The Worst Trading Habit That Makes You The Most Money

Boris Schlossberg

Ever since I first picked up a trading book -- more years ago than I care to admit -- the one undying advice of conventional wisdom was “Let your profits run and cut your losses short.” I would venture to say that this “kernel of brilliance” is responsible for more losses than any other trading tenet ever devised.

In actual markets there is absolutely no way to let your profits run while cutting your losses short. You either cut your profits or cut your losses, but you can’t have it both ways. That’s because markets -- and especially speculative markets like forex -- almost never move in one direction.

Anyone who has ever been able to “let his profits run” is simply a lucky idiot who like a befuddled lottery winner guessing a random number, just happened to catch that one big breakout and then was stupid enough to believe that it would continue without retrace and then was lucky enough to have that once in decade occurrence actually happen and lastly -- and this almost NEVER happens -- was smart enough to exit before the whole trade went right back to where it started from.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead keep making bets with 3 to 1 4 to 1 5 to 1 payouts and we can talk again when your account equity is down to 10%.

Now “professional gurus” would be horrified at my blasphemy. They would tell you that one of the worst things you can do as a trader is to cut your profits short. After all, how are you supposed to pay for all those stops?

The problem with professional gurus however is that they are great at trading the left side of the chart.They are awesome at picking prime examples of trends AFTER they take place, but I have yet to see any of them succeed in my domain -- at the right side of the chart where fear and uncertainty control every tick and real capital is won or lost on your tactics rather than your theories.

In that world -- the real day trading world of the markets -- taking your wins too quickly is one of the most profitable things you can do.


Because successful day trading is not about making money. It’s about NOT LOSING money. There are three basic classes of day trades. There are trades that make money right away -- anywhere between 1 and 30 minutes in duration. There are trades that lose money right away usually in the same short period of time. There nothing much to do about either one of those types of trades and you just take them as they come.

There is however a broad middle ground of trades that appear to be uncertain as to whether they want to be winners or losers and this is where all the bad habits of impatience actually pay off big.

Now as traders whether we are Hindus in New Delhi, a Jews in Tel Aviv, a Moslems in Dubai, Chinese in Singapore or just jolly old rogers in Melbourne -- we are in fact all Anglo Saxon at the core. What I mean is that if we live in the advanced industrialized world we have all internalized the Protestant work ethic and with it the core belief that we must sacrifice in order to succeed.

Generally that’s a great rule to live by -- except when it comes to day trading. Good things do NOT come to those who wait. We must not endure pain in order to make profit. The speculative markets flip all those long ingrained behaviors on the head.

You got out of the trade a bit early and gave up 10 more pips of upside? Who cares. There is another trade right around the corner. In the meantime, you know what you also did? You got out of trade that could have turned sour and made a 5 pips instead of losing 100. You know what you also did? You freed your capital to look for other opportunities instead sitting in front of the screen paralyzed like a deer in headlights, hoping -- nay praying -- that you can get back to even while other traders are banking profits elsewhere.

The most important thing that you did was NOT invest. Not invest your time. Not invest your money. Not invest your psychological capital. By selling too early you became a true day trader rather than a quasi investor.

Learn the Day Trading Skills That Will Last a Lifetime

So go ahead -- get out too early. Give up the profits. Once you start doing that on a regular basis the only thing you’ll regret is not picking up this bad habit earlier.

How Yogi Berra Taught Me to Win 95% of the Time

Boris Schlossberg

In my day trading room we try to hit 95% of our trades. We do this because I am firm believer in the insurance model of day trading (lots of small wins with a few large losses) rather than the lottery model of day trading (a few large wins and many small losses). Lotteries are for suckers while insurance companies are some of the best businesses in the world. I have discussed this subject many times in prior columns, but today I can across another reason why my model is working our chat room.

I was reading a summary of Brett Steenbarger book on Trading Psychology on Ivanhoff’s Capital webpage when I came across this tidbit

“A small win is a small mirror. It reflects a winning image to us. Accumulate enough small wins and that winning image starts to become familiar. We internalize that which we experience repeatedly. That’s one of the reasons positive emotional experience is important….People I’ve known who are particularly adaptive have made small wins a habit pattern. They undertake many new challenges and regularly define meaningful, doable goals. They set themselves up for success. Positivity becomes a habit, a lifestyle, making the whole issue of discipline moot.”

