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Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha...Clickbait, Insight or...are there ANY good such sites?

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by AudubonB, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I tried to put a lot in that thread title: I know that a lot of forum members consider Seeking Alpha articles as clickbait, and I have learned here that an author receives US$.01 each time someone opens his/her article.

    1. Is that true? That doesn't necessarily bother me if so, but it's good to know.
    2. I know that many here consider Seeking Alpha as trashtalk and while I suspect it's because a good number of its articles regarding Tesla are bearish, for me that's not a necessary reason. The most important reason I find the site distasteful is because so many of its articles are entitled along the lines of Does Snarklegigneficationnesshoodmentship Mean That ZXQR Is Headed For Bankruptcy? Reading the article provides no insght into impending snarklegignefication, and I suppose that is why the clickbait term applies.
    3. Is the MF model the same as SA, or not, and can anyone enumerate the salient differences?

    and most importantly -

    are there examples of higher-quality websites for investment discussions? Of course, I'm a cheap bahstahd so haven't any desire to ante up to read....

    on edit: I claim Copyright privilege over, er, that word :)
     
  2. TD1

    TD1 Member

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  3. tftf

    tftf Member

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    There are two types of articles on SA, only the ones exclusive to SA pay the $.01, regular articles or Instablogs don't pay:

    But I doubt anyone writes to make money given that many authors work in the financial industry. A little more is paid for top picks, details: Premium Partnership Terms - Seeking Alpha

    As for Fool.com, you can check the past betting average on caps.fool.com (the author's stocks picks against the S&P 500 performance in the same timeframe). Many article authors participate in that stock picking contest (ongoing over many years). I think that's quite useful and I hope SA or other sites would add a similar system over time that aggregates all recommendations of authors/contributors.
     
  4. kenliles

    kenliles Active Member

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    No :)

    @AudubonB
    the only use I find for Seeking Alpha is a the news service related to portfolio notifications. The articles rarely serve a good purpose (and I used to try to follow them). Ive tried Motley Fool and some others too with ben worse results (on a rare occasion a good factual-timely article gets published on SA). So I use SA only as a news feed and the WarketWatch for more factual content and stock related news. Otherwise boards like this (and similar for Solar) are best bet for smart-investors with actually information and opinion share (my opinion). I'd be interested in others thoughts too on any good general sources.

    edit:
    that a good comment from @tftf on Motley Fool, I haven't availed of that feature. Might change my experience with them; thanks
     
  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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  6. kenliles

    kenliles Active Member

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    No ;)
     
  7. gameon

    gameon Member

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    money fool and seeking alpha are close to junk...maybe I am harsh but never got any knowledge or in depth understanding.
     
  8. c041v

    c041v Member

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    I've found this one to be decent. Lots of good analysis and technical backup as well as extensive personal experience.

    Investment Talk

    FYI: This blog mostly covers Canadian Investments.
     
  9. DriverOne

    DriverOne Member

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    I'd say ignore the click-bait articles on fool.com. IMO, their paid services are better, with good communities in the related forums.

    Here's some interesting portfolios that have been run for a few years by fool analysts/writers: Real-Money Stock Picks
    At least the fool is open enough to show you their past history! Unfortunately their writers are no better than anyone else's. If they knew a quick easy path to riches, then they'd already be rich and wouldn't need to write articles for a website. I like this open portfolio approach - you can learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.
     
  10. tftf

    tftf Member

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    #10 tftf, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
    I think the quality of articles on sites like SA or Fool varies a lot since most of the articles are user-generated. I wouldn't put them in one basket, if differs depending on each author in my opinion. Look at the whole work of an author on stocks and macro themes and filter accordingly.

    What irks me are factually wrong articles that don't get corrected*. These are facts one can verify regardless of one's position (short/long/neutral) on TSLA stock.

    I usually don't nitpick or call out someone but for example this author just wrote a second article with many factual errors:

    Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) news: Tesla Is A Buy As Toyota Recalls 1.9 Million Priuses - Seeking Alpha

    The other article that never got corrected despite many comments pointing out errors:

    Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) news: New Paths For Tesla Could Supercharge Stock To $200 In First Quarter - Seeking Alpha

    I counted at least ten errors. And an even earlier one where he was bearish:

    Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Tesla Stock Price May Be Out Of Gas - Seeking Alpha

    The author changed his opinion on TSLA without giving any explanation. Also, the foundation date for Tesla is correct in the bearish article while it's wrong in the second article. I draw my own conclusions (assistant...?).

    ________
    * Think of JP and his bearish TSLA articles what you want but he did correct errors in his articles that were pointed out to him.
     
  11. tftf

    tftf Member

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    #11 tftf, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    But, to give another example, there are good articles on SA, for example this one covering the earnings outlook for TSLA:

    Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) news: Tesla Earnings: 7 Things To Look For - Seeking Alpha

    It summarizes all important data points and an outlook for 2014 imho. One point in particular are the operating margins:

     
  12. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

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    I think my biggest problem with these analysts/journalists and their articles is the use of the word "may". If you are an analyst, i.e. doing research on companies and predicting their future is your JOB, stand by your analysis! People are making financial investment decisions based on your expert views, so either do your research and stand by your results or don't publish.

    May?! My grandma can write a "may article"! Look it's so easy: Sony may go bankrupt next year if their TV sales continue to decline! Apple may be displaced as the 2nd smartphone OS in Europe by the end of 2014! See? I am an analyst now!
     
  13. tftf

    tftf Member

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    #13 tftf, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    I have to defend analysts a little here :) I think forecasts are really difficult without insider knowledge or snooping (which of course is illegal). I personally have no problem with a few plausible scenarios in a report, each scenario laid out with revenue, cash flow and profit estimates. Customers reading the report can then focus on the scenario they believe in the most.

    I always look for the assumptions (scenarios) before looking at the estimates.

    Mature companies (say F vs TSLA) are easier to predict with fewer variances. Looking at the 10-year chart of F (Feb 2004 to Feb 2014, except for 2008-2009) one can easily see Ford was basically flat ex dividends and inflation, the chart of TSLA looks very different. The difficulties in valuation and forecasts especially arise with young and/or fast-growing companies - and statistical anomalies like AAPL after it introduced the iPhone/iPad and grew revenues like a small start-up in 2009-2012.

    That said, many analysts (especially sell-side analysts) have a tendency to follow peers and be too optimistic in my opinion:

    They don't care about being wrong as long as everybody else is wrong too - just don't be the only one standing out being wrong. The other problem is that (again especially sell-side) analysts are almost always too optimistic. A "Sell" recommendation is rare to non-existent on Wall Street, a "Neutral" or "Reduce" is the most analysts will apply unless the company is headed for chapter 11 in a few weeks...when everything is too late already and the company on the verge of being delisted.
     

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