Friday, January 31, 2014

New 30 Day Challenge... This Time It's Real.


New Blog: Trading By Price Action
Follow a old Eve-Online Player trying to make a living trading Futures, the most volatile trading instrument on the plant.

Confessions of a Eve-Online Trader

 I've had a few people ask me where I've went, why I stopped playing Eve-Online, and if they could have my hundreds of billions of ISK. Well, to awnser the most important question, I may reactivate one of my accounts and have some fun. I may do some sort of donation to new players, poor old school players, or maybe just to people who entertain me or something. I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do, but Eve-Online really has lost it's fun for me. For me, Eve-Online was about trading and getting unimaginably wealthy. One of the best features of Eve-Online is the fact that you don't use your imagination to role-play. If you want to role-play a pirate, you go out and be a pirate. If you want to mine, then you go out and mine.

I've always wanted to become the arms dealer. So I went out and became the arms dealer.  I raised capital ratting, doing missions, and eventually buying weapons in scarcely populated regions. I focused on the higher meta stuff the rats in the region would drop. I would spend one day a week flying around gathering stuff all over the region, and then flying it to Jita to sell.  Then I realized, why should I cut someone else in on my profits?  I started selling my stuff directly at mission hubs for a even higher markup.

Eventually, I started to make some real ISK.  I could afford to fly faction fitted battleships, but I barely had the skills to fly a battle-cruiser. This wasn't enough for me, so I expanded.  I started buying all sort of stuff over three regions.  The opportunities were endless, but the time required to fly around and pick everything up was getting kinda crazy.  I reached the point where I didn't even bother picking stuff up unless there was at least 50 items in that specific station.  I was buying everything from tech 2 items to rat drops.

I started to develop some real ISK, and the only real market that I haven't touched were raw materials and ships.  I pooled together all the money I could scrap together, and moved my best trading character to a populated region and began dabbling in ships.  I would buy them from people, and just resell them in the same place I bought them.  The margins sucked, and I had to update my orders constantly. The nice thing, though, was that I didn't have to fly around picking stuff up.  It could take a month to sell a ship at a station, but I didn't care.  I had a ton of trading slots available.

I picked up on some tricks along the way.  I was getting tired of playing the .01 isk game with other traders, so I simply sold one item to them just to figure out who they were.  I added them to my friends list, and wrote down key details.  I figured out what region and items they dealt with, and their play schedule. Five minutes after they logged off, I would log on .01 up their order and go about my business.

I increased my margins dramatically by creating completely taking over a popular level 3 mission hub.  I chose it because there really wasn't much completion.  I stocked it with battle-cruisers and everything you could want to fit it.  I also bought every Drake (most popular battle-cruiser at the time) in a three system radius.  People had to fly to my station to buy my Drake and fit it with my modules, all at a pretty decent mark up.  Eventually, I started selling the battle-cruisers as loss-leaders just to get them to buy my modules at 100% markup. 

I was in it for the duration, and while a few people tried to run me out, no one ever succeed.  I've had a few people piss me off, I've had a few people try to destroy my margins, or do other things to try and hinder me.  They all paid for it in the end.  I reached the point where no one could touch me. I took over a level 4 mission hub, and while the competition never really left I had the majority market share.

I tried to take over the retriever market for a entire region, but some idiot decided to fight me on it.  I offered to split it with him, but the deal fell through...  So I paid mercenaries to bump his freighter every time he left the station (to stop him from going anywhere).  I managed to make a a bit of money by raising the prices of retrievers by 1-2 million ISK for the whole region for a month.

Eventually, Eve-Online lost it's fun for me, and I moved on.  By far I think this is the greatest MMO ever created. I tried playing others like AION, WOW, and others, but Eve was always my favorite.

So I Moved On

I thought to myself, what could be more fun then being a arms dealer in a video game? It hit me, why can't I do it for real? Of course, I'm kidding.  All my time play Eve-Online made me wonder if I had what it took to become a real trader on Wall-Street. I began studying during my night job. I lived, breathed, and obsessed about the stock market.  I eventually started trading live last year, and my equity curve was all over the place.  I did end up making a lot of money, but I realized I needed to put my own spin on it.

I learned so much along the way, and I am still learning.  I am just one of the lucky few that wasn't destroyed by playing with fire.  It wasn't until now that I feel like I really truly have some sort of grasp of what is going on the markets.  My thinking has completely changed in the past few months.  Looking at a chart, I used to see that price action is testing the bottom of the channel, or this dot just turned green (don't worry if you don't know what I'm talking about here, I had to throw this in just in case there's any John Carter fans here. I hate the guy, he is just a master salesmen and not a trader).  Now when I look at the chart, I can see that a bunch of traders just got trapped on the wrong side of a move because they thought the trend line was breaking. 

There are so many trading systems out there, but it is just people trying to sell you junk.  It doesn't work!  To become a trader you need to understand the why something works.  Trading is like swimming in a shark invested pool, and your a little piranha trying to take some food from the shark.  OK, that was a terrible analogy. The key thing to remember is that trading is a zero sum game.  You need to take money from other traders if you want to make any money yourself.

30 Day Challenge... On The Real Markets

I really don't care about becoming rich.  To me money represents one thing, freedom.  I want to develop the skill set that lets me sit in-front of the computer and earn a paycheck without having to answer to anyone.  I want to go on vacation when I want to go on vacation.  If I want to skip winter this year, I can go to Florida and skip winter.  I want freedom.

So while I am making money while I do this 30 Day Challenge, my goal is to make money consistently.  I'm using a discretionary price action trading strategy developed by a guy named Mack.  In the past, I got burned by buying expensive strategy from different people.  Some of the information was alright, but I quickly realized that these people were just salesmen (AKA John Carter).  They always have a new and improved method for just $400 bucks! My favorite was when they tried to up-sell you a year long mentor-ship for 10,000 dollars using high pressure sales tactics (AKA John Carter).  Sorry, I figure I should add that this is just my opinion of their services.

Anyways, back on topic, I'm using this strategy because it makes sense to me.  The guy is not constantly trying to sell you anything, and does free daily reviews of the ES using his method.  I've been working with it for the past few months, and now I am taking it live.

I'm really making the new blog for myself.  It helps me to learn something better if I am trying to explain it to someone else.

If anyone is interested in following along, the new blog is Trading By Price Action.  If there are any other traders out there, or just someone who wants to learn trading feel please free to drop me a comment on the new site with your email and we can chat.  I'll happily answer any questions, and teach my strategy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Eve Knowledge Applied to the Real Stock Market


I started a new 30 day challenge, this time on the real stock market. Follow along at Trading by Price Action.  

A Personal History

I know a lot of people still read this site, and I figure I would post a little bit of an update as to what I've been up to in the past few years.  Well, it turns out that the two to three years I spent trading in EVE-Online actually taught me a LOT about the dynamics of markets, supply and demand, support and resistance, etc.  If only there was a way to transfer what I learned in-game to something productive and useful in the real world.

I cut back on my Eve-Online time severely. I got a boring midnight security job (yay for being underemployed!) with a lot of free time, and I started studying and saving cash.  I did everything I could to raise as much capital as I could.  I mean EVERYTHING.  I worked all the overtime available, used coupons, and basically penny pinched.  I even started doing stuff on a stupid site called SwagBucks, well I can't really call it stupid.  I made 500 bucks on the site over the course of a year just using their search engine, watching videos (well letting the videos run in the background), and various other stuff that wouldn't drive me nuts.  Its sorta tedious.

I also spent the next year studying the stock market, every day, till I got a good understanding of what all the technical indicators meant like SMA, EMA, MACD, Slow and Fast Stochastic.  Once I got a good understanding, I started trading.  I really should have started paper trading, but it's lacking that emotional element that you must get used to when you have real money on the line.

I lost some money, not big, but I could see that my method wasn't working.  The stock market just seemed completely different then the Eve-Online Market Place, but I was determined.  As completely different and complicated the Stock Market was, there was just this aura of familiarity.  I couldn't really put my finger on it, but I went back to the basics.

The problem I had with all these technical indicators was that they are all LAGGING.  They move AFTER the stock has already moved.  They look great and amazing when you are studying though! 

Applying Eve-Learned Knowledge

I was a pretty damn successful trader in Eve-Online, but I just couldn't really get it all to click together.  That was until I watched a stupid Youtube video some idiot posted about how Market Makers manipulate the price of stocks.  I started thinking, that's so stupid the stock market is not just one great big manipulation attempt, but then I realized that's exactly what I did in Eve-Online in certain situations.  I have on occasion manipulated the price of items in a region to get more isk per trade! 

It was at this moment that everything just sorta clicked together, not really about the whole manipulation attempts, but instead I realized something.  In EVE-Online, I was the Market Maker! I was the person setting the spreads and profiting simply from the spread.  Only in EVE-Online, the spread per ship was usually a few million to a few hundred million isk depending how expensive the item was, and on the real stock market the spread is literally a penny in most cases.  So I had to remember my old days, when did I change the price on my supply?

I remembered there was usually a decent supply of an item in EVE on the market within a million isk of each other, but every once in a while there was a bit of a lack of supply.  It usually happened when the cluster of supply would be bought out for whatever reason, and then the price would pop up.  This was fairly common, but sorta hard to explain.

Let's do a quick example, let's say that in the Lonetrek Region there was 300 Drakes for sale. They were priced pretty fairly with 10 being up for sale at 25 Mil (the cheap ones out in God knows where), 200 scattered about at 26-27 mil, and 100 scattered around at the 28-29 mil isk range.  Well when the Drakes for sale at the 26-27 million range would run low the price would usually pop up to the higher 28-29 million range before supply would shoot it back down again.  This happens on the stock market as well.

Time To Day Trade

Now comes the tricky part, figuring out the supply and demand of a real stock.  You can try looking at the level 2 and seeing how many shares they have for sale at a specific price.  The problem is market makers lie and manipulate.  If they show a heavy bidder on either side of the bid/ask spread, then it can force the price in the opposite direction.  They usually do a good job masking just how many shares they want or have for sale.

So this is where it gets a bit more difficult.  I knew what I wanted to look for, but I really wasn't sure how to look for it.  I took off all of the indicators, since they are lagging anyways, and focused solely on price action and volume.  It wasn't long before I knew what I was looking for, and it was fairly common! I was looking for a clear resistance line on the chart, the more times that it is tested the better.  As long as the stock has a chance to consolidate before it breaks that resistance line, then it should continue higher at a faster and faster pace until it reaches another source of supply.

It took a bit of trial and error to get this figured out, and it is by no means perfect.  It is not a system because it involves a lot of human interaction and judgement, not some sort of indicator when this line crosses this line and its above the trend line you buy the stock.

The Future and The Results

I've started doing this sort of trading almost every day for the past 3 months (this would be the start of the 4th), and I've had a pretty decent success rate at it.  When I started doing this my first two months weren't too hot.  I was down almost one thousand dollars the first month! The second month I broke even, and in the third I was up two thousand!  In each month I learned to cut my losses early when a stock fails to break out, and I've gotten much better at identifying the patterns.  In each month, I've made more day trades then I did in the month before it.

Well, I want to start up another 30 day challenge sort of blog, like I did with EVE-Online, but this time it will be about the real stock market.  Instead, I will be looking to make it year long thing, or maybe a goal oriented sort of deal.  It would be kinda fun to do a 25,000 to 250,000 challenge, but I haven't decided exactly yet.  I know that I'll probably announce my buys and sells on twitter or something as I make them to prove that it's all legit.  Anyone have any thoughts? Anything anyone would like to see?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Account Safety

Account Safety: It's Your Damn Job

There is no worse feeling then trying to log onto any video game only to find that your account has been hacked, hijacked, banned, or had its password changed by someone else. A lot of things may go flying through your head, and it's tempting to blame everyone else but yourself. The company doesn't have enough security! My account was brute forced! Well, chances are that your account was compromised because you did or didn't do.

It's so easy to overlook account security, and it's usually the last thing on your mind.  The sad thing is that it is so easy to keep all your information safe, including your gaming accounts, email, bank, and anything else that you might use the internet for.  There is no reason why your account for anything should be compromised, just follow this simple little guide.

Keep Your PC Safe

The first step in any plan to protecting yourself from getting hacked would be to make sure that your computer is safe from any viruses, key-loggers, and exploits.  Changing your password would do you no good if the other party can just see what your new password is going to be. This is one of the most common ways that accounts become compromised.  There are a verity of different ways a computer can become compromised:
  • Opening .exe email attachments (Obviously)
  • Using a old (non-updated) browser with security flaws (all it takes is an ad on a trusted site running an exploit kit)
  • Downloading untrusted apps, bots, cheats, key-gens etc that may or may not work but also contain viruses
So what does all this mean? Are you not suppose to use the Internet at all? Well, all you need to do is keep your browser up-to-date, it really doesn't matter which one you use.  I personally prefer FireFox, but as long as your still not using Internet Explorer 6 (and yes people still use it to view this very site), then you are ahead of the curve.  Here's a list of all the things you need:
  1. Up-to-date Browser: I personally like FireFox because it self updates, but I'm pretty sure all the rest do as-well.  Just be sure to let them update.
  2. Let Windows Update: Windows will automatically download and update security updates, just be sure to have auto-updates on.
  3. Keep Adobe, Flash, Etc. Updated: People occasionally find ways to exploit security holes in these programs, but as long as you let them update when they want to then you'll be a lot safer.
  4. Anti-Virus: Keep any anti-virus running on your computer like AVG.  Most have a passive scanner that will detect threats as soon as you come across one.
Basically, keep your stuff up-to-date and you won't be getting hacked.

