EP 042: Harnessing the power of machine learning for money making algo strategies w/ Bert Mouler

Aaron Fifield Podcast 2 Comments


What you’re about to hear is an interview with Bert Mouler – he’s a trader of futures and equities, and has been involved with markets since ’07. But he does things a little different to most…

He’s an algorithmic trader who harnesses the power of machine learning to discover and develop profitable trading strategies. This is an area that hasn’t been covered in previous episodes, (except for the odd mention here and there) so it was really great to have Bert on the show to share some insight on machine learning and how it works in the field of trading.

Beyond this, you’ll also hear Bert’s views on diversification and how he thinks about risk management. Plus, one of the things I really respect about Bert – his drive for continual progression, attitude towards further education, and the way he approaches goal setting.

“I’m more worried about robustness than performance.”

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“We’re in this business to make money, not to be correct and not to explain how or why the market works – if you want to do that, go be an economist.”

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Lessons learnt in this interview:

  • Bert’s takeaway from reading a ton of trading books, and why there’s “no such thing as a bad book” – because you can always learn something (even if it’s doing the opposite).
  • In it’s purest form, Bert explains the purpose of machine learning, and gives an example of how it’s used in everyday technology.
  • How Bert uses machine learning to discover and create effective trading algorithms, from starting point through to live trading. And the information which is “nice to incorporate” outside of price.
  • The ways in which machine learning techniques differ from more common ways of developing algorithms, and how it removes further bias from your models.
  • Bert shares his opinion about whether a strategy should make sense logically, or if a statistical edge is the only evidence you need.
  • How Bert  thinks about diversification, and why he prefers to allocate additional capital to new markets, instead of adding to the markets he’s already actively trading.
  • The affects of machines becoming more and more prominent in the trading landscape; positive or negative?
  • Bert speaks about his attitude to always be learning and striving for continual progression. As well as his mindset of setting goals that are just out of reach, to really push yourself.
  • And much, much more…

Links and resources mentioned:

  • Coursera.org – Free online courses from top universities, this is where Bert first started learning about Machine Learning.
  • edX.org – Similar to the above, this is another free site Bert highly recommends for high quality learning material, presented by professors.
  • Market Wizards – Bert recommends reading the timeless series of books by Jack Schwager (EP 027), as it helped him early on to find a style of trading to pursue further.
  • ProfuentCapital.com – To learn more about Bert’s approach to trading, you can visit the website of his fund Profluent Capital.
  • LinkedIn – You can also learn more about Bert and connect with him on LinkedIn too.
  • @BMouler – Be sure to follow Bert on Twitter, he regularly shares interesting reads.

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