I was trading futures full time for around 6 months when I discovered Jim Dalton Trading. Over that 6 month period, I saw reason to feel encouraged about my trading and felt like consistent profitability was just around the corner on numerous occasions. That said, I was still a breakeven trader with most of my frustration coming on days where I’d feel lost in the market, out of touch with what’s going on, consistently finding myself on the wrong side of trades. I would regularly fade the market on trend days (one of the biggest mistakes new traders make according to Jim) because I didn’t know how to identify a trend day or more importantly, how to identify when the odds for a trend day were increased. After much frustration that culminated during the week of the US presidential election, it became crystal clear to me that there was something I was missing. I decided to take a brief hiatus from the markets and during that time I came across Jim’s content.
Jim has a unique approach to teaching students using the Market Profile with the primary emphasis on training students “how to think about trading and markets” instead of “how to trade” so we can observe the market and “learn how to think in terms of odds.” This “how to think” emphasis from day one really resonated with me because I realized early on that trading is ultimately about using your head to identify opportunities when the odds are in your favor which over time leads to consistent profitability.
Jim shows us that a big part of doing this successfully is being able to identify key reference points based on market generated information and observing the market’s behavior at these references. This information gives traders a good sense for who our competitors are and what our competitors are doing because at the end of the day, trading is a business and to be successful in any business one needs to know how the competition thinks and behaves. Jim shows us that once we learn how to read the market and get a feel for our competitors’ behavior, we no longer need to go “looking for trades” and can instead sit back and let trades come to us once the market shows its hand. These were concepts I had never given much thought to but the logic of this approach slapped me in the face. Jim also puts a heavy emphasis on context/nuance and HOW things happen in the market, showing us how to assess these various pieces using Market Profile which gives traders of all types an edge in the market. As Jim likes to say, “Everything is a series of facts surrounded by other circumstances.”
I took Jim’s Market Profile Primer in early December 2020 and it was a game changer for me, a very eye opening experience. Just the ability to learn from someone with Jim’s level of experience built over 40 years of trading was extremely valuable and worth multiples of what JDT charges. About midway through the primer, the value of what I was learning became clear to me: a framework for thinking about markets based in sound logic and the fundamentals of auction theory, something foundational and applicable to any strategy I use throughout my career. With this in mind, I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the rest of JDT’s courses including Foundation eCourse, Advanced Nuances eCourse and the Live Intensive (starting on 1/20/21). Over the latter half of December I spent most of my free time studying and re-studying the material while taking careful notes, following Jim and Jen’s guidance that consistent repetition would be the only way to learn the material. Jim is a great instructor with the ability to explain complex material clearly and succinctly such that I rarely ever felt lost or confused (when I did, Jen was able to help clear things up for me quickly). He is thorough and direct, willing to answer every question even after class has formally ended. He provides countless examples of various trading days and spends a lot of time walking through his thinking and potential trading actions at various points. He is a very clear thinker and spends a lot of time discussing various concepts that are important to trading (e.g. how the brain works, system 1 and 2 thinking, the dispersion model) which I really appreciated and found helpful. After countless hours of repetition going through the materials, the concepts and the logic of Jim’s thinking have started to sink in for me. I’m happy to say that through the first few trading days of 2021, I’ve been able to use this newly learned approach to thinking about markets to put together two profitable trading days. More importantly, I’ve felt like I had a good read on the market which enabled me to stay relaxed and let trades come to me.
For anyone who is on the fence and may be intimidated by Market Profile like I once was, I know it can seem complicated but once you spend some time digging in and learning the basics, you realize it’s actually a more straightforward and cleaner way to look at the market. The way the information is organized makes it much easier to see the big picture and more importantly, how the big picture affects short-term trading which is something I’ve found to be crucial to success.
Lastly, Jim has a great team surrounding him with Jen and RJ who compliment him very well during the courses and behind the scenes in helping create course material. Without them, none of this would be possible. Thank you to the entire JDT Team, looking forward to continued learning in 2021 and beyond.
Chris from NY