Where the FTSE goes nobody knows! - February 1, 2011 by Harry

Not that much to report today. No new trades and no new stop outs. I’ve been moving up my stops on my open positions in line with my super trend strategy but other than that it’s all quiet on the western front. I have been looking for new trades, when I’ve had the time, but nothing is standing out. I think no new trades also reflects my own uncertainty about where the overall market is going. Not that I’m ever certain about where it’s going but at the moment I’m more uncertain than ever. I am slightly nervous about the FTSE 100. It’s not passing 6000 as convincingly as I’d like and with everything else that’s going on in Egypt etc. I’ve become slightly bearish. So much so that I’ve reduced my exposure of my pension to the FTSE all share index. Maybe the wrong decision but hey I’ll be making less if the markets carry on rising but I’ll be losing less if they decide to fall.


Hopefully the site is a little quicker now but it’s still not perfect. I’ll be keeping an eye and trying to make improvements as necessary.


I hopefully should have some time tomorrow to move the new spread betting strategy forward over in the forum and Engulfing_Trader I haven’t forgotten about your request. I’ll try and make time to look into that tomorrow also.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
The Spread Betting Beginner

Trading Allied Irish Bank - December 23, 2010 by Harry

Only one full shopping day left until a fat man in a red suit will be heading down your chimney. I hope your all set. I have to say if you’ve left anything to the last minute I don’t envy you fighting your way through the Christmas eve crowds. I’m sure that everyone who reads this is well organised and had everything sorted weeks ago, much like I did. I wish!


On to todays trading. With the FTSE not really doing much at all today most of my positions actually did quite well and I made a new trade. My start performer today was 3I Infrastructure. Not sure why, I couldn’t find any news about it anywhere. Still as long as it’s rising I’m Happy. I forgot to mention yesterday that I was toying with the notion of exiting my Northern Foods position early. I was thinking, if the proposed merger goes ahead then I might be better to get out now. The thing is this merger is only a proposition at the moment and is not set in stone. I also read in the news yesterday that the owner of Harry Ramsdens may be planning a takeover bid which would obviously throw the proposed merger out of the water. Therefore I think I’m leaving the trade alone and moving my stop in line with my super trend strategy as was the original plan.


My new trade today is in Allied Irish bank. The share price tumbled on news that the government gained the rights to nationalise the bank. With the all time low around the 26 mark I thought it could be a worth while trade. So I’ve brought at 33 with a stop at 24. I’ll be trailing the stop at 1.5ATR on the mid price until break even then allowing the stop to widen to 3ATR.


The Regus order that I placed yesterday hasn’t executed so I will be cancelling that. There will be more opportunities along tomorrow.


I’ve started a new forum topic, well a competition really. I thought it might be a bit of fun to speculate on the price that the FTSE 100 will finish out the year. It’s open to anyone and the last entry day is the 29th of December. I’ve already made my guess and believe me it really is a guess. If you’re not a forum member you’ll have to join to take part, don’t worry it’s free. There is no prize as I can’t afford anything, but who knows if my trading goes well and this website starts to get more visitors there may be competitions just like this with prizes in the future. Hey I’m allowed to dream!


That’s all for today. I’ll post a brief entry tomorrow, probably earlier than usual but I can’t say for sure.


UPDATE: It looks like the FTSE 100 has just tipped over the 6000 mark in live trading. Not as spectacularly as I though it would but hey. I think it also went through the barrier in the futures trading last night.


Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner

Will the FTSE 100 pass 6000 by the end of the year? - November 5, 2010 by Harry

Sorry for no post yesterday. I was working late and by the time I’d finished I’d had enough. Not that much to report on the trading front. Persimmon was my star performer climbing around 25pts on the day. It closed at around 360 so currently around £21 in the black. I’ve moved my stop slightly to 335 just below the recent low around 336. This reduces my monetary risk on this trade to £4.25. I would love to move my stop in closer but I would risk stopping out too early, I want to stop in and make as much out of the trade as I can.


Moving stops has always been something the I have found to be tricky. Take this trade for example. Since it’s moved into a decent profit I’ve moved my stop to below the most recent low. This makes sense. If the trade continues to rise rapidly as it has yesterday, then where do I move my stop. Do I trail it below the low of the last few days? I know in Malcolm Pryors book winning spread betting strategies he suggests, “When the trade reaches the half way point(between support and resistance) trail the stop below the low of the last two weeks.” The thing is if the price continued to rocket the way it has the trade could peak and I could miss the boat.


Making these comments about stops has made me realise that this is something that I seriously need to work on. I’m clearly trading here without a fully defined strategy behind the trade. As we all know trading without a clearly defined strategy is a sure fire way to the poor house, “Failure to plan, is a plan to FAIL!” I think this weekend will I will be spending some time on getting the strategies that I trade clearly defined. If they are not clearly defined then I cannot trade them. Simple as that.


Moving on to other news in the world of financial spread betting. The FTSE 100 looks to me as if it’s all set to be touching or passing the 6000 mark before the year is out. I don’t know what other peoples thoughts are on this but looking at the chart I think the recent upward move is set to continue. I’d love to be able to trade the FTSE 100 but my spread betting funds just don’t justify the trade. I guess that I at least have one thing right in my trading. I think my money management is spot on. In fact I think if it wasn’t I would not be trading today.


Anyway back to the FTSE 100. I do have some money invested in the FTSE, although it’s the FTSE all share not the FTSE 100. I have a self invested pension. There are several funds which I can choose from one of which is a FTSE all share index tracker. I know it’s not exactly the same as the FTSE 100, but the charts tend to pan out roughly the same. It’s not an ideal trading solution. If I move the funds it takes a few days for the trade to execute, so I can’t go moving it in and out on a daily basis. What it does enable me to do is look for the longer term trends and move it in and out accordingly. I moved it out in April 2008 and back in in April 2009. I tried more recently to move it out in April and back in in Jun/July. I wasn’t as successful this time and I think I ended up losing more than if I had just left it alone but hey you can’t win them all. Hopefully if I can sit out most of the down swings and get most of the upward moves then this will grow my pension nicely. I think in 2009 I managed to grow it by around 25% if my memory serves correct. I would be nice if I could achieve this every year, but the reality will be somewhat different I’m sure.


I’ll possibly post again at the end of the day with a brief update on how my trades have progressed.



Until next time,
“May the markets be with you!”
Spread betting beginner