Systematic Trading research and development, with a flavour of Trend Following
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My story so far…

September 10th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Blog

Having come from a non-investing family and studied engineeering, how did I get interested in Automated Trading systems, you may ask?…

The Liberty Surf / Nasdaq debacle

The Liberty Surf / Nasdaq debacle

The Hook

I first got interested in trading when I started reading the French equivalent of The Financial Times (Les Echos), distributed on our college campus back in 1996. Probably the manifestation of chance; but I mentally picked a stock after reading a bullish article about a company (Adecco) and it went up by 10% in the week! “Wow that stuff is cool and easy!” I thought. I was hooked.

For a couple of years I traded in and out of quite a few stocks (by phone and minitel in those days) by reading “tips” in the French “financial tabloids” (La Vie Financiere, Le Journal des Finances, etc.). Turned out to be pretty flat (just managed to beat transaction costs with thanks from my broker) and I did not really know what I was doing!

The Ruin…

Then came the IPO that was going to have a huge impact: Liberty Surf! Like all previous Internet-related IPO it started by going up… only thing was that the IPO took place in the ominous March 2000, a week before the DotCom bubble started crashing.

Liberty Surf collapsed before reaching my profit target – along with the rest of the market. This and 5x leverage completely destroyed my account (“Look Mum! No stops…”) – I had to borrow some funds from friends to cover the losses (amounting to a year’s worth of hard student job labour)! I was gutted!

… And the “Automated” idea

This is when I started to think that there must be a better way. And I dreamt up that fantasy of a room with a computer implementing technical trading strategies, trading the markets… and making money!

That was a while back… I had no idea that quant funds, Trend Following existed – and the road has definitely been longer than I would have liked; but I was starting from scratch and had to learn quite a few things along the way.

My main goal

My first priority now is to build a “simple” long-term end-of-day trend following system for futures while accumulating enough capital to trade it. And I intend to document that journey through this blog, hopefully connecting with or helping traders with similar interests.

Until next post…

Jez

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Rajiv

    This is a very useful blog for people in the investing world who are, like you, learning from experience and don’t have a mentor.

  • brmr

    So from your blog posts it seems that you might have built at-least a simple automated trend following system during this time, did you? If so would you be willing to discuss the psychological aspects of trading as well on this blog.

    As Richard Dennis said ” even if people know about the system, they might not succeed as they might not stick to the system”.

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