10 October 2015

Fear the number 13: Superstitious fund algo picks stocks based on numerology

29 May 2012  |  5482 views  |  0 Man writing graphs on glass wall

A "superstitious" trading fund that uses an algorithm that picks stocks based on numerology and astrology is being launched by a design student.

The experimental fund - which will run for a year with anyone able to join for as little as £2 - is the brainchild of Shing Tat Chung from the Royal College of Art's design interactions course.

The autonomous algorithm will spread-bet the FTSE 100 index "using superstition as its sole and principle logic", meaning that, for example, it will "fear" the number 13, says a dedicated Web site.

Chung told Wired Magazine that as well as following collective superstitions, the algorithm will also learn to develop, and act on, its own "in the same way as we do with lucky underwear".

The fund is part of a wider project on superstitious thought and the stock market. Chung argues that, contrary to popular belief, banking is a breeding ground for illogical thinking.

The designer told the We Make Money Not Art Web site: "One of my favourite researched rituals is a 'reputable' trader who establishes his starting trading position based on the nipple direction of the Sun's page 3 model (up or down)."

The superstitious fund - which, according to its Twitter account, stood at £3028.52 on 21 May - is set to launch on Friday 1 June, with investors able to join until Thursday.

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