Cesar Alvarez

Author Archives: Cesar Alvarez

Adding Stops and Scaling Out to a Mean Reversion Strategy

I came on an idea recently that I had tested. I have tested adding max loss stops to a mean reversion strategy, with no success. See this post for more on that. About eight years ago, I tested scaling out of trades. But this person claimed that adding the two together was how to improve a mean reversion strategy. Interesting idea I had not tested.

I have a one question poll below about what to do with my research. Take 15 seconds to fill it out.

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March 2, 2016

Is your data in good shape? Would you know it if it was not?

At the end of last year, I was working with a client and we were having problems with code I had written. We would get different results depending on who ran the code. After comparing trade lists and doing some debugging, we discovered that their database was missing several symbols. These symbols existed in my database but did not exist in theirs. We were both using Norgate’s Premium Data, which I highly recommend and can read my review here.

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January 20, 2016

Revisiting Strategies

Two years ago, I wrote an article, The issues with back testing a short stock strategy, about my short strategy and the issues I had with short backtests and shorting. Soon after publishing that article, I stopped trading my short strategy. I like to retest strategies 2 to 3 years after I stop trading them. I will admit that I do not do this with all my strategies because I forget to do so. I am looking to see how the strategy has performed since then and if the reasons I stopped have changed. Maybe it is time to start trading it again. The current market conditions and the fact that I wrote about this strategy gave me the push to remember to do it. So how has my short strategy held up since I stopped?

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Using Stops: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I recently gave a presentation on Better System Trader about using stops on a breakout strategy. The research produced results I was not expecting and may be surprising to you. The stops tested are

  • No stops
  • Maximum Loss using ATR (Intraday and End of Day)
  • Maximum Loss using percentage (Intraday)
  • Trailing ATR (Intraday and End of Day)
  • Profit target using ATR (Intraday and End of Day)

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October 21, 2015

Biotech: My love-hate relationship

My love


My hate


The two charts above are from recent trades I have taken. Charts created in AmiBroker.

On July 20, 2015 IBB, iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF, made a closing high of 398.  About three months later it closed at 289 for 27% loss. A very common thing I hear from traders is that they “don’t trade biotechnology or pharmaceutical stocks.” I completely understand. These stocks tend to be very volatile and news driven. But does removing these stocks really reduce your drawdowns? What happens to your Compounded Growth Rate? Time to see what the research shows us.

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