Category Archives: Macro Trading

Macro Trader

Global macro trading has made a huge comeback the last two years as financial markets have completely crumbled.  While most people were long and levered most macro traders were shorting housing, financials, going long and then later short Treasuries and doing all kind of stuff in the commodities space.

In fact in 2008 there were only two strategies whose performance was, on average, positive for the year.  Global macro trading along with dedicated short sellers made money while everyone else was losing it.  In fact according to Credit Suisse and Tremont Advisors global macro is the most successful hedge fund strategy since 1994, the start of their database.

If you had a chance to read “Inside the House of Money” copyright 2006 you were able to read interviews with several great macro managers, and one guy who later blew up, talk about their views going forward.  Macro managers were the only guys out there that were warning people not only about housing but about debt in general and all of the dangers inherent with misused leverage.  Is it any surprise that these guys make money?

If any of this comes to you as a surprise then you need to rethink your strategies as it should be obvious that looking at the macro view, big picture, etc is imperative to avoid huge investing disasters.  They were positive as a group during the 2000 bear market and they were once again positive in the 2007-2009 bear market.

What do you do if you want to participate in global macro trading but are new to it?  What about if you are already a macro trader but want help in order to find even more great trading ideas?  In November 2007 The Macro Trader was launched to the public and has done well.  In fact its model portfolio generated a 1.17% return in 2008 against a 50% loss in the SP500.  If you aren’t reading the weekly newsletter you are missing out on actionable trading ideas across several asset classes.

Happy Trading,

Trade Macro

Active Beta

Active Beta is a term that is not often heard but the concept is often discussed. In this post at The Macro Trader They discuss how they are implementing the concept of relatively passive, risk controlled, capturing of risk premia.

If you are searching for alpha the post is worth reading, as is the newsletter.

-Trade Macro

OZM Och-Ziff Capital Management Down First Two Days Of Trading

The title says it all. We are half way through the second day of trading for OZM the IPO of Och-Ziff Capital Management. Och-Ziff is a large hedge fund company that decided to cash out to the public. Following FIG and BX OZM has sold off as well and is currently below its offering price. Only time will tell how hedge funds work out as a stock market investment but for now they have been bad.

Our guess is just like any industry the good ones will thrive over time and bad ones will not but the timing on going public couldn’t have been much worse. Everything has gone down lately so going public in the middle of all the turmoil didn’t help it out much. Several other fund companies have indicated interest in going public so only time will tell. One interesting thing is that we have not heard about any of the “legendary managers” wanting to go public. Bruce Kovner, Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, George Soros, and Nick Roditi. No doubt the thought has crossed their mind but we haven’t seen anything in the press showing interest.

-Trade Macro-

Goldman Sachs Raises $4.5 Billion For Two New Hedge Funds

The title says a lot. Goldman just raised $4.5 billion for two new hedge funds. Guess what the funds strategy is? Credit and Distressed Debt. What does this tell us? To me it means that Goldman sees how bad the credit markets really are and see a way to profit from it. So if you have been following the current mess (and honestly if you are reading this then you are) this is a good indication that it is far from over.

In other Goldie Hedge Fund news they are still down in their two biggest funds Global Alpha a quant fund and Global Equity Opportunies a equity macro type fund.

-Trade Macro-

Morgan Stanley Buys >20% of Barton Biggs Traxis Partners

Morgan Stanley has purchased a less than 20% stake in Traxis Partners. The Macro hedge fund started by Barton Biggs. This follows Morgan Stanley purchases of Avenue Capital, Front Point Partners, and Lansdowne partners in the past year. They are trying to buy their way into the hedge fund space and so far it is working all right.

This purchase was near and dear to Morgan because Biggs used to be the chief market strategist at Morgan before claiming that Hedge Funds were in a bubble and then leaving to start one. Traxis has about $1.5 billion under management and has done decent since inception. A few years ago Barton Biggs also wrote the book Hedge Hogging.

-Trade Macro-

Iluka Up 10% On Ospraie Purchase

Ospraie Management the macro fund ran by Tiger Alumni Dwight Anderson purchased 12% of the Australian mineral sands miner Iluka. Wednesday on news of the purchase the stock was up 10% in the Australian market.

Ospraie Management is one of the premier Macro Commodity funds out there. They invest in many things but focus primarily on hard assets and companies that deal in hard assets such as metals, oil, etc. They have reportedly returned about 22% anually since inception with this year being one of their few underpreforming years.

-Trade Macro-

Changing Direction…..A Bit


As anyone who has been here is a while has noticed we have not been posting much at all.  We are changing directions with  Going forward this site will be dedicated to educating and informing people about Global Macro Trading.  We will post newsworthy items and educational articles so that you can better understand what Macro Trading is, the benefits, the drawbacks, the risks, and the rewards of Global Macro.

