Quant Desktop

I’ve had little time to post lately, a screenshot of my desktop may explain why…

Literally, the story of my life:

Quant Screenshot

Quant Screenshot


Jordan Belfort – the Real Wolf of Wall Street – Live Interview

This morning, I watched an interview on YouTube featuring Jordan Belfort, the real Wolf of Wall Street.

As is quite common, there was a book before the movie (coming soon with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jordan Belfort).

Leonardo and Jordan

Leonardo and Jordan

The interview itself is worth a watch (embedded at bottom of this post), and here are some key notes/quotes:

On successful people, they: “See things as they are, not worse than they are. And then see them better than they are. and then make them that way.”

“People say, “oh, money doesn’t matter,” I’m like, “oh, so you’re broke.”

“Money is not going to make you happy but an absence of money can buy you an awful lot of misery.”

“You are not your past, you are the resources and capabilities you gleamed from it.”

“You what money is like?… it’s like oxygen… you need it to breathe, but there is only so much you can use in one lifetime.”

“This is not a decade where you can just sit on your hands and let be business as usual… you need to do something, because it’s not the status quo… it’s a decade of empowerment – people that make the right moves right now are going to do really really well. The people that subscribe to the old thinking of the past, which is bankrupt thinking, which is just working for a company and thinking the government is going to come in for ya… [no way]… it’s just not the way it’s going to be.”

four key things [to make it]:
1.) Vision – the ability to create a clear and compelling vision for the future, e.g., Gandhi, Mandela, Branson, Gates, Cameron.
2.) Manage your State – the way you feel in the moment, your physiological state. Be certain about what you are doing, have clarity and have courage.
3.) Beliefs – e.g., a governor on a vehicle (speed-regulation), interpret things how you want and root-out limiting beliefs.
4.) Strategies – essentially, they are essential.

The last things is the glue, which is just your standards (e.g. paying all of your bills) — your must in life. Raise your standards, don’t settle for ‘average'”

When asked what his mentality was during different stages in his life, Jordan’s replies were:

  • Before going jail: “Money, Power, Sex”
  • After going jail: “Giving, Family, Freedom”
Interview with Jordan Belfort:


If you are interested, I found a few more good quotes by Belfort on this page.


Update 2-11-2014: A fact about Jordan that I recently came across is that is net worth is estimated to be -$100m. One source, who apparently specializes in estimating the net worth of celebrities, says about Jordan’s financial situation:

“As per the terms of his conviction, Jordan Belfort is required to pay $110 million in restitution to more than 1500 defrauded clients. To date he has only paid back $11.6 million worth of restitution.”

A Must Read for Every Entrepreneur

This document has made it way around a bit by now. I originally found it through a HN posting sometime early last year. Nevertheless, this document contains crucial information for any entrepreneur. Even if you are familiar with most of the elements within, the verbiage is simple and to-the-point… worth a read.. or re-read.

Kimerick — A New Vision for AI Trading

This blog post relates to my startup that I have been growing over the past six months. Essentially, my startup in a neural network-based Artificially Intelligent trading bot.

Kimerick in the News

Today was the first time that Kimerick was covered by an official news source. It’s an interesting interview-style article, titled “Kimerick — A New Vision for AI Trading.”

The direct link to the article can be found at this link.

And, if you are interested in more info about my startup, feel free to check out the Kimerick.com PitchDeck.

Subtracting Congress From the Equation

Think about the tangled mess of a web that constructs the United States’ Economy. Well, I think there is a factor at play – currently undergoing some measure of a ‘reform’. CNN wrote on it recently and I don’t think the surface is even being scratched from an analytical standpoint.

It could be an issue of the US’s majority being composed dominantly of citizens in the middle class. People that don’t at all have the educational background to fully-understand our economy. Or the political structure of our government. People that don’t have time, nor care, to interpret the workings of a capitalist monarch. A society that is composed of our best thinkers and builders.

A portion of the US’s top one percent is composed of our most innovative engineers and business leaders (aka the private sector), while the other part is composed of those working for government entities. Where does Congress fit in? It’s fair to assume that each member falls in the top one percent. And that each member undoubtedly works for the government, i.e., for “the people.”

Could it be possible for a small group of lawmakers to have an enormous impact on the economical changes that take place around us? All the while doing so partially, or potentially solely, in the spirit of increasing their personal wealth? If your job allowed you the unwavering-flexibility to impact decisions related to our capitalist country’s future, would you bet on there outcomes?

Some wish not for Congress members to be given the ability to cash-in on investments that are driven by ‘inside’ information. They don’t think that this should be legal.

Personally, I think that severing the ties between Congress and the markets could be a game changer. Eliminating an elemental topological space that has pushed and pulled the mold, that which holds a fluid and evolving economy for the past 300+ years, could change everything.

Likely, a change this dramatic would only result in more of a free market. But that’s a discussion to be had on another day.

If Congress loses their ability to trade, I believe that these two predictions would hold true:
1.) Their wealth will be distributed back to the private sector.
2.) the US’s economy would undergo a dramatically different course as it continues to evolve on a it’s variable trajectory.

Groupon Pre-IPO Valuation Speculation

There’s been a lot of discussion as to whether or not Groupon’s valuation is legitimate. There are a few ways of looking at this problem, however, the current pessimistic outlook is more-or-less irrelevant until the company actually goes public.

So what Groupon is deciding to present investors with figures that neglect expenses that are tied to their earnings? 

There is little to defend when a company is supporting financial statements that do not account for expenses. In my years as a student of finance, I cannot recall a time when a public company has ethically neglected expenses incurred on financial statements. However, Groupon is not a public company yet. So they are taking an alternative route to approaching investors.

It is not that Groupon is blind to the oddities of their recently-adopted metric. It is more likely that they are trying to offer up a realistic post-market valuation for investors, and yes, a figure that also makes their internal stakeholders feel worth more.

Talking with my Haas grad roommate yesterday about unrelated economic issues, Donald Trump’s name came up. He asked me, “do you know why Donald Trump always comes out on top?” I replied, “no, why does he?” Austin went on to tell me that when a Trump property begins to fail, Trump sinks more and more cash into it (i.e. fixing it up, hiring management, adding ammentities, etc.). Then Austin tells me the Donald’s not-so-secret secret. Once he has enough cash leveraged in the property, he takes it public. With his near-household name attached to the IPO, the valuation naturally swings to the upper end of the spectrum. And once public, Trump sells his shares.

Good strategy? The guys at Groupon may think so.

Andrew Mason – Creator of Groupon

So what they have made up their own metric to solve their problems? 

While dozens, if not hundreds, of tech IPOs have already taken place, only a handful come to mind that have made a successful showing in recent years (Ancestry, Skype, LinkedIn, RenRen, Pandora, et al). The tech sector is experiencing only its second expansion (i.e., for tech IPO valuations related to mobile/tab/web apps). Innovative models and metrics are untried and untested. When it comes down to the IPO underwriting for Groupon, it is up to the big banks to agree or not with Groupon’s numbers. Not ironically, underwriters tend to bend their perceptions to market demand. And seemingly the demand is there.

So my advice: Don’t be surprised when Groupon’s metrics are accepted.