Tag Archives | The Apiary Fund

The Apiary Fund Trader Development Program

One of Shawn’s visions for The Apiary Fund was compiling a group of excellent traders who come from non-traditional backgrounds. He wanted the stay-at-home mom, the retired school teacher, and the ice cream man from Chicago to be able to develop their trading skills. As a result, the Apiary team put together a 12 week Trader Development Program: a course that helps trader’s practice concepts and strategies and to start showing consistency in a trader’s virtual account.

When I was younger, my parents gave me a violin and I immediately had dreams of performing in front of an entranced audience while playing masterfully on my gorgeous violin. I didn’t account for the fact that it takes years just to learn how to get the right bow stroke and coax a beautiful sound out of that screeching thing…or the fact that I’m most likely tone deaf. Anyone who has had the pleasure, or misfortune, of listening to a beginner violinist knows that the sound can be pretty rough. However, if you stick around to watch them practice runs, scales, and bowing techniques, you’ll be amazed at the progress they make.

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Here’s a couple of tips that can help make the learning process a little easier:

Focus: Your time will be a lot more effective if you’re not distracted by other things. Put that prefrontal cortex of yours to good use by eliminating emotional and sensory distractions. Have a set amount of time where you make a conscious effort to only focus on trading.

Set Goals: By having reasonable and measurable goals you’ll feel more motivated to trade. If you can see the progress that you’re making it’s easier to put a more sincere effort into trading.

Repetition: One of the worst feelings is the drop in your stomach when you realize you’re not as prepared as you should be. One of the first investments we should learn to make is to invest our time in things that will become valuable (and trust us, knowledge is the most dependable resource).

Don’t Settle For Mistakes: You’ve heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect,” but a new phrase is becoming more popular: “practice makes permanent.” None of us are perfect so we shouldn’t let mistakes get us down but actively look for ways to improve performance and cut down on errors.

The learning process is an incredible thing. We practice basic techniques and drills, and because of that practice we develop new skills and knowledge. Learning how to trade takes practice–it is not going to happen overnight. Through the Trader Development Program, you can practice the runs and scales of trading and be better prepared to succeed in the markets. Anyone has the ability to learn how to trade, and The Apiary Fund is cheering you on!

Happy Trading!

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Yoda Quote #5, “Patience You Must Have”

This is a continuation of the Trading Words of Wisdom By Yoda, for Quote #6 click here.

5. “Patience you must have my young padawan.” -Revenge Of The Sith

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Whether it’s in the traffic jam on the way home from work, dealing with sleepless children (or adults which can turn out just as bad), or just one long day after another we all could have benefitted from having our green little friend around to give us this timeless piece of advice.

Patience is a virtue that you have to fight for. To master it involves growing pains, practice, and the determination and resolve to look past what you are feeling at the present and look towards the future. It is easy for a trader to understand the importance of patience in trading, but knowing and doing–as we all know too well–are vastly different. Of course, it’s at our worst moments that we are expected to exhibit one of the toughest character traits; we know the stress of a bad trading day doesn’t make you want to sing praises of the joys of your hard-won patience, but it you never tested it how would you know how strong it is?

We know that if you show patience through the entire trading cycle, from entry to exit, you will find more success in the markets. The number one tool for ensuring patience is to follow your trading plan. Don’t get upset or excited (remember, a Jedi craves not those things) about trades that don’t follow your plan. It helps to remember why you have a strategy, and that you don’t want to disappoint yourself by disregarding it.

Happy Trading, and May The Force Be With You!

For Quote #4 click here.

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Yoda Quote #6, “Clear Your Mind Must Be…”

This is a continuation of the Trading Words of Wisdom By Yoda, for Quote #7 click here.

6. “Do not assume anything Obi-Wan. Clear your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.” – Attack of the Clones

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When Obi-Wan discovers the secret clone army being made for the Galactic Republic on the planet Kamino, he’s puzzled by who requested the order of the clones. He’s also searching for the assassin involved with the plot to kill Senator Amidala. The creation of the clones and the assassination attempts on Amidala don’t seem to be connected, but Yoda wisely warns Obi-Wan not to assume anything. Most of the time it’s easier to see connections and solve problems when you’re calm and not distracted by what you don’t understand. We should ponder and explore what we don’t know, but not let it control our thoughts. When our minds get caught up emotionally in our problems, it becomes hard to think and see clearly.

