FAQ

    University faculty, staff or club head can fill out the Team Member Registration Form to reserve a spot for a team from their institution. Please visit the Registration section of our website for more information.
    Registration includes all of the costs involved in the enrolment of the competition including events held during the competition, and 5 meals (Friday Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner, Saturday Breakfast/Lunch).
    We are currently allowing faculty from non-registered schools to participate as observers. Please contact ritc@rotman.utoronto.ca to discuss registration and fees as an observer.
    It is up to each individual team to arrange travel to Toronto and associated accommodations. Most competitors should choose to arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport and take taxi or public transportation into the city. However, competitors located closer to Toronto may choose to fly into Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport located closer to the downtown area. The competition is located on the University of Toronto, St. George Campus at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management. Below map of Rotman's location, at 105 St.George Street.
    A school may send a team that consists of graduate students, undergraduate students or a combination of the two.
    Unfortunately, we only accept one team from a school due to limited spots.

In order to ensure that every team has the same information, any questions asked regarding case content will be posted here. General questions about RITC 2018 Cases will be uploaded once the Cases are released.

    When will the case files be released?
    The RITC 2018 Case package has been release. You can find it from this webpage

    Are we assuming that the simulation continues throughout multiple sub-heats?
    Each Sub-heat is independent from each other. In other words, your performances won't be carried over to the next sub-heat and each sub-heat will always start fresh from the same time period (i.e. year 0)

    What version of Excel will be installed at the competition venue?
    The base Office 2016 package will be installed, which includes Excel 2016.

    Is it possible to use MATLAB for cases other than the Schonfeld Algorithmic Trading Case?
    Yes. MATLAB will also be available for all the other cases. However, API will only be turned on for the Schonfeld Algorithmic Trading Case and the MATLAB Volatility Trading Case.

    Will there be 2 screens for each computer?
    Yes, each competitor will use a laptop with an extended desktop monitor. Hence, there will be two screens (one laptop screen and one extended desktop monitor screen).

    What is the resolution of the laptop screen?
    The laptop screens' resolution is 1366x768.

    Will the laptops provided to the students for trading also have an external mouse?
    Yes, laptops will have an external mouse as well as a numeric keypad.

    Could you please specify the CPUs for the computers that will be used in the competition?
    The laptops used in all the cases including algo case will have the same structure: i5 processor with 4GB RAM

    Will a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Matlab and Excel be installed?
    64 bit will be installed.

    My "Penalties Computation Tool" does not work. Why?
    In almost all cases, the reason why your "Penalties Computation Tool" does not work is because you have an old version of the RTD links. Please install the most recent version as advertised on our website at the case file page Please uninstall the previous version of the RIT RTD/API links and then install the new one according to the instructions that you can find at this link: RIT and RIT API/RTD links installation

    Are there fines for exceeding position limits caused by production and refinery assets?
    Yes, there will be a penalty of $25,000 per contract over gross and/or net limit.

    Are there delays for when tenders are filled?
    All tenders will be received when the auction is finished.

    Do all traders receive the same tenders?
    Yes, tenders are the same for all traders.

    What is the cost for refining and where is it recorded?
    The "actual cost" of the refined products, from the refiner's perspective, is the sum of the cost to buy the crude oil plus the cost for the leasing of the refinery (please check the case package for the details) and the participants are required to track them. The cost column from the Portfolio Watch window for the refined products simply displays the market price when they were refined.

    The waiver states that each team will be provided with two laptops with two extended monitors for each case, while it says that the BP Commodities case has 2 traders, 1 refiner and 1 producer. How many computers will each team receive for this case?
    During the BP Commodities Case, your team will have four laptops with four extended monitors connected to each laptop.

    How will team seating be assigned?
    Most teams will be sitting in the same row while some teams will have pairs of students sitting across the other. Seating locations will be assigned randomly.

    For the refiner, how long will the effect of news of HO or RB last? Does the effect of news to the price end just before the next news release?
    The price effect happens during the news release and the length that it lasts is randomized in the system.

    For the refiner, how should we split the leasing costs for HO and RB? For example, using H x 10 to produce RB x 4 and HO x 6, the leasing cost is 350,000. When calculating cost, should it be half (175,000) for HO and RB respectively or 350,000 for HO and RB respectively?
    The leasing cost cannot be split. Once the refiner is started, the full leasing cost will be charged regardless of the amount of Crude Oil used for the refining process.

