The students of Ca’ Foscari’s Department of Economics obtained fantastic results in the Bloomberg Trading Challenge, an international competition in which teams of 3 to 5 university students challenge each other to make the most informed financial investments, using data made available by the Bloomberg Terminal.
Out of almost 50 teams, Ca’ Foscari obtained the highest position at a European level. The team, which was coordinated by Professor Marco Corazza, was led by Davide Marcon, who was joined by Giovanni Ragazzi, Elisabetta Giuliato, Klara Gjorga. The six teams from Ca’ Foscari challenged their peers from the UK, France, Ireland, Switzerland, and Russia. Furthermore, two Ca’ Foscari teams made the top 100 teams out of 500 worldwide, with the top European team coming in at the 44th place and the other making the 68th place.
Professor Marco Corazza, whose courses at Ca’ Foscari focus on mathematical methods applied to economics and on actuarial and financial sciences, has commented on the victory of the team he coordinated: “The fact we arrived first in Europe, ahead of teams from prestigious universities such as City, University of London and Middlesex University should not only make us feel proud — it should also remind us of the high quality of the quantitative finance courses that our Department of Economics offers its students. In fact, in addition to acquiring basic and advanced knowledge, our students also learn the results of the research conducted at the Department. The team’s approach during the six weeks of the competition was grounded on a solid quantitative approach which was inspired by some of the Department’s research.”
The competition happened on the Bloomberg Terminals which were made available to the students with the Bloomberg Lab, which was inaugurated in 2019 and is hosted by the Library of Economics (BEC) at the San Giobbe Campus of Economics.
“I am extremely proud of the result achieved by Ca’ Foscari’s students, in particular by the students of Economics and Finance. The Bloomberg Lab was an important investment for Ca’ Foscari, so we are happy to see that our students are making such excellent use of it not only to expand their knowledge, but also to participate in an international competition as challenging as this one,” says Monica Billio, Professor of Econometrics at Ca’ Foscari.
We have asked Davide Marcon to share his experience as team leader:
“The competition involved the buying and selling of securities via the Bloomberg Terminal. We had $1 million virtual USD to invest in over 12,000 international corporations, such as Amazon, Apple, ENI, Intesa San Paolo, in a Bloomberg Index (Bloomberg World Large, Mid & Small Cap Price Return Index, WSL Index) thanks to which we could monitor real-time market quotes.
My teammates and I selected the corporations that each of us would monitor, according to different sectors. We would meet two or three times a week to analyse the data and to decide what action to take. We were in charge of choosing how much money we should invest and in which corporations. Our goal was to obtain the highest Relative P&L relative to the WSL Index, which was our benchmark.
We devised a strategy which was based mainly on the use of the four indicators used in the analysis of financial markets: RSI (Relative Strength Index), MA (Moving Average), MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence), and Bollinger Bands. We then modified the indication parametres based on the corporation we were analysing, finding the best combination for each security. Our tutor, Professor Corazza, provided us with a code that he developed for the MATLAB programming platform. Thanks to his support, we succeeded in authomatising buying and selling choices, making data analysis and investment decisions much faster. Every week we would receive an update on the world ranking, divided in continents.
It was a truly educational experience. We learned to keep up to date with the markets and the events that can influence them. We also learned to work as a team: we learned to divide our tasks and responsibilities, and above all to trust the intuitions and analyses carried out by the other team members. This high level of trust was crucial to our success. I believe that this success is also indebted to the cohesiveness of our group — since we all followed the strategy we had chosen together, there were no internal tensions or disagreements regarding how to operate.”
The challenge started on 4 October 2021 and ended on 19 November 2021, while the final ranking was published on 23 November 2021. Ca’ Foscari’s participation in the Bloomberg Trading Challenge was promoted by Professor Monica Billio, with the organisational support of Andrea Albarea.