Finished CFA level 1 & CAIA level 1 in a breeze. Looking forward to CAIA level 2 and CFA level 2. Made top 1% on the Bloomberg BAT, but was a black sheep at my mediocre college, and I was foolish to let it affect me. (non-traditional student)
Hope to write some quality articles in the coming year.
I was playing with fire my first year in the market, using a lot of call options. It was easy to make 50+% gain in 1st yr, summer '13 to summer '14 (thank you bull mkt). This past half year has been a little rough; I wish I had acted more decisively on material information about the energy market and the movement of the Ruble ($YNDX is a favorite).
I remember announcing the probably course of events to family the morning after OPEC's Thanksgiving's Day announcements, and I regrettably decided to wait it through b/c our professors chided us to take a buy and hold approach, and b/c I had bought some quality energy names at very fair prices in October. In retrospect, I realize the importance of optionality or in a sense, degrees of freedom.
In this case, I realize I am too committed to a base scenario (energy stocks recovering in the next year) that has too much opportunity cost. If the price adjustment cycle lasts longer than the expected scenario, then I will be unhappy with the opportunities lost. An equal weight short position would have been an ideal temporary maneuver, expressing my short-term thesis, while not causing commitment angst in the present, hoping for the long-term adjustment to blow over.
I was entrusted with a fresh 100K family capital this past summer, and I plan to be more prudent and thorough (obviously with minimal leverage or derivatives). This market is a little dangerous with high debt loads in China, somewhat high valuation levels (horrible Schiller CAPE ratio, but not sure if that matters as much), and jitters over rate hike, Ukraine, terrorism, epidemics, difficulty of private sector adjusting to Obamacare, and possible fiscal & monetary stimulus tapering.
I think low energy prices is a great stimulus, but the possibilities of a perfect storm with semi-hard landing in China or Europe, a serious violent flare-up with Russia or the Terror War, and disease outbreak could somehow happen at just the wrong time (perhaps, right after a rate hike).
I've read a fair amount of Buffett. But I love the tech industry mostly. To humor Buffett (a tech dinosaur), I bought a tiny bit of IBM. It has been working hard to transform its whole business, and actually has some top-notch talent and product portfolios with a fairly conservative valuation. The market is probably right that is a long-shot that IBM will grow significantly again, despite its immense technology assets and partnerships. Recent comment: feel lucky to have exited IBM at a small gain; mulling a re-entry and annoyed that I missed the recent Google explosion. Google is solidifying its reach and ecosystem, but at steep multiples.
I've been away from investing for much of the past half year (now dec'15), partly because I was getting cyberattacks on my twitter account, my computer, and broker connection was being intercepted, which made me very uncomfortable. My car also very suddenly needed an engine replacement that same week, despite a thorough check-up a month prior. I'm having a hard time moving forward, after severe blacklisting after-effects, (too long & weird to discuss).
CAIA & CFA level 1s were super-easy even though I was underprepared. I look forward to embracing the challenge. I will end up working in Europe or abroad, if I have to. Lucky to get tons of invites from Bloomberg recruitment due to top notch scores, but haven't really applied b/c of crummy school issues. Plan to work on Wall Street Prep & hopefully some SA articles.
Dreamjob: working for a hedge fund focussing in equities, preferably with a multicultural bunch (I'm half european / half asian american)
Long-term dream job: top-notch hedge fund manager
My favorite time horizon: 3mo to 18mo, b/c best chance of having a direct connect with news & analysis. market moves too fast to be primarily buy & hold, albeit such a mid-term outlook forfeits the benefit of effective interest-free loan in the the form of deferred taxes (as Buffett makes use of) as well as benefit of a capital gains rate, but on the other hand, a mid-term outlook maximizes flexibility. I'm trying to stay more grounded in fundamentals, flesh out the invest case for a quite a handful of stocks, and balancing risks in wide portfolio. Plan to explore ETF's more.
Spent over 30 years developing leading-edge software technology before getting 'involuntarily retired' in mid-2006. Still interested in software architectures, and personal research in advanced ontology architectures (I have rather idiosyncratic views on how these should be developed).
Having failed to pay attention to my retirement portfolio prior to 2008 (it was all in stock funds at the time), waited until early 2010 to get the initial rebound. Then started to actively engage in my own financial planning and portfolio management. Started treating this as a 'full-time job' in 2011.
As of February 2017: still learning, but starting to feel increasingly confident with my chosen strategy of 'intermediate-term trend following'. I have learned much of what I know about this from Chris Ciovacco, but I read my own charts, with more of a focus on longer-term (5 year) charts and weekly moving averages (20,50,100,150, 200).
One of Chris's many great sayings is that "harder markets are followed by easier markets" - and after the challenging conditions of the last 18 months, the recent breakout has been most welcome. I am currently fully invested in a mix of individual stocks and equity ETFs. I maintain a balance between low-volatility and more aggressive sectors (currently significantly overweight technology).
Other Seeking Alpha authors who I particularly respect - and whose weekly updates I consider 'required reading' are Jeff Miller and Fear & Greed Trader.
I am fortunate to have a reasonable corporate pension, but supplement that with drawdowns from my IRA until I choose to take Social Security. At that point I will become cash-flow positive (yay!), and will probably choose to spend a lot more time focused on things other than the markets ;-)
About the Author: Jayson Derrick has over 7 years experience in the world of high frequency trading having assumed several positions within the industry. The first as a trader where he traded millions of shares daily, a risk manager overseeing more than $75 million in trader funds, and then the director of sales, trading and training for a well known equity trading firm. Jayson currently works for a local hedge fund as director of research with the responsibility of closely following dozens of stocks and news sources. Jayson has also worked closely with several international hedge funds in an advisory role.
Despite the heavy background in intra day high frequency trading, Jayson also held positions as portfolio analyst where he recommended long term investments. Jayson is a contributor to Seeking Alpha and is asked for his commentary and analysis on several other large financial websites on topics such as emerging economies, ETFs and explaining basic financial terms.