Jul 12, 2011

Money Farming

One of the goals of project caveman is to become self-reliant -> self-sufficient with money, by reducing my reliance on money for buying things by creating my own, and to also invest/trade in shares, thinking of this as "money farming". I've been doing this about 9 months now, and this is a bit of a progress update.

The Project Caveman detractors point out how un-caveman this approach of trading shares is, but its a way out of the capitalistic/consumeristic life I've landed in, with the added bonus of adding nothing to the economy, taking other's hard earned work for their employers, and money other people spend consuming, turning it into cash for me, so please keep buying more cheeseburgers, maxing out your credit cards, and using 50 months interest free at Harvey Norman please, I'm loving it!

The first step was to create an account with www.interactivebrokers.com - they are a big international stocks/futures/everything broker, with the lowest rates (for about 10k trades) of any platform, and you get free access to all of the markets in the world, not just Australian, and not just top 100 Australian.

I then created an account with Strategic Capital Management (www.strategiccapitalmanagement.co.nz) - Andrew is an old friend from school, and we've spent a year talking about what he does and how he does it - he basically does "systems trading" with "futures", which is to say that he has an automated system for ....zzzz .. .

...anyway, he makes a number of trades each month, takes small losses and small wins, gets it to work slightly in his favour over time, and ends up with 50-100% improvement each year. It can make money when the market is tanking as well, which is good. Its like skimming off the top while adding no value whatseoever to the world economy, which is also good, as its all a bit bollocks really.

Futures are wildly volatile, crazy derivatives, that it takes balls of steel to consider touching, so big hats off to Andrew for making this work in the long term. Still I'd rather give 50-100% a year a go, than go down the 6% (- 5% inflation) cash approach,  get royally fucked by Storm Financial, or consider Colonial First State's my -5% over 10 years, which has been the return on my superannuation - useless twats. For an idea of SCM performance go to http://www.strategiccapitalmanagement.co.nz/performance/ - note the bollocking he has copped this year...

Anyway, the plan is to implement the above with about half the money, and trade/invest with the other half ourselves, though mainly PK. It turns out that Sez/PK is a gun at it, and I suck arse (though still think I can come good...no wait, I'm useless) and we invest/trade with the other half of it, on a more medium term time-frame.

In terms of information, it can be hard to find and took us about 3 months of searching to get good sources - there are a number of traders on www.stocktwits.com who send email alerts for trades, for about $50 per month - we've tried twitter.com/traderstewie and twitter.com/gtotoy - they send out emails when they make trades and all you have to do is check them out and decide if you want in.

They come through in the middle of the night though, which is painful, though now that Will is here and we are up anyway, might. just. work. Sez goes onto www.hotcopper.com.au for her stock gossip, seems to be all about the mining, but that's the whole country anyway, so whatever. Other good sources are http://finance.google.com, http://finance.yahoo.com, http://www.stockcharts.com, http://finviz.com - there's not much in Australia though, the best info comes from the US on their market, which is frankly akin to the wild west, run by Goldman Sachs insiders, automated high frequency trading robots, and dominated more by world events than the companies themselves.20% swings every month are par for the course, its a bit of a nightmare.

After 9 months, we've broken even (almost) (which feels like a win, given the amount of mistakes I've made), but now that I'm out of the road, its going a lot better, and rather than it take ALL my time, frees me up to do everything else caveman anyway.

So in terms of progress, the "money farming" system is now up and running, time will tell how it all goes! The plan is to get this working, simplify everything else, grow more of our own food, and slowly exit modern society.