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Wanderer

Wanderer's Trading Diary

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Does anyone else own Hawthorne Gold Corporation - CVE:HGC . I bought a bunch of minor miners in February 2009 and this has been the only dog. Now 60% down. Time to give up? Or is it worth holding as a loss in case it comes back to former glories (previously 30 times higher than this a few years ago).

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If we get a good rally in the markets for here...

Looks like we are getting a nice V bottom in the US market,

which could lead to a rally of many days, even into late June or July

 

Let's see what the market action, and volume look like

 

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Looks like we are getting a nice V bottom in the US market,

which could lead to a rally of many days, even into late June or July

 

Let's see what the market action, and volume look like

 

 

Bother, I got a bit over-excited (happens!) and began my reinvestment by shorting the S&P at the worst time today and have seen it creep upwards through the day. Cut my losses or do people think it is worth holding in there?

 

Gold proving resilient - although I'm out of paper Gold right now.

 

This is a warts and all trading diary - I won't try and hide my mistakes, and looks like today I made one!

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Uncertainty predominates in my thoughts on the markets and gold. Compounded by the fact that I'm doing a recce to the UK soon to case out either places to live and houses to buy or rent. Difficult to think straight about your investments if you don't fully know when you need them to 'ripen' - ie pretty damn quick because you'll need to buy a house or a year or two down the line because you'll rent. Obviously I'm erring towards renting but there isn't much about where we are looking and the temptation of ownership (outright) is strong.

 

Frustrating day or two as I sold out of my paper gold and a couple of things I should have held onto but have added to shorts that have suffered from the bounce yesterday on Wall St and the follow through this a.m in the UK.

 

I can't help feeling these might be a short bounce ahead of a new dive downwards. The budget is out soon in the UK and Europe appears to have engaged on an extraordinary round of tightening that I can't help feel with drive one of Dr B's 'manic swings' towards deflation for a while - even if inflationary trends come along the line soon again.

 

Don't like these periods when I face indecision. Being certain and wrong is somehow easier to grapple with than being uncertain (and ultimately right...). But being an 'accidental trader' is an odd position and one I never expected to find myself in. I never expected to have such a large portfolio (itself a sign of success) and so learning to manage it is tricky. I would seek more professional advice but to be honest, I hear more intelligent comment and perspective on this site than in any of the high street financial advisers I'm likely to encounter. Some of the 'professional' advice I've picked up is little more than a summary of a couple of HMRC pages...

 

One thing I've resolved to do today is to keep better track of all my trades and monitor more carefully when I've made mistakes and what I felt like when I made the trade (did I do it calmly or in a panic?) and, similarly, when I've made great trades and what I've felt like.

 

I've noticed that many here enter a trade with a target price. I'm struggling with that concept and wish I could formulate targets more effectively. How do you formulate your targets?

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I'll keep talking to myself on this thread - for posterity if nothing else!

 

I've had a bad week - taking big losses on my S&P and FTSE shorts and my USD2 ETF (long USD, short GBP) is underwater on the latest trade. Also, my last remaining gold minor miner - Hawthorne Gold Corporation - continues to shed value.

 

Basically I'd done really well of late and then I sold everything a little while ago (see above) to realise profits for CGT. Since then I had meant to wait out for the big chance but I'm always impatient and I jumped in and 'invested' because I also am not a great fan of cash when RPI is 5.5%. I jumped the wrong way and went short when long and long gold would have been better. I've only lost 1/4 of what I'd made in the last two months, but it is a lot compared to my day job and it is annoying, because if I'm honest, I didn't have belief in the trades I was making.

 

On the contrary, where I did sense was a good trade - going long silver after the big plunge recently - I didn't do. I'm always scared to try and catch the falling knife but, when I have calmly tried to do it investing-wise, it has often been my best trading.

 

Anyway, I'm now sitting, effectively, 6/7 cash in a mix of sterling and dollars, and only 1/7 invested (not counting the USD2 ETF but counting it as a cash proxy). I'm about 5% physical gold. So I'm ready to invest and will try and be patient.

