I’d Like You To Be Part of My 2013 Trading Experiment

Do you have a plan for tomorrow? I don’t mean a trade or anything complex like that; I mean a simple plan. For example, it could be to wake up at 6am, have a shower, get dressed, have some breakfast, travel to work for 8.30 and steal 30 mins of flexi time – that kind of plan. If you can think of a plan, I’d like you to be part of my 2013 trading experiment. All you need to do to take part is answer one simple question: did the plan work out how it was supposed to?

You have to be honest here or else you’ll miss the point. Did your plan work out exactly?

Take a minute to think about it and then post a short comment below. I don’t need any real detail – although any examples of how smoothly things went (or didn’t go) would be cool to read I suppose. You’d be surprised at how mundane events that you don’t normally remember after they’ve happened can sound altogether more life-changing when looked at in a different context – like what we’re going to do here.

Let me give you a short example just so you get what I’m going on about.

Today is Tuesday and on Tuesday I take my 17 month old son to his grandas for the day so I can come back home and work in peace. I aim to arrive at my dad’s for 9am. If I take the right route and leave at the right time, I get there at 9am with maybe 2 minutes either side. A simple plan that should work every time.

I made this plan 10 months ago when I first started taking my son over and it’s never really changed. But the thing is, I don’t always make it for 9 even with 2 minutes spare either side and this is despite me doing the same processes every time.

The Interdependence of Everything – Indra’s Net

Almost every other day I’m either too late or too early and the reason is quite simple. Life happens.

What I mean by that exactly is that someone else’s plan hasn’t quite gone according to how they wanted it to and they have a knock-on effect on someone else’s plan who then has a knock-on effect to someone else’s plan who then effects me.

This then makes me late and I have to justify the reason to a grumpy granda who was expecting me 25 minutes ago and now he isn’t able to get started on his plan because of me. And on it goes…

But what would happen if I didn’t have an exact plan and instead of setting off at 8.30am every morning, I threw 3 coins in the air and changed my set off time, route and which car I used depending on how the coins landed? Would I be any more effective at arriving on time?

Life just is, you see, and sometimes making plans, no matter how well prepared you think they are, just don’t work. In fact, how do you even know you’ve prepared the ultimate plan? When you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s? Exhausted all your ideas? Ran out of time?

The sun has no conscious mind, yet it rises every day and gives us light; the plant has no intelligible thoughts yet manages to grow enough so that it canΒ  pollenate our crops; our crops don’t think about feeding us but rather, just grow big and juicy. There is no grand design or architect here, there is just life.

Consider this, if you had all the time in the world and wanted to make the ultimate plan – or carry out the ultimate science experiment – you’d never get past the planning stage because you’d be gathering infinite amounts of data and trying to plan for every possible eventuality.

At some point, you’d have to use something else to get things moving. What would this mysterious something be?

Your gut feel and instinct that you’d planned enough and that now was the time for action…

Why chance, intuition and spontaneity will form the basis of my big 2013 trading experiment.

The idea is simple. I want to compound Β£500 starting capital at 20% per month.

In order to achieve this, I’m going to….aha, but coming up with a plan would seem to miss the point, don’t you think? I’ve often read and heard it said that the ‘markets are alive’, or that ‘it has it’s own mind’ or that ‘it doesn’t care about your plan’, or any other number of similar expressions that we would normally reserve for living things.

Is the market a living thing?

I believe that it’s maybe not in the literal sense, as if it has it’s own beating heart and cogniscent mind, but certainly it is in it’s chaotic and spontaneous nature. If it is alive, then that would mean it, like all of us and every other form of life you can think of, has only one purpose and that is to exist and grow.

This would also mean it is just as reliant on the interdependence of everything in much the same way that we are and that there is no grand design or plan behind any of it. If this is the case, then perhaps casting three coins in the sand every Tuesday at dusk will get me the return that I want.

I’m actually not joking here and if you can think of an even cooler method I can use to trade then please post it below and I’ll choose the one that sounds most interesting. I love the idea of the I Ching as a starting point if you need any ideas πŸ˜‰

I don’t know how I’ll apply these methods yet, but every month I will apply them somehow to some market and post all the results here.

