I haven’t written about this topic yet, and it’s long overdue, but I’m a finance nerd. Like, a proper full-on “wanna get wealthy slowly by coding up my own fundamentals-based, Buffett-mentality-inspired, equity investment (note: not *trading*) strategies” nerd.
While I’ve dabbled in various trading strategy prototypes over the years, pouring over books and websites and coding first in Excel/VBA and later C#/SQL, to be honest, I fell off the horse some time ago. Despite believing absolutely in the approach, I’d grown disheartened at the apparent size and complexity of the task, the need for (typically very expensive) back testing data, the need for free time to design and implement, and, if I’m honest, just generally making excuses as to why I wasn’t pouring myself into this topic that I am actually passionate about. It didn’t help that hours of trawling the internet had basically turned up zero similar peers; only a horde of wanna-be, high-frequency/trade-options-in-ur-pajamas-n-get-teh-riche$/read-the-tea-leaves daytrader heathens. Yeah, I’m not a believer in that approach.
Amazingly (after looking for several years), when I moved to Helsinki I finally met a couple of like-minded guys who not only shared my interest in algorithmic fundamentals-based (“value”) investing, but had actually tried to apply their programmer skills and interest in finance to build something profitable. Most wonderfully of all, they had done so with great success (think, “running a hedge fund and still actually still being decent human beings” as the measure of success!).
And it really lit a fire under my arse. Kind of like when you read about how no-one believed that humans could run a 4-minute-mile, you know, until the first guy actually did it, and now people by the thousands achieve that measure of success every year. For me to meet some guys who had already tried and achieved my goal, and more-so, who were willing to sit and talk with me and discuss as the topic as peers, was fantastic. So ever since, I’ve been back designing my supporting IT systems, dreaming up algorithms and strategies, investigating taxation and company structures and… and this is key… hunting for data. Gotta show me the data! And more to the point, I’ve once again reminded myself that “small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term results”, and so rather than get discouraged, I’m gonna in-a-year-or-so the hell out of this project…
So, to wind this up and get to the point, I – finally – came across some affordable fundamentals data for both the Nordic and USA stock markets, and it is the latter that I’ve been heavily investing my time into the past few days. Specifically, I was recommended some newcomers, Intrinio.com (who I am in no way affiliated with), who seem to be offering a decently priced, extremely comprehensive dataset for US Fundamentals equities going back almost 9 years. Because I despise all things softly-typed, I immediately set out to write a strongly typed C# .NET api wrapper, utilizing some of my other favourite .NET tech, ServiceStack (seriously guys, if you’re still using WebApi, please, stop immediately and embrace ServiceStack and their fantastic micro-ish-ORM and I guarantee you that your life is going so suck so much less), and so without further delay, I give you:
Check it out, flag any issues, submit full requests, and help me improve this tool… it’s my first REAL community contribution, and one that I hope will attract other investing enthusiasts for conversations, ideas, brainstorming and all-things-investing! (And I’ll confess, the perverse thrill of watching the download count in NuGet slowly increase is tickling my ego much more than I should publicly admit 😛 )
Soon, I’ll describe my versioning, build and auto-deployment cycle to make NuGet packaging painless, and describe a technique that I am finding exceptionally productive for developing and testing my REST apis… more soon…