Cumulative challenge results for Nov.

One more month to go in the 2021 challenge. If you aren’t in the top 5 or close to the top five you don’t need to send me any more trades for this year. Also all trades must be closed by December 31st or they will be closed automatically at the end of the year.

  1. Rohit G +257% (This will drop a fair amount when one of the current losing trades is closed and may knock him out of the #1 spot).
  2. Colm H +190%
  3. Sean H +176%
  4. The SMT general portfolio +73%
  5. Wes S +53%
  6. Bob D +49% (may drop considerably when current losing trades are closed)
  7. John B +46%

Assuming the standings remain roughly the same I will be the only person to make the top five in 3 of the last 4 years with one win. Rohit has made it into the top 5 twice.

The reason I started the challenge in the first place was to force traders (and analysts, although none have ever been willing to participate) to make real time calls. I don’t even care if these are just paper trades I just want real time calls. We’ve all seen the endless stream of traders (and analysts) claiming near perfect trades. Of course these trades always come after the fact and with the benefit of perfect 20/20 hindsight. Not surprisingly none of these traders records hold up when they are forced to make real time calls. Is it any wonder no analysts besides me will participate in the challenge? Their perfect trading record would evaporate.

Making consistent gains year after year is extremely tough. It requires the ability to quickly recognize when market conditions are changing and adapting to the change. Most traders are unable to do this. They either stubbornly hold onto their bias or they stick with a system even when it quits working. So they have years where they do really good followed by several years of losing money when they fail to adapt to a different market environment.

This year in particular has been extremely difficult in metals. A 180 degree change from last year where easy money was made in metals. I trade a separate portfolio for metals only and I’m pretty happy I was able to squeak out a minor 6% gain this year. Most traders that have focused on metals are sitting on sizable losses. It’s been a very tough market. The correct approach would have been to recognize that metals had changed and instead focus on energy or stocks. Both of those markets trended strongly this year.

Next year is anyone’s guess but I’m pretty sure what worked this year isn’t going to work next year. We’ll see who can adapt and make money.

My guess is that it’s going to be very hard to make money anywhere next year.