Bob von Halle will continue to offer his insights on TWOWS.  We believe his expert advice will prove invaluable.  More from Bob:
As a new contributor to this site, I wanted to first give readers a brief introduction to my background. My focus will mainly be on options and futures across asset classes, primarily in terms of highlighting significant trade flows and providing actionable trade ideas. I am a veteran of 35 years in the financial markets, originally in institutional fixed income sales, followed by stints in the world of  electronic trading platforms and asset management. For the last 8 years I have been an independent trader employing my own personal capital, primarily in the market for single name stock options, and to a lesser degree futures on indices and commodities. That means my money is on the line every single day, and no one is providing me with a paycheck. So what lessons have I learned (the hard way) that might benefit those of you who actively trade in the markets or wish to do so?
  • Learn HOW to trade before you focus on WHAT to trade: risk management, capital preservation, position sizing, loss taking all fall into this category. Check out the following site to learn more:
  • Trade what you SEE, not what you THINK: Easier said than done, especially if you have a long history of experiences in the market. In today’s world none of that matters, as many commentators/analysts/portfolio managers have never seen, much less navigated, a bear market. At the moment, computer algorithms rule….. until they don’t.
  • Find a MENTOR or hire a trading COACH: After you have made or lost plenty of money at the outset, find someone who can provide context and advice. Surprisingly I initially had trouble finding a coach, until I stumbled upon a resource in London that I connected with via Skype:  Invest in yourself. Best money I ever spent.
  • Trade recommendation services are a WASTE of money: Worst money I every spent. If these services were so good, why do they feel compelled to share their ideas? By blindly following someone’s advice you never develop a trading style of your own, nor will you ever learn what separates a good trade from a bad one. Do not confuse this comment with those sites offering excellent market commentary and advice. There are many. But they are not solely focused on charging a hefty monthly fee for trade ideas.
  • Be flexible and vigilant in your trading STYLE: Not all strategies work across all market environments. Structural, regulatory and technical nuances are having an out sized impact in today’s world as Wall Street dealers retreat from their traditional role of market makers. Price swings are far more magnified than ever before, both positive or negative.
I hope you will find my weekly contributions to be of value moving forward. 
Thanks in advance for reading!