In Focus Trade Portfolio – January 1, 2020

Published on: January 2nd, 2020

This publication is your ‘go-to’ to view a summary of trade recommendations proposed by Julian and Raoul in their respective In Focus pieces. Each month, we will update the performance of these trade recommendations, adding and removing trades as per the advice is given in subsequent In Focus publications or any Flash Update.

Comments

  • GP
    Geoff P.
    9 January 2020 @ 00:52
    Since there seems to be a lot of vocal criticism about conflicting ideas, I just want to mention that I value the opposing view points. I don't value group think and yes, yes me too. Let the one with the clearest most persuasive argument earn the capital allocation. If one can't decide, do nothing. Let the scene unfold more. Each point of view is also defined by its time frame. It is perfectly acceptable to be bullish long term while recognizing short term head winds. If one doesn't want to trade around that, don't, otherwise, fine. I think being concerned with ostensibly contrary positioning is short sighted. I would hate to see either Raoul or Julian hesitate to mention positioning because they didn't want to oppose the other. That would be very counter productive. I think the need for constant trade recommendations is also short sighted. I don't enjoy the penny scalping day trader mentality of the likes of hedgeye and others. I value the long term. I'm perfectly content to sit in a position for over a year, or 5. I've always thought the value in macro is catching the turn (e.g bonds in mid 2018 calling the rate shift before the Fed even knew). That trade (if done right) made years worth of money that getting chopped up trying to scalping pennies can't compete with. I do think the communication on this platform suffers greatly. That is disappointing. I'm glad to see Harry assigned to address that. I think there is some value in more follow up on trades that require attention. The 99c strike Eurodollar call is a great example. Is it to be left for dead, rolled to the 21s, added to? While we let the trade work, there are times when the narrative shifts. This is the time to reassess the thesis and make a recommendation. While I don't like trading in and out of a core position based on a few bps move, I think there was a structural shift in the rate narrative that warranted comment. I have been at this for many years, so I'm able to manage these positions on my own, but it seems that there is a lot of inexperienced users that would benefit from these types of updates from the idea originator. Lastly, I think it would be very beneficial to understand the position sizing framework of Raoul and Julian. What is the mindset of the idea generator? Julian mentioned the dollar trade being a punt. That differs significantly from being an equal/over weighted position. Hope this feedback helps.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      11 January 2020 @ 16:16
      Great questions Geoff. Consider this a placeholder. Let me come back after I have asked discussed with some colleagues.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      29 January 2020 @ 15:40
      So on the 99c strike calls, I think the actual implementation is a judgement call for the investor, but the "negative gravity" associated with tepid economy and asset prices which are still require Fed assistance from time to time remains the case. So there is always gonna be a good reason to keep an eye on these OTM eurodollar strikes if they get quite cheap until that background environment changes. So JB (and I think RP) are still keen on owning the downside in rates. JB I think is more price sensitive.
  • JA
    Joseph A.
    3 January 2020 @ 11:16
    HI guys, I have a few questions about the presentation of the portfolio. What is the purpose of showing the YTD % for example of bitcoin -34% when the stop price you recommend would not incur anywhere near that % loss? Would it not be better to show the stop loss price and distance in pips alongside or instead of this because everyone will have their own different % risk per trade likely in the 1-5% range of trading capital? Also I would like to ask what the basis of the entry points are. For example analysing Julians EUR/USD buy at 1.1220 (not shown here) which appears to me at least initially more likely in a sell zone vs AUD/USD buy at 0.6920 and similarly I would say Silver buy at 1710 which make more sense. I don't need to know the exact technique used as I appreciate you might be restricted from revealing proprietary information or details reserved for GMI clients etc. only. However in at least a broad sense it would be useful for me to understand the technical analysis trigger/gate keeping reasons for your chosen price entry points. e.g. momentum, channel breakout, some indicator, chart pattern etc. If I can understand that part of your thought process I myself could contribute ideas to the table for trying to refine technical analysis entry timing. Cheers.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 21:31
      Thanks for the comment Joseph. All sensible points. I will discuss with my colleagues and see which can be implemented quickly. One observation is that one might want to have the stop distance expressed as a standard deviation if possible, rather than as pips. But that doesn't in any way invalidate your observation. Generally, we use technical analysis in assessing entry points (level breaks), and both technical analysis and risk-reward in assessing where to place stops. Im sure you are aware these are not objective. If you have your own levels or preferred risk reward ratios then you should feel free to apply those instead. The most important thing in any trading is comfort with the approach. But your point regarding providing the rationale is well made. So much so, I would hope my colleagues generally already observe that discipline. We should usually include a chart and draw the stop in as part of the analysis, which usually makes it clear why the stop or target is where it is. Its very kind of you to offer some ideas on this for us. Feel free, either in this forum or by email.
