We sat with our Currensee Trade Leaders and asked them three questions on volatility, trading strategy and the euro. The interviews give a brief glimpse inside the minds of our traders and shines some light on the coming year. The first post in this series starts off with Gabor Asirikuy Trading.
Currensee Trade Leader Gabor Asirikuy Trading (Ticker: GAFLL.B and GAFLL.C) uses a distinctive automated system that leverages the signals of 10 trend-following trading systems, each leveraging different trading tactics. The system leverages the work of an international trading community that analyzes systems using purely statistical methods, and is built to take advantage of the long-term investment horizon. The system is built on the foundation of the Turtle Trading System, with volatility adjusted profit/stop targets and position sizing.
Do you believe 2012 will be as volatile as the end of 2011 has been?
The global economy is not in a good shape at the moment and probably this will be the situation for the whole year. Usually markets are less volatile when investors are optimistic and central banks gradually increase interest rates. This kind of environment usually starts carry trading in the currency markets.
However, 2012 is probably not about that, especially if Europe does not manage to find a credible solution for the sovereign debt problems. The solution would need the member countries to partly give up their political sovereignty, which is a very hard decision for them and won't happen overnight. If the EU debt crisis extends and the EU finally breaks up, then that might lead to a quite chaotic situation in the financial markets. This would surely increase volatility as investors would escape to safe haven currencies.
Elections in the US and France won't help either, because world leaders will be more concerned with domestic political battles then with the global economy.
On the other hand as a systematic trader I can only say that future is unknown and instead of predictions I keep looking at the statistical numbers of my systems, trade consistently and manage risk properly.
What types of Forex strategies will continue to prevail in 2012?
Well, that's hard to answer, carry trade probably won't for the reasons listed above. However a trader had better not to try to predict market conditions, but to trade strategies that can survive the unfavorable periods, which always come sooner or later. Some markets/periods are better for trend following systems and others for counter-trending (or mean reversion) systems, but that might change over time. Consistency and risk management are the keys.
At Currensee, I trade short-term trend following systems (H1 swing trading) on the major pairs. Major currency pairs tend to build up larger trends, because they are rather moved by global fundamental events than speculation, so for that reason trend following seems to be more apt for these instruments. But this doesn't mean that range bounded periods would not come from time to time even during volatile periods.
What would a breakup of the euro mean for your strategy?
This is an interesting question, indeed. It already occurred at Asirikuy before, and we made experiments to model this problem. The introduction of the euro in 1999 gives us the opportunity to model the impact of an instrument change. We created a few daily trading systems with the help of our genetic algorithm framework, that were optimized on the historical price data of the DEM/USD pair during the 1990 - 1999 period. These systems were then backtested on EUR/USD from 2000-2010. Those systems that were stable during the original optimization period - which means that their performance didn't deteriorate dramatically when we changed slightly their entry/exit parameters or the spread - did well on EUR/USD in the 2000-2010 out-of-sample period, in fact most of them did a bit better.
What that means is that before 2000 it was the Deutsch mark which represented the best the economic performance of the continental Europe, no wonder that Germany is called the economic engine of the EU. After the birth of the euro the characteristics of the market didn't change much: the same traders in the same institutions / banks / corporations in the same time zone speculated or hedged on fundamental events of the same economic conglomerate. In addition the EUR/USD became more liquid than the DEM/USD, which means that technical trading works a bit better in this market.
The same can be assumed in the opposite process when euro ceases to exist. The economic environment won't change dramatically, but the new currency (maybe the euro of a smaller group of countries or the Deutsch mark) will be less liquid, so technicals will work less, and this might mean slightly worse performance.
Of course if the breakup happens in a chaotic manner that might mean that the new currency pair will not be accessible for the retail traders for some time. In that regard we don't have experience - and I personally would be glad not to have one - but time will tell.
Next week: TCM Spencer Beezley (Ticker: SPBJP.A)