To 0.8500 from 1.2000 in minutes
When the dam broke, where were you?
In hindsight, buying EUR/CHF close to 1.2000 and selling it higher was an outstanding strategy for three years. Done right, it would have provided many, many pips of profits -- probably even enough to cover the dramatic fall to 0.8500 when the SNB pulled the rug out from under everyone.
Here was our first post on it and if people were really on the ball, there was time to sell before all the carnage hit. Here's the one-minute chart:
It was a trade I dabbled in but never loved. Unfortunately, many other retail traders were highly levered in the trade and many bodies were carried out in the aftermath. It led to the collapse and crippling of many brokers and changes in regulation that has made FX trading safer, but far less fun.
What were your memories of the day?
For me, it was the trade I missed out on. It would have netted a half-million dollars overnight on the day after the peg was abandoned.
From when I started the day, I realized that brokers were going to be in trouble. In my first post of the day, I wrote: "I suspect a few brokers may have put themselves in a tough position."
I later wrote about 7 storylines after the move and one was brokers: "A big fight is brewing between brokers and clients. There are negative balances in many accounts and no one knows who will be picking up the tab. It's mess and it's a tough day to be in broker customer service. We note that for a time (some still) that all open trades being pulled from retail trading platforms. At least one broker already announced a potential £30m loss."
I also wrote this.
All this to say that broker losses were on the top of my mind and there were two ways to trade it for me, the publicly traded shares of Gain and FXCM.
Here was my conversation with Ryan:
What did I do? Well I intended to buy some puts on FXCM. Amazingly, they were trading pretty much unchanged. I put a bid on $12.50 FXCM puts at 20-cents but didn't get filled and turned my attention back to all the chaos. A few hours later, FXCM announced its demise and those puts were worth $11 each -- a 54x return overnight.
It still bugs me.