Rat Traders

The following text and pictures illustrate an experiment I carried out that involved training laboratory standard rats in trading in the Foreign Exchange and Commodity Futures markets, with the result that I managed to outperform some of the world’s leading Human Fund managers…

Each time after listening to a sound, the rat had to choose between pressing either a green or a red button, green for “long” (if the prices were expected to move up), red for “short” (if they predicted a decline in prices). When they were right they received a small amount of food (the good rats became fat very fast); when they took the wrong button, they received a minor electric shock. Very soon it showed that some rats were doing outstandingly well: they developed a good ability to remember the patterns they were listening to; we needed them to react to real time data though…

After extensive training, we wanted to find out if the talent in trading might be rooted genetically and crossed the top traders with each other. After only 20 days, we had 28 new rats (15 males and 13 females), and we soon started to train again (even reducing the training time). The results were astounding: the second generation of top traders had a much better performance than their parents.

Sunday Afternoon Matinee

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