I have no doubt that regular Readers (please no Wheelie, I can’t take anymore purile and unimaginative All-Bran references), will be well aware of my borderline imbecilic obsession with Hedging my Portfolio and you must be exasperated beyond belief to see that I am writing about this well-treaded subject yet again. Anyway, it is what it is, and after the recent heavy sell-off in the Markets (which after all is exactly why I have been mucking about with Hedging for so many years, in anticipation and preparation for such an event) I feel it would be worthwhile to just get down in blog format some thoughts and observations etc. that have arisen after this episode and the Global tragedy of the Coronavirus.
Overall I am quite pleased with the Hedging I did although of course in an Ideal World I could have done it better. I guess my main area of weakness was in not Hedging in larger size (more on this in due course) and I would say another failure was in not getting a big enough Short on early enough. Other than that, and some moments of panic when I shorted more and really was lucky to get away with it, I am overall fairly happy.
This is without doubt one of those Blogs that I really should have written ages ago, but I guess it has not even occurred to me before to do it because it is about something that is so mundane and everyday for me, that I didn’t even figure that actually it might be quite useful for Readers.
For many years now I have been utterly obsessed by Hedging my Portfolio of Stocks and Long Spreadbet Positions by using Short Spreadbets on Major Indexes such as the FTSE100 and the S&P500. I think the simple truth is that I have always had a fascination with Technical Analysis (the posh name for ‘Charting’) and part and parcel of that is Short-term Trading which is very much an approach which will not work without a good understanding of some basic Technical Signals/Principles. Thankfully this experience and practice with Shorting has really helped me a lot in the current Market difficulties.
I have been meaning to get on with writing this Blog for quite some time now but for various reasons (mostly good old-fashioned procrastination and farting about), I have been putting it off but at last I have to bite the bullet and get it done.
My interest here is to look at the Charting (Technical Analysis) factors which surrounded the eventual Bottom when the Markets floored out in 2009 before that monster Rally of 11 years or whatever it was. Of course we will struggle to find Signals and Indicators that point to precisely where the Bottom is (I may use the term ‘Proper Bottom’ for this because I am sure we will have lots of little Bottoms on the way to actually reaching the final one), but I think many Readers will be surprised by what I dig up here and the implication is that we can use some pretty basic Technical Indicators and Tools to help us ascertain the Proper Bottom.
I strongly recommend that you read Part 1 of these Blogs before attacking this chunk - otherwise it probably won’t make a whole lot of sense and it is really key that you understand what is meant by Upside Breakouts and Consolidations in particular. You can find Part 1 here:
The Stages of the ‘Trading Bases’ Approach
Right, you need to concentrate for this bit. If you are a bit jaded - you know, big night on the Fevertree and Gin last night or ‘too many beers’ (yeah, I know that is impossible but I‘m sure that never stops you trying to find the limit) - then go and get a stiff Black Coffee and take some deep breaths to get mentally and emotionally focused.
This is the Second Part of a 3 Blog Series produced by @vilage_idoit with a focus on Short Term Trading and how to make Money consistently from those Junky AIM Stocks that we all know and hate. If you haven’t read Part 1 then you can find it here, where you will also find a summary of Michael‘s experience and capabilities:
This Part really starts to get into the ‘Nuts & Bolts’ of how he does things and once again a huge THANK YOU to Michael for providing this excellent text.
My friend Michael (@vilage_idoit) is a highly skilful and successful Short Term Trader who fights with the Markets on a daily basis to snatch Profits from various situations and often this is around Buying and Selling those horrible Junky, WheelieBin-type, AIM Stocks. Quite often he would only be holding a Position for a few hours or so and I don’t think he holds a Position for many Days although he probably does this occasionally. This is not for the faint hearted and it takes a lot of ability to do it, but if you have the dedication and focus that Michael has then it can be done. One of the most amazing things is that he has only been involved in the Markets this way for a few years but the speed with which he has created an Approach which works and generates a lot of Cash for him shows just how exceptional he is. This is borne out by the fact that Michael does not ‘work’ and has funded his own Living Expenses etc. for several Years now. Bear in mind that I think he is still under 30 as well (ok, he looks young !!).
This first paragraph is being written after all the rest in this Part of the Blog Series. Having now completed a very good Draft of it, I have decided that it is extremely involved and lengthy and for this reason I will separate the Examples out into its own Part - Part 3 - and now the Blog Series will run to 4 Parts with the final one being a Conclusion that brings everything together.
Finally I have got around to starting on these Examples - I have been struggling with precisely how to do it as I had a few ideas in my head but often that is not actually helpful and it merely meant that this state of indecision was simply stopping me getting on and writing the darned thing !! Anyway, I have sort of settled on the basic way of doing it and I am starting typing and shoving in pictures in the possibly forlorn hope that it will sort of coalesce into something that makes sense.
This is the Final Part of a Series of Blogs - if this is the first time you have been unlucky enough to find this Series then Links to the earlier Parts are at the bottom of this one if you scroll down.
I am hoping that I have done these Blogs in a way which Readers can makes sense of and will enable them to think about how to go about such Index Trading themselves if the urge takes hold. You can use ETFs like XUKS (a way of Shorting the FTSE100 that you buy and sell like a Share. To go Long on the FTSE100 you could use something like ISF I think - you will need to check this) instead of Spreadbets and of course things like CFDs will give a similar result (but these come with Tax disadvantages when compared to Spreadbets). But it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway !!) if you do fancy having a go you must be extremely careful and start with a Practice Account perhaps or at least start with very low Position Sizes - don’t go betting £1000 a Point on the FTSE100 on your first Trade !! (that would be equivalent to about £7.2m of Exposure by the way !!!).
Before I finish the Blog Series off, I just want to stress the following Key Points:
This is the Second Part in what should be 3 chunks regarding what is a pretty complicated and hefty subject - before getting stuck into this, I would strongly suggest reading Part 1 which you can find here:
Trade Types I am particularly looking for
As with all things in Trading and Investing it is extremely important to strive for simplicity and in line with this I essentially have 4 different ‘Types’ of Trade Setups that I am particularly after; and they can be grouped into 2 different types - Long and Short.
In the Final Part of this Blog Series I intend to produce some Examples using real Charts of these types of Trades so Readers can get a much better appreciation of what I am going on about.
Anyone who has read some of my Blogs and Tweets and followed what I get up to with my Trades cannot have missed my obsession with trying to Hedge my Long Portfolio of Stocks using Short Spreadbet Positions on Major Indexes.
This is all about trying to lower Downside Risk - in essence there are 2 types of such Risk - ‘Stock specific’ which can be diversified away by holding a number of Positions and by such things as Sizing to Volatility, diversity of Strategies, diversity of Sectors, diversity of Stock Types (Income, Defensive, Growth, Value, etc.). The other Risk is ‘Market specific’ - this can only be practically reduced or largely mitigated by the use of Index Shorts - which is what this Blog is about.
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