I'm a doctor, and I agree we are somewhat immune to the internet revolution.
Furthermore, I don't think companies like Healtheon have much of a future. Doctors/hospitals are now getting less than 50 cents for every dollar billed, and then we get it 6-8 weeks later, if we get it, and after we've run the documentation/paper work gauntlet. So under the circumstances, there is absolutely no incentive for us to spend money on technology that will make us more efficient.
And that's the best case scenario. A more realistic scenario is that a significant percentage of healthcare providers will become insolvent. This has already happened to nursing homes. Politicians keep promising and then squeezing healthcare providers, but this can't continue.
Apkhabar - it is my understanding that Datek Snets orders they can't fill through ISLD. They have no way of knowing what a customer's next trade is going to be, so how can they work around the 5 minute rule? And wouldn't that limit them if they were to look to an ECN for a fill? Plus, SOES is such an iffy proposition, given that you will probably be somewhere behind in line, while a Snet at least keeps you out there. By the way those non-ISLD orders feel (time they take to fill, plus the occassional order flow $ kicked back to you), they seem to be Snet orders. Not that it means much, but when I spoke to Datek reps regarding fills, on numerous occassions, I was always told they Snet orders out. Of course, they could be wrong, but that's what they say.
Was wondering if anyone here uses a fully mechanical system to daytrade equities (besides Eric)? I have been messing around with my methods and have tried to put them into some sort of mechanical system and I must say it has been difficult. It almost seems to me that most of my trades are just a little bit different from the previous one. The principal is usually the same but the variables may be different from time to time. This makes building a completely mechanical system rather difficult (in my eyes).
I guess I am just trying to "clean-up" my methods and make them more cut and dried.
I used Datek a few years ago. At that time they used SOES for market and marketable limit orders that could not be crossed on ISLD, and posted all other limit orders on ISLD. I'm quite certain you are correct that they changed from SOES to SNET for off-ISLD marketable executions, for obvious reasons. Seems their web site is too busy to gain access to verify any such information at the moment. Just like old times.
< 2. shorting screws with your upward bias and mindset to make money going long. be careful with shorting, perhaps avoid it altogether like i do (many reasons...but primarily you have to program your brain properly to win on the long side) >
Sounds like you had some great returns playing only the long side ... congrats! But avoiding the short side can greatly limit ones opportunities, especially one who is a trader. The current market is a good example with a 35% decline in the COMPX in the past 5-6 weeks. When I first started trading full time 4 years ago shorting seemed "foreign" to me so I started small, often with 100 share trades. Once you play the short side and get comfortable I feel it's no different than playing the long side although I think it (shorting) is a learned process for most people. Really just a mirror image .... buy low, sell high or sell high, buy low ... only the sequence changes.
In general, I strongly agree with you. If Sim has done well, more power to him. However, I'd like add one additional point to you comments... It has been my experience that playing the long side only tends to make some traders "see" a good long opportunity when it doesn't exist. I.e., if you don't care whether you go long or short, you will look at your analysis results with an unbiased eye. For example...
If you are long player only, you might discount weak volume on a bounce in favor of the positive price movement. "Price is moving up. I gotta buy now." A more balanced trader would look at the data and say, "Mixed signals. Hmmm. I'll watch it a bit longer. If volume strengthens, I'll buy. If volume continues to weaken and then it look like it's peaking, I'll short. (No problemo.)
Even if a trader doesn't like to short, I believe that they should feel just as comfortable with analyzing for shorting opportunities as analyzing for long opportunities.
dan, i agree with your thoughts on having the bias of going long only. it does tempt me to take long trades that i shouldnt.
in this environment, there is no doubt that shorting has been high probability stuff. i have started shorting a little.
my problem is that my results have been phenomenal, and if i change the variables too much i may destroy my results. however, as a trader i need to continually modify my technique.
so bottom line is i do not know if this change in variables (do some shorting) and brain programming will be positive or negative. (it should be positive if i am good)
there are many ways to look at it. time frame, average win %, market backdrop, and so many other trading variables come into play. trading correctly and getting great results is about intense concentration (at least for me). concentrating on only the long side allows me to perfect that as finely as possible.
i do agree that i need shorting in my arsenal
i have traded off and on for 10 years. my knowledge of stocks and the market in general is excellent, as the market is my passion. i have subsribed to IBD since 1990 etc. i think this is where my current success comes from. i only hope i can continue to make $