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The Wow Wow Factor! Trading, Big Data and 7 HabitsHi, I’m Ricky Jones, boss and co-founder of Becci Boo International Investments. Last week we said goodbye to our best ever Big Data energy commodity trader. He’d been with us for years.

Sadly, Coco Jones was determined to retire to the countryside, to his birthplace, to his real home, a snug little village in the hills of Montseny, and there was absolutely nothing we could do to convince him to stay. The thing about Coco is that he is not like you or me, he’s a highly intelligent Catalan sheepdog.

So, you might ask, how did Coco get to be a star trader at the Becci Boo Hedge Fund? Was it the tools he used? Was it the techniques he adopted? Was it the food he ate? What was so special about him and his amazing abilities? It’s a long story that I will relate as briefly as I can.

Back in time, there was one particularly disastrous week of trading at Becci Boo. Something had gone really wrong with our once reliable Big Data Trade Analytics platform, and wrong bets were being placed right, left and centre – and against trader’s better judgement. The CFO was livid. Out he comes onto the trading floor, swearing and blinding. “God! You guys are the damn pits! What the hell do you think you are doing? Can’t you get anything right? A Catalan sheepdog could trade more effectively than you feckless lot of feckless things.”

I try and diffuse the situation. “Come on, Jordi, don’t be like that, we’re only human and this is a tough business.” “You don’t believe me” he replies. “Sure, but you’re not going to convince me that a Catalan sheepdog could be a substitute for a highly experienced human trader are you?” “How much do you want to bet? These superior four legged beings would never place any faith in things that they don’t understand or can’t control, and they certainly wouldn’t need your Big Data gizmo to make a success of things.”

So, in the following weeks we arrange to run an experiment. We ring around all the owners of registered Catalan sheepdogs and ask them if they would like their dog to take part in our simple trading experiment. Food, lodging and generous expenses all included. We easily manage to get together 64 Catalan sheepdogs and their owners from all over Europe. The experiment we design is quite simple.

We give each dog a gadget (and actually for the more sophisticated dogs it was a smart phone and specially designed app) with two big buttons on it, a red button and a yellow button.

Every Monday morning we ask the assembled dogs to press one of two buttons depending on whether they think that the chosen energy commodities market will close higher or lower at the end of the week.

Red button for a higher closing price, yellow button for a lower closing price. As you might imagine dear reader it’s a walk in the park for these cunning canines. To make sure that all of the participating dogs have equal and fair chances in the experiment, we provide guardians with access to all our big data analytics, and we have multiple screens set up in each studio apartment so that each dog can follow all of the financial news that they need to take in and then view the results of machine learning, data mining and predictive analytics.

At the end of week one, 32 dogs remain in the experiment, and the other 32 are sadly sent home. Every week the exercise is repeated, and every week less dogs move on to the next round. By the end of week 5 only two dogs remain. By the end of week 6 we have a sole winner, Afi Bastò, who has accurately predicted the market movement of our energy commodities market for a record six weeks in succession. It’s an amazing success that proves Jordi right. Unfortunately, this is where things start to go wrong. Our marketing department tweets the news of the amazing Afi and it immediately goes viral.

Articles appear in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Cinco Dias and Les Échos, hailing the amazing brilliance of the newly discovered Catalan commodity trader.

Hundreds of interviews are held and millions of photos make the rounds of the social and professional networks. Over the following year Afi is interviewed, researched, studied and investigated. Academic papers are written about him.

Amazing claims are made about his canine knowledge, wisdom and experience. This is shortly followed by the publication of a plethora of bestselling business books, with titles such as: The 7 Habits of the Highly Effective Canine – Personal Lessons in Trading; Be More Afi and Grow Rich; The Gos d’Atura That Conquered Chicago; Learn to Trade like Afi; Good Sheepdog, Great Afi; Who Moved My Dog Food; How Afi outperformed Big Data Analytics; etc.

Which unfortunately all goes to Afi’s head, and he begins to seriously lose his commodity trading mojo. So much so, that by the end of the year, we let Afi go, and we bring back “the incredible” Coco Jones, the dog that managed to get the market movements right for five weeks in a row, and who was only pipped at the post by “the amazing” Afi.

Since then, Coco has helped us to win far more than we lose, he has had an innate knack of being able to combine market knowledge with statistical analysis and a certain indescribable ‘insight’ that no one quite manages to understand never mind emulate, and all combined with an amazing caring character.

So, as you might imagine, we were really sad to see him go. After his epic leaving party, where he is acclaimed by all and sundry, but especially by Jordi, all the staff assembled outside the office entrance to see him off, and as he was slowly chauffeured away down the driveway he turned and looked back, and his face said it all. “I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life”.

Many thanks for reading.  

Here’s Coco paddling in his Big Data Lake


File under: Good Strat, Good Strategy, Martyn Richard Jones, Cambriano Energy, Iniciativa Consulting, Iniciativa para Data Warehouse, Tiki Taka Pro