Monday, July 13, 2009

Forex Gold Special


Now I,m telling to you about Forex Gold Information
The market action this week provided a great demonstration of why I mentioned in my last post that options on gold futures contracts were my favorite way to play the ongoing bull market in gold. As gold continues a profit-taking pullback prior to advancing to all-time highs, my margined gold futures contracts and FOREX gold and silver positions were all stopped out, preserving some of my profits, but also meaning that if the market had turned on a dime and shot back the other way, I would have missed out on some of the move up while I was still trying to decide where and when to get back into the market. Because the vast majority of my positions in silver and gold are in options on December 2008 futures contracts, those positions are temporarily down in value, but still in play to benefit from the inevitable turnaround.
This example shows in a nutshell why options are a great choice for investing in commodities that you are sure will move either much higher or much lower in the future, but can't be sure exactly when the big move or moves will occur. As discussed in previous posts, since you pay for an option in full up front, your loss is limited to your initial investment if it expires worthless, and that can only happen if you fail to roll it over prior to its expiration date. On the other hand, since futures contracts and FOREX positions are heavily margined, investors have to close them out quickly when the market starts moving against their positions, as happened to my margined positions this week. Futures and FOREX traders who do not do so quickly become former traders. So why does anyone trade margined positions then? Why doesn't everyone just trade options? The answer is that since you pay the full value of the option at the time you establish a position, you can't control as large of a total position size as you could in the futures, since you only have to make a small "deposit" when you establish a position in a futures contract, as discussed in more detail in previous posts. Like everywhere else in the market, taking greater risk creates the possibility of greater returns.
Options on stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) were discussed in detail in my November 8, 2007 post. The main difference between options on stocks and options on futures is that a futures option gives you the right to buy or sell one futures contract at a set price at a set future date, instead of 100 shares of an underlying stock. Other than that difference, the underlying concept is basically the same. A speculator looking for the maximum leverage would purchase a futures contract on a given commodity, and would consequently assume the risk of greater losses than his or her initial investment if their margined position moved against them far enough before they closed it out. A speculator looking for high leverage, but also looking to avoid margin calls, would instead purchase options on a futures contract.
Let's look specifically at some examples for each method. As of this writing, with gold trading at $787 per troy ounce, a speculator with $10,000 could choose to control two full size 100 troy ounce gold futures contracts (leaving a $1,900 cash cushion), or 10 e-mini 33.2 troy ounce gold futures contracts (leaving a $2,300 cash cushion). The speculator could also choose to buy two call options that would give him or her the right to purchase two full size 100 troy ounce gold futures contracts at a price of $800 per troy ounce on November 20, 2008 (leaving a $180 cash balance). If the price of gold moved from $787 to $887 per troy ounce sometime in that period and the speculator decided to take profits at that point, the respective profits would be $20,000 for the two full size contract choice, $33,200 for the 10 e-mini contract choice, and $12,700 for the two call options.
The $12,700 profit on the call options represents a gain of just under 160%, but was achieved without having to worry about margin calls or getting stopped out of the position at a loss. True to the concept of greater risk taking opening up the possibility of greater gains, the margined futures contract positions were up 247% and 431%, respectively, but if at any time following the opening of the position the price of gold had gone down by just $4 to $783, the futures contract holders would have received margin calls asking them to deposit more money, at which point most futures traders would have closed out their positions. There is also the ongoing mental stress associated with holding heavily margined positions to consider.
Options on futures should only be considered by a speculator who has a very firm view of the future direction of a particular commodities market, as options can expire worthless if they are not rolled over. So the obvious question at this point in time is whether or not gold is certain to move significantly higher in the next few years. Since nothing is certain in this world except for death and taxes, a better question is what it would take for gold NOT to move significantly higher. The only scenario that derails the ongoing gold bull market is one in which: (1) the Fed embarks on an aggresive campaign to raise interest rates to protect the dollar, thereby throwing millions more homeowners out on the street than are headed out on the street already; and (2) the politicians in Washington embark on an aggressive campaign to cut federal spending on defense, Social Security, Medicare, etc. enough to generate huge annual budget surpluses for at least the next generation. Each speculator or investor will have to make up their own mind as to whether or not they see the above scenario coming to fruition anytime soon.
Presneted by Sharjeel

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