Saturday, April 27, 2019

Trend following, absolute returns and controlling open risk

At its core, trend following is an 'absolute returns' approach. You only have to look at the high-octane monthly performance generated by the Turtles back in the 1980's to see that. But to achieve that, you generally cannot impose too tight a control over the levels of volatility you have to endure. That is the other side of the coin.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Stick or twist?

"We have a saying here: "It is incredible how rich you can get by not being perfect." We are not looking for the optimum method; we are looking for the hardiest method. Anyone can sit down and devise a perfect system for the past." - Larry Hite

A trader is always evolving, in terms of his ideas, beliefs and his method. As an example, you often read about how young 'fearless' traders learn to appreciate the importance of risk control - often after blowing up an account or two, or at the minimum having an emotionally demoralising experience associated with a major drawdown. Even some of the Market Wizards went through this.

Occasionally, a trader moves away from their original ideas and beliefs about how to make money. Again, some of the most successful traders have done this.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Questioning some popularly-held beliefs

Stripping back our beliefs and subsequently our rules to their absolute basics, as trend followers, ideally we would want to be able to:
  • generate an entry signal as early as possible into a new trend;
  • exit a non-performing trade, if the new trend has failed, as soon as possible; and
  • allow our position to run as far as possible on our chosen timeframe until that trend is invalidated.
Around those basic concepts people can follow pure price data or utilise technical analysis to 'formulate' their entry and exit rules.

As I've said before, I can be a bit of a trading heretic, and like to challenge some of the more popularly-held beliefs about how to trade successfully.

Below are a couple of those beliefs which I believe are worth further scrutiny - the use of multiple timeframe analysis and trend 'filters'.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Jack Nicklaus and trading - part 3

A couple of my more popular posts from past years relate to Jack Nicklaus, where I listed a number of quotes from his extensive writings and interviews over the years. 

Below I've pulled out a few more of nuggets of wisdom from The Golden Bear, which again may require some thought on your part, but the underlying message can easily be applied to your trading and mindset: