Category Archives for "Trend Following"

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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November 19, 2014

Heikin-Ashi Charts

A reader recently introduced me to Heikin-Ashi charts. Popular with forex traders for showing trends which at first look of chart sure seems that way. Look at these two daily charts. The top one is a standard Candlestick chart while the bottom is Heikin-Ashi chart.


The trend of unbroken green sure seems more obvious and stronger in the Heikin-Ashi chart. Will testing confirm this?

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September 22, 2014

DTAYS Weekly Breakout Strategy With Time Stops

I recently read on Don’t Talk About your Stocks about an idea that stocks that were losers after (4, 6, 8) weeks should be sold to make way for other stocks that may do better. Will this idea improve the results from the original DTAYS Weekly Breakout Strategy? This reminded me of research I did while working for Larry Connors. On a mean reversion strategy we were researching, we noticed that after 10 days, 95% of the positions end up being losers. Then came the ‘obvious’ rule to add. Exit a position if it had not bounced after 10 days. We both thought this would greatly improve the results. It did the opposite and hurt them. Why? Because it was better to wait for the bounce even if the trade was a loser.

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Low Volatility Stocks: 20%+ CAGR Portfolio

Continuing on from our previous posts and research, Should one trade high or low volatility stocks? , Stops and trading high vs low volatility stocks, and Low Volatility Stocks and Profit Targets, we are now testing how these results translate to a portfolio. I pick one variation from each of the tables from the Low Volatility Stocks and Profit Targets. From that one a variation we create a portfolio with a maximum of 10 stocks.

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Stops and trading high vs low volatility stocks

In my last post, Should one trade high or low volatility stocks?, we placed stocks into three volatility buckets and compared their performance. Several readers pointed out that using a fixed percentage stop made it more likely for high volatility stocks to hit the stop thus not performing as well. Readers suggested using an Average True Range stop or a time stop. We will explore those two stops and see how the volatility buckets compare.

Individual Trade Quality

Before we get to the tests, I need to explain a new metric I will be using. At Connors Research we use Individual Trade Quality, ITQ, when we were comparing results of non-portfolio tests, such as these tests. The simple way to understand ITQ is it analogous to Sharpe Ratio in a portfolio test. To get more details on ITQ see How to Measure the Individual Trade Quality of Your Strategy.

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