Interview with John Netto, the creator of the Netto Number, the Risk Factor Compensation System, and the Protean Strategy.
John Netto is a cross-asset class trader and author of The Global Macro Edge: Maximizing Return Per Unit-of-Risk. He is also the creator of the Netto Number, the Risk Factor Compensation System, and the Protean Strategy, for which he was named by Collective2.com as Strategy Developer of the Month. Netto is an expert in developing, executing, and managing proprietary algorithmic and discretionary trading strategies across a range of time horizons, asset classes, and market regimes.
What are your views on Intraday vs End-of-day trading.
John: Like everything it's about the market environment. We have been in a market where the Dow Jones traded in it's most compressed average true range since 1905 so the idea of running an end of day strategy and playing for big moves hasn't materialized like it has in the past. In this market, what I have done is identify periods where there is more volatility, such as a FOMC announcement, a key piece of data, or political headline on tax reform or the next FOMC chair, and trade that instead.
Ilan: What is the role of indicators in strategy development?
John: The term "Indicators" seems purposely vague. I use several indicators ranging from what a market's Netto Number is to sentiment indicators to fundamental indicators. They all play a role and receive a confidence interval based on what I believe their efficacy is.
Can you provide us with an overview that helps us understand your focus and strategy to making money in the markets?
John:I look at the market by measuring how a strategy, index, portfolio, or trade is performing on a return per unit-of-risk basis. I do this by measuring performance not in nominal terms, but relative to a predetermined risk budget. Employing this tactic allows me to get a better sense of where the money flows are goin and how this overlays with the macro narrative. After combining all of those, you can get a sense of my strategy.
What are some of the advantages of trading futures?
John:Access to markets nearly 24 hours a day, tremendous capital efficiency, tax advantages, ease of execution.
What are some psychological challenges futures traders need to master?
John:Similar to any trader, and that is to have a process you are confident in and can execute when up or down.
Ilan: What is your key to trading success?
John:Having a definable edge and the discipline and confidence to execute on that edge.
Ilan: What is the most common mistake you see among futures traders?
John:Not being able to quantify their edge and not having a plan to improve upon that.
Ilan: How do technological developments toward trading from the cloud and mobile trading offer benefits to the futures trader?
John:Greater access to markets allows those with a true edge to take advantage of more opportunities. It also means those without an edge blow up quicker.
Ilan: How have the markets changed in recent years and how do retail futures traders need to adapt to this?
John:Structurally there are many more products to trade volatility and less actual realized volatility to trade. Traders need to be very aware of what markets are moving and not. They shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one product. I respect the specialization game, but that works much better when there is movement.
Ilan: What is the role of luck in trading?
John:On a day to day basis there is a lot of noise in the markets so luck can play a role, but again, understanding that you have an edge and where that edge exists is what will let you know if you were lucky or unlucky and that you should keep to your process.
Trading Futures, Options on Futures, and retail off-exchange foreign currency transactions involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. You should carefully consider whether trading is suitable for you in light of your circumstances, knowledge, and financial resources. You may lose all or more of your initial investment. Opinions, market data, and recommendations are subject to change at any time.