I am going to start an investment blog / website documenting my own investments.
It’s going to be pretty simple : each month I am going to make one stock pick and build a portfolio with a cost avering approach.
All I want is to make my stock picks and analysis public (that nobody will read it or give a fuck is another story, but I am doing this for myself), I won’t be selling any services ; this is a hobby.
FYI : I will be hosting the website in Europe and I want to remain anonymous.
I have a couple of questions :
what are the liability issues that one could be facing ? Say I pick a stock, Bromion shorts it, it goes to sh!t, and I end up with a lawsuit from a few retards who bought it because they thought that Viceroy was the next Buffet ? Is it sufficient to simply put a disclaimer ?
should I host a website or just a blog ? I am leaning towards the website. What about the costs ?
should I register a name ? Imagine if my stock picks do really well on a risk adjusted basis and I gather some following ? I don’t think it would be that crazy to imagine myself managing equities in 10 years.
First and foremost you should clarify any legal requirements. You might submit anonymous posts, but the BaFin, your employer and CFAI might have something against that. You will have to include tons of disclaimers on your site unless you want to get sued. Establishing a trademark for your site should be the least of your concerns.
Hi. I don’t really have any direct answers to your questions but I do think it’s an idea worth pursuing. Maybe you could start out writing on an established site like Seeking Alpha and if you gain a following then go from there.
Just put a disclaimer somewhere: “This is just my opinion and is not investment advice”. That way, bromion cannot sue you, as Buffett-like as your advice might be.
I think it is much harder to gather a following unless you have some sort of unique theme. For instance, personal investing that targets a specific segment of the population.
I am thinking of having my cat pick a stock every week, and then document the results over a couple of years to compare with those of professional investors. Perhaps I will have my two cats compete with one another to determine who is better - professional investors, Mr. Fluffkins or Princess Twinky Winky (not their real names).
Edit: To realistically account for “management fees”, I will calculate the market value of Fancy Feast cans consumed over the period of the study, plus belly rub time times my opportunity cost of doing my own work or unsuccessfully hitting on girls.
I don’t short or go long anything in Europe so you’re fine there. But regardless of that, just copy the SeekingAlpha disclaimer or something along those lines and you will be fine. There is really no liability for longs provided you use the boilerplate about how this is not an investment recommendation, etc. For shorts you are opening yourself up to being sued potentially. I know many of the famous short sellers and virtually all of them have been sued multiple times. I can’t think of even one lawsuit where the plaintiff prevailed though, but it could be a huge headache. The CFAI might also go after you, I have seen that happen before.
If you have confidence in your work, you should register in your name unless for some reason you want to stay anonymous. I publish a fair amount of work but never in my own name because I only publish shorts and don’t want the liability. I lose out sometimes on getting the credit, but I prefer to stay anonymous. That said, my track record is in the top 1% on the short side based on 3rd party collected data, and I can prove this objectively with time stamped reports, so that helps for marketing.
If your goal is to be a money manager this could be a double edged sword, so maybe start anonymously and see how you do. The internet can be a real bitch and you don’t want to have a bunch of undesirable stuff floating around forever. It can be difficult to get all content completely removed from the net even if you control the blog.
The counter point is that if the stuff is good, it will circulate very quickly. I continuously get my own anonymous reports emailed to me from other people (lol!) so that could be a great way to network your way into your desired job. You could meet a lot of people this way.
Given RIs and Zalandos IPO this fall it should be a main concern for the BaFin and any other regulatory body in the world. Maybe I am being too pesimistic about their model, but for a start-up company they don’t show enough growth. Their negative margins remain stable while their revenue grows, which means they accumulate more and more losses. I guess the main reason for that is that they cannibalize themselves. A brand like Zalando cannot grow beyond Germany’s borders because they have some other company there doing the same thing already. They create massive redundancies in the hope acquiring and merging their own subsidies after the IPO. Furthermore, nobody understands their fianncial statements. They are like Matreshka puppets - there is always a subdivision within a subdivision and you will never reach the economic base unless you want to devote several months to reading their financial reports, by the time of which a new one is already out.
Maybe I am really just a buzzkill and their model works out perfectly and they will become the next big German stock, but even then their growth is dependent on the inflow of new ideas from silicon valley and I doubt the guys there will look at this without doing anything any longer.
Dude, posting anonymously does not excuse you from the laws of print and liability. If you post something that isn’t based on fact and your conclusions are based on those “lies” you will still get in trouble. Posting anonymously is perfectly legal and infact our forefathers used pen names to draft the Federalist Papers.
Who said it’s not fact-based? It’s all facts with citations. Anonymity just prevents frivolous lawsuits from wasting everyone’s time. SeekingAlpha, which is the main publishing platform for almost all short sellers, requires citations and has strict editorially controls. To SA’s credit, they have also vigorously defended free speech for fact-based research. If you look at precedent cases, the courts have routinely defended free speech as long as something is not blatantly false and malicious.