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If You Could Tell the Future - How Would You Monetize It?
Old 08-01-2014, 08:37 AM   #1
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If You Could Tell the Future - How Would You Monetize It?

There are a lot of books and movies out there where someone develops an ability to see into the future, and uses it to make money (Primer, Next, Back to the Future II, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - although this one's not really seeing into the future).

Assume you had that ability. To be more specific, you can see about 24 hours into the future - the results of all of today's roulette spins, horse races, movements in the securities markets, sporting events, and major world events. How would you use it?

Assume the following:
  1. The money must be legal, with a sufficient paper trail to satisfy your bank, the IRS, or the SEC if they come asking questions.
  2. You want to be anonymous - you don't want potential pickpockets or muggers to notice you at the casino or the track, and you don't want automated algorithms flagging your trading behavior.
  3. You have no special knowledge of investing, gambling, or whatever other activity in question. So, for example, you might worry that in a high-stakes poker game with experienced players, your opponents would be able to tell that you're not a good player, but somehow know the results of the hands.
  4. You want the money making opportunity to be something you can do regularly - not a one-off event that only happens once a year or every few months.
  5. If you can legally avoid or reduce taxes, that would be great, but I'm having a hard time coming up with anything that wouldn't be taxed at your ordinary marginal rate.

Thoughts? What other conditions would you add, and what would you do given these conditions? If you're trading securities, which securities, and what would your criteria be to maximize return while staying under the radar?

(And yes, I know, "play the lottery in states that allow anonymous winners." But that would likely only work once, and besides, it's a boring answer.)

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:18 AM   #2
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You go first.

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Old 08-01-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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Well, if the lottery is out (although, that's what I was going to pick - as long as I won millions, I wouldn't care if anybody knew about it or not)...

And picking stocks is out (no way you could make enough money in the stock market off 24 hours worth of trades without attracting a lot of attention from the SEC)...

I think that only leaves gambling. But if I have to assume "no special knowledge" of gambling, it sure would be hard for me to remember, and capitalize on, entire games' worth of poker hands, roulette spins, etc.

Now, if your assumption is that you gain the information as it's about to happen (and not 24 hours worth of information all in advance and have to remember it all), then just cash in all your assets, and join one of those world series of poker type of tournaments.

I think you'd still have to lose small hands here and there, so it didn't appear as though you were cheating, or the game was rigged. But by betting big when you have a winning hand, you should be able to win millions.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:52 PM   #4
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Well, since MD is only about 20-30 minutes away from us and allows anonymous lottery winners I'd pick that. Boring, yes, but reliable, simple, and effective.

Otherwise, Vegas baby. Roulette probably, plunk down a big wad with long odds and you don't have to be there long.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #5
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Um... John Titor is back, and wants to monitize knowledge?
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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I think I'd more likely do sports betting, slots and lottery than face to face games where people will directly see your "luck" and either get suspicious or decide to rob you on your way out. Take it slow, and spread the bets out since you don't want the casino people knowing it's rigged. Don't hit the top lottery jackpot but instead win smaller with fewer numbers. Lose a few bets along with winners, and only bet heavy on major events like the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, boxing championship, etc.

Once you have a good stake, use the stock market but don't day trade (or not much, anyway), and don't buy and sell full positions. Increase or decrease positions by 10% maybe, and not on every gain or loss. Don't buy or sell a lot on individual stock news since that can draw heat, but on world events that drag down the market you can sell since you wouldn't have information from an insider on this.

About the only other way I can see when you only have 24 hours knowledge is to be in sales, and know in advance who will buy and who will not, so you don't waste time on people who won't buy. Or in many jobs you could use that knowledge to advance your career.

Just by avoiding accidents, traffic tie ups, canceled flights, etc, you could save yourself time and money.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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If you make a living always winning at casinos, no matter what the game, you'll eventually become known and won't be allowed into any of them.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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Ha! I am already doing this. To find out how, just send $39.95 to my P.O. Box at...
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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I never thought about making money off the future, but I have about going back in time. With my luck though, it would be like the movie "Hot Tub Time Machine" and I would lose the big bet because a squirrel came back in time with me and messes up the outcome of the game that had already occurred.

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