A screener of screeners, Wootrader is creating affordable predictive analytics models for all kinds of investors

online investing

Atanas Stoyanov is the CEO of Wootrader.

What is Wootrader?

Atanas Stoyanov, CEO of Wootrader
Atanas Stoyanov, CEO of Wootrader

Wootrader is the only complete system that uses technical analysis, company fundamentals, analysts estimates, options volatility, guru strategies, stock sentiment and more to generate a ranking for each stock.

What makes Wootrader so radically different is that it adapts to the dynamically changing stock markets by using weighted predictive analytics models that have been used for years in other industries, such as military, to predict the trajectories of missiles, business modeling to predict sales of new products, or even in city planning.  The end-user does not have to manually configure screeners into an investing strategy – Wootrader selects and weights every day the screeners that are outperforming the S&P500 Index in the current market conditions. During some periods we have markets driven by fundamentals, other times by technicals, analysts estimates etc. –  this is what Wootrader accounts for.

Do we really need another screener? Don’t most people not understand how to use them effectively? How is it different than other screeners on the market? What’s the use case?

The currently available screeners require a high level of sophistication from end-users. Most screeners focus on technical, fundamentals, or a small combination of the two and the more data points are available, the more complicated those screeners are…to the point of becoming unusable.

By automatically selecting  the best performing screeners, Wootrader allows even beginner investors to use advanced data such as options volatility and analytics, social sentiments, and guru strategies,. on top of technical analysis and company fundamentals.

Additionally, Wootrader daily optimizes the models to use only the screeners that are outperforming the S&P500 depending on the current markets, while the other existing screeners are ’static’ – once the user has configured (and eventually backtested) them – they do not change/evolve and at some point in time, when the markets have changed, the screeners/strategies stop performing.

Enough has been said about the abysmal performance of Mutual Funds, and expert money managers using those same kind of screeners and strategies – over 80% are underperforming the markets exactly for using such ’static’ strategies that work only for short periods of time and need to be constantly maintained.

We see the following as use cases for Wootrader:

  • A complete beginner can log into Wootrader and start investing within 5 minutes using a basic model that has no timeframe constraints
  • More advanced users can use models with specific time/number of stocks constraints. For example, these users would select (using a wizard)  the model that works best for a one-month investing period for a portfolio of 10 stocks.
  • Professional investors can create custom models from scratch by selecting the data points that they believe are the most relevant and Wootrader, under the hood, will use its predictive analytics engine to automatically assign weights based on the current market performance. For example, a user can select some screeners like the P/E Ratio, MACD, 10 Day Options Volatility and Wootrader automatically assigns a weight to each one of them on a daily basis.
  • Financial institutions can integrate the Wootrader models and rankings into their own systems using our REST API

What kind of development went into building a screener of screeners?

Several years went into developing the predictive analytics engine of Wootrader. Currently, our platform is cloud hosted and gets new data every day from Zacks, CSI, Quandl, Orats, PsychSignal, Quantcha and soon, TipRanks (performance weighted analysts ratings and price targets). After the new data is downloaded, Wootrader builds the models and generates the rankings.

My background is in software development and optimization – my previous company (a former Inc 500 firm that I sold in 2007) AutomatedQA/Smartbear.com develops software optimization and test automation tools. Optimizing software and optimizing the stock markets have quite a few surprising similarities.

You’ve integrated your screeners into a few of the online brokers — can you describe how that works from a user’s point of view? Were there technical challenges that you faced?

Actually the brokers are integrated into Wootrader – allowing the user to place trades and retrieve accounts and positions. Wootrader analyzes a user’s existing equity positions and recommends which ones should be sold/bought over the short term. The challenges are mostly due to various implementations of the brokerages APIs, so each integration has to be custom-coded and extensively tested. However there are several new Broker ‘aggregators’  (think of these like portals to other brokers, allowing the use of a unified API to access the different brokers) that we are in the process of integrating – trade.it and tradable.com are two examples.

