Saturday, 24 September 2011

MY CLOSING BELL: Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board

The CNBC Portfolio challenge closed its curtains in the first week of December 2011. As at the close of the challenge, my best performing Portfolio was ranked 82 in the UK and 4 621 on the Global Rankings as defined on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board. This result is out of 372 000 participants with Poertfolio entries totalling about 700 000. Congratulations to 1st Prize Winner Gary Lewis, IL, USA and 2nd Prize winner Scott Cole, CA, USA. Gary Lewis walked away with a whooping US$1,000,000 and Scott Cole drove away in a 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport. Needless to say l was not pleased with my final outcome result becuase l had set a target for myself to be in the top 50 in the Global Rankings and at least in the top 20 in the UK. But this has underlined the adage that " Once an Alligator Always an Alligator and that Oil always floats above Water."

My major weakness was on the currencies were l performed dismally due to unfamiliarity on the trading platform, effective application of trading tools and the effects of volatility in the markets caused by the uncertainty in the Euro Zone and the weak strength of the US dollar which formed a major part of trading preference in the currencies. I have learnt that taking risks can be rewarding at times but can also be costly. In the markets, ounce you start trading, its akin to a day out fishing in the Lake, you have to keep reassuring yourself, checking your bait and trying different spots with the hope of attracting a big catch. It paid off initially but my preferred currencies performed dismally in november. This resulted in a knock down in my rankings and will hence be more cautious in the future. On the Equities side, my stocks performed very well which resulted in the most favourable outcome rankings. The risks l took in this challenge cannot be replicated in real live trading, to qoute the immediate remarks of Gary Lewis, the eventual winner, but admit that it has been a real life changing experience. It has taught me the predatory instinct in the markets and the power of inferential bets.

I have realised that when it comes to money, it's easy to become a little obsessed. This can be translated to the fantasy bonus payouts to Top Bankers. What on earth do you need a bonus payout of US$5 million for!This obsseion with such payouts without any corresponding productivity is mind boggling and perhaps alien! That's especially true in the money markets, which are now totally accessible on the iPhone, along with plenty of leverage, nearly 24 hours a day. When markets are volatile and anxiety is high, it's easy for our self-worth to become confused with our net worth. The danger comes when one starts internalizing emotions into trades, opting to "get back" at the market by doubling down or making irrational, all-or-none decisions at all. It becomes addictive and in essence, a trading platform becomes part of the mechanism functionalising the traders heart and circulation system.

Effective traders practice money management. The dirty little secret is that market results are a function of how you invest much more than what you invest in. From Internet stocks to oil, bull markets come and go with each passing season. The experienced trader maintains consistent initial position sizes and follows the golden rule of cutting losses and letting winners run in order to survive and prosper in any market environment.

For the Trading week ending 18th Nov 2011, my best performing Portfolio is ranked 62 in the UK and 4 843 on the Global Rankings as defined on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board. This ranking goes up from last week's rating of 6 967, a % gain of 13,1% was achieved and this l am attributing to measures taken to turn around the Euro Zone crisis, particularly in Greece were a Technocratic led coalition has taken the reigns. Inflation figures released indicate a possible double dip recession in mid 2012, which has made the Markets volatile. The currencies have responded adversely against heated debate on the future of the EU and sudden resignation of the EU - IMF Chief Representaive, amid signs of EU debt crisis unravelling fissures in the French Economy.

Investors have flooded investments in Germany, a central tendency effect due to its dominance in the EU as the strongest economy.  It is also clear the market no longer considers French government debt risk-free – despite its AAA rating. This makes sense, especially when you consider how heavily exposed French banks are to Italy. What is less obvious less obvious to many who are buying gold – is why German government debt is seen as such a safe haven. Yes, it offers a short-term bolt hole. Germany holds the Eurozone's checkbook, and it isn't going to let itself go under ahead of any other member.But surely, sooner or later, Germany will be on the hook for all this?

Virtually all markets saw strong double-digit growth in demand for gold bars and coins. Investment demand in Europe surged 135% due to the deepening sovereign debt crisis. Significantly, 390.5 tonnes of the 468.1 tonnes of investment demand went into physical bullion in the form of bars and coins.A huge and paradigm shift change in the gold market is central bank buying which rose 556% to 148.4T from 22.6T in Q3 last year. For the past 15 years there has been net selling of around 400 tonnes per annum from central banks.
The increase in overall investment demand was quiet impressive considering the higher average price in the quarter and the price correction in September but not surprising given the scale of the global economic crisis.


My Portfolio as of 11th Nov 2011 ranks 78 in the UK and 6 967 Globally on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board. The change is due to uncertainty in the Greek leadership crisis, the unravelling debt crisis in Italy coupled with Berlusconi's decision to cling onto power.

My Portfolio as of 29th Sept 2011was ranked 11 564 down from the previous day's ranking of 7 434. The has been due to volatility in the markets caused by the need for the EU to raise 350 billion bond to bail out Greece and the much anticipated speech by Ed Milliband at the Labour Conference, The markets are expected to bounce back following the yes vote from the German Parliament and other EU member states. My other ranking previously was 34 274, a big jump from the other previuos day's ranking of 372,192 on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board. My ranking is expected to go even higher tomorrow after bagging in another US$ 6 000 Bonus Bucks this morning!! Making Surfing the Net Make Cents!! I think l will soon be in the running for the top prize!!

 My Portfolio as at end of business on 26th Sept 2011 ranked 372,192 on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board. My ranking is expected to go even higher tomorrow after ending the day on a high note bagging in a whacking US$ 6 000 Bonus Bucks!!

 WEEK ending 24th Sept 2011 MY PORTFOLIO RANKS 375,615 on the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Top Traders Board

What a challenging week for the markets! with fears of the last kick of the global financial crisis in the coming weeks Volatility continues to be the name of the game. My portfolio on this year's CNBC Challenge is a mix of equities, ETFs, currencies, and cash. On the equity side, my strategy is to focus on high yielding and performing companies on the London Stock Exchange with big names, given the short time horizon. l am impressed with the movement in gold prices and continually evaluating its potential as a hedge fund ! my experiences is urging me to be cautious and confident yet humble.So as this first week of trading in the competition l have been highly ranked with only 2 days of trading!! Wow !! and am optimistic to rise up to be among the top 100 000 in the coming fort night, there are still several weeks to go and l look forward to rising to the challenge! and who knows, maybe scoop the One Million US$ top prize fund. You too can do it, Making Surfung the Net Make Cents.

CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge             


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