What's this, an actual living and breathing update? After pulling a bit of a disappearing act over the the last few months I suppose it's fair that I've been getting a number of emails in recent weeks asking where I got off to. I guess I could regale everyone with tales of wild trips and living large (that seems to be popular with the YouTube traders out there) but the reality is not quite so sexy.
The truth of it is just that I've simply been pouring a lot of my hours and energy into new, compelling trading projects so I've had to sacrifice things a bit when it comes to my semi-regular Samurai Trading blog posts and videos. There's really only so many trading-focused hours I want to spend in a day to ensure I can balance various hobbies and life in general, so when I get invested in one area it sometimes means cutting back a bit elsewhere.
An Old Dog Learning New Tricks
Over the past year or so I've found myself getting more deeply involved in the research and development side of trading and it's honestly sucked up a fair bit of my time. I've been working on numerous tweaks to my Emini S&P 500 (ES) trading approach and implementing them live and I've also spent a lot of energy and time working on some fresh new Nasdaq 100 (NQ) strategies that have proven quite fruitful.
I even took some time to really dig deep into ES order flow scalping for a few months, which I'll admit isn't something I've had much luck with in the past. Trading an approach where the goal is to take only a few ticks at a time while maintaining a very high win rate (to balance the poor reward to risk) is extremely difficult, especially taking into account trading costs and fees, but that's actually part of what interests me about it. It's a considerable challenge and forces me to think and develop my skills in new directions and to move outside my comfort zone. I can't say I've carved out an especially large trading edge with my ES scalping but I've absolutely learnt a few things that have reflected positively in the core ES trading I continue to do each day.
And really, that's what it's all about. It doesn't matter if your profession is trading, athletics or a job in the corporate world, you need to be interested in continuing education and ongoing development if you're going to stay mentally engaged and performing at a high level.
Sticking to the System
But even given all of that trading research and development work in recent months there isn't much that has really changed about my day to day trading approach or results. I still focus on my core methodology and system that I've used for years involving breaking down market structure and momentum to take high reward to risk trades and that's where the majority of my trading volume is by a large margin.
I've actually been somewhat hesitant to post many charts lately because they would include a few more of those "non-STA" trades than usual as I test and trade fresh systems. I scale the new stuff up slowly though as I take time to build and confirm my edge, so my main focus still remains my Samurai Trading approach where I can confidently trade with full size. I stick with what works, even if I do like to experiment from time to time to keep things interesting.
The Search for Balance
For those of you who have reached out in recent months about the STA Training Program, the reasons above also explain why I've been taking on so few students. In fact, over the entirety of 2018 I only worked with six new people out of hundreds who got in touch as I wanted to make sure I still had the time needed to properly balance my own trading, the needs of students and life in general. Spreading yourself too thin is never a good idea but it's completely unacceptable when working with others who require your full effort and focus so I made sure to err on the cautious side for my trading time management.
As many of the long-term readers of this blog know I tend to go through these research and development cycles every year but this one has been longer and far more in-depth than usual. I feel like I'm now becoming quite settled into my tweaked ES and freshly developed NQ trading so now it's just about accumulating a larger sample size of trades over time.
How that affects the blog and trying to put out regular educational videos and recaps of my Emini S&P 500 trading remains to be seen but as always I'll be searching for a good balance. My own trading business and maintaining a good support system for those I work with come first, of course, but I know a lot of you find the content I post here useful so I'll do what I can to deliver. It's actually surprisingly time-consuming to put together posts or videos but knowing that many of you have found my trading recaps and market insights to be helpful definitely makes the work rewarding and worthwhile.
Keep in mind I'm always checking email though, so feel free to reach out if you're just looking for a bit of trading perspective or feedback. I'm always interested in connecting with those who share my passion for the world of trading and am happy to help out aspiring traders where I can!