# How to tell Matlab to ignore NaNs in calculations/loops

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Tobi83 on 8 Aug 2012
Hi, I am trying to make some operations with Matlab but I need to ignore the generatedmissing Values / NaNs Matlab gives out after reading in the data from excel. Since now the code is only taking the empty cells and copy them to the new spreadsheet. Instead the NaNs should be ignored. (I am replicating a Finance paper which makes use of the momentum strategy described in Jegadeesh/Titman(1993).) The code is posted below
The code is taken to some part from paper which is about quite the same topic. I have made only some few channges. I Can't delete all the columns which have some NaNs in it.
The code as used is
s=-1+(1-(-1)).*rand(715,215);
stockdata=transpose(s);
stockdata(stockdata > 0.5) = NaN;
stockid=[1:715];
[totalmonths,totalstocks] = size(stockdata);% Number of months, number of stocks
period1 = 6; %order period
period2 = 6; % holding period
startmonth=14;
for i=1:totalmonths
nbrstocks(i) = totalstocks - sum(isnan(stockdata(i,:)));
end
for i = 1:length(period1)
for j = 1:length(period2)
p1 = period1(i);
p2 = period2(j);
Rwinner = zeros(totalmonths,1);
Rloser = zeros(totalmonths,1);
idwinner = zeros(totalmonths,round(max(nbrstocks)*0.33));% empty matrix for winners
idloser = zeros(totalmonths,round(max(nbrstocks)*0.33));% empty matrix for losers
for k = startmonth:totalmonths+1-p1-p2 % loop from start till end
start1 = k;
stop1 = start1+p1-1;
ordermonths = start1:stop1;
start2 = stop1+1;
stop2 = start2+p2-1;
holdmonths = start2:stop2;
nstocks = nbrstocks(k);
% order R for the ordering weeks
data1 = stockdata(ordermonths, 1:nstocks);
R1 = ones(1,nstocks);
for m = 1:length(ordermonths)
R1 = R1.*data1(m,:);
end
R1 = R1-1;
% select for the winners and losers
[B,idx] = sort(R1,'descend');
ncandidates = round(nstocks*0.33);
idwinner(k,1:ncandidates) = stockid(idx(1:ncandidates));
idloser(k,1:ncandidates) = stockid(idx(end-ncandidates+1:end));
% caculate the R for winners and losers in holding months
data2winner = stockdata(holdmonths, idx(1:ncandidates));
data2loser = stockdata(holdmonths, idx(end-ncandidates+1:end));
R2w = ones(1,ncandidates);
R2l = ones(1,ncandidates);
for m = 1:length(holdmonths)
R2w = R2w.*data2winner(m,:);
R2l = R2l.*data2loser(m,:);
end
R2w = R2w-1;
R2l = R2l - 1;
Rwinner(k) = mean(R2w);
Rloser(k) = mean(R2l);
end
xlswrite(fullfile(['strategy_' num2str(p1) '_' num2str(p2) '_''.xlsx']),Rwinner,'Rwinner');
xlswrite(fullfile(['strategy_' num2str(p1) '_' num2str(p2) '_''.xlsx']),Rloser,'Rloser');
xlswrite(fullfile(['strategy_' num2str(p1) '_' num2str(p2) '_''.xlsx']),idwinner,'idwinner');
xlswrite(fullfile(['strategy_' num2str(p1) '_' num2str(p2) '_''.xlsx']),idloser,'idloser');
end
end

Oleg Komarov on 8 Aug 2012
Edited: Oleg Komarov on 9 Aug 2012
If you have the Statistics or the Financial toolbox, use nanmean().
EDIT
What are you trying to do with:
% order R for the ordering weeks
data1 = stockdata(ordermonths, 1:nstocks);
R1 = ones(1,nstocks);
for m = 1:length(ordermonths)
R1 = R1.*data1(m,:);
end
R1 = R1-1;
the cumulative return? Then set the NaNs to 1.
idx = isnan(data1);
data1(idx) = 1;
R1 = prod(data1) - 1;
no need to loop, since prod() is vectorized.
Apply same concept here:
% caculate the R for winners and losers in holding months
data2winner = stockdata(holdmonths, idx(1:ncandidates));
data2loser = stockdata(holdmonths, idx(end-ncandidates+1:end));
R2w = ones(1,ncandidates);
R2l = ones(1,ncandidates);
for m = 1:length(holdmonths)
R2w = R2w.*data2winner(m,:);
R2l = R2l.*data2loser(m,:);
end
R2w = R2w-1;
R2l = R2l - 1;
AND then use nanmean().

Oleg Komarov on 9 Aug 2012
Still, I don't have stockid() to go further.
Tobi83 on 9 Aug 2012
Thanks for keeping your eye on the ball
the following can be used for both stockid and stockdata
s=-1+(1-(-1)).*rand(715,215);
stockdata=transpose(s);
stockdata(stockdata > 0.5) = NaN;
stockid=[1:715];
Oleg Komarov on 9 Aug 2012
See my edit.

Albert Yam on 8 Aug 2012
How about just going low level. At the start of the loop (or where applicable),
if any(isnan(VARIABLE))
continue
end

Show 1 older comment
Tobi83 on 9 Aug 2012
So far I tried to insert the command at the position as shown above. The result is that the vector doesn't consist of NaNs anymore but of zeros, which isn't plausible. So either it doesn't work or I got you (or the code) wrong
if any(isnan(R1)) continue;
[B,idx] = sort(R1,'descend');
end
However I am grateful that you share your ideas with me.
Tobi
Albert Yam on 9 Aug 2012
Looking at others' answers, not sure what you want to skip. This will work if you put it in the right place. Not sure where the right place is.
if any(isnan(VARIABLE)) % if this is true, run the 'continue'
continue % this skips this iteration of the loop
%any code here is skipped, due to the continue
end
[B,idx] = sort(R1,'descend'); %should go here if you want to run it
Tobi83 on 9 Aug 2012
Thanks for your help again. I tried it like this
if any(isnan(R1))
continue
[B,idx] = sort(R1,'descend');
end
but this gave me an RWinner of zeros. I used this as data in combination with the code above
s=-1+(1-(-1)).*rand(715,215);
stockdata=transpose(s);
stockdata(stockdata > 0.5) = NaN;
stockid=[1:715];

Sebastian Holmqvist on 9 Aug 2012
data_vec = [1 2 3 4 5 NaN 7 8 NaN 10 12];
data_vec(~isnan(data_vec))
ans =
1 2 3 4 5 7 8 10 12

Tobi83 on 9 Aug 2012
Thank you, but I don't know how I can use that in the code above. What would you propose?
Sebastian Holmqvist on 9 Aug 2012
Well, this code excludes the NaN elements. So it all depends on what you want to do. I can't make much of your code (since I don't know the input data or what you want to produce) so it's hard for me to make an educated guess. A guess (probably a malfunctioning one) would be to insert
R1 = R1(~isnan(R1));
before
[B,idx] = sort(R1,'descend');
Tobi83 on 9 Aug 2012
Thanks again. This doesnt't work because the number of elements must agree in
R1 = R1.*data1(m,:);
You simulate data which looks like the one I am using by copying the following and using it instead of the xlsread commands:
s=-1+(1-(-1)).*rand(715,215);
stockdata=transpose(s);
stockdata(stockdata > 0.5) = NaN;
stockid=[1:715];

borge on 6 Dec 2012
Hi Tobi83,
I am attempting to do a similar analysis andI have attempted to a compile a code similar to yours, but ran into the same problem, so I was wondering how your code ended up looking like?
Best, borge