Weekly results of a wanna B algo trader

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Engine99, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Quite the day/week to start my online journal. This is my fourth attempt to make money in the market (one was very successful, one sucked big time, the last one was break even). I plan on posting my weekly results in here, however don't expect P&L screenshots or audited results.

    As far as my trading goes, I trade mostly options and futures but I don't trade for a living. I have a day job where I travel a lot (> 120k miles each year), so all my scanning and most of my execution is done via Interactive Broker's retail wanna B algo trading platform. Some of my strategies require manual execution and those strategies (S12 and S2) I trade via ThinkOrSwim. I trade four main strategies, here's the running total on them:

    Overall results:
    S1: 0
    S2: 0
    S10: -270
    S12: -329

    Weekly Performance:
    S&P 500 weekly Performance:
    Overall Performance since launch:
    S&P 500 Performance since launch:
    Risk Free Checking Account performance since launch:
  2. Why not just keep trading that one, then?

    Was it specific to a past market condition?
  3. Unfortunately the most profitable attempt was specific to the market at that time. It was my first dabbling into investing and pretty much a buy & hold strategy.
    Buy QQQQs every month from mid 2000 to mid 07. Worked well at that time though ;)

    Now my attention span is much shorter. My third attempt also made money until 6 month of profits were killed on May 6th. That attempt however (measured from June 09 till May 10) didn't match the S&P performance during that time.
  4. Unless you move to futures or volatile stocks and employ a high frequency strategy, I think it's foolish for you to attempt this type of trading with a day job given there is some manual intervention required for 2 of the systems.
    Just my humble opinion.
  5. Unfortunately I don't have an edge in high frequency trading, so my strategies are not focused on minute or seconds based profits. I'm not sure that many retail traders can compete in those strategies.

    My sweet spot is in longer trades (-10 weeks) where execution isn't the most important item and can be done (worst case) from work.
  6. Ouch is all I can say. One strategy went long BP this week and that one will hurt my weekly results :(. Also got a long signal on AMZN and XOM today, so I manually entered those spreads as well. Interesting trades considering I think we'll tank rather than go up from here but hey ;), gotta hang your hat somewhere. Up about 300 bucks for this week, unfortunately my BP position is eating half of my weekly gains.
  7. Small up week (almost 600 bucks). Let's start out with the good things. The best thing right now is that I'm trading so small that I don't lose any sleep over it. I'm also getting my personal finances in order right now, so I hope that over the summer I can ramp up my size again. If you look at my strategies and the results you'd assume I'd be up since the beginning but unfortunately I'm not. Commissions took about 200 bucks out of my account which is funny considering I'm using two very inexpensive brokers (thinkorswim and Interactive brokers). So overall I'm slowly gaining some confidence again after the flash crash, which is good. Now to the unfortunate truth. The S&P 500 kicked my butt big time this week. If I were to ignore commissions I may have been close with my performance but my position size is still way too small to compete with the S&P results. So here's the bottom line. If I'd have put the money into SPY shares I'd be up about 350 bucks since the beginning. If I'd have put the money into a money market checking account I'd be up 25 bucks. With my trading I'm down 5 bucks since I started my fourth endeavor. Two weeks is a very short time period but it still sucks to be last. I was on the east coast this week, so I had minimal market interaction. Same for next week, I'll be on the road again, hoping for good auto-execution or for manual execution while I'm @ work. For all the ones who read this, have a good weekend and let's hope for some strong trading next week.

    Here are the results in detail
    S1: 110
    S2: 0
    S10: 420
    S12: -329

    Weekly Performance:
    S&P 500 Weekly Performance:
    Overall Performance since launch:
    S&P 500 Performance since launch:
    Risk Free Checking Account Performance since launch:
  8. Wow, for once I'm actually ahead. After Friday's post I thought I'll be behind the S&P 500 performance like I was during the last 9 month leading up to May 6th, but today I managed to surpass it for a day.

    Tomorrow will be a different story but here is my m2market P&L:

    Overall Performance since launch:
    S&P 500 Performance since launch:
    Risk Free Checking Account Performance since launch:
  9. Well I guess I was ahead for a single day ;-) today the S&P 500 kicked my butt again.
    I withdrew some money from my trading account this morning, still in the process of consolidating and cutting expenses.

    Today my systems fired off a long signal on EMC, so I'm long a broken wing butterfly on that, which should pretty much cap my long exposure right now.
    Unfortunately I'm still long a position in BP, that pig still hurts a lot.

    Here's the adjusted performance after today ;-)

    Overall Performance since launch (6/1):
    S&P 500 Performance since launch:
    Risk Free Checking Account Performance since launch:
    +48 (fixed previous calculation error)
  10. Ouch, just got back from my trip and couldn't log into IB in time to get my balance :(

    Oh well, I'll have to wait for Sunday to post this week's results.
    #10     Jun 19, 2010