Tuesday, February 05, 2008

January Trading Results

Results for January are mixed but not bad. Any way I want to measure things I beat the market massively. The MSCI All Country Gross Index was down 8.17% and the S&P 500 Total Return Index down 6.00%. I'm not sure of my overall portfolio returns yet but they were much better than that.

Computing trading returns somewhat arbitrarily, as I have been doing resulted in a $658 gain for the month. My three US trading accounts gained $735 (1.55%) and there is still $5980 to go till I reach breakeven across those three accounts, which is one of my annual goals. In future, I'm not going to break out a trading rate of return separately from my portfolio return as I've decided that the numbers get to be meaningless as I invest more of my cash for the long-term and trade with borrowed money. I'll report the overall portfolio returns, the gain in dollars on my three US accounts, maybe the percent return on my Interactive Brokers account (-8.37% this month) and my realised short-term gains for the month (-$1803).

Bottom line: I made progress on goal 4 (achieving breakeven) and continued to slip back on goal 5 (making money from trading). That is if you measure the latter goal in terms of realised short-term gains. Soon, I'll put together a realised gains series for the last couple of years to get a better picture of how I'm doing. Here is the net equity in my three US trading accounts:

This view shows that the slump since June 2007 is nowhere near as bad as the trading results I've been reporting show. In fact, at this point I am up slightly on that month and if we measure from the big loss in July 2007, I'm not doing bad at all. Especially, when compared to the market. What has been happening is the positions in these accounts that I have considered to be investments have done well, while my short-term trading has gone badly. This shows the importance of diversifying across different styles.

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