Please root against unusual events!

Tradesports DEM.SWEEP.2004 contract price history
For the apathetic out there who are looking for a reason to care about the election, I'm happy to provide one. The reason is a matter of simple personal greed, which should thus prove moving to exactly those people who sit unmoved by the exhortations of talking heads. Namely, I have a substantial financial investment in the outcome of the election, thanks to Tradesports.

So what I'd like you to cheer for (and vote for, if you feel like it) is very simple. First, cheer for Bush to get between 250 and 350 electoral votes, which wins me 5 bets, totalling exactly $1141.05 in profit. And second, and most importantly, cheer for the Democrats not to sweep. See, I've sold almost half of all Tradesports contracts on whether the Democrats will sweep the House, Senate, and Presidency. I estimate the true odds at something like 1%, and have sold the contracts at an average of 4%. If disaster happens, and the D's miraculously sweep, I stand to lose about ten grand.

So on this election day, don't cheer your choices, don't be swayed by the pundits, don't even vote your conscience or your wallet. Instead, vote my wallet, and cheer my choices. Hey, why not? It's not like cheering or voting matters anyway.

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Hahaha, nice. I was

Hahaha, nice. I was thinking of doing that - a lot of the unlikely events on tradesports do seem mispriced.

Reading this post on your strategy made me think of this guy: http://www.dailyspeculations.com/
He blew up a few times, but then he also got very rich before he blew up.

Good luck.

Good god, I couldn't spare a

Good god, I couldn't spare a Benjamin to play a few state contracts. You have five figures in this thing?

Egad.

Jeff - yeah, if I had more

Jeff - yeah, if I had more money free I'd be selling even more unlikely events. But their margin requirements are pretty strict, so you have to put up a lot to win a little. Mr. Niederhoffer sounds pretty wacky.

Noah - yeah, I have $20K on TS. Wish I could spare more, there are more good bets.

Congrats, it looks to me

Congrats, it looks to me like everything worked out for you. Actually, I put up the wrong link/didn't explain my point. All you can tell from his blog is that he is crazy. This article describes his approach and contrasts it with Taleb's:

http://www.gladwell.com/2002/2002_04_29_a_blowingup.htm

A simple summary of the above link if you don't want to waste your time: The market in general expects an unlikely occurance such as 9/11 or a russian debt default to very unlikely and to happen once every hundred years. In reality they happen much more often than that, so people like Neiderhoffer who make a small amount betting on the likely thing lose all their small gains when 9/11 comes along.

It seems like trade sports right now has the opposite problem - giving too much weight to unlikely events - and you obviously are aware of this and made money on it.

Jeff - the article sounds

Jeff - the article sounds interesting, I'll read it. I've read Taleb's book, and I think he's probably right in many cases. It could be that I'm being a Neiderhoffer, but...I really don't think so. I think there are some important differences in the systems that make things the opposite on TS. For example, I think it's much easier for a country to unexpectedly default, or an international disaster to happen, than for this election to have been a landslide either way.

I think what's happening with TS is that people like to bet longshots, just like playing the lottery, so they overestimate them. Also the profits to be had by taking those bets are small relative to the stake you have to put up, and people don't find that attractive.