Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Trading Bases

Bettor up!
Wall Street trader Joe Peta needed something to do. After being struck by an FDNY ambulance and knocked off the trading floor for months of recovery; after being fired from a seven-figure job six weeks after returning to work in a wheelchair; after being confined to his apartment, jobless, unable to travel, and largely inhabiting an unfamiliar dark place; he needed something.
So Peta delved deep into the game he loved. It lifted his spirits, buoyed his recovery, and returned him to the world of those who sleep. It was healing by baseball.
He analyzed all the stats, crunched the numbers, embraced the sabermetric savvy of Bill James and FiveThirtyEight blog’s Nate Silver, put together detailed spreadsheets and created a market model for the 2011 Major League Baseball season. He could now project runs, wins, and take his season projections and convert them to single-game-win expectancies. The study engaged his mind. It became his obsession. And then—as any good trader does—he put his money where his statistical analytics were, and challenged the Las Vegas baseball line. It was gambling with an edge. A big one.
Peta sought to recreate the culture, analysis and energy of trading desk to the sports books. Risk management. An intimate knowledge of the marketplace. And discipline. Lots and lots of discipline. And succeeds.
TRADING BASES: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (not necessarily in that order) (Dutton, March 7, 2013)—Peta’s account of the 2011 Major League Baseball season—is an all-American story of bringing Wall Street to Las Vegas via the diamond. From Opening Day to the final game of the 2011 World Series, he makes money on favorites, underdogs, pick-‘ems, you name it to the tune of a 41.03% profit. That’s right, 41%.
TRADING BASES also covers:
  • The ins and outs of the $380 billion global industry that is sports gambling
  • How and why there exists a far greater chance of making money betting on baseball than on football or basketball.
  • A thorough examination of skill vs. luck, especially as it applied to the 2010 Tampa Bay Rays
  • The age-old question: “Are some players really ‘clutch performers’?”
  • The flawed notions that all major league players are capable of having a “good day”
  • How the number of runs that a team scores and allows in a season is thought to be a fair representation of the talent of the underlying team
  • The most important sabermetric statistic in existence for baseball bettors
  • Why baseball has created so many different acronyms in evaluating performance; and asks why other industries haven’t done the same
  • How Las Vegas should turn to Wall Street for ideas on ways to increase interest, traffic, and, ultimately, bets in their sports books
Portfolio management, Wall Street trading and sports betting are all interrelated, and Joe Peta’s enjoyable prose crosses over these cultures effortlessly. This is no DIY textbook. Michael Lewis’s Moneyball is for the day tradersTRADING BASES is the Wall Street insider’s view of sabermetrics and a brilliant primer on sports betting. Just as he has properly analyzed and then distilled his data, he has thoroughly fleshed-out the thoroughly entertaining epiphanies—one after another—that will tap into the type-A sabermetric aficionado inside all baseball fans.
Revelations abound, Peta finds clarity in the numbers. Revel in his dynamic thought processes. Strap yourself in. Dig a little deeper. This is trading in its purest form.  

I've just started in on this and it's a good read so far.  Being a numbers geek this really appeals to me.

Product Review Part One: Growth Factor-9

I was recently sent some Growth Factor-9 to try out.  If you know me, you know I'm not one for supplements, especially ones of this sort that promise lean muscle growth, fat loss, etc.  So what is it all about?

How Does Growth Factor-9™ Work?
The functional compound in Growth Factor-9 is an amino acid blend. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and therefore a common and very safe component of the daily diet. But this revolutionary research revealed that a specialized blend of amino acids, when taken on an empty stomach, has a profound effect on the human body. And that effect is on the pituitary gland, where human growth hormone is secreted. Dr. Amy Heaton, PhD, Director of Scientific Affairs for Novex Biotech®, explains, “We believe this is the basis of Growth Factor-9’s efficacy, because after taking its proprietary amino acid blend, study subjects experienced a 682% increase in their serum growth hormone levels. This is a completely groundbreaking discovery, because it shows that people can increase their serum hGH levels more naturally… without having to resort to an artificial form of human growth hormone like prescription injections.”

Who Can Use Growth Factor-9™?
Many so-called “hGH” pills are marketed strictly for men between the ages of 18-30 (which is ironic, considering that young males are already at the peak of their natural production of hGH). But here’s the breakthrough with Growth Factor-9: Its active amino acid blend works not only for young males, but has been shown in clinical trials to be effective even on middle aged men and women. Growth Factor-9 works on young and old, male and female, across the board

I started taking these for 2 days but then got a really bad cold (not from the pills) and stopped.  Now I've picked it back up for just over a week now.  Religiously.  These have to be taken on an empty stomach so I keep them on the nightstand so that I assure to get them in 2 hours before breakfast and 2 hours after dinner.

So far I'm not sure if I see anything, it's probably too soon.  Although - when I did get back in the water  to surf after being sick I felt a bit stronger in my paddling.  In fact, yesterday I paddled quite a long ways and was winded before I was sore.  I'm not really even sore today.  I'm  not sure if that's the placebo effect or if the product is actually working but time will soon tell.  I'm excited to see the results, hopefully it delivers!

FYI - my workouts are surf for 1-2 hours in the morning and then run/bike or both for an hour in the evening.

You can Growth Factor-9 on the web here.

I'll update my progress for you when I'm on the second bottle.