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Top Trading Lessons of 2016

Top Trading Lessons of 2016

2016-12-31 04:23:00
John Kicklighter, Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Jeremy Wagner, CEWA-M, David Song, Jamie Saettele, CMT, James Stanley, Ilya Spivak, Tyler Yell, CMT, Michael Boutros, Walker England, Paul Robinson,
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A good trader never stops learning, and every mistake is another potential learning experience. Here are some of the top lessons our analysts learned, absorbed or suffered from our personal trading in 2016.

Top Lessons:

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist: Plan Better for Less-Than-Perfect Trading (USD/JPY)

• Christopher Vecchio, Currency Strategist:Holding a Winner Means Fighting Human Behavior

• Jeremy Wagner, Head Trading Instructor: Expect the Unexpected

• David Song, Currency Analyst: Tracking Key Market Themes Beyond Monetary Policy

• Jamie Saettele, CMT, Senior Technical Strategist:Beware Confirmation Bias

• James Stanley, Currency Analyst: I Caught the Top on the S&P (But the Top Won)

• Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist: Conviction is good. Being hamstrung by it is not.

• Tyler Yell, CMT, Forex Trading Instructor: Think Like A Quant (Price-In Outliers)

• Michael Boutros, Currency Strategist: Become a Disciplined Trader – Avoid These Mistakes

•Walker England, Forex Trading Instructor:Keep Your Analysis Flexible

• Paul Robinson, Currency Analyst: Shaking a Big Picture Bias in Favor of Short-term Set-ups

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist:

Plan Better for Less-Than-Perfect Trading (USD/JPY)

For me, the best trades are based on situations in which fundamental, technical and market conditions perfectly align. As you can imagine, such ideal convergences are rare. As a self-diagnosed pragmatist, I don’t simply wait for perfect market weather patterns to act. If that were the case, trades would come at about the same frequency as solar eclipses. Adaptation to realistic – in other words ‘imperfect’ – scenarios is a crucial aspect of successful trading. This is something that I had figured out many years ago and even accounted for in my trading approach; but in practice this past year, I had certainly grown lax on in application.

With my work and personal life demanding more of my attention, I resorted to a practical solution with my trading: take only those trades that were most appealing by checking off all three major criteria. With a narrowed focus and the broad swath of options wiped off my radar, I let many trades go by – good and bad. The one that sticks out most prominently in my mind was the USD/JPY’s climb starting at the very beginning of the fourth quarter. The technical cue was the break on an impressive bear trend channel. Market conditions promoting rebalancing a far leaning market would back the move. The missing pillar for a trade was my skepticism that a robust risk appetite sentiment had room to take root and thereby lift this wayward carry pair. Yet, the speculative winds did pick up, particularly following the outcome of the US Presidential election. USD/JPY, in turn charged its strongest two-month rally in over two decades.

The question on how to prevent perfection from rendering you inert is answered with a relatively mundane solution: better planning. Making accommodations for less-than-perfect setups for me means taking trades that don’t hit all my criteria but adjusting exposure to account for the lower conviction. That can mean smaller size, shorter duration and/or more proximate targets/stops. Taking a few trades out of the USD/JPY’s remarkable run while keeping risk in check may not have netted the entire 15-plus percent charge, but it would have been significantly better than no trade at all.

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Jamie Saettele, CMT, Senior Technical Strategist:

Beware Confirmation Bias

I was able to scratch out a small gain for the year but 2016 was a difficult year for me trading wise. Heading into 2016, I subscribed to the narrative that the USD topping process was going to translate into a widespread USD decline. The idea was based, in part, on the following;

Exhaustive EURUSD low in March 2015 at a 30 year trendline

USDJPY top at the 1990-1998 trendline in June 2015

DXY high in December 2015, which was divergent with EURUSD (not at a new low) at the time, a classic turn signal

Long term cycle lows in AUDUSD (lows are 7 or 8 years apart since 1985)

January 2016 reinforced my thinking that the USD was putting the finishing touches on its advance before a big drop. If you recall, ZAR crashed and reversed, AUD/USD reversed, and a number of major commodities, including copper and oil, reversed.

