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

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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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