One of my go-to resources for sharing investment ideas and collaborating with other smart investors is StockTwits. This community-based platform is built solely around the ability to share information on stocks, ETFs, and indexes in real-time. It’s a tremendously valuable tool that many are probably under-utilizing in their weekly routines.
As such, I thought it would be helpful to share how I use this resource and potentially uncover some areas that you may not even know existed.
1. Streams – StockTwits allows you to customize the streams of information you want to view. You can just view the public messages of the users you follow, the stocks on your watch list, or even suggested and trending topics. This allows you to potentially uncover new investment ideas or filter out the noise and enjoy the people you respect the most. My personal preference is to leave it on my curated list of peers. This allows me to absorb more information instead of drinking from a fire hose.
2. Sharing – Have a thought about a stock or ETF that may be interesting? Just share it in the message box at the top of the feed using the “cash tag” symbol ($). For instance, you can use common tickers such as $AAPL, $SPY, $TWTR, and so forth. It allows your messages to get fed into those streams and shared with a broader audience. You can also route your messages to outside social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This allows for building your community and greater networking opportunities. It has allowed me to engage with a global network of investors that would have been unavailable anywhere else.
3. Sentiment – Sentiment can be another important data point in your investment thesis if used correctly. The more bearish people are on an idea, the more apt it is to turn around and vice versa. StockTwits has an embedded sentiment indicator for every stock on the platform, as well as metrics on the volume of messages shared for that topic. Just click the ticker symbol you want to view and look over on the right hand side. You can view a chart of recent price, message spikes or drops, and how investors perceive it’s future direction.
4. Trending – The very top of the StockTwits stream has a list of ticker symbols that are trending based on message volume. These are always interesting because it immediately highlights the stocks or ETFs with the biggest news for that day. It also updates in real-time, so you never have to worry about being late to the party. This keeps me more informed about the companies that are surging or falling for a particular reason.
5. Heat Map – Sometimes you just want to know where the majority of the strength or weakness is based on individual sectors. The heat map is a useful tool for this process. It gives you a way of visualizing the markets on any given day with the ability to click and focus in on areas that may pique your interest.
6. Charts & Graphs – Opinions on the market should always be taken with a grain of salt, but a chart or graph can provide a stronger case for your investment thesis. This is especially true for market technicians that rely on price as a road map for their decisions. Thousands of charts are shared every day by members on the StockTwits stream and are often annotated to include thought provoking concepts. I like sharing charts along with the ETF blog posts I write in order to demonstrate a current trend or point out areas that may be of concern.
7. Mobile – StockTwits has a mobile app for Android and iOS that allow you to stay up with the community on the go. You can customize alerts, receive direct messages, view your watch list, or share ideas from anywhere with this tool. It’s completely seamless with the traditional website. Download it, you’ll thank me later.
8. Humor – Investing isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be frustrating and intimidating for those who get lost in the nonsensical way that markets move. Fortunately, both the StockTwits team and many of its top members do a nice job of keeping things light-hearted. Sharing funny GIFs, anecdotes, or pictures of ridiculous memes can make you laugh and reduce the stress that comes with the territory. Don’t discount the benefits of this positive energy.
9. Networking – Like any advisor, I go to conferences and network with other peers. However, you don’t really get a sense for who they are and what they believe in on a daily basis like you can in a social network. StockTwits has allowed me to meet some incredibly talented professionals with a willingness to share their knowledge and help each other. This leads to thought-provoking conversations and opening up new friendships with people all over the world. I find myself learning new concepts or challenging old-fashioned advice quite regularly. It keeps you humble and hungry to learn. Furthermore, StockTwits sponsors local meetup groups and annual conferences to further hone your edge in the market.
10. Passion – I’ve been fortunate enough to watch the StockTwits team in action over the last several years and if one thing stands out, it’s their passion for the markets. They do a fantastic job of sponsoring creativity and are always pushing for greater features to enhance the experience of their users. Every person of any consequence is on the platform to learn, share, and become a better investor. This passion is infectious and fosters a fantastic sense of community.