Monday, June 30, 2008

Those that can, do.

There is an old adage that goes something like this:

Those who can, do; those who can't, teach

In the Investment Blogosphere, the adage goes:

Those who can, do, those who can't, charge subscription fees.

I have railed against Jim Cramer for undeserved notoriety as a stock picker in light of his abysmal real time track record. He charges $400 a year yet can barely match the performance of the S&P 500. Cramer is not alone, as many of you know, there are a whole lot of services out there offering to take your money in exchange for stock recommendations. I never fully understood this, as there is so much money to be made when you do it right, why would anyone who knows what they are doing want to also run a marketing and publishing business?

The truth is, one of my motivations for AllAllan has been to show that although anyone with a computer and Internet connection can write a paragraph or two, or ten, about stocks and then charge a fee to read it, not everyone can pick winning stocks. I've known for years that I have a knack for successful trading and am very pleased to have passed on some of that success here, on AllAllan, with no fees and no strings attached, just the way it should be.

A few weeks ago I allowed Google to start posting ads on my site, thinking it might be a worthwhile enterprise for both my readers and myself. I don't know if those advertisers offer any value or not, but I that know I do. I also know that my share of the click-ad revenue is meager, at best, a couple of dollars a day.

Some of you have sent me tokens of appreciation over the years, books, gift baskets, wine and I truly appreciate the sentiment as well as the tangible items you have sent my way. But lately I have been thinking that if we are all going to get rich off of my intellectual property, or "stock picks" if you will, then sending me a present may not be the best way to keep this arrangement interesting for either any of you, or me.

A couple of Comments last night got me to thinking about what would work for everyone. First, this site must remain free, with no strings attached, as long as I am in charge. And I am.

Second, a friend of mine pointed out that as long as my time and effort in posting these trading ideas goes unrewarded, I am risking getting bored, or even resentful that other sites not nearly as profitable for readers as this site, are raking in exorbitant monthly fees and that will result in my ultimately posting less at best, or shutting down completely at worst.

So this is my compromise in order to keep the trading opportunities and stock profits coming, while keeping the ideas robust, timely and at the same time getting some material reward for my efforts:

I am going to add a donation icon to this site. Anyone can click the icon and make a donation that will find it's way to me through Paypal. Hopefully this will work for everyone, for those of you who just want to read and play for free, as well as those of you who wish to send me donations to help defray the time and effort that goes into my research and posting.

This works for all of us, you can donate as you deem appropriate, or not at all and I can try to live up to the level of your collective generosity with the very best ideas and strategies that I use every day in my own trading.

We all win.

Just the way it should be.



Anonymous said...

Your dedication to making your seeing freely accessible is admirable. You are in a position where you could easily charge for access to content.

I've noticed things are the best when someone is doing something because they really want to; because they enjoy it; because they love it. Then no reward is needed because the action is fulfillment itself regardless of the result. I always seem to have the energy to do the things I want to. But ask me to do the dishes...

I'm in though with my meager donation of $20 to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately my investment account is at a balance of ~$600 now (from a start of $1000 a few months ago when I started to trade for the first time ever). No joke (that's what I get for only working with non-profits I guess, but I'm a youngin').

I've made many edifying mistakes and have survived long enough to be convinced trading is something I can pursue. My 200 stocks of DESCQ was a great lesson in how quickly things can change and how important it is to understand and evaluate risk. Your blog has been the most useful source of information I have come across and I thank you for it.

--Matthew (with 273 Stocks of NNVC purchased at an average of $1.28718)

Anonymous said...

Matthew...You are not scared of a little risk...putting your whole investment account on NNVC.

Allan...I am big fan of your blog....the donate button is a great idea. Lets hope GSI hits $25 quickly....I am sure you will get alot of donations!!!!

I am still waiting on NTRZ...My problem is I stay in the stocks after the run ups and I end up right where I started.

I will definitely be donating when we get my account into + territory.


Anonymous said...

Hey Allan,

Great idea! If things continue as they've been going lately, you'll be seeing a donation from me soon as well.

I've been a 4-year subscriber to the Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter (ending next March) as well as on a 90-day trial of Navellier's Quantum Growth (ending sometime in August). I've had mixed success with each. I've set up tracking portfolios (at Scottrade) to compare my returns for those two plus the couple of ideas (NNVC and GSI) I got from you. In the short term you are beating their pants off :) I have a similar issue to Cruiseguy (don't know when to sell) but definitely plan to work on that one.

(with an "Allan" port in the green so far)

Anonymous said...

I just donate only "$59", its nothing to compare with my day trade GSI, i buy at 15.1 and sell at 15.9 (1500 shares), i got $1200 from GSI !!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Allan - I just started reading your blog yesterday. I will happily donate money to anyone who helps me profit in the market.

Is your portfolio of suggested stocks listed anywhere?
Do you alert the blog when you sell one of your picks?

I hope to profit and then donate soon!