Fully automated futures trading

Discussion in 'Journals' started by globalarbtrader, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. For your interest here's my own personal current asset allocation, including my house, in nominal terms:

    Bonds 32%
    Equities 44%
    Property (mostly house, but also including about 2.5% in property ETFs) 32%
    Cash 9%
    Debt (including mortgage on house) -16%

    And here's my estimated breakdown of my risk:

    Bonds 16%
    Equities 36%
    Futures trading 21%
    Property 27%

    #971     Sep 13, 2017
  2. djames


    Hi GAT,
    I'm trying to understand how you rolled the V2X data (in order to understand the process in general)

    looking at the recent file in pysystemtrade around the roll date of 2016-10-17

    you have price of:


    and carry of:

    i'm struggling to see how you got the price 23.25 on 14th - are you averaging a window around the roll date to smooth out jumps? The shift you apply is 0.4 but how is this calculated?

    lining up the 'current' contract 201612 and 'previous' contract 201611 gives:

    current previous diff
    2016-10-13 00:00:00+00:00 NaN 24.20 NaN
    2016-10-14 00:00:00+00:00 NaN 23.65 NaN
    2016-10-15 00:00:00+00:00 NaN 23.65 NaN
    2016-10-16 00:00:00+00:00 NaN 23.65 NaN
    2016-10-17 00:00:00+00:00 23.400 20.50 2.900
    2016-10-18 00:00:00+00:00 22.900 23.25 -0.350
    2016-10-19 00:00:00+00:00 22.450 22.60 -0.150
    2016-10-20 00:00:00+00:00 22.350 22.00 0.350
    2016-10-21 00:00:00+00:00 21.950 21.50 0.450
    2016-10-22 00:00:00+00:00 21.950 21.50 0.450
    2016-10-23 00:00:00+00:00 21.950 21.50 0.450

    can you recall how the algorithm is smoothing out the diff column?

    I hope you don't mind helping, 'tis much appreciated.
    #972     Sep 13, 2017
  3. have you tried to just be really good trading one market?
    #973     Sep 14, 2017
  4. @globalarbtrader I am still contemplating ways of protecting my account from positions which start to move against me. The current system determines a position size based on (a) the value volatility versus the risk appetite and (b) the forecast, based on a combination of rules. The profit/loss of the open position is not directly included in any of these. Only indirectly: (a) if the loss increases the account value decreases (unless profits in other instruments offset this), thus the risk appetite becomes less as it is a percentage of the account size and (b) the forecast is (likely) going to change in the opposite direction of when the position was opened. I have the impression that these two indirect effects are rather slow and thus allow a position to rack up a substantial loss before being reduced/closed.
    Would it make sense to add a parameter to the system, being the current loss versus the risk appetite, and have that influence the position size? This parameter would only be used if there is an open position and this open position has a loss. Positions with a profit would not be affected, and it would not influence the timing of opening a position in an instrument.
    I don't have the right infrastructure to backtest such an idea and was wondering whether you have ever tested something like this in the past?
    #974     Sep 14, 2017
  5. Part of the problem is you are looking at daily data which has been resampled from intraday.

    2016-10-14 15:53:10  34.425  23.475      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-14 23:00:00  34.600  23.650    23.15         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 08:00:07  34.500  23.550      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 09:00:31  34.525  23.575      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 10:00:50  34.650  23.700      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 11:01:17  34.650  23.700      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 12:07:10  34.550  23.600      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 13:27:47  34.550  23.600      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 15:03:13  34.625  23.675      NaN         201611         201610
    2016-10-17 23:00:00  34.750  23.800    23.40         201611         201610  *
    2016-10-17 23:00:01  34.750  23.400      NaN         201612         201611
    2016-10-18 08:00:03  34.525  23.175      NaN         201612         201611
    2016-10-18 09:00:25  34.375  23.025      NaN         201612         201611
    The asterixed line makes it clear what's going on. The roll is applied at the end of day price point, which by convention has a timestamp of 23:00, with prices 23.8 in the old contract and 23.4 in the new (forward) contract. I apply a fake timestamped price one second after this. Now the roll has happened. The old forward is now the new price contract. The adjusted price hasn't changed, since apart from the roll the market hasn't moved. You can't see it here but I would have changed all previous adjusted prices, applying a downward shift of 0.4.

