Jaffray Woodriff knew three things when he started: he wanted to be a trader, he wanted to use a computerized approach, and he wanted to do it differently from the others. Most futures traders, called CTAs, use methodologies that follow the trend, these programs seek to identify trends and then take a position in the direction of the trend until a trade settlement signal or a reversal is received. A smaller number of systematic CTAs use counter trend methodologies (also called mean reversion), as the name implies, this type of systems will try to take positions opposed to an ongoing trend, when the algorithms of the system indicate that the trend is excessively extended.
There is a third category of systematic approaches whose signals do not seek to benefit from continuations or reversals of trend, these types of systems are designed to identify patterns that suggest a higher probability of higher or lower prices in the short term, Woodriff is among the small minority of CTAs that employ these pattern recognition approaches, and does so using their own unique methodology, is one of the most successful professionals in systematic trading of any kind.
Woodriff grew up on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia, Woodriff’s perceptions of work were marked by his experiences during his childhood, when he was in high school, Woodriff thought it was sad that most people loved Fridays and hated On Mondays, “I was going to make sure I was not like them,” he says. “I really wanted to find a way to find Mondays as exciting as Fridays.”