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The Winton Papers Revisited

Feedback in:

“Hi Michael, as you know I love your work and keep buying copies of your books for friends, family and clients. I know you say that persistence pays off and I am working hard on implementing trend following in my business and also in my investing life. I have been trying to hunt down those Winton Papers that Mr. Harding gifted to you. In Australia [name] has a Managed Account with Winton that they allow retail investors to invest in, so we have started placing client monies with Winton. I have had a number of clients call in happy that Winton and Aspect made 10% last year when Aussie equities dropped 10%. I have asked all the [name] associated with Winton if they have seen [The Winton Papers]. No such luck. This morning I attended a presentation where Winton was one of the managers. As usual Winton was last so I had to listen to two other fund managers explain how great they were even though their 5-year returns were negative (both fundamentalists). Winton was represented directly by staff. One was [name], who is a wonderful lady who had just started. I have spoken to her previously…and had inquired if she had seen the papers. She came back questioning if the “The Winton Papers” were a figment of my imagination. More importantly, employee number [blank] at Winton (that was used in his intro) was [name]. He managed to confirm that yes they existed (which I already knew; see your blog 2010/11/06), however, he did not have a copy. So I guess what I am asking is there any chance you have a soft copy of the papers? Or would you like to sell your copy? Or maybe I could rent them for a period of time? Anyways hope business and family are going well. Thanks in advance. Kind regards, [name]”

Yes, I have a copy of The Winton Papers, but I have not been granted permission to distribute.

Note: David Harding of Winton Capital is profiled in my book The Little Book of Trading. He also appears in my film Broke. He has made $1 billion USD from trend following.

The Winton Papers: Speculation, Wise

While I have not seen it, apparently Gordon Gekko opines in the new ‘Wall Street’ that:

“The Mother of all evil is speculation.”

Let’s hope Oliver Stone doesn’t actually believe that (if he does, fantastic moron). The counter? An excerpt from the publication ‘The Winton Papers’:

“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.”

Note: ‘The Winton Papers’ were published by Winton Capital.

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