The Emperor's New Clothes

Hello, world.

I have been trading for over 5 years and just wanted to point out a few observations I have made during my journey regarding resources available to new traders. Novice traders start with infinite hope and little "real" knowledge of how to trade successfully. We appear to have a deep pool of learning resources at our disposal but is this pool full of crystal clear water or is it full of piss? Let's take a dive!

1. YouTube, we have all been guilty of looking for the easy solution on YouTube, most of us realise that the quality of content is dubious at best and outright criminal at worst. Whilst there are some "reputable" YouTubers out there, how good are they really? The obvious question here is "if these guys are professional consistently profitable traders, then why are they devoting so much time creating content on YouTube?". Genuine philanthropists aside, profitable "YouTube traders" are either selling a course, a trading tool or rely upon ad revenue from their channel. Remember we take up trading with the hope of one day replacing our "limited payment in exchange for time" employment model with a "compounding interest model" that takes very little time once successfully implemented. We trade to change the work/life balance in our favour and live "the good" life right? So I'll ask again, why, if you are a successful trader are you promoting a YouTube channel that only serves to increase your competition, assuming you are teaching your subscribers how you trade? I know for sure that if I found a really good profitable trading strategy I wouldn't be in any hurry to share that strategy with the rest of the world until I had already made my millions or the strategy stopped working. Ahhh, if the latter happened I'd probably start a YouTube channel and teach "newbies" how to trade the new "Quantum Entangled Neuro Net Dark Matter AI System".

2. Trading Robots / Expert Advisors. The maximum reward for the minimum effort. A god delusion for the desperate and most needy, these work like a bad crack habit and are equally effective at reducing you to a self-pitying mess of disillusionment and melancholy. If you created a reliable "money printing machine" would you share it with the world? I wouldn't, I'd use it to print as much money as it could in any given cycle for as long as it printed money. I would try to sell it as soon as it stopped working or if it never really worked at all but I had already spent hundreds of dollars making it and wanted to recoup some of my investment.

3. Online (Paid Subscription) Trading Courses. Some online courses are excellent learning resources and at least teach good trading principles such as money management, record keeping, journaling, psychology etc. But any strategies they "teach" always have a "not our fault disclaimer" in the form of "you must backtest this yourself". They also often have extremely dedicated "communities" that tend to behave like members of a cult. These "devotees" are adamant that this community is the best out there and that the teachings of "brother Pip" are truly revolutionary. During the weekly webinars, it is customary for the "instructor" to pad out the first 20 minutes of each session by asking "how is everyone doing" and then slowly and tediously replying in kind to every 7th response from the congregation. Interestingly, it is mostly those who have made a profit during the past week that are vocal in these webinars? These people tend to be different every week as you would expect from a probability driven system where there will always be winning traders at any given time.

4. Coders (this one is going to sting in here). So I've invested in myself, I put in the hours and believe I have a good understanding of how the markets work and how to "trade like a business". I could improve my system if I could add custom indicators or maybe automate some or all of the process. Sadly, I lack the skills to create these and anyway, haven't I done enough already? Luckily, I can employ a coder to bring my ideas to life. Now I said this was going to sting a bit, I am not having a pop at anyone on this site, god bless all of you. I just want to point out a glaringly obvious contradiction. If you are a competent coder that sells his/her services creating custom indicators/EAs, over time you must surely come across some that are profitable and have good stability. Coders generally exist in the higher percentile of population intelligence and they would, therefore, recognise a good trading strategy especially if they coded it. Whilst some might be bound by "Non-Disclosure Agreements" specific to individual strategies, such agreements would be "paper-thin" if the coder kept said strategy just for themselves. Any NDA would only apply if they tried to sell said strategy or publically acknowledged that they were using it to profit for themselves. So surely overtime any coder that "finds a good strategy" will implement it for themselves and subsequently remove his or herself from the coding gene pool. This leads me to the conclusion that "trading coders" are either the most honest members of society, or that there are no stable profitable systems, or there are stable profitable systems and the easiest way to find one is to stop learning to trade and learn to code instead!

5. Forums. Here we are, guilty as charged. The wisdom of crowds condensed into a poorly navigable experience of social discord. Here, every opinion has an arsehole. There is a wealth of information in almost any forum you care to visit but like the internet that spawned them, sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees. The sheer spam and noise levels make any topic painful to research with any degree of confidence. This very post will be quickly lost to the torrent of newly flowing-text fresh from the crowds collective keyboards. Surely if a forum found a new trading methodology it would pin said post to the top of every page and create a new trading religion where mere retail mortals could bask in its glory.

This leads me to the end of this post, there is a popular saying that "those who can do and those who can't teach". Whilst this may be unfair to the teaching profession it is fair to say that many a true word is said in jest. I have loved my trading journey thus far, learning to trade has made me a better person, I have god-like abilities at reasoning and deducing probability outcomes. I recognise more of life's opportunities when presented and I quickly act to take advantage of them. I embrace my failures and mistakes and look forward to my next one, always understanding that each one makes me stronger, smarter and more capable than before. There is so much more than simple monetary gain from trading, whilst for most of us this was our "reason to enter", there is far more profit to be gained from understanding trading as a whole. I'm a profitable trader because I am 10 times the person I was before I started!
It's OK to fail, it's not OK to give up.

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