Account Safety: Passwords

Here's where things get a little bit tricky. As annoying as it is you really need to use more then one password.  Let me explain why, if you use one password for everything then it is so easy for someone to basically steal your online identity.  As soon as one log in gets compromised (that contains your email information) then they will have access to your email.  Once they are inside your email, all they have to do is do a bit of reading to see what else they have, including banking information, pay-pal, etc.  Worst of all, if they change your email password then account recovery becomes much harder if you are unable to recover your email account.

This is probably one of the most common ways that hackers can get access to accounts in bulk.  They find exploits, hack, or even bribe the operates of fan-sites/forums and even large guild/clan websites/forums for all the log in information that is stored on the site.  Once they get this information, they just run a script to see how many people use the same password for their emails, and now you have access to everything tied to that email account.

What you need to do to prevent getting completely screwed because one account got compromised:
  • E-mail: Separate password that is used for nothing else, I would even use two different emails.  One for high security stuff like banking information, gaming accounts, pay-pal, etc., and one for forums, subscriptions, etc.
  • Game Accounts: Separate password for gaming accounts.
  • Throw Away Password: There are things everyone signs up for they don't care about, just use a throw away password for these.
  • High Security: Just for Pay-Pal, Banking, Etc.

Fake Sites

These are sites that look identical to a real website, or even look like a real company offering you to see a video game for cheaper if you just type in your steam account and password to log in. These are really simple to avoid, just look at the actual web address above to make sure that its the real deal.  If you are say trying to log in on Facebook, and the web address says then its obviously fake.  If your shopping and see a site that offers you a huge discount on something then do a simple Google search to see if their legit.

It's not that hard to keep your accounts safe, just use some common sense and stop being lazy using one password for everything.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eve Online Crucible - Are You Ready To Profit?

The Crucible Expansion is going to bring new ships, modules, and bosses to Eve Online. This is going to be a great time for anyone looking to make a profit. These changes are going to shake things up in the Eve Economy, and those that are quick can make massive profits.  Best of all, there are going to be so many ways to turn a profit anyone can do it.

This includes people who have no prior experience trading.  This expansion is going to be a "dash for the cash" expansion.  The first few industrial pilots that turn out some of the 4 new battleships are going to make a huge profit before everyone catches up.  Explorers are going to get brand new anomalies and DED complexes.  Traders get to trade in all the new things, but there are a few things to watch out for.

Eve Online Crucible: Traders

This patch is going to be bring in a bunch of re-balancing changes to the game.  Specifically, they are re-balancing hybrids, Minmatar Ammo, and POS fuels.  This means that the price of these things may or may not change due to demand.

There are a few things traders need to watch out for with this patch.  T2 rig BPC's and their salvage components are having their drop rates INCREASED.  This will probably cause the price of T2 rigs to crash.  The four new battle ships will also be in free fall during the first few days of their inception, mainly because of the low barrier to entry for industrial pilots.  Robotics consumption on player owned stations is also getting reduced, so watch out for a price change in Robotics.

The POS fuel change is going to be interesting.  POS no longer need to consume a bunch of different things, instead player owned stations will require the use of a new Fuel Block.  Faction towers will no longer receive bonus in reduction of fuel costs, but instead receive larger cargo holds.  Traders should keep a close eye on the price of isotopes over the next few weeks!

Eve Online Crucible: Explorers

This patch is going to show some love to high sec exploration, and those lucky pilots who find the new loot might be able to make a killing.  They are adding new DED complexes rated at 3/10 and 4/10.  This means that they SHOULD be able to spawn in high sec, but who knows if they actually will.  These complexes are going to contain new modules, and like usual the first few are going to go for a fortune.

Since the complexes are only going to be 3/10 and 4/10 the loot may not be super amazing, but their might be a gem or two the new stuff.  Exploration complexes should be spawning a bit faster because they will now despawn once they are completed, and not when the complex is empty.  Explorers also get the added benefit of more T2 rig salvage and BPC's in improved Magnometric Sites.  Overall, this patch is definitely showing some love to exploration.

Eve Online Crucible: Industrial Pilots

Industrial Pilots are getting a tiny bit of love this patch by the implementation of the four brand new Tier three Battlecruisers.  This is likely to have a low barrier to entry, meaning that everyone will be able to jump right into producing these 4 babies:

Caldari Naga
Amarr Oracle



Minmatar Tornado

Gallente Talos




Eve Online Crucible - Everyone Else

Everyone else is pretty much intended to cover our friends who make Eve-Online the game that it is, the PVPers.  CCP is showing everyone a bit of love by fixing a few of the small annoying things that bug pretty much everyone.  They are reducing the size of metal scraps so they do not clog up your cargo hold, they are making to so anomalies should spawn a bit faster, and they are giving more options for pew pew!

