QuantLibXL – A Curvy Way to fit a Yield Curve

QuantLib is a magnificent library for quantitative finance. But it is also like a gun, heavy enough to shoot your own foot. You might expect that QuantLibXL (a plug-in that provides a subset of QuantLib functionality in Excel) makes your life easier. Unfortunately, it hardly does, as we show in this case study. For an easy and straight way you should better have a look at Deriscope. Continue reading "QuantLibXL – A Curvy Way to fit a Yield Curve"

Beyond Black Scholes: European Options without Dividends

Options are the simplest non-trivial financial derivatives around. They are part of the curriculum of every university course on Finance for a good reason: They are everywhere! They are traded on regulated exchanges around the world, change hands over the counter between … consenting adults, enhance or "infect" all sorts of contracts as "embedded options", constitute the main ingredient of insurance policies. In their pure form, their annual volume on U.S. Equity Option exchanges alone exceeds 4 billion contracts!
This is the first of a series of articles that will show you how to compute the fair value of options within Excel without using expensive third party software.
Continue reading "Beyond Black Scholes: European Options without Dividends"

Using a Forex Trading Simulator in Excel

In my last post I showed you how to use the Deriscope Stock Trading Simulator Excel spreadsheet to place simulated BUY and SELL market orders on US stocks traded on IEX (the Investors Exchange). In this post I will guide you through another Excel spreadsheet called DsTradingSimulatorFX.xlsm that you can also download for free. This new spreadsheet allows you to place simulated BUY and SELL orders on specific currencies based on real time bid/offer quotes supplied by the TrueFX live feeds provider. As usually, the only prerequisite is that you have previously installed the free Deriscope Excel Add-In – downloaded from the same site as above - that equips your Excel session with a wizard that allows you to fetch live data from various providers and also perform various financial calculations. Continue reading "Using a Forex Trading Simulator in Excel"

Using a Stock Trading Simulator in Excel

As I promised you in my previous article I am back with a review of a Stock Trading Simulator that works in Excel and does not suffer from the mentioned drawbacks that hamper all other available free simulators. Continue reading "Using a Stock Trading Simulator in Excel"

Should I use a Trading Simulator to learn how to trade?

Have you ever thought of being a trader?
I mean trading things like stocks, currencies, options or anything else that you can buy and sell almost instantly - typically online - by pressing a button and not illiquid assets, such as houses or antique furniture.
Wouldn’t it be great to get some sense of what real world trading looks like before setting up an account with an online brokerage firm and putting your own money on risk?
Continue reading "Should I use a Trading Simulator to learn how to trade?"