Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Turtle talk - Howard Seidler

Howard Seidler was one of the famed 'Turtle Traders' taught by Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt in the 1980's. Today, Seidler runs Saxon Investment Corporation, and has been consistently successful in the markets for over 20 years.

Below are some nuggets from his interview with Jack Schwager in the New Market Wizards:

"I think the single most important element is to have a plan. First, a plan forces discipline, which is an essential ingredient to successful trading. Second, a plan gives you a benchmark against which you can measure your performance."

"You can be following your rules exactly and still lose money. In that situation, you certainly haven't performed poorly as a trader. The basic idea is that if you follow your rules over the long run, the probabilities will be in your favour, and you'll come out ahead. In the short run, however, conformance to a trading plan is more significant that short-term equity fluctuations."

"You need to have persistence to stay with your ideas day after day, month after month, year after year, which is hard work."

"It's important to distinguish between respect for the market and fear of the market. While it's essential to respect the market to assure preservation of capital, you can't win if you're fearful of losing. Fear will keep you from making correct decisions."

To a successful trader, there is nothing new here. He confirms the notion that you should measure your performance against your plan (i.e. sticking to your trading rules). This is the concept of concentrating on process against outcome. Consistency, discipline and risk management. Instead of focusing on some new-fangled entry indicator, new or inexperienced traders will see far more benefit in their own performance if they concentrate their energies on these more 'boring' aspects.

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