Frequently Asked Questions

The M6 guidelines (available at https://mofc.unic.ac.cy/the-m6-competition/) present in detail the set-up of the competition, its evaluation process, submission format, benchmarks, and prizes; and provide clarification on various important topics. Below is a list of FAQs. For any other question you may have, please contact the M6 team at support@m6competition.com.

By clicking on the “My Team” tab and then on the “Submit Forecasts and Decisions” button you will see a calendar displaying the submission points of M6, along with the starting/end dates of each submission period (i.e., the period during which you may submit your forecasts and investment decisions). In total, there are 12 submission points (plus a pilot submission point where participation is optional).
By clicking on the “My Team” tab and then on the “Submit Forecasts and Decisions” button you will see a calendar displaying the submission points of M6. Depending on the current date, a different point will be active for submission (highlighted in green). By clicking on the “Upload your submission” button next to the active point you’ll be redirected to the submission page of the competition. There, you’ll be able to upload your forecasts and investment decisions using the competition’s submission template (see also Q3 and Q6 for details on the competition’s submission template and the confirmation of your submission).
The submission template of M6 (csv file) can be found on the submission page of the competition (see Q2 for more details on how you can access the page). The submission involves 7 columns. The first column indicates the asset (acronym) to which the forecasts and the investment decisions refer. The second to sixth columns contain the probabilities (up to five decimal places) of the ranks of the forecasted percentage return for each asset; rank 1 is the lowest forecasted percentage return and rank 5 is the highest forecasted percentage return. The seventh column contains numerical values corresponding to the percentages (up to five decimal places) for investing in each asset. The forecasts and investment decisions originally shown in the template are dummy entries, assigning to the 100 assets a probability of 0.2 to each for the five ranks (forecasts) and a percentage for investing of 0.01 (investment decisions).
Yes. There are some restrictions designed to make sure that submissions are complete and meaningful. First, your submission must include forecasts and investment decisions for all 100 assets. Empty, missing, and duplicate rows will render the submission invalid. Second, the sum of your forecasts for each asset (probabilities of being ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) must sum to 1 and your individual forecasts must be non-negative numbers (having up to five decimal places each). Third, the sum of the absolute investment percentages submitted must be equal to or less than 1, where positive numbers indicate long positions, negative numbers indicate short positions, and zero indicates no position. If the sum of the absolute percentages (up to five decimal places each) is lower than 1, then the difference will be considered as no investment. Note however that the sum of the absolute investment percentages cannot be lower than 0.25 (i.e., you have to take some risk in order for your submission to be valid).
You can upload multiple submissions for each point (a maximum of 5 submissions per day). However, only the last submission made for each point will be considered for evaluation. The rest of the submissions will be stored in the system for your reference, but not evaluated by the organizers. By clicking on the “My Team” tab you’ll find an overview of all of your past submissions along with their status (confirmed / not confirmed). You can click on your past submissions to see when they were submitted and what your forecasts and investment decisions were.
When accessing the submission page, you will find a box where you can drop your submission file in order for it to be uploaded. Alternatively, you can click on the box to browse your computer’s file system and identify the file you wish to upload. If the submission uploaded is valid, your forecasts and investment decisions will be displayed under the box. In order to confirm your submission, you’ll have to type “ok” in the confirmation box that pops up and then click on the “Confirm” button. It is important to do so - otherwise your uploaded forecasts and investment decisions won’t be submitted, and will instead be stored in the system, awaiting for your confirmation. Submissions that have been successfully uploaded but not confirmed won’t be evaluated by the organizers.
No, you do not. Provided that you have made a valid submission at some point in the competition, if you decide later not to make another one, we will assume that your previous valid submission carries over. In other words, your forecasts and investment decisions will not change and will be used for evaluating your performance in subsequent periods. If you wish to change your forecasts and investment decisions (even for some of the assets), then you’ll have to make a new submission.
Yes. The purpose of the trial run is for you to get familiar with the system, rules, evaluation process, etc. before the actual competition begins. If you haven’t participated in the pilot, you are still able to participate in M6.
Yes, you can participate in the competition even if you’ve missed a single or even multiple submission points. As explained in Q7, if you have previously made a valid submission to M6, this submission will carry over till your next valid submission, thus allowing you to participate in the competition for the following periods. For instance, if you’ve made a valid submission in the first point of the competition, and never submitted new forecasts and investment decisions afterwards, you’ll still be participating actively in M6 through that initial submission. In case you haven’t made any valid submission in the past, in many cases you’ll still be able to participate, depending however on the submission point you decide to enter the competition (for more details, see Q10).
Yes, you can participate in M6 even if you entered the competition at a later stage. However, depending on the date that you did so, you may not be eligible for some of the prizes. Specifically, in order for a team to be eligible for a quarterly prize, the team must enter one or more valid submissions that cover all three months of that particular quarter. For instance, in order for a team to collect a prize in the second quarter, it has to make a valid submission before the deadline of the fifth month of M6.
No. According to Q10, in order for a team to be eligible for a quarterly prize, it must have made one or more valid submissions that cover all three months of that particular quarter. Similarly, in order for a team to be eligible for a global prize, it must have made one or more valid submissions that cover all four quarters. As a result, if a team is not eligible for collecting a prize for one of the four quarters, it is automatically ineligible for collecting the global prizes as well. In practice, this means that if your team hasn’t made a valid submission for the first month of the competition, it cannot collect a global prize (although it may be able to collect a quarterly prize).
No. According to Q4, your submission file must contain forecasts and investment decisions for all the assets in the competition. However, you can still participate in M6 by assigning to the remaining assets dummy forecasts and investment decisions. For example, your forecasts for the remaining assets can be similar to the ones used in the submission template of the competition (see Q3), while the percentages for investing in those assets can be zero. Note that the forecasts for all assets will continue to account equally when calculating the forecasting performance of a team, regardless of whether your forecasts were dummy forecasts or not.
