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35 The Money-Making Advantages of Being a Systematic Trader with Chris Cruden of Insch Capital Management – 1of2

“I don’t know if we’re a hedge fund, I don’t know if we’re a CTA – but as a currency trader we’ve always been the red-headed step child of both industries.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

Our next guest was a British Army Officer and moved to South Africa before finding a career in the financial markets. He is now the CEO of his Managed Futures firm and has worked with some of the industry’s most influential companies and people, including Dean Witter and AHL. The story of his career’s beginnings and the lessons he used to become a systematic trend follower are unique and insightful. You’re sure to learn a lot from this episode.

Thank you for listening and please welcome our guest Chris Cruden.

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In This Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How Chris came to work with Dean Witter, one of the leading players in the industry back in the 1980’s & 90’s.
  • About his days working for AHL in the early 90’s.

    “Even in those days, the successful CTAs were or tended to be systematic trend followers.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • How his career started off as a British Army officer.
  • His time in Africa after leaving the army –  finding himself in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
  • About his first job at Syfrets Trust bank in South Africa as a Gold analyst.
  • How he came to do business with Dean Witter Reynolds and after a few years why they hired him.
  • After the 1988 crash he found himself back in London and joined AHL.

    “When signals were generated, 7am New York time, Carol would then call Pru, who was our main broker in London and speak to someone called Syd, and a Syd would give us the mid range prices, and then the trades were done.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • In 1993 he went back to New York joined with Robert M Tamiso, a mentor to him.
  • Why he looked for a market that was not overcrowded and easily spooked, which was the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

    “The belief was that the game was becoming too crowded, so we looked for another game that was not crowded.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • What AHL was doing in the beginning of the company.
  • Why he started trading currencies early on.
  • How Bob Tamiso was successful and the way he carried himself that made him successful.

    “These were not people who represented their greatness by pretending that they knew tomorrow’s prices.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • Why Bob Tamiso’s best advice was to always “show up”.
  • About Chris’ golf playing and his ties to Scotland.
  • His routine at work and why being a systematic trader makes him boring and bad at marketing, but helps him sleep at night knowing they are going to “show up” the next day.
  • About Chris’ goal with his work and why he is happy with the size of his firm and why growth is not the prime focus.

    “The fact that Insch exists or is as big or as successful as it is is almost entirely accidental.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • How he has such low staff turnover and why he likes to work with young people who have never worked anywhere else in the financial world.

    “I spend most of my time getting in the way of the research department and generally annoy people here in the office.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)

  • What matters when discussing a firm’s track record and how his programs are setup.
  • The building blocks of their trading program and how the money they’ve made has historically come mainly from interest rate differentials.
  • What the environment has been like for a currency program in the last 5 years.
  • Why he believes the current intervention by The Fed is not so substantially different that his model won’t be able to see good returns in the future
  • How he designed his program and what its objective is.
  • What currencies he trades and how he trades them.
  • Why volatility has been so low but why he sees that it is coming back and why it’s a good thing for his models.

Resources & Links Mentioned in this Episode:

This episode was sponsored by Swiss Financial Services:

Connect with Insch Capital Management:

Visit the Website:

Call Insch Capital Management: +41 (0) 91 921 0168

E-Mail Insch Capital Management:

Follow Chris Cruden on Linkedin

 “If you can remove emotion and ego through a set of rules, which is what we do, then you’ve already got an advantage.” – Chris Cruden (Tweet)