 

In the meantime I've been getting myself sorted out with a proper trading diary. It is currently paper based (I can't always access the same spreadsheet from home and work due to firewall issues) and I have to lug it around with me. But I'm trying to build up a more systematic picture of which trades worked and which didn't. Not just the quick buy-sells, but the average-ins (sometimes I add to a winning position and then, when it switches back, my average price in is higher and I end up bearing a loss). I'm trying to build some better rules for when I'm back in the UK and I can't afford to lose as easily as I can now. I'm also trying to evaluate the success of my quickers (days/weeks) trading v-a-v my monthly/yearly trading. I know the latter is less stressful. Is it more or less profitable? - I'm going to try and more accurately work this out.

 

What are people's guidance on letting profits run/taking them and cutting losses versus letting them come back into profit. At the moment I seem to rue letting profitable shares turn into a loss (ie let them run too far) and taking profits too early in roughly equal measure....

 

More generally, my general thought process is to stick to trading a few things I know well: USD2, XSPS, XUKS, RGLD, SLW, GBS, PHAG, VIX and keep pretty tightly to those for the time being. Not least because I sense 'market wide' moves are coming and these stocks pretty well capture the market. Like RH I'm thinking of adding to my XSPS when the time is right (maybe now when my others are deep underwater?), buying into VIX again and then riding down the wave before switching into RGLD and SLW and some more physical gold.

 

Any thoughts welcome.

 

Wanderer

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Just moved back into VIX this evening - to about the same exposure as before, but about 1/5 of what I intend to invest this time.

 

Wondering if should put a weekend order for gold in....

 

Wanderer

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I'm always scared to try and catch the falling knife but, when I have calmly tried to do it investing-wise, it has often been my best trading.

 

Any thoughts welcome.

 

If you fear that, why not do smaller trades? Least if you get it wrong it doesn't matter so much. Get it right, adds to pot, confidence and conviction next time round.

 

Most of my long stock trades are out of favour sorts, just need a mindset that what you invest could halve or more. So weigh up what to risk that being the case, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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I’m trying to become a bit more systematic in my otherwise scattergun approach to trading. I’ve been serendipitous in the extreme over the last few years with my trading, but with markets failing to show so much direction since January I’ve done less well at trading week, two-week long moves. I’ve done OK. But I’ve a habit of buying into stocks in ‘panic’ when they rise and buying shorts in similar fashion when the market falls. Of course this often means I’m too late into the trade and then watch as the market reverses on me leaving a loss. This doesn’t ALWAYS happen (!) but I’ve seen it happen often enough.

Conversely, when the market is falling I’m afraid to buy and when I’ve shorted and the market continues to rise I’m afraid to add to my position, which is precisely what I probably should be doing. Thus during today’s big falls all I’ve done is watch losses from my recent trades curtail rather than see profits racking up. If I’d have added to my shorts as the markets had risen I might be in profit.

So, I’ve started a literal trading diary, something I should have done long ago. I’ve opened up a folder with sheets for each stock I’m likely to trade. It allows me to keep full track of trades I’ve made – and so make sure I’m more fully aware of how my latest trade compares in price to previous trades and to keep good track of running average ‘in’ prices. I’m trying to apply it with discipline and build up a good record of where I am at – much more so than my previous ‘touch and feel’ approach.

I’m interested in how people apply similar learnings themselves. I hear some people here adding to losing positions and others selling them off quickly and then trying to re-enter at more opportune moments. Similar different strategies with profit taking.

Of my most recent trades, I’ve added to a losing FTSE short (now still in loss, but less so – average XUKS in c.948pence) and bought some paper gold to add to my physical. I’m nervous of a big sell off in gold, but the recent blip up in sterling made me think it was a reasonable balance of risk to enter.

