How to get serious about making money trading

In Australia, if you’re serious about getting the job done effectively and efficiently, you might say: “I’m not here to f*** spiders.” Many traders act like they are, indeed, here to f*** spiders. If you’re making soup, you first need a good stock. Stock isn’t exciting. Everyone has stock. Garnish is exciting, but you can’t …

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Steal ideas, not implementations

Imagine you’re a relatively small, independent trader trying to turn trading from a hobby into a serious business. If that’s you, then there are a few concepts that will help you pick the right trades to get after. This is important because picking the right trades is most of the game. First, the Market Gods …

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Exploring the rsims package for fast backtesting in R

rsims is a new package for fast, realistic (quasi event-driven) backtesting of trading strategies in R. Really?? Does the world really need another backtesting platform…?? It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Zipline, QuantConnect, Quantstrat, Backtrader, Zorro… there are certainly plenty of good options out there. But allow me to offer a justification for why …

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How to Lose Money Trading (and how not to)

It’s easy to lose money trading if you do certain things: Trade too much (paying fees and market impact on each transaction) Size positions too big (high volatility hurts compounding ability, and in the extreme can cause you to blow up) Short positive drift/risk premia Perhaps surprisingly, it’s actually quite hard to lose money consistently …

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What P&L Swings Can I Expect as a Trader?

Many beginner traders don’t realize how variable the p&l of a high-performing trading strategy really is. Here’s an example… I simulated ten different 5 year GBM processes with expected annual returns of  20% and annualized volatility of 10%. (If you speak Sharpe Ratios, I’m simulating a strategy within known Sharpe 2 characteristics.) I plotted the …

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How do I know if I have an edge?

I’ve been helping a family friend with his trading. I’ve given him a simple systematic strategy to trade by hand. First, we set expectations We can plot the distribution of historic trade returns from past trading or a backtest as a histogram.   This is useful because it gives us a hint as to what …

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Three types of systematic strategy that “work”

Broadly, there are three types of systematic trading strategy that can “work.” In order of increasing turnover they are: Risk premia harvesting Economically-sensible, statistically-quantifiable slow-converging inefficiencies Trading fast-converging supply/demand imbalances This post provides an overview of each. 1. Risk Premia Harvesting Risk Premia Harvesting is typically the domain of wealth management, but it’s important to …

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Exporting Zorro Data to CSV

Earlier versions of Zorro used to ship with a script for converting market data in Zorro binary format to CSV. That script seems to have disappeared with the recent versions of Zorro, so I thought I’d post it here. When you run this script by selecting it and pressing [Test] on the Zorro interface, you …

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