V.11:9 (360-366): The Discerning Trader: Linda Bradford Raschke by Thom Hartle

V.11:9 (360-366): The Discerning Trader: Linda Bradford Raschke by Thom Hartle
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The Discerning Trader: Linda Bradford Raschke by Thom Hartle

Contrary to popular opinion, dreams can come true. For every trader who's wished that he or she could just stay home and trade, there's one trader who succeeded in doing so. Linda Bradford Raschke began her trading career in 1980 on the floor of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange before moving to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. After six years of trading on the floor there, Raschke left to trade her own account from home. Eventually, her focus evolved into developing reliable technical patterns for generating trades and then following 20 different markets and waiting for the most lucrative trades to come to her. She has always been a consistently profitable trader using her research. So how does she do it?

How long have you been trading?

I've been trading for about . 13 years. For about the first three I hardly knew what I was doing, other than using simple oscillators. I was working in San Francisco and there was an excellent business library there that had all these wonderful books that are hard to get hold of nowadays, books on volume analysis and Equivolume and this and that. I was constantly working on becoming a better trader.

And you were studying up a storm?

I should clarify what I just said. When I say I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't know how to apply the knowledge I did have. I didn't know how to be discriminating in my choice of indicators. I was still finding my own way. And even though I was trading full time and studying all this full time, it took three to four years before the pieces finally fell into place.

Like how?

I learned to wait for specific setups. If there was a trend, I would wait for buying during a pullback to a moving average. I'd use an oscillator and time my trades. I'd also trade based on a certain divergence pattern that happened, with a double bottom occurring l0 days apart (Figure 1). So I didn't try and immediately fit the whole market into a framework of technical analysis; rather, I would focus on specific patterns that occurred with a f air amount of regularity, and then try to take advantage of those patterns. And that's pretty much what I do today with my technical analysis.

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