Without really appreciating its power, I hadn’t realized just how valuable the idea of frequent wins is to overall success of the trader. I have seen with my own eyes as more and more traders in my room start to put together profitable runs of days, weeks and even months. In the world of retail trading this an exceedingly rare occurrence and I don’t think it’s due only to efficacy of my strategy but rather to the fact that positive experience creates good habits that leads to better performance.

Which brings me to Yogi Berra. He died this week and it is true testament to the kind of man he was that his death managed to stand toe to toe in headlines with Pope Francis’s visit President Xi’s White House arrival. Berra was not just a great athlete but a great philosopher. His sometimes unintended witticisms are far more quotable than anything uttered by Jean Paul Sartre (and I would argue more insightful as well).

Berra is famous for saying, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Which is a lesson that I live by every day. Whenever people ask me why I don’t back test my strategies I always think about that Yogi Berra quote and laugh. Markets like any man made social constructs are fluid and ever changing. Back testing data is like trying to figure out social habits of Millennials by studying the Victorians. It’s why every perfectly backtested system, whether it be done on your MT4 package or by Andrew Lo of MIT, always fails. Its why if want to succeed in day trading you watch what is happening now. As Mr. Berra used to say, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”

Upon his death many analysts have re-examined Berra astounding athletic achievements. And as fivethirtyeight has pointed out what’s absolutely remarkable about Berra is that no one with his slugging percentage has struck out less. Berra only struck out 5% of the time and he was notorious for being a bad ball hitter. That means that instead of waiting for a perfect pitch he took what the pitchers threw and tried to make contact. And any time you make contact in baseball you have a chance to score.

This is perhaps Berra greatest legacy and his most valuable lesson to us as traders. Instead of looking for the perfect set up or the absolute best execution, we should try to figure out how to turn every trade into whatever win, scratch or small loss that we can. Berra collected 10 World Series titles by never trying to be perfect but by winning by any means necessary.

5 Principles That Turbocharged My Trading

Boris Schlossberg

Over the last few months of summer I have been daytrading particularly, registering only 2 losing days over the past 40. (This sentence will no doubt now curse me) But at the risk of tempting fate I thought I would put to paper 5 things that I have been doing differently that I believe made all the difference.

  1. Pare your focus. As I mentioned in my earlier columns I only trade 6 currency pairs -- EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. In fact I am so focused on those pairs that if you were to ask me the price of a cross -- say GBP/JPY or EUR/GBP for example I genuinely couldn’t tell you. Now that type of myopia may seem extreme to you, but on other hand I know every tick in those pair for the past 5 days running and that give a much better understanding of the price dynamics at play.
  2. Trade your setup only. Over the past year we have developed and refined a very good day trading system. It has proven profitable across more than a thousand trades. But like every bad trader I used to like to freestyle. Instead of sticking to the setup I would take a punt on news trade or just put on a position out of boredom. No more. The only creativity I allow myself is within the constraints of the setup. If the trade does not fit into the parameters I don’t take it.
  3. Chop it up. Trading, and especially day trading is a probabilistic enterprise. There is NO good price -- only a set of reasonable prices for entry and exit. So dividing your entry and exit in at least 3 different orders will increase your chances of success markedly.
  4. Strategy is good, but context is everything. Never, ever be a slave to your strategy. Strategy is simply a structure through which you trade, but you have to know when to use it and when to stand down. The most obvious example of that is not running your EA in front of news-but there are many more subtle clues that you have to take from the market to truly refine your trading. That’s why no automated system has ever made money over the long term. As one of my traders said, it’s market’s job to get you into bad trades and out of good ones, and it’s your job to avoid the bad trades as much as possible.

Join My Trading Room

Last, but most definitely not least the one rule that has truly made me the most money is -- EYES ON THE SCREEN. If you are day trading and decide to casually leave your positions be you might as well kiss your money goodbye. That’s why now, when I have to leave the office for more than 20 minutes, I close every trade and go flat. I even created a little ditty so I won’t forget -- If your eyes are not on the screen -- you won’t see green.

Back to School – Trader’s Toolbox

Boris Schlossberg

It’s back to school time in the Northern Hemisphere so no better opportunity to tune up our toolbox and discuss some of the best must have resources available to FX traders.


