My prior post brought in this feedback:
For the answer to your question, see above. I am actually baffled by this question. How can anyone read “Trend Following”, say that they think it’s an excellent book, and then ask that kind of question? This reader’s question is just further proof of why trend following has always been an effective trading strategy and will continue to do so in the long run. It is the fact that people can have “it” right in front of their face and still not get “it” that assures me that I can continue to employ a trend following strategy successfully. How can you see the results and read JWH’s comments on the ability to presuppose change and ask that question? The lesson I take from this is that we should never underestimate the impact of a biased perspective on our ability to filter information and identify truth versus fiction (i.e. forecasts and predictions). Keep up the good work.
I find such feedback at your site very interesting. I notice certain personality types struggle to see the simplicity of the forest while overanalyzing the complex subtleties of the trees and miss the point. Most mathematical types expect to be lectured by the data. It somehow escapes them that the data is there to serve, not instruct. Trend following is the theory. It is the first principle. It is a means of ignoring, not assessing complexity. Complexity always resides with the individual. Sometimes NOT knowing about a “problem” eliminates it. I find the most relevant part of the book is the front cover.
The question asked about where is the mathematical theory in the book Trend Following that predicts the success of trend following techniques a priori reverses cause and effect. The existence of any such mathematical theory would axiomatically be a derivation from empirical observation. There is a statistically significant amount of return data from hundreds of trend followers (myself included) that shows the efficacy of general trend following methodologies. In addition, there is audited percentage return data from hundreds of trading firms that demonstrates irrefutably that trend following is a successful endeavor. There is no reason or need to ask for a mathematical theory (before the fact) that proves success other than the common statistical measurements of return data used by all. Success is thus a result of the techniques used by trend folowers, but not necessarily codified as a mathematical proof.
Gibbons’ Trading LLC
Michael: I could not help but respond…mathematical proof ?…huh?…hey I’m just one of those dummies with a major in political science and philosophy…but if your long and the line on the chart is moving up to the right hand corner or, if your short and the line on the chart is moving down towards the right hand bottom corner life is good is it not?…seems to work for me as long as I stick to my position sizing rules to keep from blowing my wad when something unexplainable happens with my underlying that I can’t figure out the reason for on my abacus! Merry Christmas from the great White North
Happy Holidays Mike, The relevant part of the book, in the “New Expanded Edition,” is between the front and back covers. My guess is his years spent in the US educational system has him jade-d. If he can’t find the relevant section, I’d humbly suggest he “put the book on the table and come back next week.”