It can be hard to know what’s real or fake in this world. Con artists want you to be caught up with your problems or goals emotionally so that you don’t see clearly who the real villains are. They want you to think you’re running out of time or can’t afford to miss the opportunity. The best way to find out truth is to ask questions–lots of questions. Take the time to think and research. There might be something that you can’t see from the surface, and you don’t want to be caught off guard by a rise in the dark side. Clear your mind, do your homework, and trust the facts.

Happy Trading, and May The Force Be With You!

For Quote #5 click here.

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Trading During Scheduled News Events

Last week, The U.S. Department of Labor presented the monthly update on nonfarm payrolls. This would be an example of a scheduled news event. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but did you know that Apiary usually discourages trading during scheduled news events? It’s not necessarily bad to trade during these events, but here is a couple of reasons behind our thinking:

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  1.     Spreads widen:  The cost of trading in the form of spreads increase during scheduled news events due to the expectation of volatility and risk; liquidity providers will widen the spread to mitigate risk.
  2.     Slippage increases:  It takes time for a quote to be sent from the liquidity provider, received by Alveo, and then have a trade sent back to the liquidity provider. The chances of slippage increase even more with the volatility of a news event.
  3.     Frequent whipsaws:  The initial reaction to a news announcement is not always right–we’ve all been warned about the consequences of first impressions– and markets can change direction many times before the full meaning of the news is digested.
  4.     Lack of liquidity:  Sometimes trades may not trigger due to a lack of liquidity during scheduled news events.
  5.     Hardware issues:  The volatility, along with the pace of data, during news events can put extra strain on your hardware–leading to a slowdown in performance or even malfunctions during a news event.

If you choose to trade during scheduled news events, it’s important for you to recognize the challenges associated with this type of trading and be willing to adjust for the probability of increased risk. Keep these points in mind, and as always…
Happy Trading!

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Delusions Every Trader Faces

Usually when we think of delusions we imagine mental disorders: someone struggling with schizophrenia or hypochondria. We may even imagine somebody we know–somebody who is high-strung with anxiety and convinced the world is out to get them. There are some pretty bizarre delusions out there:

  • Ever feel like you’re life is a movie? For people suffering from the Truman Show Delusion, they’re literally convinced that their life is a reality show they can’t escape from. This article on Buzzfeed reports that a man actually sued HBO for putting him on a secret reality show.
  • As if living your life in a reality tv show wasn’t bad enough, imagine your life was a video game! Want to score points to win? Steal cars, avoid police, and receive your instructions through your gaming headphones. Even if you’re arrested, it’s just another level to the game. (Source)
  • Do you know someone who lives their life in denial–to the point that they don’t even think they exist? A rare condition known as ‘Walking Corpse Syndrome’ is a delusion where the individual is convinced that they’re already dead or don’t exist. Some even claim to be able to smell their own rotting flesh.

I think most of us suffer from multiple delusions (hopefully not that serious, though). A delusion is a belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational. I’d like to think that I’m connected with reality and don’t belong in an asylum (my family might tell you differently, especially when I’m even remotely lacking sleep), but as I’ve grown older I’ve been able to look back and recognize the delusions I used to live by. Most traders experience delusions as well.

Traders, both new and old, often experience delusions in the currency market. Some common ones we might face:

  • “If I just keep trading, I can make a little more money.” That’s a scary delusion. You can be following the charts all day making trades, but it’s not about how many it’s about how well. The quality of your trades is much more important than the quantity.
  • “I can make some quick, easy cash in Forex.” The economy is not a magic box where you put a little money in and get a lot of money out. Trading requires discipline and strategy–not luck.
  • “It’s going to come back soon…”  This delusion can bring you down. Fast. When you hit your stop loss, it’s time to get out. Trying to hang on to a losing trade is like trying to hang onto a hangnail–it’s a lot less painful to just cut it off.

