Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 08/31/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 4, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 07/31/2011 settled by End of Day 08/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 07/31/2011, settled by end of day 08/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
08/01/2011 BUY 0.01a audnzd 1.24874 08/15/2011 1.25591 +6.51
08/04/2011 SELL 0.01 gbpjpy 130.270 08/05/2011 128.384 +23.89
08/04/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 79.849 08/05/2011 78.825 +12.97
08/04/2011 BUY 0.01 audusd 1.06070 08/30/2011 1.06502 +7.14
08/05/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.98412 08/17/2011 0.97923 +5.10
08/05/2011 BUY 0.01 audusd 1.03959 08/15/2011 1.04379 +5.09
08/08/2011 BUY 0.01 audcad 1.01349 08/08/2011 1.02087 +7.49
08/09/2011 BUY 0.01 audusd 1.01540 08/15/2011 1.04147 +26.74
08/09/2011 SELL 0.01 usdmxn 12.3980 08/09/2011 12.0980 +24.80
08/18/2011 SELL 0.01 usdmxn 12.3998 08/19/2011 12.2911 +8.92
08/23/2011 SELL 0.01 eurjpy 110.978 08/23/2011 110.136 +11.00
08/25/2011 BUY 0.01 eurusd 1.43529 08/26/2011 1.44854 +13.25
08/26/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.99204 08/26/2011 0.98400 +8.17
08/26/2011 SELL 0.01 usdchf 0.80760 08/31/2011 0.80089 +8.29

New Orders Since end of day 07/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 08/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
08/04/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.96454
08/04/2011 SELL 0.01 usdmxn 11.8786
08/08/2011 SELL 0.01 usdmxn 12.1198
08/24/2011 SELL 0.01 usdmxn 12.4326

Carried Orders Since before end of day 07/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 08/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 08/31/2011: $3,962.78
Current Month Return: +3.08%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +67.88%
Annualized Return: +34.44%
Average monthly return: +2.38%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 8/31/2011: +29.80%

Journal Notes:
Erratic markets are fun.

I know the percentage of contribution from gold versus currencies, but since they use the same pool of supporting dollars, it would be a bit difficult to isolate actual return from each. Gold has, ironically, slowed waaaaay down under this strategy with the nearly continuous run-up in price. This strategy is much better with a trend up, but entries occur on pullbacks in price, so when a quick trend has occurred, you take a vacation and wait for gravity to pull it back down.

The nice thing about implementing the strategy with currencies is that, when there is a lull in one spot, there are opportunities in other places. Risks, too, of course.

Simplifying the strategy has served to lessen the exposure to gold. I have not tracked how much I’d have made under the old strategy, but it would be quite a bit more. But there is the potential for substantial loss on a major pullback.

I moved more to a much slower move on the pending buy limit order on a run-up in price. I also limit my transactions to one per day, so if price just bottoms out completely in a short period of time, I don’t load up on buy orders at 1% intervals.

Currently, a 30% drop would put me in a few positions, but it depends on how quickly it drops, since I now limit orders to one per day. My lot sizes are very, very low, and I could withstand a very sharp drop with a lot of positions, but I don’t have an updated calculation at my fingertips.

Based on back testing, this strategy can withstand a trend down as long as it is not a precipitious one. Under the worst case scenario, a very, very prolonged drop could theoretically wipe a person out. But if it is not precipitious, then there are many places along the way, under typical conditions, where you could be profiting from lower buys even as you carry a loss on other buys. Also, one has to have a bit of common sense. Since it’s a trend-trading strategy, if it appears that the long-term trend has reversed then either you need to pull out and cut your losses or trade the other way.

It’s not riskless. I plan on reviewing charts on a quarterly basis just to see if my opinion has changed on trend direction. But it’s really a long-term trend strategy. I’m basically prepared to carry losses for very long periods of time, while more than compensating for that by profiting on others.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 07/31/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 4, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 06/30/2011 settled by End of Day 07/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
06/23/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1524.66 07/06/2011 +12.50

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 06/30/2011, settled by end of day 07/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
07/01/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1491.63 07/05/2011 1507.88 +32.48
07/07/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 81.304 07/08/2011 80.615 +8.53
07/08/2011 BUY 0.01 audnzd 1.28413 07/12/2011 1.29412 +8.27
07/21/2011 SWAP ADJUSTMENT -0.24

New Orders Since end of day 06/30/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 07/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Carried Orders Since before end of day 06/30/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 07/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 07/31/2011: $3,844.47
Current Month Return: +2.04%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +62.87%
Annualized Return: +34.02%
Average monthly return: +2.35%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 7/31/2011: +25.93%

Journal Notes:
The swap is not the trading fee. The spread is the fee that’s charged upon entering a trade. The entry/exit price I show already incorporates those fees.

The swap can incur in your favor or be incurred against you, depending on the currency pair and the direction of the position you hold (long or short). It’s the rollover fee for carrying the position over to a new contract. Kind of like a holding fee might be. The longer you hold a position, the larger that swap fee gets (for or against). In the vast majority of cases, even after holding a position for a while, it’s pennies, and pales in comparison to the market swings, so I don’t really consider it in entering a position. All fees are considered in the profit disclosure.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 06/30/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 4, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 05/31/2011 settled by End of Day 06/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
05/17/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 81.196 06/02/2011 80.764 +4.99

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 05/31/2011, settled by end of day 06/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
06/03/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.98501 06/06/2011 0.97983 +5.30
06/13/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1524.73 06/16/2011 1529.93 +10.35
06/16/2011 BUY 0.01 audusd 1.05217 06/17/2011 1.06187 +9.81
06/16/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.98659 06/17/2011 0.98053 +6.22
06/24/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1503.17 06/29/2011 1508.58 +10.79
06/27/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.98968 06/29/2011 0.97054 +19.74
06/27/2011 BUY 0.01 audusd 1.04369 06/28/2011 1.04878 +5.20
06/29/2011 SELL 0.01 eurjpy 116.855 06/30/2011 116.251 +7.35

New Orders Since end of day 05/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 06/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
06/23/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1518.35

Carried Orders Since before end of day 05/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 06/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 06/30/2011: $3,767.47
Current Month Return: +1.29%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +59.61%
Annualized Return: +34.42%
Average monthly return: +2.37%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 6/30/2011: +23.79%

Journal Notes:
I have a lot of limit orders set on various currencies right now at various pullback points. I evaluate these every day. Strictly trading with the trend line at this point, not countertrading against it. I’d rather wait for pullbacks to trade with the trend line than try to anticipate the pullbacks by buying/selling against the trend. Been there, done that.

A logical question that I’m still trying to work out is when to assume the trend is over and a trend in the opposite direction has occurred. It’s a good question. Admittedly, it’s a judgment call, and some trends are easier to discern than others. The most conservative route is to only trade a currency pair where the trend is the same on Weekly, daily, and 4 hour charts. Good strong corroboration of the trend there. And no, I don’t fit trend lines. I just look at the chart. If it looks like it goes up from left to right, it’s an uptrend. If it looks like it goes down, it’s a downtrend. I don’t determine entry points by trend lines or anything. occasionally I’ll fit a line if I think a break of that line might have meaning, but normally that is a secondary consideration.

Currently, USDJPY Weekly is a strong downtrend, daily is a strong downtrend, and 4 hour is a weak downtrend. I continue to trade that as a downtrend. An interesting set of charts is EURGBP. The Weekly is a strong uptrend from left to right, but the majority of that move occurred September 2007 – December 2008. The Daily chart actually shows a slight downtrend, but the 4 hour chart is a clear uptrend. I am considering this an uptrend, but being cautious about entering, so it’s more on my “watch” list to see if the 4 hour trend continues.

