What is an elegant system ? To put it simply, elegant trading systems are those which are extremely simple regarding their coding and trading logic and yet extremely rich and deep in regards to the market inefficiencies they exploit. For example Watukushay FE, a trading system I developed which is available for free (http://watukushayfe.blogspot.com) uses a trading tactic that focuses around the RSI. The whole entry, exit and lot sizing aspects of this system can be coded within less than 50 lines of code, however the system exploits a very deeply meaningful aspect of market behavior that makes it extremely deep in meaning.
Watukushay FE is therefore a perfect example of what I consider an elegant trading system. You have a system that seems extremely simple but within it there is a very large amount of understanding and the solution to many important problems faced by mechanical trading systems. For example, Watukushay FE adapts its position sizes and exits against changing market conditions as well as using an internal closing mechanism to cut losses short and let profits run. This system contains within it the ability to follow trends, enter trends upon retracements and adapt to changes in market conditions all within a very simple coding framework. Watukushay FE shows you that it is meaning and NOT complexity what is bound to make trading system successful.
There are also many other advantages inherent to simplicity that make “elegant systems” much more robust and reliable than other more complex implementations. One of the biggest advantages of this type of systems and their low level of coding complexity is the fact that curve fitting them to past market conditions becomes very hard since the number of parameters – and the way in which they affect performance – is very limited. A simple system like Watukushay FE that works along a 10 year backtesting period shows that simplicity is able to maintain profitability amongst very varied sets of different market conditions.
In the future when you start developing your own automated trading systems bear in mind then that the complexity has to be within the amount of problems solved by the system and not by the amount of lines of code or indicators used by the system. The idea here is that complexity must be an inherent characteristic of what the system is doing and not of how it is being done. So even though the techniques used by Watukushay FE – for example- are exceedingly simple, they solve a very wide array of complex problems encountered in mechanical trading system development.
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