Sunday, 29 April 2012

Current trading, sorting out he study and new thoughts on academic work

It has been some time since I have needed to write anything about trading.  The main reason for this is that we have hit a run of good results.  In the last 10 weeks, we have averaged around 1.5% per week and our daily work load has dropped considerably.  In fact, we didn't actually make a single trade last week but still made 3.5%, one of our best weeks ever. 

This has led to both Jerome and I pondering on how we might fill the time freed up.  Jerome has worked out how to keep an eye on our positions using an app on his smartphone.  He had also been looking at possibly doing a part-time degree at the Open University over the next five years.  When we were looking at this together the other day, I was particularly struck by the Open degree they run where you can basically study any courses you like from any department. 

I have only one work-related project at the moment - a detailed examination of Cottle's Option Trading: the hidden reality.  This is quite a complex book - the sort I really like - and does have quite a lot of relevance to us.  The main issue I am working on is an assessment of the point where open positions in the current expiry should be closed and acorresponding new positions opened in the next month to replace them.  This aims to avoid the situation in which we are left holding a series of options at their "locked down" minimum value as expiry approaches.  Instead, I would like to close out the positions and open new ones before lock down, in theory giving us safer positions in the second month and not having two week waits to realise the remaining value in the locked down positions. 

I have also been sorting out the far end of the study which, for the past 9 months or so, has been something of a dumping ground for books, post, newspaper cuttings, magazines, and so on.  Lurking somewhere underneath all this new stuff is the majority of the academic articles I kept from my MSc.  As I have slowly worked through this area, I have begun to think about the sort of work I could do from this material, with my favourite project being the biography idea I worked on a year or two ago.

It would appear that there are about 75 lever arch files of material in the study!  There are also various work-in-progress files which contain bibliographies, notes on articles, etc.  I feel I could set the following targets for the remainder of this year.  Firstly, I could complete the bibliography for the project, processing the couple of hundred items that don't feature in it so far.  Second, I could spend some time at the Science library in Oxford, reviewing the last couple of years journal articles.  I am particularly keen on recent issues of Journal for the History of Astronomy - indeed, I really should subscribe to this.

Thirdly, I could aim to read, in the remainder of the year, say, 12 books that are relevant to the project and, say, 100 articles.  I figure that once read, I could process 2 or 3 articles a day at best, so 100 should be easily manageable.  Finally, I could try and sketch out a rough structure for my project and begin to lock the bibliography into this structure.

So by the end of the year, day to day life could be based on a bit of trading work, my academic project and going fishing lots, which sounds good to me.

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