This page walks through what you as a participating trader need to do to fully sign up for the Competition, including all the downloads that you’ll need to be able to trade. To get fully registered, you’ll need to interact with the three (3) components that make up this competition:

  • The website that you’re on right now
  • An ‘educator-level’ paper trading account run by the Student Trading Lab at Interactive Brokers (IBKR). This is what participants will use to make their trades and monitor market data.
  • The Gothic Hedge Hub: our official Discord server, where participants can interact with each other, the competition admins, and sponsors (when they choose to sign in and make themselves available)

If you’re a currently enrolled university student (grad or undergrad) then you’re eligible to participate in the competition!

Step 1: Make a Discord account

If you already have a Discord account that you don’t mind using for the Competition, then you may use it.

If not, then you must create one. Discord accounts are required for the competition this year for several reasons:

  • Jake Vestal (The Architect) and Zoe Kim (The Artist) – the Competition admins – are going to be doing Discord livestreams at various times for various reasons (or for no reason at all) throughout this Competition. Not all these will be posted to YouTube. These sessions are sure to be helpful at best, and entertaining at a minimum :)
  • You’ll use Discord to communicate with each other…
  • …receive Competition announcements as they take place…
  • …and communicate with Competition admins in case you encounter an issue.

But perhaps most importantly: We’re allowing some sponsors to join certain channels on the Hedge Hub for recruiting purposes.

You can make an account and download Discord here. You are probably going to want to download the app on your desktop and your phone.

Once you’ve got your Discord username, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Fill out & submit this form:

Fill out my online form.

After you complete Step 2, the Competition admins will receive it and send you two things:

  • an invite to join the Trading Competition’s Discord server
  • an invite to create your trading account at Interactive Brokers.

You need to do both of these steps in order to be fully registered. We’re working on automating the invites but for now, allow a max of 24 hours from the time you submit in Step 2 to the time you receive your two (2) invites.

When you get them, you can proceed:

Step 3: Join the Gothic Hedge Hub (the Competition’s Discord server)

Look for your Discord invite within the Discord app and join the server! Say hello in the Introductions channel, or maybe the General.

Step 4: Create your paper trading account

Monitor the university email address that you provided in Step 2 for an invite link to create a paper trading account for this year’s competition!

  • Yes, you absolutely must create a new IBKR paper trading account even if you already have one.

Step 5: Confirm access to your paper trading account

After a day or two (it varies, and usually your client portal activates first) you should be able to log in to your new IBKR paper trading account you created in two ways:

  1. The Client Portal, which your account management website where you can view basic info about your account, including statements, balances, and trading activity.

  2. Trader Workstation (TWS) TWS is IBKR’s graphical client app that connects to the brokerage and allows you to make trades and view real-time market data, including news & bulletins. TWS is intended to be installed on your computer and can be customized to your liking following the documentation on IBKR’s home page.

To install TWS, you’ll want to visit the TWS download page and install the correct version for your system. You’ll want to verify that you can log in and start setting up your preferred views, watchlists, etc.

There are two other ways to access your account:

IBKR Mobile

Interactive Brokers offers a mobile app from which you can access your account to make trades and view market data. The app is available on Android and iOS.

IB Gateway (IBG)

IB Gateway is identical to TWS in every way except that there is no graphical user interface (GUI) – you’re expected to connect to a running instance of IBG using one of the various APIs made available by IBKR. To download, visit the IBG download page. Use this if you plan on making trades with an external system such as an app you’ve written in a language like R or Python.

Finally, for learning, tutorials, & so on:

Traders’ University

IBKR maintains a set of videos on their Traders’ University site where you can learn about the different financial instruments and how to trade them using your system of choice.

Also be aware that Jake & Zoe will be giving educational sessions on how to use IBKR’s system on Discord from time to time.