Bookmarket is yet another 'Order Flow' trading indicator and trading software being marketed by individuals with absolutely zero record of trading success. Although the software is well designed, stable, and does what it is supposed to do, which is display volume onto a graphical display. However, the information that is presented to the end user is of very little value. The "trading setups" are a mish-mash of nebulous and highly ambiguous information. Nothing is testable or provable. Everything is described in Jedi Yoda terms such as, "one must feel the flow of the markets, one must find the market rythmes, one must let the indicators permeate the inner spirit."
Thanks for reading today’s review of Bookmap
What is Bookmap? Bookmap is a volume visualization trading indicator and stand-alone trading platform. The website can be found at Bookmap.com, as well as Veloxpro.com.
The software is delivered in various subscription models that range from a minimum of $147 billed quarterly for a ‘Basic’ version, to $297 billed quarterly for the ‘Advanced’ version. The software is delivered to the masses through various retail trading platforms and trading brokerages.
A review of Archive.org reveals that the company began an aggressive marketing push in 2013. This period of time also coincides with various other ‘indicator hustlers’ also offering very similar software. It appears that 2013 was the breakout year for this latest and greatest indicator fad spreading throughout the retail trading community.
Bookmap maintains a healthy and well promoted YouTube page at the following address. The YouTube page serves as the primary marketing and demonstration hub for the software. In total, there are 132 demonstration videos.
During the month of October 2016, TradingSchools.Org spent nearly 40 hours observing the software perform over a variety of markets, including the emini SP500 futures, Crude Oil futures, and 30 year US Treasury Bonds futures. All three of these products are highly popular with the retail trading community, and we felt that these tradable products would be of most interest to readers.
What exactly is Bookmap?
Essentially, Bookmap is a visual representation of the entire trading DOM, spread over a specific time period. Typically, when traders are viewing a trading chart, they are visualizing price, time and measurable movement. However, Bookmap takes additional data fields, that have been freely available since the advent of electronic trading, and includes this data into a sort of ‘electronic burrito’. Where a whole lot of additional ingredients are crammed inside of the tortilla.
Are more ingredients inside of a burrito better? Do they make the burrito more tasty? Does this create a more nutritious trading environment? Is it beneficial to include a waffle and pickles inside of our carne asada burrito? Is more better. These were questions that we set out to answer.
In the past, TradingSchools.Org has reviewed several other trading educators also offering nearly identical trading indicators. None of those reviews have been particularly friendly. The main reason for these poor reviews is because TradingSchools.Org has yet to find a trading educator that has been able to proof the concept of order flow indicators. In short, we are looking for profits, and thus far we can find no person’s that can verify actual trading profits.
Are trading profits the only way to verify these types of indicators?
Obviously, the best way to proof a concept, like an airplane, is to watch the airplane take flight. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a pilot that has been able to achieve liftoff using order flow trading indicators. Does this mean that we should simply walk away, and toss the idea aside? Absolutely not. In fact, most of today’s modern trading platforms come with the ability to backtest trading ideas.
Whenever a new building is designed, in today’s modern world, the building is analyzed through a series of simulators that present natural weather challenges to the building. Or when Boeing builds a new plane, before the plane is even contemplated being built, it is sent through a series of simulators. Or a new drug is developed, the biotech company will run the molecular profile through a series of molecular ‘bombardment’ profiles to capture any potential side effects. This is how science works.
Scientists start with the Null Hypothesis, the theory that something does not exist unless it can be proven statistically within a population of data. This is how TradingSchools.Org attempts to tackle the challenge of evaluating trading educators, trading systems, and trading indicators. We start with the assumption that everything is false unless proven otherwise.
Reaching out to Bookmap developers
The first step in our discovery process was to reach out to the Velox Pro Bookmap developers and plainly ask if anyone at the company has been able to convert the usage of the software into actual profits. Unfortunately, nobody at Bookmap is willing to step forward with any sort of actual trading results in which to base the review.
Instead, the developers recommended that we watch the YouTube videos. And that watching these YouTube videos repeatedly, then the ideas and concepts would begin to emerge. At some point, this information would be convertible into real time trading profits. Our response was, would you eat a restaurant where the chef refused to eat his own food?
