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Jon Springer
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I write about emerging and frontier markets in Asia. I now primarily contribute work to Forbes Asia. My most recent work and my complete bio can be found on Forbes Asia's site: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonspringer/ If it is easier, you can find my recent work sorted by country on this... More
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  • Can They Spare A Penny A Click For International Coverage? 112 comments
    Nov 21, 2012 10:33 PM

    November 13, 2012

    Dear Readers and Editors,

    After a year focusing on Mongolia, I recently visited Sri Lanka to research investment opportunities there for two weeks. Next year, I hope to go to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka for the 2nd time, either Bhutan or Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia for a third time if the narrative reverses positive, and maybe the Philippines or Papua New Guinea if there's time left.

    Despite developing a track record for over a year on Seeking Alpha, I cannot publish my research on Sri Lanka as an article for which I get paid at Seeking Alpha's premium rate (1 penny for each click).

    I could possibly publish some articles about Sri Lanka at this rate if I manage to make a tenuous link of these articles to listed ETFs that have one or more holdings in Sri Lanka (for example, iShares Frontier Markets (NYSEARCA:FM), which owns John Keells in Sri Lanka).

    The reason for this is that Seeking Alpha also links all articles with listed companies or ETFs on Yahoo! Finance, Marketwatch, and other outlets, whom, I would guess, pay Seeking Alpha for content.

    Because my work doesn't qualify in this way without jerry-rigging it up to ETFs, despite 5 of my 20 articles being Seeking Alpha editor's picks (and 5 of my most recent 7 articles at that), I cannot publish data on how you can invest in Sri Lanka as articles.

    Moreover, when I go to a country, I am trying to find out how retail investors can invest there.

    In addition to ways that you can invest with a brokerage account in Sri Lanka, my articles will also tell you about how you can open accounts that invest in what they call a unit investment trust in Sri Lanka, which really functions like an ETF and has very low fees, to invest both in the Colombo Stock Exchange and in local bonds.

    My articles can also tell you how you can invest in U.S. dollar denominated debt at 6% to 8%, or Sri Lanka Rupee denominated Certificates of Deposit at rates exceeding 13%.

    Finally, I also have an interview with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which was kind enough to answer 11 questions about the risks of investing in Sri Lanka in writing to me prior to meeting with me for a follow-up conversation of 2 hours.

    Seeking Alpha is planning on soon launching a Professional Level product to allow professionals to get early access to information. Yet, although many professionals, and retail investors, seem to like my work and want to read more of it, Seeking Alpha does not value coverage of international markets that does not directly relate to an ETF as worth a penny per click.

    Please comment below whether you think Seeking Alpha's policy is well-reasoned or should be modified so that I can earn a penny per click to travel to distant countries and let you know how to invest there.

    To understand the reasoning behind the countries I choose to travel to, please consult Knight Frank's Wealth Report 2012 in which you'll find my interest lies in countries 4 through 9 for those with the fastest GDP growth through 2050: Bangladesh (4th, 7.5% average GDP growth through 2050 predicted), Vietnam (5th, 7.5%), Philippines (6th, 7.3%), Mongolia (7th, 6.9%), Indonesia (8th, 6.8%), and Sri Lanka (9th, 6.6%).

    Thank you,

    Jon Springer

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Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (112)
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  • James A. Kostohryz
    , contributor
    Comments (5440) | Send Message
     
    John:

     

    I hope that SA can find a way to accommodate your work which also makes sense for SA. Certainly, from a reader's perspective I would be interested to read your articles and believe others would be as well.

     

    Cheers!
    13 Nov 2012, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (7989) | Send Message
     
    Jon, Unfortunately I do not know where that money comes from. I am not paying anything. If it comes from advertizing posted on your article I see no reason for them not paying this fee no matter what the article is about. If there is a link required to an ETF to earn proceeds then that makes this a business decision to share the lack of procedes with you (ie.. no one gets paid).

