Time for another off-track/Friday Funny post today with some Trend Following Wizard “gossip”.
John W. Henry has been in the news quite a lot recently, here in England. Nothing to do with Trend Following though. The focus was on his New England Sports Ventures (NESV) company purchasing historical
soccer football club Liverpool F.C. – back here, in “old” England.
JWH is (or rather was) near-anonymous in the UK. Therefore a lot of articles have popped up on the theme of “Who is John Henry?”
Of course you probably know that Henry owns the Boston Red Sox via NESV (at least, most American readers do know, I guess) and since he bought them, went on to win 2 World Series. This is what most articles from the press here are focusing on, with barely a mention on his Trend Following debuts.
This BBC article – Who is Liverpool’s new owner? – does, however, mention the following:
Mr Henry is a well-known businessman in Boston, having made most of his fortune using computerised futures trading. He started applying trend prediction to trades in agricultural futures in the early 1980s and founded his own investment firm, JWH.
A key inspiration in his early career was Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, a 1923 book by Edwin Lefevre. He pioneered “managed futures”, effectively the commodities equivalent of mutual funds, says Gavin.
Below is a link to his first interview to Liverpool TV (where JWH discusses the purchase of the club – not Trend Following; funnily enough…):
Liverpool is one of the most prestigious football clubs in Europe, and joint most successful club in the history of English football (with Man Utd). However, looking at Liverpool’s performance – whether in recent or more distant history – shows that Liverpool are far from being at their best level (which was in the 80′s).
Below is a chart of their league finishes since they came back in the “top flight” in 1962, including their current league position (as of last Sunday):
Clearly not a “Buy” signal from a Trend Following point of view… If anything, this is a breakout to the downside, exemplified by Liverpool’s current position in the table, lying in the bottom three (19th) after losing 2-0 to Everton, in the Merseyside derby last weekend.
But then again, football is not trading, and maybe Henry can reiterate the success he’s had with the Boston Red Sox. As an Arsenal fan, I sure hope they take their time…