Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ka-Boom!!! The Swiss go to War on Currency - CHF

Recently I wrote a post looking at Leverage and Trading success that I came across, and the observation that the best performers limited their max drawdown percentage risk to less than 50%.  Further the greatest number of net profitable traders held less max drawdown percentage risk at around 30%.

"Humans have a great awareness of risk through survival instincts, but this does not seem to translate into the markets!"

I certainly didn't predict the move the SNB made to unpeg, but the observations seem to be borne true, especially when you consider that FXCM users owe FXCM over $300 Million, forcing FXCM itself to seek a bailout to satisfy their fiduciary obligations.

FXCM had even been one of the champions of allowing greater leverage use by traders to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission review.

I had a bit of a loss on the USDCHF move, saved largely by stoplosses limiting my risk, but I also learnt a couple of lessons as a result of the "close-call."

1. I will from now on keep my option and any spot positions separate in another account.  Whilst I didn't suffer any option liquidations, I would have been VERY annoyed if those long term options had been closed on me.

2. EVERY Spot position needs a solid stop loss.  Fortunately I had that.  The danger with Risk, is that is is unknowable until you suffer its effects.

3. Forex options are a better alternative to Spot.  These are still alive at least, and not subject to leveraged margin calls.

4. Leverage must be watched like a Hawk, and controlled to levels that allow survival in surprise events, as proven in the chart of trading success and leverage above.


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