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26

A quick google search retrieves the syllabus for the Stanford STATS 242 class. You can find it here. Just in case it's taken down at some point I'll copy-paste the source material. Keep in mind that I have no idea if this material is good or bad -- I didn't make this list. Also keep in mind that it contains treatments of what does and does not work. With ...


17

Yes. First, it is much easier to proceed if you standardize the output of your forecast so they are in the same units (returns, for example, or probabilities of an event/condition occurring). After you have done this, there are 3 general approaches: Signal weighting: Then you need to define a weighting scheme for your factors. Richard Grinold has an one ...


15

An interesting starting point is The Cost of Latency by Moallemi and Saglam. After setting up a simple order execution problem --- in which a trader must chose between a market order and a limit order and guarantee execution over a fixed interval $[0,T]$, they proceed to derive a (complex) close form solution for the optimal strategy and evaluate the impact ...


14

There are few things to consider. Trading moves the price, to minimize market impact and maximize return it is generally optimal to split an order in several child orders. See the Kyle model. Splitting optimally dependents on specific assumptions that you make. The simplest (and first) approach is that of Berstsimas and Lo (Optimal Control of Execution ...


14

Recently I attended a presentation by the first author of the following paper who gave us quite a creative and illuminating (kind of meta-)use of random forests in Quant Finance: All that Glitters Is Not Gold: Comparing Backtest and Out-of-Sample Performance on a Large Cohort of Trading Algorithms (March 2016) by Thomas Wiecki, Andrew Campbell, Justin Lent, ...


14

Accounting is a vital skill if you end up in a managerial position, and unless your career goal is to always be a cog in someone else's clockwork, then you will eventually find yourself in a managerial/senior partnership position even through quant research. I still play a critical role in my firm's quant strategies team, but here's a few things I've had to ...


14

There are two key concerns (which in practice, may be difficult to distinguish): Previous research overestimated an effect. The effect shrinks over time. 1. Problems with reproducibility and replicability Previous research may have found an effect, but was the effect really there? There may be problems with: Reproducing results using the same data. ...


14

If you do this, you would destroy the value of the statistical tests that you performed on the backtest. You had a hypothesis that the strategy would make money, but the hypothesis was rejected. You cannot say "I will accept the hypothesis that the opposite strategy is successful"; no statistician would agree with this conclusion. In that case, you might as ...


12

Windham Capital Management is using hidden markov models for their Risk Regime Strategies. Mark Kritzman, who is also CEO, has published an article about the general outline of the strategy (with source code so you can replicate the results!): Regime Shifts: Implications for Dynamic Strategies (corrected August 2012) by M. Kritzman, S. Page, D. Turkington]...


11

The only way to find out is to try it! It shouldn't take very long to write some simple code to simulate the computations you plan to do, and run it in a loop. With current versions of Visual Basic (VB.net), performance should be comparable to Java in most cases because the basic technology (compiling to intermediate code and then running a just-in-time ...


11

A public order book gives traders information not only on the current price of a security, but also the volume and structure of the entire supply and demand schedule. Such information can be used for arbitrage and market manipulation strategies in various ways: Spoofing: Inserting a large limit order as an apparent buy or sell signal which is canceled any ...


10

This is an evergreen. I've been discussing this with many people - without any clear-cut conclusion. The answer and the preferred solution depend on your trading style (e.g. frequency), your skills, the size of the team, and many other factors. For simplicity, I call "Research" the Matlab/R/etc. environments, whereas "Live" refers to the re-programmed C++/...


10

All .NET languages are perfectly able to compete with the speed of C and even FORTRAN. It all depends on if they are used the correct way. 1) Both Java and .NET have considerable longer startup times than most native app. Therefore, you will have to have the application running and not starting it over and over on request. 2) Memory management is crucial ...


10

I found this solid overview of different trading algorithms by Deutsche Bank Research: Trade execution algorithms Designed to minimise the price impact of executing trades of large volumes by ‘shredding’ orders into smaller parcels and slowly releasing these into the market. Strategy implementation algorithms Designed to read real-time market data and ...


10

I am not sure Dark Pools (DP) have been created to avoid "market manipulation". They have been created by firms because they found an advantage to create them (see Market Microstructure in Practice, L and Laruelle Eds.). The main reasons have been: spare market fees, for DP created by brokers (like UBS MTF); spare market impact, for block pools (like ITG/...


