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Hello, I am entirely new to Forex trading and up to this very moment I have not made a single Forex trade. However, it has piqued my interest lately and I decided to spend some spare time writing some high frequency FIX over SSL code. I was hoping you guys could help me with a couple of questions I have. Forgive me if these questions sound entirely dumb. If they are more suitable on a different subreddit please let me know. 1) Can I get a couple of resources (web-links/URLs) for historical currency pair data? What is the the best temporal granularity I can find in historical data? Seconds/milliseconds/nanoseconds? 2) Can I get recommendations for brokers that offer FIX trading? I found a somewhat popular platform with a $5000 minimum deposit but they do not permit registrations for US residents. Is this common? Any idea why? In addition, I came across a couple of VPS providers offering low latency connections to brokers often in the single digit milliseconds latency range. Are these guys legit? Anyone have any experience here? 3) In a low latency trading scenario, what is the typical duration for order execution? By this I mean the time period between placing a market order (FIX Tag 35=D) and getting a successful execution report(FIX Tag 35=8)? If this is a variable time period can you list the contributing factors? I have encountered some verbiage on broker sites warning that their demo accounts could offer more expedited order execution than real market accounts which might also have slippage(what is this?). I was hoping I could get actual numbers of typical expectations in a real market scenario under a variety of dependent conditions. Any answers I get would be every helpful and highly appreciated. Thanks!
Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful. If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic. As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you. Part II
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Letting stops breathe
We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise. Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight. Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch! One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure. For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that. If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it. There are also more analytical approaches. Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves. For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size. ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart). Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon? Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.
Reasons to change a stop
As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later. There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare. One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are. Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out. Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example. The mighty trailing stop loss order It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops. One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea. Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out. Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?
Entering and exiting winning positions
Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position. The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t. Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter. Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid. The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.
Entering positions with limit orders
That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one? Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205. You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait. Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in. So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?! There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position. Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action. You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market. Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders. Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD. Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct. Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend. You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.
Risk:reward and win ratios
Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important! Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money. If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below. A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders. That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips. One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline. Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.
Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad! The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below. The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility. Would you rather have the first trading record or the second? If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps . A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return. If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk. This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ... Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.
The Sharpe ratio works like this:
It takes the average returns of your strategy;
It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent. You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.
VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%. A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade. Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment. Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often. These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.
Coming up in part III
Available here Squeezes and other risks Market positioning Bet correlation Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits *** 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.
6 Price Action Retracement Entry Types You Need To Know
