Friday, April 23, 2010

Be Skeptical and Test, Test, Test

Victor Niederhoffer wrote a couple of books on speculation, trading, and markets. One of the points he stressed was that we must observe, count, and always test our trading ideas. This may seem obvious to some, but I really wonder how many traders actually test their own trading strategies or strategies they may have read about.

I have read many books on trading and I am never surprised when an author, who may or may not be a real trader, just states a trading rule, or idea, in their book and never backs it up with data. Here is my advice to all traders. BE SKEPTICAL. NEVER TRUST UNSUPPORTED IDEAS. And DO YOUR OWN TESTING. I do not know how many times I have read something in a book and initially would say to myself, “Wow, this sounds great.” Being a skeptic, I would quickly open an Excel spreadsheet, or my Metastock software, and test the idea. I cannot tell you how many times I was left dumbfounded. I would just look at the picture of the person in the book and say to myself, “Are you kidding me?” “What bull****!”

Do your homework. Test your ideas. Then go for it.

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