In the last of couple of years you might have noticed multiple instances of people (mostly, media) talking about traders and trading houses making winning stock market bets based on what they read on Twitter or some discussion forum. While cases like these are few and far between, it is certainly a reality that you “cannot follow the stock market enough“!

Traditionally, investors have depended on analyst opinion, who, in-turn, often base their reports on technical analysis. But off-late the unpredictability of the market has amplified because of the reduced time-to-market of stock moving news & information. While deep-pocketed institutional investors have started making significant investments in technology to stay ahead of the social information and analysis curve, smaller traders and retail investors need to find innovative ways getting their hands on similar information, fast enough.

What we have seen succeed is a combination of inputs and alerts from three main channels – social, analyst and news. All you need is a portfolio (that you’ll obviously have) and/or some stocks you wish to follow.

For social, while there are umpteen platforms that could have valuable information, StockTwits and Twitter (and Linkedin to a lesser extent) seem to contain enough information for you to follow. Others like Scutify and Covestor also give value but the discoverability of relevant data and the degree of sharing is significantly less than that on Twitter and StockTwits. Cashtags (“$”) are the ideal way to discover conversations specifically about your stocks, the more closely you follow, the more likely you are to catch something useful about your stock(s).

There are two platforms that will give you great analyst information about your stocks. SeekingAlpha and Estimze. While SeekingAlpha is more explanatory in nature, Estimize is purely numerical. These are both good for building medium to long term perspectives. The good thing about following your stocks on these platforms is that while a CNBC or Bloomberg TV might have popular analysts talking about the popular stocks for the day, these may not be the stocks you’re invested in. While on these crowdsourcing platforms, you are quite likely to find at least some analysts talking about the stocks you own. Also, getting a consolidated opinion from multiple analysts can often be more valuable from that of one guy.

Finally, news is best served from the most credible sources. Most of us stick to the big guns like WSJ and MorningStar ‘coz they report fast enough. However, there are times when smaller news channels and websites pick up stuff before it goes to the newswire. To discover what these websites could be, here is a small hack: search Google or Bing to discover about 20-25 websites that talk about stocks as the core area. Then build custom RSS feeds from these using a feed builder and modify the settings to discover your stocks. This will ensure that a lot of junk will get filtered out and you will get to read the most relevant news only.

Now, if any or all of the above channels and the methods to follow them interested you, wouldn’t it be nice if all these channels could be packaged into an app and content delivered to your fingertips in real-time! Wouldn’t it be nice if the app could also tell you WHEN to read WHAT about a particular stock from your portfolio?

Watch this space for more as the Stockal team builds something like this for you. Do feel free to drop us a line at team@stockal.com if you’d like to participate in the process of building such a platform.

Thoughts@Stockal
At Stockal, we love to watch how markets respond to unique events and how our users (investors - you and old) can make the best use of circumstances to make smart investments. In Thoughts@Stockal, we do deep and broad analysis of such impactful trends and events.

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