20 Key Takeaways from Stocktoberfest 2014


I’m back in New York after an amazing few days out at Stocktoberfest 2014 on Coronado Island in San Diego.

Yesterday, I talked about the convergence between technology startup-ism and Big Finance that’s become so apparent. Today, I’ll relay 20 key takeaways from the event:

1. Early stage tech guys talk about the startups they got into or missed out on like regular people talk about old flames.

2. TD Ameritrade and E*Trade are smarter than Fidelity and Schwab. They’re engaging the FinTech community and knew enough to have their people out to the conference. The other guys must be clueless or apathetic – not sure which is worse.

3. Hardeep Walia (Motif Investing) is NOT f***ing around. His company’s ability to execute up to 30 simultaneous stock trades for an internal cost of 99 cents is groundbreaking and has the potential to upend the entire brokerage business. This is why he has the ear (and financing) of both Goldman and JPMorgan. Initially I saw Motif as gimmicky. I stand corrected.

4. It turns out you can eat fish tacos for breakfast without the Food Police crashing through your windows.

5. Benzinga has developed the killer app for monetizing investing and trading content with their Marketfy platform. Now anyone can sell alerts or newsletters or research products with virtually zero cost or hassle – Marketfy provides everything from analytics to marketing to messaging to content management all in one package. And they charge the content creator zero dollars to get set up. This is game-changing.

6. Web portals and TV channels are dead. Content will only matter if its shared and interactive – and it can come from anywhere. The days of one-way broadcasting and corporate media setting the agenda are over.

7. Tech people only care about companies from inception through the final funding round or an acquisition. After the IPO, they’re bored and turn their interest elsewhere. Traders only care about these companies once they come public. There’s a tangible dividing line betwixt the two.

8. Microsoft is sexy again.

9. Los Angeles is cool again.

10. Technicals have become the fundamentals in a world where accounting data is free and available at one click. We’re skipping the obvious now and getting straight to the interpretation of price.

11. “You can live in the future – even if it’s only a month in the future, that’s enough to outsmart everyone else.” – Michael Parekh

12. Charles Sizemore’s velvety Texas drawl > Ryan Detrick’s midland Ohio intonation > my horrific Lawn Guyland accent.

13. Lots of people are not sure about why they were Twitter-blocked by Barry Ritholtz.

14. Traditional technical patterns and formations no longer “work.” Half the people blame ETFs and the other half blame the Fed.

15. Joe Fahmy knows more about market-leading stocks and relative strength than anyone in the game. He owns this topic.

16. Nothing can stop Uber or Air BnB. The tech crowd’s consensus is that they’re the most transformative, invincible companies on the private market.

17. Ross Levinsohn is the Man. Period, full stop.

18. Nobody hates the banks anymore. We now mostly feel sorry for banks given all of the innovation aiming to kill them.

19. I wish I was as confident about anything as Adam Nash is in his company, Wealthfront. He might be the next Charles Schwab – and he knows it.

20. “Socks are the new shoes” – Howard Lindzon

What an event! I’m already counting down the days til the next one.

Read Also:

Bridging the Divide Between Finance and Technology (TRB)


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