Captain hindsight tells me that the reinforcement of my thinking in January was due to confirmation bias. In other words, I was looking for information that confirmed my preexisting beliefs and not giving equal weight to alternative possibilities (specifically, DXY breaking to new highs and EUR/USD breaking to new lows). The solution? Confront the held opinion and consider the alternative. This fix sounds simple but in practice is difficult. The fix requires a change in mindset but there are physical steps to get the process started, such as writing down the alternative argument on paper to taking more breaks from the screen to think in a peaceful setting.

Even so, managing risk from a technical point of view (respecting price) kept me from disaster. I may hold certain market opinions, but I’m not risking capital unless price gives me reason to do so. That was a lesson learned over 10 years ago!

Jeremy Wagner, Head Trading Instructor:

Expect the Unexpected

Someday, years into the future, I think we will look back on 2016 and realize what a crazy year it was. 2016 was the year Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rates, Brits voted to divorce from the European Union, and the United States elected a reality TV star as president. Many experts were not expecting any one of these events to take place. For all three to happen in a 12-month span is amazing.

This leads me to the theme of today’s writing…unexpected IS a possible outcome.

Too often, we look at a trade set up that has all indicators pointing in the same direction. Price is sitting in the zone where a pivot is highly likely to occur so we lick our chops, as we get ready to feast on the market. Perhaps we get too aggressive on the amount of leverage used and then…something unexpected happens.

The next thing we see are large losses floating in the account. Our emotions begin to take over as we scramble to mitigate or possibly even ignore those losses. Our decision-making ability is impaired because we are emotionally overcome by this unexpected event. At that point, we may cut the trade and double down in the reverse direction. But wait, how can the market reverse against me like that?

Perhaps you have experienced similar situations like this. I have found the best way to overcome that emotional state is to prepare for the unexpected…even if it is just mentally accepting it as a possible outcome.

A verbal thought often made in the US Opening Bell webinar is what if price screams in the opposite direction we are anticipating.

To answer that thought, we will look at using the unexpected scenario as a bias and what the possible patterns may be. At what point will we have to accept the reversal as a possible new trend?

You see, while thinking about the unexpected, you begin to mentally prepare in case it occurs. As a result, the emotions of the unexpected event are reduced because it is not as big of a surprise to you. When your emotions are under control, ‘cooler heads prevail’, as they say and your decision-making abilities remain stable.

You are able to react quicker with steadier decisions. You already have price levels identified that when broken command your attention to change your bias in the trade.

Therefore, the next time you see consensus of forecasts suggesting an outcome or the odds of something happening being elevated, spend a little time to prepare for an unlikely outcome. Identify levels and think about what a market might look like under that condition.

Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist:

Conviction is good. Being hamstrung by it is not.

A raft of failures plagued forecasters in 2016. Investors failed to foresee Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the last-minute OPEC production cut accord, and the outcome of the Brexit referendum. For the latter, they also overestimated how much instant turmoil a Leave victory would visit upon the UK economy and markets at large.

Significant realignment of major asset classes followed each of these unexpected outcomes as traders scrambled to update exposure for a world view different from what most of the imagined. That so many could have been so wrong back-to-back ought to amount to a ringing endorsement of a tactical approach to trading.

My trading strategy has at its core a 6-12 month fundamental world-view that informs which assets I look to buy and which to sell. While I regularly reevaluate and adjust this framework, I have opted – as a matter of strategy – not to trade against it. If prices were not complying, my approach had been to stay flat and wait until they did.

The past year has altered this position. In the first half of 2016, the markets proved challenging for my strategy. I took trades when they agreed with my fundamental bias, but this was counter to the direction of then-dominant trends. The landscape changed in my favor eventually but small gains and larger losses early on put me in deficit for the year and did much to offset subsequent victories.

I have previously written about the importance of agility even for a long-term trader and advocated using technical analysis to time when one’s fundamental outlook begins to be reflected in price action. With the past year in mind, I intend to shed the last bit of macro bias rigidity, allowing for trades against what I believe is the core narrative.

After all, trading is about making money rather that scoring intellectual accolades. The latter are certainly satisfying, but as Yra Harris brilliantly said (and I never get tired of repeating), “if you’re right at the wrong time, you’re wrong.” If the markets are not doing what I think they should but tactical opportunities with acceptable risk reward present themselves, I will no longer pass on them.

Importantly, this does not mean that having a fundamental bias is unimportant. On the contrary, a strong sense of conviction about what ought to be happening is critical to a more tactical approach. This is imperative to be able to adjust trade parameters and reduce risk exposure in instances of lower overall conviction. However, his bias should not be a reason to downplay what the markets actually have on offer.

