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Video Review: Trefis

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Trefis.com is a great site to model up technology companies. There are some great tools — some analytical, some social, that allow investors to play around with growth/profitability assumptions to forecast a stock price.

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  • 3 ways to crowdsource investment ideas now

    Posted on July 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm UTC

    Crowdsourcing, the collective wisdom of the crowds, has been show to have strong correlation to future results specifically in sporting events and election polling.  Here’s how Tradestreaming addresses crowdsourcing.

    Given the fact that academia stuck to its guns for SO long with the Efficient Market Hypothesis (that all information is embedded currently into a stock prices, making it really hard to ‘beat’ the markets), we’re just seeing relatively new research that is open to crowdsourcing investment ideas and some that finds that there is MAJOR outperformance.

    For example, check out the Harvard Kennedy School’s “The CAPS Prediction System and Stock Market Returns” paper that studied results of the Motley Fool’s crowdsourcing CAPS platform. Specifically, the paper looked at the difference in returns between the most highly rated stocks and the lowest rated stocks.  The paper found huge double-digit outperformance (18%).

    3 ways to crowdsource investment ideas now

    1. Piqqem: This site allows users to rate stocks on a 5 factor scale.  More importantly, Piqqem has a portfolio tool that enables users to create and backtest strategies based on the changes in investor sentiment for individual stocks.  Check it out.
    2. Motley Fool CAPS: The subject of the paper above, CAPS has evolved into the Fool’s flagship product.  Check out the highest and lowest rated stocks in the CAPS community in the Top Ten Lists.
    3. Intrade: The mother of all prediction markets, Intrade does huge business in sports betting but also has contracts on financial outcomes.  Intrade wagerers buy and sell probability contracts on Dow Jones and S&P predictions.

    Source:  “The CAPS Prediction System and Stock Market Returns” (Harvard Kennedy School)

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  • Looking to make a Mint in financial planning

    Posted on July 1, 2010 at 10:36 am UTC

    So, top-dog personal finance website, Mint.com, just announced a further step into financial planning with some goals-based tools to help users plan financially for the future.

    From the release:

    Mint’s new Goals feature seeks to take the difficulty out of both setting goals and regularly tracking your progress towards those goals. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can set up a savings goal, and then use Mint.com to help you achieve that goal.

    Using Goals for Saving for the Future

    So, if a Mint user wanted to save for something like home improvements, they’d use Goals to:

    1. Set funding source
    2. Set goal dollar amount
    3. Blend in financing options
    4. Establish target date
    5. Specify monthly savings target

    Makes perfect sense, right?

    So, the move from helping people track to helping them plan is an obvious one and a good move for Mint.

    And Mint’s revenue model/value proposition work well for this foray into planning.  I assume Mint will begin to gain referral fees as they recommend loans, travel services — anything that helps assist in the savings and planning process.

    According to the NY Times:

    The new feature comes as Mint.com is facing increasing competition in the online financial software space. New entrants like HelloWallet have started attacking Mint.com’s business model and have emphasized how they offer more financial planning advice services.

    The trend

    We’ve seen investment platforms begin to automate professional grade services to their client in an effort to round out their offering and attract full-service clients (see my review of E*Trade’s Online Adviser).  Now, we’re seeing personal finance sites begin to creep into the financial planning/investing/future-oriented space.

    What get’s me juiced is that sites like Mint have a TON of information about their users — the type of information the investment portals and online brokers drool over.  This positions them better for a move into investing — much like the much ballyhooed-TechCrunch Disrupt-winner Betterment is focused on.

    Additional Resources

    • Mint.com Expands Into Financial Planning Tools (NY Times)
    • How To Set and Track Financial Goals With Mint (Mint blog)
    • Goal Keeping Gets Easier at Mint.com (All Things Digital)

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

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  • New tactical ETF products coming to market

    Posted on June 30, 2010 at 12:17 pm UTC

    new tactical etfs launchingBit late to this, but Kudos to Mebane Faber and Cambria Investments for beginning the launch phase of new tactical ETFs with AdvisorShares.

    From the press release:

    AdvisorShares Investments, LLC, a developer of and investment adviser to actively managed Exchange Traded Funds, announced today a partnership with Cambria Investment Management, Inc., a Los Angeles based investment manager, to create a GTAA strategy in an actively managed ETF. The proposed ETF would join AdvisorShares‘ growing stable of innovative actively managed ETFs

    Meb Faber is author of the Ivy Portfolio and the portfolio manager of Cambria Investment Management.  His paper, A Quantitative Approach to Tactical Asset Allocation, has been dowloaded over 50,000 times and is one of the top 5 most downloaded papers on the SSRN.  These ETFs seem to productize many of the concepts Faber has built in his research.

    Source: AdvisorShares Announces Partnership with Cambria Investment Management to Develop a Global Tactical Asset Allocation (GTAA) – Marketwire

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

    Photo credit: Drab Makyo

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  • Where to buy Tradestreaming

    Posted on June 29, 2010 at 9:57 am UTC

    I’m grateful for your attention, and happy that we have opportunities to communicate in various places on the web. If you’re interested in having a souvenir of all these interactions, boy have I got the gift for you!

    Where to buy Tradestreaming

    800 CEO Read (recommended for bulk purchases)

    Amazon

    Amazon Canada

    Barnes & Noble

    Books-a-Million

    Borders

    IndieBound

    Wiley (the publisher)

    Buying this book supports my last year’s efforts to better understand the trends in online finance, investing and social media.  I believe the product — this book — makes those who use it better.

    I think this book will be more than “interesting,” but instead, that it will be useful to you. I’ve worked hard to make that something I can promise.

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  • What is Tradestreaming: Screening 2.0

    Posted on June 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm UTC

    Top investment gurus like Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, and Joel Greenblatt didn’t only help investors enjoy huge market-beating returns in their funds.  They also left behind the keys to the (investing) castle: the methodologies they applied in their market-trouncing performance.  They’ve written books, complete with formulas and strategies, that propelled them to the top of their games and gains.  Tradestreaming aims to recreate these strategies as we pave our own way to outperformance.

    Because a small number of expert investors wrote extensively about their investing techniques, we can now create complicated computer programs to reenact their strategies and apply them to today’s stock markets.  Screening 2.0 is all about using smart technology to bring history’s best investors back to life.

    Technology-driven investing

    Stock screens have been around for decades.  Using screens, we can filter through thousands of investment candidates on the prowl for the ideal investment.  Old screens merely searched databases of stocks using specific criteria (i.e. all large cap stocks with a p/e less than 20 and a growth rate over 7%). Unfortunately, for most investors, these screens fail — searching for specific stocks tells us nothing about the success of such a strategy.

    Screening 2.0, lead by analysis and money management firm, Validea, allows us to recreate history’s best investment strategies, computerize them, and then look for stocks that guru investors like Ken Fisher and Marty Zweig would have purchased themselves.  Screening 2.0 is the marriage of search technologies and artificial intelligence with quantitative investing.

    More Resources

    Make sure you check out the Tradestreaming for the Internet’s best stock screening resources.

    <– Previous: Crowdsource your portfolio I

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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