Sunday, 3 August 2014

5 Lessons Learned From Recent Retail Data Breaches

Heartbleed was one of the largest data breaches in history, but data breaches happen fairly often. Learn more about this history and impact of data breaches from this infographic.

5 Lessons Learned From Recent Retail Data Breaches #infographic

The Trading Career of Jesse Livermore - Notable Events

Jesse Livermore's Timeline

July 26, 18770Jesse Livermore is born in West Acton, Massachusetts.
189114Begins work in Paine Weber & Co's Boston stockbroking offices, transferring prices from ticker-tape to quotation board.
15Makes a $3.12 profit on this first trade - in Burlington stock.
15Accumulates his first $1,000 by trading stocks and commodities inbucket shops.
189316Paine Weber & Co instruct Jesse Livermore that he must either quit speculating in bucket shops or quit his job. He quits the job.
20Accumulates his first $10,000 by trading in bucket shops.
21Moves to New York to trade on the NYSE through legitimate stockbrokers. His fortune has been reduced to $2,500 - Livermore's trading is not always successful.
22Loses all funds via unsuccessful trading on NYSE - he attributes this to slow execution of his trades. Borrows $500 and goes to St. Louis to trade in bucket shops. He returns to New York with $2,500, repays the $500 loan and resumes trading on both the Exchange and in bucket shops.
22According to Livermore:
"I was not quite twenty-three, all alone in New York with easy money in my pockets and the belief in my heart that I was beginning to understand the new machine. I was making allowances for the actual execution of my orders on the floor of the Exchange, and moving more cautiously. But I was still sticking to the tape - that is, I was still ignoring general principles; and as long as I did that I could not spot the exact trouble with my game."
May 9, 190123At the beginning of the day, Livermore's fortune stands at$50,000. At the end of a frantic day's trading, Livermore is broke.

"The ticker beat me by lagging so far behind the market. The divergence between the printed and the actual prices undid me."
190124Livermore returns to the bucket shops and wire houses. He intends gettings a stake together to trade the Stock Exchange again. He is back to dealing in sums of tens and hundreds of dollars. He wins consistently.

The wire houses try to swindle Livermore and he responds with several sting operations in which he manipulates prices of thinly traded stocks on the NYSE in order to take large amounts from the wire houses.
190224After a year of successfully trading the wire houses, Livermore has accumulated enough money to buy an automobile and take on an expensive lifestyle. He returns to New York for the third time with a "fair sized roll."
Spring 190628Makes a profit of $250,000 shorting stocks on a hunch that preceded the San Francisco earthquake.
Summer 190629Loses $40,000 acting on a tip from Ed Harding.
October 24, 190730Livermore shorts the market during a crash and makes his first $1 million.
Late 190730Buys a yacht then loses $200,000 trading cotton.
190830 / 31Livermore breaks his own trading rules - he takes advice from commodities expert Percy Thomas. Things go badly. Breaks his own trading rules again - increases his losing position in cotton and sells his winning position in wheat. Goes broke.

Leaves New York and goes to Chicago where a trading house, aware of his ability, offers him limited finance for trading.

Livermore is then summoned back to New York by Dan Williamson, owner of a Stock Exchange trading house. Williamson gives Livermore $25,000 to resume trading.

After three weeks trading, Livermore has made a profit of $112,000. Williamson interferes with his trading, buying and selling on Livermore's behalf, and runs up losses. Livermore walks away from the relationship.
191436In several years of a flat market, with "no money to be made," Livermore's debts have grown to well over $1 million.

