June 13, 2017

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UK Election Night

Hey, sorry I forgot to post this quick video on the UK election night trades. Nothing really exciting. In fact the main action was later that day in the US indices which I missed from being up till 4am watching the election.

May 26, 2017

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25th May: There’s trouble at Mill….

Hello trader,

On a day when the S&P500 and the Nasdaq were pushing to all time highs you might think I am barmy to suggest that things are not as rosy as they may seem.

Yet, in the words of the Monty Python sketch “There’s trouble at Mill…” and with that no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Of course when markets are hitting all time highs no-one wants to look at the downside, or the cracks appearing……and once again that’s when people least expect the Spanish Inquisition. But as you’ll know our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear. Our two main weapons are Fear and surprise. You get the gist….

So most of my apprehension has come from a series of articles, comments, insights and thoughts that I have read, seen and discussed over the last few weeks with other traders, clients and interested parties.

I am not a strategist, nor am I a fundamental analyst (if you read this entire article you’ll come to that conclusion pretty swiftly yourself). I am merely a trader who likes the big-picture and views the markets through the lenses of fundamental, technical, sentiment and geo-politics. Allied with a healthy amount of discussion with engaged parties I’m starting to build a picture that there is indeed ‘Trouble at Mill…’

Where shall I start? How about China?

So this week we had the first downgrade of China by ratings agency Moodys since 1989. Yes, it’s 28 years since they had any sort of downgrade. Moodys believe that their financial strength will erode as debt mounts. I am no China specialist in any way, nor have I tried to be, namely because the data (to my very un-educated eyes) appears to be opaque and, at times, a carefully constructed pack of lies. I have no doubt that people far smarter and better educated than I will be able to provide better insight on the China situation – however most of us have been ignoring it since the mini- crash/episodes in August 2015 and January 2016. As Brexit, Trump and the EU have been filling our headspace China has just been pootling along under the radar without any real interest from the rest of the world. I think that maybe about to change.  I don’t trade USDCNH but I always take a look at the chart now and then. Here is the present monthly chart – its been one-way traffic till the start of this year. (And there was a pretty strong sell-off today if you care to take a look). What we saw today was the Chinese selling Dollars and buying Yuan – was that an effort to paper over the cracks and demonstrate some strength in China? A case of ‘move-along, nothing to see here….’?  I’m sure smarter folks than I can provide clearer fundamental insight than I. You can read a Zerohedge piece on the Chinese intervention here.

may2017 USDCNHMonthly

Furthermore we have also seen the suspension of shares in Noble Group – a major Singapore based commodity trading house. Their share price is down 82% in the last year.  (As an aside I have always kept an eye on this stock after reading the epic book The Noble House by James Clavell. One of the great books on business, trading and Asia. Well worth a read. Though the Noble House was more loosely based on the history of Jardine Matheson – a Hong Kong based Trading House – I am sure finer brains than mine can correct me on that.)

So most of my readers will have no exposure or inclination to trade China – so how can they turn this into an opportunity? Well lets take a look at the Commodity based dollars, or ComDoll countries, of Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The ComDolls

The ComDoll countries of Australia, Canada and New Zealand did well for a good time off the back of the Chinese commodity driven demand of the last 10-15 years. However those happy days are coming to an end.

In discussion with clients either in, or exposed to, those three countries they all talk about the property bubbles occurring in Sydney, Vancouver and Auckland (and elsewhere). Prices for both purchase and rental have hit eye-watering levels, at a time when their economies are starting to come off the boil.

In Canada, who escaped mostly unscathed from the 2008 GFC, we have seen a bank run recently and one of the countries major banks/mortgages providers Home Capital Group require a bail-out, in order to just be mothballed. (A Canadian Northern Rock?) This has helped start the bursting of the bubble.

In Australia there has also been a housing bubble however recent residential construction recently fell at its fastest pace in 16 years. It was hoped that construction would help off-set the slow down in the commodities/mining industries….but in fact their slowdown appears to be having a negative knock-on effect to the construction industry.

I will do a separate piece on these three ComDoll currencies tomorrow. Makes for some interesting insights.

My, admittedly simplistic, view of all this, and how to play it is through the prism of Gold. Take a look at this monthly chart of Gold.

may17 GOLDMonthly

This is the monthly chart of Gold and I see price as starting forming a triangle – as it starts to coil-up.

