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Old 01-19-2018, 02:28 PM   #176
Malachii
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

Thanks for the response. Couple of follow up questions:

1.) What was the worst losing streak of your career, and how were you able to bounce back?

2.) What was the single most profitable trade of your career (or the one that you're most proud of / consider your best?)
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:42 PM   #177
mrbaseball
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Originally Posted by Malachii View Post
Thanks for the response. Couple of follow up questions:

1.) What was the worst losing streak of your career, and how were you able to bounce back?

2.) What was the single most profitable trade of your career (or the one that you're most proud of / consider your best?)
1.) What was the worst losing streak of your career, and how were you able to bounce back?

2.) What was the single most profitable trade of your career (or the one that you're most proud of / consider your best?)[/QUOTE]

1. No real losing streaks so to speak as much as very sharp dips. Sometimes you just grind sideways for a while which feels like a losing streak because you aren't really advancing. But there were a few pretty nasty dips that took some time to come back from. losing 100K (firm money) in one day on cotton spreads comes to mind Actually that rebounded pretty quickly though.

2. As a single trade most profitable trade was probably during the silver bubble. Silver spreads got way out of wack with all of tinfoil hattery happening. We ended up buying way out (over a year) silver futures and selling front months against it. Slowly but surely the spread started coming in. Just kept rolling the front months as they expired and eventually the spreads came all the way back to normal expressing actual cost of carry rather than ludicrous bubble valuations.

The most profitable trading system/approach was easily arbing mini Natural Gas versus Ice Lot Natural Gas. This was free money basically. These contracts traded 2 to 1 but were basically the exact same thing. They typically fluctuated between even and 4 ticks over. I would buy at even and sell at 4 over all day long. I was inly limited by the very low volume. I started doing it on day one when both contracts were available. I was the biggest player in both legs and did about 25% of total volume every day which meant I was doing 200-400 spreads per day. This was small enough for the big houses to ignore and early on in electronic trading for small players not to be savvy in. But eventually it grew along with technology and the bigger players eroded all the edge but I had a good 2 year run out of it. The day after hurricane Katrina I did about 2000 spreads as NG went nuts and I had a pretty wonderful day. That whole run in 2005 through the 2 hurricanes was the most profitable point of my career as it was just pure upside with nothing but execution risk by missing a spread leg. I still feel guilty that I profited because others were getting devastated by hurricanes.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:27 PM   #178
KennyJPowers
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

Have you ever met people that have worked in "boiler rooms"? If so do you wonder how they sleep at night or is morality a useless emotion in your business?
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:36 PM   #179
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Have you ever met people that have worked in "boiler rooms"? If so do you wonder how they sleep at night or is morality a useless emotion in your business?
No experience with boiler rooms. But those guys are just scammer/salesmen and have nothing to do with real trading. Not even remotely the same business.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:59 PM   #180
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

What do you think of cryptocurrency?

Have you gotten involved in any way?

What do you think is in its future?

My brother says you can't do technical analysis on it. However, I've seen a few people claim they're day/swing trading it. Who's right?
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:40 PM   #181
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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What do you think of cryptocurrency?

Have you gotten involved in any way?

What do you think is in its future?

My brother says you can't do technical analysis on it. However, I've seen a few people claim they're day/swing trading it. Who's right?
Don't see any real use case for cryptocurrency. Yet anyway. Have been trying to follow along with it but can't wrap my head around its utility. Then again I am an old

I have been watching the bitcoin futures and like the volatility. Almost pulled the trigger on a few trades this week but didn't. Anything I would do there would be very short term day trades based on momentum but the volume is still incredibly low. I also don't like the idea that the manipulated (?) cash market for bitcoin drives the bus making the futures and their low volume at this point just a follower that gets dragged along.

In most established commodity futures those futures often take the lead so if they move there is something behind that move. Bitcoin futures are no where close to having influence over the cash market.

I think the future is that some crypto will survive and thrive eventually but I have no idea which ones. With my limited knowledge bitcoin seems like one of the losers to me. Would see more of a future in Etherium and bitcoin cash as they seem to have more utility. But I am no expert. Most of the 1000+ coins are gonna be vapor.