He declares bankruptcy. Of this, he later said, "My mind now being free to take up trading with some prospect of success, the next step was to get another stake."
February 191537Livermore asks Dan Williamson for help. Williamson offers Livermore the (very small) facility to trade 500 shares. Livermore reads the tape for six weeks before making a trade - he needs to be 100 percent sure the trade will be profitable. Livermore buys Bethlehem Steel on high margin at $98. Steel is rising because of demand from World War I. The price moves upward as he expects and, as the stock rises, he buys more at $115. The following day he sells at $145. He has achieved what he set out to achieve - he has a sizeable stake again.
Late 191538After several months of successful trading, Livermore's balance stands at $145,000.
191638 / 39Livermore plays the market perfectly - he is long when the market is strongly bullish and then goes short when it turns bearish. He makes $3 million profit and goes to Palm Beach for the winter.
191740Livermore makes another $1.5 million profit and pays back all his debts from 1914. He buys $800,000 dollars worth of annuities (annuities explained) to ensure his family has a secure income should he ever be wiped out in the markets again. He also puts money into trusts for his wife and son.
192244 / 45Gives interviews to Edwin Lefèvre for a series of newspaper articles. The articles are then compiled into a book - Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - now regarded as a classic.
192346Moves to custom-designed offices in the Hecksher Building, Fifth Avenue. Livermore wishes to be further removed from Wall Street gossip and to enjoy more secrecy for his trading operations.
192548In the 1925 wheat market Livermore buys grain in 5 million bushel lots while the market is rising, turns bear at the top and sells 50 million bushels short for a profit of $10 million.
192952Jesse Livermore's greatest moment as a trader. He goes short in the great crash of 1929 and makes a profit of around $100 million.
193356The police are called when Jesse Livermore apparently goes missing. One day after disappearing he returns home, walking unsteadily. He says he spent the night in a hotel and awoke with a blank mind. Reading newspaper headlines about his disappearance brought him to his senses. His doctor's verdict: "Amnesia nervous breakdown."
193456Jesse Livermore is bankrupt. He has lost his entire trading fortune. How he did this is unknown. He is not destitute - his family annuities save the day. He and his wife sail to Europe. "I hope to relieve my mind of some of my troubles."
193962Jesse Livermore writes How to Trade in Stocks - a book for people wishing to learn stock trading.
194062How to Trade in Stocks is published.
November 28, 194063Jesse Livermore dies by his own hand, via a revolver bullet through the brain. He had been suffering from depression and in his suicide note he describes his life as a "failure".

The timeline above was compiled using Reminiscences of a Stock Operatorby Edwin Lefèvre and How to Trade in Stocks by Jesse Livermore as its principal sources. Some additional material from Time Magazine.

The accuracy of the timeline is not entirely certain because of discrepancies in Livermore's age versus some of the dates mentioned in Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. The timeline above was the most consistent version of events that could be compiled using the sources.

The Blind Traders and the Market

There is an old parable known as “the blind men and the elephant.” In this story, there are four blind men who are asked to determine what an elephant looks like. The first blind man feels the leg of the elephant and says, “The elephant is like a tree because it is large and round like a pillar.” The second man feels the tail and says, “The elephant is like a rope because it is small and coarse.” The third man feels the ear and says, “The elephant is like a fan because it is flat and thin.” The fourth man feels the trunk and says, “The elephant is like a snake because it is long and curves.” 

A king comes to the four blind men and says, “all of you are correct.” The king goes on to explain that each one had drastically different descriptions of the elephant because they are all feeling different parts. So, they are all correct. The elephant has all the features described by the four blind men.
This parable is a good analogy describing different types of profitable traders. Many of the arguments that erupt between traders on social media are due to not understanding the others time frames or not understanding the other trader’s position sizing, stop loss level, or expected winning percentage. Also too many cult members of Elliot Wave, Trend 
Following, Market Profile, Day Traders, and option traders etc. think their way of trading price action is the only way when their way is only one of many paths to profitability. 

There are as many ways to trade price action to be profitable as there are profitable traders.

The elephant in the room is that profitable traders do a few things in common:

  • They manage their losses to keep them small regardless of their winning percentage.
  • They trade position sizes that bring their potential risk of ruin through a string of losses to virtually zero.
  • They are an expert in their own profitable strategy.
  • Their emotions are not used in trading decisions.
  • Their ego does not pick position sizing, entries, or exits.
  • They go with the flow of what is actually happening not what they want to happen.
  • They trade a robust methodology.
  • They do the work required to be successful.
  • They are comfortable with what they are doing.
  • Their trading fits their risk tolerance and personality.
Many profitable traders only see the aspects of the markets that make them profitable. Seeing the full dynamics of the markets and all the opportunities to make money is a step toward enlightenment.

Quote for the day

“A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn't care whether you make money or not.” - Bruce Kovner