Systematic Trading research and development, with a flavour of Trend Following
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State of Trend Following in 2013

January 2nd, 2014 · No Comments · the State of Trend Following, Trend Following

State of TF

The year came to a close to see the State of TF index register a last “mini-rally” and finish 2013 by posting a small gain, after a roller-coaster up-and-down through the last 12 months.

Interestingly, the new index I created for Wisdom Trading finished the year fairly substantially down, despite having very similar principles (diversified portfolio traded using public domain trend following systems over different timeframes). I’ll look into the reasons why in a next post.

Please check below for more details… And Happy New Year to all readers!

Detailed Results

The figures for the month are:
December return: 2.53%
YTD return: 3.07%

Below is the chart displaying individual system results throughout December:
StateTF December
And in tabular format:

System December Return YTD Return
BBO-20 0.03% -8.27%
Donchian-20 8.13% -4.9%
MA-10-20 1.61% -3.04%
TMA-10-20-50 3.37% -5.67%
BBO-50 -2.02% -7.71%
Donchian-50 0.09% -8.72%
MA-20-50 5.55% -6.41%
TMA-20-50-200 4.09% 12.89%
BBO-200 3.57% 4.73%
Donchian-200 2.1% 13.95%
MA-50-200 1.72% 34.89%
TMA-50-200-800 2.09% 15.07%
COMPOSITE 2.53% 3.07%


Composite Index for 2013

Below is the performance of the average of all system/timeframe combinations used in the report for the year 2013:

A strong start, a lousy second half, salvaged by a good run in the last 10 days of the year to finish the year just above the break-even mark.

Appendix: System Details

System Rules and Parameters

All the systems were tested with the same simple position sizing rules of 1% per new trade. No other Money/Risk Management rules were used. No trade friction (slippage or commission) was applied. No return on margin is added to the system performance

The system rules are detailed on the Trading Blox online documentation.
The MA Crossover system was used with moving average pairs of 10-20, 20-50 and 50-200 days. The stops/position sizes are set at 2x, 3x and 5x ATR respectively.
The Bollinger Band system is the classic use of the Bollinger Bands with entries taking place at Breakouts. The parameters used were 20, 50 and 200 days with 2 standard deviations.
The Triple moving Average system was used with moving average triplets of 10-20-50, 20-50-200 and 50-200-800 days. The stops/position sizes are set at 2x, 3x and 5x ATR respectively.
The Donchian System is a simple version (with no Trade Direction filter) with channel lengths of 20, 50 and 200 days for entries (and 10, 25, 100 for exit). The stops/position sizes are set at 2x, 3x and 5x ATR respectively.

Portfolio Instruments

Covering over 50 instruments across Equities, Interest Rates, Currencies, Agriculturals, Metals and Energies, from around the world, the portfolio contains the following futures (CSI Symbols): AD, BP, C, CC, CD, CFC, CL2, CT, CU, EBL, EBM, EBS, ED, EOX, ESM, FC, FEI, FFI, GC, HG, ICL, IND, JK2, JP2, JP6, JR2, JRB, JTI, JY, KC, KPO, KTB, LC, LGO, LH, MFX, MP, NG2, RA, RS, S, SB, SF, SI, STW, SXE, TRY, US, W, YM, YTC .
Click here for a tabular view with description and exchange information.

Result Normalization

The system performances are adjusted for volatility to normalize the results. The normalization applied “baselines” the Max drawdown of the systems to a common value, and derive the resulting performance for each system.

A table showing each system performance numbers from 1990 to 2009 can be found on this page. Two extra columns have been added to show the “normalized return” and the multiplier coefficient to obtain this return (the multiplier coefficient is itself calculated by dividing an arbitrary Max Drawdown figure of 25% by the actual system Max DD).

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