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Tradestream book review (Reading the Markets)

Posted on August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Thanks to Brenda Jubin PhD on a very flattering review for Tradestreaming.

Miller’s book is something of a travel guide for the investor. It’s written exceedingly well, as one expects of a travel guide. It explains an investor’s options: he can go on a guided tour, join a self-directed group, or strike out on his own. And it provides resources that the investor can tap into depending on which option he chooses.

Jubin does a good job reviewing a prolific number of books with insight and depth of an actual investor/trader.  Check out her blog, Reading the Markets.

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  • Groupon-like buying opens up new investable markets

    Posted on October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm UTC

    This is a far-fetched idea but run with it a bit.  We’re already seeing the creation of secondary markets in groupon deals.  These are eBay-like exchanges like Lifesta where customers who bought a coupon can sell it to someone else looking for access to that particular deal.

    Taking this further, what would happen to these secondary market if they matured?  They could potentially morph into real-time exchanges, like the stock market, where customers call transact with one another but more interestingly, vendors (supply-side) can essentially bid on where a particular customer will dine on a particular night (demand).  Supply and demand meet and prices determined in real-time.  It could allow small businesses to manage their yield, selling excess inventory at a discount to recoup costs.

    Anyway, the idea wasn’t mine but it got me thinking about it.  Matthew Ingram on GigaOM discussed this in a post on the future of local social buying:

    Right now, Groupon-style group buying is more or less just coupons that get sent to you via email to entice you to sign up. What if you could look at a real-time, auction-style exchange of local offers from merchants or retailers or restaurants in your vicinity — maybe even on your mobile device — and pick the offer you wanted for dinner that evening? You can’t do that now, but that’s one vision of where the local group-buying phenomenon is headed in the future, according to Don Rainey, a partner with Grotech Ventures and an investor in LivingSocial, the number two player in the U.S. group-buying market next to Groupon.

    Rainey said he sees a day when merchants and potential customers interact through a kind of real-time exchange — like a stock exchange, with buyers and sellers, but for local offers on meals or other goods. “I can see local retailers and consumers bidding in a real-time system for where that consumer is going to go for dinner,” says Rainey. If a merchant is having a slow night, they can put an offer into the system and users can choose between that and multiple other offers, based on location and the time they want to go out. As someone who is constantly looking for new options for places to eat in my local area, this sounds like a winner to me.

    Local deals become an investable asset of sorts.  Investors could speculate on in-demand seats at swanky restaurants finding liquidity in these platforms (whether they profit or not).  Fixed supply (like art) and fluctuating demand could influence big rises and falls in the prices of these assets.

    Like I said, far-fetched but interesting to think about.

    Source: LivingSocial and the Future of Local Group Buying (GigaOM)

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  • Raising the roof with recent housing sector insider trading

    Posted on October 27, 2010 at 11:54 am UTC

    Insider trading — particularly when clusters of executives are buying their own small-mid cap stocks — can be useful in forecasting future stock movement (in this case, up).

    The Motley Fool ran a really good article detailing all the insider purchases occurring in the housing sector (or ancillary sectors that might rise in sympathy with a rebound in housing).

    Company Industry Insider Trend
    Cousins Properties ($CUZ) Real Estate Investment Trust Insiders like Lawrence Gellerstedt (CEO) and Taylor Glover (Chairman) bought $709,733 worth of stock between 8/12-8/24
    Winthrop Realty Trust ($FUR) Real Estate Investment Trust Insiders like Michael Ashner (CEO) and Lee Seidler (Director) collectively bought about $2.46M worth of stock between 8/13-9/27
    Gordmans Stores ($GMAN) Home Furnishing Stores Insiders like Debra Kouba (Officer), Richard Heyman (CTO), Jeffrey Gordman (CEO), Johanna Lewis (Officer), Michael James (CFO), and Michael Morand (Officer) collectively bought $532,221 worth of stock between 8/11-9/27.
    Lennar ($LEN) Residential Construction Sidney Lapidus (Director) bought $97,500 worth of stock on 8/19
    La-Z-Boy ($LZB) Home Furnishings & Fixtures Edwin Holman (Director) bought $20,568 worth of stock on 8/31
    MFA Financial ($MFA) Real Estate Investment Trust Insiders like William Steven Gorin (President), Robin Josephs (Director), and Timothy Korth (General Counsel) collectively bought $136,778 worth of stock between 8/5-8/26
    Select Comfort ($SCSS) Home Furnishings & Fixtures Jean Michel Valette (Director) bought $130,000 worth of stock on 8/27

    Source: 7 Insider Executives Betting on a Housing Recovery (Motley Fool)

    photo courtesy familymwr

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  • Play with the big boys with the Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter

    Posted on September 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm UTC

    Awesome hedge fund and piggyback investing blogger, MarketFolly, just launched a subscription newsletter, Hedge Fund Wisdom (HFW).

    image courtesy of Greenbackd.com

    A take-off of his great blog, Jay at MarketFolly has produced a quarterly newsletter that looks at entire portfolios of hedge fund gurus (like Seth Klarman, Bill Ackman, Warren Buffett) and analyzes their quarterly moves.  The premium newsletter also identifies 3 different individual stocks and breaks down the thesis, examining why the guru investor is buying a particular stock, what the catalysts are and importantly, what’s the bear case. These stock picks are the hidden gems of the newsletter and are written up as a hedge fund analyst would present these ideas to a portfolio manager.

    Research shows that piggybacking certain professional investors does work and investors who subscribe to this methodology will find the Hedge Fund Wisdom newsletter a good resource.

    All in all, you’re looking at 75 pages of investing goodness — priced for early sales at a nice introductory offer.

    Check it out at hedgefundwisdom.com

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  • Crowdsourcing vs. Piggybacking: An ongoing debate

    Posted on September 12, 2010 at 10:32 am UTC

    Just returned from a mini-tour for Tradestreaming which ended with an editorial of mine appearing on CNNMoney.

    CNN’s editors thought the tension between investing alongside guru investors (what I call, piggybacking) and following the crowd (which devalues individual expertise) was worth exploring (in 800 words or less).  It was a great topic and one that I didn’t give enough verbiage to in the book.

    Part of this was laziness, part of it was in effort to keep the text short, and part of it was that crowdsourcing investment ideas is still really in its infancy.  While we can essentially clone hedge fund portfolios (with great tools like AlphaClone or great resources like MarketFolly), crowdsourcing tools are still finding their footing (I like Piqqem).

    Here’s the crux of the matter:

    So while it’s premature to say whether crowdsourcing can act as a standalone strategy, it may make sense for investors to tap the wisdom of the masses in addition to the other strategies they use to generate investment ideas.

    The Internet and social media are truly changing the way we acquire information, research investments, and manage our portfolios. The playing field is more level than it’s ever been, and that’s a good thing. Happy tradestreaming.

    You can read the whole article on CNNMoney , Follow the smart money — and the crowd

    Photo courtesy of futureshape

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  • 3 big opportunities for the real-time financial web (Future of investing)

    Posted on August 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm UTC

    This post was originally included as part of an ebook that I published alongside the launch of my book, Tradestream, entitled “Tradestreaming and the Future of Investing”. The content was so good I wanted everyone to have access to it.

    This one’s from David Jackson, founder and CEO of leading investment community, Seeking Alpha (and my old boss :-) )

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    With the growth of Twitter, the introduction of updates by Facebook and the inclusion of real-time comments in search results, it’s clear that the real-time Web is having a profound impact on media. Which raises the question: Will the real-time Web transform financial content?

    Financial media is naturally real-time because, in financial markets, faster delivery of information can mean real money. So it’s not surprising that a mature industry devoted to getting the most relevant financial news to people in real-time has already developed. Sophisticated real-time products are offered by providers of terminals, news wires, press releases and news organizations. They deliver news instantaneously, filtered according to users’ needs (for example by ticker symbol or industry). Real-time financial news has trickled down to free financial websites and portals, which themselves offer real-time financial news coverage.

    But this still leaves three opportunities for real-time updates in finance. The first is technical (chart) commentary for day traders. The most active Twitter users who write about stocks, for example, are day traders. Day trading isn’t Seeking Alpha’s focus (most day traders lose money, and our mission is to help people invest well), so we’re happy to leave short-term, real-time technical analysis to others.

    The second opportunity is real-time updates of fundamental analysis. Seeking Alpha’s contributors write in depth analysis of stocks. But their viewpoints can change as companies report quarterly financial results, competitors launch products, or the landscape changes in other ways. We think that short, real-time updates complement in-depth analysis, even for investors with a longer time horizon. We’re finding that an increasing number of our article authors use StockTalk, our “Twitter optimized for
    stocks” product.

    The third opportunity for the real time Web is mining Tweets and updates for information about companies’ businesses. Which products are gaining traction? Does a company have a PR catastrophe unfolding in real-time? It’s hard to do a good job of surfacing and filtering business information which is impactful enough to move stocks. If you know of anyone who does that, let me know. :-)

    *—> Like what you see? Hey! Don’t forget to subscribe to the free Tradestreaming newsletter for updates, tips, and special offers

    David Jackson is the founder and CEO of Seeking Alpha. He started his career as a macro-economist at HM Treasury in London and The Bank of Israel, and later moved to Morgan Stanley in New York as a technology research analyst covering the communications equipment sector.

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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