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

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

State of TF
The month of February was a tale of two halves: a fairly clear leg down, followed by an even stronger leg back up. This closed the month in positive territory – the second time in as many months this year. Additionally, some markets have been showing some strong moves (coffee being the one that naturally comes to mind). Is it a real lasting bounce or just another “zag”? That is the $64,000 question.

Please check below for more details.

Detailed Results

The figures for the month are:
February return: +3.44%
YTD return: +5.95%

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

System February Return YTD Return
BBO-20 0.96% -3.98%
Donchian-20 6.19% 8.57%
MA-10-20 3.41% 0.99%
TMA-10-20-50 1.97% -6.59%
BBO-50 6.47% -5.44%
Donchian-50 4.99% -6.81%
MA-20-50 4.45% -4.9%
TMA-20-50-200 2.55% 14.54%
BBO-200 3.94% 5.55%
Donchian-200 4.22% 14.32%
MA-50-200 2.15% 40.22%
TMA-50-200-800 0% 14.92%
COMPOSITE 3.44% 5.95%


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 yearly chart is starting to look more in more like a good bounce off the bottom.

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 ↓

  • Joe Moeller

    MA 50-200 is listed as year to date as up 40.22%, with just a gain of 2.15% in January. Unless this was an extreme outlier, was this a typo?

    Thanks for your work here! I love your blog.

  • Jez Liberty

    Thanks Joe, I had not reset the YTD calculation and it was including 2013 results. I have reset it for next month. Below is the table with the 2014-only YTD:

    System February Return YTD Return
    BBO-20 0.96% 5.78%
    Donchian-20 6.19% 15.61%
    MA-10-20 3.41% 5.13%
    TMA-10-20-50 1.97% 0.41%
    BBO-50 6.47% 4.32%
    Donchian-50 4.99% 4.01%
    MA-20-50 4.45% 3.2%
    TMA-20-50-200 2.55% 4.1%
    BBO-200 3.94% 3.08%
    Donchian-200 4.22% 2.19%
    MA-50-200 2.15% 6.59%
    TMA-50-200-800 0% 1.77%
    COMPOSITE 3.44% 4.68%

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