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12 Jun 2013

200 day intraday volume estimate

Posted by James. Comments Off

In 2012 I developed a tool on Quantopian to check out the average intraday volume expected for a stock, using the past 200 days as reference.

https://www.quantopian.com/posts/getting-volume-estimates-for-last-200-days

It can plainly be seen that most stocks are highly active on the market open, and then at about 1pm.

How could this tool be used?

A smart volume alert could be set up for individual stocks — the current volume for the day can be monitored, and if it is growing at a rate which would surpass the expected rate for that part of the day then alert someone about it. It could be an early indicator of substantial moves.

Further research could be done to find out if unusual volume = unusual movements.

3 Jun 2012

Timeline of significant financial events

Posted by James. Comments Off

An evolving timeline of financial events.

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24 May 2012

Personal encyclopaedia of finance

Posted by James. Comments Off

Since I come from a computer science background it’s important to build my knowledge and awareness of financial topics, definitions and insights. This article will be a working document that will continue to be modified over time.

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8 May 2012

A short list of inventions and breakthroughs resulting from chance

Posted by James. Comments Off

It is intriguing that some of the most important technological advances in history were made due to chance. For instance, no one ever sat down and planned the invention of Penicillin (the first antibiotic) because it was a discovery – that is, a result of something that was not planned – something that happened accidentally but someone sat up and took note of what was happening in front of them. So really this is a list of things that were never planned.

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3 May 2012

Guess the number

Posted by James. Comments Off

If I think of a number between 1 and 1000, what’s the minimum number of guesses required if you are given a hint “higher” or “lower” for each guess?

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3 May 2012

Cut the birthday cake

Posted by James. Comments Off

You need to cut a birthday cake into 8 equal pieces. But you can only slice the cake 3 times. How do you do it?

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3 May 2012

‘Social media’ equals ’social hacking’

Posted by James. Comments Off

Joe Bloggs wants to hack into someone’s email account: he knows their name and roughly where they come from, and maybe what university they went to. Without any programming, how does he access your password-protected yahoo email?

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28 Apr 2012

Round-trip plane time

Posted by James. Comments Off

If there is a wind blowing, would a round-trip by plane take more time, less time, or the same amount of time than on a still day?

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5 Dec 2011

Coin patterns

Posted by James. Comments Off

Suppose you lay out a long line of coins, all facing heads up, and number them 1, 2, 3, …

Suppose that you then go and flip over the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, … coins. (You would then have a pattern H T H T H T H T… )

Then you go and flip over the 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, … coins.  (You would then have H T T T H H…)

And then you go and flip over the 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, … coins.

And so on.

Which of the coins will remain heads up, and why?

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10 Nov 2011

What is short selling?

Posted by James. Comments Off

The simple approach to trading is to buy some shares and then sell them later.

For instance:  I could buy 1000 shares of NVDA (Nvidia Corp.) at $10, wait for the price to ramp up, and later sell the shares at $15, making a hearty $5000 profit (minus transaction fees).

Short selling is the reverse of this process: you sell the shares first and then buy them later.

But how can you possibly sell shares that you don’t have? Well, when you initiate a short sell, your broker borrows the shares from one of its retail customers and sells it on the market. Your account is credited with the proceeds, however you owe them the shares back. At a later point in time, you decide to cover your position by buying the stock, and the shares are returned to the retail customer.

So to continue the previous example, if we short (sell) 1000 shares of NVDA at $10, wait a little while, and then buy to cover the 1000 shares at $15, we make a loss of $5000. So when shorting, we are interested in the price going down rather than up!

I.e. even in bear markets you can make a profit.