The Beginning Is the Most Important Part of the Work

Let's start with something depressing to end on happier note...

I can't count the number of times I have read about "proven" strategies in well rated books only to find out they did not work and maybe had never worked.

The number of times I have seen "professional" traders who taught trading to other people for thousands of dollars per lecture and yet were not able to earn money in the markets themselves.

The number of times someone told me that the market would go in a certain way based solely on an obscure chart pattern which he or she had never tested in any market, especially not in that particular one.

The number of totally useless indicators being sold for profit.

The number of journal articles completely detached from market reality. (Ever heard of the efficient-market hypothesis?)

I could continue for quite some time but let me stop here and summarize the message: In the world of trading almost everything is fake. People are giving bad advice either because there is money in it for them or because they seek some kind of recognition or simply because they are wrong (which happens to all of us from time to time).

Now lets get back to the beginning. Why is this Plato's classic quote used as the heading of the very first post? It might even sound like something very self-evident, right? Yet there is more to it. It is from the Republic, one of the world's most influential works. And it is quoted out of context. More complete version looks like this:

You know also that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken. (...) And shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?

The world of trading can be overwhelming. There is so much to be learnt and troves of information readily available everywhere around us. Especially the beginning is a time when new knowledge and experience is acquired rapidly and our "trading character" is formed.

The approach we choose and the choices we make will have huge consequences that will help us succeed or fail. From my experience and from the experience of people around me I can tell you that getting rid of bad habits is very difficult and can slow you for years. Unlearning is time consuming process.

If you are relatively new to trading or if you have been trying for some time with no success, it is a good idea to try to forget everything that you think you know. Do not trust anything you do not try yourself. Especially do not trust the "authorities", proved trading systems or common knowledge. Start with clean mind, learn the proper methodology first, be rational and value the empirical evidence above all. Seek inspiration, not dogma. It is better to succeed slowly than to fail quickly.

Statsmage should serve as a gateway to other resources related to automated trading and a filter, presenting things that are tested. The main goal is to share ideas, inspiration and tools for success, not to provide a silver bullet solution. Last but not least I hope that writing will allow me to meet new people with the same interests so do not be afraid to contact me if you want.