Discussion in 'Strategy Development' started by lylec305, Sep 25, 2019.
What are you doing about account drawdown?
I keep trading and be thankful I have other sources of income.
Reduce trading size and activity - get more selective. Keep cutting down size until you hit your stride. Don't add on size until you dig out first.
Formula used by some of the wizards - like Ed Thorp. In fact this seems sort of universal among the legends from what I gathered.
What drawdown? For you particular trading system, or for the market in general? The S&P 500 is less than 3% below its all-time high. If you think that's a drawdown, you haven't been trading for long...
what draw down.... BTFD.
Whether MFE or MAE, assessing whether such travel is expected or part of a new regime to which I should be aware and a'tuned.
I hate drawdown! I hate drawdown on short trades more than I hate on long trades. Technically, this makes sense since drawdown on short trades, if left unchecked, is unlimited. But Im not talking about technically, lol. I just hate drawdown!!
There are so many ways nowadays to offset trades, but keeping it simple, IMO, there are 3 things that allow the trader to withstand drawdown... I speak from the intraday trading stance...
1) A quiet arrogance: a knowing that YOUR system and methods do work. You must understand your systems and methods inside-out. You must "own" your system and methods. There is a fine line between this arrogance, and the idea of being infallible.
2) Always "know" the plan for drawdown, immediately, from the moment you enter a trade! Preferrable is that your systems and methods provide a clear !!WRONG!! signal of some sort. The caveat is that the prudent (and correct) use of the !!WRONG!! signal also considers the dollar value involved. The ultimate goal every trading day is not to make profit... the ultimate goal every trading day is to preserve and conserve so that tomorrow is another trading day!! Preserve and conserve will cause profits to take care of themselves. Or, for those lacking the quiet arrogance, cause paralysis, or minimally, foolishness/stupidity.
3) Don't stray from the drawdown plan. The drawdown plan was put in place before the first entry of a particular trade is executed. For many here, I get a sense that reversing or just exiting or sidelining (perhaps with a small loss) is considered failure. People are "concerned" about a few bux in commissions rather than being on the right side of the market. Or they missed the exit opportunity and now they are married. These people do not have the preserve and conserve goal embedded.
Build a strategy from the bottom-up to target max PTDD and risk-adjusted returns rather than winrate or % gain per day/week/month/year. Think of what you want your max drawdown to be, and actually target half that. DDs under a regime like this can still be lengthy in terms of time, but the damage to your account will be minimal and one or two good winners will put you back at NAV highs.
Aside from that: maintain multiple income streams, keep fixed expenses cut to the bone, and invest the bulk of your wealth in safe income-producing assets - away from the world of one-click trading, flash crashes and brokerage collapses, and streaming PnL up to the second. Best is something like real estate.
I find that active drawdown control does not work - rules like reduce exposure by x% for every y% drawn down. This is because depth and duration of drawdowns are noisy and not predictable. You will end up being fully exposed going down but low exposed going back up.
What works for me is simply trading many uncorrelated systems with constant exposures and letting the correlations do their thing. Diversify by asset class, instruments, theme and time frames.
The critical thing (for me) is starting with an account size to where I don't have to worry about one of my inevitable losing streaks blowing me out, or damaging my focus and behavior. I have to feel comfortable executing my strategy, and not deviate or panic when I hit a rough patch.
My opinion is a trader should know their trade plan well enough to have an idea of the drawdown amounts they will certainly face, and ensure the account size is sufficient enough to handle the streaks (psychologically and financially).
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