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The trend is not your friend! Why empirical timing success is determined by the underlying's price characteristics and market efficiency is irrelevant

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  • Scholz, Peter
  • Walther, Ursula
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    Abstract

    The often reported empirical success of trend-following technical timing strategies remains to be puzzling. In previous academic research, many authors admit some prediction power but struggle to substantiate their findings by referring vaguely to insufficient market effciency or unknown hidden patterns in asset price processes. We claim that empirical timing success is possible even in perfectly efficient markets but does not indicate prediction power. We prove this by systematically tracing back timing success to the statistical characteristics of the underlying asset price time series, which is modeled by standard stochastic processes. Five major impact factors are studied: return autocorrelation, trend, volatility and its clustering as well as the degree of market efficiency. We use trading rules based on different intervals of the simple moving average (SMA) as an example. These strategies are applied to simulated asset price data to allow for systematic parameter variations. Subsequently, we test the same strategies on real market data using non-parametric historical simulations and compare the results. Evaluation is done by an extensive selection of statistical-, return-, risk-, and performance figures calculated from the simulated return distributions. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Centre for Practical Quantitative Finance (CPQF) in its series CPQF Working Paper Series with number 29.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cpqfwp:29

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    Related research

    Keywords: bootstrapping; market efficiency; market timing; parameterized simulation; performance analysis; return distribution; technical analysis; technical trading;

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    1. Mark J Ready, 2002. "Profits from Technical Trading Rules," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 31(3), Fall.
    2. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1998. "An Anatomy of Trading Strategies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 489-519.
    3. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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    5. Annaert, Jan & Osselaer, Sofieke Van & Verstraete, Bert, 2009. "Performance evaluation of portfolio insurance strategies using stochastic dominance criteria," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 272-280, February.
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    7. Delroy Hunter, 1998. "The performance of filter rules on the Jamaican Stock Exchange," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(5), pages 297-300.
    8. Halbert White, 2000. "A Reality Check for Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1097-1126, September.
    9. Brock, William & Lakonishok, Josef & LeBaron, Blake, 1992. " Simple Technical Trading Rules and the Stochastic Properties of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1731-64, December.
    10. Neely, Christopher J., 2003. "Risk-adjusted, ex ante, optimal technical trading rules in equity markets," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 69-87.
    11. Sweeney, Richard J., 1988. "Some New Filter Rule Tests: Methods and Results," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(03), pages 285-300, September.
    12. Heidorn, Thomas & Siragusano, Tindaro, 2004. "Die Anwendbarkeit der Behavioral Finance im Devisenmarkt," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 52, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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