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arbitrage

If I own Yes shares am I allowed to purchase No shares to play a spread?


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This not understandable if u owe how can you purchase

Good question. 

I would like to own both Yes and No shares in the same question - obviously at different prices in order to arbitrage the spread difference. 


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I wondered the same thing gary255. Can't tell if our inability to do that with the current software is a bug or a feature.  Maybe the folks designing the prediction market want a data-set of forecasts that aren't as complicated.  


Allowing us to take both side would have three benefits in terms of improving predictions:

(1) increases the availability of traders, essentially doubling our number, which should make it quicker for trades to clear.

(2) allowing us to forecast with more precision that just up/down. i.e. "the probability is above 25 but below 42"

(3) enabling the PredictIt market to to assemble a data set with dynamic predictions over time. As it stands now, once you forecast at a good price, no more info is collected about your assessment of the ongoing odds.



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The market here is too small to be rational yet.  It doesn't make sense to have a question where both YES and NO are trading at 0.85,  nor does it make sense for there to be even a 5 cent gap between buy and sell offers.


I don't know the number of "investors" here, but it's not enough yet to make it work like a real market.

Candidly, I would agree that this is currently a small and therefore inefficient market. I find it fascinating and and interesting casual pastime. But why should that prevent the users from doing what I proposed? As long as the users understand the situation I don't see the harm.


Does a PredictIt representative respond to the forums? Or maybe Candidly is a PredictIt rep?


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Gary255--  how would a user implement that without a change to the interface?  Running two separate accounts is way too much trouble. You have another suggestion?

No, I would advocate a change to the site to allow it. 

Just to be clear, I'm not a Predictit rep.  I stumbled across this site when Bob Beckel mentioned it on afternoon television one day.


This site is very interesting.  But there are interesting limitations, including the number of shares of each prediction that are issued initially.  The concept of arbitrage seems to me to be contrary to what the site was intended to do -- measure the public perception of whether a political event would occur.  If someone is more interested in "making money" from the shares here than registering an opinion, it's not that hard to corner the market.  


I think the only way to prevent that is to limit the number of shares one may hold in a particular question, and a determined "investor" could likely circumvent that.


A lot of people owning a few shares will give better predictive results than a few holding large stakes attempting to double their money.  At least that's my perspective.  


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I like the idea of only being able to own stock in YES or NO.  It means you have to actually be invested in your answer.  You make money on this site by buying the right stock (Whether it is stock you BELIEVE in or just something you believe will happen is personal choice), not by finding a profitable spread.


The only problem I see is if you have stock in one and then something that happens and you change your mind.  You can't buy any of the alternative stock until you've sold all your previous, which means you're probably selling at a loss and buying it at a higher price than when your mind actually changed, especially if the reason your mind changed is because some news went public, which affects EVERYONE'S predictions.


Arbitrage does exist on the site, though.  Romney announced almost a week ago that he isn't running, but NO was still for sale at 93 cents.  It isn't A LOT of arbitrage, but with a lot of those situations, you could probably get some easy, albeit small, profit.

Blueraider, I'm not sure you follow what Gary means by "arbitrage," i.e., he wants to be able to buy and sell assets simultaneously to take advantage of market inefficiencies/differing prices. The Romney example you cite, assuming nobody is buying "yes," isn't applicable.


FWIW, I agree with most of the above comments. In fact, anything that would encourage more liquidity and smaller spreads, I think, should be welcome here.


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I would add the ability for this to function like the actual futures market and open a sell position as long as you close it with a buy. That would tighten spreads and get rid of some of the irrationality in the price spreads. Also interchangeable orders in related markets. Together, those two would make these markets more logical models. 


For example: I'd like to sell 100 lots of a Republican victory at $.60 and buy a Democratic loss at $.50. Those two should cancel each other out and allow people to make $.10 


There should be no excused for a market with a binary choice to have a market at 56% and 54% on the two sides of the market. Allowing cross market positions to cancel out and allowing buy AND sell options would fix these inefficiencies, free up liquidity, and close spreads.

Yeah, I have "no" in something, and I want to buy "yes" because I think the price in yes will go up.  I still think "no" will be the final outcome, so I'll hold onto those, but in the mean time, I want to make a penny or two on yes.

I think this question does not make sense with the way the market works.


There are not separate markets for YES and NO; buying a YES is exactly the same as selling a NO you don't have, and putting up the collateral for delivery of the contract. If you were to buy a YES and then buy a NO, you would be in exactly the same position if you had bought a YES and then sold it, and you would have had the exact same impact on the market.


You cannot buy a spread between YES and NO, you can only buy a YES and then sell it later, or buy a NO and then sell it later.


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