Get started with Pandas and NumPy for Finance for Risk and Return

What will we cover?

In this part we will get familiar with NumPy. We will assume familiarity with the Pandas library. If you are new to Pandas we will suggest you start with this FREE 2h course. This part will look at how Pandas and NumPy is connected.

In this tutorial we will cover the following.

Refresher of working with Pandas and Pandas Datareader to use them to read historic stock prices.

How PandasDataFrame and NumPy arrays are related and different.

Calculations of return of a portfolio, which is a primary evaluation factor of an investment.

Step 1: Get some data with Pandas Datareader

First, we need some historic time series stock prices. This can be easily done with Pandas Datareader.

import numpy as np
import pandas_datareader as pdr
import datetime as dt
import pandas as pd
start = dt.datetime(2020, 1, 1)
data = pdr.get_data_yahoo("AAPL", start)

This will read historic stock prices from Apple (ticker AAPL) starting from 2020 and up until today. The data is in a DataFrame (Pandas main data structure).

It is a good habit to verify that the data is as expected to avoid surprises later in the process. That can be done by calling head() on the DataFramedata, which will show the first 5 lines.

data.head()

Resulting in.

High Low Open Close Volume Adj Close
Date
2020-01-02 75.150002 73.797501 74.059998 75.087502 135480400.0 74.333511
2020-01-03 75.144997 74.125000 74.287498 74.357498 146322800.0 73.610840
2020-01-06 74.989998 73.187500 73.447502 74.949997 118387200.0 74.197395
2020-01-07 75.224998 74.370003 74.959999 74.597504 108872000.0 73.848442
2020-01-08 76.110001 74.290001 74.290001 75.797501 132079200.0 75.036385

Recall that the index should be a DatetimeIndex. This makes it possible to take advantage of being a time series.

To remind ourselves further, we recall that each column in a DataFrame has a datatype.

data.dtypes

Shown below here.

High float64
Low float64
Open float64
Close float64
Volume float64
Adj Close float64
dtype: object

Step 2: Investigate how NumPy is different from DataFrames (pandas)

The next step in our journey is to see how NumPy is different from PandasDataFrames.

We can get the DataFrame as a NumPy array as follows.

arr = data.to_numpy()

The shape of a NumPy array gives the dimensions.

(303, 6)

Please notice, that you might get more rows than 303, as you run this later than we do here in the tutorial. There will be a row for each day open on the stock exchange market since beginning of 2020.

But you should get 6 columns, as there are 6 columns in our DataFrame, where the NumPy array comes from.

The first row of data can be accessed as follows.

arr[0]

Which gives the the data of the first row, as we know it from the DataFrame.

Notice the scientific notation. Other than that, you can see the figures are the same.

Now to an interesting difference from DataFrames. The NumPy array only has one datatype. That means, that all columns have the same datatype. The full array has the same datatype.

arr.dtype

Resulting in the following output.

dtype('float64')

To access the top 10 entries of the first column in our NumPy array (the one representing the High column), we can use the following notation.

small = arr[:10, 0].copy()
small

Which will output a one-dimensional array of size 10, containing the 10 first values of column 0.

Where the first two return the maximum value of the array, small. The argmax() returns the index of the maximum value.

The NumPy functionality works well on DataFrames, which comes in handy when working with financial data.

We can get the logarithm of values in a NumPy array as follows.

np.log(small)

Similarly, we can apply the logarithm on all entries in a DataFrame as follows.

np.log(data)

This is magic.

High Low Open Close Volume Adj Close
Date
2020-01-02 4.319486 4.301325 4.304876 4.318654 18.724338 4.308562
2020-01-03 4.319420 4.305753 4.307943 4.308885 18.801326 4.298792
2020-01-06 4.317355 4.293025 4.296571 4.316821 18.589471 4.306729
2020-01-07 4.320484 4.309053 4.316955 4.312107 18.505683 4.302015
2020-01-08 4.332180 4.307976 4.307976 4.328065 18.698912 4.317973

While the logarithm of all the columns here does not make sense. Later we will use this and it will all make sense.

Step 4: Calculate the daily return

We can calculate the daily return as follows.

data/data.shift()

Resulting in the following output (or first few lines).

High Low Open Close Volume Adj Close
Date
2020-01-02 NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN NaN
2020-01-03 0.999933 1.004438 1.003072 0.990278 1.080029 0.990278
2020-01-06 0.997937 0.987352 0.988693 1.007968 0.809082 1.007968
2020-01-07 1.003134 1.016157 1.020593 0.995297 0.919626 0.995297
2020-01-08 1.011765 0.998924 0.991062 1.016086 1.213160 1.016086

Let’s investigate that a bit. Recall the data (you can get the first 5 lines: data.head())

High Low Open Close Volume Adj Close
Date
2020-01-02 75.150002 73.797501 74.059998 75.087502 135480400.0 74.333511
2020-01-03 75.144997 74.125000 74.287498 74.357498 146322800.0 73.610840
2020-01-06 74.989998 73.187500 73.447502 74.949997 118387200.0 74.197395
2020-01-07 75.224998 74.370003 74.959999 74.597504 108872000.0 73.848442
2020-01-08 76.110001 74.290001 74.290001 75.797501 132079200.0 75.036385

Notice the the calculation.

75.144997/75.150002

Gives.

0.9999333998687053

Wait. Hence the second row of High divided by the first gives the same value of the second row of data/data.shift().

This is no coincidence. The line takes each entry in data and divides it with the corresponding entry in data.shift(), and it happens that data.shift() is shifted one forward by date. Hence, it will divide by the previous row.

Now we understand that, let’s get back to the logarithm. Because, we love log returns. Why? Let’s see this example.

np.sum(np.log(data/data.shift()))

Giving.

High 0.502488
Low 0.507521
Open 0.515809
Close 0.492561
Volume -1.278826
Adj Close 0.502653
dtype: float64

And the following.

np.log(data/data.iloc[0]).tail(1)

Giving the following.

High Low Open Close Volume Adj Close
Date
2021-03-17 0.502488 0.507521 0.515809 0.492561 -1.278826 0.502653

Now why are we so excited about that?

Well, because we can sum the log daily returns and get the full return. This is really handy when we want to calculate returns of changing portfolios or similar.

We do not care where the log returns comes from. If our money was invested one day in one portfolio, we get the log return from that. The next day our money is invested in another portfolio. Then we get the log return from that. The sum of those two log returns give the full return.

That’s the magic.

Step 5: Reading data from multiple tickers

We also cover how to reshape data in the video lecture.

Then we consider how to calculate with portfolio and get the return.

This requires us to read data from multiple tickers to create a portfolio.

As you see, we start with 100000 USD and end with 169031 USD in this case. You might get a bit different result, as you run yours on a later day.

This is handy to explore a portfolio composition.

Actually, when we get to Monte Carlo Simulation, this will be handy. There, we will generate multiple random portfolios and calculate the return and risk for each of them, to optimize the portfolio composition.

A random portfolio can be generated as follows with NumPy.

Notice, that we generate 4 random numbers (one for each ticker) and then we divide by the sum of them. This ensures the sum of the weights will be 1, hence, representing a portfolio.

In the next lesson you will learn how to Calculate Volatility as Average True Range (ATR) with Python DataFrames and NumPy.

12% Investment Solution

Would you like to get 12% in return of your investments?

D. A. Carter promises and shows how his simple investment strategy will deliver that in the book The 12% Solution. The book shows how to test this statement by using backtesting.

Did Carter find a strategy that will consistently beat the market?

Actually, it is not that hard to use Python to validate his calculations. But we can do better than that. If you want to work smarter than traditional investors then continue to read here.