You've presumably heard "retracement" or "follow" much of the time in case you're keen on exchanging the monetary business sectors. Be that as it may, do you really understand what value retracements are, the reason they're so significant and how to appropriately exploit them? Maybe not, yet regardless of whether you do, the present exercise will reveal new insight into how to use these incredibly amazing business sector occasions… A retracement in a market is a pretty simple idea to characterize and comprehend. Basically, it's actually what it seems like: a period when cost remembers back on an ongoing move, either up or down. Consider "remembering your means"; returning a similar way you came. It's fundamentally an inversion of an ongoing value move. For what reason are retracements significant? For various reasons: They are occasions to enter the market at a "superior value", they take into account ideal stop misfortune arrangement, improved danger prize and then some. A remember passage is more traditionalist than a "market section" for instance and is viewed as a "more secure" passage type. Eventually, the objective of a dealer is get the best passage cost and oversee hazard on a par with conceivable while additionally expanding restores; the retracement section is a device that permits you to do every one of the three of these things. This exercise will cover all parts of exchanging retracements and will assist you with understanding them better and put them to use to ideally improve your general exchanging execution. Presently, how about we examine a portion of the Pros and Cons of retracement exchanging before we take a gander at some model graphs… Professionals of Retracement Trading We should discuss a portion of the many "Geniuses" of retracement exchanging. Frankly, retracement exchanging is fundamentally how you exchange like an expert rifleman, which, on the off chance that you've followed me for any timeframe, you know is my favored strategy for exchanging. Higher Probability Entries – The very idea of a draw back or backtrack implies that cost is probably going to keep moving toward the underlying move when the follow closes. Henceforth, on the off chance that you see a solid value activity signal at a level after a retracement, it's high-likelihood passage since all signs are highlighting value bobbing starting there. Presently, it doesn't generally occur, however hanging tight for a remember to a level with a sign, is the most elevated likelihood way you can exchange. Markets pivot back to the "signify" or "normal" cost again and again; this is clear by taking a gander at any value outline for a couple of moments. Along these lines, when you see this revolution or backtrack occur, begin searching for a section point there in light of the fact that it's a lot higher-likelihood passage point than just entering "at market" like most brokers do. Less Premature Stop-Outs – A retracement permits greater adaptability with stop misfortune arrangement. Essentially, in that you can put the prevent further away from any territory on the diagram that is probably going to be hit (if the exchange you're taking is to exercise by any stretch of the imagination). Setting prevents further away from key levels or moving midpoints or further away from a pin bar high or low for instance, gives the exchange a higher possibility of working out. Visit توقعات الذهب اليوم Better Risk Rewards – Retracement passages hypothetically permit you to put a "more tight" stop misfortune on an exchange since you're entering more like a key level or you're entering at a pin bar half level on an exchange section stunt passage for instance. In this way, should you decide to do as such, you can put a stop a lot nearer than if you entered an exchange that didn't occur after a follow or on the off chance that you entered a pin bar exchange at the high or low of the pin, for instance. Model: a 100 pip stop and 200 pip target can undoubtedly turn into a 50 pip stop and 250 pip focus on a follow passage. Note: you don't have to put a more tight stop, it's discretionary, however the choice IS There on a backtrack section in the event that you need it. The other option, utilizing a standard width stop has the benefit of diminishing the odds of an untimely stop out. A danger prize can likewise be somewhat expanded regardless of whether you utilize a standard stop misfortune, rather than a "more tight one". Model: a 100 pip stop and a 200 pip target can without much of a stretch become a 100 pip stop and a 250 pip target. Why? This is on the grounds that a remember passage lets you enter the market when it has "more space" to run toward you, because of the way that cost has pulled back and it consequently has more separation to move before it follows again when contrasted with in the event that you entered at a "more awful cost" further up or down. Cons of Retracement Trading Obviously I will be straightforward with you and told you a portion of the "cons" of retracement exchanging, there are a not many that you ought to know about. Notwithstanding, this doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to learn retracement exchanging and add it to your exchanging "tool stash", in light of the fact that the geniuses FAR exceed the cons. More Missed Trades: Good exchanges will "move away" now and then when hanging tight for a retracement that doesn't occur, for instance. This can test your nerves and exchanging attitude and will bother even the best dealers. In any case, trust me, passing up exchanges isn't the most exceedingly terrible thing on the planet and it's smarter to pass up certain exchanges than to over-exchange, that is without a doubt. Less Trades in General – A great deal of the time, advertises just don't remember enough to trigger the more moderate passage that returns with a force. All things being equal, they may simply prop up with insignificant retracements. This implies you will have less opportunities to exchange by and large when contrasted with somebody who isn't essentially hanging tight for follows. Because of the over two focuses, retracement exchanging can be disappointing and takes unimaginable order. In any case, in the event that you build up this order you'll be WELL in front of the majority of losing dealers thus retracement exchanging can assist you with building up the control you should need to prevail at exchanging regardless of what passage technique you wind up utilizing. Retracements Provide Flexibility in Stop Loss Placements Setting your stop misfortune at some unacceptable point can get you taken out of an exchange rashly, that you in any case were spot on. By figuring out how to sit tight for market pull backs or retracements, you won't just enter the market at a higher-likelihood point, however you'll likewise have the option to put your stop misfortune at a lot more secure point on the diagram. Regularly, dealers get debilitate in light of the fact that they get halted out of an exchange that actually they were spot on. Putting a stop misfortune at some unacceptable point on a diagram can get you removed from an exchange before the market truly gets an opportunity to get moving toward you. A retracement presents a clever answer for this issue by permitting you to put a more secure and more extensive stop misfortune on an exchange, giving you a superior possibility at bringing in cash on that exchange. At the point when a market follows or pulls back, particularly inside a moving business sector, it is giving you an occasion to put your stop misfortune at a point on the outline that is significantly more averse to take you out of an exchange. Since most remembers occur into help or opposition levels, you can put the stop misfortune further past that level (more secure) which is fundamentally less inclined to be hit than if it was nearer to the level. Utilizing what I call a "standard" stop misfortune (not a tight one) in this case will give you the most obvious opportunity at keeping away from an untimely take out of an exchange.