Maybe it really could be as simple as 3 coins at dusk; heads commodities, tales FX, heads gold, tales silver, heads long, heads short – who know?

Videos of coin tossing and screenshots of trading account to come so add me to favourites, keep reading or follow me on twitter to see how this all works out in the end.

Why is a mouse when it spins?

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8 Replies to “I’d Like You To Be Part of My 2013 Trading Experiment”

  1. Why don’t you do exactly what you are doing now with your analysis but just place the opposite trade to what your signal suggests?

    If you’re losing money on what you’re doing at the moment why not take the other side of the trade?

    1. Hey Jared, I’ve considered this many times. The problem I always find when I contemplate this is that after 5 minutes of thinking about it, I’m not sure which way is the way I *think* it will go in order to do the opposite!

      Hence the need, even in this case, to require a more rigid system of entries which is exactly the type of thing I’m trying to move away from.

      I want to loosen up, go with the flow, act spontaneously, impulsively and let my intuition and gut make the trade for me.

      Trading opposites seems too rigid a method…although looking at my record, it would seem to be a step forward if I planned to use the same system as I always have in the past.

  2. Sounds cool but if you want to do that make sure you are trading with your Vagus nerve and not you Limbic system in disguise.

  3. Now we’re getting somewhere… πŸ™‚

    The idea is fascinating but if my very thin understanding of these functions is right, I’m not sure how I could use the vagus system to trade? The only way that would seem to give any potential with this would be the one where pagan priests slapped viscera into a wooden bowl to divine the future based on their shape and dimensions? Which sounds pretty close to what I’m looking for but I don’t think I’ve got the stomach for it.

    And besides, wouldn’t I be dead here? πŸ™‚ I suppose I could use an animal’s viscera rather than my own? I want to come up with some new ideas but that seems a little extreme!

    On the contrary, the limbic system would suggest a much more primal (living) approach to emotion driven trading that implies sharp sensory perception and spontaneous action.

    Isn’t this where I want to be?

    It’s somehwere around about there I think. Great ideas, certainly getting closer…

  4. Vagus nerve literally gives you that gut feeling … That I should do this ‘itch’.

    Limbic system gives you an emotional response. When you feel slighted — eg you are conned or someone pushes in front of you in a queue this system kicks in. … But after the event has happened. In trading the money has already been made or lost.

  5. Fascinating, Jared, thanks…. I see what you mean and how it relates to what I’m trying to achieve. My goal is definitely to avoid this knee-jerk reaction but rather, to passively accept signals and then act on intuition to make a trade.

  6. Hey Lee

    Have you looked into meditation at all? I ask because it’s a way of bringing clarity to our thoughts and increasing creativity.

    It’s something I’ve recently got into, but not really looked at specifically with regard to trading. Your comments on using intuition but not emotion to make trading decisions got me thinking, what if we could get to a place of emotion-less calm, while still in touch with our intuition, wouldn’t that be a great place from which to make a trading decision?

    Regular meditative practice to train the mind, so we can get to that place every time before pressing the button. Mmm, I feel a little experiment coming up!..

    1. Hi,

      Yes, actually, I have and in fact is something I am practicing currently. Not in the sense of meditating to trade, but more in the general sense of just letting go of all the hustle and bustle in order to train my mind to be more spontaneous and intuitive. Jared made a great point above about using the limbic system over the vagus nerve but without finding that place of inner-calm and clarity (or ‘mind training’, let’s say), I’m not sure I could do that because the natural, primal response seems to be emotive, rather than intuitive.

      It is in this idea where I can see the benefits of meditation, and it is for this reason that it is something I am starting to practice.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ll be able to simply meditate and then all of a sudden have a trade pop into my head (which is why I’m thinking of throwing 3 coins in the sand at dusk πŸ˜‰ ) but I do agree with your hypothesis that if you were chilled, without any hangups, you’d be in a better frame of mind to trade.

      I hope you do take up your experiment with this idea. Be sure to let us know how it goes.

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