AGQ Trading System

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Strawboss
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AGQ Trading System

I have been working on a project the past several months related to the silver market, and trading in general. It’s ready for a test drive so to speak.

First some background...I, like many of you have been very frustrated by the metals market in particular (especially the miners). I have even sat and watched some of them go up in flames after recommending them and stating my reasons for bullishness on them. Those reasons are still valid - but, the price action demonstrably proves that my ability to find value AND time entries/exits well is definitely sub-standard and in need of serious evaluation.

So, with that honest assessment of my efforts - I determined to start over with a blank slate and see if I could figure out a better way to pick those entries/exits. I couldn’t tell you how many indicators and combinations of indicators I have tried to back test - none of which worked particularly well with any of the miners or the various PM ETFs.

But then I stumbled upon something that did work. And the vehicle it seems to work best with is AGQ (the 2x silver ETF). My criteria were that it needed to be a system that was entirely methodical (no interpretation needed) and actionable (you have the information you need in advance).

I have been tweaking and back testing this over and over and over for the past several weeks because the results I was getting were ridiculously large.

An initial investment in AGQ on the date of its inception 1/5/2009 (periodically traded based on daily close prices) has returned 3,675% with this system. Simply buying or selling at the close based on a pre-determined price that is known in advance.

So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been waiting for this system to give its next signal. That buy signal was triggered today as a closing price of $40.02 (or higher). I have begun trading real money with this system effective today. Of course I understand that what worked in the past is no guarantee that it will continue to work – so there is that risk.

Here is some interesting statistics on this system based on back testing AGQ since its inception on 1/5/2009.

Number of completed trades: 90
Number of winning trades: 38
Number of losing trades: 52
Average winning trade: 19.26% (biggest winner 137.40% closed out on 1/5/2011)
Average losing trade: 4.5% (biggest loser 11.34% closed out on 10/6/2009)
Largest drawdown from initial investment ($10K): $7409.27 on 5/4/2009
Initial investment ($10K) on 1/30/2009 is worth $367,549.98 as of this evening.

So - for the purposes of this thread the first publicly stated buy signal occurred today in AGQ at the close at $40.02.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:08

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Excalibur
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AGQ forum

Thanks Strawboss. Interesting analysis and research. I'll follow your progress and wish it success. Keep posting.

Strawboss
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Sold today at the close for a

Sold today at the close for a small loss. So, now I am short AGQ.

It is not uncommon in this system to get jerked back and forth multiple times having to take multiple small losses in a row even. This seems to happen either at the bottoms of major movements, or at a midway point. Price will run several dollars - then it goes through a phase where it chops back and forth - and then it will either reverse in the other direction for several dollars - or continue another leg in the same direction.

This system is designed to eat the small repetitive losses common at these inflection points in exchange for being on the right side of most of the bigger legs once they commence.

I actually think that the natural volatility of silver itself benefits this system for the reason I describe. Silver is not capable of trading like Coca Cola for any extended period of time. Its like a wild mustang - it wants to run - and it really doesnt care which direction it runs (up or down) - as long as it can be free to take off at a moments notice.

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%

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Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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I did some "rough"

I did some "rough" calculations on the quarterly/annual results. I say roughly because the cut off dates coincide with actual trades - not the actual date on a calendar. Some quarters/years are slightly more or less than a true and actual quarter/year. Hopefully that makes sense.

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firstsilver
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Rehash of post at Pailin threat

Full post at Pailin, but in a nutshell, in response to Pailin's doubts about ACQ ability to short, could the approximate same be accomplished merely by buying double-short ETF such as ZSL? I know it tracks rather poorly over the long run, but maybe it would suffice?

Interesting stuff, even though it's getting rained upon by the Pailin iconoclasts. Keep contributing.

Strawboss
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Yes, I am planning on

Yes, I am planning on building ZSL into the system instead of shorting AGQ due to the potential of not having shares to borrow - and because the trade needs to be done at the close - I wont have time to sit around and wait for my broker to conjure up some shares.  I need to be able to consummate the trade instantaneously.

I am not worried about the negative comments or anything.  I view it as constructive criticism and guidance from very experienced traders that has lots of expertise to share.  My system doesn't contain self-reinforcing feedback loops so I am not worried about that.  It has worked for 4 years and unless silver changes its inherent nature (a wild thing), it should continue to work.  Of course time will tell...

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Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
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Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Got a buy signal today on AGQ

Got a buy signal today on AGQ so I have closed out the short and am now long from $39.28.

Trades:
 
Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28.  Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03%  Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%

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Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Short AGQ from Friday close.