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The Last Time I Write Another One of These Cringey Things (I hope...): Part 2892, The Worst Sequel and Wall of Text, ever
Hiya, folks...! It's another wall of text from some random person who could be doing just about anything else except for this... Who's ready for some paragraphs from some stranger? I know you'd rather be doing anything else, or maybe not haha.. But it does mean a lot if you do take the time to try to attempt to accurately type me... I will DEFINITELY NOT overthink it this time, and take your consideration FULLY to heart, and stop overthinking my MBTI type and live happily ever after! (Hahahahhaha...! ... ...) ... Ok, let's begin!
How old are you? What's your gender? Give us a general description of yourself.
I am a freshly 23 year old male that likes to do average Redditor bullcrap. Video games, memes, music, making my finger go up and down endlessly while staring at a glass LED screen with pixels on it while feeling like I've accomplished nothing. Just average stuff, I suppose. I'm not really that interesting tbh... I work at home and I am just "vibing", as the kids say. I have some long term projects planned, but I'm at least trying to rest up from a really shitty 7 years that I've had back to back to back so... Nothing really insightful to write here haha..
Is there a medical diagnosis that impact your mental/comportamental stability somehow?
Likely several... I had a very traumatic childhood that I constantly gaslight myself about like saying things like "it wasn't that bad, people have it worse" and much worse.. I disassociate from reality every 2.5 seconds, can't focus, have terrible insomnia, EXTREMELY low energy, mood swings, brain fog, random body pains 24/7, seventeen billion repressed emotions which don't help out anything else that I'm dealing with, memory problems, and I need caffeine to do the bare minimum of just about anything on most days, but some of that could be average American problems. I've suspected I have some form as Aspergers, and probably A TON of mental illnesses, such as OCD, anxiety, depression, and maybe a personality disorder.
Describe your upbringing. Did it have any kind of religious or structured influence? How did you respond to it?
My upbringing is a very mixed bag overall. I would not say I had a typically "tragic" childhood (there goes me gaslighting myself LOL) because people have DEFINITELY had it worse than me. But I can't sit here and pretend everything I went through was "normal". To attempt to sum it up, I basically was a "gifted" kid who got good grades throughout school and maintained my image of being this perfect kid, but meanwhile in the shadows, I was just slowly dying inside and suffering from a lot of imposter syndrome (amongst other things), which I'd definitely would say is warranted because I was NOT cut out for anything in school and it showed. I basically faked my way through school, got burnt out EARLY but got mega burnt out by senior year, and basically started college with no plan but somehow still managed to graduate (barely) and just kinda end up where I am now. As far as a religious upbringing is concerned, I definitely was heavily influenced by religion, in kind of a negative way (?) Religion and I have a VERY weird relationship. On the one hand, I guess I love my religious friends, the lessons I learned from it, and a lot of what it says, but on the other hand I can not ever be a part of one mostly because of some of the dogmatic thinking and extremely toxic aspects to it that people use to justify hate and violence, and that's not really my type of thing. Also, I used to be really kinda "uppity" or arrogant about my religion, and now I DESPISE seeing the same type of "holier than thou" attitude projected. It kinda irks me on the inside. Looking back, my response to it all was a major polarity shift from one extreme, to the other, and now where I'm at, I can look back at both sides and take the good from both. What do I mean by that? Welllllll... I mentioned earlier how I can't stand the "holier than thou" type, and for a while, that was DEFINITELY me. I was REALLY into it and took it extremely serious. I wouldn't mind being called "lame" or "whack" for having my faith, but looking back, it really made my quality of life kinda worse because I did have those strong beliefs and those off-putting characteristics that ostracized me from my peers and some potentially great experiences. I grew out of this and then became an EXTREME atheist, and for a while, it felt freeing. I felt better, smarter, edgier, and just superior, but looking back, I was just cynical and a total asshole, and arguably worse than the "holier than thou douche persona" that I had growing up. Luckily, my extreme atheism phase kinda fizzled out after some other trauma that happened around the time I became an atheist, and now, I can respect religion and be open to it, the ideas, and the amazing things that come from it while also maintaining my independent thinking but not to the point of being "hur dur be skeptical and point out everything wrong with religion all the time and be an asshole for no reason to religious people", if that makes any sense. As far as my relationship to the structure in my life.. It's kind of a mixed bag. I had a pretty suffocated childhood, and I wasn't allowed certain things, but I guess it wasn't really all that bad in the end, or at least as it could've been. Most of this was just protection from a single parent who just didn't want anything to me and wanted