An Unwavering Commitment to the Core Principles of Classic Trend Following
In this instalment of the Algorithmic Advantage podcast, we engaged in a fascinating dialogue with our friend and seasoned trader, Mr. Jerry Parker. The conversation focused on Jerry's extensive experience in the trading domain and his insights on the practice of trend following.
Jerry began by recounting his early days in the trading arena, highlighted by his pivotal experience in the renowned Turtle Program. Mentored by trading luminaries skilled in math, computers, and hands-on trading, Jerry learned the art and science of trend following and risk management. He emphasized the transformative power of this mentorship and training, which opened his eyes to the diverse possibilities in trading, including futures, commodities, and currencies.
The conversation then shifted to Jerry's venture into running his own fund, Chesapeake. He shared the initial challenges he faced, such as managing investor expectations and navigating the complexities of drawdowns. Jerry stressed the significance of adapting leverage and risk approaches, particularly when dealing with new clients. His narrative highlighted not only the trading aspect but also the essential business skills like client relations and marketing, vital for sustaining a successful trading business.
Delving into the evolution of his trading strategies, Jerry spoke about his team's relentless pursuit of enhancing their trend-following methodologies. This journey included expanding trade terms, embracing a broader market spectrum, and venturing into equities and other asset classes. A notable highlight was his project on trend-following spreads, an innovative approach to creating synthetic markets for greater diversification and profit potential. Jerry remained committed to the core principles of trend following, like consistent entry and exit strategies and the use of stop-losses, while being open to new market opportunities.
A significant part of the discussion revolved around Jerry's views on trend following versus managed futures. He expressed a strong preference for pure trend following, based on the principles of capitalizing on profit runs and hunting for outliers. Jerry conveyed some concern about the current state of the trend-following industry, urging it to adapt and expand, particularly in integrating equities into its trading strategies. Ultimately, ‘trend following’ is a science of its own and ‘managed futures’ is really an umbrella term that can capture all sorts of futures trading styles.
The psychological aspects of trading were not overlooked. Jerry spoke candidly about the mental challenges traders face, such as dealing with market pressures, handling drawdowns, and maintaining unwavering faith in their trading systems. He highlighted the crucial ability to execute trades without hesitation, a testament to a trader's confidence in their system and strategy.
For aspiring traders and CTAs, Jerry's advice centred around the importance of finding mentors and engaging in collaborations with fellow traders. He emphasized the value of constructing trading systems based on fundamental principles, cautioning against over-optimization and stressing the need for discipline in rule adherence.
Lastly, Jerry touched on his active participation in online trading communities, underscoring the benefits of sharing experiences and learning collaboratively. This engagement, he noted, not only enriches his knowledge but also keeps him grounded and connected to the broader trading world.
In summary, our conversation with Jerry offered a comprehensive view of his trading philosophy and experiences. From his early days in the Turtle Program to running Chesapeake, his journey is a testament to the importance of mentorship, adherence to core principles, continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of the trading world.
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