Harold de Boer is a trend following legend with a consistent track record dating back to the 1980’s. His approach to the markets can be seen as, “A farmer’s common sense and mathematics while at the same time never losing sight of the underlying fundamentals.” He is currently managing director and the architect of the Diversified Trend Program, responsible for research & development, portfolio management and trading at Transtrend–with over $4 billion under management.
Harold learned statistics on the farm and has found that a lot of what is seen in markets has a analogy associated with farm life. As he was finishing up college one of his final assignments was to find a real life problem that could be fixed by using his knowledge in statistics. He contacted a commodity trading firm who had a project from him to look at relationships between meats (i.e. pork and beef) and feeds (ie. corn and soybeans). Starting there Harold first saw that there was trending behavior in the markets.
Harold has a solid trading philosophy that has been built from the ground up. He doesn’t worry himself with many things that usual market pro may worry about–like benchmarks or efficient markets. Harold looks at benchmarks as doing more harm then good in the industry. And as for efficient markets? He sees no academic proof behind the theory. Market participants make the markets move–they don’t just move automatically. Apple stock does not move from people buying lots of iPhone’s. The stock moves from market players buying Apple stock. A stock, any market, will not go up or down without participants engaging in markets making bets.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
- Fundamental trading vs. technical trading
- Price trends and haystacks
- Media in markets
- Trend following philosophy
- Efficient markets
- Trading off the grid