Better System Trader


If you’re looking for inspiration, motivation and practical advice on improving your trading results, Better System Trader delivers every week. Each episode brings you an expert trader who shares their own story, along with the steps, both good and bad, that they’ve taken on their path to success. With a focus on actionable insights, the tips and tricks used by the experts contain loads of value, providing you with insanely practical tips and tools you can start using TODAY. Improve your trading with Better System Trader.


  • 124: Managing Trades with Linda Raschke

    124: Managing Trades with Linda Raschke

    01/10/2017 Duration: 43min

    Trade management is a critical component of a trading strategy. It can often be the difference between a profitable trade and a loss... However many traders focus on the entry only and leave trade management as an afterthought. In episode 49 of the podcast, Linda Raschke, said "trade management is probably the most neglected area of system development". In that episode we focused on Linda's approach to modelling the markets but in this episode Linda is back to discuss trade management and exits, including: Why trade management is such a neglected aspect of trading, How to model different types of exits and the impact of market environments, How volume and breadth measures can give clues to the tone of the market, and How to use the power of relative strength to target the best markets to trade.

  • 123: Will history repeat in 2017?

    123: Will history repeat in 2017?

    28/09/2017 Duration: 19min

    In this weeks Thursday Trading Thought we’re going to discuss a market pattern that was identified over 80 years ago, perhaps even longer, that could indicate what happens in the markets for the rest of 2017. Now, I can imagine some traders are probably thinking, “who cares about some old, dusty trading rule from the 1900’s, surely that has no relevance to the markets today?” Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss with our guest Brent Penfold, who is going to answer the following questions, plus more: What is this pattern and can something identified over 80 years ago really have any relevance to trading today, Does the pattern still work and what is it suggesting the markets could do for the rest of 2017, And how could this pattern be applied to trading today? Brent is even going to share 1 application of this pattern with some very interesting backtest results so you don’t want to miss that.

  • 122: Competing with Machine Learning and PHDs

    122: Competing with Machine Learning and PHDs

    21/09/2017 Duration: 09min

    With the explosion of computing power, more and more resources are being deployed to analyse the markets. Edges that used to work are being eroded away or destroyed as traders from all around the world get to work analysing the same sets of price data. Add to that mix the sophisticated machine learning algorithms and the rooms full of PhDs, how do we even compete with that? If everyone is looking at the same price data, is trading based on price alone enough, and if not, then what is the solution? In this weeks Thursday trading thought Gary Hart from trendfinder trading systems is going to share his approach to this problem.  We pickup the conversation discussing changes in the markets over time.

  • 121: Volatility and Systematic Options Strategies with Luca Giusti

    121: Volatility and Systematic Options Strategies with Luca Giusti

    17/09/2017 Duration: 31min

    In this episode we’re going to explore a topic we don’t cover much on this podcast and that is options trading. 2 of the mains reasons we don’t discuss options trading much, is firstly because I don’t trade options myself and have limited knowledge of how to use them, but also because there are some challenges with testing options strategies which makes it difficult to backtest them systematically. However, there are some potentially huge benefits to trading systematic options strategies in a portfolio, if you can overcome these challenges. Today's guest, Luca Giusti from QTlab, is here to discuss options with us, explaining: The benefits of trading options systematically, The challenges of testing options strategies and the solution, Why volatility is such an important aspect of trading which can’t be ignored, How to factor market volatility into trading strategies to reduce risk and increase performance.

  • 120: 3 trading inspirations

    120: 3 trading inspirations

    15/09/2017 Duration: 07min

    In this weeks Thursday Trading Thought we’re going to inject some inspiration into the podcast. Trading is a really tough business and sometimes as traders we can get into a bit of a funk, no matter what level of trading we’re at. But we’re only human and we’re all trying to get better, so in this episode I’ve pulled together 3 of my favourite stories or motivations from the podcast. We’ve had a lot of inspirational guests on the show over the years so I could have pulled out a whole bunch of these but to keep it short for this Thursday Trading Thought I’m going to share 3 that stood out to me. Hope you enjoy them!

  • 119: Fear, Hope and Greed

    119: Fear, Hope and Greed

    07/09/2017 Duration: 11min

    Fear, Hope and Greed are 3 dangers that traders of all levels need to watch out for. They can have sometimes have a dramatic impact on our trading results, and even cause traders to quit trading or to blow up their accounts. And even if you think you’ve got them covered things can change pretty quickly, and even seasoned pros that are often as cool as ice can turn into a quivering mess in the corner! OK, that was a little dramatic, but it can happen and I’m sure you get the point that at times traders of all levels can become susceptible to the dangers of Fear, Hope and Greed. So how can we manage them so that it doesn’t impact our trading? In this weeks 'Thursday Trading Thought' Brent Penfold is going to share some practical tips on how to overcome these 3 dangers, so let head on over to our chat with Brent to see what he has to share.

  • 118: Game Theory with Brian Miller

    118: Game Theory with Brian Miller

    04/09/2017 Duration: 38min

    So here it is, the 2nd part of our conversation with Brian Miller from Optimized Trading. In the chat today we're going to combine some new topics with an expansion on our previous conversation, including: The application of game theory in trading (it doesn't just apply to HFT), The importance of letting the R&D process guide you instead of trying to squeeze it into a preconceived idea, How to balance simplicity with complexity for more robust trading solutions, The impacts of price data evolution on trading model longevity and how to address them, Plus a few questions from listeners.

  • 117: How to make better trading decisions

    117: How to make better trading decisions

    01/09/2017 Duration: 11min

    A common misconception with systematic and algorithmic trading is that it removes the impacts of human psychology on trading. But that’s really not the case. In fact, even when we’ve got trading platforms automatically executing trades for us, the mental aspects of trading can still have an impact on execution, model development, position sizing and other areas... Sometimes without us even knowing. And not only can they have a negative effect on our trading results, but can also take a toll on our health, well-being, relationships and other areas of our personal lives. But by being able to identify issues and putting plans in place to address them, we can make better trading decisions. So how do we do that? In today’s Trading Thought we’re going to hear Laurent Bernut explain a technique that he uses, plus he also shares a 'jedi mind trick' that can quickly reset some of the mental states traders can get into.

  • 116 - Building entries without curvefitting

    116 - Building entries without curvefitting

    25/08/2017 Duration: 09min

    You may have noticed over the past few weeks of 'Thursday Trading Thoughts' that we’ve been following a theme. In episode 113 we heard about a test Kevin Davey calls the ‘Monkey test’, which can be used to measure the effectiveness of entries and exits. Then in episode 114 we reviewed a technique that Dave Bergstrom shared to measure the decay of a trading edge so that we can determine when an edge has gone, and not overstay our welcome at the party. In this weeks trading thought we’re going to discuss the process of combining edges, filters, conditions into a trading system. A common practice when building trading strategies is to combine indicators or filters to see how that particular combination impacts performance, however this practice can be overused or abused, leading to curvefit strategies that don’t perform so well in live trading. In today’s episode we're going to hear one solution for this problem, from our guest Art Collins, who is going to tell us the process he uses to combine edges while red

  • 115: Intelligent strategies that maintain themselves - David Stendahl

    115: Intelligent strategies that maintain themselves - David Stendahl

    20/08/2017 Duration: 41min

    Glad you could join us today for our chat about intelligent systems that maintain themselves. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well actually, that’s not all we’re going to discuss today, we’ve got so much more than that. Our guest for this episode is David Stendahl, from Signal Trading Group. David is a CTA with more than 20 years of experience designing and trading systems, and not only is he an international speaker and the author of 4 books but he also co-created the backtester in Tradestation many years ago. In this episode he’s got a lot to share with us, here are just some of the points we cover: How to build intelligence into trading strategies so they dynamically adjust and maintain themselves over time, The key to portfolio construction and the major factors to consider for effective diversification, Why it can be better NOT to specialise in a particular market, The main drivers behind strategies that have lasted more than 10 years in the markets, How to assess if a strategy suits your personality.

