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General Discussion / Chit Chat / Re: USA brokers
« Last post by Sharkie on 02/04/2020, 10:25:31 PM »
I opened an account in USD with my SMSF with OptionsXpress Australia in March 2017 and traded equities.  OptionsXpress converted to Charles Schwab around September 2017 and in September 2019 they closed their Australian office.

I've traded equities and ETFs (IJH) with Charles Schwab in USD.

I've sent money to and from my account via OFX who are Sydney based and carried out the AUD/USD currency conversion for me.  The sending and receiving accounts need to be in the same name when converting AUD to USD.  I opened a USD account with my Australian bank (CBA) to enable this.  Schwab will send USD to a third party account (OFX).

I don't think you will be able to trade CFD's.

In October 2019, Schwab introduced $0 commission for online trades and they emailed me as follows:

"On 10/7, Schwab eliminated online stock, ETF, and base options commissions for trades placed on a U.S. or Canadian exchange."

You can call them 24 hours a day Monday to Saturday from Australia on 1800 781 423. Depending on the time, they will answer you in N.Y. or San Fran, probably from home, as they are currently in lock down.

General Discussion / Chit Chat / Re: USA brokers
« Last post by Jeff A on 02/04/2020, 04:41:14 PM »
Because of the current quiet trading conditions and self isolation I have been looking at our SMSF account with Saxo (using USD) and am looking at other cheaper / alternative brokers.
Could any members care to comment on the alternatives and the experiences that they may have experienced with other brokers mainly with their own SMSF.
I have currently been trading long only but may consider using CFD's again as well as maybe the forthcoming Options strategy.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Gary,

Yes I understand the dilemma, and hence the rule exception, for ETFs when there is only one ETF (or a very small number of ETFs) in the universe for a tranche of money.

In situations where ETFs are in larger numbers in the universe for an EW investment tranche, or when ETFs are used together with Stocks in EW universes, I think that a more nuanced approach may be justified.  In recent weeks, a few Stocks have performed relatively well in terms of Max DD or ATRVE21, or both, compared to ETFs - and on the other hand some ETFs have performed quite poorly.

I'll be very interested in seeing your analysis at next week's C&G session.

General Discussion / Chit Chat / asx etf GOLD
« Last post by Jennifer S on 31/03/2020, 07:29:17 PM »
hi all
Just wondering if anyone owns or has an opinion on GOLD as part of their portfolio
SPA3 Investor / Re: AUD/USD Hedging in periods of Extreme Market Volatility
« Last post by JohnR on 31/03/2020, 04:39:34 PM »
I've been looking at a Core stock holding and a Core ETF exit strategy for a few months now, considering moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single trade or easing out over a week, is problematic especially when you have the bulk of members doing the same.

Before Garry mentioned the Daily ATRVE 21 3.5 rule, I was looking at the system ATR-TS on a weekly charts, which seems to be in line with the ATRVE 21 3.5 rule, if a bit faster.
Whatever is used I think back testing and system rule implementation into Trade Master and Beyond Charts is required to remove subjective decision making.

I like the weekly chart system ATR-TS, and when combined with the new rules set of Daily ATRVE 21 3.5 gives a period to exit into. What would make this system realy shine would be having a daily ATRVE 21 3.5 on a weekly chart with the corresponding ATR-TS, so all signals are on the one chart set.
SPA3 Investor / AUD/USD Hedging in periods of Extreme Market Volatility
« Last post by Don McKinnon on 31/03/2020, 02:08:31 PM »
Hi Gary, and everyone else.

Following the recent public portfolio rule change to include a ATRVE21>3.5 veto on taking new SPA3 Investor Stock entry signals, I was wondering what should be done if anything about Hedge entry signals during high volatility periods.  Clearly the exchange rate has also been experiencing very high volatility as indicated by its ATRVE21.  Although the value has not exceeded the value of 3.5 used for the stockmarket indicators, its at a level much higher than any other time in the last 30 years, apart from in the GFC.  Because the volatility is so high, any loss trades will likely incur % losses much greater than normal.

To me it seems that applying a volatility indicator override, similar to that applied to Stocks, appears problematic at first glance because of the same reason as applying to IJH where it is the only entity in a core or satellite universe - the desirable decision making is very unclear at best and there is the potential to miss a large winning trade if an entry is vetoed.

Does anyone see a way through this dilemma to preserve capital from unnecessarily high risk but still provide a reasonable hedge?  Perhaps someone has developed rules already to do this

Dear members,

Here is a video link explaining the High Volatility Market Risk Indicator for use with SPA3 Investor Portfolios.

Application of the indicator and rules are discussed at the 23 minute mark of the following webinar.

Changes are being made to the relevant public portfolio investment plans to incorporate this rule.




IJH will be sold from Iain's Investment Plan portfolio in Monday's US trading session.

Too many words are required to write up an explanation here but I did go into some detail about this in today's Supplementary Connect & Grow Market Status Update webinar.

In the session I also explained why we had changed to B&H for IJH for Iain's Investment Plan (actually should have been B&H from the start).

I have always been reluctant to change the rules used in an Investment Plan on the fly.

However, I explain in today's session that markets are experiencing volatility levels only seen two to three times in 100 years, per index . And certainly only the 2nd time in nearly every investor's lifetime.

IMHO this requires us to learn as we go and to be open to being more flexible than usual, especially when we are able to use objective techniques to confirm the unusual circumstances and devise objective and logical rules to guide our decision making.

With regard to locking in a large loss, that will be the case. But we could also be avoiding an even larger loss. We have no idea where this down trend could end.  It could get really ugly. Or it could turn around right here, in  which case we'll get an entry signal.   

Hi Gary,
I noted that Iain's portfolio sold IJH today due to the COVID market risk rule. I thought this was B&H and the new market risk rule was only recommended for (satelitte) stock signals.

Isn't selling now locking in a big loss and will miss the run up when the market turns around?

Feeling confused  :confused:.


I would like to suggest that a C&G session in the near future could be wholly or partly dedicated to further explanation of the rule

This is a good idea. I will prepare do this session on Wed April 8th.

I would expect that the unnecessary whipsawing of trades in this extremely volatile market would happen at a similar level with ETFs as it would with many Stocks

Index volatility occurs at lower levels than with stocks. That said, it can & will happen for index & sector ETFs.

Users of SPA3 Investor can decide to write this rule into their Investment Plan for ETFs too if they wish to.

The rule would lend itself better to a Satellite EW portfolio of index & sector ETFs, than using for trend following timing of one or two ETFs in a Core portfolio.

The reason for this is that it will be possible to override an entry near the bottom of a trough and there won't be another opportunity to open the Core ETF position. If you only have one or two ETFs in a Core then the Core could miss the entire runup from the trough of significant market bottom. Eg, March 2009 with a number of mainstream index ETFs - see my previous post.

However, if you run a Satellite portfolio of ETFs then there will opportunities to enter positions in other index and sector ETFs if one is allowed to go due to  the High Volatility Rule of ATRVE 21 > 3.5. (Hint & Tip: SPA3 Investor  Risk Management through exits works well enough to always consider a Stocks Satellite portfolio over an ETF Satellite portfolio.)

Will explain with examples in the C&G on Wed 8th.


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