Summary and Info
The book is quite slim if you notice that there are many tables, and the TS code begins at page 205. The strategies are so simple that the TS code was only useful a few times for confirming the rules that were not completely clear in the text.
The book shows a series of "strategies" and some backtests.
The problem is that all these strategies are extremely simple and very similar to each other. They often involve daytrades, buying the open and selling at the close, or entering on stop at the open +- a buffer. For the majority of the strategies, no slippage and no commissions are taken into account. The problem is that in the real world, they often turn daytrading strategies from apparently good to losers. The author does point out slippage and commissions, but often forget about them in the second half of the book.
The author is easy to please. Many strategies give drawdown of more than 50% of the profit for the confirmation markets. I would not find that a validation, particularly after looking at the equity curve (I did test many of the strategies of the book across many markets).
Of course, robust often means simple, but another problem I find is that all the techniques in the book have been optimized for the period used and often for the selected indexes. For example, a system was reasonably performing from 2001 to 2005 in the book. I tested back from 1995, and the out of sample simulation did not give good results. Using European indexes did not show so nice result as well (I confess I am not as easy to please as the author). The author never looks at the difference between short and long signals. Of course, if the concept is strong, there should be no differences. For the indexes, the fact is the simulation of the combined indicators strategies show that longs are doing well in bull markets and bad in bear markets, the opposite for shorts, of course. Interestingly, the strategy appears to behave reasonably well (without slippage, commissions) only in the optimized time frame. Also, the analysis of the equity curve shows that, in some cases, most of the profits are made in a limited amount of time and the rest of the time it is not productive or counter productive. These very simple strategies heavily rely on optimization.
The concept of strategies aggregation to enhance the probability of success is of course good, though not new.
To summarize, I find the strategies quite weak (after slippage, commissions) and the tests too limited. However, the book is still a very good read for those really wanting to begin in mechanical trading. Many traps of mechanical trading are described. The author does not mislead the reader, though I find him easy to please for the test results.
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