When Reality Becomes Fantasy

There are many websites created by sports and financial traders. Many, unlike mine, like to report (boast?) their winnings but rarely their losses. Why might that be? I never discuss the details of my trades because winning strategies are hard to come by. Share a winner and it becomes a loser because the market will arbitrage the edge out of it.

Nobody is 100% successful when it comes to trading. Nobody likes to lose but there will be inevitable losses. Trading is not about finding winners, it is about finding edge. That is a subtle difference that many beginners do not appreciate. As stated, nobody is 100% correct in their decision making. You need to make sure that your winnings over-compensate for your losses and that is where edge is all important.

I see many websites come and go and even come back again (some people never learn). Boasts about conquering sports and financials (usually the forex markets, for some reason) abound when most traders specialise in just one or two sports or financial markets and rarely both sports and financials. After all, if you are that good at financial trading why waste your time with sports trading?

Bankrolls are repeatedly lost without a reason given or they are modified to hide losses. That is assuming that the figures you are reading are truthful. Once you have started to broadcast to the general public your initial success it is difficult to admit that you are wrong in the future when your luck runs out and the law of large numbers drags your bankroll down.

These action gamblers jump from one strategy to the next, none of them back-tested. All are hunches with no edge. The "trader" will announce that in so many months they will be independently wealthy (presumably an old aunt is about to die and cough up her estate) or they will set themselves the task of winning X amount in so many weeks. The sure sign of someone who hasn't the slightest idea of what they are doing.

Don't be an action gambler. Learn how to trade properly. Learn how markets work and how to build strategies with positive edge. Most strategies for sale are losing ones (see Buchdahl) and the only profit in them is the money the creator gets from selling these strategies to mugs. You will have to create strategies yourself; either by becoming a fundamental trader (learning how to understand past performance and creating your own odds) or as a technical trader (trading the prices) or a combination of the two.

There are no short-cuts to becoming a trader and reading a dodgy website is not going to make things any easier. Reading those websites will see you entering the same fantasy land as the creator of the dodgy website. Remember, 90% of traders are losing traders. Many amongst the other 10% barely break-even. It takes a lot of hard work just not to be a losing trader and the task gets harder each year. The reality of many trading websites is purely fantasy.