    Do traders only get qualitative news?
    Traders will get the news headlines, which contain qualitative information only. Analysts will get both the news headlines and the specific news that include quantitative numbers. On Friday February 9th we will be releasing a practice case where you will be able to see the news headlines and the specific news.

    Are competition participants the only market liquidity providers?
    For traders, the other competition participants will be the only market liquidity providers. Analyst can submit up to two spot trades and the counterparty will be the Rotman Finance Lab (you can assume that there will always be a counterparty willing to trade at the spot index).

    Are the news in the competition very similar to the examples in the case package?
    We will be publishing a practice news file for the Quantitative Outcry Case on February 9th and you will be able to see a full practice case.

    Are there unrelated news coming out during the outcry to confuse participants?
    There may or may not be unrelated news coming out during the outcry.

    Are open positions settled at the end of each quarter or at the end of each heat?
    There won't be break time between each quarter. There will be a time break between different heats.

    Can analysts see the spot price when entering spot positions?
    The spot trades submitted by analysts will be executed at the current spot price of the RT100 Index posted on the screen. So analysts will see the spot price when entering spot positions.

    Are tickets submitted after every trade or collected at the end of each quarter?
    Tickets must be submitted after every trade.

    Besides the net position limits, is there a trading volume limit for traders?
    The only limits that will be enforced during the Quantitative Outcry case are the limits that are described in the case brief.

    Can analyst use a whiteboard to communicate with traders during the competition?
    No, they cannot use a whiteboard (or anything similar).

    How is the analyst seat assigned?
    It is randomly assigned.

    Are there penalties for exceeding position limits caused by the ETF converters?
    Yes, there will be a penalty of $0.50 per position over gross and/or net limit.

    What programs can be used to develop algorithms for this case?
    Teams can use Excel VBA or MATLAB. For a free trial of MATLAB, please click here

    Is there any time provided for the students to test their algorithm in the lab prior to the start of the first preliminary round?
    Yes, there will be a testing period on Thursday evening after the social outcry.

    My market order does not always get executed instantly and is delayed for several seconds. I am wondering how I can avoid this problem?
    There is a limit to the number of orders that you can submit per second: the maximum is five orders per second (1 each 0.2 seconds). Example: if you submit 10 orders at the same time, the first five will be executed at time 0, the second five orders will be executed at time t+1.

    My "Schonfeld Algorithmic Trading Case Base Algorithm" does not work. Why?
    In almost all cases, the reason why your "Schonfeld Algorithmic Trading Case Base Algorithm" does not work is because you have an old version of the RTD links. Please install the most recent version as advertised on our website at the case file page Please uninstall the previous version of the RIT RTD/API links and then install the new one according to the instructions that you can find at this link: RIT and RIT API/RTD links installation

    Is there a base algo in Matlab?
    No, there is a base algo in Excel only.

    When I accept tender offers, a situation sometimes occurs where the system stops me from accepting them, saying "You have won the offer to buy RITC at 24.89, but you have insufficient positions, containments or trade limits". What does this statement mean? How do I prevent it from happening and make sure that I receive the tender positions?
    Any transaction will be constrained by the position limit (LIMIT-STOCK and LIMIT-CASH in this case). If you do not have sufficient "room" in your position, you will not be able to receive a tender position - even after you have accepted the tender offer. Hence, you need to make sure that you have "room" in your position before accepting any tender offer, so that your tender positions are properly 'received' and realized in your portfolio.

    Can you please give us an example of details for a sub-heat?
    The descriptions will be given to participants a few minutes before the event and will provide information on the number of securities available in the case, commissions, etc. You can see a sample here.

    The case mentions that during a tender offer you may not trade the current ETF due to front running, however if I have a position in the ETF already and a limit order that I had put in place to reduce exposure, is that still considered front running?
    It depends on whether the transactions affect your positions received from the tender order. For example, suppose that you have a long position of 10,000 shares on the ETF and you receive a tender offer to buy more shares of the ETF (that is, after you accept the tender offer, your position on the ETF would become greater than 10,000).

    If you submit a sell limit order for a volume less than or equal to 10,000 prior to accepting the tender offer AND the order is transacted, it will not be front running because you are closing your previous long position. If the order is for a volume greater than 10,000 AND if they're transacted, only the portion exceeding 10,000 will be considered front running.