Now in my simplistic trader view of the world I believe that should price break strongly to the downside then my fears are un-founded as the world breathes a sigh of relief and the whole charabanc continues.

However if price breaks to the North and continues then that tells me that people are worried and running for cover. Remember capital is a coward, it will run and hide somewhere safe at the first sign of danger.

The best of the rest part 1: Art

Why am I talking about Art in a traders blog. Well I have done it before – but also I think it gives us some insight into where we are in the cycle. Here is a photo of a recent piece of art sold at auction.

usa-sotherby-basquiat-art

This piece of art is Jean-Michel Basquiats painting ‘Skull’ which recently sold for $110 million at auction (yes that really is $110 million) making it the most expensive painting to ever sell at auction. It has been described as a ‘powerful’ work of art – I shall let you the reader make your own mind up about that.

(Personally it looks like the kind of painting my 6 year old nephew brings me from school and I have to put it on the fridge whilst feigning surprise and wonder at their artistic talent. I wouldn’t pay $1.10 for it, let alone 110 million. However I am a trader not an art-critic. I’m not yet wanky enough for that role. But I am working on it.)

Even Bloomberg are running an art quiz asking readers to guess the price paid for artwork at recent auctions.

My point is simply when such bombastic spending of money on art reaches new highs and hits the headlines it’s normally a good indication that we’re in a bubble and a market top is near or already upon us.

The best of the rest part 2: The US and Trump

The Trump reflation trade is well and truly over – and now we’re in a weird no-mans-land. Yes, markets have been hitting highs…..but underneath it all there’s a great deal of uncertainty about the state of the US economy. I am not going to even touch on the bubble in auto-loans (and the rise in delinquency rates) or the struggling US commercial mortgages market (US Shopping malls are emptying fast and owners struggling to make repayment.) I have gone on enough already in this piece.

I read two articles which raised my eyebrows (in the style of Roger Moore – RIP). The first one was about the SkyBridge Alternative (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas where the underlying tone seemed to be one of nervousness at the biggest conference for Wall Streeters and Hedge Fund types.

The second one was on ZeroHedge (yes I know the guys a mega-bear and also is very hit-and-miss however with experience you’re able to filter out some of the better pieces.) A recent piece on his blog was about setting the framework for Trump to become the scapegoat for the coming crash. Which would probably please most people – he has made himself an easy target.

So there you go, some of my own personal insight into why am I feeling apprehensive and bearish. So would I be advising you to just sell everything? Well, no. Just because I am nervous doesn’t actually mean anything. Part of it is because I know myself – I know that I am mostly a bear (2/3rds of my trade are to the short-side). I wouldn’t describe myself as a perma-bear, but I know I have that bias and I have to be careful. That doesn’t mean I have been trying to load up shorts – what it means is that I have an idea that the global economy maybe about to take a rest/retrace/reverse and if that follows through onto the charts then I shall be looking to participate and take advantage. Remember part of the reasons for writing the blog is to help me clarify my own thoughts and ideas.

Its perfectly possible that markets could continue north for another 3-12 months. It could do that very easily. What I have learnt over the years is that things tend to happen slowly, and then they happen very quickly. It’s the same with markets. Whilst there maybe strain and cracks they can still continue trudging north until something triggers a melt-down. It’s when the real signs of that melt-down occur that I will start to prepare to attack. Until then it’s business as normal. Keep your powder dry.

I hope you found that interesting and provides some insight. As always I caveat it with the fact that I am a trader. I have no doubt that finer brains than mine will read this and disagree, or be able to provide better examples/data. I always welcome such debate.

Trade well!

Paul

 

May 22, 2017

1 Comment

22nd May: Euro Review

Hello traders,

Last week I did a quick review on GBP – this week its the Euro’s turn as it’s been the strongest across the board on the STAM for a couple of weeks now. There’s been some great trades the last few weeks – but there will still be some good opportunities for swing trades going forward.

Trade well,

Paul

May 15, 2017

3 Comments

15th May : GBP Weekly Review

Hello Traders,

Yes, I know its my first video for a while – I hold my hands up!

Anyway here’s a quick review of the GBP weekly charts. After a storming run on GBP across the board, last week the wind was taken from its sails. I suspect we’ll now just spend the next few weeks jostling around until the election result.

