The year 2012 ended more or less as it started: down. Forget the intra-year peaks at +15%, these were all erased in the closing months of the year. A big up-and-down. Happy New Year to all readers! Hopefully 2013 will bring better times for trend following…
Mixed results for the penultimate month of the year with a slight bias to the downside (-0.61%). The index now stands at -6.64% YTD. It would take a very strong December to get the performance back in the black for 2012.
Note that I have not updated the list components, still showing JWH as N/A. Will probably tidy the list up (again) for the new year..
Most of you probably heard about John W. Henry exiting the CTA business by now (articles from wsj and futures mag). It was unlikely triggered by JWH October’s performance (the road to the demise has been quite longer than this: AUM had shrunk by 95% to $100M since 2006) but looking at the report for all other wizards, there sure was little reassurance there.
Rumours and noises about trend following being dead are even resurfacing, and this October report (although one anecdotal point in history) is no exception to this “trend” of negativity. It will be interesting to see if/when there is light at the end of the tunnel. But the walls have been painted bright red for October.
The full detailed results (excluding JWH) are below. They are all negative for the month with an average of -5.21% and nearly all of them in the same position year-to-date (average YTD: -6.07%). [Read more →]
Please find below the full details for the trend following wizards performance in September. Overall, a similar month to the previous one: on the negative side (a bit worse). Most managers are in the red with an average return of -2.88% -2.83%, taking the YTD figure back in the red too (-1.85% -1.62%).
A decade ago, Cass Business School Professor Harry M. Kat wrote a paper entitled Managed Futures and Hedge Funds: A Match Made in Heaven. In the paper Kat studied the impact of adding managed futures to traditional bond/stock portfolio allocations. In comparison to hedge funds, Kat found that:
Apart from their lower expected returns, managed futures appear to be more effective diversifiers than hedge funds.
This is obviously an interesting paper but it starts to date; and blog reader Tom Rollinger from Sunrise Capital had the good idea to update the numbers in his paper entitled Revisiting Kat’s Managed Futures and Hedge Funds: A Match Made in Heaven.
Quite a lot has happened since 2002. In the markets in general and the alternative investment space in particular. So checking how Kat’s findings have held up was an obviously interesting follow-up. A sort of “out-of-sample” testing. [Read more →]
The more extreme and diverging readings from the middle of last month (from the different strategies/timeframes tracked) have “reverted to the mean” and converged to close September more uniformly and went on to post small losses for the month, while still keeping the YTD performance of this State of trend following report positive.
It seems that the Trend Following strategies used in this report have taken a “bit of a breather” in August. The composite index stayed mostly flat during the whole month with all strategies showing less volatility than in the last few months
At least, the YTD performance still stands in positive territory so far.
Nice start to the second half of the year… A left column full of black: a strong July for Trend Following Wizards who post a collective performance over 5% last month to get back in positive territory year-to-date.
The yo-yo is definitely back! May, June, July have started a new “trend” of a seesawing equity curve for the index – with relatively strong moves. This July rebound means that the index is now back in the “fairly comfortable” positive territory, although it will be interesting to see what August has got in store – especially since the equity curve seems to show signs of turning back down at the end of last month.
As expected (from the June state of trend following report), June proved to be a bad month for Trend Following Wizards. Check the left column of the table below: all red except for Saxon Investment who posted a 0% monthly performance as they seem to have triggered another high volatility “trading pause” (as they did last year when they side-stepped the markets for a few months).
This strong down month also leaves the Wizards in the red at the half-way point in 2012 with YTP performance slightly under -2%. Please check full results below: [Read more →]
May produced some very good results, even if a bit volatile, but strongly on the up side. It seems that the “volatility yoyo”, magnified by the inter-market correlation, is back, but with a “vengeance”: all or most gains from last month were erased by a sharp move down in June, for both ends of the “timeframe spectrum”: long-term and short-term systems pointed down equally last month.
—– UPDATE: The post initially came out with the wrong results/table. Here is the correct/updated version (thanks to readers Martin and Grotaiche, who quickly alerted me of this error) —-
As could have been expected from the last state of Trend Following report, this month is globally very positive for the Trend Following Wizards. The collective performance is over 6% for the month, which brings 2012 into positive territory. There also has been some outsized returns: 46% for Clarke Capital, 20% for EMC…
Another interesting observation is the variation between the fund monthly returns (ranging from -4% to 46%). Recall how the state of Trend Following report seemed to derive most of its positive performance from shorter-term systems last month. I would posit that May’s return is most likely correlated to the main trading horizon/timeframe for each fund to some degree.
A small overall bounce with some mixed results for this month’s edition of the Trend Following Wizards report. Overall, the composite performance is still in the red with over two third of the list posting negative YTD figures. Results below:
* YTD: Year-To-Date performance. ** AUM: Assets Under Management for the program reported here (not total firm AUM) *** The summary numbers are the mean of the monthly return and the mean of the YTD, with the total sum of AUM, across all managers
Note that the figures referenced in the performance table are not provided directly by any of the funds/CTAs featured in this report, but are sourced from other publications such as hedge fund/CTA websites and databases.
