Virtual trader session (feedback to TOS)

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by cdowis, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. cdowis


    Feedback from Virtual Trading sesson last Tues.

    I understand the concept of a losing trade, but I am very unhappy with the VT session:

    1. No adjustments were discussed except to continue to hold the trades and "hope" they worked out.

    I have surpassed the 6% loss and had to simply close the losing trades.

    2. Several of the trades had bearish bias, and he gave no market view except to say that professional traders were "nervous" abt the continuing uptrend.

    No attempt was made to made the portfolio of trades market neutral. After the four trades, I had a beta weighted (spy) delta of over -100, even though the market had been going straight up. The SPY calendar was, for example, had a bearish bias.

    3. He seems to have a lack of understanding of basic calendar spreads. He looked for low probability shorts as his main criterion, which is good for verticals, but has nothing to do with calendars. (I assume I do not need to explain this to you).

    4. Apparently he does not have a good feeling for the role of volitility in selecting trades (especially calendars). At least when I posted a question on what trades he would look for in high volitility markets, no answer was forthcoming, and very little mention was made abt volitility.

    5. Trades were quickly posted with only a few minutes between the trades to participate. Not enough time was given to decide the merits of the trade and risk involved. Especially to understand that, for some trades, the **continuation** of the uptrend would be very fatal to those trades. No explanation of how to manage them except "the same volitility that took it out of range COULD bring it back again". The CME trade fr a previous session underlined this casual attitude towards risk management.

    Anyway, again I understand I am responsible for my own trades, but I trusted that you would provide a reasonably balanced set of trades and teach us how to manage them if our risk mgt rules went out of bounds.

    To say the least I was very disappointed in the lack of professionalism and poor training I experienced.
  2. *rubbing eyes*

    I'm seeing, but I'm not believing.

    Could it be? Negative feedback about thinkorswim?!!! It's unheard of! It must be a joke...

    Seriously though, perhaps it would be wise to wait for any response and/or resolution to the matter before posting?

    As Yoda would say:

    "A month for making money with market neutral strategies, this is not. Hmmmmm....."

    Cue the inevitable conclusions being drawn by insightful ET members about the "merger" with INVESTools and more consequences to follow...:D
  3. cdowis


    This was not market neutral -- this was a bearish portfolio that blew up.

    Here is the e-mail I got from them yesterday:

    "All of the positions from the most recent Virtual Trading Session (10/10/06) are in November, December and January expiration cycles, **hence they will not be acted on until we are well through the October cycle. **
    The market has continued it's stunning rally, and the SPY is now trading 135.80; RUT is up over 750; the DIA is in the 119 handle; and GG is at 21.68. **Until we are much closer to November expiration, the underlying prices are really all you need to watch, as time premium and the width of the bid/ask spreads sometimes "whacks out" the values of multi-sided option positions**. Stay tuned for weekly update and for email trade announcements if any adjustments or closing trades are made.

    Have a great weekend. " (emphasis mine)

    Note that it basically said not to worry, because I can wait til Nov to make any adjustments. Just let theta do its magic.

    I just can't wait for my "weekly update" to see what they have to say.
  4. Okay, perhaps I've misunderstood. Have you realized a loss or are the positions still open?

    We are some 32 days from November expiration. A lot can happen in that time.

    I'm obviously not familiar with the exact trades or amounts at risk but I assume you followed their recommended position sizing guidelines etc. so it should not be easy to get scared out of any positions.

    There seems to be little that can be achieved here other than for me to offer my sympathy.

    Good luck.

  5. Tums


    these guys don't know how to trade.

    they are there to generate commissions. (in the guise of education).

    They did the same thing last Oct -- shorting all the way to new high !!!

    You should ask for their track record before you start. You will see that their 3 year average return is no more than 1~2% on any of their strategies. Some are even in negative territory after all these years.

    (p.s. don't even ask about the McMilan strategy, which was discontinued shortly after it started. )
  6. cdowis


    I closed one trade which alone exceeded a 6% loss for the entire account. I also adjusted a bearish calendar which broke above the break even point.

    The remaining two trades, one is doing well and the other is on the verge of the expiration break even point, and going from theta positive to negative.

    Yes, I could hope, wish that the market will turn around and go down rather than continue to go straight up. I could watch while my position either to continue to evaporate or to go into positive territory. "Don't worry, be happy......"

    Anyway, not looking for any sympathy ==> Just recording my experience with the Virtual Trading session. It certainly was a learning experience, and perhaps others can learn from it.

    One suggestion: if you plan to attend, you might want to consider doing paper trading rather than real money.

    NOTE: I decided to use a training account size of $3k rather their suggested $5k, and adjusted for the smaller size. The trade which got closed has a position size of only one lot. I still had about 50% remaining in cash.