be disencouraged by the subtle (and less than subtle) work of the ‘voice of trading’. Find your own way!


It boils down to an issue in ‘fluency’. You will and should become more “fluent” in some SETUPs than others. Those are the ones you should consciously learn to leverage and navigate.


Is he

Selling what R. Wyckoff saw?

No. IMPOSSIBLE (but we all do appreciate the valiant attempts )


Selling what R. Wyckoff conveyed?

No. Not quite... Getting warm though


Selling what he got when he studied R. Wyckoff?

Warmer still ...

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