So my position is now plenty of sterling and dollar cash (some in the form of USD2), good sized FTSE and S&P shorts, some GBS and some VIX (back in profit today). The big dog in my portfolio is HGC (Hawthorne Gold Corporation), which I can’t decide whether to add to, stick with or abandon.

 

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If you fear that, why not do smaller trades? Least if you get it wrong it doesn't matter so much. Get it right, adds to pot, confidence and conviction next time round.

 

Most of my long stock trades are out of favour sorts, just need a mindset that what you invest could halve or more. So weigh up what to risk that being the case, sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Thanks Riggerbeautz. My (nice) problem is that my portfolio is almost at a level that scare me and I'd need so many small trades that I wouldn't be able to keep track of them. I don't want to leave too much in (deflating) cash, so I have to invest quite a chunk at a time (relative to my salary). Nice problem to have, but a bit daunting sometimes.

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If you fear that, why not do smaller trades? Least if you get it wrong it doesn't matter so much. Get it right, adds to pot, confidence and conviction next time round.

 

Most of my long stock trades are out of favour sorts, just need a mindset that what you invest could halve or more. So weigh up what to risk that being the case, sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Thanks Riggerbeautz. My (nice) problem is that my portfolio is almost at a level that scare me and I'd need so many small trades that I wouldn't be able to keep track of them. I don't want to leave too much in (deflating) cash, so I have to invest quite a chunk at a time (relative to my salary). Nice problem to have, but a bit daunting sometimes.

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I’m trying to become a bit more systematic in my otherwise scattergun approach to trading. I’ve been serendipitous in the extreme over the last few years with my trading, but with markets failing to show so much direction since January I’ve done less well at trading week, two-week long moves. I’ve done OK. But I’ve a habit of buying into stocks in ‘panic’ when they rise and buying shorts in similar fashion when the market falls. Of course this often means I’m too late into the trade and then watch as the market reverses on me leaving a loss. This doesn’t ALWAYS happen (!) but I’ve seen it happen often enough.

Conversely, when the market is falling I’m afraid to buy and when I’ve shorted and the market continues to rise I’m afraid to add to my position, which is precisely what I probably should be doing. Thus during today’s big falls all I’ve done is watch losses from my recent trades curtail rather than see profits racking up. If I’d have added to my shorts as the markets had risen I might be in profit.

So, I’ve started a literal trading diary, something I should have done long ago. I’ve opened up a folder with sheets for each stock I’m likely to trade. It allows me to keep full track of trades I’ve made – and so make sure I’m more fully aware of how my latest trade compares in price to previous trades and to keep good track of running average ‘in’ prices. I’m trying to apply it with discipline and build up a good record of where I am at – much more so than my previous ‘touch and feel’ approach.

I’m interested in how people apply similar learnings themselves. I hear some people here adding to losing positions and others selling them off quickly and then trying to re-enter at more opportune moments. Similar different strategies with profit taking.

Of my most recent trades, I’ve added to a losing FTSE short (now still in loss, but less so – average XUKS in c.948pence) and bought some paper gold to add to my physical. I’m nervous of a big sell off in gold, but the recent blip up in sterling made me think it was a reasonable balance of risk to enter.

So my position is now plenty of sterling and dollar cash (some in the form of USD2), good sized FTSE and S&P shorts, some GBS and some VIX (back in profit today). The big dog in my portfolio is HGC (Hawthorne Gold Corporation), which I can’t decide whether to add to, stick with or abandon.

 

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So, portfolio, aside from cash is now:

 

GBS - 5% - av. in. £80.88

USD2 - 12% - av in £98.405

VXX - 4% - av in around 28.5 - will edit and confirm

XSPS - 10% - av in around £39.25

XUKS - 7% - av in 9.58

PHAG - 1% - av in £9.05

SLW - 1% - av in £12.61

Actual phys - 5%

Cash dollars - 15%

Cash sterling - 40%

 

I know sterling isn't ideal to wait in, but I'm wanting to keep powder dry for a moment to strike on a good trade. Don't forget, we don't own a house so this is our worldly wealth...

