As I continue my learning tour through the Google 2004 annual report, one recurring theme seems to "pop-up" on my radar again and again. It has to do with this and other blogs, websites and web destinations of every kind and flavor. They all seem to be accompanied by click-through advertising. All sorts of people and companies are offering their goods and services to what may have been a previously untapped community of potential customers, the Internet surfers. The cool part of Google's technology is that they can figure out what the surfer is interested in and hand pick relevent advertising to place on the selected pages for viewing; a simple and elegant way of bringing together customers with merchants.
This ignited some curiosity on my part, what kind of advertisers were being placed on this blog? Not surprisingly, the vast majority of advertisers here are in the business of selling stock advice. Systems, picks, courses, newsletters, software, almost anything that might be of interest to traders or investors. This makes sense, as most of these blogs so far have been about trading and investing. But what is even more curious is just what kind and of what quality are these products and services that seem to be "sponsoring" my blog?
So recently I have been clicking on these ads and checking out the substance behind the cute promises cullied to get our attention, or more importantly, attract my readers' mouse and index (read: click) finger. Now first off, I am programmed to reject all claims and representations made by anyone selling investing/trading advice. Such wasn't always the case, but as with most who enter the arena of chance that we call the market, I have been seduced many times by promises and track records that more often then not were simply outright fabrications of reality.
But here's another perspective: I once ran an S&P timing web site based a neural net that my good friend Joe developed. It worked beautifully for about 20 months, then fell apart never to be pieced together again. But at the beginning, we advertised it on the Internet, just like the ads appearing around my blog today, gave everyone a two month free trial and actually had real testimonials from real traders who made money off of it. You would have been hard pressed to distinguish a real winning trading system from the phony promises by the few words exaulting you to click your way to riches.
So you never know, and if anyone, including me, finds anything worthwhile in these products or services, share it with the rest of us, as it appears we are all in this for the same reason, to make money, however it can be made.
Speaking about making money...... the past few days have seen a very nice upswing in the number of insider buying filings . Some of the symbols that have most recently popped up are: UTEK, ZHNE, NMSS, INFS, IED, and OSTE. The immediate pops, if any, are over, but as discussed in earlier blogs, under the right conditions more intermediate up moves can sometimes be triggered by these filings.