    • JA
      Joseph A.
      9 January 2020 @ 11:39
      Thanks for the reply Harry. Standard deviation is in and of itself useful information about the performance of an instrument at any given point in time especially when it starts to deviate from the mean into outlier territory to indicate bigger moves or potentially the coming to the end of a major move if it has been outlying in performance for a while etc. It is also useful to know because the frequency of moves greater than one standard deviation especially in FX trades (getting worse in recent years with lower overall volatility) is less frequent than people realise and there are associated costs involved with hold FX positions longer term such as potentially negative cost of carry. This reinforces Geoff P's comment above that fewer bigger picture macro trades per year are better than lots and lots of trade recommendations and definitely better than very short term or worse day trading recommendations. Standard deviation and volatility analysis proves this. There are only a few times a year that short term trading is beneficial for these two reasons and to avoid getting killed on spread/transaction costs from trading too frequently. So I don't think expressing standard deviation in the stop distance will help and probably confuse more but perhaps expressing it in the reports is useful to indicate potentially more optimal trade ideas/timing. At the end of the day a fixed investment is made in MI by subscribers that has to be recouped so the score sheet has to be transparent in terms of performance and I think the pip method at least allows some apples to apples comparison and keeping of score noting that everyone has their own position sizing / % of capital risk profile and of course with dates marked for entry and exit with resulting win/loss tally because MI subscribers will join at different times of the year. Regarding risk management, there is no point having great trade recommendations if you aren't paying attention to risk management and MI is clearly for those who do have a risk management strategy of their own ( I suggest MI advertising states clearly for potential subscribers that they only provide trade recommendations and not risk management guidance). Furthermore I think the reports should not assume everyone understands the abbreviations or trader speak lingo used. I recommend going for clarity in these situations instead of brevity as MI subscribers appear to come from varying backgrounds of knowledge and may not have access to all the markets recommended either. Regarding technical analysis ideas I would first like to have more information regarding what's used as per my last comment otherwise there is a risk of creating further confusion in any contribution I make on that point. Adding layer upon layer of technical analysis can lead to even more confusion so it is about figuring out what Raoul and Julian generally use and if that can be included in reports with trade recommendations to show clearly on charts the recommended entry level, stop distance and why then even better and once I have a handle on that can see what if any of my analysis can contribute productively to that.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      11 January 2020 @ 16:14
      Your point about time horizons is well made. I take the same view. My personal trading horizon varies between 6m and 3 years. Quite often MI trades are intended with a time horizon shorter than that. 3-6 months. That said, there is a heavy technical component to MI ideas, particularly with regard to risk management. If a trade breaks a resistance level and then fails we would hope that its clear that its not working from the chart, the analysis and the published stop. But, generally we are not aiming for 1 week trades. Ultra short time trading horizons are not what we are trying to offer. We do offer risk management guidelines, but we do not assume clients have all the trades we recommend. We are not constructing a balances portfolio but a portfolio of alpha ideas. If there is diversification it is incidental. Which is another important reason why clients really should consider risk management deeply. That said, risk management issues are considered on a trade by trade basis, which is why we publish stops.
  • YO
    Yoshitaka O.
    8 January 2020 @ 05:28
    Agree with all the below. Have to say I am quite disappointed. A pretty wide gap between expectations per the marketing trailers for MI and the actual research and interaction provided
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 20:38
      So allow me to introduce myself. My name is Harry, and I have been assigned to provide a point of contact to MI clients. I have read the comments in this page and I hope to do what I can to improve the user experience and provide added value for clients. If you have any question feel free to ask, and I will do what I can to get the answer to you in as timely a manner as possible.
    • YO
      Yoshitaka O.