Michael Boutros, Currency Strategist:

Become a Disciplined Trader – Avoid These Mistakes

Each year we’re charged with detailing lessons or mistakes we’ve come upon in our trading. I’ve made it a habit to stick post-it notes around my terminal with key reminders to myself on certain aspects of my trading I want to highlight or habits I want to avoid. I’ve chosen a few to highlight for the year.

Know When to ‘Press’ the Trade

Confidence in your analysis is key when approaching the markets. Whether your trade is profitable or not, the reasoning / logic / rational behind the idea is what matters. The most important aspect traders will typically forget about though is the size of the positions or how ‘heavy’ you are on a given trade.

There’s two points / observations here. First, position size should be based on where the markets is trading with respect to trend. A long position within the confines of a bull market should be treated differently from a near-term short position against a key resistance range.

The second point is just because the trade is working, doesn’t mean it’s time to up the leverage on the next one. This is especially true for near-term trade strategies – you have a good set of trades within a specified setup and so the next set of positions you “double down” because the last few times worked, right? This year I learned to be more cautious on subsequent trades – remember the near-term picture won’t stay in play forever and typically a more significant reset offers an opportunity to get an even better entry. This again goes back to the previous point – when deciding where to get ‘heavy’ it’s ALWAYS best to take into account where the trade is in the context of broader trend.

Don’t Fight the Move, Respect Your Stop

The revenge trade reared its face this year. Many times you’ll have conviction on a trade and even after getting stopped out, you enter the trade yet again (maybe even heavier) as you’re ‘certain’ you are right. The most important thing to keep in mind is WHY are you entering the trade? Is the broader bias still preserved? Was there a data print that spiked you out? There have been rare instances where jumping back in has been fruitful (especially when playing intraday turns in price) but they are far and between. Don’t make it a habit of fighting the move – Resistance / support is made to be broken and trying to catch the high / low is typically a fool’s errand, even if you’re near-term trading. Know When You’re Wrong, swallow your pride and move on.

Stop Watching P&L

Another effort I made this year was too pay less attention to unrealized P&L (profit/loss). Objectivity is a necessary but often difficult trait that is under duress when staring at an open position. Many times your focus shifts more so to the current performance of the position than the actual price chart. There were too many instances this year where I found myself exiting profitable positions or taking an early stop as fluctuations in near-term price action influenced the my interpretation of the broader ‘objective’ view on the market. Stick to your convictions, plan your trade and let the market do the rest. P&L is a bi-product of your analysis and should not be what dictates your trade by trade approach. Stop watching your P&L and keep your focus on the market.

Christopher Vecchio, Currency Strategist:

Holding a Winner Means Fighting Human Behavior

As a fundamentals-based discretionary trader, I use technical analysis as a way to curb my emotional reactions to market movements and institute a concrete risk management plan. Truly, they get hand in hand: when I have the strongest of opinions about a particular trade, I always make sure I know where my ripcord is when it’s time to jump out of the position. This advice only seems to cut one way – when losses are coming in – but it’s applicable to when gains are racking up as well.

Consider my trade opportunity of the year for 2016, short GBP/JPY. This trade was a winner right off the bat in January 2016, and quickly approached the initial technical targets outlined in the trading plan. Eager to declare the trade a success (thanks to it being my “Trade of the Year,” I took profits too early in GBP/JPY – taking in the first 1500-pips or so from the initial decline from 183.00 but balked at holding onto the winner). This is a mistake that hurt: closing out a winner that went on to become more profitable immediately. It took me several weeks to fully reengage GBP/JPY short, but by that time another 1300-pips had come to pass. While the second attempt at shorting the pair was still successful, I can’t help but become frustrated by the missed opportunity.

My problem with the trade, despite its success, was that I was paying too much attention to ‘results’ of the trade and not enough about the ‘process.’ Result-oriented people often seek the shortest-path to the solution, disregarding the steps along the way; speed is key. Results can be difficult to replicate for result-oriented people. Process-oriented people, while initially slower, focus on the steps of the solution, so as to create a sustainable procedure; longevity is key. Thus, in seeking to focus on taking home a profit, I disregarded the well-thought out plan that would have resulted in even greater profitability had I just been patient.

