The performance of managed futures, particularly trendfollowing strategies (“Trendfollowing”), has been mixed in recent years. Although returns in the industry have been strong year to date (September 2019), the performance this decade has been weaker than in previous decades and has prompted many investors to ask whether something structurally has changed.*
Several theories have been put forward by industry commentators and investors to explain the lower performance such as:
- “There is too much money in the space”
- “Trendfollowers are being front-run or gamed by other market participants”
- “Markets have become faster and Trendfollowers are too slow to react”.
In this paper we assess these theories, evaluate the market environment for Trendfollowing and consider the outlook for the strategy. Our conclusion is that the market environment, characterised by fewer large moves, more reversion and fewer sustained trends, is the primary explanation for lower performance in the last decade. In our opinion, an unusually benign macroeconomic backdrop coupled with extraordinary monetary stimulus may have contributed to fewer major trends in markets. Looking ahead we see several potential scenarios which may support a more favourable environment for Trendfollowing.
* Unless otherwise stated, the Barclay CTA Index is used to represent the managed futures industry for the purposes of the linked paper. A description of the Barclay CTA Index is included on page 22 of the paper. Past results are not indicative of future results. Trading in managed futures is not suitable for all investors given its speculative nature and the high level of risk involved including the risk of total loss of initial investment.
Important Information, Risk Factors & Disclosures
The linked document is for the purpose of providing general information and does not purport to be full or complete or to constitute advice.
Abbey Capital is a private company limited by shares incorporated in Ireland (registration number 327102). Abbey Capital is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager under Regulation 9 of the European Union (Alternative Investment Fund Managers) Regulations 2013 (“AIFMD”). Abbey Capital is registered as a Commodity Pool Operator and Commodity Trading Advisor with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and is a member of the U.S. National Futures Association (“NFA”). Abbey Capital is also registered as an Investment Advisor with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in the United States of America. Abbey Capital (US) LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abbey Capital. None of the regulators listed herein endorse, indemnify or guarantee the member’s business practices, selling methods, the class or type of securities offered, or any specific security.
While Abbey Capital has taken reasonable care to ensure that the sources of information herein are reliable, Abbey Capital does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such data (and same may not be independently verified or audited) and accepts no liability for any inaccuracy or omission. Opinions, estimates, projections and information are current as on the date indicated on this document and are subject to change without notice. Abbey Capital undertakes no obligation to update such information as of a more recent date.
Pursuant to an exemption from the CFTC in connection with accounts of qualified eligible persons, this report is not required to be, and has not been, filed with the CFTC. The CFTC, the SEC, the Central Bank of Ireland or any other regulator have not passed upon the merits of participating in any trading programs or funds promoted by Abbey Capital, nor have they reviewed or passed on the adequacy or accuracy of this report.
Risk Factors: This brief statement cannot disclose all of the risks and other factors necessary to evaluate a participation in a fund managed by Abbey Capital. It does not take into account the investment objectives, financial position or particular needs of any particular investor. Trading in derivatives contracts is not suitable for all investors given its speculative nature and the high level of risk involved, including the risk of loss. Prospective investors should take appropriate investment advice and inform themselves as to applicable legal requirements, exchange control regulations and taxes in the countries of their citizenship, residence or domicile. Investors must make their own investment decision, having reviewed the private placement memorandum carefully and consider whether trading is appropriate for them in light of their experience, specific investment objectives and financial position, and using such independent advisors as they believe necessary. The attention of prospective investors in the fund is drawn to the potential risks set out in the private placement memorandum of the fund under the heading ‘Risk Factors’.
Where an investment is denominated in a currency other than the investor’s currency, changes in the rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price of, or income derived from the investment. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Income from investments may fluctuate. The price or value of the investments to which this report relates, either directly or indirectly, may fall or rise against the interest of investors and can result in a total loss of initial investment. Certain assumptions may have been made in this analysis, that have resulted in the returns detailed herein. No representation is made that any returns indicated herein will actually be achieved.
Potential investors are urged to consult with their own professional advisors with respect to legal, financial and taxation consequences of any specific investments they are considering in Abbey Capital products.
The information herein is not intended to and shall not in any way constitute an invitation to invest in any of the funds managed by Abbey Capital. Any offer, solicitation or subscription for interests in any of the funds managed by Abbey Capital shall only be made in a private offering to qualified investors pursuant to the terms of the relevant private placement memorandum and subscription agreement and no reliance shall be placed on the information contained herein.
This document and all of the information contained in it is proprietary information of Abbey Capital and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed or those who have accessed it on the Abbey Capital website. Under no circumstances may it be reproduced or disseminated in whole or in part without the prior written permission of Abbey Capital.