The twenty minuters

… “Why are you called the Twenty Minuters”? Was Captain Darling’s question to 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 that 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, many strategies in price action trading are sold through seminar attendance, or online packages. But we are sold 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 (and its many siblings), maybe throw in a good understanding of trend (much more difficult than it sounds), the use of the important support and resistance including pivot points, round numbers, possibly fibonacci levels and moving averages, then we are ready for trading action.

But only in none intra-day trades. Meaning daily or weekly bars only. 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.

This, however, 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 an easier way than the one I chose: simply 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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