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Zack Miller
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Financial advisor, industry consultant, and author of "Tradestream your Way to Profits: Building a Killer Portfolio in the Age of Social Media" (Wiley, 2010), Zack embodies the nexus between asset management, equity research, and new internet distribution technologies. As an asset... More
My company:
Tradestreaming Media LLC
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My book:
Tradestream your Way to Profits: Building a Killer Portfolio in the Age of Social Media
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  • Advisor numbers dwindling at large firms, growing outside

    Interesting article at SmartMoney entitled, As Market Grew Volatile, Advisors Disappeared.

    Tough times for financial advisors at banks and large brokerage houses.

    There were 369,928 retail financial advisors at the end of the first quarter of 2010, down from 434,479 the same period last year, a decline of about 15%, according to the Financial Research Corporation, an industry research firm based in Boston. (The FRC compiled its data on advisors from two independent research firms.)

    Couple of other points:

    • this reverses a growth trend: 2007 to 2009, their ranks grew by 4%.
    • largest declines came at banks, insurers, and wireline brokerages
    • quality of advice hasn’t necessarily declined
    • number of regional advisors, Registered Investment Advisors, and fee-only planners increased

    So, while business gets harder at banks, it looks like service is being pushed out to the peripheries geographically with more financial advice being dispensed at smaller, regional brokers and investment advisors.


    As Market Grew Volatile, Advisors Disappeared (SmartMoney)

    Disclosure: None
    Jul 05 8:51 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Much demand for AlphaClone launch of asset management services

    Stockpickr-on-steroids AlphaClone launched its long awaited investment accounts service.  The research platform, alphaclone_homepagewhich I’ve declared the cure for investor insanity, allows subscribers to build portfolio based on the holdings of top hedge fund and mutual fund managers, essentially creating either a clone of a particular manager (i.e. The Warren Buffett Portfolio) or a compilation of holdings from different managers (Value Masters, top holding of famous value investors).  With the ability to continuously backtest, the platform is really valuable in the research and portfolio building process.

    From research to actual money running

    Now, with investment accounts, AlphaClone allows investors to automate the investing tied to a variety of these types of portfolios (see table below).  Through broker Folio Institutional, the upstart service enabled investors to invest a variety of pre-programmed strategies developed by AlphaClone.  My sources say that, while it’s too early to have any meaningful data post-launch, it appears that there was pretty substantial demand for this service.

    Mazin Jadallah, CEO and cofounder of AlphaClone, told me they broke seven figures in AUM in less than 48 hours.

    Below you’ll see a table of available portfolio and backtested returns.

    Total Return Backtest Results as of May 27, 2010







    Value Masters






    Activist Masters






    Tiger Cubs






    High Conviction






    ETF Ideas













    S&P 500TR






    BNY ADR Comp






    Investors get access to any or all of these portfolios — which have all done really well long-term versus their respective benchmarks.  I’d be interested in seeing AC push the limits on the system and allow investors to build and customize their own portfolios for investment purposes.  That’s probably a technical and regulatory mess but would be such a killer app.

    Disclosure: No positions
    Jul 05 8:50 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Yahoo Finance getting into blogging game, like Forbes but different

    Just penned some thoughts about the recent news that Yahoo Finance is getting into blogging and curation over at my book’s website (migrating much of my writing over there — head over and sign up!).

    Money quote:

    This is a risky strategy.  In essence, the financial portal is pitting itself opposite all its content partners — many of whom pay the portal for the firehose of traffic it throws off.   I’d be less willing to partner with a company that is introducing a product to compete directly with mine.  And this is a common problem with channel marketing for any platform — and Yahoo Finance is certainly a finance platform — in that the platform, given where it sits in the whole matrix of supply-demand, can always just mimic other offerings that are working.  This is the fear of developing any tools that work on Twitter of Facebook – that the social media platform can quickly just put you out of business.

    Read the whole story (and sign up).

    Disclosure: No positions
    Jul 05 8:48 AM | Link | Comment!
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