SteadyOptions is an options trading forum where you can find solutions from top options traders. TRY IT FREE!

We’ve all been there… researching options strategies and unable to find the answers we’re looking for. SteadyOptions has your solution.

How SteadyOptions Calculates Performance


Our readers know that our returns have been tracked by Pro-Trading-Profits, an independent third party website that tracks performance of hundreds investment newsletters. They provided an excellent explanation how to analyze and compare performance of different trading systems. 

AGGREGATE vs. ROI

 

When you start looking at the different ways in which trading results are analysed, you’ll notice that they fall into two broad categories, Aggregate Analysis and Return on Investment analysis. Most investment services use versions of Aggregate Analysis which is a slippery slope into results that are at best misleading, at worst, deceptive.

 

Let’s say, for example, that a service did one trade in the month. They make 10% on that trade. According to Aggregate Analysis, they would then claim that they had made 10% for the month. But did they?

 

In another instance a service does 4 trades for the month, averaging 10%. They claim, according to Aggregate Analysis, that they made 10% for the month. Really?

 

And probably the most common example is when they’re calculating yearly returns. Say they did 20 trades for the year and the sum of all those trades (that is, the return for each trade added together) was 100%. Their claim, according to Aggregate Analysis, was that they made 100% return for the year.

 

How most services report returns

 

So all Aggregate Analysis does (and this is where its name comes from) is add the results of the individual trades together. And you can understand why a service would do that – it’s not only simple but, most importantly, it shows off their performance in the best possible light. Hey, if you could do one trade and make 10% a month, why wouldn't you subscribe?

 

Because you haven’t actually made 10%, that’s why. Not in the way that most people would think about trading or investment returns. 10% return assumes that you allocated your whole account to that single trade - which of course is insane.

 

Let’s assume you have a bank of $10,000 and you’re risking 5% per trade because you’re trading options and options are risky. So that’s $500 maximum per trade. The trade makes 10% which is $50, so you’re out for $550.

 

What return did you make for the month?

$50 / $10,000 = 0.5%

 

No, you did not make $1,000, as the 10% return suggested you would. You only made 0.5% because, normally, returns are calculated based on the total investment. And your total investment wasn't just the $500 you put at stake for that particular trade, it was the entire $10,000 you have in your trading account, because while it’s sitting there in your trading account it isn't doing anything else. You can’t have it invested elsewhere earning money for you – it has to be in your trading account so you can practice proper money management and risk allocation.

 

How SteadyOptions reports returns?

 

  1. We will always report our returns based on the whole account. The performance of the model portfolio reflects the growth of the entire account including the cash balance. Some services consider a $500 gain on a $1,000 investment to be a 50% return when the whole account is worth $10,000. We consider this to be a 5% return — and that is the honest way of doing the calculations.
     
  2. We also always report performance based on the same allocation. Imagine a service making 3 trades per month and making 10% per trade. They would report 10% return. That means allocating 33% per trade. But wait - what if you need to adjust the trade? You absolutely need to keep at least 20% in cash for adjustments, so your real return is 8.0%. To add insult to injury, if they make only 2 trades in a certain month, they would still report 10% return. That means allocating 50% per trade. But how could you do that if you usually make 3 trades? 
     
  3. Our Model portfolio is based on starting value of $10,000, compounded monthly and reset every year.
     
  4. We start with $10,000 each year and compound as the year progresses. Initial full position is $1,000 (10% of the portfolio) and half position is $500 (5% of the portfolio). The allocation for each individual trade is based on 10% of the current value of the performance tracking portfolio (5% for half allocation trades).  This means that a 10% allocation  when the portfolio is at 10K is smaller than a 10% allocation as the portfolio value increases. For example, a trade closed at the end of 2018 when the portfolio was around 20K had a 10% allocation of around $2000. This is simply following the standard for the performance reporting.
     
  5. Therefore, the dollar gain/loss for each trade in the performance tracking will likely be different from the dollar gain/loss of the official trade.  This is because of both the 10% allocation size for the performance tracking changing as the portfolio value increases and also because option trades cannot be allocated at an exact dollar amount.
     
  6. For example: FB trade on 12/28/17 (last trade of 2017) produced 40% gain. If we make 40% on $500 it is $200. But we base the positions on the new portfolio value at the end of each month (23,551 at the end of November 2017) so full position is $2,355 and half position is $1,177. 40% of $1,177=$471, so the portfolio increased from 26,014 to 26,485. This is what compounding means.
     
  7. There might be a slight difference in reported performance and actual performance for the 10k portfolio due to the fact that we cannot buy partial contracts. 

There are a lot of other dirty tricks that some services use to push up their numbers. It might include reporting based on "maximum profit potential", calculating gains based on cash and not on margin etc. You can read my article Performance Reporting - The Myths And The Reality for full details.

 

Still skeptical? Why not to take the SteadyOptions free trial and see by yourself how we are different from other services. Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more details about us.

If you liked this article, visit our Options Trading Blog for more educational articles about options trading. 

 

Related Articles:

Start Your Free Trial

What Is SteadyOptions?