Technical analysis works on everything. Or nothing depending on your feelings toward TA It has been a heavily debated topic here on BFI over the years. But all TA really is, is a visual representation of the market. Trends and support and resistance which work in virtually every market will work in crypto too. But it all comes down to money management. I have been following a couple different breakout and momentum approaches to the bitcoin futures and they have been theoretically profitable so far. But a lot depends on how much slippage and getting stuck in a thin market actually occurs since I haven't actually traded it for real. The volume is getting better but it is still too low to really get involved with from my perspective.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:42 AM   #182
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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1. No real losing streaks so to speak as much as very sharp dips. Sometimes you just grind sideways for a while
Longest breakeven stretch?
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:02 AM   #183
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Longest breakeven stretch?
Depends? Over the past 30 years I have been involved in lots of different trades and approaches and they are all different in certain ways. The kind of trading I do probably a month or two but then I am not really trading full time now either.

There was one arb I used to do that would only pay off 2 or 3 times a year though. It may or not be still alive as I haven't looked at it in a couple of years but I'll let you know what it was/is. It was the CEF/GLD/SLV arb. CEF (Central Fund of Canada) holds physical gold and silver and almost always traded at a premium to GLD and SLV. So the arb was to sell the CEF and buy the corresponding amounts of GLD and SLV which could be calculated by looking at CEFs website which had the number of shares and how much gold and silver they held.

Anyway at a certain premium level I would start selling the CEF and buying the GLD/SLV and I did this with an autospreader so when the 3 legs would line up at my predetermined spread price it would execute. I would build this position slowly keeping ammo in case of a spike which almost always happened. Once loaded up it would often be 2-6 months before it came in. But it always came in. At even I would flip the position and get long. Then as the premium seeped back in I would begin unloading the longs and eventually building another short position. But there were often long gaps when nothing would be happening so this trade probably offered my longest break even stretches. Most of the favorable action happened when they would issue more stock but not always.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:27 AM   #184
LoserWants2Change
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

Thanks for this thread.

I imagine it must vary a lot, but what has been your average ROI per year?
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:37 AM   #185
mrbaseball
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Originally Posted by LoserWants2Change View Post
Thanks for this thread.

I imagine it must vary a lot, but what has been your average ROI per year?
ROI is a foreign concept to trading firms. It was all about dollars. Each Jan 1st you would start with an account balance of zero dollars. On December 31st you would have + or - dollars and that is how we kept track.
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:07 AM   #186
LoserWants2Change
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Originally Posted by mrbaseball View Post
ROI is a foreign concept to trading firms. It was all about dollars. Each Jan 1st you would start with an account balance of zero dollars. On December 31st you would have + or - dollars and that is how we kept track.
OK, I know they are different animals but say you put 100k into something 20 years ago and got 10% compounded and didn't touch it till now. Has your results crushed that?
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Old 01-24-2018, 11:30 AM   #187
mrbaseball
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Originally Posted by LoserWants2Change View Post
OK, I know they are different animals but say you put 100k into something 20 years ago and got 10% compounded and didn't touch it till now. Has your results crushed that?
My results have been fine and I have had a very fine trading career. As I said in the OP I wouldn't discuss actual results and I stand by that. My deal was mainly salary plus percentage of trading profits. That percentage varied on each trade or arb. For some of the stuff I did it was as low as 20% or as high as 90% and some of the trades had a graduated structure like 50% for the first 100K, 60% for the next 100K, 70% for the next 100K etc. so if you made enough it was 100% at that point on.

Another note on ROI. While wasn't even a consideration for the trader the managers and bean counters had this down to the penny for their basket of traders. And if you ever got out of line risk wise you could expect a very quick meeting with the risk manager.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:11 PM   #188
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Re: Ask mrbaseball about trading for a living

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Originally Posted by LoserWants2Change View Post
OK, I know they are different animals but say you put 100k into something 20 years ago and got 10% compounded and didn't touch it till now. Has your results crushed that?
Being a trader is much more like owning a business than investing in one. Many successful traders post annual ROI numbers that are WAY ahead of what is possible with passive investments... because it's not a passive investment in any way. It's a highly skilled professional executing a trading strategy that does not scale beyond a certain point. This is why trading firms see the world in dollars rather than basis points.
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