  1. Daily Analysis -- there is no better end of the day write up that from my partner Kathy Lien and if you don’t get her free research here is the sign-up link.
  2. -- Adam and the whole crew of former bank traders and dealers keep everyone in FX world up to date on everything that happening 24 hours a day 5 days a week. Be sure to read the comments in some of the trade idea threads -- they often have some very interesting perspectives.
  3. -- A great aggregator of running headlines from all all across the web, but the true diamond in the rough is the free Live Sqwuak Box that gives you instant eco releases, news headlines and commentary. MUST have for anyone who day trades the forex market. It’s located on the top right corner of the page.
  4. -- haven’t tried it yet, but its billed as a Bloomberg altrenative and at $95/mo its a lot less than $2500 for the terminal.


There are a thousand charts packages available for FX traders and some brokers have nice packages as well, but I use two free packages that do the job just fine.

  1. Very serviceable java based package that allows you annotate charts and use all the standard indicators. If you want a multi-monitor layout you can also try their Netstation which is free and has lot of bells and whistles -- but like all java standalones it takes a bit of time to download
  2. It has many layers of service -- but the free version is just fine for me. Its biggest advantage is that it’s in HTML 5 and therefore very fast to appear in your browser. The biggest drawback is that I can’t get the chart to pop out.


If you use any time of MT4 EA you almost have to have a VPS (effectively a computer in the cloud) so that you can be assured of 24/5 uptime for your strategies. Several brokers including FXCM offer free VPS if you drop more than 5000 into the account. One of their offerings is which is perfectly serviciable especially if you have only one or two strategies running.

If you want to have your own VPS I use which for $15/mo does a very good job of hosting the basic MT4 set ups. If you need more memory they have more expensive options.


There is only one tool you really need for mobile and that’s MT4. The MT4 platform on Iphone/Android won’t let you execute EAs but it will let you place trades, adjust your stops and take profits, see quotes and charts -- and it’s all super fast and easy. If you ever catch me looking at my phone when I am on CNBC set -- that’s what I am looking at.

See how we try to harvest 50-100 pips.
Join the BK Trading Room

Next week -- I’ll take a look at more off the beaten path ideas for advanced traders. Any suggestions send them along to [email protected]

Declutter Your Trading

Boris Schlossberg

Who is Marie Kondo?

She is one of the most powerful people in the world having more impact on day to day life of ordinary people than many of the world’s politicians. Recently she has been voted TIME magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world. Yet I am sure you probably haven’t heard of her.

Ms. Kondo’s claim to fame?

She is the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. That book has sold millions of copies and has become a symbol of the growing revulsion in the advanced industrialized world against the never ending onslaught of “stuff” that consumes our life.

I am the first to admit that I am highly biased towards Ms. Kondo’s philosophy. I despise clutter to the point of being OCD about it. I literally become physically ill when I find myself in a messy room. And every month or two I mercilessly purge my closet of anything that I haven’t worn in 6 months or more. I, like so many people in our oversaturated consumer society, have grown to really hate “stuff.”

But Kondo goes a step further. She makes the argument that by decluttering you can improve your judgement and determine which items spark true joy in your life.

The other week I decided to apply her approach to my trading with remarkable results. Like all traders I am an inveterate tinkerer. As soon as I master a strategy I move on, trying to find something new and better. So my account much like yours probably is cluttered with multiple EAs, various tweaks and many trading approaches. The end result is that despite having a very profitable day trading system I found myself bleeding money left and right as my focus wandered and I experimented with many inferior approaches.

So I decided to tidy up. I stopped trading everything but my BT system. Better yet, I combed through all of my trades in the past month and discovered that most of the losses came in the crosses. So out went EUR/GBP, out went EUD/AUD, out went anything that as Ms. Kondo says “doesn’t give me joy”. The net result was that I was left with just 6 majors to trade. (I trade EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD. NZD/USD and USD/CAD). In fact I not only traded these pairs exclusively but didn’t even look at any of the crosses for days. So much so that I was surprised to see where some of them traded in our weekly technical analysis meeting.

Such monomaniacal focus may seem extreme, but it was actually very liberating. I had such purity of purpose that I knew every single event, ever single level, every little optionality cluster on my six pairs. My trading improved markedly. My accuracy level increased by 10% and even when I was stopped out I was able to make the loss back in 2 days or less. Most importantly, I stopped making unforced errors. My stops were well deserved as I avoided dumb trades that cost me so many pips in the past.

For many of us such devotion to simplicity and repetition may seem boring and uncreative -- but it is actually incredibly inspiring because it offers the trader much greater control over the market and makes trading much more profitable and consistent.

I’ll never stop tinkering with new ideas, but now I will always delegate them to a junk account and trade them for a dime a pip for fun and experimentation. When it comes to making real money, Ms. Kondo has convinced me.

Discover the simple of day trading with me + Kathy’s Big Trades and 24 hour chat room

Declutter your life, declutter your trading and profits will follow.

The Counter Intuitive Nature of Risk/Reward Ratios

Boris Schlossberg

What’s better -- taking many trades that have a reward to risk ratio of 1 to 5 or taking many trades that have ratio of 5 to 1?

Would you rather make many bets that pay 1 and risk 5 or many bets that pay 5 and risk 1?

If you answered the latter you’d be dead wrong.

On the surface the idea of making many trades that have a positive risk reward profile looks immensely attractive. Who wouldn’t you want to get paid 5 every time you risk 1? Unfortunately many traders confuse the idea of payoff with the probability of actually collecting those payoffs. The probability of consistently making a trade that makes you 5 while keeping risk to 1 is generally very small -- MAYBE 15% if that.

One time I was in the green room with a very well known currency analyst who pompously announced that he doesn’t take trades that are less that 4 to 1. Right then and there I knew the guy never bet his own money in his life and was just a glorified paper trader like most Wall Street analysts are.

Assuming you have a long term positive expectancy (i.e. say you lose 3 for every 1 you make, but your winning percentage is 77% or better) you should do as many trades as possible for the same reason that insurance companies write as many policies as possible -- the law of large numbers works in your favor. As long you keep each individual trade loss to a very small risk size (between 0.5% and 1.0%) your risk of ruin is manageable. The more you trade the more profits you’ll build up the more capital you’ll have at your disposal to survive the drawdown.

The high reward/low risk trades have the exact opposite profile. You spend a lot of time bleeding away money until you finally hit a good trade. Worse, since good trades are rare -- your chance of missing them is very high as you can’t watch the markets all the time. Lastly the psychological toll of constantly losing money makes traders much more reluctant to pull the trigger just at the moment when they need to.

That why when you study all the great hedge fund manager who trade with high reward to risk ratios you notice one thing that most retail traders miss -- they are highly selective. From Soros to Tudor Jones many of the great traders will make a few forays into the markets and take quick losses but will pounce on the opportunity when it goes their way. To do that they are perfectly happy to be very patient and select their targets after massive research.

Retail traders on the other hand will trade blindly using high reward to risk ratios because that what they’ve been told and then wonder why they are losing all their money.

Relax and Trade with US -- Swing Signals, Day Trading Signals, 24 Hour Trading Room

So the lesson of the day is if you trade like an insurance company don’t be afraid to write a new policy after a hurricane wipes out your profits but if you trade like a hedge fund -- you better know exactly what you are doing.

Why Day Trading is The Safest Trading Strategy There Is

Boris Schlossberg

Everywhere I look, everyone hates day trading. The web is replete with financial writers warning you about the “dangers” of day trading your account and the fact that 95% of retail traders who try it lose money. That may all be true. But I am here to tell you that day trading is not only great, but probably the safest way to invest your money.

Of course you will have to forget everything that you’ve been taught about the subject.

First let’s look at investors. Charlie Munger who is Warren Buffett’s investing partner is famous for saying that if you can’t stand the idea of losing 50% of your capital you shouldn’t be in stocks.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the idea of losing more than 20% of my money, much less 50% and I bet that’s true for 99% of you which is why 99% of retail investors never, ever get returns close to the market averages. Unlike Munger and Buffett you will not hold your ground when the stock are plunging. Most likely you will sell the bottom and buy the top because long term investing is actually a stomach churning affair and few people have the fortitude to stick with it.