Anyway, I’ve mainly traded gold until now, but I’ve been watching the other charts all along and have developed what I think is a very similar strategy on currencies. I’m starting off with minimal positions on these so that if I screw up it isn’t too costly (on the flip side, my gains are also minimal, but that’s OK). I’m also more cautious about entering multiple positions – I’m spacing my trades at twice the distance I space my gold trades. Part of that is caution, but part of it is an understanding that Gold – while driven by supply/demand factors globally, primarily adjusts in the short-term to the USD when priced in USD. Other currency pairs can be more volatile due to opposing forces or actions in the two different economies, so there’s a bit more risk of undesirable swings there.

I only do this in the direction of the long-term trend. At some point a trend may reverse, so there may be a need in the future to “cut bait” on an individual trade here and there. It will happen, and I don’t have a specific criteria for doing that. One mitigating factor is that, by focusing on the regional highs and lows, it is possible for the trend to reverse, but the strategy will still work as long as the reversal has enough variability within it. The need to cut bait would occur after a sharp reversal that doesn’t rebound to previous profit levels.

I’m totally bummed right now, thanks to friggin’ Dodd-Frank. Looks like soon we’ll be able to trade Gold/Silver with leverage.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 05/31/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 3, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 04/30/2011 settled by End of Day 05/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 04/30/2011, settled by end of day 05/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
05/03/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1532.44 05/04/2011 1539.45 +14.01
05/04/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1524.05 05/25/2011 1531.08 +13.85
05/05/2011 BUY 0.01 xauusd 1506.59 05/10/2011 1512.80 +6.18
05/05/2011 BUY 0.01 xauusd 1506.61 05/10/2011 1512.88 +6.24
05/06/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1480.16 05/10/2011 1510.16 +59.99
05/11/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 81.172 05/13/2011 80.800 +4.52
05/12/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1489.12 05/13/2011 1508.80 +39.35
05/16/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.97520 05/19/2011 0.96702 +8.49
05/17/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1483.46 05/18/2011 1490.48 +14.03
05/23/2011 SELL 0.01 usdcad 0.97703 05/31/2011 0.97217 +5.07

New Orders Since end of day 04/30/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 05/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
05/17/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 81.196

Carried Orders Since before end of day 04/30/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 05/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 05/31/2011: $3,719.37
Current Month Return: +4.71%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +57.57%
Annualized Return: +35.45%
Average monthly return: +2.42%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 5/31/2011: +21.83%

Journal Notes:
None.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 04/30/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 3, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 03/31/2011 settled by End of Day 04/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 03/31/2011, settled by end of day 04/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
04/01/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 83.285 04/18/2011 82.687 +6.95
04/01/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1420.31 04/12/2011 1436.79 +32.94
04/06/2011 SELL 0.01 usdjpy 84.976 04/12/2011 84.147 +9.74

New Orders Since end of day 03/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 04/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Carried Orders Since before end of day 03/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 04/30/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 04/30/2011: $3,552.23
Current Month Return: +1.42%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +50.49%
Annualized Return: +33.52%
Average monthly return: +2.30%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 4/30/2011: +16.36%

Journal Notes:
When I initially set my pending orders after closing out a trade, I do so at the most recent low trading value since execution of the last trade. Every morning, I bump that up along support points up to a maximum of 99% of high price since last executed trade.

Had to wait out gold rallies, and not much opportunity to get in.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 03/31/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 3, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 02/28/2011 settled by End of Day 03/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 02/28/2011, settled by end of day 03/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
03/10/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1414.60 03/14/2011 1424.75 +20.26
03/15/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1402.98 03/18/2011 1416.27 +26.49
03/28/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1413.16 03/30/2011 1428.77 +31.18

New Orders Since end of day 02/28/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 03/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Carried Orders Since before end of day 02/28/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 03/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 03/31/2011: $3,502.60
Current Month Return: +2.28%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +48.39%
Annualized Return: +34.50%
Average monthly return: +2.35%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 3/31/2011: +14.73%

Journal Notes:
None.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 02/28/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 2, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 01/31/2011 settled by End of Day 02/28/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
01/04/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1388.655 02/21/2011 1394.65 +11.10
01/13/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1374.770 02/17/2011 1381.64 +13.09
01/20/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1361.020 02/11/2011 1366.29 +10.13
01/20/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1347.040 02/07/2011 1352.53 +10.68
01/24/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1333.580 02/01/2011 1339.12 +10.93