Fortunately, we already know the answer to this problem: natural human behavior! In our study on retail trade behavior, we saw that traders were very good at identifying profitable trading opportunities – closing trades out at a profit over 50% of the time. They ultimately lost, however, as the average loser outweighed the average winner. These findings fit with prospect theory, which dictates people take more pain from losing than they derive pleasure from winning. Traders, in the same vein, like to avoid booking their losers so as to not lock in the loss; and they’re quick to book winners to achieve a small ego boost.

The solution is simple: when your trade goes against you, close it out; when your trade is in your favor, let it run. For me, this would have meant identifying that my trading plan was still valid, then working on a risk management strategy to help lock in gains; a trailing stop would have sufficed.

James Stanley, Currency Analyst:

I Caught the Top on the S&P (But the Top Won)

As a rule, I try to avoid punishing myself too much. Learning from mistakes, sure; but there’s a point in which self-critiques becomes self-deprecation, and to a trader – the only thing that really matters is what you have going on between the ears. So while humility is necessary, so is confidence. And a big part of confidence comes from your ability to recover from mistakes; to know that you’re going to make mistakes as you continue to move-forward in life, not letting the fear of failure hold you back.

This is a balance; and I think every person has their own type of balance and their own way of striving to achieve it. For me – this means that probabilities (either real or implied) are at the core of almost every decision I make. If I take the ‘high probability’ route, I’m usually doing the ‘smart’ thing. While life is unpredictable, I’m doing my best to give myself the highest-chances for success; and with that I can move forward without being flummoxed by the constant fear of failure that will have a tendency to wreak havoc with many professional traders’ lives.

This also means that I rarely look for tops or bottoms in markets. Sure, tops and bottoms happen all the time on a variety of different time frames; but when posed with the simple question of ‘do you think things will stay the same or do you think things will change,’ I want to stick with the status quo. Human beings value routine and tradition; we get set in our ways. But perhaps more importantly than that, the past can give us a blueprint for how the future may unfold while ‘change’ brings a full slate of unknowns. The status quo is simply easier to trade because there are pre-existing levels with which the trader can work; allowing for more adequate mannerisms of trade and risk management.

But even with my near-devout allegiance to status quo’s, I will look for the occasional top or bottom in a market when the situation calls for it. But this isn’t my native ‘style’ and I know it, so I’ll tread more cautiously by being even more aggressive with risk-reward (tighter stops, wider targets) and smaller position sizes.

Last December, that’s precisely what I had with the S&P 500; as a litany of factors lined-up for the bearish reversal trade. If you want to read about the plethora of reasons for stock prices to have moved down a year ago, please check out our article entitled, This is Finally the Year that Stock Prices May Tumble.

A bold call, I know. Many had tried to ‘call the top’ in the seven years prior only to fall by the wayside as bursting stock prices continued run higher-and-higher. But with the backdrop we had entering 2016, the probabilities (at least, implied) were on my side. The first trading day of the year saw stocks get slammed and all-of-the-sudden, my short SPX stance didn’t feel so contrarian. The bearishness in stocks continued to drive throughout January, and this hit 4 of 5 limits on my ‘Trade of the Year’ for short SPX. But as we entered the morning of February 11th, I had one target remaining at 1,750. We’d just seen a greater-than-10% move-lower in stocks in a little over a month, and me valuing status quos as much as I do, I thought we had room for more. I was looking for bearish continuation entries in order to trigger new, fresh short-positions while I still had one target remaining on the ‘big picture’ bearish reversal trade.

For a short while – I had called the top, and I had won. But the Fed wasn’t ready to let stock prices continue to fall. On the morning of February 11th, Chair Yellen struck an extremely dovish tone that arrested those declines. I remained bearish. Stock prices went back-up and didn’t really even pause to take a breath. I remained bearish as I thought the Fed was fairly committed to ‘normalizing’ policy, but in March we saw FOMC take another step back as they down-graded guidance for the rest of 2016 and 2017. Stock prices went up even more; and I finally began to question the bearish stance.

But by then it was already too late. Stock prices had re-ascended back towards prior-highs, and there was simply little room to work a bullish-entry. My fifth and final target on the short-SPX position remained unmet, so while the trade technically shows up in the + column on the blotter, it doesn’t quite carry with it that feeling of success that ‘calling’ and ‘hitting’ the top or bottom of a move should carry with it.

