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Trading Consciously in the Now

Trading in the Now

My Background

Hi,

My name is Mark Meir, I live in London (UK) and I have been trading for a living since 2001. Prior to that I owned and ran a Software consultancy, managing large projects for clients around the world. By the end of 2001 I had decided that I'd had enough flying all over the place and managing large teams of people, so I then decided to focus my attention on day trading. I have been trading part time for over 25 years and have had some success and some failure, overall making enough money to convince myself that I can do it full time.

I've read dozens of books and went on several training courses and managed to stay pretty much at break even for a couple of years. Luckily I had enough reserves to sustain my family from the time I ran the software business. About 2 years ago I discovered (or internalised) what I now call 'trading in the now'. This is based on my understanding of a combination of Zen, meditation and other contemporary writers about the now.

How it Works?

There are numerous ways to trade and there are many different systems and methods published in both books and on various 'paid for' websites. Some are good and some are useless, but what they have in common is that they do not necessarily fit with the way you are, and that is the most important factor. In recent years we've seen the rising of numerous trading robots, which are simply programs that trade on your behalf, some work some of the time and some never work, the main reason I don't use them is that I love trading and I love the ability to create something based on my own knowledge and understanding. If you log on to clickbank market place you will see numerous robots for sale, see how their sales surge initially making the software writers rich and how the sales diminish over several months. Let's face it, if they worked all the time and made consistent money why would the authors sell them in the first place? Just put them on auto pilot and go and do something else.

So, why trade at all?

If your sole purpose is to make money, you may do well for a while but after some time you will notice that it becomes less profitable and you may even start losing money. Trading is an art and an activity that you must love and enjoy doing to be consistent, like most things in life. For some it is love at first sight and for others it takes time to fall in love, but as you fall in love with the action of trading, there can be no stopping you, you will learn to enjoy both the winning and the expense (what others call losing) trades, as each expense takes you closer to the winner. I will explain later how to ensure that the expenses remain low and the winners grow.

You can easily train yourself to trade successfully, and there are numerous books that I've read, although there are now only 3 books that I would recommend to avoid confusion and information overload:

  1. Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas

  2. Come into my trading room by Alexander Elder

  3. Day Trading the currency market by Kathy Lien

Self realization

I believe that to trade successfully you must understand yourself, understand what motivates you and act in the Now, then you must learn several methods that you apply consistently and prosper from. You need to understand your time frame, some people keep a trade open for days and weeks, and some for minutes and hours. My personal style is the very short term, between a few seconds and a few hours, sometime a scalp (very short term trade) develops nicely and once you can bring it into profit you can decide to let it run for longer for greater profits. Most importantly, never let a winning trade become a loser. You also need to discover the best times of the day to execute your trades, I trade the London open (08:00 GMT to 10:300 GMT) and the US open (14:30 GMT to 17:00 GMT). Occasionally I trade the last hour of the US close. The reason I chose these times is that they are usually the most volatile and hence your trades move fast. Secondly I do not like to sit in front of the screen for too many hours, so often I can make my daily target (more about that later) within the first hour and then decide whether to continue or go for more. It is very important to trade what you see and not what you thinks, stay in reactive mode whilst trading and when you feel tired or confused stop trading. Know your own limits and stay conscious at all times, this will stop you from taking both revenge trades and trades that do not match your own setups.

Meditation:

As I live in London, I get up pretty early (around 05:30 AM) and meditate for an hour before breakfast and before I start trading. The reason for this is that places me firmly in the Now, removes all illusions and puts me in a calm and alert mode. I then read a very limited view of the market and what happened overnight, as I do not want to start my day biased one way or another. Bias can be dangerous and a fixed mind can cause you to throw money at your beliefs rather than at what the market is so clearly stating. When it comes to meditation, there are numerous types and you need to select what is best for you. The benefits stretch way beyond your trading (but that is out of scope for this blog). Personally I use a Zen meditation technique but if you google mediation you will surely find a form that suits you.

Here are related books that I recommend based on my own experience:

  1. Busting loose from the Money game by Robert Scheinfeld

  2. The Way of Zen by Alan W. Watts

  3. The essential laws of Fearless Living by Guy Finley

  4. The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the hidden dimensions of your life by Deepak Chopra.

  5. The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle

Just check the reviews in Amazon.com and choose one or two that tickle your fancy, all are excellent.

