Thinkorswim issues – 2nd day (AGAIN!!)

It was not so far back Thinkorswim resolve those sofware updates issues.

This is the 2nd time I am having issues with Thinkorswim. And it is definitely not a pleasant experience going into option expiration.

And now, less than 3 months, such issues crop out again. Lagging charts, buggy software updates are all detrimental to a trader using the platform.

Seriously, if this is the level of service that they are going to maintain, I think it is time to move to other brokerages.

There is no need to add a whole slew of ‘new features’. Most traders will only use a couple and stick with it. In other words, adding new features does not brings you more revenue. In fact, there is a possibility that it introduce bugs, give traders bad experience and drive them over to the competitors.

All I want from my platform is reliability, simplicity and a lag-free experience. Is it really that hard?

Book Review

Book Review : Cloud Charts: Trading Success with the Ichimoku Technique by David Linton

David Linton’s Cloud Charts provides a good introduction for new traders seeking to learn more about Ichimoku (or Cloud Charts).

It is divided into 3 sections with a total of 16 chapters.

The first section (comprising of 7 chapters) deals with general Technical Analysis

The second section (comprising of 5 chapters) introduces the reader to Ichimoku

The last section (comprising of 3 chapters) discuss more about Advanced Cloud Chart Techniques.

For the experienced traders, it is possible to skip the first 7 chapters and head straight to the second section where it introduces the Ichimoku indicators, the constructions of the chart and the various signals for trading.

In my opinion, the author (David Linton) is able to depicts pretty clearly on the construction of the charts; how various Ichimoku indicators are constructed and how it is represented on Ichimoku.

As a trader, there are times where we choose to neglect the construction of the indicators. On hindsight, I am glad that the chapters reinforce my understanding of the charts and its possible implications when I am looking for support/resistance and the possible change in trend.

One important aspect of Ichimoku charts is the use of colours to differentiate different ‘moving averages’ and the change in cloud direction (or kumo twist). The book did not fall short in this area with all the charts in colour.

I believe this is an important part of Ichimoku. If the charts are in black and white, it would have fall short on the visual display and its ability to explain Ichimoku easily.

This book is not without negatives.

Like the book from Nicole Elliot, I find that it falls short in its explanation of ‘wave’, and ‘timeframe’ analysis.

In the chapter, Japanese Patterns Techniques, there are a few references to Hidenobu Sasaki’s book. However, it is not able to go beyond that and highlight how a trader can benefit from it.

In the last section, the author attempts to mix Ichimoku with other indicators. It could have been improved by providing more in-depth examples and walking the reader through how a trade is executed. For example, a more detailed discussion on the setup of the trade and how at trader will anticipate the trade as it breakout while observing its interaction with other indicators will be more useful.

For traders new to Ichimoku, this book will be a good introduction. However, I do not think it will be the ‘definitive’ guide.


Trading : 10 Rules To Achieve Better Performance

I came across this post on InvestIdeas and thought it is worth having it here.

Dr. Bob Rotella is a famous sport psychologist for professional golfers (including Padraig Harrington). Recently he wrote an interesting article in Golf Digest offering 10 Rules to help golfers achieve better performance. The concepts outlined there are as helpful to a golfer looking to win as it is to a trader looking to achieve peak performance in the market.

Rule 1: Believe you can win. If other traders can do well in the market, so can you. However, if you don’t have enough courage and confidence in yourself, you will never achieve success. The events over the past year have tested many people in this regard and some now think the game is rigged against them.

Nothing could be farther from the truth as opportunities remain. Those who will win in the markets first start by believing they can do it. Then they back up that strong belief with serious hard-work and determination to find their trading edge. However, it starts with you first having faith in yourself.

Rule 2: Don’t be seduced by results. You must stay in the present and focused on executing each trade to the best of your ability. Don’t let yourself think about how much you’re going to win (or lose) in the market or how great of a trader you are or not, but instead focus on what matters most – each and every trade you make. Do that and the results will take care of themselves.

Rule 3: Sulking won’t get you anything. The worst thing you can do for your prospects of winning is to get down when things don’t go well. If you start feeling sorry for yourself or thinking the trading gods are conspiring against you, you’re not focused on the next trade. Good traders readily accept their mistakes and move on to the next trade. They don’t let one bad trade carry onto the next one.

Rule 4: Beat them with patience. Every time you have the urge to make an aggressive trade, go with the more conservative one. You’ll always be OK. The moment you get impatient, bad things happen. In tough markets, stay patient and let others beat themselves.

Rule 5: Ignore unsolicited advice. You’ll have lots of well-meaning friends and experts who want to give you advice. Don’t accept it. In fact, stop them before they can say a word. Their comments will creep into your mind when you are trading and conflict with your own strategy. If you’ve worked on your game, commit to the plan and stay confident with it.

Rule 6: Embrace your personality. The key is to find what works best for you. There are many approaches out there, but there is only one trading approach that will utilize your best skills and talent to create and sustain an edge. The worst mistake you can make is to simply embrace a strategy of someone else that doesn’t match your own personality and strengths.

Rule 7: Have a routine to lean on. Every trader should follow a mental routine on every trade. It keeps you focused on what you have to do, and when the pressure is on, it helps you manage your nerves. You may not have control over the market, but you have control on how you trade the market. Having a routine will inject consistency that will keep you calm under pressure.

Rule 8: Find peace in the market. The market has to be your sanctuary, the thing you love, and you can’t be afraid of making mistakes. Yes, you’ll experience both good and bad times, but you must enjoy and revel in the challenge.

Rule 9: Test yourself. Don’t look for easy trades and setups at all times. Test yourself by working hard trades and difficult markets in order to test and improve your skills. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with trading options, spend a month just trading options. If you’re uncomfortable with shorting stocks, spend a month shorting stocks. We only get better if we constantly test what we think is most difficult.

Rule 10: Find someone who believes in you. Having confidence in yourself is important, but it helps to have someone who believes in you, too, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a teacher, or a mentor. No man’s success can be entirely attributed to his own actions. You must surround yourself with people who believe in you at all times.

Source: Charles Kirk, The Kirk Report, August 17, 2009.