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Hyman Beck: Trend Following Trader

Consider commentary from Hyman Beck still relevant in trading today:

Expectations and projections for the year ahead are quite varied from one Wall Street firm to another. As expected, there is no consensus theme. Prognostications span the range from optimism to pessimism: most at the very least are thought provoking while a few border on the ludicrous. At Hyman Beck our investment strategies do not incorporate any aspects of projections or forward looking parameters; rather our investment premise relies more on reactionary elements focusing primarily on following price trends versus predicting the future market environment. One thing is certain, the next eleven months will be filled with unpredictable events which will require a focused and disciplined approach to investing. Though the first month of the New Year has been quite challenging for traditional and alternative investments, we are encouraged by the opportunities which lie ahead and remain committed to our investment strategies…Equity prices declined in January on fears of slower growth and higher energy costs while fixed income markets ended the period virtually unchanged.

In the currency markets, the initial days saw strength in the US dollar followed by weeks of directionless trading. For our strategies, the start to 2005 has been disappointing. The sharp price reversals and lack of trends in a number of sectors were damaging to holdings in the long-term portfolio while our short-term strategies struggled with the lack of opportunities in a range bound market.

Their commentary is great — for the candor. They are saying the first month of 2005 was not great, but reminding us all that one month means zilch.

Background for Hyman Beck

Firm Disclosure

HB & Co. relies primarily on technical analysis and believes that future price movements in all markets may be more accurately anticipated by analyzing historical price movements within a quantitative framework rather that attempting to predict or forecast changes in price through fundamental economic analysis. The trading methodologies employed by HB & Co. are based on programs analyzing a large number of interrelated mathematical and statistical formulas and techniques which are quantitative, proprietary in nature and which have been developed by Mr. Beck and Mr. Hyman. HB & Co. employs risk management techniques with the objectives of limiting losses, controlling market exposure and capturing profits. HB & Co.’s trading approach also includes a “neutral mode” which may indicate that no position is appropriate in a particular contract or contract group in an attempt to preserve capital in trendless markets.

Hyman Beck principals include: Alexander Hyman and Carl Beck.

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