The accurate record of stock market ticker prices displays striking properties of dependence. We find for example that after a decline of 1/8 of a point between transactions, an advance on the next transaction is three times as likely as a decline. Further examinations disclose that after two price changes in the same direction, the odds in favor of a continuation in that direction are almost twice as great as after two changes in opposite directions.
The dealer (specialist) in stock typically quotes the market by announcing the highest buy order and lowest sell order carried on his book. But these orders tend to be concentrated at integers halves, quarters, and odd eighths in descending preference. This non-uniform distribution of orders produces some non-random effects in stock price motion. These properties of the stock market are typical of markets in many second-hand goods.
VICTOR NIEDERHOFFER’s storied career as a speculator spans more than twenty-five years. In the introduction to Practical Speculation, Vic describes the rollercoaster his hedge fund rode from No. 1 in 1996 to the debacle in 1997 that forced him to close his fund. Rather than giving up, he wrote this book “figuring that by trying to teach others, I might learn something myself,” apparently with some success. Niederhoffer was ranked No. 6 for the year 2003 among 200 managed futures hedge funds in the TASS database and is No. 4 in the performance rankings through mid-2004. Niederhoffer is the author of the critically acclaimed Education of a Speculator as well as numerous groundbreaking academic articles about markets. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, he holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is a five-time national champion in squash and claimed the world title in 1976.
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