Option FanaticOptions, stock, futures, and system trading, backtesting, money management, and much more!

Unresolved Quandaries (Part 3)

Today I will finish mulling over ideas brought up during a 2016 conversation with my friend CJ.

At this point in my trading career, much of the discipline comes from engagement activities. I mentioned flexibility. That flexibility comes from my non-trading activities—questioned in the past because they seem optional or unnecessary. Although they do not translate directly to profits like clicking the execute button, they keep me on-track with related projects. Without this engagement I may lose interest in trading [new strategies]. Maintaining a high level of engagement requires commitment.

“Commitment” calls attention to the declining length of my workweek. The hardest part of my trading career was 2008-2011 when I spent 60+ hours/week to learn, to backtest, and to develop my strategy. Trading for others would represent a new business direction and a renewed sense of obligation to “recommit” by working more hours.

CJ and I eventually discussed management fee: another sticking point I must figure out before taking steps to manage other people’s money. How much I earn will determine whether my flexibility and spare-time sacrifices are worthwhile. The traditional hedge fund commission structure is a 2% management fee and 20% of the profits. I may or may not deserve to be in that category. The average adviser these days charges closer to 1% and with some “robo advisers” charging 0.5% or less, the average fee might be falling even further.

Suppose I charged 0.75%, which I think would be a tremendous bargain for someone in the “alternative investments” category. Raising $10M in assets (that’s a lot!) would amount to $75,000 gross revenue per year. I am uncertain whether net profit on that would cover my annual living expenses. Would this motivate me to sacrifice a flexible lifestyle?

In the beginning, I could charge a lower fee as enticement for people to give me a chance. One possibility would be to offer 0.75% (or free) with the expectation to increase fees over time as I prove my worth.

Perhaps the target fee structure should be proportional to my Sharpe Ratio relative to the industry average.

Aside from fee structure, I also need to come up with a marketing plan. Advantages to my trading approach include a consistent lowering of cost basis, a margin of safety, and getting time on my side [not the case when owning stocks]. When I lose I can lose big, but most of my trades are winners. On average I do better than most stock indices with a lower variability of returns. This means less risk, which has value.

Aside from fee structure and marketing plan, other unresolved quandaries include what kind of business structure to create and how many [if] partners to take on.

No comments posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *