He’s Got a Supercomputer

Tuesday, 16th June, 2015
London, UK
By Kris Sayce

  • London isn’t what it used to be
  • Ideas for our next investment conference
  • How you can trade like a Wall Street Bank

Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson, 20th September 1777

That may or may not have been true when Samuel Johnson said that 238 years ago. But today? Not so much.

I arrived back in London late on Sunday night, after a couple of days down in the English West Country.

And with just one more day to go before I head back to Paris, I can honestly say, that day can’t pass quickly enough.

London is great for a holiday — the first time. But once you’ve seen the sights, well, you’ve seen the sights.

After that, it’s just another city…an expensive city…with average food, unless you’ve got the wallet for fine dining every night.

The only aspect of London I’ll miss are the breakfast options at Pret A Manger. Not cheap, but not expensive either. But if that’s the only positive I can think of, it tells you that I’d rather be back home in Australia.

Taking high tea

Earlier today I caught up with a couple of our editors. High tea at a London hotel was the order of the day as I met with Cycles, Trends & Forecasts supremo, Phillip J Anderson.

We had a good chat about some exciting plans for Cycles, Trends & Forecasts.

Phil said he had checked out yesterday’s Port Phillip Insider and my comments on inflation.

He suggested I check out a couple of books. He also said that the current setup with inflation (or rather, deflation) could mean that interest rates stay low for the rest of this century.

You read that right — the rest of this century.

It’s a bold call. It’s one step further than my interest rate prediction. Even though I’ve said that interest rates will ‘never’ go up, in reality, I’m talking 10–20 years.

But Anderson is talking about interest rates staying low for another 85 years. Got that? That’s longer than your lifetime, my lifetime, and most likely your children’s (and maybe even grandchildren’s) lifetimes.

It was a great chat for more than two hours. I had the Earl Grey. Phil had English Breakfast. And we each scoffed on a plate of scones.

It was one of those meetings where I wish I’d had a tape recorder handy. We also talked about some ideas for next year’s Port Phillip Publishing investment conference.

The tentative date is for sometime in October 2016. We’ll firm up the exact dates and venue closer to the time.

One of the ideas is to hold the conference in a regional area, rather than one of the big cities.

Another idea is to invite more speakers who can talk about more specific financial advice.

Also, as part of a global network of financial publishers, it makes sense to invite key people from within that network. That could include speakers from India, Brazil, Argentina, the US, and the UK.

Finally, we threw around the idea of hosting events connected to the conference, but which aren’t part of the main event. Ideas on that include VIP lunch sessions, pre-conference investment strategy workshops, and perhaps even a dinner event.

We agreed that there would be one thing you won’t see at the conference: a golf day. I go by the maxim that golf is just a way of spoiling a nice walk.

Anyway, we’re still a long way from October 2016, but it takes time to organise these things. So, if you have any ideas on a potential conference location (I’ve already got somewhere in mind), possible speakers, and even some of the things you’d like to see, drop me a line at letters@portphillipinsider.com.au and type ‘2016 Conference Idea’ in the subject line.

On the banks of the Thames

Aside from meeting up with Phil Anderson, I also caught up with Revolutionary Tech Investor and Australian Small-Cap Investigator editor, Sam Volkering.

We had lunch at a restaurant in Covent Garden (I had the veal, Sam had the pasta) and then strolled down to the Victoria Embankment.

We were looking for a spot to film our monthly video for Revolutionary Tech Investor subscribers. We normally do these via Skype, but seeing as we were in the same city, it seemed silly not to take advantage of it.

You can see three of the happy snaps I took. First, me with Sam in the background:

Here’s Sam setting up the camera:

And here’s Sam taking the gear apart after the shoot:

To say it was a noisy location would be an understatement. But as usual, Sam came up with the goods when put on the spot.

Revolutionary Tech Investor subscribers and Alliance members should get to see the latest video interview in the next couple of days. Look out for it.

Escape from Wall Street

Last November we launched one of our most successful trading services ever.

That service is Quant Trader.

The man behind the Quant Trader system is Jason McIntosh. Jason is a trading veteran. He spent nearly 10 years on the dealing room floor with Bankers Trust during the 1990s.

You may be familiar with the concept of quant trading. Quant is short for quantitative analysis.

It’s a trading method that involves using specific signals and metrics to generate trades.

To put it in a way you may understand, quant traders are the trading world’s equivalent of rocket scientists and brain surgeons.

