William Eckhardt, the great trend-following trader, has spoken forcefully about the idea of not having a memory in your trading:
“Suppose two traders, A and B, are alike in most respects except the amount of money they have. Suppose A has 10 per cent less money but he initiates a trade first. He gets in earlier than B does. By the time B puts the trade on, the two traders have exactly the same equity. The best course of action has to be the same for both of these traders now. Mind you, these traders have very different entry prices. What this means is that once an initiation is made, it does not matter at all for subsequent decisions what the entry price was. It does not matter. Once you have made an initiation, what your initiation price was has no relevance. The trader must literally trade as though he doesn’t know what his initiation price is.”
This is a fan of yours from India! I have been following you since some time and find your interactions quite interesting. I heard you mention Bill Eckhardt speech that he made [years back]…which you found interesting. Could you send me the link for it if possible? Thanks a lot.
Only an audio file that I have locally. Thanks for nice words!
“An important feature of our approach is that we work almost exclusively with price, past and current. One reason for this is that to make any progress in the early stages of quantitative investigation you usually have to reduce the relevant factors to one or two crucial variables. Price is definitely the variable traders live and die by, so it is the obvious candidate for investigation. The other reason is that in a system that’s making good use of price information, it is very difficult to add other information without degradation. Pure price systems are close enough to the North Pole that any departure tends to bring you farther south.”
“Many systematic traders spend the majority of their time searching for good places to initiate. It just seems to be part of human nature to focus on the most hopeful point of the trading cycle. Our research indicated that liquidations are vastly more important than initiations. If you initiate purely randomly, you do surprisingly well with a good liquidation criterion. In contract, random liquidations will kill the best system.”