    #975     Sep 14, 2017
  6. Yes I've thought about it before, and dismissed it, because it's a terrible idea.

    Firstly the market doesn't know you're making a loss. The future path of prices is unaffected by whether any individual trader is up or down. Which is why in a well designed system the forecast for future prices is unaffected by whether the system has made losses or gains. If you're trend following then your forecast should only be based on what the price has done recently. If you start behaving differently then you'll reduce the profitability of your system.

    Secondly, you'll trade faster when you're losing money. Which means your overall trading costs will increase. Hopefully your system has been designed already at a given level of trading costs. Doing this means you'll either pay too much, or have to slow down your system further. Which means you'll be slower to get out of positions on which you've made a profit, but where the price has turned against you.

    Thirdly, you're introducing path dependency into your system. This is a very bad idea.

    Would this insane idea work in a backtest? Possibly; the change is relatively small so there is every chance that you'll get a statistically insignificant improvement even if the true expectation is that it won't work. But to do it would go completely against how I think about the markets.

    Are there alternatives? Well you could trade faster. Then you'll suffer the pain for shorter periods of time. But you'll probably end up making less profits though your broker will be richer (unless your system trades way too slowly currently).

    Let me give you advice - don't look at the p&l on individual positions, or at least do so as irregularly as possible. I can tell you right now roughly how well / badly my overall system is doing because I look at daily p& (it would be irresponsible not to). I don't know off hand what the overall drawdown is. But: I have almost no ideas what my positions are, and I certainly don't know if they're profitable - I haven't even written the code to check! Once a year I will see how they did over the year and I'll pick out some interesting markets to see what happened - but that is all.

    If you can't follow this advice then frankly you shouldn't be trading - you don't have the self control (it goes without saying you don't have the self control to be a discretionary trader). Buy my second book and sort yourself out a nice portfolio of long only investments. In part four I advise annual rebalancing... :)

    #976     Sep 14, 2017
    HobbyTrading likes this.
  7. djames


    ah, right that clarifies things (also re-read your blog post https://qoppac.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/systems-building-futures-rolling.html)

    I'm attempting to construct your price file for V2X from the carry file, not ideal but will be self contained within pysystemtrade, so i'm moving backward through the carry file. It's looking like the algorithm for stitching will have a few heuristics when calculating the adjustment price - in the case of this roll:

                              PRICE  CARRY   diff
    2016-10-15     NaN  23.65    NaN
    2016-10-16     NaN  23.65    NaN
    2016-10-17  23.400  20.50  2.900
    2016-10-18  22.900  23.25 -0.350
    2016-10-19  22.450  22.60 -0.150
    a heuristic could be if the diff on the roll date is larger than a certain percentage then use the next diff price to give the adjustment e.g -0.35, which is within bounds of your -0.4 adjustment. Does that seem sensible?
    #977     Sep 14, 2017
  8. It sounds very very complicated. The "correct" value of the % diff will vary wildly from instrument to instrument and over time. If you believe that both price and carry are tradeable prices then why should you prefer one value to another?

    I wouldn't do this.

    Alternatively you could try taking an average value of the diff over a few days (equivalent to assuming you rolled your positions gradually). Again, personally, I wouldn't waste my time on coding this up.


    PS you'll struggle to reproduce my results for every market since in many cases the "forward" contract I roll to is different from the "carry". And indeed this is the case for V2X.
    #978     Sep 14, 2017
  9. Thank you for explaining why you consider this a bad idea.
    #979     Sep 14, 2017
  10. isotope1


    This is what I thought too. The flat is a nightmare anyway, so I'm really looking for an excuse to sell it. I don't live off my investments at all.

    I'm surprised you mentioned only 20-30% in a TF strategy. Surely the expected Sharpe of a TF strategy exceeds that of all other investments (property, ETFs, equities), so it makes the most 'systematic' sense to allocate heavily here. Or is that overconfidence?
    #980     Sep 14, 2017