me to be the best I could be in life, and I can respect this and look back on some parts of my structured childhood with fondness. But I most certainly got sick of it all by the time I was almost finished with highschool and in a lot of my college career. I basically used to be Mr. Structured. I had everything organized, I was neat, clean, got everything done at the right time, all the good stuff. But my brain just got tired of maintaining that forever, because I was already pretty much bad at life, but I was forced to just continue faking everything until something happened. So, by the end of high school, I lost all of those characteristics and became extremely sloppy. But I really do blame that on being physically tired. Being as organized as I was was TAXING because of how I overdid it. And now, thinking back, a lot of my structuredness was just on the surface level, and it was me trying to live up to everyone's standards and be just on top of everything, all the time, at a VERY unhealthy level, and that's probably what burnt me out too. I was addicted to the image of being this extremely put together person who has their shit together, while not having absolutely any shit to get together because I was withering away inside faster than fresh cotton candy from the fair melts in your mouth when your mouth is dry. So, basically to sum it all up, I was a really clean cut religious smart "gifted" kid who wasn't really that, at all (AND I still don't know who I am now tbh haha) and I got tired of putting on that image all the time and turned to a dirty neckbeard atheist cynic for a short time, and then balanced out to whatever the fuck I am now because I wear 238234 different masks for each and every occasion, but THAT'S a different story haha.. I look back at both equally cringey and horrible chapters of my life with some scorn for myself and the times, but overall a much more understand a balanced perspective, because I had to go through it all to be me, and I'm just glad I can be here now. I'd say I definitely liked moments from those chapters, but overall, I'm much happier where I'm at now, which is not nearly as anally obsessive at the concept of being structured and not nearly as hyper-faithful to my religion or just a total asshole piece of shit atheist.
What do you do as a job or as a career (if you have one)? Do you like it? Why or why not?
Right now, I'm sorta half employed. I do trade a bit on the Forex markets from signals groups and make enough to help out my family, and buy myself things here and there. I'm only really doing this because I went through a really shitty 7 years and I just need time to myself to kind of figure out, A LOT (clearly, as you can see by reading this HORRIBLE reddit post LOL) and rest. I just like the amount of freedom I have, and the money. I really like the idea of me having money saved and ready for any emergency, or family member or friend. I just need money to help out, stay safe, and to have time for myself to rest and take care of my health, or just pursue all the hobbies I missed out on, and I'm totally fine doing this the rest of my life. I don't really need or want that much in life, and I've always kind of been like this. I just want things to be peaceful and simple, so that my mind can be at ease and to just have free time for myself and a solution for any random chaotic emergency that happens because my mind always thinks of the worst that can happen by catastrophizing literally everything ever in the world. So my "career" is just a means to an end, like I'm sure a lot of people's careers are, unless you happen to have a passion or something, which is also amazing. I do like writing, and I do wanna finish my book. I daydream a lot about it, and sometimes that's much more fun than actually writing it, but I do wanna finish it, but I also want it to be absolutely perfect and plothole free, and much more. I also wanna do YouTube and Twitch, but I feel like I have a lot to do as a person before I can freely be on those sites as a full person/"influencer" (I have so many mixed feelings about having a full time career as an influencer and having my life under that much pressure and scrutiny, BUTTTTT that's a different discussion...), so I might pursue those slowly or just freestyle it for fun. Those were my big dreams as a kid, but growing up, I see that writing a good book is damned hard (worth it, but hard) and being a Youtubesocial media star is a different world entirely, and I don't know how I feel about it. Like, I know I'd never be a Shane Dawson (YIKES) or Cryaotic (EWWWWW) but to even just disappoint one person, or have any sort of fuckup, or.. I don't know where I'm going with this... Basically, everything I suffer from now would only be amplified by having a YouTube career, my people pleasing tendencies, my over obsession with being perfect for others/myself, my workaholic tendencies, my being hard on myself, my fear of fucking anything up, and my imposter syndrome, those would all go BRRRRRR if I got any decent success on YouTube, so... *Phew* That's my weird relationship with my life, and where I wanna go with it. To be honest, I'd be happy where I'm at right now, because at the end of the day, as long as I'm healthy and my family is happy, I'm ok, but a part of me also wants to live out those big dreams like having my book be a thing and animated, and being a good YouTuber, meme maker, Twitch streamer, all the above at the same time but my insecurities are like "BWAHAHAHAHA", so I'm just like: -_- But I'll figure it out! Hopefully..
