The iPad Stock Market…Transparency is the NEW 'Alpha'

So Steve was at The Oscar’s and by far the most important person in the place. Apple $aapl also launched their first iPad commercial which of course was tight and fun:

It makes sense that the market (especially the Nasdaq) is rallying into the iPad release of early April and the momentum should carry through until at least May.

I have blogged about the importance of the iPad to the financial web .

In 1994 we got the Motley Fool. In 1998 we got TheStreet.com. It has been a black hole for financial web innovation since (save Interactive Brokers and Baby ETrade).

Cramer could have should have owned Wall Street and chose the make-up and television. For you home gamers, Cramer has done extremely well financially but $TSCM has a $110 million market cap (after doubling the last few months) with a $60 million on the balance sheet. Other than Bloomberg, which is private and charges $2,000/month, there are few exciting pure plays in the financial web. That is just wrong.

While quant funds continue to exploit what is left of any alpha in the markets, I believe that ‘Transparency is the new Alpha’.

I am excited for April and you should be too.

50 comments

  1. Ben Weiss says:

    I do agree with your last point – namely that transparency is the new alpha. As long as the vice-grip that Bloomberg holds on the sell side, namely the proprietary messaging platform (used and loved by the buy side), the proprietary VWAP calculation (which the buy side depends on) and the benefit of a well-run and well-oiled machine (vis a vis Thonson Reuters), innovation will likely be small steps in short bursts.

    That being said, i’m fairly sure you’re right about touch computing changing the game in finance, but i’m skeptical as to whether our friend Steve will be the right platform for that. I’m tempted to guess that aside from Android and an inevitable Windows-Tablet, Bloomberg’s future and that of other market data juggernauts (Thomson Reuters, FactSet, even eSignal amd TradeStation) will be in touch as well.

    It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out (and where StockTwits ultimately finds itself in the mix).

  2. whoa…you are TOO grumpy. steve tells a good story which most of hollywood
    stopped doing a LONG time ago that makes steve the best guy there tonight.

    you need to separate smart from investing. I deserve to be rich if thinking
    about trading and investing and working hard were all that mattered.

    markets and stocks just do what they do.

    lets just disagree on this one.

  3. Ben Weiss says:

    I do agree with your last point – namely that transparency is the new alpha. As long as the vice-grip that Bloomberg holds on the sell side, namely the proprietary messaging platform (used and loved by the buy side), the proprietary VWAP calculation (which the buy side depends on) and the benefit of a well-run and well-oiled machine (vis a vis Thonson Reuters), innovation will likely be small steps in short bursts.

    That being said, i'm fairly sure you're right about touch computing changing the game in finance, but i'm skeptical as to whether our friend Steve will be the right platform for that. I'm tempted to guess that aside from Android and an inevitable Windows-Tablet, Bloomberg's future and that of other market data juggernauts (Thomson Reuters, FactSet, even eSignal amd TradeStation) will be in touch as well.

    It'll be interesting to see how it plays out (and where StockTwits ultimately finds itself in the mix).

  4. Mr. Unexpectedly says:

    I believe $AAPL has done some great stuff in the last decade. Was a fan, was long, would probably still be if the market hadn’t worked itself into a very silly lather. I think the iPod and the iPhone both carved out new spaces in “old” markets.

    But, um, no. Now I could say that that I didn’t like that hipster commercial, or that Steve and his super-cool thingie have no connection to–and therefore zero importance whatsoever at–the Oscars, but that would just be me being my usual grumpy ol’ self.

    If you believe that computers are devices on which people express themselves and get work done, with words as well as pictures and finger-painting, then you know this device is a massive fail. If you don’t, if you believe computers are a lot like video games or other fun toys, then our country’s future is a massive fail, because there is a shit-ton of work to get done in the short term, and mega-shit-tons to get done in the intermediate, and all of it depends on our IMPROVING our ability to COMMUNICATE, not our ability to surf the web and our photo albums more intuitively. I have never seen an iPhone user–and living in Brooklyn, there’s more $AAPL in the water than fluoride–opt to work on his phone over his laptop. Or, for that matter, play on it.

    Regardless, it’s a device covering covered ground with a snappy new map. We think we’re out of the woods once again, back to toyland and the cultural equivalent of the heroin nod rather than work and repair–a state in which Americans can discover endless new maps of covered ground as if they were new worlds–and the last two times we’ve done that, we’ve just dug ourselves deeper in. Without massive financial sector seizure etc. etc. zzzzzzz.

