Yesterday afternoon, I had a bit of time on my hands, and a report that someone desperately needed redone. The original author was a support engineer who was trying to learn Ruby and didn’t realize that Ruby hash-maps are case sensitive. In the interest of time, I corrected the issue by downcasing all the keys, and reran the script (which ran successfully, but inelegantly), but I looked at the problem, and once again, found a perfectly lovely use case for the language I love so much, F#.

First off, some of the basics.

open System

// these may not be strictly necessary, but they do help describe
// precisely what data I'm dealing with
module UpperCaseString = 
    type UpperCaseString = UpperCaseString of string
    let private upper (a:string) =

    let create (a:string) = 
        if String.IsNullOrEmpty(a) then None
        else Some (UpperCaseString (upper a))
    let value (UpperCaseString s) =
open UpperCaseString

module FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne = 
    type FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne = FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne of decimal

    let create (a:decimal) = 
        if a > Decimal.One || a < Decimal.Zero then              None          else              Some (FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne a)          let value (FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne f) =               f     let make a = (create a |> Option.get)    
open FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne 

Generally, I’ll do this for most business application coding nowadays. Creating a simple type that encapsulates correctness from the get-go (including basic validation) makes it so I don’t have to try to figure out weird results. I know the sorts of things I’m dealing with, and I deal with them from the beginning. Also, given the fundamental problem of the original script I had (the case sensitive hash-maps), ensuring I had a type that enforced upper-casing seemed worthwhile.

Next, the domain.

type Model = Model of UpperCaseString
    with static member Value (Model (UpperCaseString s)) = s
type Ticker = Ticker of UpperCaseString
    with static member Value (Ticker (UpperCaseString s)) = s

type Holding = { Ticker : Ticker; Allocation : FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne }
type ModelAllocations = { Model : Model; Holdings : Holding list }
type ModelWeight = { Model : Model; Weight : FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne }

type SleevedHolding = { Ticker : Ticker; Model : Model; Allocation : FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne } 
    with override x.ToString () = sprintf "%s,%s,%5M" (Ticker.Value x.Ticker) (Model.Value x.Model) (FloatingDecimalBetweenZeroAndOne.value x.Allocation) 

// This is the simplest description of what we're doing.
// taking a list of holdings, a list of models and their holdings
// a list of weights to apply to the model, and returning a set of 'sleeved' holdings.
type SleeveProcess = Holding list -> ModelAllocations list -> ModelWeight list -> SleevedHolding list

The problem the original script was attempting to solve was to assign an appropriate ‘Model’ to a holding. A Model is, for sake of brevity, simply an identity (representing the “name” of a standard financial benchmark (like the S&P 500), and a Ticker an identity representing a stock ticker.

A Holding represents an individual stock in a of a portfolio, with the Allocation representing the percentage of the portfolio. ModelAllocations represent a model, and the list of holdings it has (what stocks are in the S&P 500, etc.) ModelWeight represents the approximate weight a portfolio is associated to a given model or benchmark.

E.G. S&P 500 -> 50% , and Russell 3000 -> 50%.

let makeModel str =
    UpperCaseString.create str |> Option.get |> Model  

let makeTicker str =
    UpperCaseString.create str |> Option.get |> Ticker

let holding str all =
    { Ticker = makeTicker str; Allocation = make all }

let makeSleeve t m a = { Ticker = t; Model = m; Allocation = a }
let modelWeight str a = { Model = makeModel str; Weight = make a }
let modelAllocation str h = { Model = makeModel str; Holdings = h }

One of the problems of heavy use of custom types is that you’ll typically want ‘shorthand’ functions for creating the types as necessary. It can be a pain, but difficult to explain results after the fact is worse.

Finally, the meat of it.

let sleeveHoldings holdings models weights =
    let findHolding t = 
        models |> 
             List.collect (fun n -> n.Holdings 
                                        |> List.filter (fun n -> n.Ticker = t) 
                                        |> (fun x -> (n.Model, x.Allocation)))
    let sleeve h = 
        let t = h.Ticker
        let m = findHolding t // a list of models that hold the security
        match m with 
        | [] -> 
            weights |> 
       (fun w -> 
                    let weightTimesAllocation = (value w.Weight * value h.Allocation)
                    makeSleeve t w.Model (make weightTimesAllocation))
        | [(x,_)] -> [makeSleeve t x h.Allocation]
        | xs -> 
            let weightsMap = weights |> (fun n -> (n.Model, value n.Weight)) |> Map.ofList
            let total = xs |> List.sumBy (fun (m, w) -> weightsMap.[m] * value (w))
            xs |> (fun (m, w) -> 
                                let weightTimesAllocationOverTotal = (value w * weightsMap.[m]) / total
                                makeSleeve t m (make (weightTimesAllocationOverTotal * value h.Allocation)))

    holdings |> List.collect sleeve   

First, we define a function to find the models with a given holding, and return that model and the allocation. Then we define a function to sleeve an individual holding. Finally, we call that function over the list of holdings passed in.

A simple set of tests:

let testHoldings = [
        holding  "A" 0.20m;
        holding  "B" 0.20m;
        holding  "C" 0.20m;
        holding  "D" 0.20m; 
        holding  "E" 0.20m; ]
let testWeights =  [
        modelWeight "MODEL1" 0.5m; 
        modelWeight "MODEL2" 0.3m;
        modelWeight "MODEL3" 0.2m;

let testModelAllocations = [
    modelAllocation "MODEL1" [
            holding  "A" 1.0m;
    modelAllocation "MODEL2" [
            holding  "A" 0.5m;
            holding  "B" 0.3m;
            holding  "D" 0.2m;
    modelAllocation "MODEL3" [
            holding  "B" 0.5m;
            holding  "C" 0.3m;
            holding  "D" 0.2m;

sleeveHoldings testHoldings testModelAllocations testWeights |> (fun m -> m.ToString ())

val it : string list =
   "B,MODEL3,0.1052631578947368421052631579"; "C,MODEL3, 0.20";
   "D,MODEL2,0.120"; "D,MODEL3,0.080"; "E,MODEL1,0.100"; "E,MODEL2,0.060";

Explaining the image: At the financial services firm I work for, the concept of attributing holdings is called ‘sleeving.’ The photo is from an original 19th century (1872) painting by Dante Rossetti, of “Lady Greensleeves.”

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