The patch is including a lot of brand new items, and those players who make the dash to get them first are likely going to make a bit more isk.  Anomalies are going to be rebalanced yet again, but this time to increase NPC bounties, not sure how that is going to work out.  Jump bridges no longer require a password to use, so no more typing in the same password over and over again.  Overall, it should be a interesting patch for everyone involved.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

4 New Battlecruisers = Patch Day Profits!

I'm sure just about everyone heard that there will be 4 new ships in Eve-Online.  The 4 new battlecruisers are all teir 3 ships, not to be confused with tech 3.  This means that the BPO for these ships should be seeded on the server at npc stations.  These ships appear to be battlecruiser sized ships that sacrifice their tank for battleship sized weapons, which would make sense.  There are already battlecruiser sized ships that can tank level 4 missions, so a class cannon like battlecruiser would make sense.  This is all off topic, though, whatever the ship does it will be new a shiny.  We can profit off new and shiny!

This is all speculation, but we can us the Noctis as a model to make a few educated guesses. We can use this model to predict how things will progress on patch day, other then the fact that CCP probably break the game for a few days.  Heres some of the things we can make educated guesses on:
  1. All 4 BPO's will be seeded on the market through their respective factions.
  2. They will have relatively short production time.
  3. The BPO will be reasonably priced around 3-4 hundred million isk.
  4. The skills to fly them are already in the game.
  5. They will be made out of regular minerals.
All these factors likely mean that within a few days these ships wil be reasonably priced, because the barrier for entry for these ships is pretty low.  It will be a little more difficult to produce then a drake.  This means that only the hardcore professional industrialists will be able to make those redicious profit margins for making the first few ships.  It should be reasonably priced in just a day or two as the lemmings and small scale industrialists start producing.

The areas that are likely to be lagging behind is going to be null sec.  There might be a bit of profit for those willing to risk the dangers involved in producing these things for their alliance, assuming there is enough interested in trying out a new ship.  It might be possible make a bit of isk selling these ships at null sec trade routes for null sec pilots who want to buy the nearest available one.

Those who feel like gambling can try and buy up a bit of regular minerals like Tritanium, Pyerite, etc.  These new ships, again speculation, are likely to be made up of these, and every producer and their mom is going to try and get in on producing these things.  The hardcore industrialists are likely to have stockpiles of all the required minerals, but the lemmings might create a temporary increase in demand.  This increase in demand will likely be small and short, unless it is paired with any changes that effect mining.  Keep watching those dev blogs!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Isk Watch: The 51 Day Challenge

The 51 Day Challenge is the newest and greatest thing brought to you by the authors of Isk Watch.  The 51 Day Challenge chronicles my attempts at making well over a billion isk in just 51 days with a brand new character with no seed money.  Basically, it is a attempt to show newer players step by step how they can play the game for free.

51 days is the amount of time a new player can receive by having a 21 day free trail and upgrading it to a paid account.  The general rules are set up so I can do anything a new player can, but I cannot use my alts to give myself any advantage.  This includes hauling, seed money, etc.  Everything else is allowed, including mission running and scamming.  Everything I do and trade in will also be revealed on a day by day biases.   Come check it out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Massive Exploit Ahoy?

CCP just announced that all new paid accounts are going to receive a Cerebral Accelerator implant through the redeeming system.  This implant can be traded on the contract market and is currently valued at around 100 mil isk. This price will most likely not be lasting very long, but it still might be profitable for those who want to hold on to the implant!

It is unclear if CCP realizes this, but currently the buddy program lets players get a free plex or 30 days game time added to their accounts when the invited account upgrades to a paid account. This trick is used by many to create a free 51 day head start on their alt account since they would have to pay for the main one anyways.  The interesting thing is that the announcement specifically says that it includes accounts that update from the buddy program.

Where is all this going?  Well, it is possible to sorta mass create items worth 350 mil isk.  All players need to do is send themselves a buddy invite and create an account. They then plex that account, and receive a free plex or 30 days to their main account.  They can use that new account to claim a Cerebral Accelerator Implant and a Apotheosis.

Players can just forget that account or use it as an alt account once the Cerebral Accelerator Implant and Apotheosis is transferred over.  Once this is all completed you can rinse and repeat, and make as many implants and shuttles as you can send out buddy invites.

This is untested! I haven't had any sleep yet so this could all be wrong!

Edit: Received reports that buddy invite accounts no longer receive the implant.