Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ray Dalio on Global Economy

Pretty interesting talk around deleveraging, debt, and more by the Bridgewater founder, Ray Dalio.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Extending Shannon's Demon

Mentioned in the Fortune's Formula book review, I want to express some ideas around applying Shannon's Demon for long gamma option trades

Shannon's Demon review

His experiment, known as Shannon’s Demon, showed how it was possible to profit even from markets that were characteristic of a random walk, as long as they were volatile.

The experiment is simple: Imagine a stock that is highly jittery and either doubled or halved in value every day. You then invest half of your portfolio in the stock, while the rest remains in cash. At noon each day you rebalance the portfolio back to a 50-50 even split. So, if you started with $1,000 and the stock got cut in half, the following day your portfolio would be $750 ($250 in the stock $500 in cash). After rebalancing, the portfolio would have $375 in stock and $375 in cash. As the chart below shows that after rebalancing only 72 times our $1,000 initial investment is now worth just under $100,000! That is not a bad chunk of change given that we didn’t have to do any stock forecasting to make this profit! In fact, had you bought and held this stock you would make zero profit.

So we would require a very volatile asset to simulate this. Simply using leverage would not be practical for many risk management purposes. I think taking long option trades may be a good first step.

Long Gamma Option Trades

Roger Lowenstein has said
Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

Well not if I do it with long options. But that still doesn't mean it'd be profitable.

The price for risk mitigation is theta. Therefore, the trader must still over come the cost of theta to work Shannon's Demon into a trade with decent EV (Expected Value).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MIT Computer Science Course without Actual Classes

Scott H Young managed to complete the 4 year syllabus in 1 year, with little cost of <= $2,000. This brings back the quest ion of whether a college education is actually worth the typical sacrifices in time and money.

Here he explains the details