There is good volatility and there is bad volatility

Stanley Druckenmiller on how markets have changed

When Stanley Druckenmiller complains, you know it’s tough. He’s a billionaire and undoubtedly one of the greatest traders of all time.

He laments how algos and quants have changed the game.

“I made 30 percent a year for 30 years. Now, we aren’t even in the same zip code, much less the same state,” he said.

It might be easy to dismiss him as a has-been but he’s not just complaining, he outlines how markets have changed.

“You’re getting noise that used to mean something, and now it doesn’t mean anything,” he says.

Volatility used to be something that traders and active fund managers loved. It was seen as an opportunity but not any longer.

“Volatility is only good if it’s part of the trend and it’s giving you entry points within a trend,” he said. “When you’re going up and down, but there’s no real trend, that’s a nightmare. You might think that a volatility move is the beginning of a trend and get yourself whipsawed.”

At the end of the day, that’s the lay of the land now. People will always find ways to make money and today is no different.

Druckenmiller highlights the things that will always be key, including curiosity, open-mindedness and courage.

“I’ve never made a buy at a low that I didn’t just feel terrible and scared to death making it,” he said.


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