About The Spear Report, Independent Investor and Gregory Spear

Background

I was born and grew up in Norway, in northern Europe.

In the early eighties the home computer revolution began. At the age of 13 I got my first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, with a whopping 1 kilobyte of RAM. I started programming, and have kept at it ever since. Youngsters today are really spoiled, allocating memory by simply calling “malloc”, “new” or similar. They will never experience having to use a line-based editor, writing basic software, using the “REM” statement (for inserting comments) filled with lots of letters, then manually calling “poke” to modify the contents of that REM statement and then “jump” to the machine subroutine effectively stored in the REM statement; the only way of allocating memory on that system. If you’re a grown up hacker, you’ll understand where I’m coming from, if not, consider yourself fortunate.

After finish my university education, during the nineties and early 2000 I worked for a computer games company. In addition to making code, designing games and running around to VCs and investors raising cash, my pay allowed me to start thinking more seriously about managing money, leading me to investing and trading. My programming background quickly led me to making all kinds of systems, that I combined with my background in maths and statistics from the university, trying to perfect investment- and trading strategies. I still had a normal day job, but gradually my investment related development took over. I found and joined online communities with lots of smart people, and before I knew it I had collected data and written screeners and backtesters, tools that would allow myself and others to sift through wast quantities of data looking for that perfect investment strategy.

Some of these systems I made available publically, on a website I run (http://keelix.com/). While that site is getting a bit old, it actually still hosts a backtester which I still maintain today. If you really want to learn about what that is, you need to head over to the Mechanical Investing forum at The Fool. To be able to build a backtester, I collected data, basically collecting CDROMs with stock and company data, reverse engineering the data formats used, building historical time series of all data. A lot of people have helped collecting that data, and I’ve purchased data (and still do) to keep the backtester up to date, uploading around 50 megabytes per week. I’ve also invested thousand of hours developing these systems.

I’ve offered all of these tools for free, and still do. This has given me some visibility in certain communities with people doing their own investment research. I also believe these communities also foster quite a few future investment/fund managers, and I’ve seen a few myself during these years. It also attracts people looking for data and software for doing backtesting and similar. From time to time people have contacted me asking for access to historical data. As long as the data was for personal usage and/or educational research, I’ve given it all away for free. One of these people was Gregory Spear, who had instructed one of his employees to contact me, asking for data for “a personal research project”. I gave that person the data, and knew nothing about Gregory Spear, his company and/or his true intentions.

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