And the reason for that is me. I was so stuck on the ‘being right’ part of calling a top that I did a terrible job of flipping my stance once it was proven to me that stock prices would likely cease moving-lower. The lesson here is to not get emotional, in any way, over price movements, especially when you’re right. Nobody cares if you called a ‘top’ or a ‘bottom,’ and there is but one thing that matters at the end of the year, and that’s what’s on your bottom-line. For my 2016, my bottom-line is a little-less robust because I let my ego get in the way on this one trade, and I let my ego disallow me from abandoning my bearish-bias even when evidence suggested I should do so.

Tyler Yell, CMT, Forex Trading Instructor:

Think Like A Quant (Price-In Outliers)

2016 was full of many surprises that most traders felt were so improbable that they were not worth pricing in as likely outcomes of their trades or worth adjusting their trading strategy. However, we can take a page out of the book of quantitative analysis and learn how to think appropriately in addition to logically for more effective trading in 2017.

Quantitative models are not the Holy Grail that many hope them to be due to the necessity of human decided input to validate a trading system. In 2007, there were a lot of quantitative models utilizing Value at Risk or VaR to help see how susceptible the banks or fund’s portfolio was to a 5% drop in value.

The shortsightedness back then was that few models had an input for a persistent drawdown in the market value of mortgages that might default should housing suffer an aggressive turn.

However, many models do an excellent job of clearly laying out what parameters must be faced as a strategy trades in the market. While value at risk quantifies the safety net or likely floor of a portfolio value with 95% confidence, another portfolio model validation methodology has come to the forefront known as Monte Carlo analysis.

Monte Carlo analysis is a Quant favorite because it allows for a range of risk factors to hit an individual trade or portfolio multiple times on a simulation basis to see how the trade or portfolio would perform under different scenarios. Monte Carlo simulation relies on identifying risk factors that pertain to a particular market you have exposure on and specifying the probability distributions for those events.

While an understanding of probability is helpful, the fundamental lesson from 2016 is that even tail risk events should be stress tested to see how your trades would perform. Examples of unlikely events in 2016 were Oil’s continued fall to 75% from 2014 to early 2016, Japan’s negative interest rate decision, the Brexit vote on June 23, or the elections in the United States that elected Donald Trump to be the 45th president should be stressed tested. While the probability distributions mean we’ll never know exactly how the outcome will play out, being prepared for the multitude of outcomes is at the heart of Monte Carlo Analysis or thinking like a Quant.

Naturally, financial markets are complex, and their complexity revolves around pricing in uncertain future events. As traders, it is helpful to examine your portfolio or particular trade sensitivity to changes in underlying assumptions such as who will be elected president or how a central bank will act or what will happen will market.

Authentic Monte Carlo simulation will generate a broad range of random samples from a specified probability distribution to represent risks present in the market to validate if a trade or portfolio can handle an unexpected outcome. Obviously, if a portfolio or trade begins showing larger losses than anticipated during the Monte Carlo simulation, the trader or portfolio manager knows to tighten the risk so that the downside is better protected.

Typically, the trader with the program suited for Monte Carlo simulation will describe the market they are trading and specify the variable range of simulation and then run the simulation. Monte Carlo analysis can be run in Microsoft Excel. However, if you do not have access to a program to run a Monte Carlo simulation, you can run manual trials by looking at extreme events of last year and see how your trade would be affected by those extreme outcomes and how you can better manage your trade in the case of an extreme observation.

Much of technical analysis is performed via historical simulation where a trader looks at a predetermined path and then plans similar possible paths in the future to simulate how the portfolio or trader will perform. While many see what happened yesterday as the best evidence of what will happen tomorrow, Monte Carlo simulation and thinking like a Quant involves fixing a range of potential outcomes and testing your trade or portfolio against this range of results. As noted earlier, a weakness of this methodology is that you choose the range of inputs to test, which still leaves the door open for surprises. However, combining a simulation modeling Monte Carlo along with your analysis can go a long way in helping limit negative surprises next year.

My experience as a trader, Trading Instructor, and Currency Analyst have shown me that the biggest mistakes traders often make come from not pricing in possible future outcomes and adjusting their trading strategy accordingly.

Monte Carlo simulation can be modeled in Excel and is a popular application for options traders who combine the pre-specified inputs of the Black-Scholes option pricing model with a range of random data to see how their trades would perform in an uncertain future.

