Seeking Alpha

Eli Hoffmann

View as an RSS Feed
View SA Editor Eli Hoffmann's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Seeking Alpha Strikes A Victory For Free Speech [View article]
    >>Following an author means I wish to know about his articles. Not that I want him shoving hype in my face several times a week. <<

    Well then let him know that by unsubscribing. Marketplace mechanics at their finest.
    Jul 9 04:23 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Strikes A Victory For Free Speech [View article]
    I don't have a response. Companies who believe they have been libeled are of course free to pursue a legal claim. What this court decision does is establishes some framework as to how Seeking Alpha articles should be viewed along the continuum of fact vs. opinion.
    Jul 9 12:02 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Strikes A Victory For Free Speech [View article]
    SteadyOptions, it's a victory for precisely the reasons Justice Kern states: "It is paramount in an open and free society that we protect the anonymity of those whose "publication is prompted by the desire to question, challenge and criticize the practices of those in power without incurring adverse consequences.""

    Part of supporting free speech is understanding that "those in power," if left to pursue meritless lawsuits, including "outing" their authors in cases where their authors may have legitimate reasons to remain anonymous, will silence their critics simply by the threat of being sued and the enormous time and energy required to defend themselves against that threat. We have spent a fortune of time and money in court establishing these principles so that our contributors won't constantly face the threat of litigation when expressing legitimate opinions.
    Jul 7 03:19 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Strikes A Victory For Free Speech [View article]
    Hope4Future et al,

    We have drastically loosened our comment moderation policy since then, and I do believe you'll notice the difference. Thanks to Colin Lokey for his direction of the comment moderation team.

    We have also seen a drastic reduction in the number of accusations of paid promotion on SA since clamping down, and we recently deployed additional failsafes in our due-diligence process which should make our ship even tighter.

    I'm sure we haven't seen the end of people trying to manipulate the system, because that's the nature of a platform that tries to give voice to a wide variety of opinions. But I'm very happy with the progress we've made.
    Jul 7 03:14 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Edit Portfolio Page [View article]
    Click on the PRO link in the top website navigation to learn more. (Short answer: yes, it's for market professionals and it is a subscription-based service.)
    Jun 13 06:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ParkerVision -9.9%; SA author offers critical view of May 1 hearing [View news story]
    Interesting counter-argument from IP Hawk that I'll cross post here (

    <<My opinion is that PRKR risk/reward position is not very good from either side. There will be even more time for the final judgment at district court and the eventual appeal at the federal level. Risk capital is going to be tied up heading into complicated rulings and opinions with a lot of time in between.

    You also wrote a similar analysis and recommendation to short back in October with shares in the high 2s. I would hope that you covered shortly after your article otherwise a short position in the high 2s or 3s would be severely under-performing with some hefty losses.

    Interesting analysis but I would be careful drawing conclusions from these hearings. The PRKR contingent seems to be fairly strong and could pump this right back up to the $5/6 range in a blink. I would imagine the wagons are already circling to put together a counter argument.

    IMO, shorting IP investments based on valuations has not worked very well. They trade on sentiment and perception. You need a real fundamental event to be negative or perceived to be very negative to break the investment. Until that time comes the overvalued / undervalued argument is tough to explain. There will always be someone to buy the dream of big rewards until the window is completely closed.

    No position in PRKR. Long QCOM.

    May 19 12:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    <<It looks like it was a PRO article, which is only available to the public for a short time before being moved to the Pro side and no longer available to the public. If you bring up Intangible's author page, the article is still there.>>

    That's correct.
    May 18 05:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • International Business Machines Corp. declares $1.10 dividend [View news story]
    Nice job with the quick update.
    Apr 29 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    <<it is my opinion since SA has been paying authors the quantity has increased and the quality has decreased>>

    I respectfully disagree. Every system has its faults, and when dealing with a fairly large and diverse contributor base it takes time to work out kinks in the system - which to some extent we're still doing.

    When we launched contributor payments in Feb. 2011, people said we'd be overwhelmed with Business-Insider-esque articles with bombastic titles and little substance. I said I wasn't worried, since no contributor can publish any article without prior editorial review. We're the gatekeepers - we just have to do our jobs well.