Short AGQ from Friday close. The back and forth chop continues - albeit in a very tight range. Usually, the chop causes greater losses as each trade is several percent. So for that I am grateful.

History suggests its going to make a move - one way or the other. I would venture a guess of it being pretty soon...

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28. Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%
Short AGQ on 3/22/2013 at $38.68 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.53% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -3.32%

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Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

firstsilver
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Tough day?

If I understand your system, you only execute new trades at or near the close, which would seem to make a day like today brutal emotionally.

I tried to post earlier, when AGQ was way down for the day, noting the system would net you a big gain for the day and likely overall profitability. I put on a ZSL position. Then, bang,  silver turns on a dime. I get stopped out of ZSL at a small loss. It seems your big AGQ profit has evaporated, too. At least at 2 p.m. EDT give or take.

Or am I wrong on the only making trade late in trading day?

Regardless, I follow with interest.

Strawboss
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The system is built around

The system is built around closing prices - so intraday action is of no consequence.  Actually - the past performance of the system gives me a profound sense of peace - even during volatile intraday swings. 

I remain short AGQ.

firstsilver wrote:

If I understand your system, you only execute new trades at or near the close, which would seem to make a day like today brutal emotionally.

I tried to post earlier, when AGQ was way down for the day, noting the system would net you a big gain for the day and likely overall profitability. I put on a ZSL position. Then, bang,  silver turns on a dime. I get stopped out of ZSL at a small loss. It seems your big AGQ profit has evaporated, too. At least at 2 p.m. EDT give or take.

Or am I wrong on the only making trade late in trading day?

Regardless, I follow with interest.

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Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

firstsilver
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Your trade looking good again

Wish I could find profound peace despite metals and stocks volatility.

Your short is working well again after Thursday and early today. Looks like you will have a winner when we resume trading next week, too.

Enjoy the holiday and good luck to you and yours.

Strawboss
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The system will give a buy

The system will give a buy signal tomorrow 4/30/2013 at 4pm Eastern time if the price of AGQ is at $28.82 or higher at that time.  It closed at $26.86 today so it would need to rise by 7.3% (or more).  Not likely – but, it has risen by more than that amount 44 times in 1088 trading days since AGQ inception or 4.04% of the time.

The purpose in posting this is if AGQ continues to rise tomorrow - even though it doesnt quite make the buy signal - it might be a good opportunity to jump on board with a short position. That way - if price continues upwards - you can close out your short position and flip to the longside and remain in sync with the system.

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Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Got a buy signal today.  No

Got a buy signal today.  No idea if it will be a fakeout and we will reverse tomorrow (or next day) or whether this is the beginning of a run higher.  As mentioned previously - this system isnt predictive.

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28. Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%
Short AGQ on 3/22/2013 at $38.68 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.53% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -3.32
Long AGQ on 5/8/2013 at $25.90  Gain/Loss on previous trade: 33.04% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 29.72%

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Got a sell signal today on

Got a sell signal today on AGQ.

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28. Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%
Short AGQ on 3/22/2013 at $38.68 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.53% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -3.32
Long AGQ on 5/8/2013 at $25.90  Gain/Loss on previous trade: 33.04% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 29.72%
Short AGQ on 5/9/2013 at $25.33 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -2.20% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 27.52%

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Got a buy signal today. 

Got a buy signal today.  Price is chopping which isnt unusual - in the past that has preceded larger moves in one direction or the other.  Its the chopping up/down where this system loses you money.  Fortunately the losses are relatively minor (even though they can be frequent).

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28. Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%
Short AGQ on 3/22/2013 at $38.68 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.53% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -3.32
Long AGQ on 5/8/2013 at $25.90  Gain/Loss on previous trade: 33.04% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 29.72%
Short AGQ on 5/9/2013 at $25.33 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -2.20% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 27.52%
Long AGQ on 5/10/2013 at $25.58. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -0.99% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 26.53%

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Got a sell signal today on

Got a sell signal today on AGQ.  The chopping behavior continues...

Trades:

Long AGQ on 3/12/2013 at $40.02.
Short AGQ on 3/13/2013 at $39.29. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.82% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.82%
Long AGQ on 3/18/2013 at $39.28. Gain/Loss on previous trade: .03% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -1.79%
Short AGQ on 3/22/2013 at $38.68 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.53% Cumulative Gain/Loss: -3.32
Long AGQ on 5/8/2013 at $25.90  Gain/Loss on previous trade: 33.04% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 29.72%
Short AGQ on 5/9/2013 at $25.33 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -2.20% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 27.52%
Long AGQ on 5/10/2013 at $25.58. Gain/Loss on previous trade: -0.99% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 26.53%
Short AGQ on 5/13/2013 at $25.20 Gain/Loss on previous trade: -1.49% Cumulative Gain/Loss: 25.04%

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

Strawboss
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Still short AGQ (via ZSL). I

Still short AGQ (via ZSL).

I did some further back testing on my system and come to find out - USLV and DSLV tremendously outperform AGQ/ZSL - even with the decay.  So - effective the next trading signal I am going to begin using USLV/DSLV instead of AGQ/ZSL.  I am also evaluating using a 20% allocation to options as well.

My research indicates that the average loss on a USLV/DSLV trade from inception is 4.5%  and the average gain is 19.5%.  The largest single loss was 9% and the largest gain was 78%.  The longest trade duration was 66 days.  So my thinking is that an 80% allocation in either USLV/DSLV and the remaining 20% in slightly in the money options with at least 4 months of time left prior to expiration.  That seems to be a workable strategy that gives good leverage without being overly exposed to a "black swan" event.

If the system continues to perform in a satisfactory fashion - these modifications should result in some pretty crazy returns.

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

DirkDirkler
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Hey Strawboss. Awesome that

Hey Strawboss. Awesome that you share your stuff here. One point: we can't really replicate your trades if you post them after they have happened. Maybe you can find a way to make your trading method more accessible.

Thanks for your tip regarding USLV/DSLV, as I also currently use AGQ I will look into it.

Puregold
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Impossible to trade DSLV with

Impossible to trade DSLV with any serious cash. There's no volume, especially if you have to place the trade within a window of the last handful of minutes in a trading day. After hours the spreads between the bid and ask are crazy and volume is nonexistent, so unless you're using pocket change to play your system I don't see how you are going to do this. Not to mention that you often hold positions for quite awhile with this system, exposing  you to the risks of being an unsecured creditor to Credit Suisse.

Strawboss
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Essentially – this is a

Essentially – this is a system for trading silver and silver related derivatives.  It may/may not work with trading physical silver as the premiums and spreads may chew up any profits (especially when the market is chopping).  In reality there are many different vehicles you can use for either bullish or bearish positions depending on the amount of risk one is willing to take.

Bullish vehicles include SLV, AGQ, USLV mini silver futures, silver futures, selling put options and buying call options.  Bearish vehicles include shorting SLV, ZSL, DSLV, shorting mini silver futures, shorting silver futures, selling call options and buying put options.  There are pros/cons to each of these vehicles including trading fees, decay, risks associated with too much leverage (using futures), etc… This post isn’t intended to be a comprehensive analysis of each of these vehicles so anyone attempting to follow in my footsteps needs to do their own due diligence, evaluate their own tolerance for risk, determine appropriate position sizing, etc… I take ZERO responsibility for your losses (and you will incur losses with using this system from time to time).

I began with attempting to strictly use AGQ but quickly ran into a problem acquiring shares to short (especially right at the close or in the afterhours) – so I then began using ZSL instead.  It occurred to me that the gains I was experiencing would potentially be enhanced if I increased the leverage by using USLV/DSLV instead of AGQ/ZSL.  I was aware of the increased decay involved in using the 3x levered ETFs but when I back tested the results the overall gains were higher using USLV/DSLV (at least on paper).  As pointed out – the spreads and overall lower level of liquidity in DSLV may present a challenge - especially in the afterhours.  A potential solution would be to use USLV for bullish positions and ZSL for bearish ones.

The problem with using levered ETFs is decay.  All of the levered ETFs have serious decay issues that eat into your potential profitability with DSLV being the worst offender – by far.  Its like trying to swim against a strong current.  Another consideration is the amount of trading fees one will incur over time using a standard broker.

After much thought and consultation with others – I have decided to use futures going forward and am going to limit myself to 5x leverage on each contract initially.  I may increase/decrease the amount of leverage I use at some point in the future. The benefit is the fact that the futures market trades over 23 hours per day as opposed to the 6.5 hours that the stock market is open.  A logical question to ask is why is being able to trade 23 hours per day more beneficial with this system?  Let me answer that with a hypothetical scenario that occurs on a fairly consistent basis over time.

Let’s suppose that we get a buy signal at the close (4pm Eastern time).  So, using the traditional methods we would open a position with USLV (or AGQ).  At the time of that transaction – I would already know what the price would be for the following day that would signal a reversal (sell the long position and go short).  Using the traditional way – I would have to wait until the following day at 4pm before making another trade (if the signal reversed) and would have to eat whatever loss that entailed.  Using the futures market – I don’t have that weakness.

