What Markets Should You Use for Your Portfolio?

A couple of years ago I made a fundamental mistake: until then I had my portfolio focused mostly on index futures markets. For years I have had with this approach really nice results. But that year, I experienced how frustrating it can be, to go through a couple of periods when index markets are underperforming. That was when I have decided to work really hard and improve my intraday portfolio composed of automated trading systems (ATS).

Smooth equity isn’t just about the systems – it is a smart combination of markets, timeframes, trading approaches, and, later on, also innovative position sizing. When you think about it, there is the logic behind it.

Even though in times of financial shocks and surprises there is barely any negative correlation in the markets, there are still some markets which live their own lives – and they offer us smart way for diversification.

The result is that when one of the market groups is not doing well, there is another, which compensates the losses from the first one – and makes the equity overall smoother.

What market groups you should use

This is the first question – what markets groups you should combine in order to get the desired result – smooth equity.

We have following futures groups: Index, Currencies, Metals, Energies, Bonds, and Grains. Every market group lives its own life and you can find at least one noticeable market in every group that can represent the whole group.

Personally, I have experimented with all groups and, besides currencies, I can highly recommend any combination. The currencies are, from ATS point of view, highly unstable (for example in Forex, ATS are failing really fast and it is really difficult to find profitable ATS for Forex). It also depends on how many markets you create a system for, and how many markets you trade with your account. But even with rather a small account, you can trade 3-4 markets. For such cases, I would recommend following combinations:

Combination of 3 markets (pick one market from each market group):

  • Index
  • Grains
  • Energies

Combination of 4 markets (pick one market from each market group):

  • Index
  • Grains
  • Energies
  • Bonds

Nowadays, I trade several portfolios that are based on the 4 groups mentioned above. Here is an example of one of them (breakout strategies, 30-minute chart, 5 markets, equity for the last 8 years, trading 1 contract per system):

The net profit for all 8 years and all markets combined is 421,548 USD and the max drawdown is just 12,315 USD.

Smoothen the equity by using multiple timeframes

The second way how to smoothen your equity curve (in a combination of trading several markets from different groups) is using several timeframes for every market (ideally without changing system parameters, or with just small changes).

It is more like a final touch than smoothing the equity, but it brings up an interesting idea that it might be better to add new timeframes instead of trading multiple contracts in the same timeframe. Another option is to optimize also the timeframes (check the results of your system on several timeframes and pick one timeframe for each market – it can, but doesn’t have to be the same) – but then, we need to ask ourselves how much of over-optimization this is.

Anyway, here is another example of the portfolio mentioned above, when for every market we add the second, 15-minute, timeframe. The equity is slightly smoother, the drawdown hasn’t increased so much, but the profit has.

The net profit is 812,457 USD and the drawdown is 18,815 USD.

What systems to use

The best variant is to have in a portfolio both trend and also counter-trend systems. Still, it is sufficient to have a system that can smartly react on both situations (equally, if possible).

I am specialized in breakout strategies and I can say that it is all you need to have a balanced portfolio across several markets – but only if you have systems trading both long and short. Sometimes you just need a simple breakout strategy that doesn’t have great performance (that you wouldn’t trade individually), but in combination, you have a nice portfolio with smooth equity curve. You need to constantly focus on the performance of the portfolio – it is more important than the performance of underlying systems. Remember when there is a huge drawdown for one market (system), the others can compensate that and you can still make a profit.

For that, you need to have a quality workflow setup how to create new and new strategies, as you will need a lot of them and for several markets. At the same time, it is crucial to have a setup of robustness testing procedures so that we can add to our portfolio really robust strategies.

Crafting a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy

For many B2B marketers, the traditional marketing funnel that motivates prospects to self-identify and then move to a sales funnel, is ingrained in our minds. However, in the Age of the Customer, Forrester Research’s phrase for a customer-driven marketing landscape, the funnel has evolved to reflect a new customer expectation requiring sales and marketing to work in tandem.

With this in mind, B2B marketers must evaluate how their current B2B marketing strategy is aligned with the psychology of their buyer journey. In other words, B2B marketers must know how to craft a marketing strategy based on the predominance of the customer.

So, we have outlined a series of steps to follow when crafting a customer-centric B2B marketing strategy. Ask yourself and your team, “have we checked the following boxes when crafting our B2B marketing strategy?”

IDENTIFY TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

Going through the exercise to develop personas based on market and customer research is fundamental to understanding not only who is your audience but how to engage them in the buyer journey. Incorporating marketing personas makes websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. However, only 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas. So, ensure your B2B marketing strategy includes persona-based experiences that moves buyers forward in their journey with your brand.

MAP A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO DRIVE YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

Building out your influencer and decision personas to understand your target audience is only part of the process of laying a customer-centric foundation for your strategy. Next is to map the touch points of your buyer journey through all buyer stages. In order to close the loop from awareness to revenue it’s critical to know the touch points along the journey that are motivators and detractors in order to influence all parts of the customer experience. When developing your B2B marketing strategy answer the following, “How do I craft a strategy with the framework that aligns with your customer’s journey to gain clarity and define priority?”