1 – Abraham Trading was founded by Salem Abraham, after he was introduced to Managed Futures and Trend Following by Jerry Parker. He is considered as a “”second-generation”" Turtle. Program tracked: Diversified Program.
2 – Altis Partners started trading in 2001 and now manage over a $1B with their Altis Global Futures Portfolio. The figures referenced in the performance table are not provided by Altis Partners and no reliance should be taken as to their accuracy, and as a consequence the figures may not be in accordance with any CFTC / NFA performance reporting requirements. Program tracked: Global Futures Portfolio.
3 – The four founders of Aspect (Eugene Lambert, Anthony Todd, Michael Adam and Martin Lueck) were significant members of one of the most succesful funds in managed futures – AHL (Adam, Harding and Lueck). Program tracked: Aspect Capital Diversified Program.
4 – Beach Horizon was created as a fully automated trend following subsidiary of Beach Capital Mgt, founded by David Beach. Two of the founders of Beach Horizon had early involvement in AHL. Program Tracked: Managed Account.
5 – BlueTrend, from BlueCrest Capital, is one of the largest Trend Following funds – headed by Ms. Leda Braga. Program tracked: BlueTrend Fund Limited.
6 – Campbell & Company is one of the oldest Trend Following firms, operating for around 4 decades. Program tracked: Global Diversified Large.
7 – Chesapeake Capital was founded by Jerry Parker, a former Turtle. Program tracked: Diversified Program.
8 – Clarke Capital was founded by Michael Clarke in 1993. Program tracked: Millenium Program.
9 – Drury Capital, Inc., was founded in Illinois in 1992 by Bernard Drury. Program tracked: Diversified Trend-Following.
10 – Dunn Capital was founded by Bill Dunn. Program tracked: World Monetary and Agriculture (WMA).
11 – Eckhardt Trading is the firm managed by William Eckhardt, who co-led the Turtle experiment with Richard Dennis. Program tracked: Standard Program.
12 – EMC Capital was founded by Liz Cheval, a former Turtle. Program tracked: EMC Classic Program.
13 – Graham Capital was founded in 1994 by Ken Tropin, previously a Director of JWH. Program tracked: K4-D10.
14 – Hawksbill Capital was founded by Tom Shanks, a former Turtle. Program tracked: Global Diversified Program.
15 – Hyman Beck & Co. main principals are Alexander Hyman and Carl Beck. Program tracked: Global Portfolio.
16 – JWH & Co. was founded by John W. Henry, now also owner of the Boston Red Sox. Program tracked: Global Analytics.
17 – Originally ED & F Man, a commodities broker business founded in 1783. Man became a succesful CTA starting in 1983, when partnering with Larry Hite’s Mint Investments. Subsequently Man gradually acquirs AHL (1989-1994) to form Man AHL: the systematic trading division of the Man group. Program tracked: Man AHL (USA) Diversified Managed Account Program.
18 – Mark J. Walsh was not an official Turtle but trained and worked closely with Richard Dennis before starting his own fund management business. Program tracked: Standard Program.
19 – Millburn Ridgefield have been trading Trend Following models since the early 1970′s. Program tracked: Diversified Program.
20 – Rabar Market Research is the company of Paul Rabar, a former Turtle. Program tracked: Diversified Program.
21 – Saxon Investment was founded by Howard Seidler, a former Turtle. Program tracked: Aggressive Diversified Program.
22 – Sunrise Capital is a CTA based in San Diego. Founded in 1980 by Gary Davis, it merged in 1995 with Commodity Commodity Monitors, Inc., founded by Rick Slaughter in 1977. Program tracked: Expanded Diversified Program.
23 – Tactical Investment Management was founded by David Druz, student of Ed Seykota. Program tracked: Institutional Commodity Program.
24 – Transtrend is a Trend follower CTA based in Netherlands. Program tracked: DTP – Enhanced Risk (USD).
25 – Winton Capital is a London-based CTA founded by Dave Harding (also co-founder of AHL). Program tracked: Diversified Program.
These are the top CTAs/Managed Futures funds in the Trend Following space with:
Decades of successful track records (some managers approaching half a century such as Millburn or Campbell, founded in 1971 and 1972 respectively, with other pioneers following suit a few years later: Sunrise, John W Henry, Dunn, etc.)
Legendary stories and experience: the most famous of them being the Turtle Traders experiment led by Richard Dennis in the eighties. Nearly a third of the list originate from or were associated with the Turtles (Liz Cheval, Jerry Parker, Bill Eckhardt and more – check the foot notes for details). Also in the list is David Druz, an early “disciple” of computerized trend following pioneer Ed Seykota.
Billions of Assets under management: the list captures most if not all of the top Trend Following managers in terms of AUM, including the “super-large” that are Winton, Man AHL, BlueTrend or Transtrend. Collectively, the Trend Following Wizards manage close to $100 Billion.