No. of Recommendations: 2

Right now, the ask/last/bid for IAU is 13.90/13.89/13.89 at IB, and the size on the ask is 15,000. In other words, if I wanted to get out and added my sell offer to the queue at the ask, it's unlikely I'd get a fill, due to the orders ahead of me. But that's how I wrote the order at Schwab, and I got a fast fill. (This isn't the first time they've done me right. Their executions are to be commended.) Now the ask/bid has dropped a penny, and last is 88. So I got out in the nick of time. My entry yesterday was 13.91 on 6 shares. (I know. Trading big, right?) But until I've got this stuff tested, I don't want to try to trade size, nor do I want to "paper-trade", which is a waste of time and just encourages recklessness. Final score? I lost one penny per share on 6 shares of IAU, or what one postage stamp used to cost when we were kids.

Lesson learned? Do NOT trade gold or silver as a multi-day trade. Get in and get out the same day, preferably within the half hour. Better, don't mess with either one. Just go long or short the broad market, whose pricing pretty much determines what the pricing for gold and silver will be, but inversely. In other words, I need to understand exactly what trade I'm trying to do and how best to express it. Gold and silver could be traded on the merits of their specific fundamentals. But, really, both are just a 'fear trade' and an indirect (and inefficient) way to short the market/economy that is better avoided. (The 3x pairs for gold/silver are a whole 'nother matter, and those are worth trading short-term, though the spreads --esp for USLV-- can be abusive.) Were I to trade those, I'd use IB, not Schwab, and OCO orders, because the prices move so fast.

I'm going to take a beating on SLV and really should just accept the fact that I managed the trade badly and take my loss. But I'm up on CORN by half a percent in a couple of hours. The contract is ridiculously illiquid. But the fundamentals are compelling.

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