If you had to spend an entire weekend by yourself, how would you feel? Would you feel lonely or refreshed?
Hm... Interesting question. Honestly, I'd never feel lonely on weekends by myself. Even when my friends are doing better things or aren't around, I don't really feel lonely I guess. Most of the time I have weekends alone, I feel pretty refreshed I suppose. It's kinda hard to tell haha.. This feels more like a circumstantial question where a myriad of things that are going on during the hypothetical week or just in my life/mind would determine this answer. Sometimes I just need that weekend to recharge and be alone and in my thoughts, or watching Netflix or being an absolute video game degenerate while dancing alone in my room and eating junk food. And sometimes, I like to be out and about with my friends, or just doing stuff. I probably lean more towards refreshed though, overall in a general sense.
What is your relation with movement and your surroundings? For instance do you prefer a sport or outdoors event? If an outdoors event what is it? And why? If not what type of activities do you tend to engage in?
BIG YIKES. I feel like a non human that doesn't belong on this planet or universe 99% of the time. I'm VERY slow, awkward movements, jittery, sometimes it looks like I was born yesterday with my grasp on physical reality, but yet, I do interestingly enough find myself loving to sweat and workout. I don't really have the coordination for any type of real sport, but I do like walks and I would run if I lived in an area where I could have a private or peaceful run where I would not be interrupted or seen by anyone because I look HIDEOUS running. I won't say I could never get into running at a professional or serious level, like with a group, but I'd just say it's more unlikely, for now. It sounds really exciting and interesting to be good at something physical, and I have always admired people who could do really sick stuff in sports, and I've always wanted to do it. But, right now, my uncoordinated ass will stick to just riding my exercise bike occasionally to burn off some restlessness and help me sleep betteperform better because working out makes my brain feel oddly stable lol. (I guess that's why I have such a fascination with physical stuff even though I am absolutely hopeless in most of it in the grand scheme of things)
How curious are you? Do you have more ideas then you can execute? What are your curiosities about? What are your ideas about - is it environmental or conceptual, and can you please elaborate?
I don't know if I'd say I'm curious, I guess I just think a lot. Like, I'll see something or watch something and daydream about it all the time, making new ideas out of it in my head or creating something new with it, trying to take it a new level or understand it at a different level, if that makes sense. Like, I'll sort of mentally digest something and that's what gives me inspiration, or ideas. I take in everything as I go and make up new shit with it later on (LOL this sounds like regular human being talk, because everyone does this). I would say I have a lot of ideas on everything. I daydream about random chapters in my book a lot, like full on scenes. I'll daydream about a new melody for a song I've never heard with lyrics, and I'll try to make lyrics in my head and extend the melody. I'll daydream about my interactions in life, and just how I could have responded differently, or maybe what the other person is thinking, or feeling, or stuff like I wonder if they're okay. I'll daydream about new memes I can make, or me in an interview (OMG MEGA CRINGE ROFL). I pretty much daydream about... Everything. And then I'll daydream about what I'm daydreaming about, and why I'm doing it, and it gets too meta at that point. (this could very well just be maladaptive daydreaming and NOT indicative of any cognitive function ROFL)
Would you enjoy taking on a leadership position? Do you think you would be good at it? What would your leadership style be?
Nope, nuh uh. I am too much of a people pleaser and pushover. I'd be dead or betrayed before my first week is over. The thing about me is that generally, I feel like I'd be a terrible leader because I can overthink a lot, all the time, and I'd be slow to action and prone to analysis paralysis and extreme people pleasing tendencies. I can also be conflict avoidant, and just want people to be happy, so I'd let a lot of stuff slide that I maybe should not. Now, don't get me wrong, I can be firm and tough when needed, but eventually that'd be too much for me to bear, and I couldn't be in a position like that for long. I genuinely hope I never become a leader, because even when I'm looking back to five minutes ago, I can say that "ew, that's cringe bro", so I clearly have a lot of work to do before I have something that serious on my plate.
