"Trading" Posts
The revenge of the retail trader

The revenge of the retail trader

GameStop’s rally and its short squeeze are more than just market exuberance. Thanks to low-cost trading, employees working from home, and a Fed-induced market rally, retail traders are pushing the market to new highs and enjoying the excitement of the rally. Worse, social media allow them to focus on a few instruments, with wild rallies.
It is only a matter of time before this party is over, for this stock or the market. We should start thinking of the aftermath.

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A History of Daytrading: Regulators, Congress and Robinhood

A History of Daytrading: Regulators, Congress and Robinhood

More about Robinhood… Massachusetts’ Enforcement Division filed a complaint about
– its aggressive growth tactics,
– the firm’s outages and disruptions, which were well known and ignored while pushing growth,
– its gamification,
– and insufficient supervision for option trading.

Here is an excellent, albeit a bit lengthy, analysis of the history, regulatory and general situation of Robinhood & its Day Trading business by Bill Singer of Broke and Brokers (http://www.rrbdlaw.com/).

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Robinhood’s $65m SEC penalty and the ‘gamification’ of trading

Robinhood’s $65m SEC penalty and the ‘gamification’ of trading

Robinhood has just been fined $65m for overcharging its customers, despite trades being free of charge – the company sells its order flow, and the net result is that traders are overcharged $35m/y.

The firm also mislead its clients in its advertising.

But in the back of these already serious issues, is the question of ”gamification’ of trading, where inexperienced individuals actively day-trade on margin. They end-up facing professional investors, who are much better informed and equipped than them. A previous note (https://lnkd.in/gCjKwtM) showed that most if not all end-up losing money.

This five-year-old article below still remains a good analysis of what ‘gamification’ entails. It is probably fine for school teaching and corporate training, but feeding a “high-octane gambling need” is probably not ideal for financial markets.

Robinhood’s documented bubbles, coupled with many new accounts and likely overpriced markets, could turn pretty ugly pretty fast.

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Most Robinhood day traders lose money

Most Robinhood day traders lose money

Most day traders on Robinhood lose money. Actually, maybe 0.5% of day-traders earned more than the initial salary of a bank teller.

A large body of academic studies going back 20 years consistently shows day traders and other very active traders have difficulty making money over anything more than short periods of time.

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A terrible, horrible, no-good year for quants

A terrible, horrible, no-good year for quants

Quant hedge funds have had a bad year. One of their core factor, value, a staple of investment for many years, has strongly underperformed.

Quants rely on backtests to see what has performed / is performing well. In a changing universe, models naturally have short lifetimes as a result. In this covid world, the past really doesn’t reflect the future anymore, and many models do not work at all. Some quants have self-doubt on the validity of their approach (see the previous post on Inigo Fraser Jenkins).

It’s probably way too early to call for the demise of quant investing, but COVID surely brings a regime shift.

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Previous Posts

rolls-royce-in-jungle

How about using options for your next insider trades?

Somebody gave you an insider tip and you want to use options? Think again.
The SEC sees you coming. Good luck justifying yourself to a jury. The stick will hurt.

Stefan He Qin

Cryptocrook: 7½ years of jail. More like him to come.

You remember our cryptocrook? Quant WizKid, market-neutral hedge fund, Cryptocurrency arbitrage great returns, $90m AUM… Except that it was a Ponzi.
His sentence just came out: 7½ years of jail. Here are the explanation & the context.

Richard-branson-drinking-Champagne

Insider trading, Mr. Branson?

Virgin Galactic’s successful flight may have brought joy to Mr. Branson, but it will also bring some after-party headaches.
The entrepreneur and space explorer is accused of basic earthly financial misgivings for this same flight – a pretty serious insider trading issue.

UBS-Logo-upside-down

The long term expected value of your ETNs is zero

UBS got flack for recommending VIX ETFs to its clients. This suitability case has in fact deep roots in a significant ETF classification challenge: many product databases are mishandling the wide diversity of ETNs. Significant litigation is to be expected as a result.

Golden Clink – Spoofing doesn’t pay

When you are spoofing gold futures, don’t brag about it in chat rooms.
A few gold futures traders got one year in the clink for market manipulation.

usinesspeople grabbing money

Cum/Ex is officially a money grab

The German Supreme Court has made it official; the Cum/Ex was not a loophole but a blatant money grab.
The two Warburg executives can expect jail time, and their firm a bankruptcy.
Many others will follow.

tunnel-in-space

SOFR has a term structure now.

The ARRC has recommended the CME’s methodology to calculate a term structure for SOFR. This is big news.
This article explains SOFR’s weaknesses, what a term structure is, why we need one and how the CME calculates its own.

Transfer pricing, hedge fund edition

In a new version of the transfer pricing strategy, Tom Sandell virtually relocated his hedge fund from New York to Florida to avoid NY tax liabilities on his deferred comp.
The story didn’t finish well. A whistleblower and the NY AG forced him to cough up $105m.

Libor-going-down

LIBOR: the most important number in the world is going away

LIBOR, the most important number in the world, had a good run for the last 50 years, but it is going away.
SOFR, its replacement, is not subject to manipulations but has a host of problems.
The transition is difficult.

Pop-the-balloon

Bye-bye, bitcoin: It’s time to ban cryptocurrencies

Not all central bankers and diplomats have a good opinion of cryptocurrencies.
They are assessing their costs & benefits through articles in prime newspapers.
One diplomat/economist just called for their outright ban.

biggest-ponzi-schemes-in-modern-history-Title

Visualized: The Biggest Ponzi Schemes in Modern History

A summary of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, with a visualization that is a pleasure to the eyes.

Jules-Verne-Rocket-To-The-Moon

The SEC’s specious space SPAC

The Momentus / Stable Road merger is the epitome of what can go wrong with SPACs. It is a story of dreams, greed, and lies.
The SEC made an example out of it. The plaintiff law firms are jumping on the bandwagon too.

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