The Age of the Main Street Quant Is Upon UsST
Mod note: Best of Eddie, this was originally posted on 2/11/13.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before regular guys with a head for algorithms found a place to try their luck on Wall Street. Internet start-up Quantopian exited beta last month and promises to democratize algorithmic for the masses.
Emerging from beta in January, Quantopian said it has built a browser-based algorithmicplatform where anyone "with a mind for finance" can find the tools and infrastructure to learn, create, and test strategies, according to its site. Traders can post their quantitative results, measure their results, show their code and allow someone to clone their algo.
You can read more about the company here. I think this is a pretty cool tool, and it makes sense that something like this is finally available to the public. I can see it becoming a sort of GitHub where amateur quants can give the pros a run for their money.
In a Jan. 23 press release, the firm’s founder and CEO John ‘Fawce’ Fawcett, said: “For way too long, Wall Street has kept quantitative finance to itself by hoarding information and providing little transparency or accountability. Fawcett went to say that his firm’s goal is “to dispel that secrecy and grow the quant community by a thousand fold. We welcome talented people from around the world into our community by providing access to the data , infrastructure and mentorship necessary to participate.”
No word on how you keep your secret sauce secret if you're collaborating on the algo with others in the community, but I'm betting the founders have given that plenty of thought.
So what do you guys think? Will this be the birthplace of a blue collar RenTech? Or is this just a place forguys to humble themselves in the markets? Any WSO quants gonna throw their hat in the ring and test out a homegrown algo? Can't do worse than Knight Capital, right?