We have a small cause for celebration today as this will officially be post #4000 here on Evil Speculator. Which incidentally was launched all the way back in early August of 2008 – almost exactly nine years ago. It was a time of wonder back then and electricity had just been invented a few months earlier. I still remember having to take an Uber horse buggy to the evil lair in the morning, on muddy unpaved roads seamed with beggars and packs of rabid wild dogs. Trading was done by telegraph in encrypted morse code and our favorite way of shorting commodity futures was by arson of a hapless local grain farmer. Those were the days! Quite a few of you regulars from back when are [...]
This post was inspired by a Quantopian lecture I greatly enjoyed this weekend and which once again confirmed to me that even the most basic tools and measures taught in the vast majority of educational trading material merely give us a momentary snapshot of the whole underlying picture. To take any statistical or technical parameter at bare face value is akin to judging an entire movie by a single frame or a composition by a single note. So let’s put those 3D glasses on and learn how to dig a little deeper, shall we?
Standard deviation. You see it mentioned all the time but if that inquisitive little niece of yours would ask you what it is, could you actually explain it? No, I’m not talking about googling the formula on your mobile and then telling her to scram and kick a ball or something. What I mean is explaining standard deviation (SD) in a way that actually makes sense and may lead to her to taking an interest in STEM sciences later in life. Yeah, I didn’t think so. And you call yourself a trader? Step aside and let uncle Mole handle this.
One of my readers, let’s call him Francis, sent me an interesting email yesterday. Apparently he had been inspired by Scott’s original post on the use of scatter charts for what I call raw edge discovery (RED), for lack of a sexier term. So he proceeded to spend a significant amount of time on slinging spreadsheets in Excel, which can get quite involved and in my opinion is rather error prone as each extra condition requires the addition of at least one more column. His primary focus thus far had been mean reversion and he is now attempting to apply a similar approach to trending or momentum systems.