We’re all at least a little guilty of these delusions, but a diagnostic is the first step to a cure. Review some of your past trades, and identify any delusions that affected the outcome. Then, find a way to overcome them; you can share it with a friend or mentor, keep a reminder next to your computer, or even watch a cheesy motivational trading video. Whatever you need to do, don’t let yourself be the reason you don’t succeed.
Happy Trading!

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Why The Little Guys Can Still Win In The Currency Market

Bigger is better, right? Well, traditionally, yes. However, sometimes a new way or an original idea is just downright better than conventional methods. Take, for example, a fight between the big guy and the little guy. What advantages does each one have, and who will win?

Big Guy Little Guy
Muscle Mass Not muscle bound
Powerful hits Fast, successive strikes
More damage per connection Better angle for body striking
Better long range Better short range

 

Take a look at this epic fight from Sherlock Holmes 2:

Even though he’s up against a larger opponent, Sherlock effectively uses his speed and strategy to make quick work of that guy! I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of team Sherlock. Ever.

Now parallel this to The Apiary Fund. We’re definitely a smaller company made up of the little guys. Most of our traders don’t have years of schooling and finance degrees under our belts; however, we aren’t hung up in corporations, worried about whether or not the new kid in the next cubicle is out trading us, or whether or not we’ll still have our jobs at the end of the month. We don’t have to move massive amount of money bulk: our smaller individual portfolio’s can quickly jump into the perfect set up for a quick jab at the market. You’re free from corporate stress while still enjoying the benefits of having a company back you up! You guys bring us the ‘Little Guy’ advantages, and together we create the ‘Big Guy’ perks (for example, everyone coming together and shorting the euro at the Manhattan Beach Summit).

Also, please note Sherlock’s line, “This mustn’t register on an emotional level,” and then how he mapped out his strategy and followed throuh. Remind you of something you’ve been told a hundred times?? 😉

Happy Trading!

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Apiary Manhattan Beach Summit

On October 26th, 9:00 pm West Pacific Time, a crowd gathered on the Manhattan Beach pier.

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A passerby stopped to see what the excitement was about, and imagine their surprise when they found Nate, Todd, and myself sitting comfortable on our UCLA camp chairs and using a Verizon hotspot to trade the Asian session, which was making its own waves—3 ticks up 2 ticks down.

 

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It’s not that we expected to make much money during the doldrums of the Asian session, but we wanted the experience of trading on the beach!  And we had a blast!  We were 30 bees on a beach–with a whole lot of curious bystanders!  It wasn’t the fastest trading of the day, but it was profitable with some 54 pips of combined profit by sessions end.

That was just one highlight from the Manhattan Beach summit, some others were:

On Monday morning, Melinda predicted the close of the Wednesday 10:59am candle would be 1.1064  – The actual close:  1.1065.  She came within 1 pip of calling the actual close!  Impressive analysis, Melinda!

We split the summit attendees into 6 teams, and each team created their own trading strategy–presenting the strategy to a shark tank of Nate, Todd and Shawn. Our jobs were to choose a strategy, and trade it in a competition on Wednesday morning. The winning system: Bollinger bands made 2 winning trades for a total of 11 pips!

4 of the 6 trading of the participants’ strategies were profitable!

Todd pulled out 233 pips of profit in the Tuesday morning trading session.  He was kind of quiet most of the morning…  When confronted, he admitted he was trading.  We told him there was a program for that!

In the spirit of crowd intelligence, we set up an experiment and polled the room to see how the USD would respond to Wednesday’s Fed Announcement.  37 of the participants said the USD would strengthen, while only 12 said it would weaken. We shorted the EURO, and made some quick money on Wednesday!

But the best part was watching our outstanding Apiary traders develop confidence in their own trading strategies! We’d like to send a HUGE shout out to all the traders who attended the LA Summit; we learn just as much from spending time with you, and it was a real privilege to trade with everyone who attended.

Thanks again, and Happy Trading!

-Shawn

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