Monday, March 06, 2006

Quote of the Week & Robert Pardo Interview

"Being a scientist can sometimes be depressing. Surrounded by younger versions of yourself, you are constantly confronted by the mismatch between the dreams of youth and the facts of maturity." -- Emanuel Derman, author of My Life as a Quant
One of my favorite quotes and not only applicable to scientists and programmers...but everyone with several years of experience under their belts...and perhaps a few gray hairs to show for it. Heck, even relates to being a parent. Universal theme...I love it!

On to other things...this weekend I found a great interview with Robert Pardo, the author of Design, Testing, and Optimization of Trading Systems. Read the interview here. Some quick highlights:
When I first started getting into systems, I was persistent, objective, and analytical. I've always been willing to say what it is that I do know, and what it is that I don't know. If somebody said to me "this will work" I'd say, "well, why will it work?" What's the proof?"
Great thinking...I believe many of us could apply this type of thinking to our investing strategies.

And Pardo goes on to describe the great Art of Cherry Picking...
They call this sort of thing cherry picking now. So many people, when they're looking at an idea by hand will say, "oh, it worked here, it worked here, it worked there, and boy, did it work great!" They ignore the fact that it had seven losers before this big win, and three more losers before that big win. They're maybe small, but they do add up. They need to be included in the equation.

In a system, risk is uniform and constant. I re-optimize models periodically because conditions and volatility change. You have to adapt to that to get optimal returns. Generally, though, we're risking the same tomorrow that we are today. Most people not only will vary their risk a great deal, but they'll get very skittish when they actually get a profit.
There's a powerful strategy being expressed here. Something Basso mentioned in his Market Wizards interview.

Overall, a great interview and piques my curiosity as to the other interviews covered in the Market Beaters book. I guess another book to buy and read. :)

Also, don't forget...the new issue of Active Trader Magazine contains an interview of Nassim Taleb. Just bought the mag this weekend. So, I'll share some highlights of the interview sometime this week.

Later Trades,


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