As I suspected a while ago, all is not well with Quantopian. The performance of their fund has disappointed both themselves and presumably their investors. Their CIO departs, they suspend auto trading for participants, there seems to be a drop off in the traffic at their forum.
Let me make myself abundantly clear: the open source movement has its profoundly good points. Wes McKinney and his Pandas add on to Python being my ultra top favourite example.
The team at Quantopian have made some hugely “valuable” software and they have made it available for free along with some extraordinarily useful guidance and educational advice for quant minded investors.
What I would say to Fawce and his team from a personal perspective is that this is not, unfortunately enough.
Note that the revered Wes McKinney does not appear to make any money (directly at least) from Pandas. Note that I have not made a penny or received anything but a misguided sense of satisfaction in many years of writing about finance and systematic trading. I suspect that the vast majority if not all of the many participants on the Quantopian forum have received nothing in material terms for their participation. Although many of them will doubtless have benefitted from the education.
But education does not put food on the table and that is what is missing from this whole internet aged outsourced splurge.
Musicians receive nothing from the outpouring of their talent on youtube, talented people are conned into writing books and giving seminars to make money for the publishers and promoters, advice is sought and not paid for.
In my own case I am fortunately reasonably well off in most people’s terms but that does not mean I enjoy giving away my expertise for vanity alone. Everyone has SOME talent and he is foolish if he gives it away for nothing. Unless for a charitable cause. Certainly not to boost somebody else’s P&L/
So my message to Fawce is as follows: Congratulations. I admire your efforts. But please try and think of some sensible way to make money out of it not only for yourselves but for your participants.
The vague hope of an allocation in the future resulting from some trading competition does not cut it. Its difficult I know: but if you want our help we are happy to give it but only on the basis of some acceptable way of recompensing us for our efforts.
Bread today please not jam tomorrow.