This article is part of the "International Trader Conference Update Call" series published by the FXstreet.com staff to review the strategies and experiences explained and lived during the last 4 years of ITCs.
FXstreet.com has asked speakers, attendees and members of its own staff to expose their thoughts about the previous editions of this famed International Trader Conference. Today the call was answered by Derek Frey, Senior Market Strategist for ForexTradersDaily.com, 2008 speaker.
Trading Ranges, 4 years later
By Derek Frey
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the 2008 ITC where I gave a presentation about swing trading. While I remain a swing trader, the way I go about finding my trades has evolved since 2008.
I now use a set of Harmonic patterns that guide me via probability. Many years ago I realized that no one could consistently predict the future but I could ascertain the probability of future movement and then position myself accordingly, in much the same way I would bring an umbrella with me when leaving the house when there is a strong probability of rain. Whether it rains or not, you are prepared. I have heard it said that “fortune favors the prepared”. So finding a way to objectively and consistently asses the probability of future movement became an obsession for me. That led to learning about harmonic patterns. However I never made consistent money with them until I started trading consistently.
I was like most are when it comes to trading; “jack of all trades, master of none”. Bouncing from method to method never taking more than 3 trades from the same method. Now with hind sight it is almost funny how foolish that was. Where would McDonald’s be if they made a different hamburger every three burgers, would we even know the name McDonald’s? Name one business that is successful and at the same time inconsistent. Take all the time you need, but you be hard pressed to find a single one. Consistency is the key to any businesses success and trading is just another business. So finding a way to get myself to start acting consistently became my next obsession.
This lead to realizing that if I added positive risk to reward to probability I would have a winning combination that I could then act consistently with. I looked at it like this: if I flip a coin knowing that the odds are 50/50 but when I get heads I lose $1 and when it is tails I collect $2, I would flip it forever (who wouldn't?) because I would know over time I am guaranteed to make money. So I then started only taking the harmonic patterns that offered a 2:1 risk to reward scenario. This was a watershed moment. I wish I could say that I woke up rich the next day but it was not the case. Success has come but it has taken time and persistence.
Consistency is not easy for most humans when trading as we tend to be very impulsive, kind of shoot first ask questions later mentality. Thankfully trading has now become a rather simple and repetitive act for me. And that turned out to be one of the keys. Once I stopped chasing and trying to beat the market, and started just simply trying to ride it's coat tails via harmonic patterns with the probability and risk reward everything has changed. So my advice to all is simply this. Find a way to get the odds and the risk vs reward on your side and then simply do over and over again.
--The ITC 2012 will be hosted from June 20 to 22. Guest speakers are Richard Olsen, Ed Ponsi, Ron William, Walter Peters, Steve Ward and David Pegler. More information