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Meta-CTA Trading Strategies based on the Kelly Criterion

Bernhard K. Meister

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Abstract: The influence of Commodity Trading Advisors (CTA) on the price process is explored with the help of a simple model. CTA managers are taken to be Kelly optimisers, which invest a fixed proportion of their assets in the risky asset and the remainder in a riskless asset. This requires regular adjustment of the portfolio weights as prices evolve. The CTA trading activity impacts the price change in the form of a power law. These two rules governing investment ratios and price impact are combined and lead through updating at fixed time intervals to a deterministic price dynamic. For different choices of the model parameters one gets qualitatively different dynamics. The result can be expressed as a phase diagram. Meta-CTA strategies can be devised to exploit the predictability inherent in the model dynamics by avoiding critical areas of the phase diagram or by taking a contrarian position at an opportune time.

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Date: 2016-10
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