I’ve read a few option books.
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Things to Consider in Setting Money Management Rules – Part 2: RISK TOLERANCE

In setting a suitable money management, you should also consider the maximum drawdown you are willing to accept, which depend on your risk tolerance.
In this case, do take into account the reasonable percent return required to recover to breakeven when you experience a certain percent of losses (drawdown), as discussed in the previous post.
Then, set money management rules based on your risk tolerance (expressed in terms of percentage of the total account/capital).

Just a simple example:
If you are willing to suffer from losses of maximum of 25% of your total capital, this means your risk tolerance is minus 25%. In this case, you should set money management rules and/or choose trading strategy that has a maximum drawdown statistics of 25% or less.

Consider two options of the following money management rules:
Option 1: Maximum of 2% risk (of the remaining account balance) in each trade
Option 2: Maximum of 5% risk (of the remaining account balance) in each trade



As can be seen from the above table, using Option 1 (max 2% risk for each trade), your account will drop to a level that is close to your risk tolerance of maximum 25% drawdown only after 14 consecutive losing trades.
In contrast, using Option 2 (max 5% risk for each trade), your account will even exceed that level only after 6 losing trades in a row.

Looking at another perspective, Option 1 will suffer 26.1% loss in the case of 15 consecutive losing trades, which would require 35.4% gain in order to be back to breakeven.
On the other hand, with the same scenario of 15 successive losing trades, Option 2 suffers 53.7% drawdown and will need 115.8% gain, which is much harder to achieve, to be breakeven. Although losing 15 times in a row is quite an extreme case, in reality it is still possible to happen.

Remember that although you might have implemented strict money management rules, losing streaks and drawdowns are inevitable.
Hence, you should set a sound money management strategy that aims to avoid risk of ruin at all cost, can survive a period of losing streaks, and also still reasonable to rebound to at least break even.

Continue to: Things to Consider in Setting Money Management Rules – Part 3: HOW LONG YOUR CAPITAL CAN LAST

Go back to: Things To Consider in Setting Money Management Rules - Part 1: DRAW DOWN


To view the list of all the series on this topic, please refer to:
Money Management / Position Sizing

Other Learning Resources:
* FREE Trading Educational Videos from Trading Experts

Related Topics:
* Understanding Implied Volatility (IV)
* Understanding Option Greek
* Understanding Option’s Time Value
* Learning Candlestick Charts
* Options Trading Basic – Part 1
* Options Trading Basic – Part 2

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Things to Consider in Setting Money Management Rules – Part 1: DRAW DOWN

One important part of money management/position sizing is the ability of a trader/investor to avoid large draw downs or limit the draw downs to a certain percentage of the trading capital/portfolio.
If the traders/investors always take high risk in their trades, they are more likely to experience disastrous drawdown. Therefore, the way to avoid it is by limiting the size of what you are prepared to lose / risk in any single trade to a certain percentage of your total trading capital/portfolio (i.e. proper position sizing).

A draw down is defined as a reduction in the account/portfolio from its highest point resulted from a losing trade or series of losing trades during a certain period.
A draw down is measured in terms of a percentage between a recent peak to a recent trough of the account/portfolio.
If all your trades were profitable, you will never experience a drawdown. The calculation of draw down would begin only with a losing trade, and continue so long as the account hits new lows.

With regards to drawdown, it is important to understand that the percentage return that you need to make in order to get back to breakeven is bigger than the percentage of losses you experienced.
So, if you lose 10%, you cannot gain back to breakeven by getting 10% return in the next trade, but it would be more than 10%.
For example:
Suppose your initial capital is $1000. If you lose 10% ($100), the remaining capital will be $900. If in the next trade you make 10%, your capital will only reach $990, still losing $10 (or 1% loss from the initial capital). In order to recover to breakeven, you will need to make $100/$900 = 11.1% in your next trade.

The following table shows the percent return required to recover to breakeven when you experience a certain percent of losses (drawdown).


From the table, we can see that as drawdown increases, the percent gain required to recover / get back to breakeven increases in a much faster rate.
For instance, when you lose 20%, you would need to make 25% return on the remaining capital to get back to breakeven. However, if you lose 40%, you have to gain 66.7% to breakeven.
Further, a 50% drawdown would require a 100% return, and drawdowns above 50% require huge returns in order to recover to breakeven.

From here you can see that the more you lose, the more difficult for you to make it back to your original account size. When you risk too much and lose, your chances to recover your capital fully would be very slim. It is not only because you are merely left with much less money in your account, but also you have to deal with the negative psychological impacts of the drawdowns.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you have good money management rules, so that when you experience losing streaks and suffer from drawdowns, you will still have enough money to stay in the game.
With a proper money management, you should only risk a small percentage of your account in each trade, so that you can survive your losing streaks and also avoid a disastrous drawdown in your account.

Continue to: Things To Consider in Setting Money Management Rules - Part 2: RISK TOLERANCE

Go back to: The Importance of Money Management / Position Sizing

To view the list of all the series on this topic, please refer to:
Money Management / Position Sizing

Other Learning Resources:
* FREE Trading Educational Videos from Trading Experts

Related Topics:
* Understanding Implied Volatility (IV)
* Understanding Option Greek
* Understanding Option’s Time Value
* Learning Candlestick Charts
* Options Trading Basic – Part 1
* Options Trading Basic – Part 2

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The IMPORTANCE of Money Management / Position Sizing

The main reason why money management / position sizing is extremely important is capital preservation ….. to avoid the risk of ruin from a losing streak.
So long as you have the money / capital to trade, you would still have a chance to recover your losses. However, if your capital is gone, you would have no chance at all to recover, as you have no more money for trading.

You may have a high probability trading system that gives you 70% probability of winning. But without sound money management system, you might still get wiped out of the game after unfortunate losing streaks.
A 70% win in 100 trades does not necessarily mean you would win 7 out of every 10. You will not know which 70 out of the 100 trades will be the winners. It is possible that you lose the first 30 trades consecutively and then win the remaining 70, which still gives you a 70% winning system. However, when that happens, will you be still in the game if you lost 30 trades in a row?

This is the reason why money management is very important. No matter how good your trading system is, you could still be facing a losing streak. Hence, you need to set a sound money management system, which will still allow you to stay in the game even if you go through a horrible losing streak.

In view of the above, there are at least a few basic things that you should consider when setting Money Management rules:
1) Draw downs.
2) Considering your Risk Tolerance.
3) How long your capital can last.

In the next posts, we’ll discuss the above topics further.

Continue to: Things To Consider in Setting Money Management Rules - Part 1: DRAW DOWN.

Go back to: OBJECTIVES of Money Management or Position Sizing.


To view the list of all the series on this topic, please refer to:
Money Management / Position Sizing

Other Learning Resources:
* FREE Trading Educational Videos from Trading Experts

Related Topics:
* Understanding Implied Volatility (IV)
* Understanding Option Greek
* Understanding Option’s Time Value
* Learning Candlestick Charts
* Options Trading Basic – Part 1
* Options Trading Basic – Part 2