Systematic Trading research and development, with a flavour of Trend Following
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State of Trend Following – October 2014

November 3rd, 2014 · 2 Comments · the State of Trend Following, Trend Following

State of TF

The good streak shown by trend following and this index over the last few months did not persist in October. It actually started the month very well, registering over +5% by the 15th, but then quickly turned back down to reverse all of its gains and finish slightly negative for the month. The “trend” still looks healthy and up.

Please check below for more details.

Detailed Results

The figures for the month are:
October return: -0.92%
YTD return: 30.1%

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

System October Return YTD Return
BBO-20 5.23% 41.61%
Donchian-20 -2.03% 42.59%
MA-10-20 0.29% 18.46%
TMA-10-20-50 0.07% 32.79%
BBO-50 -0.03% 50.06%
Donchian-50 -0.94% 39.57%
MA-20-50 -2.04% 24.55%
TMA-20-50-200 -1.92% 35.21%
BBO-200 -0.78% 21.96%
Donchian-200 -4.36% 13.02%
MA-50-200 -2.01% 27.21%
TMA-50-200-800 -2.52% 14.21%
COMPOSITE -0.92% 30.1%


Composite Index for 2014

Below is the performance of the average of all system/timeframe combinations used in the report for the year 2014:

The YTD chart shows a decent pullback in the second half of October, reversing the trend started a few months ago.

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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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Matthias Kauer

    the performance of these strategies that you put out is really great information. Thank you!

    I am wondering what the best approach would be to obtain a more long-term view. I see the link to the 1990-2009 table. Has there been a larger update since then or will I have to look year by year?

    Best regards,

  • Jez Liberty

    Thanks Matthias. No longer-term update on the Wizards I’m afraid.. I need to get onto this though! Stay tuned :)

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