When I lecture, I always ask investors what positions there are in trading. Most respond, “Long” or “Short.” A few understand that being flat is also a position. But what most don’t realize is that being flat can actually make you the most amount of money. It’s the only way to view the market at face value.
I have never met anyone who was long and felt the market was going down, or short and thought the market was going up. If they had, I would have asked why they stayed in their position if they felt the market was going against them. In today’s new world of electronic trading, cheap money, additional algorithms and funds, market moves are much more drastic. That’s why, under certain circumstances, being flat can be the best position to be in.
Whether you are new to investing or have been doing it for years, it’s time to realize that all types of investing markets have changed. This means it’s time to either reevaluate or understand what your risk appetite is.
Many people say they only invest what they are comfortable with losing. Unfortunately, many of my clients come to me after they have had a loss and realized that saying it, meaning it, and living it are very different things.
For years, we have all seen advertisements on TV and in the newspapers telling us to buy gold. We’ve been told that it is a safe investment. For the past 12 years, for the most part, it has been, depending on how deep your pockets are. However, we saw on Friday, April 12th, that gold, at any given moment, can turn and drop fast and hard – just like all markets. Continue reading →
Former chairman and CEO of MF Global Jon Corzine testifies Dec. 15, 2011, during a Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The committee found that Corzine personally ordered the transfer of customer funds to cover company losses. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The trustee of bankrupt MF Global Inc. settled a dispute with J.P. Morgan March 19 that will see $546 million returned to customers. Some experts think the settlement helps to return client funds quickly while others think J.P. Morgan got off too easy.
James W. Giddens, Trustee for MF Global Inc. said, “This is a significant milestone in returning assets to former customers … ending what would have been a costly, protracted, and uncertain legal battle.” He also said that the settlement avoids yearlong delays in returning money to customers. Continue reading →
Trading Tip #11 You Want to be a Trader? Do Not Paper Trade.
There seems to be many programs for paper trading. As Seen On TV “Backtest your strategies.” Almost every on-line trading system has this. Very few strategies work all the time. I address various Trading Styles in Trading Tip #9. Unless you are in a college trading competition, I think paper trading is pointless.
There are many who might not agree with me. Let’s take the past few trading days as an example. On 2/27/2013 the market was up over 200 points . If you were paper trading, you would feel a sense of pride and, I am sure, at some point you would have said to yourself “I would have nailed it today.” Now let’s back track to 2/25/2013 just a few days before when when the market got slammed. A paper trader would not feel like their guts were being ripped out. The feeling of trying to find the right place to sell. The fear, hoping that it would not bounce back in their face. The over-whelming feeling of “when is this market going to stop going down?” Continue reading →
The Difference Between the SEC Handling of Heinz and Washington’s Handing of the Leak of the SPR in Oil is….
the SEC took action. Below is an email sent to a contact in the White House on June 24, 2011 telling the President exactly how to find out which companies might have had inside information. A contact in the White House was working on the jobs council. I had also spoken with him about the run up in gas prices. I realized that, after speaking with him for over 30 minutes, he didn’t understand what I was talking about. Continue reading →
All traders go through a bad streak now and then. The key is to keep them small and manageable. I started most days in the pit flat. My thought process was there is enough to trade during the day. Staying up all night when there was no electronic system and waiting for a call from London was just throwing the dice. Once NYMEX electronic trading system was on at night, I still felt that coming in to trade after a good night sleep was more important than what I could make staying up all night. Continue reading →
This goes for the all types of traders, from the smallest to the largest. Once a position is established long or short, it’s best to test and test often. Let’s go with the long position for this example. Looking at the recent move in Facebook, let’s say that Trader one is a short-term day trader who likes to be flat by the end of the day, so he/she buys 500 Facebook shares at $27.75. The stock moves to $28. I would suggest testing the market by selling just 100 shares at $28.
As President of Sterling Commodities, part of our risk management for the Clearinghouse was to go over all of the traders accounts every night. We needed to watch and analyze their trading patterns so that we could tell when it was time to talk to a trader and tell them to pull back or even take a few days off to regroup. We were able to tell when traders were about to move to the next level of trading – both in size of positions and risk tolerance – and then give them guidance. We helped them move to the next level. Continue reading →