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Determining your real tolerance to risk, investing better – with Aaron Klein

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Risk is such a hard thing to define for investors. Simple questionnaires advisors use don’t capture our real risk. Get risk wrong and the portfolio is wrong — sometimes with disastrous results.

Today’s guest on Tradestreaming Radio aims to change all that. Aaron Klein’s firm, Riskalyze has developed its own unique way of making a risk assessment that really captures what he calls, an investor’s risk fingerprint.

Instead of relying upon simple, pat, theoretical questions, Riskalyze really tries to determine how investors make decisions under uncertainty.

With a proper risk assessment in hand, the opportunities are endless for Riskalyze to develop a truly personalized portfolio.

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  • How to plan an awesome career in finance – with Roy Cohen

    Posted on January 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm UTC

    Roy Cohen is a master career coach. His experience as in-house career coach for Goldman Sachs launched a career in which Cohen has helped thousands of financial professionals.

    He’s the author of the very useful The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide

    In this week’s episode of Tradestreaming Radio, you’ll learn about:

    • where the jobs are headed on Wall Street
    • what successful candidates are doing to land their dream jobs
    • common mistakes people make with their financial careers
    • traits shared by top performers

    Awesome opportunity

    Roy is also joining me at the 4 Days to a Better Job: 2012 Finance Career Bootcamp. You’ll get access to Roy and 8 other experts to literally supercharge your job search. Great if you’re trying to break into Wall Street, hedge funds, etc and equally useful if you’re in the market for a better job.

    Loyal listeners of my podcast get an additional 25% off  - if you sign up before January 31. Use the special code PODCAST  to get your discount. Go here to buy your tickets.

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  • The antidote to poor investing returns

    Posted on January 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm UTC

    One of the holy grails of financial research is to be able to identify those traits that make for better investors.


    Because if we can isolate those skills top investors have, we can strengthen our own investment activity accordingly.

    A recent study looked at the connection between IQ and stock market participation.

    The real results aren’t what everyone is focused on…

    Continue Reading »


  • Who are the top marketers in online finance?

    Posted on January 20, 2012 at 9:37 am UTC

    The real story behind growth of online finance companies is that growing true Internet investment firms has moved from an exercise in mass-market brand building to true Internet marketing — including building sales funnels, conversion, and monetization.

    So, who do you think are some of the most talented marketers in finance? I’ve put a few down in the list below.

    Feel free to vote . Who else belongs on this list?

    2.24k views 8 items
    Zack Miller

    Who are the top marketers in online finance?

    Who do you think belongs on this list? Who's doing the best job with marketing in online finance: messaging, branding, and bringing new prospects/clients to their firms?

    Source: http://www.tradestreaming.com/2012/01/20/who-are-the-top-marketers-in-online-finance/

      Follow List
      Embed List
    1. 1  Mark Bufalini (LearnVest)

      Mark Bufalini (LearnVest)

      Mark is the director of user acquisition at LearnVest.

    2. 2  David Frankel (EDGAR Online)

      David Frankel (EDGAR Online)

      David Frankel is the CMO at EDGAR Online. Previous, FirstRain, Jaywalk, FactSet

    3. 3  Greg Isenberg (Wall Street Survivor)

      Greg Isenberg (Wall Street Survivor)

      Greg is steeped in the ethos of social media and startup culture. Greg, a digital jack of all trades, has spent the last decade building consumer-web startups that have been featured on Mashable, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, AOL and more.

    4. 4  Hilary Fetter (DailyWorth)

      Hilary Fetter (DailyWorth)

      Strategic marketer with online and offline experience, from start ups to big 'ole household names. The entrepreneurial, in-the-trenches start-up environment is what energizes her most, with runners up including smart ideas, crisp messaging, tight ROI, creative genius, good cheese, cute beagles, and deep powder days.

    5. 5  Sam Yount (Personal Capital)

      Sam Yount (Personal Capital)

      VP of Marketing for Personal Capital

    6. 6  Stephanie Sammons (Wired Advisor)

      Stephanie Sammons (Wired Advisor)

      From time to time I write about personal wealth and investing. I was a financial advisor for 15+ years after all, so it's a part of who I am.

