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Two centuries of trend following

Author

Listed:
  • Y. Lemp'eri`ere
  • C. Deremble
  • P. Seager
  • M. Potters
  • J. P. Bouchaud

Abstract

We establish the existence of anomalous excess returns based on trend following strategies across four asset classes (commodities, currencies, stock indices, bonds) and over very long time scales. We use for our studies both futures time series, that exist since 1960, and spot time series that allow us to go back to 1800 on commodities and indices. The overall t-stat of the excess returns is $\approx 5$ since 1960 and $\approx 10$ since 1800, after accounting for the overall upward drift of these markets. The effect is very stable, both across time and asset classes. It makes the existence of trends one of the most statistically significant anomalies in financial markets. When analyzing the trend following signal further, we find a clear saturation effect for large signals, suggesting that fundamentalist traders do not attempt to resist "weak trends", but step in when their own signal becomes strong enough. Finally, we study the performance of trend following in the recent period. We find no sign of a statistical degradation of long trends, whereas shorter trends have significantly withered.

Suggested Citation

  • Y. Lemp'eri`ere & C. Deremble & P. Seager & M. Potters & J. P. Bouchaud, 2014. "Two centuries of trend following," Papers 1404.3274, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1404.3274
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rebecca Westphal & Didier Sornette, 2019. "Market Impact and Performance of Arbitrageurs of Financial Bubbles in An Agent-Based Model," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 19-29, Swiss Finance Institute.
    2. Hui, Eddie C.M. & Chan, Ka Kwan Kevin, 2019. "Alternative trading strategies to beat “buy-and-hold”," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 534(C).
    3. Schmidhuber, Christof, 2021. "Trends, reversion, and critical phenomena in financial markets," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 566(C).
    4. Ahmed Belhadjayed & Grégoire Loeper & Frédéric Abergel, 2016. "Forecasting Trends With Asset Prices," Post-Print hal-01512431, HAL.
    5. Fernando F. Ferreira & A. Christian Silva & Ju-Yi Yen, 2019. "Detailed study of a moving average trading rule," Papers 1907.00212, arXiv.org.
    6. Achim BACKHAUS & Aliya ZHAKANOVA ISIKSAL, 2016. "The Impact of Momentum Factors on Multi Asset Portfolio," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 146-169, December.
    7. Ahmed Bel Hadj Ayed & Gr'egoire Loeper & Fr'ed'eric Abergel, 2015. "Forecasting trends with asset prices," Papers 1504.03934, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2015.
    8. Yonatan Berman & Yoash Shapira & Eshel Ben-Jacob, 2014. "Unraveling Hidden Order in the Dynamics of Developed and Emerging Markets," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(11), pages 1-10, November.
    9. Zaremba, Adam & Kizys, Renatas & Raza, Muhammad Wajid, 2020. "The long-run reversal in the long run: Insights from two centuries of international equity returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 177-199.
    10. J. P. Bouchaud & S. Ciliberti & Y. Lemp'eri`ere & A. Majewski & P. Seager & K. Sin Ronia, 2017. "Black was right: Price is within a factor 2 of Value," Papers 1711.04717, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2017.
    11. Bryan Lim & Stefan Zohren & Stephen Roberts, 2019. "Enhancing Time Series Momentum Strategies Using Deep Neural Networks," Papers 1904.04912, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2020.
    12. Tung-Lam Dao & Daniel Hoehener & Yves Lemp'eri`ere & Trung-Tu Nguyen & Philip Seager & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2017. "Trends and Risk Premia: Update and Additional Plots," Papers 1708.07637, arXiv.org.
    13. Majewski, Adam A. & Ciliberti, Stefano & Bouchaud, Jean-Philippe, 2020. "Co-existence of trend and value in financial markets: Estimating an extended Chiarella model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    14. L. Lin & M. Schatz & D. Sornette, 2019. "A simple mechanism for financial bubbles: time-varying momentum horizon," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(6), pages 937-959, June.
    15. Westphal, Rebecca & Sornette, Didier, 2020. "Market impact and performance of arbitrageurs of financial bubbles in an agent-based model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 1-23.
    16. Christof Schmidhuber, 2020. "Trends, Reversion, and Critical Phenomena in Financial Markets," Papers 2006.07847, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2020.
    17. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2021. "The Inelastic Market Hypothesis: A Microstructural Interpretation," Papers 2108.00242, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2021.
    18. Zaremba, Adam & Long, Huaigang & Karathanasopoulos, Andreas, 2019. "Short-term momentum (almost) everywhere," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    19. Adam Majewski & Stefano Ciliberti & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2018. "Co-existence of Trend and Value in Financial Markets: Estimating an Extended Chiarella Model," Papers 1807.11751, arXiv.org.
    20. Raphael Benichou & Yves Lemp'eri`ere & Emmanuel S'eri'e & Julien Kockelkoren & Philip Seager & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Marc Potters, 2016. "Agnostic Risk Parity: Taming Known and Unknown-Unknowns," Papers 1610.08818, arXiv.org.
    21. Li Lin & Didier Sornette, 2016. "A Simple Mechanism for Financial Bubbles: Time-Varying Momentum Horizon," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 16-61, Swiss Finance Institute.

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