By clicking on the “Leaderboard” tab you’ll be redirected in a page presenting four different leaderboards. The first leaderboard, “Pilot”, presents the positions, scores, and ranks of the teams that participated in the trial month of M6. The first column indicates the position of each team in terms of overall rank (OR), shown in the third column, while the second column contains the name of the team that achieved that position. The fourth and fifth column summarize the performance of the teams in terms of forecasts (i.e. the RPS score and the rank of each team according to the RPS measure). Similarly, the sixth and seventh columns summarize the performance of the teams in terms of investment decisions (i.e. the IR score and the rank of each team according to the IR measure). The second leaderboard, “Global”, presents the same information, but this time for the complete competition (i.e. for the four quarters combined). The third leaderboard, “Quarter”, presents the same information as the previous two leaderboards, but this time for a particular quarter ( i.e. for three months combined, which can be defined using the drop-down menu on the right of the leaderboard). Finally, the fourth leaderboard, “Month”, presents the same information as the previous three leaderboards, but this time for a particular month, which can again be defined using the drop-down menu on the right of the leaderboard. Note that leaderboards are regularly updated, typically at the end of each day based on realized prices of the assets. This means that the contents of a monthly leaderboard will change about 20 times (4 weeks with 5 working days in each) until results are finalized. Similarly, the contents of a quarterly leaderboard will change about 60 times (3 months with 4 weeks in each) until results are finalized, while the contents of the global leaderboard will change about 240 times (4 quarters with 3 months in each) until results are finalized. This feature allows you to obtain live feedback on your performance, both for particular points of the competition, and over the entire competition. Note that if your team is not eligible for a quarterly or global prize, it won’t be included in the respective leaderboards. However, team performance will still be displayed in the monthly leaderboards, in order for you to receive feedback about your performance.
Each team may consist of up to 5 participants: a team leader and 4 members. The members shouldn’t create separate accounts, nor submit their own forecasts; the team leader (the one that has registered the team) is the only person responsible for making submissions for a team. Once a member has been added to a team, the member cannot be removed from said team. However, it is possible for the team leader to add members at a later stage of the competition. In such cases, we will assume that all participants agree with the addition of the new member.
No. Each participant can only be a part of a single team, being either its leader or a member. In cases where organizers conclude that a participant was involved in multiple teams, said participants will be disqualified. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, when initially registered you (or your team’s leader) will be asked to give your full name, country, and email address, among others things. In order for a team to collect a prize, its leader will have to provide evidence to the organizers that all team members are the ones originally declared.
As team leader, you’ll be able to invite up to four members to your team (see Q14). To do so, you have to click on the “My Team” tab and then on the “Edit Team Members” button. In the displayed page, you’ll see information about the current members of your team and an “Invite a new member” button that you may click to invite new members. By clicking on this button, you’ll be asked to provide the name and email address of the new member. Provided that the invited member in not part of another team, they will receive an invitation email, requesting them to (a) accept your invitation and (b) provide some personal information. If the invitation is accepted, the new member will automatically be added to your team. Otherwise, the invitation will be shown in the invitation page as “Pending”. Note that once a member has been added, they cannot be removed (see Q14). Also, once a member has been registered, their personal information cannot be changed. Therefore, please make sure that the information provided when registering new members is correct. False information about any member of your team may render your submissions ineligible for a prize.
In order for a team to be eligible for the student prize, it has to consist solely of students, with the exception of one participant who may not be a student, and who serves as supervisor. In order for the team to collect the student prize, its name should end with “_STU” and its members should be able to authenticate that they are students when asked by the organizers. Otherwise, the next top-performing student team will collect the prize.
The M6 competition offers 52 prizes in total. In each quarter, 9 prizes will be awarded to the top-3 teams that achieved the best forecasting, investment, and duathlon performance, for that particular quarter. Similarly, at the end of the competition, 15 prizes will be awarded to the top-5 teams that have achieved the best global forecasting, investment, and duathlon performance, across the entire competition. Finally, there will be a student prize for the top-performing student team, in terms of global duathlon performance.
Yes. There are no limitations on how many prizes a team may collect. For example, if your team ranks 1st in terms of OR in all four quarters, and is also a student team, then you’ll collect 6 prize (i.e. four quarterly duathlon prizes, the global duathlon prize, and the student prize). Moreover, if your team is also among the top performing teams in terms of forecasting (RPS) and investment decision (IR) performance, your team may collect additional prizes, both on a quarterly level and globally.
The data used in M6 (asset prices) are completely open and readily available. Therefore, you are free to use a tool, API, or web-based application of your preference to collect historical asset prices data, as well as any other information you believe may be helpful for improving your forecast and investment performance. For your convenience, the “Asset Prices” tab allows you to download asset prices data in a (csv) or (json) format. Note however that these files will only contain the prices of the assets close to the beginning of the competition (31-01-2022). As a result, if you are interested in collecting historical data that date before the launch of M6, you will have to do that on your own. The organizers will collect the adjusted close prices of the assets on a daily basis to update the leaderboards using appropriate APIs. Originally, the “Yahoo! finance” API was used for that purpose but was later replaced by the “EOD Historical Data” one since the former was unreliable for part of the assets. In general, the API used for collecting asset prices data may change through the competition if the organizers conclude that another service is more consistent and better reflects the actual adjusted closing prices of the selected assets. The final figures used for the evaluation remain subject to the discretion of the organizers.
The M6 guidelines provide detailed examples on the way forecast and investment performance is computed. For your interest, sample code is available at the M6 GitHub repository (https://github.com/Mcompetitions/M6-methods).