I installed dd-wrt on my router recently and enabled the PPTP VPN server to provide remote access while I’m on the road. I was able to set up VPN on
I realized I was in for another long night of insomnia after glancing at the clock this past Monday morning at 3:06am. I was tired and could only think of bed. Shortly thereafter I was Googling random terms to see what I could find to pass the time.
I came across a free market data feed from Yahoo that seems to have considerable amounts of data that didn’t seem to be delayed for the usual 15 minutes (it has details down to the bid, ask, bid size, ask size, last trade size, the days high and low, ect. Not exactly Level II quotes, but still great information) perfectly formatted as a csv and ready for consumption. This got me wondering what I could do with it. After all, I’m no day trader, and I’m not a quant researcher… What can I use this for?
All of a sudden I wasn’t sleepy anymore.
It turns out I’m not a day trader but I am an investor. And I’m not a quant researcher with Ph. D’s in math, but I know enough to hold my own. And luckily I’ve always had an interest in computers and algorithms. Put all these things together and the output is what I like to call WOES (Wireless Order Execution System, wireless because I developed it on my iPad and WOES as a play on Josh Levine’s SOES traders and his Monster key “algo”).
I’ll just provide a brief overview here as I’m not really positive if this use of my 401k’s website falls in line with their usage policy. If anyone wants more information feel free to contact me.
I wrote some Perl scripts on a VPS Linux server (Linode is pretty sweet and what I use, but Amazon can be cheaper). The perl scripts download market data at the end of the day and archive current data into an archive database scheduled on a cron job.
I have two other perl scripts, one that logs into my retirement site and downloads my position data, and another that logs in and submits orders by posting to the same form my browser does when I click ‘submit’.
All that was left was determining what orders to place when. I’m not an active trader and generally just shift money between various index funds that track different sectors, so I realized I wasn’t creating the next million dollar day trading algorithm, but I did want some protection in case of a market slide, or other factors that I may not necessarily be keeping an eye on every day.
For these reasons, I decided to go with fairly simple rules for WOES to follow. Rules such as:
- If any symbol drops more than 20% in a day, sell 45% of the current position.
- Sell 2% of each position until I have 10% of my account cash (need cash in order to take advantage of sales, right?
- If a symbol I own dips 7%-19.9% in a day, buy 1% of the cash on it. (I’m still working on writing this one)
It’ll be interesting to see WOES operate in the wild. I have it set to email me output of its analysis and what orders it wants to submit so I have the option of terminating it if need be.
I’ll me doing a write up of the Yahoo market data feed in the coming days. Right now I have to do more work on my FIXimate clone for mobile devices. Never programmed for mobile before so it might take a few days .
I installed dd-wrt on my router recently and enabled the PPTP VPN server to provide remote access while I’m on the road. I was able to set up VPN on all of my remote machines and it worked great until I tried from my iPhone. for some reason it could only connect when I was on a wifi network.
After many weeks of Googling I finally found what I thought could be the answer: apparently each device is behind a NAT on he sprint network and isn’t directly addressable via IP. The site that provided that information said Sprint needed to add “FROUTIP” provisioning to my data plan, but after calling in and talking to two groups (both of which didn’t know what an Internet routable IP was, yes it was a painful conversation when they asked and I was trying to achieve! it turns out I needed a static IP on my line.
It didn’t make sense at the time but upon further reflection I suppose it would make sense that having a static IP would expose my device to the Internet as opposed to sitting behind a NAT. I think what was throwing me off was the term “static IP”.
the service costs $3/month, fairly cheap but not free and worth checking out if you’re running into VPN issues on your Sprint device.
I was recently trying to setup Concerto, an open source digital signage platform, on my GoDaddy shared hosting account. I was able to get it installed and pass all the diagnostic tests other than the PHP_SELF script check. Please note, you may need to change all of the ‘PATH_INFO’ to ‘ORIG_PATH_INFO’ in the script as well.
It turns out in order to get this to work, you have to change the file extension handler for .php files.
- Login to your hosting account manager
- Click on the Settings Tab
- Choose File Extensions from the menu
- Under the Actions column, click on the Edit icon
- Change the handler from PHP 5.x FastCGI to PHP 5.x
You should now be able to use your script.
I came across an interesting topic while reading “Trading and Exchanges”, by Larry Harris. It dealt with shifting cash flows in time. I personally love learning of new topics, and this definitely was a paradigm shifter for me. I decided to dig a bit deeper to see what else I could learn about the topic.
What is Intertemporal Cash Flow Management?
The most simple way to understand shifting cash flows through time is to think of two parties, each with different cash flow needs. Let’s say one party is a person in their early 20′s that has a 9-5 job (Tyler), and one is a small dot com start-up (Facebook).
