A New Site; A New Life

As many of my regular readers now, a few months ago I quit my job in law enforcement. Soon after, my wife and I moved across the big blue to Vietnam where we plan to live for the next few years.

With my wife is working as an elementary school teacher at an international school and, as I am not taking on a new job, I have a lot more time to work on my trading and investment views and share this knowledge with you.

I plan to do a lot of work on improving my investment approach and gain a better understanding and process of managing risk. I also want to spend some of my time helping people improve their own investing. This could mean getting people starting with simple low cost index investing in a self-directed investment account. I could also mean taking the next steps to introduce better risk management into your portfolio.

To make this all possible I have been building a new website and blog. This site is where I advertise some services such as financial coaching. I plan to do this on a part-time basis only alongside managing my personal account.

I'm also including a new blog where I will be sharing my ideas from a broader international perspective. This will include weekly updates on the S&P 500 using my momentum model, my thoughts on investing and current markets, what I'm doing in my own account, monthly updates on my investment returns, and so on. Look for more frequent posting on current events with smaller articles.

Check out my new blog and website:

DArends.com

Markets I Trade: August 13, 2019

In my non-registered account I am developing my trend following strategy continuously. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I am sharing this ongoing learning journey with you in this series.

I am always exploring new methods of trading, new markets to access, and better control of risk and opportunities. My main goal is to avoid large losses while achieving reasonable returns over time. I try to focus on trades which I believe have good reward-to-risk ratios.

You will see me trade index products, currencies, and commodities primarily with leveraged ETFS, futures contracts, and LEAPS options for maximum capital efficiency. I try to risk small amounts of capital with each trade targeting high return multiples on that risk.

One thing that is easy to notice is most weeks have no action and trading is quite boring. The equity based positions move in relative tandem. Volatility positions are the only place where exciting things seem to happen more frequently.

I've added stop levels for the leveraged ETFs which are based on momentum signals. The stop levels are estimates since I am translating data from a signal ETF which is different from the traded ETF.

I currently have approximately 76 percent of my trading account assets in short-term bonds.

*Information on this post is dated at market close, Monday, August 12, 2019.

QQQ: LEAPS Options

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Momentum Factor: +9

I opened a position in QQQ on May 17 with a purchase of $160 call options when QQQ was at $184 per unit. My trade is just barely in profit right now.

Gold: UGLD ETF

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Momentum Factor: +10

I opened a half position in gold on May 29 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF UGLD at a price of $91.15 per unit. With continued upside momentum I moved to a full position on June 3 when UGLD was at around $99.40 with an average position price of $93.20. My stop is up to $90 per unit. Currently the position profit is more than 2x my risk.

Brazil: BRZU ETF

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Momentum Factor: +10

I opened a full position in Brazilian stocks on June 7 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF BRZU at a price of $30.25 per unit. My stop is currently set at around $27 per unit. My entry was based off a signal in EWZ. This trade is still showing full momentum but my position is now in a slight loss.

Europe: EURL ETF

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Momentum Factor: +1

I opened a nearly full position in European stocks on June 7 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF EURL at price around $27.30 per unit. My stop is currently set at about $23 per unit. My entry was based off a signal in VGK. This trade is in a solid loss.

India: INDL ETF

Momentum Factor: +0

I opened a full position in Indian stocks on June 18 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF INDL at price around $73.80 per unit. My stop price is up to approximately $63. I trimmed my position by one-quarter as per my momentum score. I exited this position for a loss of $4,000 as the unit price gapped down to $62.35 per unit.

Soybeans: YK Futures

Momentum Factor: +1

I opened a full position in soybean futures on June 24 with a purchase of mini soybean futures contract at price around $9.30 per bushel. At that time the momentum was at +8. The momentum score has been dropping since my entry and I exited for a small loss of $1,650 at a price of $8.75 per bushel.

GLD: Options

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Momentum Factor: +10

On June 26 I opened a put ratio backspread trade for a small credit on GLD when it was trading at approximately $133. This is a hedged position that will only lose money (within my maximum limit) if the price of GLD is between $120 and $130 per unit. This position is currently showing a small profit for the credit putting on the trade.

FXI: Options

Momentum Factor: +0

On June 27, I purchased in-the-money call options on FXI when it was trading at $42.60. I exited this trade as the momentum score dropped to 0 for a loss of $1,900.

VXX: Options

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Momentum Factor: +8

On July 15, I purchased an out-of-the-money call spread when VXX was trading at approximately $22.75 per unit. This position is effectively a low cost hedge against market turmoil. After the last spike in volatility, this position is showing a moderate profit. I'm not banking on it as volatility can move very quickly.

SLV: Options

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Momentum Factor: +10

On July 18, I purchased a call spread when SLV was trading at approximately $15.15 per unit. This is a bet on further upside in silver. Right now my trade is showing a profit.

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