Keeping an open mind

I had an interesting "debate" on the forum of a well-known trading software company. I say debate, at times it felt like a meeting of soccer fans where I had the only blue scarf amongst a sea of red ones.

Still, what do you expect when a male enters the domain of other males who think they can do no wrong and nobody else is right.

A small minority of the same males then let themselves down by visiting this site (as my weblogs show) and leaving messages unworthy of intelligent debate.

The main thrust of my opponents' argument was that I did not have an open mind to scalping. I do have an open mind to scalping but it must be a logical open mind and not one based on feeling. I want to know how and why scalping works and when scalping does and doesn't work.

I also want to know if scalping is the best use of my time and resources. I want to be able to make the most amout of money possible in the least amount of time. And from past experience of scalping, it is not the best use of my time and does not offer me the highest return on my investment of time and money.

An open mind is always desirable in the creation of trading systems. There is no one single method. Those who hitch their wagon to the scalping juggernaut are limiting themselves to one form of trading. One that shows less returns per trader, year on year.

You have to keep adapting as markets evolve. What worked this year might not work the next. Trading is an arms race and you can't keep using a longbow when your opponents have upgraded to muskets.

To gain greater wealth from trading you need (as Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses in The Black Swan) a scalable system. For example, a hairdresser does not have a scalable job as they can only work on one head at a time. The owner of many hairdressing salons does have a scalable job as he can employ many people to work on many customers.

If the salon owner wants more wealth then they need only to grow their business by opening more salons. A salon owner's job is scalable and so is their potential income. The hairdresser's job is not scalable and so their income is fixed.

A scalper's income in horseracing markets is fixed as they can only effectively trade one market at a time. Trading one market at a time limits the trader as they cannot take advantage of possible trades in other markets. A trading bot designer, on the other hand, has a scalable job as they can trade (all forms of trading and not just scalping) every market available to them simultaneously. Another market? Fine, another bot.

The software you use can be a limiting factor to scalability. If you buy software that limits you to certain ways of trading then you will never open your mind to other ways of trading. Only by writing (or designing if you have to get someone else to write the software for you) software to do whatever you require and not what vendors' software forces you to do will allow you to discover something new about the market that you trade in.

And so, I am afraid that many of my "colleagues" on the forum of a well-known trading software company are as guilty as anyone else of having a closed mind. They limit themselves to one form of trading, with software that while sophisticated is not the zenith of capability and which in turn limits them to trading one race at a time. A truly unscalable method of earning wealth, which although it might be more than they have ever earned in their life is not making the most of their potential.