In your book you mention several times that you ask potential traders what blogs a trader reads. Sadly when I thought about this (and prior to this blog) the answer for me was none. I read heaps, seek out videos, study my trades, would love a mentor etc. but no blogs).
Why? When I started trading stocks I used to read and engage in several blogs/forums. The problem I found was that they were mostly occupied by amateurs ramping stocks or trying to slap them down in the interest of their own positions. I soon found the information counter productive and stopped engaging to block out the noise as such and focus on my own efforts and think my own thoughts.
So why change for your blog? Simply – because I know it’s occupied by professional traders and I’ve matured enough to apply my own feelings to a trade rather than just blindly following your suggestions (not that they are bad, they may just not be right for me).
So my question is (two-fold):
1. How can you tell if a blog has professionals contributing and…
2. Do you think that blogs can be counter-productive for the types of reasons I’ve explained above?
1. We use whether prospective SMB trading candidates read trading blogs as a way to gauge whether they are truly interested in trading. Our thesis is if your passion is trading you will read about trading.
2. One of the tricky parts of the blogosphere is determining who is the real deal. Bloggers are starting to join up with networks which screen these writers. So for example, Forbes added Josh Brown to their stable. @StockTwits added @jfahmy and @ldrogen. Readers can rely on reputable networks who screen blogging options.
3. If someone offers you excellent education then they are for real for the purposes of your learning. A well reasoned blog that adds value to your trading or learning on its face is a valuable blog. In law school you learn personally attacking (“they are just a nobody blogger”) another does not say anything about the merits of that other’s argument.
4. Follow the best in many fields. For example I follow Seth Godin and Nate Silver of @fivethirtyeight and Peggy Noonan and @bloggingbombers (now that @PeteAbe left us) because they are the best in their space. This builds my creativity. Which makes me a better a trader.
5. I have the great fortune of having terrific mentors in my life. They all were voracious readers. Read, read, read.
6. Follow like minded bloggers. You have one set of eyes. Following others who trade like you will give you more trading opportunities.
7. Follow other traders who are just awesome @traderflorida @downtowntrader @johnwelshphd @weeklyta @stevenplace @biggercapital @derekhernquist @zerobeta @sellputs @aiki14 @nntaleb @afraidtotrade @AdamG_SMB. Maybe they don’t trade like you but you can co-opt one of their trading plays and make it your own.
8. Check the volume of their work. If you read a dozen blogs of someone it becomes very clear whether they are a professional. It is very difficult to blog everyday. You cannot offer a video blog everyday like @alphatrends without a decade of trading experience. It requires a reservoir of knowledge to share a meaningful trading thought or tip or lesson each day with your readers.
9. I love your point about not blindly following someone. Use them as a resource. For example when @reformedbroker offered yesterday that price is more important than volume that does not mean go all in if we make new highs. That means we might. That means his thoughts are worth consideration. But now you need to make those investments or trades your own that follow your risk rules.
Further, I have traded near @sspencer_smb for more years than I care to remember. Often we trade the same stocks in the same time frame, with the same size. He will offer his thoughts on a stock. Sometimes I am not in a trade that he is in because it is not right for me. Others I totally disagree with his assessment of a stock. But that does not mean I do not want his input. I do. I can make my own decisions. But I want more information because that helps me make better trading decisions for myself.
This was such a great question. It is a whole chapter in a book. Perhaps in a few years I will come back to this post and have much more to say. It offers so much to say about so much. Thank you for the question.
Author, One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading (Wiley Trading)