Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓

Build when you fail

Analyze it, figure out what you thing you could have changed and then…

Consider it practice and try again with something different.

There is no science to success at new ventures. Some are way better at figuring out the variables that can influence probabilities, but at the end of the day some things just aren’t quantifiable and the risk is never zero.

So why not just start on your next idea?

Trying again helps lessen that feeling of the fact that you suck.  And don’t worry, there is nothing like working on something new to completely make you feel like your an idiot at some level. But guess what, everyone’s been there, and if you haven’t then your incredibly lucky.

There is nothing like tasting a bit of defeat to motivate the crap out of you.

So while your pondering that and want to get into something cool, I tend to spend my extra time building things.

Just sayin’.

SWSX!

I hope your going to be there.  I’m looking forward to learning a ton, meeting people doing cool stuff, and hopefully hearing some great stories.

Make sure you tell me yours.

Developing

If you are sitting back, learning, and trying to figure out how your going to make money on the flip side of this broken market your just silly.  Oh and if you haven’t bled out at least a little money then you suck.

I picked an awesome time to wratchet up my investing/trading habits.  More fun to come.

My glass is still half full.

Power of the Feedback Loop

I get frustrated really quickly to send emails when I am in my office.  I would much rather pick up the phone, walk over to an office or use Instant Messenger.  Since I am somewhat of a geek, IM usually takes precedence.  IM is such a great productivity tool for 1 plain and simple reason:  It instantly closes the feedback loop.  This concept is so under-rated its almost startling.  In a nano-wave society who wants to wait?

But the relevance of this feedback loop goes further than that.  In fact I think it’s an oft overlooked part of most web platforms that make them so appealing (at least the ones that let people express opinions). Of course, blogs have the much beleaguered commenting systems (which are getting better with Disqus.com and others).  Twitter makes great use of this by allowing people to broadcast blast replies in the same way you would the original message. Some would say that FriendFeed even goes a step further and allows comment threads on broadcasted messages/etc.  Really, the platform is irrelevant.  People are following these platforms for the content and the opinions of people they respect, and will usually carry some sort of an opinion themselves.

So, long story short, take notice when you are developing a platform that involves allowing users to broadcast messages.  You probably want to build some way for users to respond to information flow from other users of that system.  If there isn’t a way to close that feedback loop, users will feel abandoned and quickly gravitate towards the millions of OTHER ways to communicate via the Intarwebs.

Moving My Brokerage Framework

I have twittered about this over the past week or so, but I am now officially moving over to ThinkOrSwim as my brokerage framework (I don’t like the “house” analogy when it comes to brokerage’s. It feels like more of a framework to me, especially with TOS, so that’s what I call it.). Its been a long road for me to get here, but I am excited about the move for my investments.

I started a brokerage account several years ago at Sharebuilder, which is an AWESOME low cost way of making value plays that aren’t in need of perfect timing. They offer a solution that allows you to make $4 trades on Tuesdays of every week, and they also offer a monthly subscription that gives you X amount of trades a month included. So if you are doing your homework and figuring out the plays the right way, you can drip in money at a discount through this program. It has served me well on not getting hammered on transaction costs. In short, I HIGHLY recommend it if it is going to be where you are starting out at with for value investments with smaller amounts of capital available. If you are like I am at this point in my investing habits, you will start to outgrow them for several reasons. They offer a limited amount of symbols that you can trade, and they don’t allow shorting of stocks.

About a year ago, while searching for a better alternative I started an account with Zecco.com. I wanted to manage making plays through my quantitative strategies that I am investing in with a partner. These were short term plays. I also use it to make some value plays. Let me just say that the platform is abysmal. There is a reason that they offer deeply discounted or free trades, because they aren’t putting time into polishing the tools for the end user. I will say they are making strides to improve this, but it still is tough to find things that I want, and I am always using other sites to help form the “big picture”, i.e. Google Finance, etc.

I can already tell that ThinkOrSwim.com is like stepping up to the big leagues. Their tool set is unmatched and it seems like they are actively adding value to this as evidence by snatching up my buddy Andy Swan’s company, MyTrade. That is what I want from a services company. I am willing to pay slightly higher transaction costs (and it isn’t much higher, they have a great pricing structure), if there is value in what they are providing for me. Pair that with them actively searching for companies to add to their tool portfolio and I am a happy investor.

So in several weeks, I am going to be an active trader with a brokerage company that is really adding value for the customer. If you look around this space for a place to park your money, you will quickly figure out that this is not the norm. Plus you get a free stuffed monkey.