Greece won’t last beyond November without aid, says PM

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has signalled that his country could not survive beyond November if it isn’t granted the next tranche of bailout aid. 
Samaras highlighted that the most important thing for Greece is liquidity and underlined the necessity of the international financing. 
When questioned in the Handelsblatt interview how long Athens could survive without additional help he answered: “Until the end of November, then the cash box will be empty.” 
Samaras also felt that the European Central Bank (ECB) could help out by accepting lower interest rates on Greek bonds and rolling over the debt at maturity. However, ECB President Mario Draghi ruled out the idea, because he considers it to be “monetary financing”. 
In an International Herald Tribune conference held in Paris, Samaras also warned that a Greek exit from the euro would be “disastrous” for the Eurozone and could slash the Greek standard of living by up to 70%. 
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble gave some show of support stating that countries with problems should be allowed more time to reform but he did lash out at Greece by stating that all the other Eurozone states had made good progress on their austerity measures. He did however admit that Athens is in a “difficult situation”.

A great quote

I’m sure every trader has run into some kind of negativity from know-it-all chodes who just don’t get what this subject is about – it goes something along the lines of “What good does it actually do? You are just stealing other peoples money?” blah blah *yawn* blah….

Here’s a great quote from a book I’m reading “Hedge Fund Edge” that demolishes their complaints:

“Principle 7: Develop a Love and Respect for Trading, Free Markets, and Individual Liberty and Initiative.

Profits are just the gravy. When they test a group of traders, one of the traits that almost all successful traders and investors share is a deep understanding of how trading and investing is part of the process that allows humankind to progress. Even day-traders provide critical liquidity that allows others to hedge, companies to raise capital, and investors to invest with limited risk. Stock selection allows investors to become second-level venture capital firms, with their demand helping provide access to financing in areas where the people need capital most. The more you understand the remarkable way in which freedom and free association work to produce economic gain and real progress for humankind from new innovations and technologies, the more likely you are to feel a strong sense of purpose at being a part of such an incredible system. And the stronger your sense that your efforts are creating something good that is bigger than yourself, the more committed, enriched, excited, and innovative you will become.”

… so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

15 Mistakes by Traders

1) Always wants to be in the game .. more time means less money
2) Wants money quickly .. you can’t control the market 
3) Finds it very inexact – which system – how much to risk – there are no hard and fast rules .. 
using a positive expectancy system with a clear edge will work out over a period of time if risk is proportionate
4) Finds it boring to trade small
Since no trade is a sure thing and even with positive expectation, it is possible to have a string of 10 consecutive lossees. It is important to risk less to give probabilities a chance to work in your favour
5) Wants immediate gratification – can’t wait
You don’t control the market
6) Keeps looking for new indicators/systems – the sure system
There is no definiteness..
7) Keeps trying new indicators
Nothing works all the time
8) Keeps switching between different techniques – he wants the techniques to work 100% of the time
Nothing works all the time.. Instead stick with a few proven systems and trade them all the time
9) Very Adventurous
You are here to make money and not for thrills
10) Wants to make big money overnight.. Multiple positions – excess leverage
Since you can never be sure if the next trade is a winner or if the next 10 trades are losers, why would you want to risk too much (more…)

19 Quotes from the Book “Hedge Fund Market Wizards”

1. As long as no one cares about it, there is no trend. Would you be short Nasdaq in 1999? You can’t be short just because you think fundamentally something is overpriced.

2. All markets look liquid during the bubble (massive uptrend), but it’s the liquidity after the bubble ends that matters.

3. Markets tend to overdiscount the uncertainty related to identified risks. Conversely, markets tend to underdiscount risks that have not yet been expressly identified. Whenever the market is pointing at something and saying this is a risk to be concerned about, in my experience, most of the time, the risk ends up being not as bad as the market anticipated.

4. The low-quality names tend to outperform early in the cycle, and the high-quality names tend to outperform toward the end of the cycle.

5. Traders focus almost entirely on where to enter a trade. In reality, the entry size is often more important than the entry price because if the size is too large, a trader will be more likely to exit a good trade on a meaningless adverse price move. The larger the position, the greater the danger that trading decisions will be driven by fear rather than by judgment and experience.

6. Virtually all traders experience periods when they are out of sync with the markets. When you are in a losing streak, you can’t turn the situation around by trying harder. When trading is going badly, Clark’s advice is to get out of everything and take a holiday. Liquidating positions will allow you to regain objectivity.

7. Staring at the screen all day is counterproductive. He believes that watching every tick will lead to both selling good positions prematurely and overtrading. He advises traders to find something else (preferably productive) to occupy part of their time to avoid the pitfalls of watching the market too closely.

8. When markets are trending up strongly, and there is bad news, the bad news counts for nothing. But if there is a break that reminds people what it is like to lose money in equities, then suddenly the buying is not mindless anymore. People start looking at the fundamentals, and in this case I knew the fundamentals were very ugly indeed.

9. Buying low-beta stocks is a common mistake investors make. Why would you ever want to own boring stocks? If the market goes down 40 percent for macro reasons, they’ll go down 20 percent. Wouldn’t you just rather own cash? And if the market goes up 50 percent, the boring stocks will go up only 10 percent. You have negatively asymmetric returns.

