Datus Interruptus

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Well, a bit of karma came and bit me today.

Back in 1991, when I worked for Ed Seykota (one of the famed “market wizards”), he was actively trading futures. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but I do remember that there was one particular market he was anticipating a trade on, but his signal never hit. It turns out (again, for a reason I don’t quite recall) that his chart wasn’t even being updated, so he was steadfastly checking it each day for a signal that never appeared. That’s because the chart was basically an oil painting. It never changed.

I laughed about this at the time, since I thought it was kind of clueless to not realize a chart wasn’t updating. Well, the universe remembered that little guffaw and decided to dish some up for me today.

I use ProphetCharts (naturally, since I dreamed up the damned thing), and today I was quite active doing equities trading. We had our early morning plunge, which was terrifically exciting, but the market began to strengthen.

The strength seemed to stall out. I actually remember saying out loud to myself, “It’s just sitting there!” So I assumed that’s pretty much all the market had to offer in terms of a recovery, so I sought out some ETFs for some nice big short positions and I took the plunge.

Had I looked very closely at the quote’s timestamp, I would have seen it was 9:08 a.m. PST, which was more than two hours prior. Indeed, on the home page of the web site, there was this little beauty:


However, when charts are in full screen mode, stuff like that doesn’t appear (thinkorswim’s charts, to their credit, shoves a message on to the screen and makes a beeping sound to get your attention). So I was plunging headlong into some pretty big trades using charts that were more than two hours out of date. You can see below (now that the day is done) what a huge bite of data was missing (and only started updating later when I raised hell about it).


So I did the exact thing I thought was so blinkered and clueless on Ed’s part nearly a quarter-century ago. It’s kind of like when kids ask an adult their age, and the adult has to think about it for a few moments, since one’s age isn’t the All Important Fact that it is to children…………be careful what or to whom you laugh about; you could be next!