Shaun Downey: Trading Time

This month’s STA talk was ‘Trading Time: using the 4th dimension to create a 3rd spatial visualisation from a 2 dimensional image’. While that may sound like a strange and convoluted title the concept is fairly straight forward. How do you deal with the most important factor in trading – that of timing!? Shaun addresses this by working out how to deliver the important levels from charts across different time frames on the one chart.

His talk was, by his own admission, a bit of a “tour de force”, trying to cover a huge amount in his allotted 1 hour! Shaun was for a long time a stalwart at CQG, still one of the leading charting software packages, especially amongst the professional Technical Analyst community. The start of his talk went into the problems of roll-over for Futures contracts and how he dealt with this (CQG is arguably one of the best platforms out there for giving you choices on this front). While at CQG he developed a set of rules, methods of analysis, and mathematical formulae which he collated and explained in his book ‘Trading Time’ www.trading-time.com.  Published in 2007 and currently only available in an online version, luckily the STA library has a copy and our librarian John Douce kindly brought one along to show us.  Shaun noted, ‘the best bit in my first book is in the appendix’!

Using his range defining methods (think Donchian Channels with tweaks) he is able to look at up to 7500 stocks a day – and has the time to do so because his system is clear visually and therefore speedy.  He can rattle through them at a fair lick, as we saw!  He mooted a number of methods he uses (many of which the audience had never heard of!), like ‘bear cage’, ‘open up space’, ‘power play symbol’, ‘slam dunk’ (to describe a chart pattern), ‘slingshot’ and ‘UFO’ (as a type of trade). Hopefully his forthcoming article(s) for the STA journal will shed some further light!

Clearly his many years at CQG were not wasted though, and he knows his biscuits. When asked whether it was time to put his theories into a ‘black box’, he thought no because his was a ‘grey box’ and a ‘glorified alert service reminding clients of chart levels’.  While his inputs had all been coded and were actionable, programming it would be difficult, would remove the important element of individual choice, and then ‘you’d end up like gerbils going round and round in a cage not knowing when the system wasn’t working’.

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The views and opinions expressed on the STA’s blog do not necessarily represent those of the Society of Technical Analysts (the “STA”), or of any officer, director or member of the STA.

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About Nicole Elliott

Nicole Elliott

A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science (BSc Social Psychology) Nicole Elliott has worked in banks in the City of London for the last 30 years. Whether in sales, trading or forecasting technical analysis has always been the bedrock of her thinking. Key expertise lies within all areas of treasury: foreign exchange, money markets, fixed income and commodities.

She has also added to the body of knowledge of the industry writing the first western book on Ichimoku Cloud Charts. Strong media links and a cult following are due to her prescient calls on the markets and often entertaining format.

Nicole can be contacted at trending@sta-uk.org

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