Superstitious can play the markets with dawn of 'triskaidekaphobic trading'

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Choose stocks avoiding the number 13 and using rules based on cycles of the moon

Stock markets, volatile and unpredictable in nature, have always been superstitious places.

Now Shing-Tat Chung, an artist-turned-fund manager in London, has created a superstitious trading algorithm that plays the market using numerology and lunar cycles.

The program was launched on the spread betting website GKFX on Friday and begins trading properly this week. With an initial pot of £4,600 – invested by members of the public over the project's website – the program is due to run for a year.

Chung's artistic work explores the human tendency to adopt superstitious practices in environments we cannot control. The stock market is the latest environment he has chosen to study.

"It's just as much of a thought experiment as a business plan to make money," he said.

The algorithm behind the Superstitious Fund is triskaidekaphobic – it avoids the number 13, especially a Friday – is drawn to the number 8 (considered lucky in several east Asian cultures), and even invents its own luck. The phases of the moon are also added to the equation. Ill-omened phases cause the program to trade smaller amounts and less often.

Chung, who is due to receive a Masters degree from the Royal College of Art in two weeks' time, said: "It generates its own lucky and unlucky numbers; after every single trade it ranks certain data and uses this data for a new logic in trading.

"The full moon and lunar eclipse are bad but the new moon is pretty good. On a solar eclipse it goes short, which means it bets that the market will go down. As it's a solar eclipse it risks more on that short position."

As with a regular fund, Chung will release quarterly performance reports to investors, which will also form part of a touring exhibition. He plans to hold meetings where investors can attempt to raise trading performance with supernatural rituals.

"It's something I want to play around with after I graduate. I think it will be really fun to keep that process going." he said.

George Potts at GDP Capital has invested £1,000 in the experiment as well as providing advice on building financial robots and tidying up contracts. He also put Chung in contact with the celebrity fortune teller Judith de Corti, who advised him that Friday 1 June would be an auspicious day to launch the project.

The initial Superstitious Fund portfolio includes investment in the poker pro Andrew Moseley and a variety of "clean tech" industries.

Mr Potts told The Independent: "My first thought was that this could be prone to catastrophic losses, but it was a remarkable thought nonetheless. So we had a great meeting in Manchester and by the end I was converted to support him with investment and also sponsorship for the fund.

The legendary market players Warren Buffet and George Soros warn against trading based on predictions, but superstition abounds nonetheless. The infamous Skyscraper Curse holds that the completion of a landmark building portends a major crash, raising some concern over the present state of London's Shard; and in the US the Super Bowl theory pits the future of the market on the football game's outcome.

The algorithm: lucky – and unlucky – signs

Full moon: The algorithm regards a full moon as a bad omen. In Greek mythology, werewolves appeared shortly after the full moon

13: The system 'fears' 13, which in China is seen as unlucky due to the number of people at the Last Supper

8: In China, eight is one of a serious of numbers regarded as lucky due to their phonetic similarity to words with positive meanings

Solar eclipse: Another bad omen – such an event was believed to signal a king's death in many ancient civilisations

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Business Analyst - Banking - London - £550 - £650

    £550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...

    Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

    £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

    .NET Developer

    £600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

    Data Centre Engineer - Linux / Redhat / Solaris / Puppet / SAN

    £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

    Day In a Page

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf