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NeverLossTrading

7 Key Elements of Successful Trading or Investing for 2014

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There are different interpretations of success, reaching form “participation is everything” to attainment of wealth and fame. Let us take the same range of interpretation for trading/investing then it would read as follows: “Success is making money” to “success is attaining wealth”.

 

Trading is a professional business and professional attainment is measured on score cards. Fund managers performance for example is measured in how close the fund performs to the referring index. For funds, which relate to large caps or the overall stock market, the S&P 500 index is generally used as the base line. If you want to do the same as a private investor, take SPY: The ETF of the S&P 500, which has a year-to-date-November-2013 performance of 27% growth.

 

If your trading/investing account grew with the same rate of return, you met the index. In case you run on a lower return rate, you are in good company, because most of the fund managers: Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Hedge Funds are not achieving the average fund performance either; only a small number of funds is beating the S&P 500, where the best in class run at double the return rate of the S&P 500 (We will report separately in giving you a detailed overview on Hedge- and Investment Fund performance).

Let us take a look at the top 10 stocks of the S&P 500 and their year-to-date-November performance:

 

1 Exxon Mobil Corporation Common (XOM): 8.0%

2 Apple Inc. (AAPL): -1.1%

3 Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 42.6%

4 Johnson & Johnson Common Stock (JNJ): 32.2%

5 General Electric Company Common (GE): 25.8%

6 Google Inc. (GOOG): 43.7%

7 Chevron Corporation Common Stock (CVX): 10.8%

8 Procter & Gamble Company (PG): 21.6%

9 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B (BRK.B): 24.2%

10 Wells Fargo & Company Common Stock (WFC): 26.0%

 

The results show that we have a wide spread of developments, reaching from -1.1% (AAPL) to +43.7% (GOOG), with an average performance of the top 10 stock at a return rate of 23.4%.

 

Take a look at the Berkshire Hathaway Fund performance in relation to the S&P 500: -2.8%, which would be seen as an average good performance for fund managers. However, had you bought SPY-shares, you would have been better on.

 

How can you do better than average and most important, how will you be able to produce wealth, when the markets might not give such a positive development in 2014?

 

You need a trading or investing system, which shall give you the following:

Seven Critical Elements of a Trading

 

  1. Flexibility to trade/invest in various assets. Why various assets? In case stocks halter, institutional money might flow into assets like commodities, currencies, treasuries and you should be prepared to participate in institutional money moves when they happen.
  2. A system, which lets you produce income if the markets move up, down or sideways. In average, markets drop with three to five times the speed they grow. Hence, you should be ready for applying short trading strategies applicable to all kind of account holdings: IRA, 401(k), Cash, Custodian, and Margin.
  3. Clearly defined entries and exits: Institutional money is moving the markets and institutions leave their trace of directional intends. With the right trading system on hand, you can spot and trade along with those actions. Focus on spotting and trading along with institutional money moves, produce constant income and reinvestment. Such method makes you independent from picking the right stocks with long term growth. Imagine, you were able to win two out of three trades, with an average trade duration of four days, aiming for a 1.5% return/trade, making income to the up- or downside; then you are striving for an annual return of 62%, regardless of the directions the market take. If you can apply this method successfully, you will beat the best hedge fund managers of the world by far.
  4. Risk management: Professional traders have clear guidelines of how they act. As a private investor/trader, you need the same: Define the odds ratio for every trade and adjust the lot size of your investments to hedge and leverage your positions accordingly. Have trade repair strategies in place, helping you to turn potential losers into winners for all account types.
  5. Have a method to spot key assets on the move. Never fall in love with a stock or asset. No stock has to grow. The performance of an asset is the result of supply and demand. Apply a system which helps you to visualize when changes in supply and demand occur in an asset and be part of the directional move.
    [*]Journal your performance to see where you do well and where you have needs for improvement. Pros of every genre: Sports, theater, movies, trading, do this and you need to do the same to strive for constant improvement and long-term trading success.
  6. Clear cut documentation for every trade situation and asset, so you can always go back to the drawing board for revisions.

 

Hence, please consider: Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

 

Good trading.

 

Thomas

Edited by NeverLossTrading

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[*]Clearly defined entries and exits: Institutional money is moving the markets and institutions leave their trace of directional intends. With the right trading system on hand, you can spot and trade along with those actions. Focus on spotting and trading along with institutional money moves, produce constant income and reinvestment.

 

Hi Thomas,

 

There is a contradiction here: why would I want to 'trade along with institutional money moves' when, as your article points out, most of them fail to beat the index?

 

BlueHorseshoe

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There are different interpretations of success, reaching form “participation is everything” to attainment of wealth and fame. Let us take the same range of interpretation for trading/investing then it would read as follows: “Success is making money” to “success is attaining wealth”.

 

Trading is a professional business and professional attainment is measured on score cards. Fund managers performance for example is measured in how close the fund performs to the referring index. For funds, which relate to large caps or the overall stock market, the S&P 500 index is generally used as the base line. If you want to do the same as a private investor, take SPY: The ETF of the S&P 500, which has a year-to-date-November-2013 performance of 27% growth.