Are you coordinated? Why do you feel as if you are or are not? Do you enjoy working with your hands in some form? Describe your activity?
HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Funny question. But.. Yeahhhhhhh... No. I am NOT coordinated. I can barely walk in my kitchen without the fear of me accidentally turning wrong or moving incorrectly and just breaking something or knocking over everything in the kitchen. SOMETIMES I'm in James Bond mode, and it feels like I can do anything physical, and I feel aware of everything, my body, my surroundings, and I can actually move like a human being, but that usually doesn't last long. I can do just the bare minimum that an average human can do, but MUCH MUCH worse and at a greater cost of my energy, and my mental energy trying not to fuck anything up because I have literally just been sitting at times and barely move and knock over EVERYTHING somehow, because that's just how much my body was not meant to be on planet earth and I maybe should have been incarnated as a slug, idk.
Are you artistic? If yes, describe your art? If you are not particular artistic but can appreciate art please likewise describe what forums of art you enjoy. Please explain your answer.
I'd describe myself as artistic, even if I haven't drawn in years LOL. But let me explain... I do still have a love for it, I just haven't really been able to practice. In general, my art is just aiming for whatever is in my brain, and I don't have a solid style. I'm just going for whatever I'm going for in the moment. I prefer a mix of realism with some "quirks", if that makes sense. While I haven't drawn in a while, this is how I'd imagine I'd want my art to look nowadays. Pretty realistic with perfect everything, perfect features, perfect environment or whatever I'm illustrating or going for (perfect features on a person, all the hair strands drawn individually, etc), with a mix of my own little "spice", if that makes sense. Back in the day, my art was just trying to copy classic anime, and while I have no problem with that style, I just wanna kinda make my own style, even if that is hard to verbalize lmao. Alright guys.. I would write more, but I'm sleepy and some of this is getting dumb/boring (as if it wasn't already LOL). I'm glad you made it this far, and thank you for reading and putting up with this actual garbage fire of a post. Please take care of yourselves during these crazy weird times, and I hope you are doing well. I look forward to reading you guys responses (if I get any LOL). Stay amazing, and stay healthy :3
Hello and thank you for being here again! In this article I want to show you how I structure my operations by trading in the currency market. If it can give you ideas or help you in your process, the objective of this post will be more than fulfilled. I will try to be as clear and direct as possible. I'll go point by point: Index
1. How to trade
2. Intraday or swing trading in Forex?
3. Automatic or Manual Forex Trading
4. Is analysis the key to Forex trading?
5. Learn to create robust trading strategies
6. Best Forex Trading Strategies
6.1. Trading strategies with very simple entry and exit criteria
6.2. Systems with a not very high number of operations or trades
6.3. Strategies with a controlled return/risk
7. Establish connection and disconnection rules for your systems
8. Diversify in Forex
9. What currencies to trade on Forex
10. Why invest (only) in Forex
11. Steps to trade
12. How to start as a professional trader (without knowing how to program)
Focusing on the basics and keeping it simple. Let me explain, you don't have to rely on hyper-complex strategies, use the software that PETA it and put it on the server next to your broker ... you don't have to be the best programmer, much less get dirty on the graphics of your platform to win money in Forex. You need systems. The systems work. Results-oriented companies and work methods are systems-based. You should start applying and creating systems because they will allow you:
Know what you can expect (return and risk) in results.
Measure what you do .
Know when what you are applying is stopping working.
Yes, that sitting in front of the computer, looking and saying "I think EUR / USD is going to rise" is the most common thing, but the normal thing here is to lose money. You need winning strategies to start the fight.
2. Intraday or swing trading in Forex?
This question is an interesting question and I make a small indent if you are just starting out. Swing trading are operations that usually last several days and when we talk about intraday or day trading we refer to operations that are closed on the same day. Well, which one then? Like everything in life, it depends (we are). You have to learn that there is no “best for all”. In my case I combine both operations because I dedicate myself full time to this, but if you are just starting out or are one of the people who get stressed out with trading, I recommend that you focus on swing trading. As you consolidate here you can start to scale and seek to diversify by doing intraday. But again, this is just something that I recommend based on my own experience and from people I have known over the years.
