Future of Investing

Using technology to mimic guru investors (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. 🙂

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Piggyback investing is about following the “right” people.  In a lot of ways following overall sentiment of an online community is exactly what you want to avoid. The simple premise is that “crowd sourcing” is only valuable when you are able to accurately define and isolate the right crowd.  Accepting this as essential first, then any application that then can overlay real-time information about the “right crowd’s” moves is valuable. Here are just a few applications that can benefit from real-time information gathering:

  • Manager selection:  The AlphaClone platform allows you to tap the collective intelligence of groups of managers that are either predefined by us or defined by the use.  Some of our groups are dynamic in that the list of managers that make up the group change ever quarter based on some criteria. Take our High Concentration fund group: it selects the 25 managers each quarter that have the highest disclosed market value spread over fifty positions or less.  I could see a dynamic group that is constructed of the 25 managers that have garnered the highest votes for inclusion amongst the AlphaClone user community or the 25 managers whose fund page has had the highest visitor traffic over the past 30/60/90 days.
  • Stock selection:  our platform uses quarterly public filings to select the holdings that make up clone portfolios.  A real-time overlay that precipitates intra quarter changes in portfolio weightings for securities in the clone would be really interesting.  Real-time sources could be intra quarter public filings from the manager or managers in a clone (13G/13D filings), real-time analyst consensus recommendations (especially upside and downside “surprises”), or real-time events (bankruptcy, M&A).
  • Strategy selection: our platform allows investors to create and backtest clones based on different “clone strategies” (Top Holdings, Best Ideas, Popularity in top 20) and customize clones by employing hedging options and rebalance options.  We consider that simply a starting point.  I can see our community providing feedback on new clone strategies they’d like to see as well as tips on implementing clones.

I see the real time web as a new communications medium that definitely has relevance for investors and investment services but just like any new communications medium, how useful it will be will largely depend on how it is applied and by whom (i.e. yahoo stock message boards vs. twitter feed from “pro investor here”).

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Mazin founded AlphaClone in 2008 with the simple purpose to empower the average investor by giving him intelligent, instant and transparent access to the world’s best fund managers.  Mazin was a 12-year veteran of technology-driven media businesses including roles at Time Warner and OpenTV.

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