      9 January 2020 @ 00:21
      This is a great start Harry. Finally we have somebody responding to our comments! As of late, recommendations issued by MI has been extremely contradictory. Raoul is very bullish bitcoin and bonds / Eurodollar futures while Julian is bearish bitcoin and bonds / Eurodollar futures on MI / their respective twitter accounts. The only thing they seem to agree on is precious metals. A massive improvement you guys can do for the MI product is to tackle the contradictory recommendations above... I guess all MI clients want are clear actionable trade ideas. Not a research service that “hedges” itself by recommending trades on both sides of the coin
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      11 January 2020 @ 16:05
      Well, I have a complaint too. This reply button doesn't allow me to comment on an existing reply as far as I can tell. So do bear with me as this is meant to be a reply to your reply. Its true that Raoul and Julian do disagree right now. This is not so much a bug but a feature. The idea is that you can see how they put together their reasoning, and decide which you think is a better argument. I would characterize JBs views somewhat differently. I would say he is mildly bearish bonds and neutral bitcoin. I agree with your characterization of Raoul's views. I think JB views bonds as expensive, and somewhat boosted already by Fed policy. But JB also agrees that the data has been weak and is vulnerable to further weakness. That said, the PMIs and diffusion indices already reflect weakness, and forward looking models suggest we are getting closer to a bounce. Hence the mixed picture on fixed income. And yes, precious metals benefit from both Fed aggression, and evidence that rates will stay low for longer. The problem we have is the potential for disagreement is an integral part of the this product. Two different analysts, doing individual analysis and debating those views transparently. Thats what we are hoping to provide clients. In many cases they cant both be right. But the hope is the debate clarifies the issues and helps you, the client, reach a conclusion you are comfortable with. One might, for example, argue that perhaps Raoul is right on a longer time-frame but JB is approaching it more tactically.
  • OT
    Omar T.
    11 January 2020 @ 02:04
    Another issue that is not discussed is recommended position sizing. Roughly speaking, if you put equal size positions on all trade ideas in this In Focus you would have about 2% of profit when you average everything together (approximately by my count). Depending on position size you could do much better or much worse say if you put 80% into bitcoin for example after bitcoin week :)
  • EC
    Edward C.
    10 January 2020 @ 08:21
    Dear All, I hope this finds you well. My first comment on MI, so hopefully I can try to add some value. As Geoff P begins to allude to (The following are my words, not his in the event I upset anyone.), I do not think MI is for subscribers whom have no experience in the public markets or for those whom just want to follow a trade recommendation to the letter. I agree such services can warrant value for those whom do not have the time nor experience to make their own decisions on the matter. But to me, that is not what MI is about. I view it as paying for having access to the thought processes and insight of both Raoul and Julian. I enjoy the debate. I value that they disagree. An ongoing education if you will. I do not put on most of their trade recommendations. But it helps my thought process on deciding what / where / how I can make better investment decisions. For example, I would not trade the Gold Miners ETF. Too much risk there with companies that have the criteria to make the underlying index - Think market cap/liquidity, as opposed to having solid fundamentals/prospects/people in place. But a recommendation by Julian to trade GDX would encourage me to further investigate the gold mining complex for the better companies with solid management teams and promising prospects that could be long term investments. The reality is that most of us cannot day trade nor short term trade. I want access to the big picture thoughts. What's unfolding for mid/long term trades. If you have difficulty sizing positions, cutting losers (i.e. the mentality around realising a loss), understanding how to let winners run, then I think you need some market education to complement what is contained in this publication. Although Julian/Raoul have targeted a retail audience, I believe they have not correctly considered the variance in market knowledge of the subscriber base. There seems to be an assumption of an underlying knowledge base, which from reading comments over the last year, is not there across the board. Some are very informed. Others are not. This is not a slight on anyone. It just seems to be a reality. Anyone, just my two cents worth.
  • NK
    Nir K.
    9 January 2020 @ 04:22
    Hi Guys Although i find Raul and julian very informative and do provide a very good Macro perspective i am extremely disappointed from MI!! there is hardly no concrete trade recommendations that is my biggest disappointment by FAR!!! i do not need Raul to tell me to be bullish on Gold or bitcoin or julian to tell me that Apple is over valued as i know it already for years i would appreciate them to give me specific ways (could be in general) to help me play those trade other wise i do not see the value in MI !!! i rather pay $180 for real vision and get the free videos from u tube i asked for a refund as well with obviously no success !! Do feel that i had been scammed and will not recommend anyone to register
  • BH
    Boris H.