David Song, Currency Analyst: Tracking Key Market Themes Beyond Monetary Policy

With major central banks across the world taking unprecedented steps following the ‘Great Recession,’ market participants have placed increase emphasis on the outlook for monetary policy as it stood as the ‘only game in town.’ As a result, key market themes and dynamics materialized as the community of global investors responded to the slew of non-standard measures.

The ‘Risk On/Risk Off’ theme was largely popular as the Federal Reserve, under former-Chairman Ben Bernanke, introduced a zero-interest rate policy (ZIRP) that was backed up by the quantitative-easing (QE) program. Under current-Chair Janet Yellen, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has begun its normalization cycle, but the renewed pickup in market sentiment may become a key theme in 2017 as the U.S. dollar now appears to be broadly tracking risk trends. The USD strength following the U.S. Presidential election has been accompanied by a pickup in major global benchmark equity indices, with the USD/JPY exchange rate largely moving in tandem with the Nikkei 225.

The occurrence highlights a material shift in market behavior as the pickup in risk sentiment persists even as the FOMC appears to be on course to implement higher borrowing-costs in 2017, and the U.S. dollar may continue to behave more like a higher-yielding currency as the Fed moves away from its accommodative policy stance and deviate from its major counterparts.

Walker England, Forex Trading Instructor:

Keep Your Analysis Flexible

The end of 2016 trading means a new trading year is on the way, and this time is a great period to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. One aspect that every trader can work on, is staying flexible in your analysis. I can’t stress this enough, whether you’re a seasoned pro, or just beginning your trading career staying flexible can be an asset to your trading. The reasoning behind this logic is that markets change, and so should we as traders!

Please add a description for the image.

Prepared by Walker England

A great example of this was the USD/CAD. The pair started off 2016 in a relentless uptrend. The market peaked at 1.4689 before finally turning lower. At that point SSI readings had reached extremes of over -4.00 and it seemed the market could only go up higher. Well the market turned and now it is looking like the 2016 low will be set in place at 1.2461 Wow what a market turn, the USD/CAD dropped 2228 pips after it looked like it could only trade in one direction.

The lesson to learn here is that traders that were willing to adapt and be flexible in their analysis weren’t caught up or concerned that the market had turned. The traders that did the worst were the ones that were still looking for the trend to resume despite the pair continuing to fall like the proverbial dropped knife.

So what can traders do to remain flexible? Well the first step is to have an invalidation point for any trading plan. I know traders hate to admit it, but at some point we will be wrong. (Might I add, for us day traders being wrong may be a daily occurrence). The key is to know where your analysis has been invalidated, and if the market reaches that point be willing to accept a loss. Remember one loss shouldn’t mean the end of your trading career or year. Remain flexible, trust your analysis and live to trade another day. These are all lessons we should remember going into the 2017 trading year.

Paul Robinson, Currency Analyst:

Shaking a Big Picture Bias in Favor of Short-term Set-ups

When reflecting back on the year, one of the most glaring mistakes I made at times was allowing a macro bias to override short-term set-ups which aligned well with my trading style. I lacked flexibility in some situations which turned out to be costly. It’s easy to fall into the trap of formulating a big picture view and then have difficulty trading an outlook on another time-frame when contradiction arises.

A recent example: Prior to the U.S. presidential election, from September into early November my analysis led me to the conclusion that the market could roll over, and perhaps by a material amount. Short-term shorts (1-3 days) worked out well even though the decline wasn’t significant because I was trading along the path of least resistance. But as a bottom was forged in November and the market began rallying I wasn’t quick to shift my focus towards fruitful opportunities from the long-side even though there was new information indicating I should. Finding it difficult to change our minds in light of new information is part of human nature, our biggest opponent when trading.

Instead of putting more weight into analysis on the time-frame I operate on most frequently, I stuck to a bias which was no longer warranted. At least not for the time being. This resulted in initial losses out of the gate from market lows, and on top of it, several misses on quality opportunities from the long-side which aligned with my short-term trading style.

One of my goals for 2017 is to approach the market with a more balanced perspective, and be sure to place more emphasis on short-term set-ups despite an overarching bias which is in contradiction. One way to accomplish this, is by placing below average-sized trades when opportunities arise where the market is moving against a long-term bias but still in line with set-ups which fit my short-term objectives. The idea behind doing this, is that once I am able to shift gears in a different direction, and do so successfully, it will become easier to continue along that path and shake-free from the big picture bias.

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