Slow Trader Fund Update

I was keen on a 30% increase in the fund this year, and I still think we will do this. That sort of growth for a common fund is perfect, if done consistently it can be outstanding, but I’m after achieving a lot more. I also want control of risk.

When I trade longer-term charts, I do very well for a while then get hit unexpectedly. It is this uncertainty that prevents me from investing in the traditional sense.

My passion is day trading; this has come about only over the last three years or so. Previously I used a similar trading strategy but with different time frames. Traded from the daily or 4-hour charts, a trade was, therefore, held for several days or weeks. And I would concurrently day-trade a small amount of personal money.

This has changed in that I’m shy of holding money over longer periods in a trade. I’m much more comfortable watching a trade, and be in and out again several times in the day, and never holding overnight.

The reason that I’m now doing this is that I like to be in control. Particularly with other people’s money. To say that I’m day-trading, rather than using a sensible medium-term investment strategy, because of my consideration to risk, is barmy to traditional investors. They’ve always understood that day-trading is risky.

They are correct, ordinarily. But it’s like fishing with a rod and line from a boat or free diving with a spear gun. We are not going to survive the first dive if we jump in and are expected to hold our breath for several minutes. We’d be better off and more prosperous fishing from the boat. But to the conditioned, free diver the ability to catch fish is far more precise and consistent.

Cynics would say ‘get a net’. But when the so-called ‘medium risk’ investors with a net hit a storm, they can lose the lot. So when they think they’re a medium risk, they are not.

The day-trader will trade small and often. In contrast, for the medium-term trader, the exposure is usually more extensive and over fewer trades. Rewards from day-trading can be exceptional. But it takes time to learn. Like many things, I think worth the wait.

However, I appreciate that investors may have other ideas. As I’m moving the fund to 100% day-trading the funds are available for transfer at no notice. Well, one day’s notice.

To a certain extent, I trade at an amount proportional to the fund. That is the intention. But my competency is the principal measure. For all of this year, I’ve traded small. However, the trade amount, when it moves, will increase substantially.

For instance, risk per trade has recently moved from a few pounds to £150 per trade, and will very soon be £300 per trade. The next step after that is to £600 per trade, where it will stay for some considerable time. I will take half a dozen or more trades per day. Moreover, I will trade twice within the same risk where appropriate.

If we’ve mastered the day-trade, then the potential is clear.

Amount per trade

A disjointed week of trading. Monday is for backtesting, at least for us for the near future. Tuesday was a day of local teacher strikes, so, as I don’t have a ‘proper job’ I’m asked to look after the grandkids. Of course, I say yes. Wednesday went well with a full win (I explain full win next). Poor communication resulted in a partial loss on Thursday. We spent the afternoon of Thursday resolving this through backtest and practise. Friday was the ‘non-farm payroll’ day which comes around every first Friday of every month and which, at present, we don’t trade. The week can be quickly eaten into if we don’t concentrate and dedicate ourselves to the task.

What do I mean by a full win? Take the average size of a market. Typically, we can trade the currency pair GBP USD with between a 20 (near) and a 60 (far) pip stop. (During a non-farm Friday up to 240 pip stop may be required).

We usually have a distant stop of 60 pips and a near stop of 20 pips, and we trade anything in between. We take two concurrent trades per trade entry. The first trade is a scalp (a reward that is at least one times the risk) and the second and simultaneous trade which is also a scalp or, wherever possible, converted to a swing (a reward that is at least twice the risk).

Putting on two trades each time or taking partial profits from a single trade, if your broker allows this, amount to the same thing. Two separate and concurrent trades have advantages but can be challenging to manage.

Back to our example, the minimum we can trade on the GBP USD is £1 per pip. Therefore, with a stop at 60 pips and two concurrent trades: that’s £60 + £60 = £120 per trade. Each trade must be the same regarding management and potential loss. With this in mind, a closer trade with a 20 pip stop would require £3 per trade ((20 x £3) + (20 x £3) = £120).

That is why for GBP USD we have a minimum trade of £120. If our stop is, say, 30 pips or 40 pips, then we have to do a quick mental calculation to know how much to trade to retain the same potential, pre-agreed, loss per trade.

Trades for us grow exponentially. As confidence increases, and we trade without emotion, then our trades will build. For example £120 per trade (£60 + £60 risk), £240 (£120 + £120 risk), £480 (£240 + £240 risk), £960 (£480 + £480 risk) and so on and so forth – but then we need to consider spread and the effect this has.

Each of the above represents a full win. At present, we trade £240 (£120 + £120 risk) per trade.