02-18-2013 | Trade Secrets
Renaissance is under increasing pressure to stay ahead of the pack--and to keep its secrets under wraps. Save current employees and a few former ones, nobody knows precisely how the firm makes its millions. Medallion stopped taking new money from outside investors in 1993 and returned pretty much the last of their capital 12 years later. Today, the fund is run almost exclusively for the benefit of Renaissance staff. The wise-cracking Simons himself is mum on virtually all of its details.
What can he say about Medallion's trading strategy? "Not much," Simons says with a chortle, and then takes a drag on one of the Merit cigarettes he often smokes.
What kind of instruments does it trade?
How many different strategies does it use?
Simons says his Ph.D.s laugh when they read the far-fetched theories about what their fund might be doing. One chat room participant speculated that Renaissance uses audio hookups to futures exchanges and analyzes the noise from the pits with voice- recognition software.
"All of us in the quant business have conjectures and hypotheses but very little data," MIT's Lo says. "So we like to speculate about what Renaissance could possibly be doing. They are so far ahead of everybody else that it's both challenging as well as exciting to engage in that kind of idle speculation." For his part, Simons says he once explored whether sunspot activity affects the markets. He doesn't say what he found.
Via: The Code Breaker - Bloomberg
See Also: Information Asymmetry | FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt | The Long Con