Conviction – Expensive, Embarrassing, Fulfilling and Sometimes Very Profitable

Bless this millennial Uber driving multitasking hipster…

I will not say I told you so, but I am so excited to see the the future happening in a way I envisioned. This WSJ article on the use of Robinhood and Stocktwits last week made me smile because the Journal hates acknowledging the success of individual investors, Stocktwits and Robinhood.

A little history is in order…

In 1998 I was inspired by Jim Cramer blogging about stocks on his own

I finally started blogging in 2006.

In 2006 I thought CNBC could be done better on Youtube and started Wallstrip. Wallstrip was acquired by CBS and I spent eighteen months as their ‘Clarence Beeks‘.

In 2007 I invested in MyTrade because Andy and Landon are tall, from Kentucky and quite frankly I was a little scared of them. They also are great traders and entrepreneurs and MyTrade was quickly acquired by TD Ameritrade.

In 2008 I thought Twitter could disrupt a large part of Bloomberg and invested in Tweetdeck, Bitly, Betaworks (indirect large Twitter shareholder) and I negotiated my way out of CBS to start Stocktwits to stake my claim in the real-time, social, mobile world.

We created the $cashtag in 2008 because I believed trading/investing transactions would be made from wherever the idea was seen on the web (in 2016 Stocktwits connected to Robinhood API and people can finally buy and sell stocks and ETF’s directly from Stocktwits mobile apps). Don’t get me started how Twitter blew the whole multi-billion yearly revenue financial markets disruption layup.

In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 I had a hunch Yahoo, a broker, Twitter or or or or or or or or would buy Stocktwits and I my son Max could live the millennial hipster life forever. I was wrong but we are still growing and participating in the future.

In 2010 we invested in Ycharts a modern financial data research platform. Morningstar is now their largest investor.

In 2010 we invested in Etoro. I was speaking at a fintech event in Israel and met Yoni and his brother Ronen who saw the same future. They are doing great. They also do not focus on the USA.

In 2013, we invested in ChartIQ because Daniel had built beautiful charting and data visualization solutions for capital markets. The Company is doing great. Both Etrade and Stocktwits (beta version) use ChartIQ.

In 2016 we invested in Sparkfin so we could build a modern idea generation platform. Stocktwits recently acquired the company and is integrating the feature set for launch shortly.

In 2017 we have a couple more high conviction investments to be announced in the financial services sector.

Back to the uber driving millennial hipster…now that the future I envisioned is finally here …IS. THIS. THE. TOP?

Fortune thinks it is and calls this a bubble. This is the same crew that called it a bubble in 2014.

My opinion….buying ONE share of $SNAP on Robinhood does not equate to Etrade having Super Bowl ads and your aunt day trading stocks in 1999 because the company added an ‘e’ to their name. Snapchat may flounder or fail, but the individual investor has so many fantastic tools, platforms and mentors to choose from that we could just as easily be at the dawn of a new investing phenomenon.

My conviction has led to profits, but not without losses and a few failures. It has been really fulfilling to get to to this point in time where this trend is taking off and opening up even more avenues and opportunities for growth.

Also published on Medium.