Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Neat SocialTrade

New site offers ways to organize and share your trading ideas and tools. And DittoTrade goes mobile.

If you like exchanging ideas with other traders online, a new site, SocialTrade, helps foster such communication. Founded by Tim Knight—the West Coast correspondent for a video service offering the stock-market commentary tastytrade, and creator of online-trading tool maker Prophet Financial Systems—this new site features a slick way to share charts, ideas, and articles.

Knight based SocialTrade’s (socialtrade.com) features on a commenting system he created for his mostly bearish blog, Slope of Hope (slopeofhope.com), because existing software didn’t meet his needs. Similarly, existing trader networks didn’t allow Knight to organize the gems he finds around the Internet in a sensible way. “If Pinterest was the right tool, I’d have gone there,” he says, citing a more general-interest site (pinterest.com) where members can collect and organize images of home and hobby items found on the Web. So he created his own tool, which you can see in action at socialtrade.com/help/video.

Knight is building an engaged community on his site, which was launched June 1. You can browse stacks without becoming a member, although membership is free. To clip an item from either a Website or your own charting software, install a browser plug-in called a bookmarklet, which appears in the heading bar of your browser. If you find something of interest, click on the bookmarklet, and then you can choose the stack into which that page will be stored.

Stacks are organized in a variety of ways, from stock-ticker symbols to trading instruments. So if you’re looking for some ideas about trading options, you’d choose the trading-instruments stacks, and then click on options. The most recently added item is on top; you can scroll through a stack and go to the source if you want more information. You also can check out the items that are most popular with the membership of SocialTrade.

Peruse stacks or follow other traders’ moves, and you’ll be rewarded with many ideas, although you may have to sort through a few items that look like ads for newsletters or trading services. When you bookmark an item to store in a stack, you can make it public for all the other members to see, or create your own private stack. Social traders use the site as a customized news feed, a reference library, a source of actionable ideas, and a personal archive of financial clippings.

Maybe some day there will be an Electronic Investor stack to follow.

ALWAYS CONNECTED. Ditto Trade, an online broker that launched in late 2010, now has a mobile app. This brokerage allows you to connect to a trusted fellow trader, or possibly an advisor, family member, or newsletter, and follow the trades they place. If you’d like, you can automatically participate in trades made by your lead trader—or become a lead trader yourself, and generate transactions for friends, family members, or subscribers ("Day Trade and Keep Your Day Job,” Barron’s, May 9, 2011).

The new app, which went live in June, extends the Ditto Trade dashboard to your mobile device. You’ll get alerts about transactions placed on your behalf, or you can set it up to get an alert when your master trader places a trade. Upon receipt of the alert, you can decide whether to participate. The mobile app is nicely integrated with the data on the Website (dittotrade.com).

Ditto Trade CEO Joe Fox says that initially he thought there would be more master traders such as newsletter editors on the site generating trades for their followers. What he’s seen instead is trading groups made up of friends and family. “We have a lot of leaders with just one or two other customers connected,” Fox notes. “We thought people would look for traders and newsletters, but it turns out they are more interested in following people with whom they already have relationships.”

Published in Barron’s, July 21, 2012. 

Posted by twcarey on 07/28 at 12:32 PM
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