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 01/31/2011, settled by end of day 02/28/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
02/02/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1333.58 02/04/2011 1348.04 +28.85

New Orders Since end of day 01/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 02/28/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Carried Orders Since before end of day 01/31/2011, still outstanding as of end of day 02/28/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 02/28/2011: $3,424.67
Current Month Return: +12.18%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +45.08%
Annualized Return: +34.78%
Average monthly return: +2.35%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%
2/1/2011 – 2/28/2011: +12.18%

Journal Notes:
It would be great to see the future and know exactly when to get in and out. That’s why, as much as others may see what I’m doing as “market-timing,” I don’t see it that way. Basically, I have a plan for getting in and a plan for getting out with a general long-term expectation on the direction of price. I fully realize that at times I’ll get in only to see price drop further. I also realize that I can quite easily take profits before maximizing return. I do this to lock it in, because price can retrace just as easily as continue upward – and it often does.

So, now I wait. At some point, price will drop and I’ll buy in again. It always does. I don’t sit here and think “what if” after getting out, I just wait for the next opportunity. Constantly saying “what if” leads to bad decisions.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 01/31/2011]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 2, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 12/31/2010 settled by End of Day 01/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 12/31/2010, settled by end of day 01/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
01/05/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1374.785 01/12/2011 1384.705 +19.71
01/14/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1365.265 01/19/2011 1373.16 +15.73
01/27/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1320.240 01/31/2011 1327.17 +13.82

New Orders Since end of day 12/31/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 01/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
01/04/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1388.655
01/13/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1374.770
01/20/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1361.020
01/20/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1347.040
01/24/2011 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1333.580

Carried Orders Since before end of day 12/31/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 01/31/2011
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 01/31/2011: $3,052.89
Current Month Return: -7.23%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +29.33%
Annualized Return: +24.59%
Average monthly return: +1.85%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%
1/1/2011 – 1/31/2011: -7.23%

Journal Notes:
No concerns about gold getting “killed.” I look at it as a buying opportunity, and looking back historically, sometimes you end up holding these positions for a while.

As price drops I’ll keep buying. I trade small sizes relative to account balance, so I can absorb quite a downswing. I’m not even remotely into nervous territory. This just looks like some short term action to me.

Minor tweak to my strategy, just because my schedule was not able to fit the strategy as far as checking in 24 hours after the high, etc.

1) basically, I just check in every morning when I wake up
2) If price is at a profit-taking level, I take profits and leave it at that
3) If price has dropped to at least 0.995 or less of the last buy-in level, I buy again.
4) If price is not at a profit-taking level, but has not dropped to a buy-in level, I place a buy limit order at 99% of the last buy-in level. Just one. If it drops more than that, I’ll apply (3) and (4) the next morning.

I didn’t make the changes because the other strategy wasn’t working, I made the changes because it simplified things. The old way I had to keep track of when to check in, which could be at any time, and my schedule didn’t always permit it, which means I wasn’t checking in as often as I could, which means missed opportunities for both profit-taking and buy-ins, etc.

Really, what all these strategies boil down to is whether or not this is a relatively volatile investment (it is) that is either in an overall uptrend or at the very least in a horizontal state. All these strategies are just variations of taking advantage of price swings and a generally increasing price. All these same strategies will not be nearly as effective (but can still overall make money) in a slow downtrend. They will lose money in a precipitious and continued downtrend. It’s not rocket science, and there is a risk that you are wrong in your estimation on the trend direction.

I’ve picked my buy-in levels based on backtesting to try and maximize my leverage of the volatility in gold. Shorts were a loser in this market because it defiantly refused to correct, so for right now I’m long only.

