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# Will a partial martingale system work?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by newguy05, Feb 19, 2008.

1. ### newguy05

Feel free to state why it doesnt work, but lets keep the flames down pls.

Setup:

1) System has a 60% win/loss ratio for each trade

2) All trade placed has a stop loss at -3 tick, and limit at +3 tick for exit. In other words, reward=3tick, risk=3tick (yes 3 tick is picked arbitrarilly, obviously the # depends on your system, but the key is stop loss = limit )

3) Instrument traded is something very liquid, such as the ES

Now we all know martingale is not a good strategy if followed completely, as it exponentially increases your risk as T approaches infinity and P approachs 1. But what if you just follow it for the first x trades to a point where your max loss is reached, then start over?

For example:

--------- 1 UNIT-------------------
1) 1 contract
2) 2 contract
3) 4 contract

Total risk: 7 contract
Win: 0.6 Loss: 04
Probability: 0.4 ^ 3 = 0.064 -> 6.4% loss + 93.6% win
-------------------------------------

1 UNIT x 100:

6.4 * (7 contract) = 44.8 contract loss
93.6 * (1 contract) = 93.6 contract win

***********************************

If not using above, normal trading with 60% win/loss system will yield:

44.8 contract loss
( 44.8 / 4 ) * 6 = 67.2 contract win

as oppose the partial martingale approach of
44.8 contract loss
93.6 contract win

thoughts?

2. ### silvermotion

It sure looks good on paper.

however, with all the unknown variables that forms todays markets, youre likely to need more than that to squeeze cash out of the market with this strategy.

also, martingale only has a 100% chance of succeeding if you have unlimited funds

all you need is a couple of losses in a row, and no matter how high your win % is, its bound to happen, can your account take a hit like that? especially at the beginning?

3. ### robbie380

how do you get a 60% winning %?

4. ### El OchoCinco

I have been "playing" some trend following types of approach where you can do a controlled martingale if you have markets that are good trenders, even if they are merely swings. The key is to start reasonably small and then increase size controlled and only to a certian maximum.

For example, imagine you get a long signal at end of day and go long 5 ES contracts. 2 days later it flips to sell and you cover and go short 10 contracts. 3 days later it flips to buy again and you go long 15 contracts.

Some systems have an average of 2 - 3 flips during choppy consolidation periods and then find a decent move out of the chop. When the chop ends there is usually a significant move that you catch with larger contracts. Now this is more swing than pure trend as ES might breakout and move 40 pointson the last move. So you catch the move out of the chop with bigger size but you still have to limit yourself to no more than 3 escalations.

I am computer bad so backtesting is slow but I have noticed that if you have good trend following/swing signals, the chops are about 2 - 3 flips. Of course the past year has seen some great swings so it may look good now.

Martingale on its face is not really recommended but using the analysis of scaling in on winners, the idea is if you have results in the system that you get a significant move on breakout of the chop that you can set rules where you scale up on certain types of chop.

More theoretical now but playing with it to see.....