The Twenty Minuters

… “Why are you called the Twenty-Minuters”? A question Captain Darling’s asked of Lord Flashheart in a Blackadder series.

Major Bill March, a historian with the Royal Canadian Air Force, is quoted as saying of the early pilots “they used to call themselves the 20-Minute Club because the life expectancy of a new pilot in combat in 1916-17 was 20 minutes.”

I understand that in the early part of the war pilots were being sent into combat with less than 9 hours flying time – basically, they knew how to take-off. But of course, we all know that there is a lot more to it than that, being able to land is probably optimistic, but useful if the need presented itself.

In financial trading, we buy strategies in price action trading through seminar attendance or online packages. But we buy the equivalent of the take-off lesson only.

And actually, that is fine. To know how to apply such things as a morning star pattern. Maybe throw in a good understanding of trend, much more difficult than it sounds. The use of support and resistance is grasped, including pivot points, round numbers, Fibonacci levels and moving averages. We are ready for trading action., we feel.

But only higher timeframe trades such as daily or weekly bars. If we stay with that we have a chance, sort off.

The problem is that we encourage ourselves, and possibly by the seminar or online package, to dive into the intraday bars, the ‘exciting’ day-trading stuff.

However, this is very wrong. At this stage, we are not (and maybe never will be) equipped to deal with lower time frame trades. We may get away with the 4-hour bar chart and, at a pinch, the 1-hour, but moving lower with the relatively limited knowledge and experience we have gained we risk joining the traders equivalent of the ‘Twenty-Minuters’.

I trade the lower charts, and I wish someone had told me this those many years ago, it would have saved me a lot of money and frustration. There is a more natural way than the one I chose: never come below reading daily bars (New York close, of course) until we’re ready.

In financial trading we want to be like this chap, he looks like he knows how to land!

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