11 November 2013

Trading the T4

There is an old expression you may have heard - to 'gild the lilly'. Basically, this means that if something is working fine, don't attempt to 'fix it', or 'improve it'. Chances are you will end up doing more harm than good. Nowhere is this more true than in the cut and thrust arena of stock trading. And nowhere in the world of the financial markets is this more clear than in the release of the so-called 'T4 trading Strategy'.

Way back in the dim and distant trading past (mid 1990's, in fact!) two VERY successful and famous traders by the names of Linda Bradford Raschke and Larry Connors came up with an extremely simple yet effective trading pattern which became know as the 'Grail' or even the 'Holy Grail' pattern. This, of course, was a tongue in cheek reference to the fact that there is no 'Grail' - simply because no trading system is infallible.

The Grail, being a simple yet effective trading strategy, quickly became popular, mostly due to the free Grail tools available on As a method for taking advantage of a trend (either up or down), the Grail has consistently shown itself to be one of the very best trading strategies out there. No surprise really, given the thoroughbred quality of the strategy's parents.

Then something interesting happened. A number of websites appeared trying to sell variations on the Grail, using 'gung-ho' names such as 'Champion Trader' or 'Powerthrust Method' and so on. What was most interesting about this was not the fact that unscrupulous people were trying to cash in on an established and successful method, but that the 'improvements' these people had added to the basic Grail (usually with '20 years development', 'millions of dollars in R+D' and so on!) had in fact made the strategy MUSH LESS EFFECTIVE.

The latest in this long line of 'improvements' is the so called 'T4 Volume Break Strategy' or the 'T4 Formula', from someone calling himself 'John Evans'. Mr Evans, of course, has other names - 'Shiraz Lakhi' being his previous incarnation. Until recently, Mr Lakshi promoted his 'Grail Clone' strategy, the 'Champion Trader Formula' as an ebook from a number of websites. Inevitably, of course, the fact that this 'improvement' didn't work so well as the original Grail Method meant that the collapse of Mr Lakshi's website and business was only to be expected.

And collapse it did, leaving many traders out of pocket and lacking support. Mr Lakshi then resurfaced as 'John Evans', promoting yet another Grail variation, the 'T3 formula'. Traders' websites quickly spotted this, and made life untenable so what does Mr Evans / Lakshi do? Easy! Rename it the 'T4 formula'. Add volume onto it as an improvement, and try to catch yet another batch of newbie traders with a substandard and overpriced methodology. No doubt if spotted yet again, the 'Champion Trader' will rename it the 'T5 formula' and bolt on a moving average cross over, which will probably take the effectiveness of the system even closer to 50 per cent...

The lesson to all this? Don't gild the lilly. If it's working well, just trade it - there is NEVER any need to try for top dollar in order to become a successful trader. Oh, and do your due diligence before you part with any cash! Happy trading!

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