    7. 7  Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich)

      Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich)

      Are you tired of useless, obvious "financial advice"? Looking for proven systems to make more money? Tell me where to send your free Insider's Kit, and you'll see for yourself why the biggest media outlets on the planet ask me for advice.

    8. 8  Jennifer Doyle (Motif Investing)

      Jennifer Doyle (Motif Investing)
      Business and Marketing Strategy Direct Marketing Branding Product Marketing Public Company; 10,001+ employees; SCHW; Financial Services industry Led team of 24 marketing professionals in implementation of all online and offline retail client campaigns to drive acquisition, engagement and profitability.


  • How to create a hedge fund portfolio that beats the market (checklist)

    Posted on January 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm UTC

    In Tradestream your Way to Profits, I wrote about how smart investors can use hedge fund filings to create a wining portfolio. By tracking the holding information of some of the most successful investors on the planet, individual investors can piggyback on hedge fund returns.

    Many in the media — including some people I believe are smart, intelligent investors — poke holes in these replication strategies.  I’m not sure of their motivations, but the data are clear: By methodically creating a portfolio that seeks to mimic specific hedge funds (not all are good candidates for replication), individual investors get a big piece of the returns many of these funds have generated for years. Here’s a webinar I hosed last year on the subject of cloning hedge funds.

    My ‘hedge fund’ portfolio

    I’ve been developing a Tradestreaming.com Guru Portfolio this for the past couple of years (testing for 1 and using it with client funds for 2). While the S&P 500 was essentially flat last year, my Guru Portfolio generated close to 6% before fees. Even more impressive, it’s up close to 190.3% over the past 3 years with a 13.4% drawdown.

    AlphaClone has been indispensable to building this portfolio (that image is from AlphaClone). I wrote about how AlphaClone is the cure to investor insanity in 2009 and I still believe it’s a very important tool for all investors to build tested, defined strategies that build on the research done at the world’s top hedge funds.

    The point here though is that just buying a stock willynilly that Carl Icahn is targeting on a buyout or that Warren Buffett just put $1B into, isn’t really a strategy. For hedge fund replication to really work, you need to spend the time understanding how certain funds can best be piggybacked.

    There needs to be a method to the strategy for this to really work — one that removes and individual’s decision making (ah, I like this stock OR, nah, I wouldn’t buy that — it’s a dog!) throughout the process. I found this to be the hardest part of implementing this quasi-quantitative strategy.

    How to build a custom piggybacked hedge fund portfolio

    There are simpler strategies on AlphaClone that are just plug-and-play, no research needed. You can see 6 different ways people are tracking hedge funds which don’t require a ton of work. Some of these work amazingly well, but I personally wanted something customized to some of the things I’m working on at Tradestreaming.

    Here’s how I built my Tradestreaming Guru portfolio and how you can begin doing it in just under 1 hour with AlphaClone.

    1. Understand how funds can be tracked: Some funds are hard to replicate. From what I’ve seen the best funds to piggyback hold positions for at least a few months at a time, have a value approach, and don’t have a problem taking big swings on individual stocks (meaning, have a sizeable % of their assets in individual names).

    *Important point: Sometimes (and AC helps here, too), it’s not an individual fund’s picks that are the most exciting. Instead, it’s the most popular stocks held by a family of funds (say, the Tiger Cubs). Or, the most popular (that’s its technical name) stock in a certain industry or market cap held by all hedge funds (say, technology or transportation).

    Here’s a list of the most tracked funds on AC to get you started (though AlphaClone literally tracks thousands of funds):


    2. Determine what your ideal portfolio looks like:  If you look at the list above, these funds perform pretty damn well (at least at the 3Y mark), but their clones are portfolios comprised of the funds’ top 10 holdings. If you tracked a handful of these funds, you’ll end up with a pretty large portfolio of individual stocks.

    Before you begin, it’s important to envision what type of portfolio you want:

    • Do you want to design a portfolio of 100 positions or 10? 
    • Are you comfortable following picks from just one hedge fund or do you want more diversity?

