Charts Only(!!), please. (Comments go into the charts)
Here are a few to start it off;
All of the following trades were executed with >$1 Million US and lasted <12 months
It is perhaps instructive to point out that these - above - trading feats were all accomplished in worldwide, highly liquid, major markets, involving commodity or foreign exchange instruments.
The significance of this fact can not be overstated because, unlike a (the nowadays popular) localized, often iilliquid, narrow-scope, pump-and-dump or pyramid schemes (bitcoin, individual equities, etc.), or similar, transient market manipulations of the day, these trades and the traders who were instrumental in their execution, accomplished what is often considered "the Impossible" and did so by employing uncanny foresight, extraordinary preparations and an understanding of the markets that is without peers. They represent the highest level of trading competence, including posting career accomplishments which remain unsurpassed to this day. (By any metric, measure or industry standard.)
There are several notable, common attributes among these individuals;
1) All these traders have posted (and maintain) a career trading record, such as;
- >11,000% Net return on capital;
- Number of losing (negative) quarters: <2;
- Maximum draw-down: < 12%
2) All these traders have(had) active trading careers, spanning over a decade or more;
3) All these individuals have used their own trading capital for the execution of these trades (as well as, the majority have spent their entire trading career, trading exclusively for their own accounts);
In short, none of the above trades were the result of pure luck, nor were any of the individuals involved so-called one-hit wonders.
It is the original aim of this post to highlight trading excellence while to be informative as to the methods and instruments which result in such outcomes. The above charts, in themselves, are only to point to the specific period and to show a summary of the results.
It is self-evident that the underlying details of those trades are many and often unique, while also highly informative. However, since most of these market moves are well documented, and in certain cases the traders themselves are (or became) well known, for the purposes of clarity and brevity here, I have only included a few of, what is obviously a universe of trading excellence.
E.g. These examples are only to illustrate the original aim of this collection.
(Courtesy of TradingView)
Since I've been asked, what prompted the idea for the creation of this particular collection - Epic Trades, Legendary Traders -, here is my reason;
"Bet on the Players, not on the Play!" - Is how I would summarize my own, rather simple-minded approach to trading/wealth/investing.
Back in 1986, I went down to the floor of the CME (The Chicago Mercantile Exchange) with a single(simple)-minded purpose; To become the greatest trader who ever lived.
Now, the jury is still well out on that one however, two things have happened along the way;
- I have met a number of those who did ("arrive");
- I never had to fly commercial, ever again.
Here is the essence of what I have learned, being around some of those who made it;
- They (the people, systems, players) do exist;
- They remain extremely unlikely to be "beaten", much like they were back then, or at any point during their careers; (and Yes, a number of them owns bitcoin from $6.)
- Most markets trade side-ways - going nowhere - 72% of the time. I.e. leaving just one-quarter of the time for exceptional opportunities/plays/returns/entries/moves;
- At the end of the day no one cares how the money was made, only results matter. ("There are no medals for valor, in this business.")
The evidence out there ascertains that the best traders in history have made the bulk of their fortunes in three (3) trades or less! - In no small part because
- Genuine opportunities are so few and far in between;
- Those exceptional traders know how to seek out and to wait for those opportunities. (Which, ultimately, makes them who they are.)
In short, whether by looking to those who "made it" and to try to replicate their process, or by trying to analyze and learn from those examples, or some combination of all of the above... The odds for an exceptionally profitable trading career tend to increase many-fold.
Do it consistently = Skill
Only issue I see with going all in is, it cannot be done consistently. Even if your edge is so strong with win rate of 99%, and if you have habit of going all in on one trade, you will still end up losing all when that 1% failure hits. Isn't this how new traders money? Lack of risk management.