Some Of Our Current Trading Themes

As mentioned in previous posts we run a variety of automatic as well as discretionary trading systems. Running them alongside each other helps us to spot market trends that we might not otherwise see. Well here are a few macro themes that we have found and currently are tracking for good entry points with relatively low risk.

Energy and Raw Materials-Yes, we know that this isn’t exactly a novel idea. But the fact remains that if the world is to continue expanding we are going to need more energy. If more people in third and second world countries are buying cars guess what they need? Yeah you guessed right. They need gasoline and the car companies need steel. If the BRIC’s and friends are to continue growing at their current pace or even half of the current rate then they need raw materials and energy to build. So we are for the most part energy and hard asset (commodity) bulls. While an index probably isn’t a bad way to go we feel that we can get better risk adjusted returns by looking for our own trades and scaling in and out of different securities. So we track a lot of different individual stocks, ETF’s, and commodities.

Housing-We are housing bears. While we don’t see this trend continuing forever or even for ten years we do see it going for at least another year. Does that mean we are shorting everything in housing? No, in fact we currently only have one short position in housing (HOV). But it is a theme we will continue to monitor.

Healthcare-Ultimately the outcome of the health-care industry is probably going to end up with politicians deciding if it is allowed to win or not. For the next 40 years we see several reasons to be long healthcare. Unfortunately we see a reason to be very hesitant. Because of the aging populations in the western world the bulk of the voting population will probably favor government controls on the health system. That being said we still see many potential opportunities in healthcare and bio-tech.

Global Telecom-This is a theme that has been good to us off and on for some time now. We have found that in a lot areas of the world some of the best stocks have been in the telecom industry. Off and on we have been long VIP, MBT, AMX, CHL, SKM, and TKC. In fact last week we re entered TKC. Basically telecom is one of our favorite emerging market industries and whenever a country meets our other criteria it is usually one of the first areas we look at.

These are some of our major trading themes right now. We have other themes we monitor but these should give you an idea as to where we are looking and what we look for. Basically we look for areas that should have long lasting trends and real fundamentals. We then look for entries that present a good risk to reward scenario. We aren’t in the business of risking a dollar to try and make a dollar. We are looking to risk a dollar to make three or four and sometimes even ten.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us here. And if you like what you have read you will want to add us to your RSS reader and consider subscribing to our newsletter.

Happy Trading,
The Macro Trader

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Systematic Investing and Trading

Here at TheMacroTrader.com we use several different strategies across several asset classes. Why do we do this? For several reasons not the least of which is so that we can find and exploit as many of the best risk to reward situations as possible. If you tie yourself to one strategy or one asset class you are limiting your potential opportunites.

In this article we will focus on using systems. As we have already mentioned we use several systems. Some are purely automatic. If they say buy we will go and buy if they say to sell we will sell. We also have several systems that leave us a lot of discretion as to what we do. We look at many different variables depending on the asset class and time horizon. For instance in some of our short term systems we only use prices of the actual instrument to determine buys and sells. On some of our longer term systems we use economic data such as interest rates, market valuations, technical studies, inflation, competing yields, etc.

Right now we have several systems for domestic and foreign equities, domestic bonds (treasuries, corporates, and junk), precious metals, currencies, commodities, volatility trading, and asset allocation. All of the systems we use have historically beaten their benchmarks with less risk. So over time we can expect to outperform.

As noted earlier we also have systems that leave us with varying amounts of discretion. Some of the systems are only used to alert us of a potential trade. We then go in and look to see if we feel it is worth doing. For instance one of our systems is designed to highlight potential option trades across several different indexes. Its main variable is volatility. While we could possibly use it as a stand alone system at this point in time we think it is better used to highlight potential opportunities.

So how do we use it? We update it every week and most weeks it will show us a few different areas worth looking at. We than go in and research those potential trades to assess the situation. If the right conditions are present and we can see a catalyst we will then go in and put on the trade. If not we will continue monitoring the situation in case it changes. While we only put on about a third of the trades that it presents us we feel it is an invaluable tool because it highlights many situations that we would otherwise miss. To sum it up in one sentence it highlights promising situations. That is but one example of using a systematic process in our trading.

In summary using systematic processes in trading allow us to cover more asset classes and more countries. It allows us to spot more opportunities and to more consistently achieve above average and less correlated returns.

Happy Trading,

The Macro Trader