What would you do in this situation?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by strawzombie, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. This really isn't a big deal and isn't keeping me up at night, but it's a weird situation I've found myself in and I'm actually curious what other people here think I should do.

    I'm playing a stock trading game for my college accounting class and after about 2 weeks of trading almost every day I found an anomaly in the trading simulator we are all using. (I don't want to say what or where it is, because the simulator is web-based and is accessible to the public.)

    Basically, because of this anomaly I'm predictably able to make more money than anyone else. And no one else seems to have any idea that this particular anomaly exists.

    The game is about 1 month in with 1 more month to go, and I'm currently up about $20,000 on a $100,000 virtual account. Everyone else is either losing between $1,000-$10,000 or making less than $1,000.

    Except for the instructor, none of the players can see anyone else's trades.

    Some people are asking me how I'm doing it, and I'm just shrugging my shoulders and saying "just lucky I guess".

    So my question is, what should I do?

    Should I come clean right away and tell everyone I found a loophole?

    Should I wait until the end of the contest to come clean?

    Should I take it to my grave, haha?

    One benefit that came about from playing this game and finding this loophole is that I *love* day trading now and next want to paper trade with real-time stock data where I can't possibly cheat. (Probably using Ninja Trader + a Kinetick subscription) So if I never found the loophole in the first place I probably never would have had the motivation to study the markets a few hours each day like I'm doing now. (making money, even if its play money, is fun!)

    Basically, part of me wants to come clean and tell everyone that my $20,000 profits in the game is not from true skill at all.

    Another part of me wants to have some fun with it, where maybe I'll drop my account down to say $50,000 and have everyone else laugh at me for a few weeks, only to bring my account back up during the last week and win the game. (Where I'll come clean after the contest is over.)

    Another part of me wants to see how I can get other people to love trading as much as I do now. And I think if I come clean now, other people will just become bitter and will think that the only way to make real money is to cheat and will just give up altogether.

    So what would you do in this situation?
  2. are you just trading from delayed data in the sim account?
  3. Daring


    Win the competition.

    If the professor asks about your technique, you say you found an edge in the system and you come clean.
  4. No. The sim prevents that kind of cheating by delaying your execution the same amount of time as the data delay. RT data = RT execution, but delayed data = delayed execution.
  5. You've found a inefficiency in the system that participants havent noticed yet. There are real world inefficiencies out there. The 'hack' can be done to any existing structure. If you can spot the weaknesses of any given system of interaction, it can be exploited.

    If you do win, I would turn the prize down and tell them you've found a inefficiency. My first hack as a kid was the gumball machine, if you buy one gumball and chewit up, and insert the gum into the coin slot and turn it, it can be turned to the point of emptying the gumballs.

    There are real world examples of exploiting the current systems of interaction among participants. Its just a matter of having the will and drive to do it, and also to refrain from crossing over to the illegal side of things.

    But society on the whole will label you as a cheater, look at what HFT rap is getting.
  6. I think i would win the competition, but then come clean in the end by saying i found an inefficiency in the system, and exploited the hell out of it. Some will initially call you a cheater, but some will see your motivation. There is definitely a learning experience to be had here for everyone in the class. Good luck. Part of college is learning tact in situations like this.
  7. Cheating is wrong.
  8. kroponer


    Sounds like 15 minute delay in simulator prices vs. realtime prices and you can edit your simulator prices. Doesn't matter what it is, be honest with yourself and your classmates and stop cheating. If you don't, it'll all spiral all of control and you'll be in a position where you can't turn back. serious. you'll become Nick Leeson. srs. Don't do it man!

    **In fact, go watch the movie "Rogue Trader" on Netflix, it'll scare you out of using the 'anomaly' for good, and it's not that bad a movie, kill 2 birds with one stone. Do it.
  9. Brighton


    You don't say whether the loophole you're exploiting is due to the professor's poorly constructed rules or a bug in the 3rd party software, but if it feels like cheating, and/or you don't think this type of edge is available in the real world, then I'd come clean. Benefits:

    1. Maybe you'll decide you don't like sim-trading or trading in general when you're not making a lot of easy money. Play the remaining month on a level field to find out.

    2. If it matters to you, I think you'll get more respect from the professor and your classmates now, rather than waiting until the end of the game.

    3. Some hot young thing you've had your eye on will be so impressed with your integrity that she will say, "Oh, StrawZombie, I have a massive trust fund and I want you to start managing my money, but first let's go bang in the stairwell."
  10. guest2


    I had some several situations with "bugs" in online competitions/games. All of them required me to know how this stuff is working. eg decompiling flash(I recommend sothink flash decompiler ;-) ) application, analyze and understand source, use input data manipulation/blind sql injections or write a script to send "proper" data.... I won.

    Cos I`ve to spend some hours to figure out whats goin on and exploit it I came to the conclusion that I can take my payoff. Why ?

    I think this kind of "fun" is always a cheating but knowledge is knowlegde and it is valuable. I never admit how I won. The explanation was: "luck/coincidence" :)
    #10     Nov 11, 2012