Mean Reversion and the Broken Rubber Band

A common way to describe a mean reversion trade is a rubber band that stretches away and then snaps back. Something that Steve, my trading buddy, and I discuss when a trade keeps going against us is that the rubber band has broken. I have never tested that concept. Meaning after N day sell-off, are we now more likely to continue to sell off than bounce? Doing research is not always about trying to develop a new strategy but sometimes it is testing a concept. The concept may lead to a new trading idea.

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ConnorsRSI Analysis

A couple posts ago, I did the RSI Analysis. This post will focus on ConnorsRSI which I created while working for Larry Connors. When  creating the indicator, the focus was on short-term mean-reversion results. We will look at that here but also how does it handle longer-term holds. Since I did not test this when I originally did the work, I was looking forward to seeing the results.


ConnorsRSI is an indicator made up of three components. The first being a 3 period RSI on the closes. The second being a 2 period RSI applied to the current up/down streak. The last being a rank of how big today’s move is. Then a simple weighted aveage is used to combine them. For more details on the calculation and how to use it see this link.

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May 4, 2016

Making new equity highs. It happens less than you think.

A reader sent me a link to presentation, Robert Frey – 180 years of Market Drawdowns, about drawdowns and the time that a strategy is underwater. I highly suggest you watch it. I wanted to perform my own analysis on how often a buy and hold strategy on the S&P500 index is making new equity highs. Then, I wanted to compare the results to a new strategy I am working on for my trading. From previous experience, this number is a lot lower than people expect.

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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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