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Author Topic: Goomboo's Journal  (Read 250884 times)
Goomboo
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May 21, 2013, 11:27:30 PM
 #621

Is that in $ or BTC? How did it compare to buy-and-hold?

Profits are in dollars.  I'm a trader, I'm only after the kind of profits that I can grow in other markets.

As mentioned, no matter what system you use in a market which tends to increase on average, buy and hold will nearly always outperform.  The buy and hold people are sitting at +2000% vs. the +1700% of the system.  The difference is that the system has actually banked these profits whereas if BTC were to collapse, the buy and hold investors would...hold.

This has been the recurring debate throughout the year and a half that this thread has been in existence: buy and hold vs. active trading.  To restate my previous post:

It really boils down to your philosophy of the markets: are you an investor or trader?  Investors believe in a concept and invest in that concept (buy and hold).  Traders are after profit while maintaining the ability to live and fight another day (systematic/discretionary trading).

I'm a trader.
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May 21, 2013, 11:28:59 PM
 #622

Yes, I immediately thought to come back and mention emotions, but then I got distracted.  Thanks for bringing that up.

No worries, I knew what you meant :p  I just wanted to clarify it for the people who are new to the thread.
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May 22, 2013, 08:59:30 PM
 #623

Hi all,

i first want to thank Goomboo for providing such great insights into trading! It actually made me start trading on mtgox just to see if it works out.

After reading the whole thread i am left with 2 questions:

1) are there any other trading strategies that actually work? i can't think about any other methods that would make a profit as safe as the one described here and all the strategies i think of are based on emotions ( i _believe_ the price will go up )

2) what triggers the trends? it seems that since i uploaded fiat into my account ( nothing more then i can withstand to lose ) the market has come to a stop. Prices dabble around $122 but nowhere near anything profitable

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May 22, 2013, 11:19:18 PM
 #624

1) are there any other trading strategies that actually work? i can't think about any other methods that would make a profit as safe as the one described here and all the strategies i think of are based on emotions ( i _believe_ the price will go up )

There are virtually unlimited trading strategies that work.  The purpose of this thread was to show how even the simplest trading strategies yield profit if applied with discipline and risk control.

Some advice for making a strategy would be to write the following on a piece of paper:
- Entry - when will you enter the market
- Exit - when will you exit the market
- Trade size - how much you will trade
- Test your strategy using historic data

The most important step here is testing.  You'll find that if you haven't adequately quantified your methodology, you will be unable to test using historic data.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of market participants are not willing to put forth the effort to actually backtest their theories.


2) what triggers the trends? it seems that since i uploaded fiat into my account ( nothing more then i can withstand to lose ) the market has come to a stop. Prices dabble around $122 but nowhere near anything profitable

"What" and "why" are surprisingly deceptive questions.  If your goal is to be a technical trader who relies on objective analysis, these questions are deadly.  If you are seeking to be a fundamental trader, these are important questions, with one very important caveat: you must test how the market has historically behaved under similar conditions.

The absolute lack of any tangible fundamental information that influences the price of BTC means that you should seriously consider not asking or trying to answer why, what, or how prices move.

The key to successful trading is what I've repeated throughout this entire thread: create, validate, and trade a method with tight control of risk and emotion.
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May 23, 2013, 12:23:46 AM
 #625

The absolute lack of any tangible fundamental information that influences the price of BTC means that you should seriously consider not asking or trying to answer why, what, or how prices move.

I'm surprised no one has challenged me on this comment yet.

This means that all of the "China is coming online...BUY", "Gold is down...BTC UP!", "The fair value of BTC is X" threads are absolutely worthless.  It's pure unsubstantiated speculation which deludes and confuses the participants.  If you are relying on Chinese buying, flight from gold, or a magic "fair value" to emerge, you are simply gambling.  You have no science, no method, and no plan.  You're holding onto hope and hope is one of worst enemies of the objective trader.
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May 23, 2013, 02:04:16 AM
 #626

I fully agree. Fundamental analysis is not useful with Bitcoin.

