• Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

ASX Stock Pairs Trade Journal

Discussion in 'ASX Stock Chat' started by Pairs Trader, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    A few members requested me start a journal after I posted a pair trade I took in december here http://www.aussiestockforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13560 I thought I would go ahead and start one to show how its done, It amazes me how many traders only use technical analysis or breakout/reversal trading systems to find and execute trades, let me tell you professional traders use arbitrage to make money on a consistent basis, and the simplest form of arbitrage is pair trading also known as statistical arbitrage, market neutral trading, long/short equity investing or relative value arbitrage, with this style you aren't reliant on market direction or conditions to make money and the relationship between two highly correlated stocks is more predictable than the outright direction of any given stock. This is the strategy most hedge funds use, Il post my ASX pair trades and analysis here for all to see, Il try and post my entry and exit prices as close to real time as possible, if not after market close when I have time, please don't judge each trade by itself, I wouldn't have a clue of the result of the next trade, I know that after 10, 20 or more trades I will outperform the market in terms of risk, volatility and return. Successful trading is all about making heaps of small trades that you have a edge with. I know there are a few other pair traders that hang around here too, please feel free to chime in guys. cheers.
     
  2. nizar

    nizar Well-Known Member

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    I look forward to your posts and will be following this thread with interest.
     
  3. oby_2

    oby_2 Member

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    I would also like to thank you for your previous post as it raised a lot of interesting discussions. I have been quite interested in what I have been learning of Pairs Trading over the last couple of months and will keep an eye on this thread to learn more - from all participants! :D
     
  4. skc

    skc Well-Known Member

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    Look forward to it, Pairs Trader. Would you also give an update on the RIO/BHP thread?

    While I agree with the principle of pairs trading and see some of its advantages, I have a lot of problem accepting it being called arbitrage. Arbitrage by definition is risk-free profit. Pairs trading is not zero risk, although it does neutralise to some extent certain categories of risk.
     
  5. aleckara

    aleckara Well-Known Member

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    Pairs trading negates some systematic risk common between the two components and leaves the risk factors not common to both including non-systematic events. In other words the macro risk factors can be eliminated to a degree (if the stocks have a high corelation to these factors) and what you are trading is the differences in the stocks, albeit with more risk than if you were just trading one. I would say that at times it can be more risky - I would be interested how you close out your positions, exercise money management, judge when you should get out, etc considering your position is in effect two trades not one.

    What criteria would you use for a pairs trade? It does have its advantages.
     
  6. nizar

    nizar Well-Known Member

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    When trading pairs, how important is it that both stocks are in the same industry/sector?
     
  7. MRC & Co

    MRC & Co Well-Known Member

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    Not that I'm a professional at this, but generally, they will be, as a close correlation is required.

    Pairs Trader averages down exponentially (by the looks of his last thread), his trades, which is a very interesting strategy and will work most of the time. But as I asked in the thread, at what point, do you cut it? Sometimes, the spreads on certain pairs will blow out and I know of one big trader who did his azz when this happened.
     
  8. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    Ok, first trade taken today.

    United Group Limited vs Monadelphous Group Limited

    Correlation 86.05%

    Long UGL - 7.31
    Short MND - 7.22
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    thanks for all your comments guys.

    RIO/BHP trade is closed.

    Yes without splitting hairs, pairs trading isn't risk-free arbitrage per se, its statistical arbitrage, we are betting on two correlated shares converging after diverging more than normal.
     
  10. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    I close position when the pair comes back to the mean, money management is don't place more than 25% of my a/c on any position, I hand pick on my own which entry signals to take then strictly stick to the system.

    I can't see how pair trading is more risky than outright naked trading, for e.g. which is more risky.

    Long 50K HVN........or

    Long 25K HVN
    Short 25K DJS

    ?
     
