Our guest today is Marsten Parker. Marsten is one of the featured traders in Jack Schwager’s Unknown Market Wizards, the 5th book in the iconic Market Wizards series.
Marsten is the only truly systematic trader featured in Unknown Market Wizards. Marsten started off as a software engineer before he developed his interest in trading after his company IPO’s and he found himself with a considerable shareholding. After leaving his company, and ignited by a new interest in markets, Marsten started trading fulltime in 1998. He soon moved from discretionary trading to systematic trading and developed his own 100% mechanical/quantitative strategies.
Marsten's track record and consistency have been exceptional and over 22 years his average annual return has been in excess of 20%, with only 2 losing years.
In addition to trading, Marsten has developed his own Multi-Strategy Portfolio-Level Backtesting Software called RealTest. This software is unique in being able to test out multiple strategies at the same time
A key feature of Marsten’s success has been his curiosity and willingness to experiment and try new things, constantly looking to build upon and improve previous iterations and to constantly test out his ideas and assumptions. Marsten terms this his ‘Spirit of Experimentation’ a term which perhaps describes one of the key aspects of Marsten’s mindset and overall philosophy, which has been a key pillar of his success.
One of the Real Surprises of this interview was, as you will hear, Marsten’s admission that he doesn’t even like trading that much, his real passion is designing and testing computer software. Trading if anything is the vehicle which allows him to pursue that passion. And perhaps somewhere within there maybe the secret to his success in that it ensures he does not get too attached and hung-up on the day to day outcomes of his trading.
Despite his admission by Marsten, he has achieved outstanding performance and consistency as a trader and also software designer. In addition, Marsten is also a classically trained violinist, who had his interest in software design and the series of events which followed not occurred, we may have heard of him achieving success in a very different field.
We hope you enjoy the conversation.
You can find out more about Marsten and his RealTest product at:
You can follow Marsten on Twitter: @mars10p