Whenever there are a few days or weeks where gold retraces, I’m not disappointed in that. Obviously if, a year from now, gold is at $1000 after a continued downtrend, my results will suck. But I actually welcome retraces because I consider it a buying opportunity. The most important thing about this is that I literally trade small enough lots that I can enter a lot of positions at different points and price can drop quite a bit before I’ll even consider worrying about it. I’m not over-leveraged, which is the issue with most people in these markets, where one huge drop wipes them out. It’s also one reason why I limit my trading activity to once per day – to force myself to have a maximum of 5 transactions per week, and usually much less than that on average. overtrading can also kill people. If I lose the whole account, it will be a slow burn. I’m not above holding a position for months if need be. Really, no big deal. Sure, it costs me on the swap, but overall that is not a huge deal.

I really don’t feel any differently about trading in this way than I do about investing in mutual fund, stocks, whatever. If you put in $100 today and price drops 15%, you ride it out for the longer term. I do the same thing. Just because it’s “trading” doesn’t mean I don’t hold positions for as long as I need to. So, when Brazil does this or China does that and gold drops $50/oz, then it’s not a big deal. Now, if it drops another $50, then another $50, then another $50, at some point it obviously becomes a bigger deal.

I will never, ever, ever, claim to be a market timer. Yes, I try to buy low and sell high, but more from a “the trend is up and I will be in and out with mutliple positions over time” sort of way. I take generally small profits over and over rather than make any attempt to suggest I know the perfect buy-in or sell points.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 12/31/2010]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 2, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 11/30/2010 settled by End of Day 12/31/2010
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
11/12/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1389.74 12/03/2010 1395.73 +11.80

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 11/30/2010, settled by end of day 12/31/2010
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
12/02/2010 SELL 0.02 xauusd 1389.00 12/02/2010 1387.00 +4.00
12/02/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1385.51 12/03/2010 1396.38 +21.73
12/08/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1388.86 12/13/2010 1396.10 +14.44
12/15/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1393.64 12/28/2010 1404.68 +21.84
12/16/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1376.62 12/20/2010 1385.58 +17.88
12/23/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1375.96 12/24/2010 1384.66 +17.38

New Orders Since end of day 11/30/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 12/31/2010
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Carried Orders Since before end of day 11/30/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 12/31/2010
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 12/31/2010: $3,290.72
Current Month Return: +3.389%
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +39.410%
Annualized Return: +32.933%
Average monthly return: +2.402%

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 12/31/2010: +11.94%

Journal Notes:
I trade on the Forex market (XAUUSD pair) through FXDD. Not all brokers offer gold trading via Forex.

The “commission” is the spread on the trade. Right now, the spread is $0.51 per ounce. The moment I buy in at $1389.01 I could close it at $1388.50, and that’s the extent of my transaction costs. The broker pockets the $0.51 on that initial transaction, but there aren’t additional costs to close the trade. There are some small rollover/holding charges that come into play if you hold it for a long period of time. That amounts to roughly one penny per ounce per week.

Margin to control one ounce is 2% of price. So I don’t need to tie up $1388 to get in, I only need to tie up $27.76. However, you need to make sure you have enough money to absorb drops in price, because it’s marked to market every day. 2% is the current standard for most pairs. There are a few currency pairs requiring 5% ["exotic" pairs, such as USDMXN or USDTRY (Turkish Lira)].

One ounce is 0.01 “lots”, which is a micro-lot. Not all brokers will allow trading at those levels, they may require at least a mini-lot (0.1 lots, or 10 oz at a time). Seriously, unless you have at least $15,000 to play with you should not be trading mini-lots.

The platform I use to trade with is MetaTrader 4. There are others, but this one works fine for the simple trading I do, so I don’t know much about them. I actually like MT4 because you can act as though you are trading into and then out of a particular transaction. In reality, trading rules are such that you have to trade First-in, First-Out. You end up in the same spot if you do it right, but it’s much easier to think about trading the way I do it by following each individual transaction as its own buy/close.