Enjoy, and trade well,

Paul

May 13, 2017

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Developing Longer Term Trading Ability

playing chess

Fellow Traders

 

Some of you may know that I’ve been running a trading project to help Veterans re-train and give them a start in Financial markets. The longer-term plan will be to help young guys and girls who’ve been injured in recent conflicts by providing them with an opportunity to do something new and challenging.

 

Stage 1 of this course was aimed at people who had very little experience of  trading or financial markets. Its aim being to generate routine, risk management and good behaviors from the outset. It’s based on the recurring traits of good traders: process, discipline and self-awareness.

 

I’m now ready to run the Stage 2 sessions for 2017 which will focus on longer term trading of FX, Commodities & Indices markets. This may be of more interest to you if you already have some trading experience. As usual there’ll be a mixture of topics covering the 4M’s of Trading: Markets, Methods, Money & Myself.

 

It will cover:

 

– Understanding the behaviour of FX markets and how to use it to your advantage

 

– Understand how to start using simple options to build positions for longer term trades

 

– Developing profitability from existing set-ups

 

– Additional trade set-ups and tactics

 

– How to improve the reward-to-risk ratio for your trades

 

– A simple mechanical end of day position trading strategy

 

– Understanding the true importance of money management and position sizing

 

– Building your own longer term trading plan

 

– Developing your own trading business

 

Like the Stage 1 this will run for 5 sessions over 5 months with a mixture of trading floor and online sessions in a building block approach. The aim is to develop competency at building a picture, selecting the right instruments, trade management and improving profitability.

 

I only run one of these courses a year. The aim is to run the first trading floor session on Friday 19th May.  The sessions will run for 5 months and will also include plugins for the platform. The cost will be £447 for the 5 months of working together. Previous members of the project will tell you that the sessions are real value for money. It’s on a first-come-first-served basis with Veterans taking the priority for slots.

 

If you’re interested then reply here or drop me a line at paul@FXTraderPaul.com

 

Trade well,

 

Paul

@FXTraderPaul

March 28, 2017

0 Comments

The Dublin Traders Forum – Saturday 22nd April

Fellow Trader,

If you were looking for an excuse to visit Dublin then here you have it!

After the success of the Dublin Traders Forums in 2015 and 2016 it’s now time to plan for the first event of 2017. It’s time to put in your diary the all-day Dublin Traders Forum event, which will take place on Saturday, 22nd April  2017. 

You can purchase your ticket here: Dublin Traders Forum April 2017

This will be the third annual event in Dublin were we aim to bring you an enjoyable, relaxed and informative day for meeting market professionals in person and networking with your fellow traders and investors.

There are more presenters and speakers being added and they’ll be announced in due course. The following speakers and sessions are already confirmed for Saturday 22nd April:

2017 Market Analysis: After a tumultuous 2016 we will take a look at the possible major themes for the remainder of 2017. How many US interest rate rises will we see? Will there be a crash? Is China collapsing or changing? What does the coming year hold? It’ll be an opportunity to explore all these questions and more.

What I wish I’d known when I started trading:  We live in a time of amazing opportunity for private traders. Technology has allowed private participants to engage in markets in a way unlike anything before. Having said that – there is still a need to learn – and one of the best ways is from someone who’s been there before. Here Paul will talk about what he wished he’d known when he started trading…so that you can avoid the same pitfalls!

Simple Intra-Day Trading Set-up: Come on, lets admit it – everyone loves a simple set-up to take away and work on and learn from. So here I’ll give you not one, but two!  A couple of very simple intra-day set-ups that you can utilise in your own trading development.

Which trading path for me: Retail, Social or Institutional?:  Institutional Trader David will give some insight into his trading experience which covers institutional trading, private trading and social trading. He’ll touch upon the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of all trading paths. Not to be missed!

Traders Clinic: We will finish off the day with a traders clinic. An opportunity for participants to have their questions answered regarding the 4M’s of Trading: Markets, Method, Money & Myself. This is a great chance to discuss common trading challenges and find out how to overcome those obstacles and evolve to the next level in your trading.

