What is forex trading? - Lesotho Times

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter.
Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic!
Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below.
Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense.
Part III
  • Squeezes and other risks
  • Market positioning
  • Bet correlation
  • Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

Squeezes and other risks

We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.

Events

Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem.
This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week.
For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.

Squeezes

Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity.
The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class.
A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone.

There's a reason for the car, don't worry
Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price.
If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point.
To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price.
Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble.
Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it.
The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard.

Incredible event
Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.”
If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely.
This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze.
For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts.
A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me:
Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.

Asymmetric losses

Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy.
Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite.
A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012.
The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’.
They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally.
Then this happened.

Something that changed FX markets forever
The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%.
Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.

Market positioning

We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care?
Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care.
Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable.
To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on.
On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy.
We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like.

A carry trade position clear-out in action
Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful.
The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT").
This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market.
Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy.
You can find the data online for free and download it directly here.

Raw format is kinda hard to work with

However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”.

But you can easily get visualisations
You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful.
Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information.
As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning.
For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back?
A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity.
For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?”
In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit.
If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.

Bet correlation

Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are.
Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large.
Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates
For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem.
Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue.

Chart from TradingView
So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together.
The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each.
There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio.
A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance.
But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done?
For example:
  • You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
  • You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
  • You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
  • You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return.
The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?

Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction.
It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade.
Flat is a position.
Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it.
Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month.

Be strict with yourself and walk away
Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first.
Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period.
Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture.
Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal.
When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.

That's a wrap on risk management

Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback.
Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results.
Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below.
News Trading Part I
  • Introduction
  • Why use the economic calendar
  • Reading the economic calendar
  • Knowing what's priced in
  • Surveys
  • Interest rates
  • First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The mysterious 'position trim' effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases
***

Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Digital Gold: Evolving the Gold Market

Digital Gold: Evolving the Gold Market

https://preview.redd.it/97irkcrbmja41.png?width=494&format=png&auto=webp&s=5f2643957a258f58e304fb8eee42f4029066b38e
Introduction
Gold is an important normal assets providing for all humankind by method for God Himself, it draws potential investors much like a magnet does draws. Do you comprehend why ? Since anyplace Gold is-individuals go toward that course looking for financial harmony and future ability benefits that must be found in gold.
At the point when we look at the stock marketplace thing; we can see eagerly that gold has kept up a strong charge during that time and has certain a ton of investors as a helpful shop of riches and money for individuals.
By and large, most extreme purchasers buy the gold prospects to differentiate danger. In any case, gold has demonstrated itself to be solid predictable and a safe for all. Contrasting this concurrent with crypto forex is the reason the Digital Gold platform is here.
Digital Gold platform is expecting to move the more normal qualities of gold into the cryptographic money worldwide along these lines making a solid, solid, secure, verified and predictable stable coin for the digital currency worldwide to appreciate and enjoy.
In all nutshell; I will advise us nowadays the reason why the virtual gold platform stable coin is higher than the present Stable coins.
Existent solid coins blessing nowadays are normally asset supported digital forms of money on the front; and even as a couple are unified to a definite vault; some Steady coins are decentralized. Unified stable coin are helpless against hack or likely overlap up; while Decentralized are supported either through fiat or digital currency or with the guide of sources that are more than precious including gold, silver, etc
For what reason is Digital Gold Stable coins the quality?
The digital gold solid coin; with ticker GOLD is a decentralized stable coin supported by method for the Gold precious metallic; which ensures that the expense of the gold steel is equivalent to the expense of the gold token; this ensures the gold token :
The gold token worth is consistent constantly and moreover really redeemable anytime you need; it is additionally consistently sought after.
The gold token is financed through 9200 bullion Gold vault which rises to 9200 gold tokens. I.E 9200 Gold in vault = 9200 gold tokens.
**N.B: The Gold Platform Group gave 9200 tokens in light of the fact that legitimate now The Gold vault shops 9200 grams of gold. 1 gram of gold = 1 gold token.
After investors purchase the limit of the existent 7200 tokens, the digital gold association will purchase a fresh out of the box new part of metal gold and put it inside the vault carport. From that point forward, the team will transfer GOLD tokens to more markets.
With such highlights above; I can tell you that gold token stable coin is the way ahead in safeguarding our accounts secure; verified, straightforward and totally supported by methods for 7,200 gold vault.
I really have had a non-open run over with the platform and it's the charming stablecoin I have happened upon.
As upon the arrival of distributing this content,
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How To Trade Forex

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How does Forex Work?

Forex trading is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another…
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Basic Terminology

Before trading currencies, an investor has to understand the basic terminology of the forex market…
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Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is the study of the overall economic, financial, political…
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Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is the study of prices over time, with charts being the primary tool…
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Trend Lines

The term ‘trend’ describes the current direction of the financial instrument…
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What is a Technical Indicator

Technical Indicators are a result of mathematical calculations/algorithms…
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Gold Trading

As an investment, gold is the most popular of the precious metals…
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Order Types

A market order is an order to open a buy or sell position at…
Read more

We complete our education centre with a breakdown of Gold Trading and details of the different Order Types.
You can also review our glossary to find brief definitions of various trading and financial terms you may encounter.
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  1. What is Forex? Think the stock market is huge? Think again. Learn about the LARGEST financial market in the world and how to trade in it.
    1. What Is Forex?Learn about this massively huge financial market where fiat currencies are traded.
    2. What Is Traded In Forex?Currencies are the name of the game. Yes, you can buy and sell currencies against each other as a short-term trade, long-term investment, or something in-between.
    3. Buying And Selling Currency PairsThe first thing that you need to know about forex trading is that currencies are traded in pairs; you can’t buy or sell a currency without another.
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    3. Why Trade Forex: Forex vs. FuturesThe futures market trades a puny $30 billion per day. Thirty billion? Peanuts compared to the FIVE TRILLION that is traded daily in the forex market!
  3. Who Trades Forex? From money exchangers, to banks, to hedge fund managers, to local Joes like your Uncle Pete – everybody participates in the forex market!
    1. Forex Market StructureBecause there is no centralized market, tight competition between banks normally leads to having the best prices! Boo yeah!
    2. Forex Market PlayersThe forex market is basically comprised of four different groups.
    3. Know Your Forex History!If it wasn’t for the Bretton Woods System (and the great Al Gore), there would be no retail forex trading! Time to brush up on your history!
  4. When Can You Trade Forex? Now that you know who participates in the forex market, it’s time to learn when you can trade!
    1. Forex Trading SessionsJust because the forex market is open 24 hours a day doesn’t mean it’s always active! See how the forex market is broken up into four major trading sessions and which ones provides the most opportunities.
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    3. When Can You Trade Forex: London SessionNot only is London the home of Big Ben, David Beckham, and the Queen, but it’s also considered the forex capital of the world–raking in about 30% of all forex transactions every day!
    4. When Can You Trade Forex: New York SessionNew York baby! The concrete jungle where forex dreams are made of! Just like Asia and Europe, the U.S. is considered one of the top financial centers in the world, so it definitely sees its fair share of action–and then some!
    5. Best Times of Day to Trade ForexTrading is all about volatility and liquidity. Which times of day provide the most dynamic market action and volumes?
    6. Best Days of the Week to Trade ForexEach trader should know when to trade and when NOT to trade. Read on to find out the best and worst times to trade.
  5. How Do You Trade Forex? Now, it’s time to learn HOW to rake in the moolah!
    1. How to Make Money Trading ForexJust like any other market: buy low and sell high…and vice versa. Simple, right!?
    2. Know When to Buy or Sell a Currency PairLet’s start with the very basics. First, what drives the value of a currency?
    3. What is a Pip in Forex?You’ve probably heard of the terms “pips,” “pipettes,” and “lots” thrown around, and here we’re going to explain what they are and show you how their values are calculated.
    4. What is a Lot in Forex?How many units of currency can we trade? What size positions can we trade and what are they called?
    5. Impress Your Date with Forex LingoWanna impress your crush? Here are some forex terms to help you wow that special someone!
    6. Types of Forex Orders“Would you like pips with that?” Okay, not that type of order, but buying and selling currencies can be just as simple with a little practice.
    7. Demo Trade Your Way to SuccessCurrency market behavior is constantly evolving. Trade on demo first to get a lot of the rookie mistakes out of the way before risking live capital. There are no take-backs in the real market.
    8. Forex Trading is NOT a Get-Rich-Quick SchemeWhile possible if you’re a trading genius with ice in your veins and you’re luckier than a lottery winner, building wealth through trading takes time and practice to build the skills and experience needed to be successful.
📷
Via XNTRADES.com
Topics Which Every Trader Must Master.
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Support and Resistance v.1
Support and Resistance v.2
Elliot Waves Theory
Elliott Waves 101
Harmonic Patterns
Chart Patterns
How to Trade Market Structure
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Drone Strikes Are Escalating a Geopolitical Crisis—Which Could Help the Dollar

