For you programmers out there, I had the pleasure of finishing a fun programming challenge/CTF which relates pretty well to this site - Stockfighter, from the folks at Starfighter.
The premise? You write algorithmic trading code to beat different levels: market making, momentum strategies, even strategies causing... we'll just say chaos... in the virtual markets. Tons of fun.
So if you're interested in that sort of thing I highly suggest you give it a whirl... Here's my profile on the site.
Links We Liked!
- Here's a crazy statistic... international college students cheated (or at least were caught cheating) at 5.1x the rate of domestic college students at a large sampling of schools (starting with 50 highly attended public schools) chosen by the Wall Street Journal. It's important to not read too far into the anecdotes, but if "our students don’t always understand what plagiarism is" is a common refrain and some students are "more likely to find a shortcut" to good grades, it's worth thinking about solutions.
- Of course we're going to link to our friend Nelson's (of Financial Uproar fame) post on payday loans... and claim we have a 1% share inspiring the topic. Go read about how high costs and fees don't necessarily make a good business.
- Another Millennial article for you: even highly educated Millennials don't seem to be buying homes.
- 21, a bitcoin company (specializing in micropayments - one of the most promising alternative business models to ad-supported services I've currently seen) I've been following since their launch, just open sourced their software. Time to poke around!
- J$ at Budgets are Sexy has some big news - his wife is rejoining the workforce, and they'll be working their way back to the DC area. Congratulations! The net worth tracker should be moving up noticeably more quickly now!
- Well this is interesting - one of the arguments against Edward Snowden 'going public' with NSA data was that he didn't exhaust all of the internal procedures for reporting misuse of citizen data. Well, maybe he did - including multiple emails and face to face meetings with some officials. We'll have to keep an eye on this one, since it could potentially wipe out a lot of narrative.
- Political Calculations had some great recent articles - a piece on Lysekoism was a great primer, and they continued their dividend cut/raise tracking series. Go read and bookmark!
- Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense had a nice piece on academic finance and an interview Barry Ritholtz had done with Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street. I thought it was interesting how much Burton hedged on what is commonly accepted from the EMH - even noting that "the market is very, very difficult to beat"... but not, you'll note, impossible. (How difficult? Here's a summary of studies - since fees and a counter-party and a spread and slippage are working against you, it's pretty low.)
- Still want to try? Nate Tobik of Oddball Stocks has a very interesting article on identifying bad micro-cap stocks by learning, through extensive study, what good micro-cap stocks look like. (DQYDJ, for the record, would suggest most folks should find cheap index or target date funds, such as those found with Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, or any other number of reputable firms).