001 - Diversified Quant Trading with Mean Reversion AND Trend Following - Simon Mansell
August 22, 2023
The Algo Advantage

In this first episode of 'The Algorithmic Advantage' podcast, hosts Simon and Richard embark on an enlightening exploration of the Quant trading world. Simon, with a background rich in economics and finance, shares his intriguing journey from academia to the trading floors of London, and eventually to the pivotal Sydney Futures Exchange. This transition period, marked by the shift from open outcry to electronic trading, provides a fascinating backdrop to his early career and shapes his future in trading.

Simon’s approach to trading is as diverse as his background. He advocates for a mix of strategies, with a particular focus on mean reversion. His detailed explanation of this strategy balances the inherent risks with potential rewards, emphasizing the critical role of risk management. He illustrates how balancing long and short systems and diversifying across various parameters can create a more resilient trading approach. This strategy, Simon explains, is not just about the numbers but also about blending the analytical with intuitive insights — a culmination of his varied experiences.

Technology’s impact on trading forms a central theme of the discussion. Simon eloquently describes how it revolutionizes the way traders process data and execute strategies. He highlights the importance of backtesting in validating these strategies, a process that brings transparency and credibility to systematic trading, setting it apart from traditional fund management methods.

For new traders, Simon’s advice is grounded in realism and discipline. He recommends starting with simple strategies and emphasizes the importance of persistence. Reflecting on his own journey, he shares the value of humility in trading, acknowledging his initial overconfidence and the lessons learned since.

The conversation shifts to the broader implications of systematic trading in investment portfolios. Simon passionately speaks about the need to educate investors about its merits, especially its transparency and ability to adapt to various market conditions. He notes the particular relevance of systematic strategies in uncertain times, such as inflationary periods or regime shifts, underscoring their potential to not just weather storms but also to thrive.

As the episode draws to a close, Simon imparts wisdom to new traders, advising them to build a solid foundation before tackling the more complex aspects of trading. He concludes with an invitation to explore more about systematic trading and a reminder of the importance of risk awareness.

Get in touch with Simon:

w: www.quantivealpha.com / www.thealgorithmicadvantage.com

x: https://x.com/QuantiveAlpha

li: www.linkedin.com/in/linkintosimon/

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