    I personally didn’t want a portfolio larger than 10-15 stocks (read below).

    3. Determine which strategy will get you to your ideal portfolio: When you play around on AC, you’ll see that certain funds are best replicated by a strategy that buys their top 10 holdings. Others work better by just following the top holding. Still, some follow the newest holding.

    I wanted an easy-to-manage portfolio of  about 10 stocks (to get diversity and focus on different sectors) and I didn’t want a portfolio of 100 stocks (10*10). Instead, I targeted funds that worked well by just buying their top or newest holding. If I’m following 10 funds, that would leave me with a 10 stock portfolio (1 stock from each fund).

    4. Screen, screen, screen

    I used AC to screen for funds that:

    • performed well
    • had high Sharpe ratios
    • lower drawdowns
    • I looked for returns over 3 to 5 years
    • and that replicated well by using a single stock pick to represent their returns

    I was also looking for funds that had focuses on different sectors (like biotech or tech or small caps, for example).

    5. Add these funds to a Fund Group

    As you find the funds that fit your strategy, add them to what AC calls a Fund Group.

    Once you’re logged in to AlphaClone, go ahead and click the Create a Clone Group button under the Your Custom Groups tab. The feature can be used to combine and filter a group’s holdings by sector and/or market capitalization then backtest performance.

    Before we checked how each individual clone performed over time. Now, with a group, you can see how the whole portfolio performs. You can add or subtract funds to get your portfolio right.

    I settled on a strategy that tracked 9 different funds. I’d suggest a portfolio that has more holdings in it. Occasionally, the funds I’m tracking held the same stock (Apple $AAPL was everyone’s favorite in 2011) and that meant I had few positions and the portfolio fluctuated more than I would have liked.

    6. Rebalance quarterly

    AlphaClone updates every quarter, a month after hedge funds file. You’ll see what was bought and sold and you can make any changes in your real-money portfolios based on the new names in the portfolio.

    Creating a piggybacked portfolio works — both in practice and in the research.

    Will it continue to work? Who knows, but like tracking insider trading, it makes sense that it should and AlphaClone is essential to doing this the right way.

    Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments.


  • Finding a job in finance in today’s market

    Posted on January 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm UTC

    I’m not going to pussyfoot around it: it’s tough to find a finance job in this market.

    Whether you’re on Wall Street, working the buy side, or a recent (or soon-to-be) grad looking to break in — we’re in a contractionary cycle for finance jobs.

    That means any existing jobs are more competitive and take longer to land.

    Many Wall Street jobs have disappeared (as have the firms that employed thousands of people). Hedge funds have had a tough couple of years, some shuttered.

    Tough going but you CAN find a job on Wall Street

    The job landscape may be changing for Wall Street and the jobs may not be where you’d expect them to be. But there’s still PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY for aggressive and driven people who want to make a go at it and work in one of the most rewarding industries known to man.

    I’m going to help you do it.

    4 Days to a Better Job: The 2012 Financial Career Bootcamp

    That’s why I’m hosting the 4 Days to a Better Job: The 2012 Financial Career Bootcamp.

    I’ve assembled some of the top experts with real-life experience helping professionals (young and more experienced) find their careers on Wall Street, in NYC, in Stamford, wherever people are employed in finance.

    No BS — these are people who walk the talk. They’ve literally helped thousands of people build successful Wall Street careers over the past 2 decades.

    We’ll focus on practical, actionable advice that will bring you one massive step closer to getting what you want.

    I hope you decide to join me and students/graduates from schools like Harvard and UCLA Business Schools February 13-16 for an entirely online event, 8 sessions focused on practical advice to help you further your finance career — or get it jumpstarted.

    You can read more about the event here.

    Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the event.


About Tradestreaming

Tradestreaming is a community of investors learning directly from experts. I’m Zack Miller, investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Tradestreaming.com and I literally wrote the book on how to invest in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Tradestreaming is the resource I’ve created to help me become a better investor.  I believe it will help you … Continue Reading