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VXX down to 26.70 (for some reason VIX is at 25.70 - not sure why the divergence?). Thinking of easing in. Would prefer to get in around 23ish but the way the markets are jumping around we may not get down that low this week.

 

are you still averaging in Wanderer?

 

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VXX down to 26.70 (for some reason VIX is at 25.70 - not sure why the divergence?). Thinking of easing in. Would prefer to get in around 23ish but the way the markets are jumping around we may not get down that low this week.

 

are you still averaging in Wanderer?

VXX doesn't exactly correlate to VIX. Before VXX recently jumped, holders often complained that it didn't match the rises very well in VIX... and were losing faith in it. Yet as has been seen recently VXX has proven to be a good buy for the big jumps in VIX. I'm hoping to buy at 20 in month or so.... and keep a hold of this position for the big one should it come.... VIX at 80 odd before selling and moving it into over-sold gold and gold stocks. My "trade of the century" will involve the inverse correlation between a spiking VXX [VIX back at 80 odd] and deleveraging gold stocks.

 

edit: I was looking to buy VXX at an earlier date but it spiked first. Being super-cautious, there's a good chance I'll miss it again. ^_^

 

http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index....st&p=159685

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edit: I was looking to buy VXX at an earlier date but it spiked first. Being super-cautious, there's a good chance I'll miss it again. ^_^

 

What's your timeframe? VXX under 20 is fairly unlikely in the short term IMHO.

 

I have a spreadbet buy order at 24.5 and I think it'll be another week or two of steady stock markets gains before we get there.

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Hello all,

 

I've been very busy at work of late and so haven't been posting here. Also, my investments (most of me is cash) are about 10% down and so I'm looking at columns of red ink on my stockbroker's site which isn't pretty. I'm trying to pluck up the courage to add to my losing positions (basically, XUKS, XSPS, USD2, GBS and VIX) - all are underwater. I'm tempted to put a slug more into XUKS (BP won't help the FTSE for a while...) and VIX. BUT MUST HAVE COURAGE!!! We are set to return to the UK soon. If we can find a family home to rent then I'll add to my positions. If we end up having to buy then I'll need to keep my cash safe.

 

Interestingly I was talking to the MD of a bank the other day and he would fit right in here as a pessimist on the global economic situation. Reckoned that Germany was quite likely to have a huff and leave the Euro within a year or two. Apparently (Goldfinger, can you verify?) Germany is the only country in the Eurozone that didn't destroy all its old currency and (so I'm told) there are bunkers somewhere in the Bavarian Alps full of Deutschmarks. He reckoned you could declare a bank holiday on Friday afternoon and have the country running on Deutschmarks within a few days. Interesting if true.

 

Can anyone answer the questions on another thread about time decay on VIX. And what about on simple inverse tools like XUKS, XSPS and USD2?

 

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I'm trying to pluck up the courage to add to my losing positions

 

sometimes when you are in a hole its best to stop digging. 10% might be a lot of cash relative to salary, but its not too bad overall.

 

Sounds like you need to decide how much you are prepared to lose.

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Thanks Riggerbeautz. My (nice) problem is that my portfolio is almost at a level that scare me and I'd need so many small trades that I wouldn't be able to keep track of them. I don't want to leave too much in (deflating) cash, so I have to invest quite a chunk at a time (relative to my salary). Nice problem to have, but a bit daunting sometimes.

 

Probably concentrates your mind. Just an idea, if you went away for a week or more would you be comfortable your holding positions?

 

Did that myself recently and bar odd one found myself not too concerned and quite calm with my larger investments. Wife banned me using internet or checking with brokers to spend time with kids. Before I went really made me think how balanced and stable I considered my investments to be,

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What's your timeframe? VXX under 20 is fairly unlikely in the short term IMHO.

 

I have a spreadbet buy order at 24.5 and I think it'll be another week or two of steady stock markets gains before we get there.

Towards the end of summer..... the rate of decline should slow down a bit. I'm not day/ swing trading VXX... more a position trade.

