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