Now let’s look at my day trading account. Since June of this year I made 539 trades for an 11% on my account and drawdown of -3% of my equity. I also paid out about 4.5% of my equity in commissions (the 11% is NET of all costs) making Drew Niv very happy. In our BK master account the numbers are a little different but the tone is the same. Since the start of the year we made 5.0% with drawdown of 1.5% and paid out about 2% in commissions making 234 trades.

So I trade a lot. I pay a ton of commission and yet I am able to produce steady returns losing less than 3% of equity MAX so far this year. (And this is true not just of me, but all the top traders in my room who follow our trading protocol).

How is all this possible? I should be bankrupt by now or least should have turned over all my profits to my broker with all that mindless trading I am doing.

Its not only possible, but highly probable if you stop looking at day trading as some get rich scheme and start treating it like a long term investment strategy that delivers absolute returns in any kind of market environment. To do that you have stop thinking like a lottery junkie and start thinking like an insurance company.

What do insurance companies do? They chop up risk into tiny increments. They could care less about making profits and they spend all their time managing risks (mainly by figuring out how they can deny paying you your claims). That’s essentially what we do in chat room. We trade tiny. We could care less about making profits ( like insurance premiums they come to us naturally if we are properly positioned) and we spend all our time trying to eliminate risks so that we can avoid stops as much as possible.

Last chance ever to lock in our 50% off annual price

The problem with trading is most people want a very easy no effort process and very exciting results. The pitch of every signal service out there is “Set it and Forget It and watch the profits roll in”. The reality is the exact opposite. Day trading is a very intense highly focused process with very boring results. You make 10 to 20 basis points a day and you are doing a good job. Once you begin to understand that you can become a successful day trader and make money in any market environment.

How To Day Trade Like Warren Buffett

Boris Schlossberg

In his seminal book Stocks for the Long Run Wharton School professor makes a fascinating point. He makes a longitudinal study of two well known companies -- Exxon and IBM and comes to very surprising conclusion.

Based on Siegel’s study of the two stocks from 1950 to 2012, IBM outdistanced Exxon in every growth category — sales, earnings, dividends, and cash flow. Big Blue’s earnings growth exceeded Big Oil’s by more than three percentage points per year. IBM was the classic growth stock, Exxon was the classic value play.

Yet Exxon proved to be the better stock to buy. “When your lockbox was opened 62 years later,” reports Siegel, “the $1,000 you invested in the oil giant would be worth $1,620,000, more than twice as much as IBM.”

How come? “Valuation,” the author explains. “The price investors paid for IBM was just too high.”
“Those who bought its stock and reinvested the oil company’s dividends accumulated 12.7 times the number of shares they started out with, while investors in IBM accumulated only 3.3 times their original shares.”

Now I‘ve often made the distinction that investors looks at value, while traders look at price but its is really a distinction without a difference because successful investors and traders both share the same process. That process can be summarized in one sentence -- “Let the market come to me.”

Warren Buffett is notorious for buying stocks at a discount and then holding them for many years as their value is realized. The single most important aspect of his style is that he simply never pays up for an asset. In fact he often will buy beaten down ideas if he feels that the core of the business can survive. This provides him with ample room for error as the downside on such a trade is fairly limited but the upside can be many multiples of the initial investment.

Although I am the farthest thing from Warren Buffett -- his ideal holding time is forever, mine is one hour or less -- I actually find myself to be a kindred spirit of his style. In our chat room I am always selling above the market and buying below. If the trade doesn’t come to me -- so be it. Like Mr. Buffett I would rather pass up on the opportunity rather than initiate a trade at an inferior price. To do that consistently you have to be able to walk away. That’s hard to do for many traders because the siren song of the market is very appealing and the excitement of the flow can be overwhelming. Yet I can’t tell you how many times this approach has saved me from a certain loss.

Try BK -- Big Trades, Day Trades, 24/5 Chat Room and Live Webinars -$145 All In

Buffett’s rule one is “Don’t lose money.” His rule 2 is “See Rule 1”. By letting the market come to him, Mr. Buffett has beaten the averages for many decades in a row. For day traders that’s a lesson to never forget. As professor Siegel has shown in markets as in life the tortoise often beats the hare.

The Dumbest Investment Mistake That Everyone Always Makes

Boris Schlossberg

What is the single stupidest question that everyone in finance asks?

Show me your track record.