In spite of this, we held out great hope that some useful information could be gleaned from watching real markets unfold and by studiously watching and rewatching the various YouTube videos.
After several weeks of enthusiastically observing the software perform in real time market environments, we came to the conclusion that everything witnessed was so highly subjective that every opinion on market direction was muddled with confirmation bias.
The problem with confirmation bias
What exactly is confirmation bias and illusory correlation, and how does it apply to trading? Have you ever looked at a price chart, and overlayed the price chart with a moving average? Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the price will bounce off of the moving average? It is incredibly seductive to believe that a market is going to ‘bounce’ at a moving average. However, when backtested upon larger data sets, the ‘bounce’ that the moving average provided simply disappears. It was an illusion. Your mind was seeking a pattern, and the human mind is wonderful at seeking and discovering patterns with no statistical validity. “Last night was a half moon, and today a bird pooped on my windshield, therefore the half moon foretold the bird poop bombardment.”
This is the faulty logical foundation in which the Bookmap order flow indicators are built upon. The ideas presented by the developers are a hodge podge of YouTube videos that claim that “Iceberg Orders, Black Box Algos, Volume Absorption, Volume Imbalance, Aggressive Volume, Passive Volume, Institutional Volume, etc. are the reason why the price moved higher, or reversed, or bounced, or went lower. There is always an avenue in which to let the mind wander in the land of fantasies and self entertianment.
Test, Test, Test
In the trading business, it is best to believe nobody. And it is always a great idea to test theories and ideas, before risking your trading account. With Bookmap we were more than willing to code up their trading ideas and test them on data. Unfortunately, even the guys at Bookmap have no idea exactly what ideas could be defined and tested. Instead, they prefer to offer the software “as a visual tool.”
Another problem that we find with volume visualization tools, like Bookmap, is that the order book is 99% useless noise. Why? At any moment, there are massive amounts of orders entering the market, where the players involved have no intention of executing those orders. These massive unfulfilled order flows are meant to create an illusion that “the big players, the hedge funds, George Soros, the Illuminati, Barack Obama” are doing the following nefarious activities like, “Quote stuffing, quote smoking, quote spoofing, quote dangling, or quote pack-hunting . Order flow indicator hustlers will attempt to do what they always do, convince you something is happening and you can only see these special events with their proprietary tools.
And so, don’t be fooled! Ask for a definition of their idea, and then program and test it. The following 30-second clip really made me laugh, and it personifies the problem with order flow indicators, how do you define and test such nebulous concepts?
My own opinion
Obviously, I am not a big fan of “Order Flow.” But this belief is not based upon opinion or my natural cynicism. This is based upon evidence, and testing these ideas on actual data. Just like the aeronautical engineer tests the plane, or the biotech engineer tests the chemical compound, or the banker tests the client with pay stubs that verify income…before they make the loan.
The bottom line is that I cannot find any statistical evidence that this stuff actually works. And I am not willing to place even a single bet unless I know that the dice are loaded in my favor.
The opinion of others…
TradingSchools.Org received a lot of email from purchasers of these types of trading products. Some of the opinions are expressed as hilarious analogies. One reader sent me the following note:
After using the software for 2 months, I began to realize why there is a 3 month minimum.
The indicators remind me of christmas tree lights. For a few weeks, it was pretty to look at. Dazzling actually. But what it all means? I have no idea.
And probably the best reply came from a user that described the software akin to Tasseography. Of course, I had no idea what Tasseography meant, and so I googled it. It is the art of interpreting the patterns within coffee grounds, tea leaves, or wine sediments. A parlor trick orchestrated by medieval European fortune tellers. A practice still very much in vogue.
Wrapping things up
Thanks for reading today’s article. I apologize if I offended some folks. Many readers love these types of trading tools. In my opinion, its just a fad that will eventually be yet another free product that comes standard on all trading platforms, like other once highly regarded and outrageously expensive technical indicators (stochastics, MACD, Fibonacci).
As always, thanks for commenting.