DEFINE AND MEASURE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY GOALS & METRICS

Perhaps a no-brainer for a data-driven B2B marketer is clearly-defined metrics for success. With a heightened emphasis on personalization and customer experience (CX), B2B marketing goals and metrics must be established to measure the success of the marketing efforts supporting a customer’s progression through the buyer journey. Your B2B marketing strategy must outline how it will create direct contribution to revenue with a return and fuel high growth.

A recent case study example from one of our technology platform and services clients is Viewpointe, a leading private cloud managed services provider. Viewpointe was challenged with continuing to engage customers over the course of a 6+ month sales cycle. After clearly defining their B2B marketing goals, they aligned their content marketing plan with their persona-based customer journey. As a result, Viewpointe stayed engaged with their customers throughout the buyer journey and closed more deals. One way Viewpointe measured customer engagement lift was a 52% increase in persona aligned website content and 164% increase in blog content engagement from organic search referrals.

YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY INCORPORATES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS WITH SALES

Referring back to our earlier customer funnel illustration, the traditional hand-off from marketing to sales, with no feedback loop when a lead is “flipped over the fence to sales”, causing misalignment between B2B marketing and sales teams. In fact, 25% of B2B marketers have no idea what is their customer conversion rate. In the Age of the Customer, your marketing strategy should outline how to rip out the proverbial fence and instead encourage inter-team collaboration. Ensuring this marketing and sales alignment is crucial to creating a consistent customer experience along a buyer’s journey. Being intentional about sharing insights between teams is one way to encourage broad acceptance of a successful B2B marketing strategy execution.

YOUR NEXT STEP

With only 45% of B2B marketers confident that they have decent, if not high, levels of customer centricity, the time to is now to author your new B2B marketing strategy that elevates you above your competition.

Digital Marketing Trend and Importance Over Career Growth Prospects

Digital marketing is an approach that covers all the marketing techniques and strategies through an online platform. This marketing approach also defined as an umbrella for all marketing activities for products or services follows various online platforms. With the gradual increase in technology and innovation, various business units are implementing digital approach towards their marketing activities.

In a simple way, it also termed as the promotional approach for various products or services via the internet or electronic media. Thus, it differs from traditional marketing approach mainly due to its effectiveness and its rate of market penetration.

This marketing approach, therefore, covers or check, which based on various likes or views, the conversion rate for sales, niche, and relevant content. Beside internet platform, which is closely associated with this marketing approach, also includes instant mobile messaging, mobile apps, electronic billboards, and other channels.

Digital marketing and its importance

With the gradual increase of popularity in social media and other internet platforms, customers, clients is gradually becoming socially interlinked for almost 24*7. From a business point of view, it is an immense opportunity to target the probable customers that surely affect the business outcome and image. Due to a gradual increase in technological advancement and market competition, big to small organizations started to carry out digitization to enhance their rate of success.

The reason behind implementing such marketing segment in almost all business units is only due to its effectiveness and output. Some of the reasons for which companies implement internet marketing are as follows:

• Effective management of customer relationship throughout various channels

• Effectiveness of customer engagement process

• Provide accurate in targeting prospective clients based on their interests and preferences

• Very effective and communicative platform to discuss customer issues within a short span of time

Thus, with the gradual increase in demand for the digital marketing skills, it helps to set up the opportunity standards in the job market. With its market penetration, the job market is booming day-by-day, thus creates a huge leap in a career opportunity among the students as well as professionals. From a career point of view, this digital marketing course becomes real hype among the students and even professionals.

Who should attend a digital marketing course?

Students: Undergraduates, graduates, MBA (marketing)

Professionals: Marketing professionals, Business development executives

Entrepreneurs

Advantages that you may gain from having a Digital Marketing Course

• Create a demand as a professional

Due to digital market approach, there is a serious skill gap among the professionals. Thus, on experiencing such course will stay you ahead in terms of competition as well as provide enough market exposure. As per statistics concerned, we will go to experience a rapid increase in job opportunity in this field and the average figure may reach to approx 1,50,000 jobs by the year 2020.

• Increase in career choice

Among the world’s largest digital giants, namely Google, Linked IN, Twitter, etc., providing loads of opportunities in the said field. Various other top organizations from Fortune 500 are hiring candidates in the field of digital marketing. Marketing professionals may have the gateway to improving the career and be industry ready for upcoming years on successful completion of this program.

• Better payment and salary increment

Rather than contemporary marketing approach, digitization provides opportunity in cost reduction for the management, therefore, create an opportunity in salary hike for the employees. Being an expert in this field will surely put you ahead of time and competition, thus creating immense opportunity for career growth and development.

Students or the professionals, those who are opting for the Digital marketing course need to go through following fields of ability and are as follows

• Introduction to digital marketing and its advantages

• Search engine optimization (SEO)

• Social media optimization (SMO)

• Search engine marketing (SEM)

• E-mail marketing

On successful completion of this course, it not only helps the students but also working professionals to grab the best opportunity in this booming industry. The probable career opportunities or roles that candidates may gain through digital marketing expertise are as follows

• Strategizing the market planning for product or service launching

• Implementing social media marketing, email marketing, maintaining social media account through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

• Incorporating SEO related work to support online presence as well as visibility among the Google search results

• Manage online reputation through blog creation, article writing, effective back linking etc.

Digital marketing surely helps to bridge the gap while providing more job opportunities in this booming industry. In the competitive scenario, for marketing professionals, it surely provides an edge over traditional marketing techniques.