When I first started trading more seriously, I was lost as to how exactly to proceed. Of course there were guides and outdated videos, but most were generic and shallow. I tried too hard to emulate the traders that provided these guides. I floundered, failed, and did not enjoy learning this way. At the time, my wallet definitely showed my lack of confidence and proficiency.
After much frustration, I decided to be more natural. I began to explore the similarities between combat and trading. On the surface, the two activities seem to be each other’s polar opposites. However, the more I thought of it, the more I realized that at the core they share more similarities than differences. They are essentially the same competitive interaction between players, each packaged in its own respective interface.
As I stared at the market window from Jita, I felt compelled to attack the market as I would if I were back in the war zone doing solo roams. This new perception led me to the way I trade now – fast, calculated, brutal. After a while, I began to gain more confidence in my new methods. I took to the market my personal combat motto, “you only need to win by 1% hull”.
Now let’s explore some of these aggressive trading strategies.
Visualize The Engagement – This is something that comes very naturally to seasoned fighters. Imagine a combat scenario that you may engage in. Play out the possibilities – the opponent has an unorthodox fit, range discrepancy, bad warp in, others jumping in to the fight. What will you do if any of these unforeseen events happen? What is your immediate response?
Trades also present similar surprises. Even as a non-speculator, I find myself having to execute immediate responses when things don’t go as planned. Prepare a course of action for if the prices collapse, if someone makes speculative bids, or if your item simply does not sell in a timely manner. If you have planned for these events, then you can better avoid potentially time-consuming solutions. Emergencies will be better managed, allowing you to focus on the bigger market picture.
Leverage More Effective Resources – As a small-hull pvp pilot, I found it most effective to use skill points as my source of advantage. I took the time to train most of the relevant specialized skills to level 5, allowing me to fit more competitive modules and have more CPU and Power Grid to use in combat. This made me dangerous even in frigates, often giving me the opportunity to punch above my weight class.
Although skill points aren’t as effective as a measure of leverage in the market place, due to traders not engaging in costly transactions unless they already have the skills to accommodate this efficiently, you can make up ground by being more intimately familiar with the stocks you wish to attack. Use knowledge as an edge. Remember, you are not only a trader. You are also a consumer. Don’t be afraid to trade items you use regularly, regardless of what they are. If you can reach into your mental tool box and clearly identify whether items are under- or over-priced, then you will have an advantage over others who may not have that information.
Commit To The Fight – If you have prepared well for combat by way of skill points, scouting, and knowledge of the meta, then dig deep for some courage and push for the engagement. Here, you must set aside fear and doubt. Through painstaking preparation, you must have confidence that you can get the job done and walk away with the win.
Once I’ve reached a level of comfort in trading a stock, I freely abuse this concept. For example, I have found tremendous success in trading PLEX and skill injectors. As long as the margins hold, I will aggressively stack buy orders on this item, knowing that I can expect to turn over and resell them within its historical pattern. This aggression has been the source of most of our weekly profits.
Another way I display this commitment is when choosing to play stocks that have less-than-optimal but consistent margins. Upon inspection of my weekly trades, you can see this behavior in most of the transactions. Routinely, I will accept margins of less than 2% as long as I can commit large portions of our funds. I would much rather aggressively play these low-yield stocks rather than not make a trade at all.
Prepare For The Hunt – Eventually, the hunting ground dries up for various reasons. Active combatants will always have an eye for target-rich environments, and have assets that can assist in relocation. In my case, I preferred to live as a nomad, and stage nothing. This provided me with the versatility to more easily follow the herd even if they were to retreat deep within their friendly lines. Even as a faction warfare player, I routinely lived in and used the enemy faction’s local market hubs. This allowed me to more quickly get fights and harass the enemy in their own home turf.
The same behavior can be seen with the stocks in major trade hubs. Through various market forces, prices can eventually reach speculative levels and tight contractions. When this happens, be prepared to look for greener pastures. In my case, I found the lucrative PLEX and skill injector markets in Amarr and Dodixie. Once the prices in Jita contracted to a point where it was no longer profitable to flip these, I had to look to other hubs to see if they were still a viable trade there.
Investment Group Update
We opened up the opportunity for our investors to make additional contributions. Throughout the week, we received added funds and quickly re-positioned our orders to absorb this added funding. In preparation for the November expansion and the potential surge of new players, we are putting our operation in a position to receive funding from new investors. The historic increase in activity around this time of year must be exploited, and we invite interested parties to inquire for further information.
In line with the planned opening for new investors, I intend to conduct an investors’ call to present historic data, operational details, and future plans. This event will be open to the public and we will try to present as much information as we can without sacrificing operational security. In order to accommodate those that may not have the ability to attend due to real life commitments, we will see about recording the event. Stay tuned for more information.
Let’s see how we did this trade week.
With the surge of funding this week, we extended our usual range of buy orders to meta 4 and T2 modules. Although not displayed in the chart above, our re-entry into the module market allowed us to more evenly distribute our trades across the market hubs that we play.
In the past several weeks, I was wary about playing these types of stocks, since they didn’t commit enough funds at any one time. However, the recent historical pricing data seems much more attractive, even when submitting orders in the magnitude of 1 billion isk or so per buy order per module. I am excited to get back into this type of stock, since the margins are much healthier than what we have been accustomed to.
Thanks for reading. Good luck and happy trading.