Yesterday I pounded through a great read, Winner Take All: A Top Commodity Trader Tells It Like It Is, by William R. Gallacher. I’ll gather my thoughts and post what I took away shortly.
Overall on the portfolio side, I’m sure you notice some major changes from about a month ago (when things were running quite reckless and out of control). I am doing my best to reform my old ways – here’s how I’m currently approaching things:
- Since we’re in a flat out bull market for commodities, I’m buying anything that hits a 20-day high. Anything. Could be crude oil, feeder cattle, or sugar – doesn’t matter. Everything goes higher in a bull market, so I’m letting the market sift these out rather than me buying and holding something – which I have been doing.
- If a current position hits a 20-day low, I sell. Again, no questions asked. I’ll re-enter the position on a new 20-day high. Easy – automates the exiting process.
- Not have more than 25-30% of the portfolio “at-risk” at any given moment. In other words, if the world went to hell in a handbasket in 0.001 seconds flat, here’s what I would lose.
- I’m working on a spreadsheet to calculate this, which I am still tinkering with. I’ll share when finished. Basically the idea is that I have trailing stops at the 20-day low of each position. The difference between the current price and the stop (times the amount of leverage) equals how much I can lose on that position.
- The new return goal is 2% per week. If I break this, great. The idea is to try not to lose money in a given week. I figure if I can hit this # approximately, the returns will be great. Helps me to focus on the weekly # rather than trying to triple my portfolio in a year (which is what 2% will do over 52 weeks)
This week in the market, we’ve seen a big rally in the softs and the grains. My entry method put me into corn and soybeans a couple of weeks ago, and I am thankful for it this week. How about that to instill some confidence! Sugar is also showing some life – nice to have you back, sugar!
|Date||Position||Qty||Month/Yr||Contract||Strike||Call/Put||Entry Price||Last Price||Profit/Loss|
|12/07/07||Long||1||MAR 08||Corn||415||438 1/4||$1,162.50|
|12/14/07||Long||1||MAR 08||Corn||439||438 1/4||($37.50)|
|11/09/07||Long||1||MAR 08||Coffee ‘C’||126.05||133.80||$2,906.25|
|11/28/07||Long||1||JAN 08||Rough Rice||13.080||13.125||$90.00|
|06/04/07||Long||2||JUL 08||Sugar #11||10.05||10.84||$1,769.60|
|08/01/07||Long||1||JUL 08||Sugar #11||10.48||10.84||$403.20|
|10/18/06||Long||1||JUL 08||Sugar #11||12.08||10.84||($1,388.80)|
|Net Profit/Loss On Open Positions:||$8,255.25|
|Current Cash Balance||$58,796.45|
|Open Trade Equity||$8,255.25|
|Long Option Value||$0.00|
|Short Option Value||$0.00|
|Net Liquidating Value||$67,051.70|
Cashed out: $5,000.00
Total value: $72,051.70
Weekly return: 12.75%