Investors rushing back to risk assets this month just got a reminder of the kind of simmering geopolitical threats out there. That could be good news for the dollar.
The drone strike on one of the world’s biggest oil facilities over the weekend raises the specter of escalating tensions across the Middle East — exactly the kind of scenario that typically fuels demand for assets denominated in the world’s reserve currency.
“Any retaliatory measures by Saudi Arabia would inevitably lead to an increased geopolitical risk scenario, i.e. the demand for safe-haven currencies can be expected to remain buoyant,” wrote Marc-André Fongern, strategist at MAF Global Forex. “From a fundamental perspective, there is still hardly any alternative to the dollar.”
Throw in still-festering trade tensions, record policy uncertainty, weak growth in Europe — with no fiscal stimulus in sight — and the continued outperformance of American markets, and the stage may be set for a new phase of greenback strength if the bulls have it right.
Even after a September pullback, the dollar is the best performing G-10 currency this quarter, and the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index remains close to levels notched two years ago. The latter gained 0.3% at 10:19 a.m. in New York on Monday as the drone strike in Saudi Arabia rippled through markets.
The latest flow data underscore the kind of support the exchange rate is enjoying from global investors these days. Numbers from EPFR Global Data released last week show cash was piling into stocks amid the global bond sell-off, but beneath the surface it all headed one way: American equity funds attracted more than $17 billion in the week through Sept. 11. Shares in Europe, Japan and the emerging markets all recorded outflows.

Trade War

As the trade war drags on, haven demand for the U.S. currency is likely to continue, according to Ned Rumpeltin, the European head of G-10 currency strategy at Toronto Dominion Bank. He points out there have been several false dawns in the protectionist spat, and says it’ll be no surprise if that happens again.
“The dollar remains the best house in a very bad neighborhood,” he said. “There are few places in the G-10 where the dollar can underperform.”
Analysis from JPMorgan Chase& Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shows the dollar is getting a lift from weakness in developing nations spurred by fears of a slowdown in China.
Absent a significant pick-up in risk appetite that diminishes the dollar’s flight-to-quality credentials, even fresh U.S. monetary easing would struggle to materially undercut the currency, according to Jane Foley, Rabobank’s head of currency strategy.

Bear Hunt

There remains plenty of ammo for dollar bears. The U.S. has twin deficits and the greenback is the most expensive G-10 currency based on the Bank for International Settlement’s real effective exchange rate.
One of the biggest bulls — HSBC Holdings Plc — acknowledges risks are rising to its strong-dollar call issued in April 2018. In a recent note, it stress-tested the potential impact of three scenarios: fiscal stimulus outside America, thawing trade relations, and U.S. intervention to weaken the currency. They all pose “serious negative consequences” for the greenback, HSBC said.
But nominal rate differentials matter in a world where more than $13 trillion of bonds globally yield below zero.
Around 60 trillion yen ($560 billion) Japanese government bonds with a coupon of over 1% will mature within three years and that money is likely to be reinvested in U.S. bonds where the whole curve is still positive, said Naoya Oshikubo, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management. The company is one of the managers of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest.
“The dollar will be well supported because of these flows,” Oshikubo said.
Japanese investors bought 2.47 trillion yen of U.S. government bonds in July, the most since 2016, according to the latest data.
“The dollar is still ticking a lot of boxes for a currency to be long: high liquidity, high security, high yield. Its economic situation still better than others,” said Andreas Koenig, head of global foreign exchange at Amundi Asset Management. “It’s difficult to find attractive alternatives.”

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