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So, portfolio, aside from cash is now:

 

GBS - 5% - av. in. £80.88

USD2 - 12% - av in £98.405

VXX - 4% - av in around 28.5 - will edit and confirm

XSPS - 10% - av in around £39.25

XUKS - 7% - av in 9.58

PHAG - 1% - av in £9.05

SLW - 1% - av in £12.61

Actual phys - 5%

Cash dollars - 15%

Cash sterling - 40%

 

I know sterling isn't ideal to wait in, but I'm wanting to keep powder dry for a moment to strike on a good trade. Don't forget, we don't own a house so this is our worldly wealth...

It is possible that Gold and Precious metals may be putting in a top, so be careful

 

Tom Obrien is now SHORT GOLD. He is nervous, but has a good track record in trading the metal.

 

Personallly, I am sitting on record amounts of cash, and over-hedging my Juniors with shorts thru:

Calls on SDS, BGZ, and some SPY puts

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OK, well I did pluck up a bit of courage and added 25% to my XUKS and VIX when at 908 pence and c.$26 about a week ago. My positions were all underwater and I'd made the mistake of putting quite a bit into GBS hoping to catch the cup and handle ride up. What really began to hurt me was the strength of sterling after the Budget. I'd taken a lot of profits and then re-invested in all my shorts and USD2 (so as to carry no profits back to the UK) and my latest entry point for USD2 was when $1=£1.43, so I'm 8 cents down (but USD2 seems to have fallen more than that). My latest GBS2 and my XSPS were down too - partly because of falls in the underlying value, but also due to the rise in sterling versus these dollar denominated funds.

 

The last few days have been kinder. My XUKS is back in profit - not least due to my buys at 908 (now 978). My XSPS losses are halved and my VIX is in profit again too. I'm still wondering how to tackle USD2. There seems to be an unexpected element of time decay in there and I'm wondering whether to cut my losses or whether this latest market slide might trigger a fall back in sterling versus the dollar allowing me to earn back some losses.

 

GBS and gold holding up really well today.

 

I continue to watch, but my cash positions are now low-ish and so want to be sure of myself if I invest more. Standing ready to take investments back into cash if the moment looks right.

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I remember reading in moneyweek that USD2 is quite a flawed product. I can't recall why but think it was something along the lines of it uses the Morgan Stanley FX short british pound index and the fact that it's shorting this pound index against the dollar in which the dollar is part of the index means there is going to be a significant built in tracking error. I hedge my sterling cash using a floating spreadbet, every one pound short bet against the USD covers £15000 at 1.5000 usd's to the pound.

 

If you want dollar exposure you could use UUP which tracks the dollar index or alternatively you could use an ETF that invests purely in T bills. There's minimal movement in the price of T bills and they are extra safe, of course the safety factor will not be of any use if your ETF provider goes to the wall.

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Wanderer,

I have been wondering if you are okay.

 

I hope so, and that you are just busy, making a success of your new life.

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Wanderer,

I have been wondering if you are okay.

 

I hope so, and that you are just busy, making a success of your new life.

 

 

 

Dear Dr B,

 

Nice of you to ask thank you!

 

Yes, I'm fine. I've been moving back to the UK from overseas. This was hugely complicated by a range of things including a death in the family.

 

We were intending to buy a house - partly because there was nothing to rent. However it became clear from my personnel team that I couldn't guarantee more than one year in the UK, which made buying not just questionable but ludicrous. So we looked again for rental properties and this time found one (a property that had been for sale but changed to rent). It is a great fit for us - 200 yards from a station into London and in a good village with a school with space for the kids. So we've paid rent up front for six months and hope to move in on Friday.

 

Feeling much more relaxed about this and being able to revert to 'plan a' (buying was always plan 'b' but we couldn't find a house to rent 6 weeks ago). Also means we can move in much sooner.

 

Now I've got a bit of time to dedicate to my underperforming portfolio....

 

Wanderer

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