Tyler has more money than he needs to live off of from his job right now, but he’ll need that money when he turns 65 so he can retire. Facebook needs money now so they can hire developers and hopefully generate a profit in the future. Hopefully you can see how each party has a distinct need for their assets in the present versus their need in the future.
In order to shift Tyler’s current paycheck to the future, he may decide to invest a portion of his income. Investing allows him to (hopefully) preserve his assets while appreciating them faster than the rate of inflation as well.
In order to shift Facebook’s future earnings from the future to the present (Facebook doesn’t have the money now, so they’re borrowing from their expected future earnings. They wouldn’t be able to borrow any money if the lender thought they would default.) they can sell bonds or issue stock. When they do this, they get an initial influx of capital but are either expected to pay back the initial investment with interest or are expected to raise the profitability of the company so the shareholders can potentially make money.
How Do Savings Relate?
I’m not quite sure how saving assets differs with investing assets in terms of intertemporal cash flow. My initial thoughts are that saving in a bank is technically investing since you’re getting a return. More questions arise in my mind when it comes to saving at a 0% interest rate. It would seem that in this case Tyler would be storing purchasing power as opposed to shifting cash flow to the future, thought I suppose the cash would still be there (even though the actual purchasing power would be diminished even though the nominal amount would be the same) so it may be technically temporally shifted.
I think one of the most challenging aspects of portfolio project management (PPM) is actually implementing a PPM system. In my experience, changing the culture of an organization that is used to ad hoc project selection/project management requires a significant ROI, and even then may not be implemented because management is not comfortable with such change when what they are used to “works.”
Being able to quantify the benefits and detriments of a project and compare them to other potential projects can help increase the return on the investment of the organization’s scare resources. Being able to show management that the project selection process can be improved in a way that can improve profits and help the organization attain it’s strategic goals is key in implementing a PPM system.
Another challenge of implementing a PPM system is with short and long term projects (Rajegopal). When dealing with projects that run a few weeks to a few months, there is a perception that the overhead of implementing a PPM system is not worth the effort/overhead. The effective use of a PPM system can highlight planning inefficiencies and avert the organization from possible disaster (Rajegopal).
It seems one of the more important features of PPM and project management in general is accountability. Without this, projects may continue to slip past deadlines or even fail and management would not have an effective way to correct the problem. I feel that it is important for the culture of an organization to not punish it’s team members for failures, but to inspire a culture of accountability where someone is free to go to their manager and admit when a mistake is made to fix it and continue. In my opinion failures should only be punished when negligence or compromised ethics are involved.
RAJEGOPAL, SHAN. “PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: THE ISSUES, CHALLENGES, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURE TRENDS.”PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: THE ISSUES, CHALLENGES, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURE TRENDS. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2010.
Project management can be a difficult enough endeavor, but managing a multi-cultural project team can add additional differences as well. It’s important to remember that not all of the differences that arise are negative. The three main differences are:
- Team member motivation (Anbari 2010)
- Communication style
- Heterogeneous idea generation
Team Member Motivation
According to Geert Hofstede’s research, different cultures have fundamentally different priorities. One such indicator is if a culture is oriented to enjoy long term or short term gratification. He developed an index called the Long Term Orientation Index which measured 23 counties attitudes about gratification.
By understanding how team members from various countries/cultures react in various situations can be helpful in not only making them enjoy their work, but by being able to understand why conflicts my arise and being able to diffuse the situation more effectively.
It’s very important to realize that not only do people have different communication style inside of a cultural group, but the paradigm of the communicator may be completely different than the project leader’s when dealing with multi-cultural teams. Malcolm Gladwell has an excellent anecdote about how cultural differences can play a major role in the outcome of events. In the chapter “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes,” he notes how in some cultures a subordinates are not “allowed” to question their leaders (McCartney, 2008). He goes on to recount how this cultural phenomenon resulted in a co-pilot on Korean Air flight 881 knew the plane was flying too low and might crash, but felt he was unable to tell the captain that he was wrong.
A good project manager should recognize these differences and be able to facilitate free expression of ideas.
Edward T. Hall was an anthropologist that made great advances in cultural theory. Some of his most well known work is the high and low context cultural theories (Sysque). After reading his theories about how cultural differences can be identified and examined, one will be much better apt to dig deeper into a team member’s behavior outside of it’s appearances. One thing that struck me the most was the following quote:
When working across cultures, pay attention to high and low cultures through the actions of others. For example if people are late for meetings it may be because they are polychronic, not because they are disrespectful or lazy.