    4 January 2020 @ 18:31
    Would it be too much to ask from the person who formats the doc to simply show the positive return in green and negative in red - everyone is used to this and the current presentation is confusing from a formatting standpoint. Thank you
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 21:22
      Thank you for the comment Boris. I have sent an email to the guys who do the formatting and will come back to you.
  • YG
    Yves G.
    5 January 2020 @ 15:18
    Guys i hope this year this service will be a lot better 2020, defined by clear long/short global macro spread trades with hedges based on betavalue, than trades based on bullish or bearish steepener/flattener so based on the moves of the yield curve, not this f...up what you delivered last year, srry to say but look back what you did as the steepener came in september...observing your portfolio this year was more a retailtradermess as a documentation of some alphagenerating hedgefundportfolio. Than as mentioned, losses in red, gains in green and you didnt even mentioned how much you over or underperformed the benchmark, so how much Alpha was generated or lost compared to the benchmark so syimple buy and hold in the S&P500. For the price this service costs, you dont deliver what you've promised srry to say, my money was at least for last year totaly wasted and i really hope you trade like pros this year so global macro long/short Spreadtrades based on the yieldcurve movement. Thank you
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 21:21
      Thank you for your comment Yves. 1) Im a little unclear on your question regarding the forward steepener. Beta value is a difficult thing to use as a hedge or evaluation tool. Duration is objective, but any statistical hedge is going to be sensitive to the observation period used. The forward steepener we recommended would be a (bond) bullish trade generally, although far less than the equivalent spot starting steepener. 2) Your point on formatting is well made. With respect to benchmark, we are pure alpha, so our benchmark should be absolute. Libor for example. Put another way, we are not trying to outperform the S&P500, we are just trying to make money. 3) I can only apologize for the service not delivering for your last year. Hopefully I can help make a difference this year. Please feel free to ask me anything.
  • DF
    Diamantino F.
    6 January 2020 @ 20:10
    Hi Raoul and Julian, First, a wish you a great 2020 full of success and health, now I have to get this out, honestly, the worst money I have ever spent was on macro insiders, complex full, of contradictions and few actionable trades, compared to other services( ex: Hedgeye, macro-pos) the price is off the roof for what we get. I'm a small trader and learning Macro Insider doesn't little to nothing for my trading and Pnl Wish you all the best Diamantino
    • JD
      Jarod D.
      7 January 2020 @ 13:35
      I wonder how many people here believe they are getting their money's worth.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 21:11
      Thanks for the frank comment Diamantino. I can only apologize and work to make this a better service for you and other clients. At least with regard to the complexity or contradictions, going forward I should be able to offer clarifications and explanations. Hopefully we will be able to help you get the service you deserve in future. Please feel free to ask me anything.
  • RK
    Robert K.
    6 January 2020 @ 23:34
    Hi Guys, I just joined MI a few months back. I like some of your content and find your thought process informative. This document, however, needs a bit of work to justify the price point. Also, I believe it is missing the Growth-Value trade suggested by Julian last month. Thanks!
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 21:07
      Thanks for the comment Robert. We are working towards improving the product and comments like yours are incredibly useful in helping us achieve that goal. I will check, but from memory you are right! Apologies. The trade was "Buy Value ETF, Sell Growth ETF at a ratio of 1.48 - target 1.2, stop 1.59". Let me double check and correct for the next publication date.
  • JD
    Jarod D.
    7 January 2020 @ 13:30
    Looks like I'm not the only one dissatisfied with this service. I requested a refund and was told that there is a no refund policy. It has become clear that the purpose of this product is to fleece as many as they can, while they put all their effort into growing RVTV.
    • HM
      Harry M. | Real Vision
      8 January 2020 @ 20:39
      Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Harry, and I have been assigned to provide a point of contact to MI clients. Is there any specific question I can help with? I understand that your experience of the product has been disappointing to date. Perhaps I can do something to at least partially mitigate that?