Trend following struggles to return to vogue

Macro outlook for trend appears to be favourable, but 2023’s performance flop gives would-be investors pause for thought

trend following catwalk

For quant investors, a bimodal distribution in data is often a good thing – pointing to a sharp distinction between two possible outcomes, a clear signal, in other words. Except when the binary split occurs among the signals themselves.

Since late 2022, US macro indicators have been disagreeing in just such a way. In the US, for example, the ClearBridge Recession Risk Dashboard has been stuck in a recessionary red-zone for well over a year. Six of its 12 recession indicators, including job

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