A track record is just about the worst way to make a investment assessment ever devised, yet everyone from the most sophisticated pension funds to the dumbest of retail traders thinks that that is the key to investment success.

That’s because all of us are subject to recency bias. We all assume that if you did well in the immediate past you are bound to do well in the future. Of course nothing can be further from the truth. Let me just throw a few names out for consideration. Paul Tudor Jones and David Einhorn.

Both of these guys are titans of the hedge fund world and if there was a Hall of Fame of investing they surely would make the cut. But if you were dumb enough to give them money over the past few years you would see nothing but losses.

This is far more common than you think. Take a look at mutual fund rankings and you will see that those in top quintile one year are very often in the bottom quintile the following year. In fact one the best ways to invest is to simply buy the worst performing managers and short the best performing managers on a portfolio basis. In short always bet against the jockey because horses and the terrain change. Alas the losing managers get fired and you can short most hedge funds or mutual funds -- so that is only a theoretical but not a practical investment strategy.

A much better way to analyse a trading manager is to look at his investment process. If the guys say “I never use stop losses” -- that’s pretty much a telltale sign to run as fast as you can away from the product, even if his returns show 10 years of uninterrupted gains. Nassim Taleb has the perfect analogy for this method. He tell the reader to imagine being a turkey. Every day rain or shine, the turkey gets fed. His “equity curve” is a perfect 45 degree ascending line showing no drawdowns whatsoever. Then on the day before Thanksgiving he gets his head chopped off and the equity curve goes straight to zero.

Ever since I read that passage I’ve been keenly aware of not falling for any strategy that makes me a turkey. That’s why looking at equity curves is so dangerous. You are seduced by all those profits -- but think about it for a second. What does it matter that the manager made all that money -- you will never see a penny of it. Since you didn’t trade with him then. You THINK you are getting all this reward because you are looking at the past performance but what you are actually doing is ASSUMING ALL THE RISK if you don’t understand the manager’s process.

Discount to BK Membership -- Big Trades, Day Trades and 24 Hour Chat Room

That’s why the dumbest way to invest is by looking at a track record. Yet we all continue to make that mistake.

To Win at Trading Follow Baseball, Forget Football

Boris Schlossberg

(My apologies to my international readers for boring you with American sport arcana this week, but stick with me I promise you I have a point)

Here are a few winning strategies in American football that almost no one uses to the full potential. One -- it’s almost always better to go for it on fourth down rather than punt. Two, a two point conversion is a much better play than field goal. Three an onside kick is superior to trying to float it into endzone every time.

This is not my opinion. These are facts borne out by data that almost football coach ignores.

That’s not the case in baseball where the science of sabermetrics has been raised to an art form. Sabermetrics is the study of baseball statistics to improve performance. The field was popularized by both the book and the movie called Moneyball which chronicled the improbable ascent of the hapless Oakland A’s from one of the worst to one of the best teams in baseball.

Now, everyone in baseball uses sabermetrics to improve their game.

So what about football? Why do coaches rely on outdated inferior methods in sport so competitive, that the best team is compelled to cheat? (Yes Patriot Nation you definitely cheated)

The answer I think comes down to sample size. Football has only 16 regular season games while baseball has ten times as many. Any single mistake in football can literally mean a season lost. Imagine a coach who goes on fourth down only to fail and have the opposing team score. The idiot fans would be screaming for his resignation on every talk radio program in the state.

In baseball things are much more lax. You have an average of 4 at bats per game, a hundred and sixty games each season so you have more than 500 attempts to try things differently. All statistics only work under the law of large numbers which by definition means that you have try the strategy many, many, many times before you can really see its success in action.

But of course most people never think probabilistically. When it comes to retail trading all is takes is three consecutive losses for 90% of most traders to abandon a strategy. That is laughably poor judgement because most traders are acting very much like dumb football coaches rather than smart baseball managers.

The only way to combat this most common and most deadly trading flaw is to trade small and trade often -- in other words do everything that conventional wisdom tell you not to do.

The Best of Boris’s Day Trades and Kathy’s Swing Trades -- $145 All in

Here is a rule of thumb you should use -- if you haven’t done 500 trades in a given system you really can’t judge its effectiveness. Just as in baseball, in trading you need a lot of at-bats to ascertain if you are truly a pro.