"Bitcoin had been transformed from an anarachistic challenge to the financial status quo, to the crypto spawn of Satan, fuelled by cut-throat greed and delusions of avarice." - MatTheCat
"these people don't seem to want to stop till Bitcoin is completely destroyed and left like an old cum rag in the corner of the room." - ShroomsKit
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May 23, 2013, 02:10:56 AM
 #627

The absolute lack of any tangible fundamental information that influences the price of BTC means that you should seriously consider not asking or trying to answer why, what, or how prices move.

I'm surprised no one has challenged me on this comment yet.

This means that all of the "China is coming online...BUY", "Gold is down...BTC UP!", "The fair value of BTC is X" threads are absolutely worthless.  It's pure unsubstantiated speculation which deludes and confuses the participants.  If you are relying on Chinese buying, flight from gold, or a magic "fair value" to emerge, you are simply gambling.  You have no science, no method, and no plan.  You're holding onto hope and hope is one of worst enemies of the objective trader.

QFT

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May 23, 2013, 02:25:21 AM
 #628

I fully agree. Fundamental analysis is not useful with Bitcoin.

I wouldn't go that far.
Short term fundamental analysis is not useful with Bitcoin.
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May 23, 2013, 03:37:37 AM
 #629

The absolute lack of any tangible fundamental information that influences the price of BTC means that you should seriously consider not asking or trying to answer why, what, or how prices move.

I'm surprised no one has challenged me on this comment yet.

This means that all of the "China is coming online...BUY", "Gold is down...BTC UP!", "The fair value of BTC is X" threads are absolutely worthless.  It's pure unsubstantiated speculation which deludes and confuses the participants.  If you are relying on Chinese buying, flight from gold, or a magic "fair value" to emerge, you are simply gambling.  You have no science, no method, and no plan.  You're holding onto hope and hope is one of worst enemies of the objective trader.

QFT

"Absolute lack of tangible fundamental information influencing the price of BTC"

Beep! Beep! This just in:
• ...Pirate is closing shop...
• ...GLBSE is closing shop...
• ...Blockchain reward halving...
• ...Wordpress accepting Bitcoin...
• ...Reddit accepting Bitcoin...
• ...Cyprus on the brink...
• ...SilkRoad under sustained DOS, future uncertain...
• ...DHS seizing MtGox Dwolla account...
• ...Union Square Ventures...
• ...Founders Fund ...

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May 23, 2013, 03:45:44 AM
 #630

News is perceived differently depending on the juncture of the market. It is not the cause, only the trigger.

Also, some of those things you listed did nothing, or they were reversed immediately. An example is the DHS/Dwolla news and the VCs/the conference. You could create a bigger list of events that ended up in that category.

"Bitcoin had been transformed from an anarachistic challenge to the financial status quo, to the crypto spawn of Satan, fuelled by cut-throat greed and delusions of avarice." - MatTheCat
"these people don't seem to want to stop till Bitcoin is completely destroyed and left like an old cum rag in the corner of the room." - ShroomsKit
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May 23, 2013, 07:14:35 AM
 #631

News is perceived differently depending on the juncture of the market. It is not the cause, only the trigger.

Also, some of those things you listed did nothing, or they were reversed immediately. An example is the DHS/Dwolla news and the VCs/the conference. You could create a bigger list of events that ended up in that category.

The only news that really triggered a significant move and attracted an important quantity of new money was "Bitcoin broke ATH and is going up up up"

Everything else, including the Cyprus situation which seems so important for everybody, didn't do shit in the grand scheme of things, apart from affecting super short term the price because of speculators already in this game overreact to every Bitcoin related press release.

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May 23, 2013, 09:20:36 AM
 #632

Just read through the GoomBoo Journal over the last two days after hearing about it from one of the trading bot threads https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=67591.0   Thanks very much, GoomBoo, for posting this advice and answering everyone's questions.

