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CFD Trading — My 2007 Results

December 25, 2007 (Last updated on December 3, 2009) by

OK, CFD trading is a bit offtopic for the Forex blog, but as many Forex brokers also offer CFD trading services and it is in a lot way similar to Forex trading (high leverage, MetaTrader platform, no dividends), I thought that it would be interesting to share my results for 2007.

I’ve decided to use standard demo account of $10,000 solely for CFD trading in January 11, 2007 with the condition to close all positions before the end of the year and see the results. I’ve closed the last position last Friday, before entering the low liquidity market pre-Christmas period.

Unsurprisingly, the minority of the losing positions outweighed the majority of winning ones. As I was a total newbie to CFD at that moment, my first several positions were badly thought out and planned. So here are the stats:

Total Positions: 26
Profitable Positions: 14
Losing Positions: 12
Total Profit: -$800.10
Total Profit, %: -8%
Average Profitable Position: $417.86
Average Losing Position: -$554.17

Most profitable symbols: #t (AT&T), #mcd (McDonalds), #ibm (IBM).
Most losing symbols: #aig (American International Group), #c (Citigroup), #jpm (JP Morgan Chase).

And yes, all the trades were long (I think there is no point to go into long-term short positions in the bullish stock market). No surprise here — the biggest losers are related to the financial sector, which experienced a very bad year; biggest winners are from IT and consumer’s sectors that wasn’t disturbed by the subprime lending slump.

When I opened positions I’ve used the financial ratings from the various on-line agencies as well as my own vision of the company’s future (that usually proved wrong resulting in the major part of my losers). Stop-loss was usually set to some psychological support level (also wrong, technical support levels with lower loss level proved to be better), take-profit was set the recommended target level or slightly below (in most cases it worked fine).

After six months of CFD trading I started to understand my mistakes and tried to improve my strategy. So I’ve came up with these important “cornerstones” of leveraged CFD trading:

  1. Use Alpha and Beta parameters as the indicator of the stock potential (I’ve used the ones from MarketEdge.com).
  2. Don’t buy a symbol if some major financial institution states some real reasons against it, or if it has a rating below A.
  3. Stop-loss shouldn’t be greater than your take-profit.
  4. Close positions that are in a negative zone for more than a month — it’s better to free up some margin to buy a better symbol, there are plenty of them.

I will be trading CFDs for the whole next year too and I will probably start a separate real trading account specifically for such trades. I hope my 2007 experience will help me to gain at least as much as the raw S&P 500 index in 2008.

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