Thanks For Visiting,


Where We Are

While we will probably get a short term pullback in interest rates we remain bearish on bonds.  Basically every indicator and model that we follow show bonds as a sell.  It is probably safe to say that the inflation numbers are a joke and while 2.7% may sound good it is wrong.  Just like calling a fat man skinny doesn’t make it true, the same goes for “low” inflation.  Guess what it is at least 1% higher and probably closer to double the reported numbers.  There will be more posts in the future on this.

For Bonds



-Junk/High Yield-Sell

The signals for Government and Corporates have been on sells for weeks now but the high yield only came in as a sell three weeks ago.

As for stocks as much as it pains us to say it we see the SP500 staying in bull mode for the immediate future.  Virtually all of our models remain in a buy mode.  So although we wouldn’t be initiating or adding to our positions right now we remain on a Hold.


US Domestic-Buy/Hold

Favored Area-Large Cap Value

Top Two Sectors-Energy and Materials (XLE and XLB)

As for precious metals we are bullish on them right now.  Not wildly so but we have had a few buys on for several weeks now.  So for metals we are 40% invested with the rest in cash right now.

Gold-Long 40% of metals allocation.

As for the economy as a whole we remain short term neutral and long term bearish.  In the next few months we should be alright but by  mid fall we wouldn’t be surprised if we see the fabled recession.  That is a ways off but we would not be surprised if it came about.

In the currency world we are short term short the Euro, Pound, Swiss Franc, and the Swedish Krona.  In the coming weeks or months we will revert back to the short dollar position that long term has done so well.  In addition to that we are long term bullish the Australian Dollar.  If we actually go into hyper inflation mode the AUD will benefit significantly and if inflation stays where its at the AUD will still be OK.  Overall a good risk reward trade.

That is it for now.  Come back often because we are ramping up the posting.

Happy Trading and as always Manage Your Risk,

The Macro Trader

Disclaimer-None of this is investment advice.  It is the opinion of the authors.  If you choose to trade off of this you do so at your own risk and none of the gains (unfortunately) or losses (fortunately) are the fault of  Be safe, do your own due diligence on anything you see, and keep a level head.

One Way To Enter And Exit Asset Classes With Models

Many people have the misguided impression that anyone that market times is either 100% in or 100% out of a market. Anyone that has successfully used multiple models knows that’s simply not the case. A long time ago we read an article interviewing Marty Zweig where he discussed that while he used timing extensively he was rarely 100% in or out. Since reading that we have found that it was excellent advice and have incorporated it into our trading.

As stated previously The Macro Trader uses multiple models for virtually every asset class. For instance in precious metals we currently run five models. Three are virtually 100% mechanical one is 75% mechanical and one is discretionary in order to build up a core position. So how do we position size this? Actually it’s pretty simple. We take our allocation to precious metals and divide it by the number of trading models, in this case five. So if for instance we have allocated $100K to metals each strategy gets $20K.

Why do we do this? Primarily for two reasons. We don’t know everything and we want to earn at least some of the risk premia built into each asset class. So unless we are extremely bearish one asset class and net short we will almost always have at least some money in play there. What about leverage you ask? Well we have rules built for that as well. Our use of leverage deserves a few of it’s own posts but basically if we are extremely bullish we will usually use options in order to lever up. Depending on the situation we might use futures for an asset class or margin in stocks but usually we like options to add leverage because we can usually control our risk better.

There are several other ways to use models such as ranking each strategy and putting X% in the top one, less % in the next, etc. We will cover more ways to position size each model in future posts but for the most part we have found that while you can make this as complicated (not to be confused with sophisticated) or as simple as you want many times simple works best.

Happy Trading,
The Macro Trader

Some of the Advantages of Multiple Strategies

Many individual traders whether they are institutional or retail focus and specialize in one strategy in one market. While that is fine for part of your money if done right there are many advantages to running multiple strategies inside of your portfolio. Among them are a more consistent steady stream of returns, lower drawdowns, and the ability to perform in all market environments.

How do you achieve all of this? Well you have to go out and find successful strategies. You then have to check their correlation to each other. Depending upon the size of your portfolio you can definitely have overlap but the overall goal is to have several uncorrelated strategies. You want managers in different areas trading different ways. One manger that is involved with growth stocks, one in value stocks, another that is a trend following CTA (commodity trading advisor), another that does statistical arbitrage, a bond manager, an emerging markets manager, etc. You get the idea. As I said earlier some overlap is fine. In fact if you have large portfolio it is good to have a bit of overlap. If you can get multiple growth stock managers that trade slightly differently you will have added a bit more diversification to your returns albeit usually only a small amount. It also makes it so if one starts to under-perform you aren’t as dependent on them to extract the strategies alpha.

This obviously isn’t everything there is to generating good returns in good and bad times but is an often overlooked part of the puzzle. I can’t begin to count the times that I have talked to someone who was diversified into 10 different mutual funds by a financial advisor only to find they were barely diversified at all. Look to different strategies in different markets or to managers that trade in different markets and strategies and you will see that your returns become steadier and usually go up over time.

-The Macro Trader

P.S. In case you didn’t know most managers that trade in multiple strategies across multiple markets are Global Macro Funds or Multi Strategy Funds.