However, 'bomtis' above highlighted something that I'm curious about anyone's thoughts on:

2) what triggers the trends? it seems that since i uploaded fiat into my account ( nothing more then i can withstand to lose ) the market has come to a stop. Prices dabble around $122 but nowhere near anything profitable

If you made an automated trade every time the EMA 10 and EMA 21 lines crossed during the current flat period, you would very likely lose money due to the high 0.25-0.6% MtGox fees.  So what's the best strategy to mitigate this effect of a very flat market? 
1) Turn bot on/off when the market is flat, but you'd miss the beginning of the next volatile spike due to some new report.
2) Instead of trading exactly when the 10/21 lines cross, build some hysteresis in, for instance the two averages must be at least 0.6% apart - but you'd lag getting into or out of any large price swings, decreasing profitability.
3) GoomBoo said he's only trading daily.  Perhaps at that timescale there are fewer false-positive triggers?

I feel that the current flat market is very different than the high volatility over the previous months.
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May 23, 2013, 09:59:17 AM
 #633

The absolute lack of any tangible fundamental information that influences the price of BTC means that you should seriously consider not asking or trying to answer why, what, or how prices move.

I'm surprised no one has challenged me on this comment yet.

This means that all of the "China is coming online...BUY", "Gold is down...BTC UP!", "The fair value of BTC is X" threads are absolutely worthless.  It's pure unsubstantiated speculation which deludes and confuses the participants.  If you are relying on Chinese buying, flight from gold, or a magic "fair value" to emerge, you are simply investing.  You have no science, no method, and no plan.  You're holding onto hope and hope is one of worst enemies of the objective trader.

FTFY

Goomboo, I largely agree with everything you say in this thread regarding trading, but please dont discount the value of fundamental analysis when it comes to investing (as you put it). These indicators do in fact often move the price in a stable way. The reason we have gone from 13 to 120 is not because of trading, but because of fundamental differences in the infrastructure and user/ business adoption of bitcoin.

Bro, do you even blockchain?
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May 23, 2013, 11:59:21 PM
 #634

These indicators do in fact often move the price in a stable way. The reason we have gone from 13 to 120 is not because of trading, but because of fundamental differences in the infrastructure and user/ business adoption of bitcoin.

Which indicators?  How often do they move the price?  What is stability?  How do you know that infrastructure drove the price up 1000%?  If you don't have a ready answer with hard numbers to these questions then you are relying on unsubstantiated speculation.

As discussed in this thread, professional-grade technical analysis creates, tests, and trades a set of technical rules.  Professional-grade fundamental analysis is no different.  If you want to talk about serious fundamental analysis, you have to quantify and test it as well.  At its core, fundamental analysis is about the study of supply and demand and the majority of market participants fail to do just that...study supply and demand.

Here's some examples of a good place to start with legitimate fundamental analysis:

- "Demand for the commodity is 10% above the 1-year average and supply is 5% below the 1-year average - historically, this leads to price increasing by an average of 20% over the next week 70% of the time"

- "Imports are down 15% year over year while harvests are up 15% over the same time period - historically, this leads to price decreasing by an average of 15% over the next month 65% of the time"

- "Money managers added to their long positions by 10% while supply has dropped by 20% - historically, this leads to price increasing by an average of 15% over the next year 85% of the time"

Can't you see how there is a distinct difference between the nonsense spread on this forum and the above examples?  This is fact telling rather than story telling.  In each of the above, supply, demand, and the price response have been fully quantified and measured.  Not only has the method been backtested, but it also makes intuitive sense.  If you want to make money from trading fundamental analysis, you have to tell facts, not stories.  

Your post should have read "these indicators do in story move price..."


The reason we have gone from 13 to 120 is not because of trading

Are you sure?  Can you prove this?  How sure are you that it isn't me and some of my trading partners systematically extracting profits from the market?  You cannot prove it and it is very bold to say "the reason" for anything.  Above all, traders must remain skeptical and objective - not engaged in story telling.