10

Here are some general directions: Alternative Risk Premia The ARP, or "smart beta," space has gained a lot of tractions over the past few years. These are rule-based strategies that provide systematic exposures to risk factors that have historically generated positive excess returns. Some of the best-known factors are, of course, trend, value, carry, etc. ...


9

A Sharpe ratio of at least 1 in backtesting is a promising start, but that is just one of many statistics of interest. The Sharpe ratio measures return per unit volatility, i.e., return per unit risk. Some other important Sharpe-like measures with different definitions of risk include: Return per unit turnover (aka yield): A high yielding strategy is more ...


9

1) Why would you trade the error on the residual instead of creating a long/short factor model and trade expected returns? I would posit that the biggest reason people do this is for orthogonality of return. There are about 2,000 incredibly mature firms trading value, momentum, vol, etc. You would be competing with the likes of AQR, LSV Asset Management, ...


9

I would say that most ML methods risk overfitting and it depends very much on the asset class. The only area where more sophisticated ML methods such as deep learning appear to make a major difference is in cash equities, where the feature space is very rich (NLP, news and announcements, corporate earnings, other financials) and the data is relatively good, ...


9

If your strategy truly has no directional bias, then the benchmark should be cash (ie whatever you would earn using the capital in your trading account and taking no risk).


8

The short answer (which represents one way of surely many ways to do it) is to watch the t-stat of a performance metric such as information coefficient vanish over time. IC is the correlation of predicted expected returns from your alpha strategy to the underlying benchmark. Look at the expected returns your alpha strategy predicted over the past N time ...


8

Ha, interesting, so many responses with "negative" expectations. There are plenty of people that have successfully gone down this road and are producing pretty nice returns, so obviously it is possible. A trader with a smaller capital has better chances of producing good ROC with very reasonable risk parameters, simply because he's would not be constrained ...


8

So those are cumulative pnl figures and you are interested in the percent changes in pnl from one data point to the next? Don't use log returns, simply generate the percent changes through r(t)/r(t-1)-1. 4.3922/5.2735-1 = -16.71% (in your example time series I made the assumption that the time series is in ascending order. Given your description of the ...


8

It seems logical to me to have a Financial accounting course in a quant program. Quants can have a lot of different occupations, from derivative pricing to quant analyst in a "research" (i.e. analysis) dept. of a broker, a risk dept., a fund (as an analyst or as a potfolio manager), or quant execution trader (the list is far longer). In the case of being ...


8

Kenetic Component Analysis If I am to summarize the work of the authors from a broader view than that which is taken in the abstract, essentially the price process is decomposed into position, velocity and acceleration reminiscent of projectile motion in classical mechanics. I added this as an answer so that if @Pierre wants to accept it he may.


8

You can find everything you want to know about this here (and in a very readable and easily reproducible form): How Students Can Backtest Madoff’s Claims by Michael J. Stutzer (2009) From the abstract: Markopolos’ writings neither described nor included any specific backtests of the strike conversion strategy. Fortunately, a backtest is relatively ...


8

The best explanation I have seen so far is the so-called Adaptive Market Hypothesis by Andrew Lo: The adaptive market hypothesis, as proposed by Andrew Lo, is an attempt to reconcile economic theories based on the efficient market hypothesis (which implies that markets are efficient) with behavioral economics, by applying the principles of ...


7

I just made a Genetic Algorithms calculator you can try at http://www.gregthatcher.com/Stocks/GeneticAlgorithmCalculator.aspx I'm not a "quant expert" like all of you (I'm just a programmer), but here is what I've found. 1.) If you set the constraints up correctly, the results are amazing. e.g. you can get portfolios that have very high return and low risk....


7

The investor's holdings is a consequence of an investor's utility function interacting with the investor's perceived trading opportunity subject to constraints. (Indeed, the Kelly criterion is also utility maximizing.) We produced trades by re-balancing -- that is to say, we have new expectations of alpha or risk and the optimal portfolio net of these ...


7

As a starting point to my answer, I would say that reading a book is not sufficient to start doing automated trading on your own as chrisaycock suggests in his comment. I would answer your questions in 3 different ways. First, building your "AI bot" which I would rather call a systematic algorithm not only requires programming skills, it also means having ...


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