     

    Maybe they will explain here for all of us to understand. Have they offered ANY payment at all? I guess my next question is what kind of click rate per day are you expecting?
    13 Nov 2012, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • Free Cash Flow 50
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    Hi Jon,

     

    I certainly support you in your travels and believe the on the ground research you conduct is very valuable. What is the most valuable is that you provide unique research that small retail investors can access as opposed to broad, run of the mill ETF's that miss many of the opportunities that investing in an emerging market can provide.
    13 Nov 2012, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2560) | Send Message
     
    Your articles are well worth a penny a click and SA should treat them as such whether or not you provide a link fest within them. You have earned your badges as a writer here. Also SA editors can choose to link these things to ETFs at their choosing if they need to find a way to get it to Yahoo "headlines".
    13 Nov 2012, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • Hypnos7
    , contributor
    Comments (139) | Send Message
     
    I can't comment on SA's profit model, but it seems odd that they would not incentivize writers to find new investing opportunities for their readers. "Seeking Alpha" is its name, no?
    13 Nov 2012, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Wexboy
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I've suffered same problem! The zero interest in covering non-US markets & stocks is completely mystifying:

     

    - US GDP is just 22% of world GDP
    - EU GDP is almost 20% larger
    - Emerging mkts GDP is now about 50% of world GDP
    - 80% of '12 GDP growth is estimated to come frm emerging mkts
    - EU Debt/GDP is lower than US Debt/GDP
    - Emerging mkts have lower average Debt/GDPs
    - Emerging mkts have far smaller entitlement commitments
    - Emerging markets have far better demographics
    - Avg historic & future emging mkt GDP growth rates are far higher
    - UK & European stock markets are much cheaper
    - Emerging mkt stock markets are much cheaper

     

    This presents a huge opportunity for US readers & investors...

     

    It's also bizarre a foreign company like Seeking Alpha (yes, it's Israeli, not US) hasn't already seen this as a huge opportunity to grab global leadership & readership.
    13 Nov 2012, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Husky Financial
    , contributor
    Comments (212) | Send Message
     
    Give this man the pennies he deserves!!
    13 Nov 2012, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Ricard
    , contributor
    Comments (3829) | Send Message
     
    My understanding of at least one criteria SA prioritizes for publishing is "actionable information". I believe if you can meet that key hurdle (which looks to be difficult for you at the moment), then they'd probably publish your articles, no sweat - your research looks like exactly what SA would want to publish on their website, good investments that are missing only the spotlight.
    13 Nov 2012, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (1945) | Send Message
     
    David Jackson and SA team --

     

    We all need more international articles of the sort Jon Springer produces. Our economy is global and increasingly investors want to diversify their holdings globally. The number of personal messages I receive whenever I participate in an international discussion thread is proof that the need and interest is there from your readers. I hope you will consider amending an outdated policy which motivates writers like Jon Springer to write for other publications.

     

    Thanks in advance for your consideration.
    Mercy Jimenez
    13 Nov 2012, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (995) | Send Message
     
    I would like to show my support for more Jon Springer like foreign articles. good enough for forbes but not good enough for SA? users need it, and want it... so lets make it happen.
    13 Nov 2012, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2105) | Send Message
     
    MJ,
    Eloquent and to the point, as always. All I can add is "Ditto".
    14 Nov 2012, 12:02 AM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2192) | Send Message
     
    Since Seeking Alpha includes a Macro View in its top tabs on the web pages, as an example of what is known to be useful and practical, could they then add a similar Global View tab also?
    13 Nov 2012, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • Sean Bellamy McNulty
    , contributor
    Comments (235) | Send Message
     
    I support Jon's bid for Seeking Alpha to include international markets. While living abroad in Singapore, Hong Kong and now back in Canada there were lots of companies I would have written about but unfortunately the stocks weren't eligible for Seeking Alpha articles.