Full Trading Plan

Complete Portfolio Approach

Diversified Options Strategies

Exclusive Community Forum

Steady And Consistent Gains

High Quality Education

Risk Management, Portfolio Size

Performance based on real fills

Try It Free

Non-directional Options Strategies

10-15 trade Ideas Per Month

Targets 5-7% Monthly Net Return

Visit our Education Center

Recent Articles

Articles

  • Diversified Leveraged Anchor Performance

    In our continued efforts to improve the Anchor strategy, in April of this year we began tracking a Diversified Leveraged Anchor strategy, under the theory that, over time, a diversified portfolio performs better than an undiversified portfolio in numerous metrics.  Not only does overall performance tend to increase, but volatility and drawdowns tend to decrease:

    By cwelsh,

    • 1 comment
    • 225 views
  • The Best Chart I’ve Seen in 2020

    The best visual aids for learning are often very simple. The chart in this article was created by Paul Merriman, using data from Dimensional Fund Advisors. I primarily use Dimensional Funds in building portfolios for my clients. There are many takeaways from this chart, and I’d like to share a few thoughts that stick out most to me.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 221 views
  • Traditional or Roth Retirement Account?

    When US investors save for retirement, there are many important decisions that have to be made including which investments to use as well as which type of accounts to fund. Tax favored retirement accounts such as 401(k)’s and IRA’s should be utilized to the maximum extent possible because of the opportunity for tax advantaged growth.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 281 views
  • My Favorite Investing Books, Blogs, Papers, and Podcasts

    There are so many excellent sources of investment education available today that I thought a short post about some of my personal favorites could be beneficial. Below are different forms of content that have been particularly impactful to my investment philosophy, and they are not in any specific order.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 563 views
  • Go For Gold! The Business Behind The Dazzle

    The price of gold is often in the news—sometimes it's rising, and other times it's dropping but for the most part, it has been on a steady increase for many years. It is certainly worth more now than it did twenty years ago. When its price is on the rise, we may have thought about the benefits of selling our gold for profit and making some passive income from it.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 327 views
  • Using Bullish Calendar Spreads to Profit on MSFT Stock

    A calendar spread is an income trade where the trader sells a near term option and buys a longer-dated option with the same strike price. Usually this is done with monthly options, but it can also be done with weeklies. They are long volatility trades so can be a nice addition to a portfolio as a way to offset some short vega.

    By GavinMcMaster,

    • 0 comments
    • 622 views
  • 3 Principles to a Successful Investment Experience

    Although not an exhaustive list, what I’ll present in this article are three core principles that overwhelmingly stack the odds of a successful long-term investment experience in your favor. These three principles are asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 436 views
  • Important Tips For First Time Currency Traders

    Diversifying your portfolio is important for all investors, and currency investments are a great way to do that. However, there are a lot of misconceptions and common mistakes that first time currency investors make, and this leads to big losses.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 461 views
  • Iron Condors or Short Strangles?

    In my early option trading days, I favored selling iron condors over selling strangles. I thought that selling a strangle was too risky because the potential loss was “undefined”. I thought this made sense because this is what I’d hear from other people that were more experienced than I was.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 1,994 views
  • How To Be A Successful Day Trader From Home

    The good news is that if trading is your passion, then it’s possible to become a successful day trader and work from home. However, it’s not as easy as setting up shop and jumping online. There are specific steps and processes you need to have in place if you’re going to be able to make a living for yourself and have a bright career and future.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 603 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


 

Hi all,

you write:

"Our Model portfolio is based on starting value of $10,000, compounded monthly and reset every year.
We start with $10,000 each year and compound as the year progresses. Initial full position is $1,000 (10% of the portfolio) and half position is $500 (5% of the portfolio)."
 

Compounded monthly means that you base the positions on the new portfolio value at the end of each month. All full positions in a month are 10% of the new portfolio value at the end of the preceding month?

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest peter

Posted

can i start with capital usd2300 in tdameritrade for this service?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Kim

I had a questions about Monthly performance reporting. Is it based on the Trades opened date or Trades closed date? 

I mean I am sure there would be several trades taken almost near end of month and they would usually be closed in the next month. These trades are reported when closed in the new month? I would assume so but wanted to confirm this.

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest Optionyes

Posted

Hi Kim,

Question 1: In #5 '' But we base the positions on the new portfolio value at the end of each month'', why is it based on the end of each month and not the end of each previous trade? For example, if we take the same FB trade of 2017, why is the half position based on the $23,551 of the end of November 2017 and not the $25,826 that is the amount right before the FB trade?

Question 2: You said you trade allocations (10%) or half-allocations (5%). If we have $10,000 in the account, that would be respectively $1,000 and $500. What if the trade costs $350? or $800?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is addressed in bullet #7:

There might be a slight difference in reported performance and actual performance for the 10k portfolio due to the fact that we cannot buy partial contracts. 

The trade alert always specifies "The number of contracts is per 10k portfolio and represents the closest number of contracts for 10% allocation."

So some trades might be $900, some $1,100 (for full allocation).

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, missed your first question.

This is addressed in bullet #3:

Our Model portfolio is based on starting value of $10,000, compounded monthly and reset every year.

We could compound after every trade (which would increase the returns), but technically it would assume that we have only 1 trade open at any given time, and open a new one only after the previous one is closed, which is not the case. Compounding monthly is much more conservative method of calculating returns.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Options Trading Blogs Expertido