This is precisely why I caution everyone against asking "why".  It's a deadly question and breeds a false understanding.  Unless you are a major player in the market, you truly have no idea why something happened.  I'm not paid to know why something happened, I'm paid to make money.
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May 24, 2013, 05:30:03 AM
 #635

One indicator is Google Trends for "bitcoin".   Previously it was a good correlation.  Though it recently fell 80% without a proportional fall in BTC price.

Don't day trade.
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May 24, 2013, 06:00:14 AM
 #636

One indicator is Google Trends for "bitcoin".   Previously it was a good correlation.  Though it recently fell 80% without a proportional fall in BTC price.

Two words: Lagging Indicator


Any lagging indicator doesn't indicate anything but the past.  Tongue

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May 24, 2013, 07:01:16 PM
 #637

If you made an automated trade every time the EMA 10 and EMA 21 lines crossed during the current flat period, you would very likely lose money due to the high 0.25-0.6% MtGox fees.  So what's the best strategy to mitigate this effect of a very flat market? 
1) Turn bot on/off when the market is flat, but you'd miss the beginning of the next volatile spike due to some new report.
2) Instead of trading exactly when the 10/21 lines cross, build some hysteresis in, for instance the two averages must be at least 0.6% apart - but you'd lag getting into or out of any large price swings, decreasing profitability.
3) GoomBoo said he's only trading daily.  Perhaps at that timescale there are fewer false-positive triggers?

I feel that the current flat market is very different than the high volatility over the previous months.

Thank you for the questions, I'm glad you've learned from the thread.  Here's my thoughts on your questions:

- If you are being chopped up (trading too much / too many false signals), I suggest moving to a higher timeframe.  As you mentioned, I am trading daily for this reason.  The large spread (difference between bid and ask) and large commission (MtGox fee) reward strategies which don't engage in too much trading.  The actions of trading (crossing the bid-ask spread and paying commissions) really add up at the end of the day.

- I can't speak about the trading bot you mentioned (I wasn't involved in its creation or maintenance), but if the 10/21 is too active, I suggest lengthening the period of moving averages used (provided you have backtested the combination and found it to be within your risk tolerance).

- Waiting until some threshold is reached is a popular method of improving moving average crossover systems.  There are hundreds of variants of the original strategy and I definitely encourage you to test these concepts.
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May 24, 2013, 07:45:36 PM
 #638

These indicators do in fact often move the price in a stable way. The reason we have gone from 13 to 120 is not because of trading, but because of fundamental differences in the infrastructure and user/ business adoption of bitcoin.

Which indicators?  How often do they move the price?  What is stability?  How do you know that infrastructure drove the price up 1000%?  If you don't have a ready answer with hard numbers to these questions then you are relying on unsubstantiated speculation.

As discussed in this thread, professional-grade technical analysis creates, tests, and trades a set of technical rules.  Professional-grade fundamental analysis is no different.  If you want to talk about serious fundamental analysis, you have to quantify and test it as well.  At its core, fundamental analysis is about the study of supply and demand and the majority of market participants fail to do just that...study supply and demand.

Here's some examples of a good place to start with legitimate fundamental analysis:

- "Demand for the commodity is 10% above the 1-year average and supply is 5% below the 1-year average - historically, this leads to price increasing by an average of 20% over the next week 70% of the time"

- "Imports are down 15% year over year while harvests are up 15% over the same time period - historically, this leads to price decreasing by an average of 15% over the next month 65% of the time"

- "Money managers added to their long positions by 10% while supply has dropped by 20% - historically, this leads to price increasing by an average of 15% over the next year 85% of the time"

Can't you see how there is a distinct difference between the nonsense spread on this forum and the above examples?  This is fact telling rather than story telling.  In each of the above, supply, demand, and the price response have been fully quantified and measured.  Not only has the method been backtested, but it also makes intuitive sense.  If you want to make money from trading fundamental analysis, you have to tell facts, not stories.  