Another challenge is that not all information is readily available yet through brokerages APIs – for the future, we are working on accessing portfolio transactions such as dividend distributions/reinvestments, interest, splits, and other events like those.

What does 2016 have in store for Wootrader?

The main features coming in 2016 are related to portfolio analysis, as well as tax harvesting and optimizations. We want to make Wootrader a one-stop easy solution for everyday budding investors who desire better-than-market returns while saving on the fees associated with money managers and robo-advisors. We don’t pay our accountants a percentage of our earnings and I have a really hard time accepting fees based on a percentage (small or high) of the assets being managed. We are also constantly adding new great data from various sources.

Photo credit: Dennis Wong / VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Crowdfunding: Is the reality going to live up to the hype?

Lenny Grover’s a smart guy. He runs Screener.co and is a consultant/VC type.

I chatted with him yesterday over my Yammer group about equity crowdfunding, its prospects and his view on how this all plays out.

Here’s what Lenny had to say:

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

MeWhat do you guys think of what’s going on in the crowdfunding space? So many new entrants (Angel List) and deals going doing. 

Is it going to live up to the hype?

Screener.co’s Lenny Grover: I think there will be rapid adoption and some early successful case studies but that equity crowdfunding as an asset class will ultimately implode in a wave of bad publicity. Even successful angels have a low “batting average” and that means there will be more losers than winners among amateur angels (though some of the winners may be very big winners). While venture capital as an asset class has been propped up by the IPO market recently, the poor subsequent performance of those IPOs may leave that window less open going forward. Between the “Series A Crunch” and the cramdowns that will result from not having a strong motivated and sophisticated “lead” investor to represent the Preferred in future round negotiations, I think overall returns of the asset class will be mediocre.

When everybody and their mother starts chasing an illiquid and high risk investment, it’s time to run for the hills.

For companies looking to raise money, however, it could be the best thing since sliced bread–driving valuations higher and giving the founders more leverage whether they choose to crowdfund or go the traditional route.

Just my $.02.

MeGreat answer, Lenny. Access doesn’t equate to success with a new asset class and I tend to agree with you.

Given what you said and the initial “fervor” (will it really be that strong??) dies down, though, do you see this as a persistant asset class for the masses?

LG: I do think it will become more widely adopted earlier than people expect. The combination of the rapid adoption of “rewards”-based crowdfunding sites, low interest rates (“cash is trash” and the chase for returns), the widely publicized success of tech startups like Facebook (with hardly any attention given to the 90+% that fail), and the money that can be made by brokers pushing these deals is enough to convince me that there will be a sizable early-adopter market for these securities(including many of dubious quality).

Michael Milken and others were able to rapidly create a large institutional market for high yield corporate debt (some issues were so toxic that they never even made a single interest payment) in a low-interest rate environment when investors were chasing returns. Imagine what equity crowdfunding sites will be able to do with unsophisticated retail investors with the benefit of social media and other modern distribution channels.

I think we should do away with the accredited investor rule completely and allow anyone who passes a proctored mathematics and securities proficiency exam to invest in private equity, hedge funds, etc. without restriction. But, allowing brokers to push complex, illiquid, and risky private company securities on the same consumers who signed for mortgages they didn’t understand or cannot balance their checkbooks is a recipe for absolute disaster.

If the government doesn’t intervene, then I think the market for equity crowdfunding will continue even after the wave of bad publicity but it will be a smaller bifurcated market (sophisticated “angel-lite” investors funding only very high quality companies on market terms and unsophisticated dupes continuing to buy trash that unscrupulous brokers push on them).

Using stock screeners to uncover value stocks – with Screener.co’s Lenny Grover

screener

Many smart investors use stock screeners to help filter through thousands of investment candidates. How else can you quickly go through TONS OF DATA?!

We’re going to tell you how to do just that.

