Over the past five years I built a system with an 82.2% win ratio in picking stocks utilizing social-media data. I used my experience of being a Marine Corps Communications Officer along with the knowledge I gained earning my Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech.
Yet, it seems like every day, I have to answer questions about how and why social media can be harnessed and utilized as a financial instrument to beat the market. It’s a never-ending struggle.
There are two camps of people in today’s world. Those who embrace some form of online social media to keep connected with others and then there are those who’ll always go out of their way to avoid it.
Online or Offline
As expected, these two groups are always at odds with each other…
But the biggest irony between these opposing sides is that few of them know how to profit off of these social-media platforms.
Most savvy social-media users are prolific at posting their latest pictures or sharing a witty comment in a 140-character tweet. They focus on building an online persona and are used to getting information instantly and on-demand.
They have little regard for those who try to stay “off-line” and view anyone not following them on social media as dinosaurs.
Those who shun social-media platforms truly value their privacy and wonder why their 14-year-old niece is posting pictures of her outfits and of what she eats every day for the entire world to see.
This group treasures true conversation and doesn’t want to be bombarded by hordes of garbage information. They have their own traditional trusted information sources that they read or watch and feel anything else is a waste of their time.
Both of these groups have fair and legitimate reasons for living the way they do, however they could both benefit by taking a step back and viewing social media for what it really is… an unlimited and largely untapped data-set that we can leverage to make better decisions and beat the market.
As the son of a public school librarian you better believe that I knew what the card catalog and Dewey decimal system was by the time I started kindergarten. In my Mom’s library, every book had its place. They were all organized and controlled down to the last square inch of shelf space.
What made all this possible was that we actually did use the Dewey decimal system and we had inventory in place so that anytime anyone needed a particular book on any given subject, she knew exactly where to find it.
Most of us take for granted those days of manually tagging and indexing everything because social media does it all automatically now. Social media has become our “super librarian” and most of us don’t even take advantage of it.
Everything captured in social media has visible and invisible tags associated with it that are utilized for indexing and sorting so it’s easily searchable on the Internet. Visible tags are things like the exact words or pictures we see when reading this media. Invisible tags are items that form metadata like message time-stamps, IP addresses, and geo-location tags.
As an individual, you could probably read a couple thousand social-media messages per day and try to perform some mental gymnastics in your head on what the general market felt on a particular topic to make a play.
Good luck with that because for most, including myself, “the juice would not be worth the squeeze” due to time and accuracy constraints.
However, this doesn’t mean that this “collective intelligence” derived from social media should be thrown away. And that’s why we built a system that captures those 2.4 million financial social-media messages per day, reads their tags, and recommends plays where others aren’t even looking. And that’s how you get your edge.
After five years of trial and error, I figured out that the indicators that correlate the most with stock price movement are the changes in a stock’s baseline of message volume, message sentiment (buy/hold/sell), author reputation, and message manipulation. My system has set up automatic indicators for each of these across more than 7,000 U.S- based stocks… and it alerts me to the opportunities others miss because they don’t believe in monitoring social media at a collective intelligence level.
Deep down, I kind of hope that a certain portion of the financial industry remains skeptical on utilizing social media to aid their decisions because I know that it’s just one more person I’ll beat on the other side of a trade.
If you’re are interested in learning more about trading with social-media indicators, check out my trading service, Biotech Intel Trader here.
Stay tuned as I continue to monitor social-media opportunities across the markets!