Skip to main content

Social Networks and "You", the Investor

Time magazine recently ran its Person of the Year feature and it was "You". Time was trying to recognize all the ways that average folks are gaining their 15 minutes of fame, becoming instant pundits and sharing their opinions and lives with one another. Time also made a point of showing how the Internet has enabled much of this activity with web sites like MySpace and YouTube and the millions of blogs that have sprung up. The techies look at this ferment as one aspect of Web 2.0, where the Internet is evolving from being company and commerce driven to being more interactive in both technology and the kinds of bottom-up creativity that take the form of online sharing and collaboration, social networking sites, wikis, etc.

Some of us who are serious about investing are, shall we say, "of a certain age" and tend toward the conservative. We are not so likely to be embracing every new Internet fad that comes along. Nevertheless, if you are an investor and you are out there surfing the web and reading blogs (or writing your own) you may be more involved in the Web 2.0 phenomena than you may realize. And now we have a number of different ways to explore all this.

There is a new crop of web sites that aims to bring investors together to share ideas and stock recommendations. Users can comment on each others investing picks, ideas or strategies. Users who contribute stock picks or portfolios (real or virtual) are ranked based on their performance.

Taking a different approach, there are sites that allow users to rank news stories, articles and blog posts. The most highly ranked items tend to get plenty of readers, attention and traffic. And you can submit your comments in order to become part of the conversation. To further target specific communities, like investors, these sites often provide the ability to filter on particular subject matter so you can focus on business and investing and, if you desire, receive an RSS feed throughout the day, every day.

I have compiled a list of the sites that are currently involved in this movement (many thanks to the Wall Street Journal for bringing a few of them to my attention and for partially inspiring this post)

BullPoo.com - Users collaborate and share investing knowledge through blogs, discussion, and virtual trading. Users are ranked based on performance of their forecasts and trades in their virtual portfolio.

CAPS feature at MotleyFool.com - Make predictions on whether a stock will beat the S&P 500. Users are rated based on performance of their picks.

ClearStation - the grandaddy of these sites, ClearStation has featured user recommendations and discussion since the tech bubble was in full in swing. Now owned by E*Trade, they continue to support a community approach to investing, featuring user picks and ranking of users based on accuracy, personal portfolios and watchlists, ability to comment on articles and posts, etc.

Del.icio.us - Users 'tag' their favorite web sites, blogs, articles or posts. Their list of bookmarks is then viewable by all other users. Search for bookmarks using tag keywords. We feature the TradeRadarOperator Del.icio.us tags (all related to investing) on each page of the site.

Digg.com - Users vote for the best articles and posts. We carry their RSS feed, filtered for topics related to business and investing, on The Daily News Page on trade-radar.com

DigStock.com - Users vote for the best articles and posts related to strictly business and investing. We carry their RSS feed on The Daily News Page on trade-radar.com

FeelingBullish.com - Users issue ratings on stocks and earn a "reputation" or score based on how the stock performs. Site support forums and individual blogs

SocialPicks.com - bills itself as a community for stock market investors to share investment ideas, exchange market research, and track peers' investment performance. Users can create networks, share tips and track each others investment performance. Users are rated based on performance of their picks and other users' feedback.

StockPickr.com - Now featured on the MarketWatch site, StockPickr offers a number of interesting features. See the portfolios of famous investors like Warren Buffet and George Soros. Make your own recommendations and subscribe to the recommendations of other users both professional and amateur. The site matches your portfolio with the thousands of hedge funds, mutual funds and other peer portfolios (DIY portfolios) that have a similar composition. It also allows you to network, research and discover new ideas in the financial market arena.

StockTickr.com - StockTickr is a free portfolio tracker with a twist: all watchlists are shared among all users who assign 'tags' to stocks to keep track of performance across categories.

Tailrank.com - Tailrank tracks and displays the conversation between blogs, highlighting the most discussed articles and posts. We carry their RSS feed, filtered for investment topics, on The Daily News Page on trade-radar.com

(Note: These links are also available on the Investor Toolbox page at trade-radar.com)

The reason I categorize these sites as part of the Web 2.0, social networking movement is that the emphasis is very much on us, everyday investors, not experts. These sites aim to build an online community of people that want to discuss investing, stocks, business, the economy, etc. These sites hope to facilitate the dialog between you and me. They believe that you don't have to work on Wall Street to have a good idea about investing.

So try out a few of these sites. You may make new friends, find some interesting ideas and engage in good conversation. And maybe find a few new ways to profit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Unlock Stock Market Profits - Key #1

This is the first in an ongoing series of articles where I discuss what I feel are keys to successful investing. It is based on a post that provides a summary of the ten keys that individual investors should use to identify profitable stock trades. (Click here to read the original post)

There are two basic steps to investing. First, you need to find stocks that seem to have some potential. Then you have to determine whether these stocks are actually good investments. There are many stocks that at first glance look interesting, but further research reveals that there are too many negatives to warrant taking a position.

This first post in the series starts at the beginning: getting good investment ideas.

Key #1: If something special is happening to a stock, it will be reflected in some kind of unusual activity in the markets.

As individual investors, we will never be the first to know; however, unusual activity can be an early sign that allows us to follow the Wall Street professionals and …

Unlock Stock Market Profits - Key #4

This is the fourth article in a series of posts describing 10 tools to help you identify and evaluate good investing ideas. It is based on a post that provides a summary of the ten keys that individual investors should use to identify profitable stock trades. (Click here to read the original post)

With this fourth post, we will continue another step along the path of finding stocks that seem to have some potential. The first post in the series discussed how to use unusual activity to identify investing ideas. The second post described how to use stock screeners. The third post described how to use lists of new highs and new lows. This post will focus on identifying social or business trends in order to find investing ideas.

Information on new trends might turn up anywhere. In conversation with friends or business associates, in newspapers or magazines, on TV or though your work. The key is to be aware of trends and how they start, stop or change. We'll start by describing what to lo…

Free stock alerts, Trend Leaders, Bollinger Band Breakouts and Cash Flow Kings for Jan 16, 2009

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan over 7400 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. We apply a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques to identify those stocks that are beginning to move. Our goal is to identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downside.

Wait, there's more...

We also use the Alert HQ process to generate more free lists of stocks and ETFs

The first byproduct of the Alert HQ process is the Trend Leaders list, our collection of stocks in strong up-trends. These stocks are registering strong signals using Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD. They are also above their 50-day exponential moving average. This week's list is now available at the TradeRadar site on the Trend Leaders page.

As another byproduct of the Alert HQ process we have generated a list of stocks that have broken either above their upper…