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Articles May Predict And Move the Market - Free and Better than SeekingAlpha.com


At one time SeekingAlpha.com (SA) had a motto on their home page that said something like "Where investors share ideas".  

They published almost anything and let investors / readers decide how good it was.  The site was edgy and fun.  All articles were available for free. Some really bad ideas and writers were exposed.  Some really good ideas and writers emerged. 

Overtime, SA has become more popular.  They charge hundreds or thousands in subscription fees, and, on March 24, 2014 (the time of this writing), their home page says:  "Seeking Alpha predicted stock returns" and links to a Wall Street Journal article.  

Arguably, SA has succeeded by becoming a darling site of the mainstream.  

I certainly enjoy reading their articles, and one day might even subscribe etc.  It's become a tool.  I use different tools for different jobs.

Nonetheless, as an investor and writer, I feel I have lost a tool that was once fun and edgy.  I believe SA has lost their ability to show case articles on micro and small cap stocks.  This is important to me because often one might find hidden value in these stocks, before they are followed by the big boys on Wall Street, etc.  Once stock articles are highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, it's hard to say that you've found a hidden gem.

As a writer and researcher of hidden gems, I feel SA has discouraged me from contributing in this area of the market.

One issue, particular to me, but possibly affecting others who might otherwise be intimidated by some crazy small cap CEO, is that I value the anonymous exchange of ideas.  I am trying to let my ideas speak for themselves - not who I am or what degrees, licenses, websites, etc that I own (even though I own of all these).  

I, also, on a more personal level have experienced an incident of gang-stalking.  


Long story short, but this can happen if you speak truth to power.  If I'm writing for or against a stock or company, it is inevitable that I will sometimes run into some bad and powerful people.  It helps everyone if we let ideas stand on their own, rather than hating the messenger.  So, if you don't like something I say, use facts, logic, and reasoning to disarm it.  

A second issue is one of class and moderation.  I do not want to write on unmoderated yahoo.com, or similar boards because then often things devolve into very simplistic "I'm right, you're wrong" arguments and name calling.  To it's credit, SA generally rises above this.  For this reason, from time to time I may post on SA.

A third issue is that I do not want to be told that I have to jump through a lot of hoops to be allowed to post an article on a trading idea.  Nowadays, SA requires writers to have a profile that features an independent blog.  Okay.  But then when I posted a link to my blog on blogmask.com, my link was not approved and a strong hint was made that I should open up a blog on Twitter or Stocktwits.  Please don't tell me where I can or can't set up my blog.  Even if I set up my blog on a mainstream site, that doesn't mean the ideas are good.    

A fourth issue is that I think it is unfair and unrealistic for writers / investors in smallcaps to be required or expected to hold positions for 72 hours or longer.  Although I was willing to make such a promise for a time on Netlist (which someone I know made over 50% gain on after I mentioned it to them), I cannot promise that I can do that on every stock I might enter or wish to write about.  In 3 trading days, a small cap investor could triple and then lose almost their entire investment in a position.  Expecting one to not change position over the course of such volatility is unrealistic and unfair. Readers need to take some risks for themselves, or not read or invest in such volatile positions.

Another issue is that SA asks article writers to swear that they are not posting to move the market.  Or wording like that.  Especially if a writer has or is about to take a position in a stock, how can they truly say they are not, at least a little bit, hoping that their article will move the market?  And if they don't take a financial stake in the stock, how strongly do they really feel about what they have written?  The assumption that staff and policies at SA can measure whether a contributor wants to "move the market" comes off as a bit too paternalistic or hypocritical to me.  On the one hand, don't move the market, on the otherhand, SA now brags that the WSJ has said it's articles "predict" the market.  Or do they move the market?  Or, in reality, isn't a bit of both?  Are contributors and consumers too stupid to be told reality?  In reality, whether it is your or my intent, articles may both predict and move the market.      
For these and perhaps other reasons, I currently feel no desire to donate my talent to the SeekingAlpha.com machine, and I feel they are just as happy to focus on a different type of writing (and audience) than I can happily provide at this time.  

I know I take risks.  I know I make mistakes.  If I am to one day have my own website and my own stash of bitcoins, I need to earn money more quickly. I do not recommend anyone attempt to make money as quickly, or with as much risk as I might take.  Articles may predict and move the market, or not. Future articles may be more brief because I am more of an investor than a writer.  Read and invest at your own risk.
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