Empirical Finance has launched a simple stock screener for general usage (read, free). And it’s pretty nice.
In its announcement of the launch of Empirical Finance Data, the company said the site is intended to accomplish a few goals
- Demystify quantitative long/short.
- In our mind, the only reason many fund managers can pitch overpriced products to investors, is due to a serious information asymmetry problem. We are here to shakes things up a bit.
- Currently, the only way to access quantitative long/short equity is via expensive private placement vehicles (e.g., hedge funds), expensive mutual funds, and expensive managed accounts. The key theme across all these vehicles is the following theme, “EXPENSIVE.”
- Allow “hands-on” investors an opportunity to build straight forward quantitative portfolios using high-quality data via our basic screening tools.
That’s cool for me — that’s what Tradestreaming is all about. Finding the tools, data and research to make more accurate — profitable — investment decisions. This dovetails nicely into the category we call Stock Screening 2.0 — using technology and proven investment techniques to quantify the investment process.
The screener is super simple and currently sizes stocks up in 4 ways
- Joel Greeblatt’s Magic Formula
- Piotroski’s F-score
- Novy-Marx’s Profit and Value Score
- Cooper, Gulen and Schill’s Asset Growth strategy
Users can search for all rankings of an individual stock or screen for the highest ranking stocks in a particular screen according to market cap. Check it out.
Empirical Finance Data Services (Empirical Finance Blog)
What is Tradestreaming: Screening 2.0 (Tradestreaming)
John Reese’s The Guru Investor: How to beat the market using history’s best investment strategies (Tradestreaming Bookshelf) provides great research for investors interested in creating guru strategies that recreate the types of investments history’s best investors made (guys like Lynch, Buffett, Graham, etc.)
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. 🙂
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.
Piggyback investing is the art/science of building portfolios based on mimicking the stock picks of some of the best superinvestors — asset managers who have exhibited long term market-beating results.
Early research (check out some here) has shown that investors can achieve similar returns by piggybacking as the can by investing directly with the asset managers themselves (something only a very wealthy investor can do).
Here are a few of the best resources I’ve found for piggyback investing:
- AlphaClone: My personal favorite (read my review of the site as a cure to investor insanity). Beyond just tracking the portfolio moves of top asset managers around the world, AlphaClone has built a full-blown research platform that allows investors to test piggybacking strategies to optimize returns.
- MarketFolly: Great site with ongoing commentary on what guru investors are buying and selling and why. You can get investor letters as well as some analysis on the stocks themselves that investors are buying.
- Manual of Ideas: You should be reading this as well as subscribing to the premium newsletters. Great stuff here that analyzes top investors’ moves and puts together screens and portfolios of some of the best picks of superinvestors like Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, and Joel Greenblatt.
- Covestor and kaching: Two leading investment communities where both professionals and arm-chair portfolio managers manage real (Covestor) and virtual (kaching) portfolios where outside investors can use to generate new ideas.
- GuruFocus: Interesting free and premium offerings that track top guru buys as well as insider transactions. Can download results into spreadsheets for more analysis.
- HedgeFundLetters: This site links out to the monthly/quarterly/yearly letters top hedge funds and other asset managers send to their investors. Reading the wisdom of guru investors — what they’re buying and why — and how they describe the investment process in general is an amazing educational resource.
Anything I missed? Have your own favorite piggyback investing resource? Let me know in the comments below.