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Week 1

I'll start a topic each week and add my posts within each weekly topic. Though I will be working, studying, taking notes, observing, practicing every day, i probably won't be posting journal entries every day. however, i will make at least one post each week.
CL/CES - Week 1
(For anyone already seriously interested in finding out more about the CL/CES, just fill out this form to schedule a complete overview of what DLC Profiles has to offer)

Since I received the written course materials on the 14th that is my official ‘kick-off’ date. I also dialed into this week’s Cognitive Markets Webinar (there is a live phone conference along with the online visual presentation) and plan on joining the next one on the 26th. There is also a Cognitive Trading Process Intensive coming up in March. I want to go to an Intensive, but suspect I would get more out of the one coming up in November.

Listening to Jim discuss recent market activity was … a lot of things. First, it was educational because of the things that he covered in the 45-50 minutes I was on the call (I missed out on the last 15-30min). Second, it was encouraging because, though I can’t yet see all the things Jim sees, I can see how, with focused practice, a trader can get there. As he talked I could hear his thorough understanding of where the trees fit within the forest. Thirdly, it was prophetic. I know he couldn’t have planned it better, but today, the very next session after the call, we got to see some of the scenarios he described unfold throughout the day. And none of what he discussed was hidden from anyone’s view, it was all right there. A person needs to know what they are looking for so they will know when they’ve found it.

Though I am very early into my journey towards market understanding, I have already come across something in MoM that completely escaped my attention until now. It’s a tiny little section, not even an entire paragraph, but it speaks volumes:
…This is not a book about a trading system that works or does not work. The Market Profile is not a black box that dogmatically tells you when to buy and sell commodities. This is a book on learning. This is a book on observing and understanding the market.

Evidently, I needed several years of ignoring that concept before I could begin to understand that concept. And that’s what really defines my current efforts: market understanding.

I think the common trap is to be lured into trading for the fast money. It was definitely a part of what drew me in. With some time, exposure, and experience, some things kind of fall away or stick around. I was drawn to technical analysis. I started looking at all kinds of stuff. And I realize now I was looking for a recipe, I was looking for the right trading cookbook. Even when I discovered Market Profile and Dalton’s work, which made so much sense to me, I was trying to find setups of certainty. I’m no longer looking for ‘the setup’. I am a discretionary trader and I have finally, comfortably accepted that truth.

I'll probably do another post or expand this one later this weekend.
Retail, off-floor, independent trading typically is a solitary pursuit. I know there are online trading rooms, but the trader is still alone. The aspiring discretionary trader isn’t working with (or against) successful, tenured traders. I consider anything not an automated trading system (ATS) discretionary, whether it is MP or Fibs or Pivots or Lunar Phase or whatever. Most rooms represent the general trading population: 80-95% are not profitable. This causes a huge disconnect.

When I watch a football game it is easy for me to relax on my couch and criticize refs, coaches, commentators, and, of course, players. More than easy, it’s part of the viewing experience. But, that doesn’t mean that I would buy a plane ticket, fly to my favorite team’s headquarters, and expect to walk on as a starter. In trading, if you have that plane ticket (i.e. a funded account) you can walk on as a starter. Ready or not, you can trade if you want to trade.

I hear and read a lot about the importance of screen time, and, while I acknowledge the obvious need to observe market activity, there is more to it than that. Sticking with my football theme, is there a single football player in the NFL who got there just by watching film? Anyone who follows football knows that from high school on up to the NFL, everyone does watch game films, but it isn’t a passive activity. They study game films. They discuss game films. They re-study game films. They build plays from game films. They work with position coaches and get specialized practice from game films. They repeatedly rehearse game films in their minds even when they are miles away from the practice field. That’s their screen time.

And what’s the result? The same as any other performance-based profession: seemingly effortless perfection. Professionals put in the time, work, blood, sweat, and tears to make it look easy. Trading is no different. When a market pushes up a bit, retraces, then steadily climbs for the rest of the session, hindsight can’t get any clearer. Well, that chart is the NFL of trading and it took a lot of very seasoned, professional players to choreograph that move.

Are there exceptions? Possibly, sure. But I don’t care about exceptions. Being seven and a half feet tall is an exception. Does it happen? Absolutely. If I try hard enough, can I grow that tall? No. What I can do is figure out what it takes to reach the same things that exceptionally tall guy can reach. I mean, hell, my 4-year old can reach anything in the house and he’s not even four feet tall.

It comes down to this: just as no medical student would become a surgeon if he didn’t develop a deep understanding of the human body, traders create uphill battles by neglecting their market understanding. The tendency seems to be to expect a market structure to evolve from looking for setups. I just don’t think it works that way and ends up requiring a lot of unnecessary effort just to unlearn backwards habits and perspectives. Even guys like Don Miller, guys who make tons of trades in a day, they still are looking at things from the top down. Finding a setup is the last thing on their to-do list. (By the way, Don had a phenomenal 2008 and chronicled the last half of his year in his blog, so stop by and have a look-see. Don’s not a Market Profile trader, but he is a pro who really puts it out there, paying it forward.)

call it perspective or context or macro or whatever, it is very difficult to really know what is going on, really know what you are witnessing if all you see is the texture of the bark on a single tree.

Side Note
Even though this is my personal journal, I admit that I do feel compelled to explain a couple of things for the reader. First, I do like to write so it doesn’t phase me to put together a post with several paragraphs. Second, I love analogies. Third, I am a firm believer that analogies and cross-disciplinary studies stretch, strengthen, and enhance the learning process; the more ways I can see and interconnect a thought or concept, the deeper my understanding, retention, and benefit will be. Now, back to the program ...

that's all i got for now ... time to go study.
This may be off topic Omni but can you tell us more about the people you HAVE been exposed to it the past? You mention Don this the same guy from Trading Markets from a few years back who used all those MAverages? I get them all mixed up.