  11. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    Very important, you will find correlated shares that aren't in the same sector however thats just technical correlation, you need to be trading fundamental correlation. There is a logic to the market contrary to popular belief, shares are priced relative to interest rates, economic conditions, industry conditions, earnings expectations and peer stocks. Since two stocks in the same sector are exposed to the same industry/economic factors they are priced similarly, every now and then for whatever reason(institutional buying/selling, news) a pair will become out of whack with one another, this is where pair traders step in and provide liquidity, price assets correctly, reduce volatility and profit for themselves, so arbitrage does provide a true function to the market, it isn't speculating which breakout/reversal trading systems are with no value provided to the market.
     
  12. aleckara

    aleckara Well-Known Member

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    Thats easy. You now have two trades that can fail on you; not just one. These stocks tend to move with retail numbers I would say although I have never traded them. If you do this going on my previous assumption although the Australian retail risk is almost cancelled (theoretically) if the stocks have a high correlation to this risk factor there are other issues. What if it was announced that DJS is the front runner of the sector? and at the same time HVN announces a profit downgrade? (can happen in reporting season pretty quickly). Suddenly you have a loss on both of these trades. Notice how those announcements have very little to do with the overall retail sector.

    Each stock has a number of risk factors. By going long/short you are trying to neutralise the ones common to both, and at the same time your trade is only with the risk factors that are not common - these are usually more unpredictable however. RIO announcing a debt burden would of been a huge example and BHP announcing they have none if you have done your previous trade before the announcement.

    Risk is not really measured by this anyway. It's about the size of the position, market conditions, and a lot of other factors. The problem comes of course when people don't realise all the risk factors that they are indeed getting a exposure to when trading.
     
  13. MRC & Co

    MRC & Co Well-Known Member

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    I gather by your lack of response to this question in either thread, you don't cut it, full-stop?

    Good thread though. Interesting to follow. Thx.

    Aleck, yes, good point, more worthy points to this thread. Pairs trading is not risk-free and at the wrong time, you will get killed on both sides. Hence, my original question.
     
  14. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    Yes I don't employ stop losses for reasons previously stated, a pair will always come back to its mean whether at a loss or a profit.

    Yes you could view pair trading as more risky because more positions, however that is very subjective, i guess its all how you view it, let me ask you a question though, would you feel more comfortable with your a/c leveraged 5:1 naked trading or 5:1 market neutral trading? I don't see how eliminating market and sector risk increases your overall risk profile.

    To each their own.
     
  15. prawn_86

    prawn_86 Mod: Call me Dendrobranchiata

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    Could you please elaborate as to why you took this trade?
     
  16. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    I placed this trade because pairtrade finder signaled an entry signal, its at my 3rd layer which means this pair is currently more than 2.60 standard deviations from its mean, it has high correlation above 86%, both are industrial sector stocks, and there is a divergence between the ratio and RSI charts. Its not rocket science, just consistent application of the same method.
     
  17. nizar

    nizar Well-Known Member

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    MRC & Co.
    I asked the question precisely because I saw a few pairs which are closely correlated yet in totally different industries.
    Eg. Check out LNN and CSL, its in the high 80s.

    PairsTrader
    Thanks for your response.
     
  18. nizar

    nizar Well-Known Member

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    PairsTrader.

    How far back do you look when measuring correlation?
    A few months? Years? Combination of both?
     
  19. Pairs Trader

    Pairs Trader Well-Known Member

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    I use 100 day correlation and displayed for the last 150 days.
     
  20. MRC & Co

    MRC & Co Well-Known Member

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    What about the unexpected though, as in the case of Aleck, would you simply hold and assume eventually, they will come back to a mean, even though the fundamentals of the pair have obviously altered?

    Personally, my account leveraged many times over would not be a problem, if I was comfortable with my directional trading and employed tight stops on individual trades. It's how futures scalping works.

    But I like the general premise of your trading, just not the no stop part, correlations come and go and if it's thought this may be the case due to a change in the fundamentals of the correlated pair, I can't see why averaging further offside would be wise, in comparison with simply cutting the loss there and then.

    :2twocents
     
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