Cross your fingers: Bot lets superstition guide stock trades

The Superstitious Fund stock market board uses Arduinos to collect and stream live fund data.

(Credit:
Diego Trujillo)

Would you invest in a fund that bases its trades on the patterns of the moon? In a move unlikely to be espoused in any Business 101 class, lots of people already have.

They’re sinking their dollars into the Superstitious Fund, a one-year experiment that invites the public to invest in the stock market via an uncanny trading algorithm. The automated bot trades live against the FTSE 100 index on the London Stock Exchange predicated purely on numerology and astrology.

So far, 144 investors from more than 35 cities worldwide have invested almost $ 5,500 in the Superstitious Fund, according to Shing Tat Chung, a recent Design Interactions graduate from London’s Royal College of Art who conceived of the project as an exploration of superstition’s role in society today. Logic doesn’t always equal financial success, he notes in an interview with CNBC, and superstition that permeates consciousness on a broad scale (think Friday the 13th) can and does have real-world financial repercussions.

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