3. Automatic or Manual Forex Trading
Not all automated Forex trading systems are a panacea, nor are all discretionary or manual systems bad. Stop looking at it like that, we're only talking about execution. This is precisely why I am opting for automated execution. We could talk at length about this and if you find it interesting I can dedicate an article just to it. But think that automation is just how strategy is carried out. Whether this is a winner or a loser is the basis of everything. Automating a losing strategy does not make it a winner, it is only about applying strategies that are profitable and ensuring that they are executed in the best way (in manual we always cheat alone).
4. Is analysis the key to Forex trading?
Many people think that technical analysis is the key to beating the market and defend it to the last consequences. The same happens with those who think that the only way to make money in the foreign exchange market is through fundamental analysis. So what really works? What really works and you can check. What good is it if you tell me that this or the other is the best method if you haven't even sat down to draw numbers. Many times it is not with what, but how. That is, they can be different valid methods if they are done well. But for this you need statistics of what you are doing. >>>Recommended Forex Broker: Plus500 - Visit official website<<<
5. Learn to create robust trading strategies
Let's first see what a robust trading strategy is all about. As traders, we know what has happened in the past, but we don't know what will happen in the market tomorrow. That is why we need systems that are well adapted to changing market circumstances. How can we know systems adapt well to alterations in the spread, prices ...? Simulating those alterations, something like simulating those conditions and seeing how they behave. There are different tests for this such as: Walk Forward test, Montecarlo, and Multimarket. These tests give us an idea of how robust our created trading system is and give us a reference. Be careful, I said reference, not absolute truth. Then we will test them, our goal is to leave as little space as possible to chance.
6. Best Forex Trading Strategies
You may be wondering how you are going to manage to create profitable strategies and start with all this. Calm down, there are tools for this, but the important thing here is that you know that the strategies that tend to be more stable over time and give better results are:
6.1. Trading strategies with very simple entry and exit criteria
The opposite of what you may have been told. The simpler our Forex trading systems are, the more likely they will continue to work overtime. I have seen this myself and I know it first hand. Also, which is more likely to stop working, a system based on six indicators or a system based on one or two? That six indicators continue to give results for years and years is not easy. Instead, only one or two are more so. Still, trading systems should always be supervised.
6.2. Systems with a not very high number of operations or trades
Sometimes when we become obsessed with being in the market constantly making gazillions of trades, we are giving our broker money and taking it out of our pocket. More is not better in trading, better is better. This is about getting the most money with the least risk, not giving it to your broker.
7. Establish connection and disconnection rules for your systems
All methods of trading sound great. The problem is when they start to lose. Some tell you that you have to continue, that the system is the system… But what if the system is stopping working? After all, we live in a changing world and our money is not infinite. The reality is that many people do not know how to determine when the system is failing or when this happens because they are applying it incorrectly. If you execute the strategies in an automated way you are already saving this, then what you need is a rule to deactivate your strategies at a certain point. To do this, it is enough to monitor them with platforms such as Bluefox or Myfxbook to know what the performance of each is.
8. Diversify in Forex
If we deactivate a Rubén strategy, we stop trading. Not if you activate another that has been doing it well. It is not about you running a Forex trading system or two, it is about having different systems: the best in real and a demo base created that you can include in your real account when you deactivate one because their performance has dropped. You can diversify by youI frame (temporality time) on assets (currencies) or types of systems (trend, mean reversion ...). The objective of diversifying is to seek a more stable return, many people do for this is to introduce many systems without more, if you do this you will achieve the opposite, you will be increasing the risk.
I will not be the one to tell you that you should invest in Forex and not in another market. Each one belongs to his father and mother and has its good and not so good things. Of course, one thing is clear, wherever you do it, remember the power of specialization. There are traders who focus on one or two assets and they are profitable. In the end, that's what it's all about, isn't it? This operation can be extrapolated to different assets such as raw materials, indices and cryptocurrencies. Yes, cryptocurrencies too. In fact, my operations are mainly based on currencies and cryptocurrencies (85% in the first group and 15% in the second). But I have to say that cryptocurrency trading has given me a pleasant surprise this year. Again, if you are starting, do not do it with many assets or you will saturate yourself. Start step by step and diversify as you evolve. Jack of all trades, master of none.