The Dublin Traders Forum will be an event that will cater for engaged trader and investor who is eager to learn more and meet more like-minded souls. You have asked us for it and here it is. We are aiming to foster a Mastermind-type environment, which will encourage a free exchange of ideas in a stimulating environment with plenty of opportunity for networking. Furthermore we’ll feed you for the day so as to keep you sharp, alert and engaged! (No-one likes a Hangry Trader)

Our mission is to bring you a memorable day in comfortable surroundings at a reasonable cost. Therefore, we will be holding the price for the day down to just E147 on the door. Alternatively you can purchase one of the 15 early bird-tickets for the knock-down price of E97.

After the event, we shall continue the debates and discussion in the Hotel Bar where Paul will be buying the first round! This is a great opportunity to spend a whole day in the company of market professionals as well as your fellow traders and investors.

This event will not be recorded so don’t miss this opportunity to be part of something special. The plan will be to run two a year, one in January for the start of the year and the second in September for the post-summer surge toward the end of year.

Admission is by ticket only and there will only be twenty places available. After the success of the first event tickets will sell fast so, to avoid disappointment, I strongly recommend that you reserve your place NOW by purchasing your early-bird ticket.

You can purchase your ticket here: Dublin Traders Forum April 2017

We are looking forward to seeing you on 22nd April 2017 for a memorable day that is guaranteed to change the way that you see the market.

Warm Regards,
Paul

www.FXTraderPaul.com

March 20, 2017

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20/3 Keep an eye on USD

Hello traders,

I had a great week in London last week. I always enjoy connecting with other traders, clients and some of the institutions that I support.  It was also a lively week in the markets – which is a double edged sword.

Anyway back to charts and the markets and I want to draw your attention to the USD. Time for a quick heads-up Take a look at the US Dollar Index Chart below.

20170320 USDIndJun17Daily POSSIBLE HEAD AND SHOULDERS

I had posted a few weeks back on the Veterans Trader Project FB page about looking at a possible Head & Shoulders pattern building on the Daily Chart of the Dollar Index. Hopefully you can see how I annotated the chart above to show the possible Right Shoulder forming.

As usual the plan didn’t work out as sweetly as I had thought and price grinded higher the last few weeks. Until the FOMC event of last week caused a cavalcade of USD selling across the board. Now we have what looks like a very scruffy Right Shoulder…..but it is one nonetheless.  Furthermore we have seen Dollar Strength wane considerably this week across the STAM.

So far today we have bounced off the psych number of 100. I believe a close and hold beneath that on a weekly basis will be bearish for the USD and I’ll be building a position accordingly.

Take a look and keep your powder dry!  Trade well,

Paul

March 13, 2017

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13/3: Sterling Coil and a busy week ahead

Hello Traders,

Back to charts, markets and trading.

It’s going to be a busy and eventful week – lets have a look at the coil going on in Sterling. I don’t suppose its a surprise to see a coil happening in some Sterling products as everyone waits to see Theresa May pull the Article 50 trigger.

GBPNZD Weekly

Sterling coil GBPNZDWeekly

GBPCHF WEEKLY

Sterling Coil GBPCHFWeekly

Two nice coils building there on the weekly charts.  The GBPJPY coil below is a little different as it appears to be coiling up due to pressure building between the weekly 20& 50MA.

GBPJPY WEEKLY

Sterling Coil GBPJPYWeekly

Finally here is the Daily EURGBP – which has not been coiling as clearly as the others, but we have seen a break of a longer term trendline indicating Euro Strength and GBP weakness.

Sterling Coil EURGBPDaily line break

Lets see if that price comes down and re-tests the trend line.

So what are we to make of all this? My own view was that there was likely to be another attack on GBP once Article 50 was triggered – if for no other reason than spitefulness on the part  Juncker, Tusk and EU bureaucrats et al.

Interestingly on my STAM analysis after a weak start to the year the EURO has strengthened in the last week or two. Does someone know something we don’t? Do people already know that Geert Wilders and Marie Le Pen will fail in their Dutch and French elections? Or is it another example of complacency? What do you think?

On a broader scale I have started to see a few pairs coiling up across the majors – could that be a sign that something big is coming down the tracks? Or simply a case of a shift is about to occur?  Lets keep our eyes peeled and our powder dry!

Hope that provides some food for thought.