 

If your trading/investing account grew with the same rate of return, you met the index. In case you run on a lower return rate, you are in good company, because most of the fund managers: Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Hedge Funds are not achieving the average fund performance either; only a small number of funds is beating the S&P 500, where the best in class run at double the return rate of the S&P 500 (We will report separately in giving you a detailed overview on Hedge- and Investment Fund performance).

Let us take a look at the top 10 stocks of the S&P 500 and their year-to-date-November performance:

 

1 Exxon Mobil Corporation Common (XOM): 8.0%

2 Apple Inc. (AAPL): -1.1%

3 Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 42.6%

4 Johnson & Johnson Common Stock (JNJ): 32.2%

5 General Electric Company Common (GE): 25.8%

6 Google Inc. (GOOG): 43.7%

7 Chevron Corporation Common Stock (CVX): 10.8%

8 Procter & Gamble Company (PG): 21.6%

9 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B (BRK.B): 24.2%

10 Wells Fargo & Company Common Stock (WFC): 26.0%

 

The results show that we have a wide spread of developments, reaching from -1.1% (AAPL) to +43.7% (GOOG), with an average performance of the top 10 stock at a return rate of 23.4%.

 

Take a look at the Berkshire Hathaway Fund performance in relation to the S&P 500: -2.8%, which would be seen as an average good performance for fund managers. However, had you bought SPY-shares, you would have been better on.

 

How can you do better than average and most important, how will you be able to produce wealth, when the markets might not give such a positive development in 2014?

 

You need a trading or investing system, which shall give you the following:

Seven Critical Elements of a Trading

 

  1. Flexibility to trade/invest in various assets. Why various assets? In case stocks halter, institutional money might flow into assets like commodities, currencies, treasuries and you should be prepared to participate in institutional money moves when they happen.
  2. A system, which lets you produce income if the markets move up, down or sideways. In average, markets drop with three to five times the speed they grow. Hence, you should be ready for applying short trading strategies applicable to all kind of account holdings: IRA, 401(k), Cash, Custodian, and Margin.
  3. Clearly defined entries and exits: Institutional money is moving the markets and institutions leave their trace of directional intends. With the right trading system on hand, you can spot and trade along with those actions. Focus on spotting and trading along with institutional money moves, produce constant income and reinvestment. Such method makes you independent from picking the right stocks with long term growth. Imagine, you were able to win two out of three trades, with an average trade duration of four days, aiming for a 1.5% return/trade, making income to the up- or downside; then you are striving for an annual return of 62%, regardless of the directions the market take. If you can apply this method successfully, you will beat the best hedge fund managers of the world by far.
  4. Risk management: Professional traders have clear guidelines of how they act. As a private investor/trader, you need the same: Define the odds ratio for every trade and adjust the lot size of your investments to hedge and leverage your positions accordingly. Have trade repair strategies in place, helping you to turn potential losers into winners for all account types.
  5. Have a method to spot key assets on the move. Never fall in love with a stock or asset. No stock has to grow. The performance of an asset is the result of supply and demand. Apply a system which helps you to visualize when changes in supply and demand occur in an asset and be part of the directional move.
    [*]Journal your performance to see where you do well and where you have needs for improvement. Pros of every genre: Sports, theater, movies, trading, do this and you need to do the same to strive for constant improvement and long-term trading success.
  6. Clear cut documentation for every trade situation and asset, so you can always go back to the drawing board for revisions.

 

Hence, please consider: Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

 

Good trading.

 

Thomas

 

excellent post, especially the part with the risk management.....from my point of view that is the most important part

 

TW

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Hi Thomas,

 

There is a contradiction here: why would I want to 'trade along with institutional money moves' when, as your article points out, most of them fail to beat the index?

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

An excellent question that makes me think about my own practices.

 

I think it comes down to entries and exits, patience and size with respect to liquidity. We can all be trading in the same direction and yet more than half are likely to be taking losses (hypothesis). How come?

 

The institutional guys want to be long perhaps from x to y so they start scaling in as price goes down and then adding as price goes up. Then exiting or reversing for various reasons. Their average entry and exit can be poor even though they were positioned with the larger time frame flow that they were creating as a group.

 

Most other traders just screw it up for various reasons.

 

You and I, on the other hand, read the flow, identified positions for entry and exit that were likely to deliver good expectancy, and then executed our plans. We took advantage of our willingness to wait and our small relative size to profit where many mr bigs performed poorly.

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Hi Thomas,

 

There is a contradiction here: why would I want to 'trade along with institutional money moves' when, as your article points out, most of them fail to beat the index?

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

....because you dont have the same index OR mandate as them, and while they are stuck replicating an index with cash and leverage limits, you are not.

 

Most managers are unlikely to beat their index or mandate - law of numbers, costs, talent, etc etc etc - This is the argument of passive v active investing. ....

However - as Kiwi (good to hear from you) says - we have the luxury of patience, we dont have mandates, we can often use our small size to pick entries and exits, we can use leverage of various amounts etc......and this is what we should be doing to ride the coattails of institutional money moves (alternatively known as trends) when they occur.

 

Its probably no surprise that some of the managers that actually have made good money over the years dont have an index they solely concentrate on. They know that opportunities abound, they just abound in many instruments at various times.

 

...as a side thought - it is always worth comparing how you go with an unleveraged amount compared to the index you trade in. (despite the various issues of risk v return and standard deviations etc)

 

example: lets say the stock index you trade is up 25% for the year, you normally trade in one contract and that contract is roughly the equivalent of $100k per contract. So a simple unleveraged investor would have done nothing and made 25k.

 

while the $10k trading account might have made 100% for the year and 10K.....in profits trading that one contract.

 

....and then you extrapolate that over, 1 month, 3 years, 10 years......

................................food for thought.

 

///////////////

otherwise I liked the original article.

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I think it comes down to entries and exits, patience and size with respect to liquidity. We can all be trading in the same direction and yet more than half are likely to be taking losses (hypothesis). How come?

 

....because you dont have the same index OR mandate as them, and while they are stuck replicating an index with cash and leverage limits, you are not.

 

I'm not sure that I buy this argument :) Yes, I can certainly do things a multi-billion dollar fund cannot . . . but there are a heck of a lot more things they can do that I can't . . .

 

And really, all that you are both are saying is that we can beat these funds by doing something different to them, albeit aligned with the same long term trend, rather than by doing the same as them. Which I would agree with.

 

If your entries and exits aren't the same, or you're using varying amounts of leverage (different position sizing, to all intents and purposes), then you're not trading the same. You're doing something different, and potentially better. If you follow what these institutional participants do in any precise sense, then odds are you'll underperform the index.

 

I do agree with SIYUA's point that those who have good long term performance records aren't really concerned with benchmarking, but rather trade for absolute returns.

 

Anyway, whatever you both do or don't do - best wishes for 2014!

 

Regards,

 

BlueHorseshoe

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You earn x% trading. If x% is greater than anything you can earn elsewhere, then you trade. if x% is < 0, then you don't trade.

 

It makes no difference whatsoever what funds, money managers, other traders, or the market does.

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I'm not sure that I buy this argument :) Yes, I can certainly do things a multi-billion dollar fund cannot . . . but there are a heck of a lot more things they can do that I can't . . .

 

And really, all that you are both are saying is that we can beat these funds by doing something different to them, albeit aligned with the same long term trend, rather than by doing the same as them. Which I would agree with.

 

If your entries and exits aren't the same, or you're using varying amounts of leverage (different position sizing, to all intents and purposes), then you're not trading the same. You're doing something different, and potentially better. If you follow what these institutional participants do in any precise sense, then odds are you'll underperform the index.

 

I do agree with SIYUA's point that those who have good long term performance records aren't really concerned with benchmarking, but rather trade for absolute returns.

 

Anyway, whatever you both do or don't do - best wishes for 2014!

 

Regards,

 

BlueHorseshoe

 

yes - if you follow them, then you will probably beat them as you save on fees!

 

Point being - most managers dont beat the benchmark they are tracked against, most have strict mandates (they are far stricter than many might think) especially the ones who have applicable mandates and benchmarks that they are trying to replicate ...and while you say they can do a lot more than you....you might be surprised at how wrong you are on that. (:roll eyes: - its pathetic hearing fund manager friends say how well they did beating their index when they lost money over the year)

 

I actually dont think we need to concern ourselves with beating any particular fund or index....we have flexibility to be able to be true absolute return folks. Who cares if this year the SP went up 26% and you made 15%, especially if you made 155 a year for the last 10 years. (One of the reasons why many are simply undercapitalised or over leveraged IMHO).

 

Its always an interesting question to potential investors (one which you should not really ask if you want to be taken seriously).....so if you are happy with 15% a year, and I were to make that for you in a quarter then I should stop trading right? - watch your business dry up as they then say they wont pay you fees to do nothing, even though you did what they wanted in half the time.........the funds management game is a very funny business (and scale changes everything). There is also the funds management industry, the hedge funds (quasi long only or our proprietary models as BS), and the few 'true hedge funds'

 

However......following them is the perfect thing to do....look back at last year, and think of a few things that were moving and you did not need any great indicator, fundamental analysis or much else - gold down, SandP up, Japan up, Yen down, GBPAUD rally (saved me some $ here bt based more on my circumstances :)).....you only needed to get on a few of these things with the trend, use a bit of leverage, a little risk (you might have been stopped out one or two times maybe) and then let it ride a little....so long as you did not fight the trend. (definitions of trend not withstanding)

how would you have gone?

 

Easy in hindsight of course, but there is nothing stopping us as individuals keeping abreast of what instos think, what they are actually putting their money into (easy to see on a chart) and then coat tailing them - understanding markets is generally easier than mastering a market IMHO - it does not need to be much harder than that. (Getting away from this has been an error of mine in the past)

 

You too enjoy 2014 - (We had a crazy crazy Dutch firework spectacular last night....f...n nuts when you let a bunch of drunks, children and anyone have unfettered access to fireworks! Everywhere, crazy......but fun :)

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