Tag Archives: experts

Caution: Ebooks on Twitter

If you’re a new investor trying to learn about stock investing you have probably joined some investment forums/groups and starting following so called “experts” on Twitter. You need to exercise extreme caution when you encounter these “experts” on Twitter. Many of these investors are there to sell you a product, their ebook. Now, I’m not saying that they don’t know about investing because I don’t know enough about them to make that judgement. And there lies the problem. Their expertise can’t be brought into question because they hide behind their Twitter username/handle. The issue I have isn’t with their knowledge or lack of but with their methodology. They’re not transparent. I have no idea who they are. No real name for me to vet and determine if they are someone I want to listen to, spend my money with, or even to invest based on what they say. Why would I want to buy their ebook about investing? I have no idea who they are or what their track record is other than what they tell me with their limited Twitter bio or web page. For all I know they don’t even have $1 invested in the stock market. Anyone can say anything as long as they’re anonymous.

Now there are other authors that I can vet such as Phil Town or Peter Lynch, just to mention two. You can get more reliable ebooks on Amazon for a lot less than what the Twitter “experts” are selling their ebooks for. Don’t be so eager to throw your money away to every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the Internet just because they “SAY” that they’re successful. If you have someone’s real name you can then Google their name to see what shows up. Are they a scammer? Are they a financial professional? We are talking about your money. You want to make sure that you are spending it in the most effective manner.

The same goes for the ones in the Internet that sound like professional financial advisors or lifestyle coaches. They will post tweets either selling their ebooks and/or giving investment advise. They may even post stock recommendations without explaining the reason behind their recommendation. Many state on their Twitter bios that they ARE NOT financial advisors. Believe them. Generally, before I take any investment advice from anyone that wants me to believe that they are a financial professional, be it on the Internet or not, I vet them through BrokerCheck.

So, if you’re just starting out with stock investing you should learn whatever you can before you move into the stock market world. Get yourself a mentor (someone that you know personally and trust who has been involved in investing for a few years) and read and learn from the verifiable experts who impart their knowledge. And there’s nothing wrong with sharing ideas and experiences with others, as long as you’re cautious in doing so.

Where Can You Learn from The Experts?

If you’re like me then you are new to the investing you end up being on “intake”. Where you try to absorb as much information as possible. But from where? That’s the key question. I’ve been searching for different groups and forums to try to find someplace where I can find useful information. Unfortunately, they are very few reliable sources of good information.
I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook but the most discussion thread I see there are “I have $XXX to invest. Where should I invest it?” Wow! And then the replied come back with almost every conceivable stock ticker. But not single one with an explanation of what it was about that stock that made them pick it. Dumb!
And following certain “investors” on Twitter is no better. I’m starting to limit my follows to actual financial news outlets (i.e. Seeking Alpha. Marker Watch, The Street, etc). Most of the individual people seem to on Twitter just to sell you something. I know that there are no free lunches but you can’t even get the cutlery & place setting without paying for it. When you ask them about how they came about selecting a specific stock or series of stocks they have recommended, what you get back is “Buy my book”. Now, I’m a big proponent of buying books to learn from but I want to be able to vet the author and insure that they’re not just some snake oil salesman. That they really know what they’re talking about.
You can learn from reading:
Morningstar
Seeking Alpha

You can buy books from there guys:
Warren Buffett
Phil Town

And there are some good videos on YouTube that go through many of the fundamentals:
Learn To Invest

Just to name a few. One source of information that I am currently reviewing in order to subscribe is American Association of Individual Investors. The service sounds exclusive but it’s not. My initial review found that it’s a non-profit financial education company, that manages a real-money stock portfolio to show its members how to capitalize on the most promising academic research. It’s more on-hand than theory. They offer a free guide to profitable retirement planning. I’m still looking into them but it seems to be looking good and I am seriously going to consider subscribing to their service.

One of the key factors for me to follow someone on Twitter or to subscribe to their service or Youtube channel is that they don’t just throw a stock at you, they give you details of why and what details they were considering. Or they’re actually walking you through the calculations and analysis that they went through. You’re not left on your own. Jim Cramer is another good one to follow on YouTube; and YouTube allows you to replay a portion or the whole segment if you weren’t able to keep up with him initially.