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Seek Opportunity Outside the Box


Unconventional thought is rewarded in unconventional times.


I find myself thinking of Howard Roark often these days, perhaps a function of operating a media concern in a world dominated by agendas and spin.

When Minyanville was birthed in 2001, most of my peers thought I was nuts to step down from a lucrative perch as president of a $400 million hedge fund. Maybe I was but following September 11th, I didn't want the inscription on my tombstone to read "He had a good feel."

There was more to life; there was social utility, particularly as I saw what was slowly but steadily building beneath the financial market surface.

In the years that followed, when I pitched our product to established players, it was met with a scrunched nose. "Are you a desert topic or a floor wax? In other words, are you serious financial content or an entertainment company? It all seems completely unconventional."

"If it was conventional," I countered, "Somebody would have already done it."

As the Minyan community continued to build, we got the sense that big media didn't know whether to hug us or hate us. Through it all, the integrity of our voice carried the concept of the critters. All the way to their first Emmy Award.

The point of this column--and yes, there is one--is that unconventional times call for unconventional thoughts. As we edge through this "Reverse Industrial Revolution," a time when every industrial sector is forced to reinvent themselves and their business model, there will be profound opportunities, most of which will be found outside the box.

This is what we mean when we say the greatest opportunities are bred from the most profound obstacles, the leaders emerging from a crisis are never the same as those who enter it and a phoenix will arise from this scorched earth. Rather than looking at the destruction of wealth and burying your head, take a step to the left and allow yourselves to see the light.

A little perspective goes a long way, now more than ever. It won't be easy but anything worth having rarely is.

Some Random Thoughts:

  • What's a trillion dollars? Well... if you spent $1 million a day since the birth of Christ, you're still less than three-quarters of the way to a trillion!

  • Will we see "something seismic" the day(s) before options expiration next Friday? It's consistent with the "bang for the buck" modus operandi of the government mule (with varied results).

  • Mr. Practical makes a solid point in his missive regarding culpability of lawmakers, which jibes nicely with we discussed yesterday in "The Future of Wall Street."

  • Was Mother Morgan (MS) at $20 (acne retest into Monday's close) the one that got away?

  • Is this a better graphical representation of the "churn" that is perhaps the single biggest risk for bulls?

  • Isn't it a shame that most people only reach out when they need something? Why not buck the trend and call someone "just because." Or better yet, Do Something Joel (a random act of kindness).

  • Is it now a job requirement (as evidenced by the captains of industry that were grilled by politicians)?

  • Before you get too bearish on the banks, can you please click through some of the links found in this article?

  • Further to Television JeffMacke's© recent vibe, trading is a self-loathing way to spend the day ripe with second-guessing. A.D.D. is helpful as we must forget the losses but remember the lessons.

  • What?

  • Trade smaller and map a plan. With the entire world reactive (buying higher, selling lower), don't step on the field unless you have a disciplined plan of attack.

  • Someone showed me how to download Facebook on my Blackberry. Nothing good can come from that.

  • How long do you think it takes before they start coming for the billions pocketed by now defunct hedge fund managers?

  • I'm channeling societal energy-a combination of Andy Dufresne after he crawled through that river and an old school UHF antennae-it's freaky, and I sorta like it!

  • As always, I hope... no wait, let's Ripple!


No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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