When you understand the personal, national or organizational culture, then you can seek to align with them and hence gain greater influence. (Sysque)
Heterogeneous Idea Generation
One of the major benefits to leading a team that has cultural differences is the fact that by definition, the team members have different backgrounds. This means they likely have different paradigms on the world and can solve the same problem in a multitude of ways. This is key when it comes to solving problems that arise. As a project leader, you can tap into their vast and varied knowledge to choose the best ideas (or combine the ideas) to solve the problem.
Although working in multi-cultural teams seem to be difficult at times, once you learn to value the differences in the team members for the benefits they bring, it can be a very rewarding endeavor.
Anbari, F. T., Khilkhanova, E. V., Romanova, M. V., & Umpleby, S. A. (n.d.). CROSS CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR. The George Washington University. Retrieved November 4, 2010, from http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/recent_papers/2003_cross_cultural_differences_managin_international_projects_anbari_khilkhanova_romanova_umpleby.htm
Hall’s cultural factors. (n.d.).Changing minds and persuasion — How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved November 4, 2010, from http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/hall_culture.htm
Phillips, M. (2008, December 4). Malcolm Gladwell on Culture, Cockpit Communication and Plane Crashes – The Middle Seat Terminal – WSJ. WSJ Blogs – WSJ. Retrieved November 4, 2010, from http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2008/12/04/malcolm-gladwell-on-culture-cockpit-communication-and-plane-crashes/
My current company manufactures hardware and develops software that assists Athletic Trainers perform their job duties. They have numerous projects that run concurrently to design and develop new hardware and software revisions. Every fiscal year management develops a list of key strategic goals that will improve the company over the next year. Each proposed project is then reviewed and prioritized based on it’s effectiveness in helping the company reach those goals.
My company does an excellent job of ensuring that our projects are linked with the executive strategy. This includes prioritization of projects based on risk, project length (short term/long term), return on investment, and the assignment of resources to successfully close projects and benefit the bottom line. (Project Management Institute, 2008)
Project Management Institute, Initials. (2008). The standard for portfolio management. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.
When I worked as a web developer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, I acted as both the developer and project manager for my projects. There were about 20-24 individual projects that were being developed concurrently by a team of 6 developers. The manager of our group acted as the sole member of the project management office (sometimes called a project office). She has her PMP certification, so I’m sure she knows many of the concepts I’m learning, and they helped her manage the direction of the projects including project selection. I’m not sure if there was an official PMO at the institution, but I would have to assume so. If not, they would greatly benefit from creating standards and making sure that the individual departments best used their project management resources.
From my experience in my department, either the manager of the team or a separate project manager handled the functions of a PMO. I think that a central PMO office would have been greatly beneficial to myself in terms of learning project management beyond the classroom. It would have helped in the project selection and closing stages. In my projects, I made sure to develop a list of stakeholders, charter, scope of work, and have the scope signed off on, so it was clear when the project was completed. Other team members didn’t have a background in project management and were effected by scope creep. If there was a centralized office that helped manage projects, they might have been able to prevent those challenges from the beginning of the project.
From a management viewpoint, it would be useful to have a list of what projects everyone in the institution was working on, how resources were allocated to them, and how they impact the yearly goals. This way projects could be re-allocated based on priority.
I’ve recently needed to reformat a Windows Vista (Home Premium) machine, and I was trying to load Windows XP Service Pack 2 on it. It kept on blue screening with the STOP error 0x0000007b. I did some research and it seems that it may have something to do with XP not communicating properly with the storage device.
If you go into your BIOS and find the settings for storage devices, change it from “Auto/AHCI” to “Auto/ATA” and you should be good to go. I did this and XP installed perfectly without a problem.
There are many traits that make up a good team but the three I think are most important are commitment, appreciation, and communication.
When everyone on a team is committed, the team works much more efficiently. Each team member is happy and knows the other members have their back. Every member will ideally be committed to the team and to each other team member individually. This doesn’t necessarily mean that team members will be conflict free, but they won’t let their personal conflicts interfere with the team’s goals.
Appreciation helps team members stay committed to the project/operational group. Letting the members know that they are appreciated and they are truly valued. It also helps increase general feelings of goodwill. Showing appreciation is as simple as saying “You did a good job when…” or “I liked the presentation when you were talking about…”. Appreciation helps keep the team focused on their wins, not on each others faults.
Communication is another big must for teams. Without effective communication, team members will become distant and isolated from each other, thus negating any benefits of forming the team in the first place. Maintaining effective communication can be as simple as holding a short weekly meeting to discuss deliverables, or as informal as building rapport with the members.
It’s important to remember that trying to maintain ridged communication lines can sometimes backfire. As a leader, you may try to increase communication by having a weekly meeting, but if the team feels that the meetings are too long, or if certain members monopolize the time, team members can quickly become demoralized and your efforts can backfire.