The trend is not our friend

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By Boris Schlossberg @FXflow, CEO and founder of BKForex

So there is so much to talk about this week. I could talk about how the SNB nearly destroyed the FX retail business in a matter of 24 hours. I can talk about how much fun I had in VT trading chat room where we banked so many pips that I stopped counting by end of week. I can talk about how I went from sheer elation after being on the right side of the EURCHF trade to complete panic when FXCM announced that they were basically staring into the abyss of bankruptcy to absolute relief when they found a White Knight just before the close of business on Friday.

But the most interesting thing to cross my desk this week was actually a throw away article on Marketwatch that revealed something fascinating about how money is actually made in the capital markets. In a piece titled Easy way to get rich: Buy the most hated stocks Brett Arends basically lays out the case for contrarian trading. Arends looks at 10 worst ranked stocks in the S&P 500 as named by Wall Street analysts and discovers that 100,000 invested into 10 most hated ideas every year since 2008 would have turned the portfolio into 270,000 dollars. Just investing into the broad S&P 500 you would have made 170,000 dollars.

That is a massive difference and I think it says a lot about how alpha is really generated. Don’t get me wrong. I am not arguing that the way to riches is just to blindly bet against the trend. That in fact is the way to ruin. And if you are a long term investor who really doesn’t have the time or inclination to follow the markets them the old and boring dollar cost averaging strategy of buying a fixed amount of index funds every single month come rain or shine is the absolutely best way to make your money grow. In the long run the trend does win.

But if you are a trader, the profit does not lie in the trend. Of course the obvious can sometimes be incredibly lucrative. Shorting oil as it continued to fall or selling EUR/USD as it broke 1.2000 were both great trend trades that made gobs of money. But the problem with those examples is that they are very much like lottery tickets — incredibly seductive but utterly disappointing for 99.9% of us who try them. Just as the lottery trots out the winners and lets us vicariously wallow in their good fortune while conveniently forgetting about the millions of wasted tickets, so does the trading industry love to pull out massive multi-year charts of trend moves with very conveniently tagged labels — if you entered here and exited here you would have made ten trillion percent!


Click here to read the full article on BKForex

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No fear of Swiss gold rush – SNB action inevitable at 1.20 says UBS


USB forex strategist Beat Siegenthaler says the gold initiative appears to have a low chance of success and that  we might get some clue of that at the next poll.

If the “yes” vote fades in the poll then the issue will fade ahead of the referendum he says. If the “yes’s” increase then we will likely see pressure on EUR/CHF.

Which ever way the vote goes he doesn’t see many scenarios where the SNB would remove the peg.

  • Removing the floor would require political discussions and a parliamentary decision
  • SNB unlikely to impose negative rates, unless gold vote goes against them but would be very cautious of doing so
  • SNB may hope that intervention is sufficient but says any big jump won’t last, until negative rates are introduced
  • Biggest impact could be on EUR crosses, bonds and equities rather than EUR/CHF
  • SNB may be forced to enter somewhere at or above 1.2010

EUR/CHF has made a new low today, by only a fraction of a pip I think. Yesterday’s low was 1.20218. Today it’s 1.20213. Makes all the difference to the charts don’t you know ;-)

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Author: Ryan Littlestone, ForexLive

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