Posting Live Trades. Why I Cannot do that.

I would find your posts more credible if you would transition from the
hypothetical to your real-time actual trades and your active management of those
actual trades.



Hi Jeff,

Credible?  Are you telling me that you don't believe these are my honest opinions?

Here's why I don't believe it's a good idea to give specific trades in a 'regular' blog post.

1) I don't like to recommend specific trades to readers.  The trade would be perfectly sound for me and my comfort zone.  It would suit my trading goals and risk/reward tolerance.  But it would not be suitable for many traders.

2) The truth is that when someone who writes as a professional in a specific field does something, it's very likely that others will do the same.  And that's okay with me – if it truly represents a reasonable action for the person who copies the pro.

I just know – from past experience – that some follow blindly, believing that if a pro is making the trade it must be a winner.  I have enough losing trades that I do not want to encourage (despite all the disclaimers) anyone to follow me. 

3) I believe in guiding you and others to learn to think and make trades for yourselves.  That's why The Rookie's Guide to Options describes, in detail, how to open and manage positions and why I spend a lot of blog time describing how to adjust positions.

I am an educator, not a trading coach, and not a market guru.  I have no special insight on when to make trades.  I must depend on risk management skills to earn money.

4) For me, there's another problem.  I do not manage trades individually.  I manage a portfolio containing a bunch (perhaps a dozen) different positions.  Most of the time, I can afford to delay making an adjustment because I have a position (portfolio insurance) that is prospering when another gets into trouble.  Those can offset each other – to a point.  I do adjust, but later than I would adjust if trading this position individually.

Because of that, I would not be giving the best advice on how to manage a trade.  And I certainly do not want to to that.

Nor can I afford to take the time to set up a specific trade in a separate account when the sole purpose for doing that is to share my adjustment ideas in real time.

To do that, I would have to run a premium service and charge a monthly fee.  Obviously that service would include much more than sharing my trades, but I have no idea if anyone would pay a modest fee for that service.

If you look through the archives, I did just what you suggested last year.  But it took a lot of time and sometimes I missed an adjustment point because I was busy with something else.  That was unfair to anyone who followed the trade and wanted timely 'advice.'

5) And there's one more point.  I am not licensed to provide specific trading advice, and again – despite disclaimers, I know that some people would follow the trade.

I just cannot accommodate this request on this blog.  I hope you can understand.

I do post some of my trades on twitter, so if you follow me there you will get to see some trades that are posted as soon as possible after they are made.  There was a bullish adjustment made today at the market lows.  Lucky timing on my part.


11 Responses to Posting Live Trades. Why I Cannot do that.

  1. rick f 09/30/2009 at 1:15 PM #

    Amen to your response.
    Mark is very credible a resource; I do not frequent his blog just to get trade ideas. That doesn’t mean his advice is any more or less credible. In fact, none of the trading blogs I frequent post live trades– and they are all run by rather profitable and well-grounded traders.
    Just remember: give a man a fish he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for life and can thus afford the yellowfin sushi. 😉

  2. Steve 09/30/2009 at 1:37 PM #

    I for one have been very pleased with your Twitter trade posts and think that they clarify your views on the blog.
    To be able to read the trades you post all the while following the price action gives me a simple, real time explanation of what to look for in my own trading.
    It has cleared up much of the confusion that I might have had when reading a longer explanation of your past trading actions on the blog.

  3. Mark Wolfinger 09/30/2009 at 1:41 PM #

    Thanks Steve,
    I understand that a live example makes it easier to follow.

  4. Bill B 09/30/2009 at 2:40 PM #

    Mark, following up on a recent post about time value in Deep In The Money options, is there a broker or website that breaks out the time premium in a separate column? Yes, I can do it in my head, but it’d be quicker to just have a quick look down a column.
    Thanks for your excellent blog!

  5. Mark Wolfinger 09/30/2009 at 3:21 PM #

    I honestly don’t know.
    Does any reader have a broker who does that?

  6. GMG 09/30/2009 at 3:55 PM #

    Re: Time Value,
    I’ll have to check, but I believe thinkorswim has this data.

  7. Dave 09/30/2009 at 8:34 PM #

    TOS does

  8. Mark Wolfinger 09/30/2009 at 10:07 PM #

    Thanks for the report.
    Bill – there’s your answer.

  9. Jesse 10/01/2009 at 6:00 AM #

    Everyone has his OWN comfort zone, therefore, posting live trades for us to follow is not going to work for everyone.
    Instead, one should learn Mark’s trading logic from his blog and in particular, his book “The Rookie’s Guide to Options” and then tailor-made his own trading strategies to suit his OWN risk tolerance level. That’s the way to trade, imho.

  10. Bill B 10/01/2009 at 2:28 PM #

    Thanks, Mark and GMG

  11. Mark Wolfinger 10/01/2009 at 11:20 PM #

    I agree, but also see Jeff’s point. Understand my examples in the book, he would like to see a real trade in real time. And then see if adjustments should be made. There is value in that, but not enough value for me to post live trades. I tried it and did not like the way it proceeded.
    If I’m going to post the trade and provide live updates, then I must have the time to follow the trade closely. I have too much work to keep me busy right now, and cannot do justice to following up on a trade closely.