11. Steps to trade Forex Reddit
If you've gotten this far, it may not be entirely clear to you how the hell I trade, then I'm going to summarize it in steps:
I create statistically profitable trading strategies and verify through tests that they are robust.
I put them on a demo account to make sure they work perfectly.
Once they meet the requirements that I demand of them, I pass them to real.
In real account, I manage my systems connecting and disconnecting them according to their performance (always under objective criteria).
12. How to start trading Forex Reddit as a professional trader (without knowing how to program)
But Rubén, I haven't studied computer science and I'm not particularly good at math. Don't worry if you don't know how to program, it is possible to do all this using tools that will do it for you. For years I have programmed my own systems myself and that's fine, but now I'm concentrating on managing them and getting the most out of them. Do not think that this is the robot that will make you earn millions of euros while you drink the gin and tonic on the beach. We will read soon with new posts about trading, Forex, cryptocurrencies, platforms ... Good luck! To start trading, open an account on Plus500, one of the leading Forex brokers: Click Here
How much money would it cost to setup high-frequency trading?
I worked with many HFT startups and I have a pretty good idea of the initial costs that such trading shops have. Data: High-frequency strategies are data-intensive, so you need to get the best data providers at the tick level (level 3). That’s expensive. Depending on the market you are in (forex, futures, bonds, etc) the cost could vary. FX is even more complex, because of its highly fragmented nature, so they will need to have a broad view of all of them. Each provider cost could start from $5k per month each, up to $50k per month Servers: You will need power. A decent server (please don’t use the cloud), could cost you 20k at least. It needs to have 32-cores at least. You can rent a dedicated server, and its cost could start from $2k per month Collocation: That powerful server must be placed inside a collocated environment. The idea is to reduce the latency as much as you can, so being close to the exchanges/venues is the best choice. These data centers will charge you for your server space and for the connectivity you use (cross-connection). This varies considerably depending on the markets you are in. Software: this would be the most expensive piece of your setup. Remember, that the software is the brain of your operation. Not only needs to get ALL the data from the exchanges/venues but normalize it, store it, manipulate it, and prepare it to be consumed by your strategies(s) that will be doing tons of different calculations based on the data they receive. And all that must be done in a fraction of milliseconds (hopefully within 10–50 microseconds) On top of that, you must be sure, that you will have all the different modules in place: price aggregators, order management systems (OMS), execution management systems (EMS), smart order routing (SOR), liquidity manager (LM), risk management systems (RMS). and any interface you may need (to databases, storage, monitoring systems, reporting, etc) Cost-wise, all of this will depends on what you choose. If you go with an off-the-shelf solution (not recommended, cheaper, you don’t own anything, slow), or you start your own development (time to market +1 year, very costly). The cost could vary between $300K to $1M People: you will need human resources. This is not a one-guy operation. You will need to have software engineers, quantitative analysts, and researchers. Think about 150k /year at the low end. Brokers/Prime Brokers: you will need to open up a brokerage account to have access to the trading venues. They will require you to have a minimum capital to trade (besides the commissions/fees they may charge). So, that adds up to your initial setup cost. Conclusions It’s a very lucrative business but is hard to get started. Usually, startups try to start small and grow as they see profits, but that always falls into failure. If you do that, you will fail to have all the above points I’ve listed. Your initial investment is high, and keeping in mind that after having all these startup costs, all your infrastructure in place, and the software ready to run, your first profitable trades could start to come in after 6 to 12 months of operations. I hope my question is not as vague as the others… Please, let me know if I was missing something else, so we can add it to this list 😎 Ariel Silahian http://www.sisSoftwareFactory.com/blog
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)
Hello, dummies It's your old pal, Fuzzy. As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great. What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. Idomybit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post. That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way. We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps. Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy. TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle. Ready? Let's get started. 1.The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows: Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself. Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part. You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus. That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it. Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets? 2. A Hedging Taxonomy The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now. (i) Swaps A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one. Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered. The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game. I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging. There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested. Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure). (ii) Forwards A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me. Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways. People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances. These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them. (iii) Collars No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray! To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts. (3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years. First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA. Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire. Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking? Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama. Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details. I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here. Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post. *EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
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