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Do You Know What is Your Risk Tolerance When Commodity Trading?

InvestorEducation / Learn to Trade Oct 07, 2009 - 02:39 AM GMT

By: Andrew_Abraham

InvestorEducation

What is your risk tolerance?

Most people that I know don’t think about risk tolerance, this is why they do not even know where this threshold is in commodity trading. The fact is most people actually hate to lose money no matter how small the amount is. This is one of the reasons that many want to be commodity traders never succeed.


There are commodity trading systems that tout 70% accuracy or even more. This has nothing to do with long term success in commodity trading. The fact is when trading commodities or managed futures you will experience countless losses. The goal of any commodity trading advisor or a commodity trading system is to keep these losses small. As long as they are small…they will be set off by small profits and rare big profits.

To clarify further regarding risk tolerance when commodity trading…could the question be, “Do you understand the different types of risk?”. What do you mean by the ‘different types of risk’ you may ask? Well, in my opinion there are at least two types of risk. The ones that are predictable and the ones that are unpredictable. In Commodity trading anything can happen…This is the idea of 6th sigma events that are totally not expected.

On the other hand…..Predictable risk in commodity trading or stock market trading includes risk that has a known probability of occurring. For example, if you are a stock market investor there is a probability that certain events may change the current direction of the stock market. A change in Federal Reserve Policy might be this type of event.

Unpredictable risk however, includes events that have an extremely low probability of occurring. Nevertheless they have been known to happen. An example of this is 9-11. No one expected terrorists to fly commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center, but they did. As system traders in the commodity futures markets, we have to be aware that we cannot quantify the unpredictable events neatly into a back-test. We must keep in mind that those unexpected risks, however unlikely, do occur.

The future is just as unpredictable as the markets. Therefore as traders, we must learn to always expect the unexpected if we want to stay in business…

I was at a commodity trading advisor conference and heard this statement… As commodity trading advisors we always must be aware of what can kill us. I thank GD that I was born with the mindset of being paranoid. To quote Andrew Grove “Only the Paranoid Survive”. Andrew Grove further states that “when it comes to business, I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction.” As commodity trading advisors that have seen virtually every way a trader can lose money ( including some ways we did) We…expect the unexpected!

Andrew Abraham
www.myinvestorsplace.com

Andrew Abraham has been in the financial arena since 1990. He is a commodity trading ddvisor and co manager of a Commodity Pool. Since 1993 Andrew has been a proponent of quantitative mechanical trading programs. Andrew's major concern is not only total return on investment but rather the amount of risk that one would have to tolerate in order to achieve returns He focuses on developing quant models that encompass strict risk adherence and correlation. He has been a speaker at conferences as well as an author of numerous articles. Andrew has spent years researching ideas that have the potential to outperform indices as well as maintain fewer draw downs.

Visit Angus Jackson Partners (http://www.angusjacksonpartners.com) Contact: A.Abraham@AngusJackson.com (mailto:A.Abraham@AngusJackson.com)

© 2009 Copyright Andrew Abraham - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


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