Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keep your focus and place 'good bets'

The markets are currently rallying off of last week's lows. This has made it tricky at the moment to have any confidence in opening short positions, or in the apparent downtrend.

Currently my own holdings are split 50:50, reflecting the indecision in the indices. This has meant I have made much recently, but also haven't lost much either.

As we all know, markets can only one of three things - move upwards, downwards, or sideways. This to a degree depends on your timeframe.  It remains to be seen whether we are now seeing the formation of a wide consolidation zone, or a small pullback before the downtrend re-asserts itself. Of course, those with longer-term outlooks may view this is as a pullback within a prevailing upwards trend. Was this move down similar to that of November 2012? Who knows?

Remember that cash is a position. If a trend is going to develop, there is no need to open a bunch of positions on the day of the initial trend change. I have specific rules as to how many trades I can open per day - if there is going to be a meaningful trend, then there will be plenty of time to take advantage of it. All you can do is follow whatever rules you employ, control your risk, and see what happens.

The other thing you can focus on is the process of trading - not the results. By definition, if you use a system that has a positive expectancy, then it is important to focus on the process of making the trades in accordance with your system rules. As Larry Hite talked about in Market Wizards, you can place 'good bets' (i.e. those that meet your criteria) and still lose. All you can do is carry on placing good bets, and avoid losing your discipline by placing bad bets.

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