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A Practical Guide to ETF Trading Systems: A systematic approach to trading exchange-traded funds Paperback – October 30, 2009


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A Practical Guide to ETF Trading Systems: A systematic approach to trading exchange-traded funds + Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Harriman House (October 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906659273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906659271
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After education at Westminster School, Oxford University and the College of Law, Anthony Garner spent a few formative years as a solicitor with a City of London law practice, before moving to an investment bank. He left conventional employment in 1995 in favour of a long cherished aim to work for himself and since then has been trading financial markets for his own account. For some years now his interest has concentrated on designing, testing and trading simple mechanical strategies, since his years inside the financial industry convinced him that, for the majority, the discipline of systematic trading is a better way to go.

Customer Reviews

In sum, the book was a disappointment for me.
Broomy
This overpriced book is neither a formal trading system design book nor a practical trading guide.
Trader-2013
This book was recommended on the blog of Mebane Faber (author of The Ivy Portfolio).
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dave M. on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must say that I was quite curious to see how the Author approaches trading ETF's compared to how one might trade Futures with a classic Trend-Following approach. I am sure there will be many skeptics both from the Futures camp (where equities are generally regarded as difficult / unsuited for Trend-Following) and the Buy-Hold camp (who believe "Market Timing" doesn't provide a superior total return).

I must say that if you put yourself in same frame of mind for evaluating performance as the Author, then you will be delightfully surprised by his findings. The key here is that he is evaluating not based on total return (price,dividends,tax implications), but based on risk-adjusted return. The typical argument that if you missed 10 best market days out of the last X years would mean you missed the bulk of the returns, does not hold water when you consider the risk associated with being in the market the whole time to capture those 10 days versus timing the market.

The text is logically structured, straight-forward in terms of prose, and walks the reader through the thought processes and testing approach of the Author while acknowledging certain limitations (including the limited data history of ETF's). An additional note is that my copy was not a hard cover as Amazon suggests, but a soft cover.

I would consider this to be a good primer on a professional approach to trading ETF's with a Trend-Following set of methods. It is to ETF's what "Way of the Turtle" by Curtis Faith is to Futures trading. It is going to get you interested, guide you to the water, but you are going to have to drink. It is not a get rich in 5 easy steps book, but rather a treatise to hopefully spark your imagination and inspire you to go forth and grow with the seeds provided.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Broomy on June 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently discovered trend trading and have been doing some research to understand it. The first book I read was Michael Covel's Trend Following. It provided a good introduction and made a strong case for why trend trading is a better strategy than buy and hold, but it left me wanting more details. I got the details I wanted in Andreas Clenow's book Following the Trend. That is an excellent and highly recommended book for anyone interested in a more thorough understanding of how to set up and manage a trend trading system. One drawback of traditional trend trading is that to fully diversify you need a lot more capital than many individual investors have. It is this limitation that caused me to explore using ETFs in a trend trading system.

Garner starts out with an overview of trend trading with a focus on using equities. I didn't get much out of that section because Covel covers it more completely--it takes up most of his book--and he does not discuss it from the perspective of equities, but all asset classes. In Part 2 the author performs a series of backtests to show that diversification improves the return and lowers the risk.

While the title suggests that the focus will be on ETFs, there is very little discussion of the topic. It doesn't talk about how to evaluate whether a particular ETF is appropriate for a trend trader. My primary reason to try using ETFs in a trend trading system is that it would allow me to diversify into more asset classes, including commodities, which Clenow argues may be difficult for the small investor to include in a portfolio because the contracts can be large. More disappointing is that the strategy he describes only considers long positions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott's Investments on March 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Regular readers of Scott's Investments know that for the most part I am a fan of disciplined, systematic, and well-researched investing. Anthony Garner's A Practical Guide to ETF Trading Systems (Harriman House) details his approach to systemically trading exchange-traded funds. The primary system he uses is a trend following model with ETFs.

Garner's primary methodology is to build mechanical systems using third-party software. He details in-depth his complete approach to rule-based trading, starting with his preferred software platforms all the way to two systems he argues beat buy-and-hold, both on a nominal and risk-adjusted basis. Garner provides insight into his data sources as well as several limitations and roadblocks a system developer may encounter when acquiring long-term market data.

Garner presents two systems, a bollinger band breakout system and a momentum system, that both beat buy-and-hold in his backtests. He uses as much historical data as possible, while acknowledging limitations in acquiring data for a several market indices. I give kudos to Garner for acknowledging the potential limitations in historical data so readers gain insight into the hurdles in developing their own system. The two systems Garner present have solid historical returns and, in theory, could be practically implemented by investors in their own investing.

There are some drawbacks to Garner's presentation of his systems. For example, without a third party software platform similar to the one Garner uses (which has a subscription fee), an investor will have difficulty trading the system.
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More About the Author

Anthony Garner is a British national based in London. He left investment banking in 1992 in favor of a long cherished aim to work for himself and since 1995 has been trading financial markets for his own account, as well as having established, run or acted as consultant to a number of hedge funds. For some years now his interest has concentrated on designing, testing and trading mechanical strategies, since his years inside the financial industry convinced him that for the majority, the discipline of systematic trading is a better way to go.

Anthony is CEO of Malplaquet LLC which engages in proprietary investment and trading in the international equity, bond and futures markets. The group was founded in 1998.

He is also a consultant to Aria Capital Management in London, advising on CTA and other hedge fund investments.

He has acted as consultant to IFIT Advisory AG on mechanical trading systems and the futures markets with reference to the Contrapuntal Fund SP, a systematic global macro fund.

He is the author of "A Practical Guide to ETF Trading Systems" published by Harriman House and has also written articles on trading and investment for a number of publications. After education at Westminster School, Oxford University and The College of Law, Anthony qualified and practiced as a solicitor with the leading London law firm of Slaughter and May, specializing in company and commercial law. Anthony then moved to Swiss Bank Corporation International (SBCI), the investment banking arm of Swiss Bank Corporation (now merged with UBS) first as an in-house attorney and then as an analyst, producing institutional research on South East Asian stock markets including Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Anthony spent a year in Tokyo assisting with the establishment of SBCI's equity operations in Japan followed by postings to Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich covering the Asian equity markets.

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A Practical Guide to ETF Trading Systems: A systematic approach to trading exchange-traded funds
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