New PDF release: 141 West Jackson: A Journey Through Trading Discoveries

By J. Peter Steidlmayer

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MARKET DISCIPLINE, BACKGROUND, AND EFFICIENCY 25 Understanding the market's purpose is the key to unlocking all this. This basic insight eluded me for a long time. My ap­ proach has always been from the ground up, trying to merge prac­ tical results into theory, rather than starting with a theory and trying to fit my observations into it. I think the fact that I made a persistent effort was more important than any one particular idea. It was my varied experiences in using the developing profile sys­ tem that revealed the most.

The form we choose can be whatever is most convenient for a given study. We must note, however, that one would want the expression of market condition not only to be a meaningful and usable communication, but to offer the possibility of optimal control of trading as it relates to measure­ ment. When the market is moving horizontally in a small range, that is, when it is highly efficient, the penalty for a wrong deci- 44 CHAPTER FrVE sion on direction is small. When the market is in the midst of a volatile vertical move, then the potential for damage from a wrong decision is much larger.

Objectivity, which can only come from a complete understanding of what we're doing and what we're working with, will allow more traders to achieve the same goal. We as traders need to understand not just the workings of the market (which is what I mainly focused on at the beginning), but what it does, what it does it for, and how it does it; what it means to call the market a self-organizing system, and what the orga­ nizing principles are. We need this foundation in order to gain a complete understanding of market discipline.

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141 West Jackson: A Journey Through Trading Discoveries by J. Peter Steidlmayer


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