Trade well,

Paul

 

March 10, 2017

2 Comments

Leaping into the void: Yves-Klein – the man who invented a colour

Fellow Traders,

Another Friday / weekend read. Every so often on this blog I have to ask you, the intrepid reader, to indulge me as I appear to wander ‘off the ranch’ that is trading and the markets and into uncharted territory. This is another request to indulge me.

I was at the Tate Liverpool last week to catch the end of the Yves-Klein exhibition. (Yes I know you’re surprised, what can I say? I’m classier than I look.)

Now before you think I’m going all ‘la-di-dah’ in my old age this post is trading related I assure you. So please bear with me.

“For the benefit of the uneducated amongst us I shall translate.” (a great line from one of my fave movies – see I’m lowering the tone already.) Yves Klein (1928-1962)  was a French artist considered an important  figure in post-war European art.

In 1957 he held an exhibition in Milan where he showed 11 identical blue canvas all covered in a special ultramarine colour which became known as International Klein Blue. Quite an achievement to have a colour named after yourself.tate liverpool klein blue

And there is my photo from the exhibition in Liverpool.  Which I can assure you does not do the artwork justice.  Now many of the readers of this blog may now be asking why I would be spending my weekend in an Art Gallery looking at what looks like a plain blue canvas?

But here’s the thing – when I stepped back and looked at the image, I had a very different experience from those people around me. I saw the deep dark blue acting like a gateway drawing me into a different time and space. (I assure you that I was not on LSD – the most hard-core thing I’d had that day was a bacon sandwich!)

My experience was different from everyone else. I saw different things than anyone else. And I explained to my partner how it was remarkably like trading. I have often talked about how the screens are like a mirror – they reflect back everything about our own psychology. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Furthermore everyone can look at the same chart on the screen and have a different experience – and draw a wildly different conclusion. (If you’ve ever been to a Elliot Wave meeting you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.)

So we as traders/humans can all have a different experience from the same visual stimulus. This also feeds into a cognitive bias that is known as Apophenia – the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data.

In particular apophenia pareidolia is where we perceive images or sounds from random stimuli. Kind of like when everyone can see ‘the man in the moon’ or we look at a car grill and perceive that the car is smiling at us. Or we look at a chart and perceive that there’s a trading signal……when really there isn’t! Lets face it – we’ve all fallen for that at some point in our trading careers.

Anyway back to Yves Klein, his IKB collection brought him fame and glamour. As you can see from the photos, models lined up to help him create new art works using his IKB colour.

 

(Note to the young boys reading this: get your mind out of the gutter – those photos are art – not porn!)

As part of  his collection they also had a famous photo of his that I wanted to see – “Leap into the void”.

klein leaping the void

‘Leap into the void’ (1960) apparently shows him jumping off a wall, arms outstretched, towards the pavement.

Can anyone see the parallels with trading?  We as traders have to leap into the void every day we sit at our trading desk. The hunt for certainty ends the moment you switch on your trading computer – no two days are the same and we have no idea how we’ll fare and whether our account will have grown or shrunk by the end of the session (though we all engage in optimism bias to hope it’ll be the former rather than the latter.) We literally take a leap into the void.

However Klein’s work revolved around a Zen-influenced concept he came to describe as “le Vide” (the Void). Klein’s Void is a nirvana-like state that is void of worldly influences; a neutral zone where one is inspired to pay attention to one’s own sensibilities, and to “reality” as opposed to “representation”. (Wikipedia)

It might be said that we, as traders, would do better if we entered a neutral zone where we focused on our sensibilities rather than other market influences. Furthermore we always need to strive for reality rather than representation in market moves and our own trading.

Sadly Klein died of a heart attack at the tender age of 34. However his work lives on.  I don’t consider myself an art connoisseur in any way whatsoever – however I had to say that I enjoyed the collection and it did make me think about life, art…….and trading.

So there you have it – some art, education and trading all in one post – don’t say that I don’t try to keep the posts original and make you think.

Or maybe I just need to get out more and stop seeing trading related messages in everything I see and do!!

Trade well

Paul

 

 

 

March 8, 2017

0 Comments

8th March: Post Budget Heads-Up: FTSE

Traders,

Just a quick note. Its been UK budget day and the FTSE chart is now showing a bullish flag forming on both 4 hour and Daily charts. Enjoy.

20170308 UK100Mar17H4 flag building