     

    In addition, many of the international markets are poorly serviced in terms of financial websites (especially Canada), making for an excellent business opportunity.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:36 AM Reply Like
  • bradfarquhar
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Sean is absolutely correct about Canada being massively underserved by financial websites, even though most Canadian stocks can be traded by US investors without any changes to their brokerage accounts. Even Yahoo Finance hasn't taken the time to feed in actual data like dividend yields for Canadian stocks.

     

    There's a whole world out there waiting for the kind of financial coverage generated in the US to be applied to some other markets.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5058) | Send Message
     
    When I invest in Canadian companies, I expect excellent reporting, smooth transactions, fiduciary responsibility and transparency--and that is not what I expect with frontier markets. I would love to see more Canadian companies featured on SA, but that is not the subject matter Jon is addressing here. Jon is actually providing a service to those who are interested in frontier markets and combat the growing pains and subterfuge characterized by doing business in these markets, attempting to quantify risk to foreign investors. With language barriers, different customs, and political influences, Jon provides a valuable service for those willing to invest in frontier markets. IMO!
    14 Nov 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Clemens Scholl
    , contributor
    Comments (627) | Send Message
     
    I totally support this view and I have tried to convince the editors more than one time to publish articles on non-american stocks or stock markets. It was always a real pain and it is one of the reasons I don't publish much anymore - nearly all the ideas I have for articles are about stocks that would not be covered here (Japan, Russia, Europe, Asia etc). If you have read or heard about Jim Rogers' books you will know that the US market, albeit large, is only a small part of the worldwide universe of investment possibilities.
    But since only a minority of Americans have a passport and the number of outbound travellers has been declining for years, this "view of the world" that anything non-domestic is irrelevant or "not actionable" is hardly surprising.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • Mercy Jimenez
    , contributor
    Comments (1945) | Send Message
     
    SA Team,
    If you are losing contributors like Clemens Scholl your opportunity loss is likely very large. Clemens is one of the best analytical voices I have ever come across in SA articles.
    mj
    14 Nov 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • George Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (1479) | Send Message
     
    Mercy, I fully agree
    16 Nov 2012, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • Clemens Scholl
    , contributor
    Comments (627) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Mercy, that is very kind!
    19 Nov 2012, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • roojoo
    , contributor
    Comments (124) | Send Message
     
    I visit SA to read articles on Mongolia and discussions on Myanmar like John's. Of course it's up to SA to decide how much value someone's articles have for them, but it's quality articles like John's that keep SA going, even though it might not directly result in referrals to ETFs are whatever.
    14 Nov 2012, 03:47 AM Reply Like
  • Schumpeter_1
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    Ahhuh, now the ethnocentric (I thought SA was US) and sometimes very super superficial SA articles are starting to make sense. There's no incentive for the authors. Either not for non-US listed securities, as for a differentiation between a quality and superficial SA article.

     

    I have just one thing to say. Go with the flow.
    Just follow the money.

     

    You can read in the Financial Times where global money is flowing to.
    14 Nov 2012, 05:09 AM Reply Like
  • Bob de'Long
    , contributor
    Comments (696) | Send Message
     
    I'm not interested in investing in anywhere except North America. This would be just more junk for me to sort through.

     

    What SA needs is an ignore feature. I try to read everything on oil & gas. Some of the writers on oil & gas are so bad that I need an ignore feature for them, or at least let me see the author's name next to the article links -- every link -- everytime and in everyplace.
    14 Nov 2012, 05:14 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17577) | Send Message
     
    Regardless of business model, if SA really intends to help investors obtain "Alpha", there are many reasons to publish Jon's articles and compensate him for it:
    - comprehensive, includes thorough discussion of all factors,
    - serious research in form of "boots on the ground",
    - he obviously has readers' best interests in mind,
    - potential greatest gains for investors may be in the areas he is covering,
    - he works on his own dime and SA should help support that for their readers' benefit, IMO (enlightened self-interest),
    - he fully engages with his readers, unlike many SA publishes.

