Competition analysis

Matt Weller, our Global Head of Market Research, is keeping a close eye on the individual trading activity of our 10 players and will be charting their highs and lows every week of the contest.

Saracens “Trading Places” competition update: Week #2

Our “Trading Places” competition official kicked off April 26th, featuring ten stars from the Men’s and Women’s Saracens Rugby teams trying their hands at a 7-week trading competition using virtual funds with £20,000 in real money for charity (in addition to some major bragging rights) on the line! 

For more on the competition and participants, check out this introductory video:



In these weekly updates, we’ll check in on how the competitors are faring, highlight the best trades of the week, and highlight learning opportunities for readers to incorporate into their own trading process.

Saracens “Trading Places” competition standings

As of writing on Thursday afternoon the leaderboard looks like this :


Source: City Index

Two weeks into the competition, the traders are starting to separate themselves from one another. In particular, the ladies are putting in good performances, with women occupying three of the top four spots.

Week #2 Trader of the Week: Emma Swords

Much like our competitors battle for Man/Woman of the Match, we’ll be awarding a “Trader of the Week” award. This week’s winner is Emma Swords, scrum half for the Women’s team, who has surged to the top of the table based on strong trading results over the week.

In her pre-competition video, Emma described herself as “an opportunist” and warned that “people shouldn’t second-guess” her ability to pick up a new skill like trading:



Following the strategy outlined in the video, Swords “started cautiously” and “laid out [her] foundations” last week before rocketing to the top of the leaderboard on the back of a buy trade in US Crude Oil (West Texas Intermediate). Emma bought into the consolidation early Thursday morning at $63.19, withstood an initial pullback to the 200-day EMA on the 5-min chart, and eventually was able to book a profit when US crude rose above $64.00 the next day:



Source: StoneX, TradingView

Will Emma be able to keep up her stellar performance throughout the competition? Time will tell, but it’s clear that no one should be second-guessing her at this point!

Lesson of the week: Cut your losses to manage risk

Looking at the leaderboard, the other performance that jumps off the screen is Richard Barrington’s steep loss over the last week. After citing his previous trading experience in the intro video, it may be surprising for some readers to see Barrington bringing up the rear early in the competition.

However, when we dig into the trade history, we see that most of Barrington’s trades have been solid, with one big outlier. As the chart below shows, he bought Amazon on the 30th as prices broke out following a strong earnings report. However, as we noted on Friday, big US tech stocks have been struggling to extend their rallies despite unanimously strong earnings reports and AMZN unfortunately was no exception.

While its frustrating to see a trade move against you (and seemingly contrary to the supportive fundamental data), it’s often best to close a trade out when it starts to move against you. In this case, Barrington held the long position in AMZN through to Tuesday before finally closing the position, resulting in a more than £3,000 loss on that trade alone! We’re certainly not writing Barrington off, but his early results underscore the importance of position sizing and cutting losses to manage risk so that a single adverse trade doesn’t lead to outsized losses!



Source: StoneX, TradingView

Best of luck to all our competitors moving forward, and be sure to follow along at home through the “Trading Places” summary page and our Instagram page in the coming weeks!

Saracens “Trading Places” competition update: Week #1

Our “Trading Places” competition official kicked off April 26th, featuring ten stars from the Men’s and Women’s Saracens Rugby teams trying their hands at a 7-week trading competition with £20,000 for charity (in addition to some major bragging rights) on the line!

For more on the competition and participants, check out this introductory video:


In these weekly updates, we’ll check in on how the competitors are faring, highlight the best trades of the week, and highlight learning opportunities for readers to incorporate into their own trading process. Saracens “Trading Places” competition standings

As of writing on Thursday afternoon the leaderboard looks like this :


Source: City Index

As you can see, several the competitors have stumbled out of the gate, with only three in profit after the first few days of trading. That said, our traders are pacing themselves and practicing good risk management, with every competitor showing realized profits/losses within 2.5% of their starting demo account value of £10,000.

Week #1 Trader of the Week: Sydney Gregson

Much like our competitors battle for Man/Woman of the Match, we’ll be awarding a “Trader of the Week” award, and this week’s award is easy: Sydney Gregson, the Centre for the women’s team, is the only trader to see a meaningful gain on her first couple of trades.

As you’ll see in her pre-competition video below, the person most surprised by Sydney’s strong start may be Sydney herself, who described herself as “completely clueless” when it comes to trading and specifically noted that she would “need some help at the start” of the competition – clearly she’s been doing her homework!

Sydney has put on 7 trades already, but her best trade so far was a long trade in gold. After seeing signs that gold had bottomed near 1764 earlier on Wednesday, Sydney bought into a bullish consolidation at 1774.4. The precious metal initially moved against her, dropping to support at the 50-period exponential moving average on the 5-minute chart, but Sydney held strong and was eventually able to book a profitable trade when gold rallied above 1780 later that evening.


Source: StoneX, TradingView

Hopefully Sydney can keep this early run of good form going throughout the entire 7-week competition!

Lesson of the week: Beware of overtrading!

Rather than call out a specific trade that didn’t work out, this week’s lesson will look at the macro state of the early results. We can’t help but point out that Jackson Wray, one of the Saracens players who indicated he had previous trading experience, is near the bottom of the table and has placed the most trades (10 over the first four days alone) of any player in the competition.

Of course, it’s important to diversify your positions and recognize when to close out a trade that is working against you, but many traders of all experience levels find themselves stretching their resources too thin and taking marginal opportunities just to have some “skin in the game.” Often, these traders would be better served by focusing on only the best ideas while letting the more marginal opportunities pass by.

As with many market truisms, the famed Warren Buffett may have said it best:

“I call investing the greatest business in the world because you never have to swing. You stand at the plate, the pitcher throws you General Motors at 47! U.S. Steel at 39! and nobody calls a strike on you. There’s no penalty except opportunity lost. All day you wait for the pitch you like, then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it.”

Best of luck to all our competitors moving forward, and be sure to follow along at home through the “Trading Places” summary page and our Instagram page in the coming weeks!

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