Are you studing MP charts from the past or are you studing as they unfold over the course of a year? Why is it a year program do you think? Do they want you to experience the different phases of the market over time?

Great post and write as much as you reads well...I'm jealous!!

This may be off topic Omni but can you tell us more about the people you HAVE been exposed to it the past? You mention Don this the same guy from Trading Markets from a few years back who used all those MAverages? I get them all mixed up.
good question Bruce. as far as MP, I have been in JP's room off and on over the last few years and think JP is good people. he is a former floor trader from Chicago, and made the switch from scalping for ticks to trading via MP a few years ago. i am convinced that guy's heart is in the right place and that he is the real deal. In fact, he built the vast majority of his techniques from studying Dalton's work (primarily MoM). one of the main reasons i slid away from JP's room was just the room size. if i recall, he has over 400 current members.

ugh, okay here it goes. VERY early on when i was a wee little futures trader, I too checked out Woodie's place for a while
. For anyone who trades for a living based off that room
, well, more power to 'em.

some others have been Naturus (she seemed potentially legit, but the room was kind of stuffy), ProfLogic (the nomenclature wasn't intuitive to me and his stuff just didn't click with me), and i hung out in an unaffiliated spin-off of JP's room for a while. there were a lot of good people in that last room, but, as is typically the case, there were a couple of traders who seemed to really be tearing it up, a couple who made the turn or were close to it, and then there was that 80-95% again. plus, the room drifted away from MP (and so did I). the funny thing was, after peeling away from that room, i realized what they were leaning towards was really still a version of profiling, just on a less structured, less definable basis.

and, you are correct, that is the same Don Miller. He used to do a lot of work with/for TM before dropping out of site for a couple of years. this summer he re-emerged with his new blog (no sales or promotion of anything) and has gained quite a following. in fact, he recently did an interview over at with Tim Bourquin. it only takes about 25min and is a good listen; and you can download the MP3 of it and throw it on the ipod for later
Are you studing MP charts from the past or are you studing as they unfold over the course of a year?
both actually. Jim uses current conditions for his newsletters and webinars. and i'm glad you asked this question, because i wanted to write a little something about the things that Jim puts out on a regular basis. back to your question though, the written study material has historical market conditions, so i will be studying those examples. i have also started 'reading' through recent sessions (like the last 30-60 days). keep in mind, as early as it is into this regimen, i've really only scratched the surface of anything.
Why is it a year program do you think? Do they want you to experience the different phases of the market over time?
Good question and I went ahead and answered it in a separate post. I want to add that after talking with Terry, reviewing the syllabus, and absorbing the suggested study plan, man i wasn't sure a year would be enough. there is a lot of material and DLC is not a proponent of once-and-done'ing the studies. and, like you mentioned, a trader has a better chance to see more market development over twelve months than 3- or 4- or even 6-months.
Great post and write as much as you reads well...I'm jealous!!


sounds good Bruce, glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your encouragement. as much as i am writing this for myself, it would be useless to me if i wasn't adding value to Guy's site and for his readers.
Bruce asked about the duration of the CL/CES and I answered before I realized Jim actually addressed this very question in the December Profile Bulletin:
Why does it take a year to complete your CL/CES program?

It doesn’t. When we originally structures our CL/CES, self-study process, we outlined a ‘suggested’ study process over 12 months. As clients enrolled and began working through it we found that some devoted inordinate amounts of time to it and finished the workbooks in less that 30 days. While we feel each module should be viewed as a springboard to increased understanding and internalization of the information presented, we also acknowledge that each individual has
their own style of learning.

Therefore, based on client feedback, we now work with each new CL/CES client and help them design a study plan that fits their style and availability to gain the most from this process as possible be it a 3 month term or a 322 day term.

Our commitment is to support your learning process and the advancement of the power of your cumulative experience.

Caution: While you may actually complete the course in a relatively short period of time, few recognize or accept how many years it actually takes the brain to truly assimilated the knowledge necessary to become an expert trader. Completing the course too quickly is likely going to prove to be a determent.
So there it is, straight from the horse's mouth

By the way, everyone should be able to access that PDF since it's on the main DLC Profiles page. I also attached the file just in case anyone had any problems accessing the link.

Click link to access uploaded file:

as i promised earlier, I wanted to take a few minutes to, hopefully, add some perspective on some of the things Jim and Terry are doing with CL/CES.

First, I think it is safe to assume that everyone expects MoM and MiP to be an integral part of CL/CES. But, and this is something that really captivated me when I was considering the CL/CES, Jim also writes and distributes a weekly publication and a twice-monthly publication. Below is a description of the publications and webinars:
Cognitive Market Commentaries - This twice-monthly commentary discusses a cognitive approach to understanding specialized market events, in relation to DLC Profiles educational offerings, including Jim Dalton's books Mind over Markets and Markets in Profile.

Cognitive Market Webinars - These twice-monthly online discussions cover the latest activity in the S&P and other active markets.

Cognitive Learning Webinars - These monthly online discussions focus on clarifying and expanding upon the information provided in Mind over Markets, Markets in Profile, the three Phase I workbooks (Foundation, Context, and Tactics), as well as publications Commentaries and Index Insights.

E-Mail Support - We provide comments and observations to questions and answers via e-mail and telephone.
I just don't think I can overstate the magnitude of these resources. I'm going to devote some time to write out some thoughts on this and post them tomorrow.

for now, I'm feelin' kinda Sunday

Have a great weekend!
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