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Steady Condors 2013 - Year in Review

2013 was a strong year for Steady Condors even while our preferred underlying, RUT (Russell 2000), managed to hit all-time highs on almost a daily basis to the tune of nearly 40% for the year. As most of you know Steady Condors is a market neutral, income generating, manage by the Greeks strategy. Our trades are primarily risk managed variations of iron condors. If you haven’t already, please see our introduction to the strategy here.

Non directional income trading wasn't designed for relentless trends like 2013 provided and many of our competing services set record drawdowns. Our worst drawdown in 2013 was less than 3%, and our year end performance was 29.4%. We report performance net of commissions, on the whole account, and non-compounded. If you would have begun with a $40,000 account you would have ended with $51,760.


Please be sure to read the final comments of the Steady Condors introduction to understand our transparency in reporting performance compared to other services.


Many traders and investors are continually in hot pursuit of the next “holy grail” strategy looking at nothing other than past returns and often forgetting about what is equally important at the end of the day…that nasty four letter word we all have to deal with in the financial markets…RISK. The primary focus of Steady Condors is risk management, whereas we find many of our competing services make attempts to predict the market with their credit spread and condor trades.


Nobody knows where the market is going, so stop caring about what it will do next. Focus on executing your plan (that means you have to have one!), and ignore all the noise. Most months in 2013 we were required to make several adjustments to keep our deltas under control as the markets continued to march higher, but this risk management is what allowed us to still produce a nice profit for the year with minimal stress while many other condor traders relying on "technical resistance levels" were wondering/hoping that "it can't go any higher, can it?" Make no mistake, iron condors can be brutal on the upside as well as the downside as many learned in 2013. When comparing Steady Condors to other services or strategies, don’t forget to consider both historical performance AND historical drawdowns in both up and down markets.


The plan for 2014


It’s pretty simple, but requires discipline…Follow our trade plan one day and one month at a time. That will never change; the best traders are normally fanatics about this. Some years will be better than others but if you stop focusing on the result of each individual trade and define success on an annual (or longer) basis we are confident you will be very satisfied with our service. “Keep your rules rigid, and your expectations flexible.”


We are NOT saying replace all your other investments and load the boat with Steady Condors, but instead consider how adding a risk managed and market neutral income generating strategy like Steady Condors could benefit a portion of your portfolio. We are very excited to see what 2014 brings, best wishes and good trading to all!


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