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Using Twitter as an Investment Tool


It can be a tremendous time-saver.

If you're an active investor (which you probably are if you're reading Minyanville), you probably have dozens of bookmarks for news sites, blogs, investments, etc. Clicking through all those sites is time consuming, not to mention the fact that an important story can pop up minutes after you clicked through.

I've recently become a big fan of Twitter to help address this problem. In the recent months, a number of useful sites have started to post a tweet every time a new article is posted on their main site. The tweet then includes a direct link to the new story. I set up a Twitter account a few weeks ago, and started following the all the logical sites (Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times, etc.) and then started branching out into investment sites and blogs. An interesting feature of Twitter is that most people let you see who they follow, so you can be nosy and look for additional interesting accounts. Being nosy, I did just that, and now have about 75 people or sites that I follow, including a number of people that I had never heard of before digging into other people's lists.

The end result is a sort of free-scrolling news service that's a tremendous time-saver. There's enough posting that I probably get 200 tweets a day, but I can quickly scan through, and then click on stories that interest me. Another interesting feature of Twitter is that it sometimes is the place to get breaking news before normal news media carries it. The best recent example was the demonstration in Iran. Western news media was banned from the streets, so all the real-time news coming out of Iran was on Twitter.

It's not just international news that can show up first in Twitter. In the current political environment, I've found it very useful, especially since politics seems to be driving the stock market. The political tweets are information that I don't see as fast on my normal news sources. Last week, the breaking news on Ben Bernanke's reappointment was hitting Twitter first. I used that to buy SDS Friday morning, figuring that the market would take that prospect poorly.

If you find this idea interesting, I've created a new Twitter account called MinyanJBA with 50 of the best people or organizations that I've come across. The name will be available to search for on Twitter by tomorrow.
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Position in SDS.

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