     

    He stands in stark contrast, in so many areas, to many of the "pumpers", whose "trash" SA does publish.

     

    I've no doubt that other more prestigious publishers will eventually acquire his services and he will be one of the "jewels in their crown".

     

    HardToLove
    14 Nov 2012, 05:20 AM Reply Like
  • Schumpeter_1
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    I agree with that last point you are making HardToLove...
    Even I had been thinking of any plans last spring.
    14 Nov 2012, 05:30 AM Reply Like
  • mds5375
    , contributor
    Comments (156) | Send Message
     
    Dear SA,
    I get the preponderance of my best information from Seeking Alpha. I like the cross-referencing of articles and thoughts by authors and commentors that I know and respect. If I have to go elsewhere to get it, then elsewhere I will go. I dearly hope you can accommodate this writer with this minor request. His information has been very useful.
    14 Nov 2012, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Emerging Market Skeptic
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    Well, I have three articles on here so far regarding Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam (two are editor's picks BUT they did not get into the Yahoo! Finance feed). If I write a fourth article, I will probably guarantee myself at least a (lousy) $100 at the end of the quarter :) Realistically though and while my articles are slowing creeping to the average PVs (they DO get steady traffic...) that a typical (and often more fluffier) article gets on here about a popular stock, there is really nothing more I can write about Vietnam or the PH other than comparing them to other countries.

     

    Sri Lanka, Mongolia etc? Realistically, what can an American investor (SA's readers) easily buy in these places? Sure, there are several int'l mining stocks operating in Mongolia and I think they are changing their mining laws there - worth an article but then what? Certainly not a weekly piece about the country for SA...

     

    You would be better off using SA to promote a blog with google adsense and other advertising or a formal newsletter or just promote yourself. E.g. Before I wrote an article here, I was contacted by someone on LinkedIn (really a form email he probably sent to a bunch of people) who was doing research for hedge funds regarding me doing a primary research project where I would get prices and other info from Malaysian companies for construction equipment (I think) coming from China to try and gauge the impact any slowdown globally or here in SE Asia is having on China. I was busy at the time (he was willing to pay ALOT more than what you get for PVs on here) and I was upfront that the exercise would be pointless b/c all he would find out was how much the political party in power in Malaysia is spending to get themselves reelected for a 56th or so year in power - not what the impact any global slowdown is having on China... He clearly did not read my reply b/c he then sent me another form email..... :)

     

    So clearly there is demand (albeit limited) for in-depth knowledge about frontier markets - just not from most readers of SA who, for the most part, can't invest in these markets unless its through a fund or an ADR....
    14 Nov 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (995) | Send Message
     
    buying in sri lanka and mongolia is as easy as we want it to be. through US/ Canadian companies operating there or ETFs. brokers are very willing to meet customer demand, even if SA isn't. ultimately this is about keeping good talent @SA. Jon certainly represents that, and he travels.
    14 Nov 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • Alex Jantsch
    , contributor
    Comments (146) | Send Message
     
    EMW,

     

    Don't take this the wrong way, as only some of this pertains to what you said above (I'm certain that you aren't opposed to what Jon is asking), but I'm not certain that I agree entirely with the sentiment that there isn't much demand from SA readers for in depth analysis of frontier markets, or that you can't invest in these places very easily.

     

    I think Jon's success over the last year in drumming up support for his columns (5 editors picks out of the last 7 is quite the task for even those writing about domestic stocks/trends), and the followers he has gained, is proof in and of itself that people want to hear about places like Mongolia. And there are certainly companies that you can invest in that are primarily in Mongolia. Sri Lanka and others are another story, but I'm sure Jon can name some ways to invest in those. For instance I easily bought shares of Mongolia Growth Group (MNGGF). There are more than just that company as well if you care to look into Jon's articles, and most have good accounting standards (MNGGF's auditor is PWC)/corporate governance (MNGGF's management takes no compensation beyond the original shares they own, none).

     

    In fact, even if there was some kind of lack of demand from SA readers, I think that SA should still be willing to put in the effort to accommodate what Jon is looking for. In the kind of sideways/volatile global market that we are experiencing at the moment, frontier markets offer a great chance to improve returns until the uncertainty in the developed world becomes more clear. To eliminate some of the risks of investing in such countries though, one needs to have extensive research to make sure that the return outweighs the risk, and I think the analysis Jon provides is exactly the kind of analysis that is needed to help further that. The only other way you will get this kind of in depth research is to pay for it, all Jon is asking is that SA give him some pennies in return for website traffic. I think that is a fair exchange.....
    14 Nov 2012, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Emerging Market Skeptic
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    Hi Alex, I certainly agree with you but another issue is the syndication on or to Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance. Look up Unilever Indonesia Tbk. (UNVR.JK) on Yahoo! Finance (its an important stock on the Jakarta stock exchange) and what do you see? Just three articles - one dating from last year and no financials or alot of other data posted (I have a friend in Indonesia who trades the local stocks there but he probably does not look on Yahoo! Finance for info - unless there are localized versions of the site). I can't find the Unilever Jakarta listing on Google Finance, just the pinksheet / otc issue for US investors plus the names of foreign stocks are often butchered by both Yahoo! Finance and Google (making it hard to get into the feeds). So getting Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance on board or getting SA to get them on board would be part of it as they area major sources for SA's traffic...

     

    I have been in SE Asia for several years and would love to look into and write more about Asian stocks as there are alot of interesting listings on the Singapore, HK etc exchanges; Malaysia has had some of the hottest or biggest IPOs this year; and there are investors or stock traders in this part of the world; but if its only going to pay a few pennies or dollars per article, its not going to be worth it unless I decide to go through the trouble of setting up my own blog/newsletter etc...

     

    However, I think Motley Fool is pushing to cover London listings (which tend to cover Africa) - so maybe Jon should check how they are doing things over there and whether it could work for SA...
    14 Nov 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • Steven Hansen
    , contributor
    Comments (2243) | Send Message
     
    Jon - as a publisher of another blog, i can say that SA knows what sells and does not - and likely they have an optimum number (not unlimited) of slots daily (likely arranged by subject matter).

     

    their mailing lists are predicated on subject matter - and doubt they have a mailing list for "sri lanka". so they are trying to get you to conform to their system by getting you to match your posts investment touts to their system.

     

    all of the authors on SA have had your problem in the past - and yes, it upsets me when it happens - so i can totally sympathize. but SA offers great exposure, and the good more than makes up for this kind of frustration.

     

    good luck.
    14 Nov 2012, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Alan Young
    , contributor
    Comments (2361) | Send Message
     
    Jon, I appreciate your articles. I don't see how 1¢ per click is going to pay much of your expenses for travel to Sri Lanka, though, so maybe this argument isn't all that useful?

     

    In 2009, when the civil war was in its last throes, I became interested in investing in Sri Lanka. I called my brokers; no way. I scoured the internet for any vehicle for doing so; only one hedge fund, domiciled in Singapore, with a huge minimum and high fees. At that time, I would have paid far more than mere pennies to get reliable guidance. I gave up, and fumed as that market went up 300% in little more than a year.

     

    But now, it's just one opportunity among many, with uncertain valuation and a future as insecure as anywhere else, so I'm not going to get bent out of shape about it.
    14 Nov 2012, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • Globnob
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Agreed
    14 Nov 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • John Polomny
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
     
    Jon's contributions to SA, along with several other writers, regarding emerging and frontier markets is best in class. You can't buy research like we are getting for free. Pay the guy or at least allow for search engines to pick up what is written so traffic from the internet will driven to the blog and SA.
    14 Nov 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • Buddy M'Kee
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Agreed.

