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Andy asks “Why are you doing a free course? Won’t that take away from your edge as a trader and maybe things will stop working? Has it already stopped working? What are you trying to get out of this? What’s your angle?”

121312_2042_ReaderQuest1.png[dc]G[/dc]ood question, Andy, and I actually addressed this in the recording I made last night. There are a few answers to this question. First, nearly all of what I do as a trader is derived from the work of people who came before me. The information is already “out there”. If I’ve done anything different, perhaps it’s putting the information together a bit differently, and focusing on a very rigid quantitative/statistical framework to verify every tool I use. (This is why no moving averages, retracement ratios, candlestick patterns, etc. in my work–I simply cannot tease out a statistical edge to these tools.) The basic ideas of reading momentum and market structure are certainly over a hundred years old, and they are stable across the full history of market data I’ve examined. By full history, I mean modern markets, early 20th century markets, grains from the Middle Ages (1200 – 1300), stocks from the 1700s and 1800s, etc. I believe that what drives this methodology is really human behavior–how human traders react to risk, volatility, and opportunity in financial markets. No, it’s not perfectly predictable, of course, but there are certain enduring aspects of that behavior. If something has worked for a thousand years, I’d be pretty arrogant to think that I could change it by publishing a book or a course, so I’m not terribly concerned!

Another reason is that, frankly, I like to teach and I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant–I am a good teacher. In my previous career as a musician, I found I enjoyed teaching and actually spent a tremendous amount of time refining and developing the skills of teaching. I think that’s a little unusual, and I hope it helps me communicate my ideas with some clarity. I also have discovered, both as a musician and a trader, that teaching makes us better at what we do. When you examine your own process and reduce it to teachable pieces, it really forces you to remove all inconsistency and imprecision from your thinking–teaching has made me better at what I do, in every way.

As for your (very logical) question of “what’s my angle”, the answer is pretty simple: I started out as a struggling retail trader and had to wade through a morass of garbage to find some good stuff. There are some truly exceptional gems out there, but there are also a lot of exploitative and abusive scams in “retail education land.” (Not to focus too much on the negative, but it’s very common to see people repackage things that have stopped working and sell them as trading courses. An ex-floor trader friend of mine sent me an ad for a service that claimed to teach the public “THE FLOOR TRADER’S EDGE” with a note that said “oh cool. This guy is going to teach you to be tall, loud, go to work every day, and make friends with the big brokers in the pit…” I think you see his point.) I want to create something of real value here. Many people helped me along my way as I was learning to trade, and one major reason I want to do this is simply to give back a bit to that community. I would be absolutely delighted if people bought my book and left favorable reviews on Amazon, and I’d be even happier if people found value in my research and I gained some new readers of my work, but, mostly, I hope to create something valuable and build a community of traders working toward a better-examined, more objective approach to the discipline of technical analysis.

(If you haven’t registered for the course, do so here. I have recorded the first week’s material and we should be live within 24 hours!)