Let’s say that at 4pm I get a buy signal to go long – let’s say that silver is at $22.05 for this example.  I do my calculations and determine that the price on the following day that would signal a reversal is $22.01.  Now – let’s say that during the next 24 hours – silver drops by 2% (about a 4% loss for AGQ and about a 6% loss in USLV).  Using my old method – I would have simply had to take the loss.  Using futures – I can use the $22.01 as a pivot point and go long above that price and short it below that price.

The end result is that instead of taking losses of, on average 5% or so with each losing trade – I can narrow those losses to fractions of a percent without losing any of the upside potential gains.

Another potential benefit that I am currently back testing is that once a trade signal is generated – it is likely that the market will give a more favorable entry point than is presented at precisely 4pm.  Say the buy signal is at $22.05.  During the evening hours – price may dip to $21.80 which would be a far more attractive entry.  Or – one could do some short term trading (measured in minutes/hours) using the system to understand that the “system” has a bullish/bearish bias.  So – if a buy signal is generated – one could go short silver if price dipped but would need to be cautious as that would be a countertrend trade.  Or – they could wait for a more attractive entry point below the signal price.

Now – where it can get tricky is let’s say the signal price is $22.01.  Above that you go long – below that you go short.  What do you do if price keeps wobbling above/below that level?  I don’t have intraday data that goes back any length of time that would allow me to back test that scenario.  I suppose one would have to play it as they see fit until price makes up its mind and moves away (in one direction or the other) from that point.

Does this system work?  I started publicly posting trades on March 12th, 2013 – just over 2 months ago.

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/forum/4560/agq-trading-system#new

As of this morning – My system is up 38.73% on those trades (including the current trade).  I have made a total of 8 trades – I have had 5 losing trades and 3 profitable trades (including the current trade).  Using the enhancements described above I would expect that my results would have been significantly higher.  If you are doing better than this with your own trading - no need to read further.  If you aren't...read on...

I will continue to publicly post my trades as before for a period of time to allow more time to demonstrate the efficacy of this system and so I can figure out the best way to monetize this system and enable others to also participate.  I want to prove to any naysayers that this thing really works.

What is really nice about this system is that it will work for the little guy who is trading AGQ/ZSL as well as the big fish working on a trading desk in some hedge fund or investment bank (yes - I know you are reading this).

I have always been ultra skeptical of people selling a "system" where they promise great results and make crazy claims - but you cant know if they are on the up and up unless you pony up your hard earned cash to find out.  My default reaction is to not believe them.

I believe that if you have something that works - and you want to offer that service for a fee - you should be willing to give people an ample amount of time to watch the system work - in real time - without having to risk anything - so they can get comfortable with it and that your claims can be proven (no one has to take your word for it).

However - I need to maintain an advantage (ace card in the hole) and not giving the price that would trigger a reversal in advance is that advantage.  However, as an entrepreneur...if anyone is interested in receiving the price triggers on a daily basis in advance – send me a PM.  Having that information in advance would allow you to benefit from all of the upside this system gives with far less downside risk than the system currently costs (due to only making trades at 4pm).

__________________

Jesus Christ is the only true hope that any of us really has.
Aaaargh .. the monkeys!!!
Trading metals is like playing frogger...there's always a big truck coming.

wrs
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Looks like you got one lucky trade

I trade AGQ on a daily basis and holding overnight is the most dangerous thing you can do.  You are lucky that you were short the day it dropped $5 or whatever amounted to your  single 33% gain.  The intraday volatility is what this thing is for.  I see people with a complete misunderstanding of how these ETFs are designed to work.  This isn't a buy and hold vehicle, it's simply a way to trade on the intraday price of silver.  If you hold it overnight after a big dip, maybe you won't get destroyed.  Look at the most recent behavior where they produced a fake breakout and then destroyed silver on the open the next day.  You have to play the market on an intraday basis in order to make money with this thing, otherwise you are just throwing darts.  I conclude you got lucky once and otherwise your system isn't any better than guessing.  Of course that's all trading is but using AGQ intraday is the better way to guess with it.  That way your gains and losses are limited to whatever happens during the day and we know that is usually far less than what happens overnight.  The idea that your system can predict a big overnight move is also just speculation.  No proof of that but you did get lucky once and unfortunately that is what kills people, they get lucky and use post hoc logic.  Without the big gain, your system has cost you 8% in losses.  Your losing trades were over 8% and your other gain was tiny.  A system needs to produce multiple gains that aren't big but big enough to outweigh the losses.  That is how you trade with success.  I have spent a lot of money to figure that you.  Gains always turn in to losses, usually sooner than later so book your profits and move on to the next trade.  This is how you make money trading.  

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