Millionaire’s advice

October 2, 2010

(This article was first published on Quantitative thoughts » EN, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Viktor Uspaskich is euro-parliamentarian delegated by Lithuania. His was born in Russia, Arkhangelsk Oblast and later on he moved to Lithuania where he made his fortune and first millions.
Recently, I saw an interview with him and I found interesting to test his claim, that  gold and oil are negatively correlated. Meaning that, when the price of gold is appreciating, the price of oil has to depreciate and opposite.
First of all lets check simple correlation between daily price of gold and oil, from 2003 to 2010.


Surprise, surprise – here’s correlation, but it is positive (opposite, that millionaire adviser was claiming)  . It is not strong, only 0.3 or 30% and r-square 0.0919. But lets move on – maybe he didn’t reveal all facts.
I used all my data points in the first graph to get correlation. The other way of looking at data is roll the window of 252 data points and calculate moving correlation. Here we go:

gold oil correlation

It is clear, that during 4 years correlation between gold and oil was positive and in some case was more than 50%. No luck.
Let’s try something different – lagged correlation. That is – one day the price of the gold goes up/down and x days later the price of oil will go down/up. Here we have:


The graph shows correlation between two assets with lagged 30 days and moved front 30 days. The highest value 30% is on day 0 (the same day), the rest is below 10%, with means here’s no hidden correlation between lagged data.

Summary: negative correlation between gold and oil doesn’t exist. So, welder’s who became millionaire advice is not worth a penny.

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