  • 114: How to quickly identify when an edge has gone

    114: How to quickly identify when an edge has gone

    18/08/2017 Duration: 07min

    Last week we reviewed a technique Kevin Davey shared to measure the effectiveness of entries and exits using something he calls ‘the monkey test’. This week we’re going to look at entries and exits from a slightly different angle: How can we measure a trading edge after we’ve entered a trade, Is it possible to identify when that edge has disappeared so we can consider exiting the trade rather than overstaying our welcome? In this episode we’re going to review a technique that Dave Bergstrom uses to measure the decay of a trading edge. We pick up the conversation talking about validating trading strategies for robustness, take a listen!

  • 113: How good are your entries and exits... really?

    113: How good are your entries and exits... really?

    11/08/2017 Duration: 03min

    Today, we’re going to have a quick chat about the effectiveness of entries, and a simple technique you can use to determine how good an entry or exit really is. I’ve been working on some breakout strategies lately and I’ve noticed in some of them that the entry really isn’t that important at all… That is, I can be pretty loose with the entry values and get similar results… So there are other components to the strategy that are actually driving the performance. Now, this got me thinking about measuring the effectiveness of entries and exits, so today I want to share a technique that Kevin Davey calls the “monkey test”. And no, you don’t need actual monkeys for this! Let’s hear how Kevin uses the monkey test to check how good his entries and exits really are.

  • 112: Intraday Trading with Stefano Serafini

    112: Intraday Trading with Stefano Serafini

    06/08/2017 Duration: 35min

    Glad you could join us today where we get to chat with Stefano Serafini – the current leader of the World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®* I met Stefano in New York at a trading masterclass a few years back and he’s been doing some great things with his trading. As I mentioned, he’s the current leader of the World Cup Championship of Futures Trading®* Sometimes in these trading competitions you see traders rocket to the top of the leaderboard really quickly, but they usually disappear just as quick. Anyone who’s been watching the competition this year would have noticed that Stefano has been pretty consistent so far, so we’re going to discuss his trading approach, especially around intraday trading strategies and portfolio construction. In our chat you will learn: How to use filtering on higher timeframes to produce higher quality intraday trades, How ‘time windows’ can improve trading results and what to look for, How to combine multiple strategies into a portfolio and then manage it to keep the portfo

  • 111: Managing Monte Carlo

    111: Managing Monte Carlo

    04/08/2017 Duration: 06min

    As systematic and algorithmic traders, we have a number of tools and processes we can use to test and validate trading strategies. For example, in-sample/out-of-sample testing, walk forward analysis, cluster analysis and a bunch more. (And don’t forget all the fancy named techniques that have been lumped in with Machine Learning that are sometimes just rebadged techniques that have been around for ages already!) Anyway, one of the tools that we have at our disposal is Monte Carlo analysis. When you’re using a tool it can be good to understand how it works... What are it’s strengths? What are it’s weakness? Today I’m going to share with you a little bit of audio from Dave Walton of Statistrade, explaining the benefits of Money Carlo analysis, and also a few of the weakness or false assumptions around Monte Carlo analysis that we really need to be aware of if we want to manage Monte Carlo effectively. Let’s take a listen to what Dave has for us.

  • 110: George Costanza tip for Traders

    110: George Costanza tip for Traders

    28/07/2017 Duration: 04min

    T Today I want to share with you one of my favourite Seinfeld episodes ever. It’s the episode where George Costanza realises that all of the decisions and actions he’s taken throughout his life have been the wrong ones. So he decides to do everything the opposite. He’s in the diner with Jerry and Elaine and he sees an attractive woman sitting up at the counter who seems to be interested in what he’s doing, glancing over at him. Instead of sitting back and doing nothing about it he does the opposite... He approaches the lady, announces that he’s a short, bald, unemployed man who still lives with his parents, and... She immediately goes out with him! Later on, he gets an interview for a job with the New York Yankees and during the interview he gets an opportunity to meet the owner. Instead of sucking up to the owner, he does the opposite and tells him how much the team sucks, how he’s done a poor job managing it, making stupid decisions etc, and... The owner immediately hires him! Every time George does the opp