     

    (And, if SA finds themselves so 'thread-bare' that they can't incent frontier and emerging market coverage of quality like this... then perhaps they could see their way clear to AT LEAST double or triple up on the remuneration for the 'Editor's Pick' articles.)
    18 Nov 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • David/David
    , contributor
    Comments (613) | Send Message
     
    Agreed.
    14 Nov 2012, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Alex Jantsch
    , contributor
    Comments (146) | Send Message
     
    I would hope that SA would realize the valuable information that Jon is providing us for free at this point. Like others have said, you couldn't get this kind of information unless you paid for it, and even then it's arguable as to whether it would be as in depth or as kept up to date as his commentary is. It's quite literally invaluable to those individual investors who have a keen interest in these kinds of places and don't have the resources to get this kind of information elsewhere.

     

    I hope they listen to you, Jon.
    14 Nov 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • optionsgirl
    , contributor
    Comments (5058) | Send Message
     
    What does it take to get an answer from David J and Eli H directly? Jon, have you invited them to weigh in?
    14 Nov 2012, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • bradfarquhar
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    I am a global investor who refuses to invest in anything denominated in US dollars. I hardly visit SA any longer because there is not enough global content. The only things I read here now are Jon's articles and the occasional piece that pops up on something in my Canadian portfolio.

     

    Someone should create a Seeking Alpha for the rest of the world. The rest of the world has 6.7 billion people, and outside of the West, is on the way up. That's where I want to invest.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • David Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    The deaf man who lives next door to me has heard about the big stocks in USA. International stocks are more interesting and in my opinion is what SA should be encouraging....
    14 Nov 2012, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • czosnek
    , contributor
    Comments (237) | Send Message
     
    commenting to lend my support for Jon. He is absolutely right and SA is in danger of missing out on great content.
    14 Nov 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • haiguike
    , contributor
    Comments (924) | Send Message
     
    I actually became an avid reader on SA due to Jon Springer. He and Moon Kil Woong got me hooked. Wherever Jon is going, I'm going as well!
    14 Nov 2012, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • seeking_alfalfa
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    You got my vote.
    15 Nov 2012, 02:26 AM Reply Like
  • SA Editor George Moriarty
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Thanks everyone for the great conversation on this important issue. Jon is a highly valued contributor and we certainly don't want to lose his solid investing insights. The comments above make a compelling argument, and give us lots of food for thought. Jon, thanks for raising it, and for the great stuff you've written on Mongolia and other places. There are a multitude of reasons for our current practice, but I do intend to ponder this and see if there's a middle ground we can reach. I will contact you directly with questions on this.
    15 Nov 2012, 05:47 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Johnson
    , contributor
    Comments (3039) | Send Message
     
    Jon,

     

    You are providing a valuable space for discussion on an important matter. I am offering my opinion because of my personal and professional respect for you, as someone who has also written on Mongolia and as someone who considers you a friend.

     

    I have a somewhat dissenting view from most of those expressed above. I have to defend Seeking Alpha's position on choosing not to publish articles on companies and countries which have little appeal to most US investors. Here is the way I see things.

     

    Seeking Alpha is a business and every good business has well thought out plans. If a business does not focus on the heart of their plans, they become dissipated and directionless. Of course, that does not mean they should not reexamine their plans from time to time, test market new ideas and do research. However, a business does not have a social responsibility to be all things to all people. Their responsibility is to provide earnings for the benefit of the owners.

     

    Let me make a metaphor. Let us say you are a vendor of caviar. You can extol the virtues of caviar with great articulation, and perhaps rightfully feel that more Americans would benefit in including it in their diet. So, you say to yourself, which well known national firm has great distribution and a significant percentage of the food business in the US? One answer might be Walmart. So, is it a reasonable and profitable idea for you to start a grass roots campaign to get Walmart to carry caviar? I think not.