Today’s guest on Tradestreaming Radio, Lenny Grover is the founder of Screener.co — really one of the most robust, powerful stock screeners on the market.

It puts the power of institutional research tools like Bloomberg into the hands of all investors — for a fraction of the price.

Lenny talks to us about the need to use technology tools like Screener.co, why and how he developed this software, and actually shares with us his investment methodology as he searches for value stocks.

Lenny’s also giving Tradestreaming listeners a free 60 day (normally only 30) trial of Screener.co.

Kaching, nice bonus.

Drop me a line at zack at tradestreaming.com (where at [email protected]) to request it and we’ll send you out a special code.

GET THE GOODIES BELOW

Continue reading “Using stock screeners to uncover value stocks – with Screener.co’s Lenny Grover”

Best resources: BorntoSell.com’s killer covered call screener (transcript)

On Tradestreaming Radio, we’re interviewing lots of innovative entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers all trying to make investors better at what they do. Check out our archives. Subscribe on iTunes.

Audio transcription provided by Speechpad.com.

Announcer: Live from the Internet, it’s Tradestreaming Radio with your host, Tradestreaming.com’s own Zack Miller.

Zack: Hey, this is Zack Miller and you’re listening to Tradestreaming Radio. This is your place online to talk about tools, tech, and tips to help make you a better and more accurate investor. We help to bubble up some of the best and smartest people, sharing the most important ideas. That’s what Tradestreaming is all about.

I appreciate you listening. You can find this podcast on iTunes at Tradestreaming. You can also find this podcast on my website, Tradestreaming.com. After the show is up, we will have the audio transcribed so you can find some text there. We’ll also put in some other valuable information as well, so I recommend you check that out.

Today’s guest is Mike Scanlin, the founder of BornToSell.com. It’s an online call option research platform. Mike left a sweet job as a VC to pursue two different ideals. One is this sort of entrepreneurial idea. He wanted to prove to everybody in his life that he could branch out and do it on his own. The second was really to create “the resource” for covered calls online. There are a few other sites out there that do that. He’s totally hyper focused on making it the best, most usable, most functional place out there to really research covered calls. Covered call strategies are used for a variety of reasons. He’ll talk about why investors use these things.

I was interested in understanding how he formed the company, some of the techniques he used to build awareness and traffic to his site, so where he was going with Born To Sell. It’s a great site. He’s got a lot of free content there. It’s a subscription model as well. I’ll put some links up to it on the website.

He’s a treasure trove of information, both about technology and marketing, as well as obviously covered call strategies. He actually learned the strategy from his father, who was a stock broker, who used it to generate income on retirement portfolios. It’s really functional. I even said in the conversation that it felt like using one of the best tools I use in my practice, which is MailChimp. It’s a mail services provider. It has the same type of functionality and ease of use that some of the best online tools have. That’s not by chance. That’s something definitely programmed and designed in there. Continue reading “Best resources: BorntoSell.com’s killer covered call screener (transcript)”

Best resources: BorntoSell.com’s killer covered call screener (podcast)

founder of BorntoSell.com

On Tradestreaming Radio, we’re interviewing lots of innovative entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers all trying to make investors better at what they do. Check out our archives. Subscribe on iTunes.

Investors are always on the lookout for tools and technologies that make their lives easier.

BorntoSell.com’s covered call screener replaces all those clunky spreadsheets investors used to use to track their positions. Good for producing income in retirement or just eking a few percentage points out of a portfolio, covered calls are a very common part of investing for many investors.

And founder, Mike Scanlin believes using covered call strategies will become more common as his company expands the market with easy-to-use and functional tools with quick and useful idea generation.

Founder of BTS, Scanlin is a technologist turned VC turned entrepreneur and he shares with us that transition and many of the tools and techniques he used to start, build and grow his young firm. Continue reading “Best resources: BorntoSell.com’s killer covered call screener (podcast)”