Know Thy Risk Factors

Sandy Brasher turned me onto a piece by Harry Long. Some of his article is off target, and a clear misunderstanding of trend following (“The most popular trend following system is the Golden Cross/Death Cross”), but his passage I liked to some degree (it’s not complete):

When examined in this light, it is not actually statistically interesting to determine if trend following is a holy grail. It is statistically interesting to understand that by engaging in trend following vs. buy-and-hold, one is quite literally exchanging one set of risks for another. Strategies are not about trading assets — they are about trading risk factors. And it appears that buy-and-hold risk factors are more widely held in portfolios than trend following risk factors. Markets have cruel methods for correcting such imbalances.

The key: what are those risk factors? That’s what is not complete.

You might like my 2017 epic release: Trend Following: How to Make a Fortune in Bull, Bear and Black Swan Markets (Fifth Edition). Revised and extended with twice as much content. Out April 24th 2017.