These guys don’t rely on instinct or a ‘gut feel’. They make their trading decisions on what the computer tells them. I won’t say that it’s robotic, because that may give it a negative connotation.

At the moment, you may think, ‘So what?’

It would be fair to say that. But here’s the thing. You could probably gather up all the quant traders who aren’t working at a major Wall Street bank, put then on a 16-seater bus, and still have 10 empty seats.

My point is, quant traders are among the most in-demand traders in the world’s markets. Every Wall Street bank has a ‘quant’ desk — a group of quiet individual, poring over numbers, statistics, and spreadsheet.

And most of the time, these quants aren’t working for the banks’ customers. They’re working for the banks. They’re helping build portfolios that have a high probability of making a return for the bank…or helping devise hedging strategies to make sure the banks don’t lose money.

That makes it even more extraordinary for us to have a quant trader on our books. That quant trader is Jason McIntosh.

Now, it’s one thing for a quant not to be on the payroll of a major Wall Street bank, but you would normally expect any ‘rogue’ quant to set up their own hedge fund or something.

But not Jason McIntosh. Jason saw a clear gap in the market. He realised that quant trading didn’t have to be the preserve of Wall Street’s big boys.

Jason realised that it was possible (thanks to today’s low trading costs) for the average retail investor to trade like a quant too. All they needed was access to a system that could generate the quant trading signals.

Now, obviously a quant trading computer system doesn’t come cheap. That’s why Wall Street pretty much has the monopoly on this game.

Even major stockbroking firms can’t afford to employ this quant trading firepower.

So, Jason set about developing such a system, which could help ordinary investors. Last year, we had the pleasure of bringing that system into Port Phillip Publishing as we launched the Quant Trader service.

So far, the results and the feedback have been stunning. In all the years I’ve been involved in the financial industry (nearly 20, now) I’ve never seen feedback like that I’ve seen for Jason and Quant Trader.

We’ve received more unsolicited testimonials on Jason’s work this year than we’ve probably received for all other services combined.

In fact, almost every letter I’ve received from our Alliance members has been to tell me that the Quant Trader service is the main service they now follow for their stock trading ideas.

I know, these comments may sound like hyperbole and too-good-to-be-true. But I can assure you, I’m simply letting you in on the feedback we’ve received on Jason’s service.

And soon enough, you’ll get to hear from Jason himself. Yesterday, Jason sat down with my old buddy, Greg Canavan, to talk about his top secret quant trading computer system.

He explains how the system works, and how he’s using it to help ordinary Aussie investors to pile up big stock market gains from relatively small stakes.

I’ll confess that I haven’t had a chance to watch the interview yet, what with being on the other side of the world, but I have seen the rough transcript.

And all I can tell you is that it’s a fascinating insight into the mind of a quant trader, and how his super-computer trading technique can help investors trade like a Wall Street pro.

Look out for details on this soon.

In the mailbag

A reader writes:

Hope you enjoy Normandy.

We were there last year for the World Equestrian Games.

In our view the Games were not well organised and most of the people around Caen could not have cared less about visitors to their country.

There were of course some friendly people but it seemed to me that the average person still thought of a France as an economic powerhouse. Regards.

Subscriber, David

My biggest problem with foreign travel is my own inadequacy…my inability to strike up a conversation — in this case — in French.

Whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, or a shop, my bumbling and stumbling gives away my ineptitude with the French language.

So it’s almost a relief to come across a Frenchie who doesn’t speak English. For instance, the taxi driver who drove me from the chateau to the train station at L’Aigle.

Even though I managed to squeeze out my go-to phrase of ‘Je ne parle pas Francais’ the second I got into the taxi, he insisted on striking up a conversation — in French — for the entire journey.

I was actually grateful. It forced me to search deep into my miniscule French vocabulary. It worked, to a degree. I even managed to crack a joke.

The taxi driver pointed out a local racetrack. I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first. But I soon figured it out as he took both hands off the steering wheel (at 60km/h) to hold his hands to his head and then do a galloping motion.

As quick as a flash, I responded with, ‘Longchamp?’ Oh, how we both laughed.

Who says the French and the English can’t get along?

See you tomorrow.

Kris [+]

PS. Remember to send your comments, feedback, and questions on our services, the stock markets, wordsmithery, or lexicography to letters@portphillipinsider.com.au.