    April will feel a lot like every other month for the last couple years, except for those of sufficient disposable means and insufficient preoccupation with reality to find themselves engorged over a 3G Etch-a-Sketch for arrested tweens.

    • whoa…you are TOO grumpy. steve tells a good story which most of hollywood
      stopped doing a LONG time ago that makes steve the best guy there tonight.

      you need to separate smart from investing. I deserve to be rich if thinking
      about trading and investing and working hard were all that mattered.

      markets and stocks just do what they do.

      lets just disagree on this one.

      • Mr. Unexpectedly says:

        Perhaps I am. Nonetheless: much of what I had to say had nothing to do with smarts, or investing, but with the utility and value of a device people have been calling game-changing for about 9 months more than it existed publicly.

        That has nothing to do with storytelling, intelligence, or investing (though might inspire some speculation). That’s just plain ol’ hype and hucksterism. I don’t see the connection to the financial web at all, mainly because I don’t see the work you’re doing in something like Stocktwits as hypeful or hucksterized, but straightforward. Is it like investing, or like smart? Seems to me both.

        But sure, we can disagree.

  5. Mr. Unexpectedly says:

    I believe $AAPL has done some great stuff in the last decade. Was a fan, was long, would probably still be if the market hadn't worked itself into a very silly lather. I think the iPod and the iPhone both carved out new spaces in “old” markets.

    But, um, no. Now I could say that that I didn't like that hipster commercial, or that Steve and his super-cool thingie have no connection to–and therefore zero importance whatsoever at–the Oscars, but that would just be me being my usual grumpy ol' self.

    If you believe that computers are devices on which people express themselves and get work done, with words as well as pictures and finger-painting, then you know this device is a massive fail. If you don't, if you believe computers are a lot like video games or other fun toys, then our country's future is a massive fail, because there is a shit-ton of work to get done in the short term, and mega-shit-tons to get done in the intermediate, and all of it depends on our IMPROVING our ability to COMMUNICATE, not our ability to surf the web and our photo albums more intuitively. I have never seen an iPhone user–and living in Brooklyn, there's more $AAPL in the water than fluoride–opt to work on his phone over his laptop. Or, for that matter, play on it.

    Regardless, it's a device covering covered ground with a snappy new map. We think we're out of the woods once again, back to toyland and the cultural equivalent of the heroin nod rather than work and repair–a state in which Americans can discover endless new maps of covered ground as if they were new worlds–and the last two times we've done that, we've just dug ourselves deeper in. Without massive financial sector seizure etc. etc. zzzzzzz.

    April will feel a lot like every other month for the last couple years, except for those of sufficient disposable means and insufficient preoccupation with reality to find themselves engorged over a 3G Etch-a-Sketch for arrested tweens.

  6. Mr. Unexpectedly says:

    Perhaps I am. Nonetheless: much of what I had to say had nothing to do with smarts, or investing, but with the utility and value of a device people have been calling game-changing for about 9 months more than it existed publicly.

    That has nothing to do with storytelling, intelligence, or investing (though might inspire some speculation). That's just plain ol' hype and hucksterism. I don't see the connection to the financial web at all, mainly because I don't see the work you're doing in something like Stocktwits as hypeful or hucksterized, but straightforward. Is it like investing, or like smart? Seems to me both.

    But sure, we can disagree.

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  18. WayneMulligan says:

    I dunno, I think we’ve seen some pretty cool shit come out in the financial web over the last couple of years. Covestor being my favorite but even watching what Think or Swim has done on the options front and what Mint.com did on the PF side shows that we’ve definitely progressed beyond Fool/TheStreet (which were quite frankly a regurgitation of the offline newsletter business — even their sales/landing pages were simply rehashed direct mail pieces).

    I guess those StockTwits guys have been doing some interesting stuff too ;)

    -Wayne

  19. I dunno, I think we've seen some pretty cool shit come out in the financial web over the last couple of years. Covestor being my favorite but even watching what Think or Swim has done on the options front and what Mint.com did on the PF side shows that we've definitely progressed beyond Fool/TheStreet (which were quite frankly a regurgitation of the offline newsletter business — even their sales/landing pages were simply rehashed direct mail pieces).

    I guess those StockTwits guys have been doing some interesting stuff too ;)

    -Wayne

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