There are other ways of trading gold, or to proxy it. Others here have discussed their preferences. I love Forex because it’s 24 hours per day 5 days a week, it’s instantaneous entry/exit at low transaction cost. Others feel differently. One thing I like about the Forex account is that, if I so choose, I can get into some other currency pairs. At times, I’ve entered into trades where there has been a huge spike simply based on initial reaction to some news report. I usually stick with gold, but I’ll take an occasional shot elsewhere here and there.

You need to make sure you are dealing with a reputable broker. There are some decent forums (Forex Factory is a good place to start) where there are a lot of traders who can offer guidance on finding one. FXDD is sizeable and has a good history, but I don’t make recommendations to anyone other than do your own research. That said, if I ever reached a point where I had enough money to actually get nervous about things, I’d split it among two or more brokers and just execute the same trades. It would be a little more hassle, but it would spread the risk of the kinds of issues you’re talking about.

Oanda is a trading platform, I believe, and not the broker. It’s the software you download in order to execute your trades. I’ve never used it.

As for how much capital you need to hold in order to trade microlots, it depends on your desired strategy. The given strategy I laid out, I’d start with a minimum of $1500, just to be safe for those unusual market conditions where it’s dropping and you need to buy in on a number of consecutive days. But you could start with a smaller amount and just decide not to trade nearly as much.

In perspective, do you believe gold will drop $500 in rapid enough fashion where you wouldn’t be able to add funds to your account? If the answer is no, then you could start with $500 and just try trading a single microlot. But you are losing flexibility going this small. It also depends on the broker. Some require a minimum starting amount.

2% margin is the same as 50:1 leverage.

The trading platform is simply the software in which you execute the trades from the front end. Metatrader and Oanda are two such platforms. I use Metatrader. However, the two are linked, because the broker, I believe, ultimately determines which platform you will use. It is possible some brokers allow use of both, but I haven’t looked into that.

There are fronting-desk brokers and then there is the actual trading broker. A fronting desk broker will actually seek clients for the trading broker and offer use of its own version of the platform. You have to use the broker’s version of MT4 or Oanda because the software is designed to execute the trades with that particular broker. So, even if you use MT4 and switch to another broker using MT4, you will need to download their MT4 platform.

A fronting-desk broker usually gets 1 pip of commission of the spread (a pip is just the lowest “tick”) as compensation for securing clients. But your trading agreement is with the trading broker, and your account is with the trading broker rather than the fronting desk broker – that’s just a pass-through. That increases the spread a bit. Many brokers can go direct, which means you download their platform and you can save that pip.

Trying to outline the current (as of Dec 2010) strategy:
As opposed to putting in limitless entry orders and changing the entry points every time a new high is established, and all that stuff, I’ve decided to use the following as guidelines for my trading. I say “guidelines” because I simply will not always be able to check in exactly 24 hours after my last trade. And in some cases I may just decide that there’s enough profit there at the moment to take it, particularly if I know I’ll be gone during my normal “check-in” time. But for the most part, I’ll try to stick to the rules as much as I can.

Basically, I’m trying to accomplish in a simpler way what I was doing before. Since it’s not exactly the same, the results won’t be the same, but I’m expecting similar returns. I have adjusted size of my trades to account for an anticipated fewer number of total trades.

On a per micro-lot basis. Actual time of day as initial start time is not all that relevant. It will adjust anyway:

Initial start time: t=0

1) P(1) = price at t=1, which is 24 hours after t=0.
2) If P(1) = $5.00 then close position. Observe time of highest price in last 24 hours and set that time as t=0. Go to step 1, else go to step 7.
7) If P(2) <= [0.995 x P(1)] then buy and set your take-profit level.

At this point, you may open a few transactions on consecutive days due to a dropping market. Positions stay open until the profit from the original purchase price is at least $5 per microlot or until closed automatically at a $30 gain per microlot.

As to dealing with available capital:
There is always the risk that there are continued declines with absolutely no profit-taking, in such a way that it hasn't happened before since gold started trading on the open markets.

I don't have an endless supply of capital, so there is the risk that at some point I blow my account and I move on with my life.

Unlike the shorting concept that I abandoned, there actually is a floor on how low price can go, irrespective of associated probabilities of price increases and price decreases. So, theoretically, one doesn't need an unlimited capital supply to do this, but you do need a substantial sum to combat the armageddon scenario.

What I did to try and figure out the nightmare scenario and trade accordingly was to literally go back and look at the price movements of gold on a day-to-day basis, and "paper trade" this method. As price declined, positions were added. Quite often, price would decline for a few days in a row, positions would be added, then price would increase and a couple positions would close, but not all of them. Then maybe price would go back down and positions would again be added. There was only one instance where as many as 15 positions were in place at a given time. Even in this scenario, it wasn't a continued fall. There was someprofit taking, then a reversal back down, some profit taking, then a move back down, and so on. But at the low point, 15 positions were open. This only happened once. It was a rare occurrence to see more than 10 positions open at the same time.

More importantly, every step of the way I tracked account value. After all was said and done, I looked at the absolute largest draw-down during the entire time and looked at the number of open positions that accompanied that. It actually wasn't the scenario of 15, so I increased the worst scenario to match what it would be if the average drawdown per position with 15 matched the average drawdown per position under the worst actual occurrence.

Then, I designed a trading system to withstand 20 positions at the maximum level of drawdown per position, based on the historical worst-case.

What I determined was that for every microlot (1 oz) of position held, you need $1600 for this level of protection. You can increase one of those 20 positions by a single microlot for every 4% increase in account value. I looked at likelihoods of where you get the biggest bang for that increase, and add to the plan according to that. My first increase is on the 5th entry position, then 4th, then 3rd, then 6th, and it goes from there. I just printed out a little chart where I need to plan the trades based on account value.

So, at $3,506 all positions would be 2 microlots. At $7,682 all positions would be 3 microlots.

And, also, that 4% increase is conservative. The actual needed was somewhere between 3.5% and 4%, but I rounded up with an idea of capital preservation as account increases.

Quite honestly, I just kind of have a lot of fun with this. I learn a lot about the markets by playing, and I enjoy trying out and planning out new trading strategies. And if I can make some money doing it, all the better.

As to trading on the trend:
The method depends on a somewhat volatile market, and the trending is not particularly relevant as long as that volatility is present.

So, in a case where there is a very consistent trend up, I'll miss that run because I'm not entering the market with new positions. Since I'm taking profits and not holding positions, I'll limit my profits in a huge run up. If there is a very consistent trend down, I'll keep buying in with no profit-taking, and there is the risk that it won't turn around and I drain my account.

I am going long only (at this point, it was still a Gold only strategy) simply because the trend is up and I see no signs of the trend flattening or reversing. One could do this with another currency pair in both directions. Or, if willing to risk the capital, you could do it in this market as well. I've decided for now that the downside of that far outweighs the upside. just a judgment call.

But the wins here simply come from volatility. What we're looking for is that, typically, a drop of some percentage is followed by a similar move back up. In cases where there are continual drops for a few days, we don't even have to get back up to previous levels for a while to profit, because taking profit on movements at lower levels will outweigh the equity loss from the drop in price from positions taken at higher levels. Ultimately, if price eventually comes back, we'll profit from those other positions, but immediate profits aren't necessary, or even expected.

So I'm not really worried about missing out on a run up because eventually price will stall, and then I'll start playing again. And yes, that means that you start playing at near the top levels, and you might carry some of those positions for a while.

I'm actually not all that concerned about that, because holding it isn't any different than buying a piece of gold and seeing the price drop and just holding on to it for a while. While I wait for price to rebound, I'll just trade at the lower levels. Obviously, the concern is a very long and protracted bear market. And if that happens, I may consider getting back into offsetting short positions. There's nothing that says you can't change those strategies up if a trend changes.

Quantifying the risk here is pretty tricky. In looking at all the different markets, I actually don't even feel as if there's a lot of risk in what I'm doing. Now, I admit that moving into shorts during an upward trending market was pretty risky, and I paid the price on that. And it certainly is true that current trends could change. But quite honestly, I "feel" more risk in holding equities than I do in trading gold. (though, that probably has to do with the fact that I have a lot more invested in equities. But I have been moving out of those slowly because I just don't feel that good about them).

