The fact is that huge returns are possible with a huge market exposure and the problem with a huge market exposure is that it causes huge wipeouts of capital as the market evolves. So this is analogous to a person who wins the lottery. You get a huge amount of return in one run but if you spent all your lottery money in tickets, you would hardly ever win again or if you do, keeping on doing this will eventually wipe you clean. The market – I believe – has a self-limiting character which makes the systematic exploitation of market inefficiencies to achieve huge profits impossible due to the fact that huge profits require huge exposures, and huge exposures – lead to wipeouts.
The golden question is then what is realistically possible ? Since there is no way in which the “top” possible average profitability can be inferred the best measurement we have of what can be systematically achieved is what the average people in the field are actually doing and have been doing for a long time. I have to stress here that the “long time” part here is very important since long periods of time imply robustness and statistical significance. Anyone can triple an account in 2 months, but doing it for 20 years is something very different. When you have been trading for a long amount of time it means that you have very sound risk and money management tools that guarantee your long term success by limiting your present market exposure.
If you check the Barclay Currency Traders Index you will see that the average compounded yearly returns are not to die for. Currency traders average a 7.71% compounded anual return with a worst draw down of 15.26%, certainly traders are in average conservative. However looking at all the profit and draw down figures of the particular traders you will see that average compounded returns and maximum draw down figures are often in a 1:2 to 2:1 ratio, meaning that the average yearly return is actually never better than twice the maximum draw down. If you are thinking that these figures don’t apply to you because these traders don’t have the “flexibility” of small account holders, you are wrong. Many of these traders are NOT trading billions and many of them have access to liquidity you would only dream of so if anything trading conditions for most of these guys are only better than for the average forex trader.
A very important thing about this index is also that it shows that diversification is the key to long term success with the sum of all traders giving a very smooth equity curve over a 20 year long period. So probably a good lesson to learn here is that using several strategies that are all long term profitable will probably help us reduce draw downs as it helps the Barclay Currency Traders Index smooth its performance. As we have seen with the Atinalla project, having a large amount of diversification is very beneficial in the long term for trading strategies.
However the most important thing about these profit and draw down figures is that they show us the true face of market exposure and what you can expect to be realistic. If in the best case your maximum draw down level is likely going to be around one half your average compounded yearly profit then a monthly 100-200% return or a 100% yearly return for that matter are unrealistic or excessively risky for any sound investor. In the end, this currency trader index tells us that for moderate risks, forex investors should aim for a yearly profit of 20-30% if their risk appetite is moderate.
Currently our Atinalla No.1 portfolio would hold a place near the top of the Barclay Index and for this reason I would be tempted to say that it is very profitable. However we must consider here that the portfolio has not been run for 20 years on a live account and only time will tell us what its real profit and draw down targets are. Nonetheless the most important thing about Atinalla project portfolios is that they are traded with a very good profit expectation and a VERY clear worst case equity-loss scenario in mind, which is 36% for the Atinalla No.1 Portfolio.
If you would like to learn more about forex automated trading and how you too can design your automated trading systems based on sound risk and profit targets please consider buying my ebook on automated trading or joining Asirikuy to receive all ebook purchase benefits, weekly updates, check the live accounts I am running with several expert advisors and get in the road towards long term success in the forex market using automated trading systems. I hope you enjoyed the article !