It’s that time of year again: when scores of investors descend upon Coronado, a small town across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. It’s there, that for 2+ days, they’re treated to discussions by some of the smartest investors around. It’s Howard Lindzon‘s shindig and Stocktoberfest has become a must-attend event for traders, investors, and fintech entrepreneurs.
Howard’s activities as fintech angel investor (see his Social Leverage portfolio), entrepreneur (previous CEO of StockTwits, Wallstrip), and generally gregarious professional position him as an ideal connector for this event which essentially ran 2 tracks this year (or themes): the race to a $1 trillion marketcap for the largest tech firms and the social finance revolution. For startups, Stocktoberfest acts as a sort of launching pad, with a few of the firms presenting in front of a professional audience for the first time.
Marketplace lending is better
There were a few of themes coming out of Stocktoberfest that resonated with attendees (Lindzon himself wrote up his own 10 takeaways from Stocktoberfest 2015). The first was regarding the big changes facing banking.
With the growth in marketplace lending firms like Lending Club and Prosper, industry analysts think that it’s not only an inefficiency in the market that’s powering these firms, but marketplace lending is just better than traditional borrowing/lending.
According to Lindzon:
At Stocktoberfest, ApplePie Capital, PeerStreet and ProducePay received the most attention from friends in attendance. Hunger for yield matters.
Cost of information (nearly) free, but value going up
Many of the attendees to Stocktoberfest are in the investing content game themselves. They blog, podcast, and tweet about the markets. Some of these analysts, like Brian Lund, have extensive experience investing. Lund, who founded broker-dealer Ditto Trade in 2008, has been trading the markets for over 30 years and his opinion pieces are syndicated to Yahoo Finance, AOL’s DailyFinance, and About.com.
Lund observed that while the price of content is going down, the value continues to improve.
The days when you had to be an embedded analyst at a major Wall Street firm, or pay nosebleed subscription prices to get access to top shelf data and information are over.
Take, for example, Urban Carmel, who writes The Fat Pitch, was named after Pope Urban II by his papal loving parents, and sipped 18-year-old Scotch while Howard interviewed him. His take on the market is informed, experienced, and insightful, and he gives it away for free.
Gregor Macdonald on energy. Dr. Brett Steenbarger and Chris Kimble on trading. Herb Greenberg and Eddy Elfenbein on markets. These are just some of the great content providers who showed up at Stocktoberfest.
Just a few years ago, the Finovate series of events were pretty much the only game in town when it came to showcasing top talent and technology in the fintech space. Events like Stocktoberfest are becoming more common and provide a powerful sounding board for fintech startups to get up in front of a room full of prospective customers of their products. Now, it seems like almost every week new fintech accelerators, focused VC funds, and meetup groups are being launched.
Here’s a short video of Howard Lindzon and Jeff Macke talking about what they took away from Stocktoberfest 2015.
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