Your post should have read "these indicators do in story move price..."


The reason we have gone from 13 to 120 is not because of trading

Are you sure?  Can you prove this?  How sure are you that it isn't me and some of my trading partners systematically extracting profits from the market?  You cannot prove it and it is very bold to say "the reason" for anything.  Above all, traders must remain skeptical and objective - not engaged in story telling.

This is precisely why I caution everyone against asking "why".  It's a deadly question and breeds a false understanding.  Unless you are a major player in the market, you truly have no idea why something happened.  I'm not paid to know why something happened, I'm paid to make money.

The most important indicators are largely indicated here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=143973.0 but there are many many more which I would consider too noisy to be relavent.

The amount that they move the price is not necessarily quantifiable, its rather qualitative in nature. Compounded one can see the effect these events have on the price overall. There is nothing exact about this, of course it is a bit of a guess work, but so is "trading". The difference is that trading is looking for psychological/bot market patterns and exploiting those whereas investors are looking for emerging opportunities and exploiting those. There is probability calculation in both forms and corresponding benefits as well (as you pointed out, investing to date has actually been more profitable than your system when utilized perfectly). Many venture capitalists do not use hard data, they use their gut, which is based on knowledge and experience. There is often data behind their feeling, but they do not analyze it in detail before acting - they act as soon as they know the moment is right (or more often than not for the less successful of them after the moment has passed because they either did not trust themselves to act without data or did not see the opportunity).

Bro, do you even blockchain?
-E Voorhees
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May 24, 2013, 09:27:10 PM
 #639

The amount that they move the price is not necessarily quantifiable, its rather qualitative in nature. Compounded one can see the effect these events have on the price overall.

I don't agree with you.  I believe that people overstate their ability to see the "effects" of developments in markets.  Having Bloomberg and CNBC on the trade floor makes you pretty skeptical of "cause and effect" in the markets.  "Markets are down 2% today on fears of Europe".  Really?  The reporters know the collective reason why hundreds of thousands of individuals bought and sold?  Even better is when the market ends the day positive following a loss: "Markets are up 1% today on European optimism".  Nonsense.  I've even seen the Bloomberg terminal spit two news articles in the same day telling me why the markets moved up and down, each just a rephrasing of the same news.  It's human tendency to assign a cause to something and when it comes to trying to say why trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of people collectively behaved a particular way is just silly.  It's human arrogance at its finest: "I know why it happened, I am smart and in control."

As I have said before, traders are not paid to know why something happened: they are paid to make money.

Many venture capitalists do not use hard data, they use their gut, which is based on knowledge and experience. There is often data behind their feeling, but they do not analyze it in detail before acting - they act as soon as they know the moment is right (or more often than not for the less successful of them after the moment has passed because they either did not trust themselves to act without data or did not see the opportunity).

Back in grad school I took an entrepreneurial class and a VC firm talked about funding new ventures.  He basically expected 70-80% of investments to lose everything, 5-10% to double his money, and 1-5% to return 10-100 times investment.  This sounded an awful lot like trading to me - managing risk and only approaching the highest probability opportunities.  At the core, pure investing and trading is basically after the same thing, they just pursue it differently.

(as you pointed out, investing to date has actually been more profitable than your system when utilized perfectly)

Buy and hold hasn't "made" more than traders of the moving average crossover.  In fact, buy and hold has "made" nothing.  If they sat throughout the bubble and the subsequent crash and are still sitting, chances are, they will "make" nothing.  You have only made money when a trade is closed and you actually have profit in the bank.  If you are content to watch the value of your account fall by 81% in 7 days, you will be content to watch it dwindle to zero.

We see the world through different lenses.  Best of luck with your investment.
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May 25, 2013, 02:09:23 AM
 #640

TL;DR: http://xkcd.com/904/

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