09 June 2016

Soros Said to Return to Hands-On Trading, Sees Market Shifts

Billionaire investor George Soros has become more involved in trading at his family office, concerned about the outlook for the global economy and the risk that large market shifts may be at hand, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Soros, 85, has been spending more time in the office directing trades and recently oversaw a series of big, bearish investments, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Soros Fund Management LLC sold stocks and bought gold and shares of gold miners last quarter, anticipating weakness in various markets, according to a government filing.

24 May 2016

MAS and SGX problems are coming home to roost

Whenever I am asked about my interactions with MAS and SGX from my past 10 over years of working experience, I always state that I am underwhelmed by the people in those organizations. A lack of passion, directions and understanding of the financial industry. It seems the problems are coming home to roost.

 A lot of the bad eggs are 'hatching' the recent years. Maybe an accumulation of bad leadership and decisions over the years have lead to an implosion of sorts. Much like the local SMRT train issues and the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 where errors were accumulated to an overwhelming state of affairs.

17 May 2016

Soros Fund Management doubles bet against the S&P 500 in 1st quarter

Billionaire investor George Soros, who has been warning that the 2008 financial crisis could be repeated due to China's economic slowdown, on Monday disclosed his doubled wager against the S&P 500 in the first quarter.

Soros Fund Management said it owned a 2.1-million-share "put" option in the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF) which tracks the benchmark U.S. stock index. That was up from about 1 million shares in the option in the fourth quarter, it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

03 May 2016

Hedge Funds Under Attack as Steve Cohen Says Talent Is Thin

In less than seven days, hedge funds have been subject to a three-pronged attack by some of the biggest names in finance.

Steve Cohen, the billionaire trader whose former hedge fund had racked up average annual returns of 30 percent before pleading guilty to securities fraud three years ago, became the latest critic of the business, saying he’s astounded by its shortage of skilled people.

“Frankly, I’m blown away by the lack of talent,” Cohen said at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Monday. “It’s not easy to find great people. We whittle down the funnel to maybe 2 to 4 percent of the candidates we’re interested in. Talent is really thin.”

02 May 2016

Machine Learning For Stock Trading Strategies

The idea of using computers to trade stocks is hardly new. Algorithmic trading (also known as algo trading or black box trading which is a subset of algo trading) has been around for well over a decade and rapidly gaining in popularity. Here’s a look at algorithmic trading as a percentage of market volume:

Source: Morton Glantz, Robert Kissell. Multi-Asset Risk Modeling: Techniques for a Global Economy in an Electronic and Algorithmic Trading Era.

01 May 2016

Nine things you need to know about working for systematic macro hedge funds

1. Systematic macro funds use a simple three stage investment process which can be used to trade globally 24 hours a day

1. Collect huge datasets from a diverse range of sources;
2. Analyse the date to find persistent patterns; and finally
3. Encode trading rules into a computer-based program to profit from the identified patterns.

2. Systematic macro hedge funds aren’t limited to trading one particular product or market

3. Systematic macro hedge funds are mostly about identifying and following trends

4. They also look for ‘counter-trends’…

5. And for ‘relative value trends,’ and for ‘seasonal trends’

27 April 2016

Flow Traders 2015 Annual Report

Flow Traders recently released their 2015 annual report. They made a profit of €$97.3M off a revenue of €$304.7M. A net profit margin of 32%.

Flow Traders mainly engages in prop ETP trading globally. The company wide average compensation is €338K per employee. Some interesting snipplets below.

Flow Traders is founded in Netherlands, while the corporate HQ for Virtu is in US. Not surprisingly, both earn the most of their income from their home country/continent.

23 April 2016

Updated Prop Trading

Added North Point Global, Solitaire Asset Management. Removed Aurelia Traders.

22 April 2016

Singapore Raids Brokers; Exchange Reports Irregularities. Singapore Charges Ex-Banker Following 1MDB Probe.

Looks like the local authorities may be (?) finally getting serious going after the behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Many critics have long indicated that Singapore is a key center for money laundering and a tax haven. Signs are there for all to see, conscious decisions by the government to create the eco-structure to attract the money to the island republic. Cue the F1, casinos, private banks, lavish infrastructure projects such as the new stadium, Marina Barrage, Esplanade, Sentosa Cove, tons of new art museums, private hospitals all of which sprung up within a span of a few years. Along with it, sky high property prices

12 April 2016

Virtu Financial 2015 Annual Report

The 10-K for Virtu Financial has been filed recently, offering us a glimpse into the professional market making and trading outfit.

The firm made a profit of US$197.5M for 2015 off a total revenue of $796.2M. A 24% net profit margin. The "Brokerage, Exchange and Clearance Fee" amounts to $232.5M. Some interesting details on their market making and trading activities are mentioned in the report.