Why Macro Trading?

Like most investors we started out as plain vanilla stock traders. Initially we did value investing and then over time gravitated more over to momentum/CANSLIM investing with a twist. We wanted higher and more consistent returns so we kind of blended some value principles into the momentum investing and ended up with a GARP-growth at a reasonable price methodology. By demanding at least some value we were able to lower our risk profile quite a bit and didn’t really give up any of our gains. In fact the equity curve was very smooth for some time.

Of course most good things come to an end and we found that in the summer of 2000 we were getting tired of being almost entirely out of the market and not being able to make money. So we started doing a lot more work into who and what was making money. In the stock arena some of the value guys were starting to do well and the short sellers of course did great. But what really got our attention was when we looked at different markets and hedge fund performance tables. The number one strategy was global macro trading and we saw several well known names on the list. Bruce Kovner at Caxton, Paul Tudor Jones at Tudor, and Louis Bacon at Moore were all doing well with smooth equity curves. Continue reading “Why Macro Trading?”

Using Macro Trader Themes in Your Investments

The average investor suffers from many problems. They pay higher fees, they get less information, they aren’t as educated in regards to investments, etc. Basically they are for the most part at a huge disadvantage to the professional investor. One of the great issues is that of not having and sticking to a vision. Most investors think that their portfolio is structured well and that they are in a good position to profit from their long term views. The truth is that most of the time the portfolio has drifted so far away from the original idea that an outsider looking in would have no idea what the investor is going for.

Say for instance that you have a long term view that emerging markets will continue to grow. How can you assemble a portfolio to take advantage of this? And how do most investors drift from this? Most investors will put together the portfolio and then the moment that one of the positions is down they will sell it and then go find some new stock that they just saw on TV. What happens is that over the span of a few months their portfolio is not represented of their long term views.

So how do you assemble and manage a portfolio to profit from your long term views? Well taking the example of emerging market growth you would look at going long several of the different emerging market country ETFs. You might buy some Brazil, Russia, India, China, Chile, South Korea, etc. Or you might just buy an emerging market ETF and then buy some of the individual country ETFs where you see even more opportunity. Continue reading “Using Macro Trader Themes in Your Investments”

Investing in Gold For Beginners

You want to diversify where your savings are deposited? How much should you invest in gold? Should you buy this and take delivery?

Here I offer 5 tips for the new Investor in this precious metal.

1. How much should I invest?

This is a personal decision, but most commentators would recommend anything from 5 – 25% of your wealth should be in gold. It depends on how ‘bullish’ you are. This metal is an insurance for the bad times and it will never go to zero in value. Many other investments have that possibility.

2. How much bullion should be in my possession and how much in a vault?

It is sensible to have some physical bullion in your possession. The ratio is yours to decide. Small bars and coins are the best option. You can buy small tradable pieces (or coins). Always buy pure 9999 coins.

For bullion storage try some of the better known gold and silver bullion companies. Make sure the company matches your investment with the actual physical gold.

3. Where do I store my physical bullion?

Most people buy a safe and install it in a secure place in their home. Others put it into Bank Deposit boxes. Or you can split between the two. With some companies you can opt to store your pieces in a secure vault in Switzerland. Continue reading “Investing in Gold For Beginners”