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forex Account Update as of 4/30/2012 [Through 11/30/2010]

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on May 2, 2012

Continuing my account updating:

OUTSTANDING ORDERS as of End of Day 10/31/2010 settled by End of Day 11/30/2010
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
None.

*Net profit means profit after consideration of swap fees (these can be negative or positive)

New Orders since End of Day 10/31/2010, settled by end of day 11/30/2010
Date of entry / Type of Entry / Lot size / Currency Pair / Entry Price / Date of Settlement / Exit Price / Net Profit
11/04/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1348.89 11/04/2010 1377.20 +56.62
11/10/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1397.14 11/11/2010 1405.90 +11.98
11/15/2010 BUY 0.01 xauusd 1368.29 11/24/2010 1375.75 +7.45
11/15/2010 BUY 0.01 xauusd 1368.29 11/24/2010 1375.70 +7.40
11/16/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1361.09 11/24/2010 1375.75 +29.25
11/17/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1337.08 11/18/2010 1349.10 +24.02
11/24/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1373.36 11/30/2010 1383.20 +19.63
11/26/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1363.94 11/29/2010 1369.08 +10.27

New Orders Since end of day 10/31/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 11/30/2010
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
11/12/2010 BUY 0.02 xauusd 1389.74

Carried Orders Since before end of day 10/31/2010, still outstanding as of end of day 11/30/2010
Date of entry / Type of entry / Currency Pair / Lot size / Entry price
None.

Equity Balance @ 11/30/2010: $3,182.84
Current Month Return: (not recorded)
Initial 10/31/2009 balance: $2,360.46
Current Yield since inception: +34.84%
Annualized Return: +31.81%
Average monthly return: +2.326%

Recorded the following notes on the tweaks made since dumping the positions in October:

Kind of changed this system up, by making my entry points more time-dependent than price-dependent. Also, just going long after taking a bath on shorts, but stepping up the size just a bit after taking a closer look at back-testing and risk tolerance.

Had I simpoly stuck with my original buy-only strategy and not played the shorts, I’d be up well over 100%. It is what it is. I made the call at some point to liquidate those positions at a loss because I realized I have much higher risk tolerance for losing positions on long positions than short ones. I believe that I will ultimately see gains on long positions whereas I wasn’t nearly as confident that the same is true on shorts. Should have probably realized that earlier, but I was sticking to my thoughts that I’d see a large retrace down. As the world continues to implode, I’m less comfortable that the old rules apply. Which probably means they do and someone else will make money shorting this market, but I am just not comfortable with the assumption at this point.

So, anyway, here’s the parts of the roller-coaster ride of the trading:

11/1/2009 – 7/31/2010: +89.71%
8/1/2010 – 10/17/2010 (the date at which point I ceased the short strategy and liquidated positions): -34.35%
10/18/2010 – 11/30/2010: +8.27%

What I’m doing now is, rather than buy in at a particular drop in price, I have a few rules in place where I only check in at one or two particular times each day and compare that to the price a day earlier. If price has dropped by a certain percentage I buy. If not, I don’t. Then I just wait until the next check-in time. Once I buy, I wait 24 hours and if it’s up a certain percentage I close. If not, I hold. I do have a target price where I will sell on a rapid spike upward, but that’s the one exception to the rule.

It basically accomplishes most of what I tried to accomplish before, except it reduces the need to monitor things even more. My total positions are reduced, so to compensate I adjusted my position size up a bit so it puts me at the same general risk level as before.

The ups and downs are part of trading, and you deal with it and move on. THe goal is the make money in the long-term and not dwell on the losses other than try to learn from them. Many people don’t like the risk and the swings that can occur. I probably wouldn’t either on funds that I’m counting on for retirement or savings. This is on money I can afford to experiment with.

Posted in Currency Trading, Forex, Gold, Investing, Trading Strategies | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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