10. If a stock is extremely oversold—say, the RSI is at a three-year low—it will get me to take a closer look at it.8 Normally, if a stock is that brutalized, it means that whatever is killing it is probably already in the price. RSI doesn’t work as an overbought indicator because stocks can remain overbought for a very long time. But a stock being extremely oversold is usually an acute phenomenon that lasts for only a few weeks. (more…)

Trading Sins

  • over-trading
  • too much leverage
  • under capitalization
  • not adhering to stops
  • trading without a plan
  • paying short thrift to proper execution
  • assuming too much risk, not respecting it
  • trading products I don’t fully understand
  • competing where I have no edge
  • becoming too emotional
  • under-valuing the need for ample liquidity
  • misaligning time-frames (the time a trade typically needs to play out, versus my expectation/need for it conclude)

Successful traders fail all the time. In fact, many even fail a majority of the time. The difference is that their failures are not a failure to execute their plan. The failure rests in the fact that the expertly chosen trade turned out to be wrong (nobody can be right 100% of the time – except Congress). And when the trade was wrong, they took their loss which resulted in minimal damage to their portfolio and moved on to the next opportunity.

The trading curve.

I really like this visual because if you turn your head enough it looks like a face hitting the wall. Not sure if that was intentional but that is how I would best describe what trading is like when you are new and/or struggling.

There are subtle but important difference. Yes there are no clients or employees but that means that you have to rely on your own feedback mechanisms. Money is not as effective as one would think.

Initiation- Every trader comes in thinking they will make money, in fact if they have never traded, they probably have convinced themselves fully. They spend time looking for all the answers in charts but it is in the process. It seems like easy money. It is not easy but it is probably the best way to make money. The best of anything takes more work.

Wearing off of novelty– This is a critical time for any trader. This is where the hole gets deeper or ideally the trader stops and starts to work more efficient. Process and not charts. This is the motivation to understand what trading really is and who they really are.

Trough of sorrow- This is also a critical point. Now you have done some work but it has not paid off yet. Do you keep working? Do you get some help? Can you continue to improve?

Crash of ineptitude- You are starting to gain some experience and confidence. But you have a bad day and lose too much. Back to the drawing table.

Wiggles of false hope- This is where you understand what not to do so you are floating along again. The problem is you are only starting to understand what to do. You have corrected the big mistakes and now start down the path of correcting the small ones.

The promise land- Now you understand what not to do and what to do. Now it is up to you to actually do it. You are in the best position of your trading career.

Acquisition of liquidity- Now you are a self sustaining trader. You have the ability to make x amount of dollars to survive. This is what you have to lean on now. This is when trading begins to get real. You are methodically improving.

Upside of buyer- Not only do you understand what not to do and what to do, you always do it. Now the sky is the limit. You control your destiny.

The difference between trading and a start up is you are not looking to be acquired. You have to do this day in and day out, make a career. This does not stop but the process and progressions become second nature and you are seeing positive results. This is not the time to relax but the time to put the foot on the gas pedal. This is true about all of the stages except the first one.

Trading is also different in that any day you can put yourself back into one of the stages. That is why it is important to never forget that the purpose is to make money. As you gain experience you will spend less time in the early stages. The early stages will start to feel like touching a hot stove. You will recognized the situations more quickly and have the strength to make a change immediately.

The trading curve.

Initiation-  Every trader comes in thinking they will make money, in fact if they have never traded, they probably have convinced themselves fully. They spend time looking for all the answers in charts but it is in the process. It seems like easy money.  It is not easy but it is probably the best way to make money.  The best of anything takes more work.

Wearing off of novelty– This is a critical time for any trader.  This is where the hole gets deeper or ideally the trader stops and starts to work more efficient.  Process and not charts. This is the motivation to understand what trading really is and who they really are.

Trough of sorrow-  This is also a critical point.  Now you have done some work but it has not paid off yet.  Do you keep working?  Do you get some help?  Can you continue to improve? (more…)

Characteristics of Bear Market

  • Sellers are in control
  • Oversold often stays oversold for a long time
  • Markets drop a lot faster than they go up
  • Bear markets burn and churn accounts with long only exposure
  • Volume and liquidity can dry up but price can still drop significantly
  • ‘Cheap’ can get a lot ‘cheaper’
  • Hope is slowly destroyed
  • Vicious bear market rallies try to suck in traders to trap them
  • Expect lots of gaps to the downside
  • It takes a long time until market participants throw in the towel

This is appropriate trading behaviour during bear markets:

  • Either in cash or short
  • Sell the rallies mentality
  • Do NOT buy the dips
  • Do not even think about going long if you are not an active and experienced trader

Why Traders Lose Money ?

why13One of the most frustrating things a trader can experience is being dead on right about a trade, taking it, BUT.. still losing money! How can this be? This can happen in five different ways, each of the first four contain a lesson for better planning the fifth way to lose money in this list is just part of the game.

  1. You enter your trade correctly and it goes in your favor, BUT… you do not have the right exit strategy to capture your profits and they evaporate due to not having a trailing stop or waiting to long to exit to bank those profits. Sometimes winners even turn into big losers win not managed correctly. You have to have a plan to take profits while they are there.
  2. You enter the right trade BUT… at the wrong time, you either exit not allowing your trade enough time to work or you are stopped out but do not have a plan to get yourself back in the trade with the right set up. The right trade with the wrong timing pays nothing.
  3. You have the right entry and it goes in your favor BUT.. you pick the wrong stock option to express your trade. If you pick an option with a high implied volatility your trade has to overcome that vega priced into the option, after an expected earnings event that vega value will be priced out and you need the move in intrinsic value to make up that difference. With a far out in time stock option you need the price to move enough in the underlying in the time period of the option to make up the theta cost of time embedded in the option. It is crucial to understand the option pricing model to make the right option trades to express your time period and expected move. Sometimes options also do not have the liquidity in some stocks,or far out time frames, or far out of the money strikes. Getting in and out of an illiquid  option trade can be very expensive. (more…)
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