Many of the markets that one trades have an unerring capacity to avoid giving one a profit. If you hold a position over night, they move so much that you can't hold them without staying up the whole night, for two days in a row, which for most people is impossible.

Other markets only let you get out of a position when it's going to go in your original direction by a fast 1 or 2% like the S&P over night today. If they won't let you out then they are ready to go down 150 bucks like gold yesterday.

When you try to trade them in normal hours they go back and forth so that your vig on a small sized position taking account of the back and forth is inordinately large to be unprofitable.

When I trade gold, I find that it likes to move a fast 10 bucks in 2 minutes every now and then so you can't leave limit orders profitably to catch the reversal. If your position is too large, it will move so far against you that you will be margined out, especially over night when you don't have data to provide a buffer as to which way it's going. If you happen to have a position in the right direction and it moves a fast 10 bucks in your favor, why then it's impossible to get out. Within 1 1/2 bucks because only 1 or two contracts is bid or offered within 30 cents, and by giving up that much of an edge to trade a reasonable number of contracts, you lose your expectancy. If you trade with a small size, then the hourly wage from doing all the work is less than a construction worker.

Worst of all are the markets where just a few hardened members on the rules committee make the markets. Many of the options markets are like this. They will maneuver the prices and the rules against you so that it's impossible to make a profit at the settlement or hold the position through it because of marks and margins against you.

If you trade for small gains and losses, that's worst of all because the high frequency people are ahead of you on each tick, so by the time you pay the bid asked and take account of the fact that you never get your limits until it's way against you like in the old pit days, you're giving up infinitely more vig than at Vegas.

The book on baseball betting says that you only pay 2 1/2 % vig on baseball betting, much less than any other market or our market. However, you have to live in Vegas to speculate there, and they treat you like a persona non-grata there and the chances for being comped or otherwise ennobled are close to zero.

Gary Rogan writes:

This just tells me one more time that being a long-term investor, specifically in stocks is the thing to do for all but the very best. Yesterday was a bad today, today is a pretty good day, but do I care? Not really, other than it's more pleasant to see a lot of green than a lot of read. I do care that there is nothing good to buy, but can I do anything about it? No. Like in fishing, I just hope that sooner or later the situation changes, in the mean time watching the drift with noise superimposed on it is like watching paint dry, but a special kind of paint that doesn't dry in a monotonic fashion. So the "mistress" to me is nothing but paint that dries in an unusual fashion.





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