  • 109: Adaptive Trading Systems with Brian Miller

    109: Adaptive Trading Systems with Brian Miller

    23/07/2017 Duration: 31min

    The markets are in a constant state of adaptation. Conditions change. Strategies fall in and out of sync with the market, causing periods of good and poor performance. So what can we do to improve consistency by making our systems adapt better to changes in market conditions? Our guest for this episode, Brian Miller, is from Optimized Trading, and in our chat he shares with us: Why implementing adaptability into strategy design is so important and some techniques you can use to create adaptive systems today, Why market classification needs to be considered and the types of approaches you can use to classify the market, How to pursue a multi-model structure that adjusts dynamically to changing market conditions, Plus much more. Note: This is the 1st part of 2 recordings, look out for the 2nd part coming soon!

  • 108: What Market Breadth can reveal about current market conditions

    108: What Market Breadth can reveal about current market conditions

    21/07/2017 Duration: 09min

    Over the last few months you may have noticed an increase in the number of articles being published on the internet using Market Breadth to predict which way the stock markets could go next. In fact, I saw one just recently that said the US stock market is set for a parabolic move. Now, as systematic traders I'm sure most of us are not really interested in predicting those types of things... However Market Breadth measures can provide us with additional insights into the underlying conditions in the market that aren’t so obvious looking at a price chart. So today I want to share with you some Market Breadth knowledge from Greg Morris, who oversaw the management of over 5.5 billion dollars. Take a few minutes now to hear from Greg about Market Breadth and what it can reveal about the underlying conditions in the markets.

  • 107: Indicators that adapt to changing market conditions

    107: Indicators that adapt to changing market conditions

    13/07/2017 Duration: 07min

    "I think most traders use canned indicators like a stochastic or RSI or MACD, with a fixed length without thinking much about them." - John Ehlers They take the default length, or one that performed well in a backtest, or even one that has been recommended by someone else, and they start trading with it. They may have a good run for a while... And then it falls apart for no explainable reason... The basic problem is that market conditions change, but indicators are fixed and don't adjust to changes in market activity. So how can we make our indicators more adaptive to market conditions? Take a listen as John Ehlers explains a technique we can use to build indicators that adapt to market conditions and also shares a simple trick to check if our indicators are in-tune with the markets or not.

  • 106: Can meditation give traders an edge with Adam Grimes

    106: Can meditation give traders an edge with Adam Grimes

    09/07/2017 Duration: 35min

    I have to admit… I’m a bit of a sceptic. However, I’ve had so many people recommend meditation to me in the past. Successful people. People I have a lot of respect for. In fact, some of the previous podcast guests, some big names, have shared with me how powerful meditation has been for them, both personally and for their trading. But it’s not just traders, many successful business people swear by it too. So, what’s all the fuss about? I’m always on the lookout for anything extra that can give us an edge in the markets, so could meditation be something us traders can harness to our benefit? Or is it all just some weird mumbo jumbo sham? Well it’s time to find out, so in this episode I speak to Adam Grimes about meditation and trading, including: What is meditation, and does it actually work? What are the benefits and drawbacks of meditation and can it help traders become better? How to get started and what to expect. This is only a short episode, so even if you’re a sceptic like me and think this may have n

  • 105: A Dangerous Optimization Assumption

    105: A Dangerous Optimization Assumption

    07/07/2017 Duration: 08min

    Today I want to share an optimization insight from Perry Kaufman. I was reading an article on a trading website and the author was making some assumptions based on the optimization results which may not have been entirely accurate. I think alot of traders can get caught up making this same assumption... I know I definitely have... And it's good to be reminded of these types of things so we don't make the same mistakes. Listen to Perry explaining what this assumption is, the danger in making it and how to overcome it.

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