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Random Stock Picker - Diversify Your Portfolio

Random Stock Picker - Diversify Your Portfolio

       iOS iPhone

Can a monkey throwing darts beat the top money managers in the country? Test the random walk hypothesis yourself with this handy random stock picker.

Why a random stock picker?

I had always been a careful investor, researching companies' fundamentals, studying the market, trying my best to predict long term trends, and even paying attention to technical indicators and charts now and then.

Then I found out about the experiment where a monkey threw darts at the stock listings in the newspaper and beat the top money managers in the country. So did five year old girls and random number generators. The stock market, it seems, is inherently unpredictable.

You probably already know about this. It's called the random walk hypothesis.

I thought it would be fun to test the hypothesis myself, using only virtual accounts and not making real trades, so I created this random stock picking app. When you shake your device, you'll get a random ticker symbol chosen from almost 8,000 symbols on the NASDAQ, NYSE, and AMEX. This is the electronic equivalent of throwing darts.

You could just generate random letters with an Excel spreadsheet, but the trouble is, most of the ticker symbols you come up with using that method turn out to be invalid. It takes many iterations to randomly choose a real ticker symbol, when each letter is randomly chosen. You really need to choose randomly from a database.

Now what you choose to do with this information is up to you. You could choose a set of random stocks along with some chosen using your best judgement, then put them in a spreadsheet and track them over time. Or perhaps you could have virtual stock trading contests with your friends, where they painstakingly develop their best market strategies and all you do is shake your phone a few times. You'll have to figure out how often to trade, how to allocate your funds, and when to rebalance your virtual portfolio.

I don't recommend using this app to trade real stocks, because I make no investment recommendations. It's your responsibility to choose an investment strategy, and I have no interest in persuading you of any particular strategy. This is an educational app that can help you test an economic hypothesis, nothing more.

Random stock picking sounds reckless and risky, but wouldn't it be interesting if it turned out to be less risky than normal investing methods, like following expert advice, or daytrading? The nice thing about an app like this is that you can easily do some experiments on paper and test the random walk hypothesis for yourself.

What's new

Fixes rare crash on older devices.


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Last changed:
Dec 12, 2013
3.1 MB

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