There are numerous others which you can find for yourself, and there are many free website with further information and resources. You can also find free MP3 with guided meditations that may be easier to start with. My favourite is http://www.freemeditationmusic.org/.

Another program that I highly recommend is Guy Finleys' audio visual material (some of it free and some for sale) available at: Guy Finley Organization

Finally, and just to reiterate, a daily meditation will enhance your trading and will enhance your life.

Trading Methods:

There are numerous methods and systems out there, I will show you 2 simple methods that I use here and will update this blog with additional methods and videos of their use over the coming days and weeks. I use very few indicators and rely mostly on my focus and ability to react to the price action. This is easily achieved when you remain focused, based in the now and avoid all distractions:

For charting I use MT4 which is a free charting package and it has all the instruments that I trade, namely – currencies, Index futures, Oil (WTI) futures and Natural gas future.

To download MT4 go to - http://www.metatrader4.com/

You will need to select a broker that has the instruments of your choice. You do not have to open an account with that broker and the package is completely free.

Method 1 – Scalping the index futures:

This is a very simple method and is based on momentum trading, it's very fast and requires 100% focus and attention to what is happening in the market. In my morning (US time) I trade the Dax futures based on the tick chart, 1 minute chart, and I also have a 5 minute chart up and running to see the bigger picture. I also have a Dow 5 minute and 1 minute chart open as the Dax (or FTSE) tend to follow the Dow. Over the coming days I will record this type of trade and post it here, so stay tuned. The same trade can be executed on the S&P futures, again watching both it and the Dow charts.

This trade is usually entered a few minutes after the US stock exchange opens. My charts have the following indicators set up:

10 ema, 14 period Bollinger Bands (standard deviation 2) and another set of Bollinger band (standard deviation 1).

When the price hits a Standard deviation 2 BB, I watch the reaction to the event and as the price is rejected (if it is) I enter a trade in the opposite direction, as this is a momentum trade I do not allow it any “breathing space”, it either works (usually) or does not, there is no hanging around. If the trade goes against me by 2-3 ticks I exit and wait patiently for the next one. If the trade goes my way I continue to watch the tick and 1 minutes charts and exit the position once the momentum has stopped. Again, no waiting is involved, you exit and if the trend continues, we can re enter again on a retracement. The areas to watch out for are the mid BB and the 10 ema as they may offer support or resistance, once the 10 ema is cleared there is a stronger likelihood that the price will make it's way to the next BB. If the price does hit the opposite BB, then exit and wait to see if it kicks that band to an extreme. If it does, do not jump in again, wait until the price comes back to either the 10 ema of the standard deviation 1 BB and then re enter. Once again, no leeway is give, 2-3 ticks against you tell you to get out and wait for a better opportunity. If it does go your way then trail your trade (manually) and exit once the momentum dries up.

This is a typical reactive 'trade in the now' type of trade and I often have over 100 of these trades in one day. You can tailor the number of trades to your style, or you can set a daily point target which once reached you stop trading. I usually set my target at 50 points (achieved most days) and stop trading once hit. This can be achieved in 10 minutes and can take 2 hours sometimes, obviously the more the market trends, the easier it is.

Method 2 – Scalping the News:

This is a method I've been using for several years. There are numerous economic announcements during each month, some of them are tradeable and others are weak. As a rule of thumb, the bigger and more important the announcement the better the trade is likely to be. The main events are employment figures from the US, UK and Australia, CPI figures from most of the G20 countries, GDP figures, Interest rate announcements and many other. These trades are what I call 'Spike trades' and entered as the news comes out and exited a few seconds later (usually). It is not possible to enter the trade manually so I use software that is programmed to hit the sell or buy button once the news is out. These type of trades make a good profit, but require good timing and focus. This software is available from Fast Economic News

Finally,

This is just the tip of the iceberg, no further complications exist, just experience and a desire to do it. I will continue to update this blog with more methods and videos over the coming days, so please feel free to come back and check.

 

Comments

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15 comments to Trading Consciously in the Now

  • James

    Interesting article, need to look into this meditation idea, as I find myslef loosing patience and focus quite quickly. Tnx

  • admin

    Hey James. Glad you found it useful, check out some of the resources I’ve mentioned. Guy Finley’s organization has some incredibly helpful audios and visuals.

  • Abnowntawnomb

    cool sitename man)))
    ————————
    internet signature: http://xabul.ru/

  • admin

    Glad you like it, more to come.

  • haidgeThinaig

    Thank you, with pleasure.
    —————————————
    signature: http://potet.ru

  • I do also recommend Mr. Robert Scheindfeld’s book “Busting Loose from the Money Game. As far as his works are concerned, he just recently released a new book called “Busting Loose From The Business Game.” It takes the topic of discussion into a very different place, especially as it relates to money, business and career.

  • Thanks Vincente, I have read ‘Busting loose from the money game’ excellent book, very helpful.

  • Per

    Hi Mark,

    First time visit here. Like very much what you write and I must say you have a very open and genorous attitude about sharing your experience and useful books and software and how you trade. Very rare and special.

    I downloaded the free (!!!) MT4 trading software and was suprised about it’s good quality. I run QCharts real time charting software and have Interactive Brokers as my execution platform (broker account) and I trade ES and YM (e-minis).

    It seem to me that MT4 is design to trade the Forex market, can you trade ES and YM and other instruments with it too? May I ask what broker you use in connection with the MT4 software? I am living in Stockholm in Sweden and only trade the US-markets (ES/YM) since they had the best software and brokers I thought, but I like the idea of being able to trade European markets also if there is good volume, tight spreads and cost effective broker fees in real time with good software and broker. I would not mind to have faster execution platform, since punching in numbers on limit orders and stop orders and clicking on several levels takes time and it is easy to make misstakes, from your video it looked like you only clicked one buttom for buy and one for sale directly from your charting software that seems to include an execution platform as well, is that right?

    Hope this thread is not to old, thanks for all tips and trix and books, ordered Guy Finleys CD’s and e-books for only $65 today thanks to you. It is very interesting to be able to take part of how other people trade the markets, thanks for a great site I must say, hope you keep it up for a long time.

  • Hey Per, yes MT4 is an excellent deal and I use it with the ODL feed. As far as trading the European indices I only trade the DAX as it has a higher correlation to the DOw and often lags somewhat. The FTSE has a mind of it’s own and I rarely trade it. I must say I only use MT4 for the charts and technical indicators and have never used it for execution as I live in the UK and prefer to use spread betting firms (tax free and then I can make a better decision as to where my money goes). For speed of execution I use GFT (they have both spreadbetting and CFD platforms and are very professional), their execution is as good as Interactivebrokers (I used to have an account with IB). BTW, why not use the book trader with IB and then you don’t need to type in?
    As to Guy Finley, he is an incredible guy, I have all his books and subscribe to his website as well, he just tells it as it is and has helped my ‘fear of trading’ quite a bit. Hope this helps, I am branching into other forms of ‘Trading’ as you will see in the near future. All life is about trading… have a good day and whats left of the sunshine 🙂 (I worked in Stockholm for six month in 1999). Cheers, Mark

  • Per

    Hi Mark,

    That was a very fast response, like your trading I presume, :-). My english is not up to speed my I ask the following:

    1. ODL feed? Please give full name.

    2. GFT? Please give full name.

    3. The book trader with IB? Please explain.

    Sorry for not understanding, but realy want to know, so please be patient with me.

    So you worked in Stockholm, software business? How did you like it? Summer or winter?

    Thanks for your kind help,
    Per

  • Hey Per,
    I just happened to be doing some work, don’t always react this fast on Sunday. OK, here are the answers:
    1. For ODL you need to registaer for a demo account at http://www.odlmarkets.com/lp/ – the feed name is ODL-MT4 Demo – ODL Securities
    2. GFT Global Markets – http://www.gftuk.com/
    3. Interactivebrokers have a book trader which looks like Level II quotes and you can left and right clicks on specific bids and/or offers to create limits and stops. You need to activate in the settings and then right click on an instrument to start it.
    Hope this helps. Yes I worked for Accenture at Ericsson from August into the winter (Febuary), and I loved Stockholm, had a great time, that was followed by 2 years in Helsinki where I saw even less of the sun, but was flying back to London every weekend.
    Talk later, dinner time here 🙂

  • Per

    Just another thing, I am impressed with your setup to trade the news, my strategy has always been to stay out of the market when the big boys are buying and selling at 10.00 AM (EST) o’clock markets reports, since volatility often get so extreme that everybody is stopped out, when I was unconsious I was placing an order at that time and I was just in the process of placing my stop when 10.00 o’clock news volatility happen and it cost me some money. I have always been wondering who is trading at that time and if they make any money doing it, but now I know how it can be done, 🙂

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