    I was right, and wrong. I was right that we weren't overwhelmed with bombast and slideshows. But it took us a while to see just how powerfully incentivizing pageviews changed (some) contributors' behavior. List articles that touched on the maximum number of tickers ("7 Stocks That...") became the rage, because they got the broadest distribution. And suddenly everyone was an Apple maven.

    So we reacted. We raised the bar on list articles, dampened their syndication, and explicitly limited over-publication on tickers with huge followings. This worked; there aren't many list articles on SA today and those we do publish I think are helpful. Our Apple content (and Google, Cisco, Facebook, Tesla, etc.) is by and large very good.

    But it still wasn't enough, because there was no incentive to cover small stocks where the greatest alpha opportunities are usually found. So we pivoted again, by introducing article-quality payments.

    This was a big deal for us. As you can read in the article, a lot of our monthly payments are now directed to high-quality single-stock research. We massively increased the number of small- and mid-caps we cover, and I think the quality is generally outstanding - many times on stocks that have NO other coverage anywhere.

    There have definitely been painful pitfalls along the way, and there are still many areas that our content would benefit from a facelift. But I'm very happy with the decision to pay contributors, and feel that on balance it has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on our ecosystem. Besides which, ethically it was something we were committed to doing from day one: unlike some other contributor networks who view "contributed content" as a ticket to free or near-free content, for us the benefit of a contributor network is the breadth and depth that it allows us to achieve. A executive from a large publicly-traded company asked us recently: So when do you guys reach the point where a really smart analyst can earn more money on SA than he can on Wall Street? Great question. We're nowhere near there yet, but I'd love to reach that point.
    Apr 16 02:47 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    Physical gold is not traded in the pits - gold futures are. While everything potentially is a viable investment vehicle (e.g. art, cars, etc.), our focus is on stocks, ETFs, and other pedestrian securities traded on U.S. exchanges. This is not a statement about the value of all other assets and asset classes, it's simply a matter of trying to stay focused on a specific area.

    Articles about gold and silver may have been rejected if they're about buying gold and silver bars for the reasons I explain above, but this is not about being "actionable" - it's about which vehicles we cover.
    Apr 14 05:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    Wow - you wrote that on mobile?!?! I need to re-read it a few times. Super helpful. I have made it an author's pick and plan to return to it to review when my mind is a bit fresher than it is now.
    Apr 13 05:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    <<Adding a monetary incentive if the author actually moves the stock is the worst idea yet.>>

    Agree. Larmo411, you paint using fairly broad strokes. I re-read your comments because you clearly feel that what we're doing is valuable, but that we're not maintaining a sufficiently high editorial bar - but aside from saying that many PRO authors "lack any qualification" it's unclear to me what you suggest changing. Do you think the key factor is to have a clear definition of qualification, and to limit PRO articles to qualified authors? If so, what qualifications would satisfy you as a reader?
    Apr 13 06:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    We neither like nor dislike options. But options trading focuses on specific (often short-term) strategies rather than the value of the underlying. That's just not our specialty and there are other websites that have a far better set of tools for creating content and discussing and measuring options plays.
    Apr 13 06:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Does Seeking Alpha Pay Its Contributors? [View article]
    You're right about this. We're considering changes to incentivize coverage of "under-the-radar" mid-cap stocks as well.
    Apr 13 06:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Seeking Alpha Is Doing To Prevent Paid Stock Promotion [View article]
    Ford Prefect,

    To address your question: We care equally about paid negative research as we do about paid positive research. In practice, the latter has been a problem while the former has not. This isn't altogether surprising giving the reasons one might be willing to pay someone to publish an article. But if we do become aware of paid negativity, we will deal with it the same way we do paid promotion.

    But I do think it's a stretch to assume that people who are passionately long or short a stock must be paid since it's simply not possible one would invest that amount of time/effort in discussing one's position. That said, we do need to better define the point at which passionate expression degrades into trolling, which becomes increasingly less helpful to readers.
    Apr 13 06:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment