An email arrived today. It started with praise, but quickly devolved into anything but. I was ripped in a multitude of ways, and that’s fine go at it, but inside that ripping was a statement that caught my eye:
David Harding is very successful. And he does identify as being somebody who looks to buy into trends and I take him at his word with that. But trend following systems are a broad church. Most trading systems are looking to follow a trend in some way, shape or form. I have no idea what specifically David Harding does to identify trades. And I am sure you don’t either. But he does employ 400 people, many of whom would have PhD’s in maths or physics etc and he uses supercomputers in his efforts to identify trades.
That email excerpt is from guy who is not sure how it all works. He wants to know, but doesn’t. He has a little right, and a lot wrong. That’s dangerous for him.
Want to read more on David Harding?
“Speculari, the Latin root of the verb to speculate has the literal meaning ‘to observe’, and a study of speculation will show that most successful speculators can be well described as ‘observers’. To be successful this observation must of necessity be detached and unemotive and thus where great social and moral issues are at stake, it is perhaps not surprising that this view point should arouse some distrust and hostility among the general population (particularly when the speculator profits at a time of general discontent). Yet this detached observation is clearly in the spirit of the natural scientist and the act of speculating for money is in the spirit of the empirical scientist’s restless yearning to add to empirical knowledge and put theories to the test. Thus making money from mathematical models [systematic trend following] is in one sense less about the corruption of intellectual endeavor than about the appropriate statistical test of the utility of such models for the development of scientific theory.”
Go read it.
You might just learn that the 400 PhDs and super computers are not the secret to his success.