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Introduction to Trendfinder

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  • Introduction to Trendfinder

    Hi, I am Gary Hart. I am the owner and system developer of Trendfinder Trading Systems LLC. Through Trendfinder, I started offering subscriptions to automated trading systems in 2009. I have been studying and trading the futures markets since 1997 and trading with fully automated mechanical systems since 2001.

    My focus is to create trading systems that will continue to perform well for many years. It is one thing to create a beautiful back-tested equity curve and quite another to have a beautiful equity curve from live trading. To fulfill this intention, I focus on intraday and swing trading systems that are fairly selective. My systems are a far cry from HFT and look to only put capital at risk when the historical odds are strong in our favor.

    I am also an NFA (National Futures Association) member as Principal of an NFA registered CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor). My formal education includes a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1992 and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Arizona State University in 1999. In addition to a passion for trading, I love mountain biking, golf and spending time with my wife and kids in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Alright, that's enough about me! Information about the trading systems and portfolios (including full backtest and live hypothetical results with commission and slippage included) can be found at http://trendfindertrading.com/.

    What questions do you have about trading and/or Trendfinder's trading systems? Please don't be shy. I enjoy interacting with clients and other traders. We all learn and improve!
    Trendfinder Trading Systems provides automated daytrading strategies for the futures markets (primarily stock index futures). They are fully automated mechanical systems available for lease.

  • #2
    Hello Gary, Thanks for being a part of our forum. There a wide variety of systems out there to subscribe to. And especially as market conditions change , traders want a more hand on approach instead of sitting back and making the automation work. Are there systems that are designed to monitor and change according to market conditions in a sense that they detect and adjust their parameters accordingly? or is the the programmers job to monitor and change the system as he or she warrants? let the forum know thanks again

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Collin, thanks for the forum. The short answer is that Trendfinder's systems are designed to monitor market conditions and adjust accordingly, and I also monitor them.

      For the swing systems, all stops are based on price activity and/or average range, and every system has a maximum stop for money management purposes. This way the stops adjust to current market movement yet still have a maximum risk level.

      The intraday systems monitor market conditions by measuring volatility (VIX and/or average range), and they will only trade when these conditions are favorable. Most of the intraday systems also have at least one parameter adjusted on a walk-forward basis either monthly or quarterly.

      In addition to the systems' design, I personally monitor the systems and the edges they exploit. If the edge has changed and the system can be adjusted accordingly, then I will do that. If I think a system is no longer working then I quit offering it. Simple as that.

      My goal when designing systems is to have systems that never need to be adjusted. I've found that tweaking parameters doesn't lead to good future results. I think it is more important to focus on identifying persistent edges/characteristics of the market and designing simple systems to exploit those edges. Anything more complicated than that can easily lead to overfitting and very poor future returns.

      Comment


      • #4
        A lot of traders like to call themselves or their particular system or approach to the market as "Swing Trader/Swing Trading" Can you explain what is the definition for novices and how does a trader gain the experience to look at the market from a longer time frame with the goal in mind of becoming a swing trader? And what does Trendfinder look for in setups especially as it pertains to automated strategies? I am going to include the definition below to get this topic started.

        Day Trading Versus Swing Trading


        The distinction between swing trading and day trading is the holding position time. Swing trading involves at least an overnight hold, whereas day trading closes out positions before the market close. Day trading positions are segmented to a single day only. Swing trading involves holding for several days to weeks.
        Last edited by CollinPalmer; 10-17-2017, 08:35 AM.

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        • #5
          I have found swing trading to be much more consistently profitable than day trading. I primarily trade the stock index futures. One of the persistent characteristics of the stock indices is that they tend to mean-revert on a short-term basis (5-20 days). Because of this and the inherent bullish long term trend of the stock market, I think the simplest and probably most consistently profitable method of swing trading is to go long the stock index futures when they pull back and exit after they bounce back. Of course there is a little more to it (need stop losses) but that is the basic idea.

          In order to provide even more value to clients, Trendfinder's systems also use edges to identify times to take short trades. Over the last few years these short trades haven't done well (especially when compared to the long trades), but they provide diversification and a hedge for people that already have an investment in the stock market (they are long ETF's, stocks, etc.). When backtested over a very long period, the short trades have been profitable and very beneficial to include in an overall portfolio.

          For day trading, I've found the best method is to look for breakouts or strong momentum. Although the markets tend to chop around intraday, I have yet to find or develop a system that is successful day trading with counter trend entries. Intraday momentum/breakout trading worked very well until volatility started dropping in 2009 and especially after 2013. As volatility continued to diminish every year, day trading continues to become more difficult for an automatic system trader. Starting in 2014, all of Trendfinder's day trading systems use volatility filters for when to trade. Because of this, there have been very few day trades the past few years.
          Last edited by Trendfinder; 10-18-2017, 04:59 PM. Reason: added paragraph about day trading

          Comment

          Disclaimer: There is a risk of loss in trading futures, forex and options. Futures, forex and options trading are not appropriate for all investors. Only risk capital should be used when trading futures. All information is for educational use only and is not investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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