Thursday, February 14, 2013

The nature of experimentation

Almost any new insight requires observation and experimentation. Observation digs up potential patterns of price action that may be exploitable or simply points to things to avoid. Experimentation gives you objective data that allows you to select the best of these observations and rule out the rest.

In general, weak and mid-range opens (such as today) are best for experimentation. You should try not to experiment on days that are likely to trend and give a large profit. On smaller days, you can check patterns without an expectation of a large win or loss.

Some experimental goals can be:

Charts other than 5m chart: The first few trades of the day were placed on tick and volume charts. Turns out its harder than I expected. Or perhaps my mind has not yet adjusted to them for CL.

Targets and/or expected pullbacks: #5 and #6 confirmed a pullback once the price overshot the TCL.

Pattern Completion:  #8 was a trade that confirmed the TL break down to b20 and test of prior high at b37 does test the other end of the range (gives new LOD).

You would need to collect sufficient data (at least 40 samples) until you can plan a trade around it. A combination of a pattern and target by themselves do not guarantee its tradable. You would need to actually trade them to ensure your target is reached before you are stopped out.

Most observations are not tradable and most experiments fail, and therefore I generally disclose but don't explain them. However, once in a while, a very useful observation can give your edge a boost. And these little boosts change you into a profitable trader.

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