     

    I should be clear that I do not think of SA as the Walmart of financial information, it is more like the upscale Macy's, with broad appeal to a prosperous clientele.

     

    I think I am like many of the SA readers. I am a sophisticated and experienced investor. I work within a set of rules for my investments; I suggest that many US investors work within similar rules. I buy only stocks which are listed on US exchanges or which trade as ADRs. The ADRs I hold are from only 3 or 4 countries that are stable, have sound currencies and favorable tax policies for foreign investors. I hold only large cap stocks, Market Caps of $15 Bil. or more, with very few exceptions.

     

    Two days ago I read an article on MSFT by Richard Shaw. I felt he made a compelling argument to purchase that company at the present price. I took action. I added to my MSFT position. I follow D4L. His quantitative approach has merit, and his success is well documented. He recently added to his CVX position. I feel that is a very good idea at this time. I added to my CVX position. Of course I do not blindly follow the moves or recommendations of any author. But, if their reasoning bolsters my thoughts, it often enables me to pull the trigger on a watched stock.

     

    For most readers of SA, there is rarely anything actionable in articles about little known stocks, with sparse verifiable data available, in far away places with notoriously high country risks in terms of currency risk, stability of governments and consistent government policy.

     

    So, I can see Seeking Alpha's reluctance to publish articles which don't have appeal to their target audience. There is a cost involved in putting forth an article, and they are looking for a return on that cost in measurable terms; otherwise they are better off using the space for a different article.

     

    I too have had articles turned down. Rejection never feels good. However, it offers you an opportunity to learn and adjust your focus. In the case of Seeking Alpha, they generously offer you space for a blog to offer your views to those who are interested in your material.

     

    Jon, with all due respect to you and your proven abilities, I think it would be prudent for you to bring your product (business writing)to market through a different channel. And, if there does not seem to be such a channel, by that I mean demand for this kind of article, the sensible approach would be to take your considerable abilities and apply them in a more lucrative way.

     

    I wish you every good thing as you continue your writing career.

     

    Best regards,
    Bob Johnson
    15 Nov 2012, 06:32 AM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (995) | Send Message
     
    lets see how that plays out... at face value i read: SA rewards statistical mining and will publish articles that generate clicks in favor of article that generate thought.

     

    i realize articles can do both, but without a clearly defined "target audience" an author's best chance at publication is to follow clicks.

     

    also, on the subject of space. there is plenty of space. it just requires an adequate search function for most users to access. the real considerations for SA would be man hours required to go through content. again here, it is easier for people to just follow a statistical approach to content and publish what is most likely to generate clicks versus thought.

     

    Jon is already being published elsewhere.

     

    http://onforb.es/UFr1b4

     

    having found a channel, he's come to SA asking them to change their existing editorial process. what i can't understand is why SA is content to allow Forbes to take authors that would rather publish here. BTW, Jon probably wants to write here because the readers offer so much food for thought to the writer and other readers - to everyone's gain.
    15 Nov 2012, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Johnson
    , contributor
    Comments (3039) | Send Message
     
    The article in Forbes Asia is awesome. Jon, I encourage you to do more of the same. Hopefully it will pay some of your expenses while SA determines what to do. That article would have appeal in dozens of magazines, worldwide. Perhaps you might focus on the higher paying ones.

     

    Interesting that they put the number of page views at the top of the article, 4,700 when I accessed it.

     

    Yes!
    15 Nov 2012, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Schumpeter_1
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    Dear Mr Johnson

     

    With all respect, but regarding to your comment at 15 Nov, 06:32 AM, I would recommend reading on The Long Tail (by Chris Anderson).

     

    http://bit.ly/TITNS1
    16 Nov 2012, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • Jakester
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    I'll add my name to the chorus here of people that value potentially actionable articles on frontier markets. These markets will likely show the biggest (and unfortunately, most volatile) gains over the next decade or two. Unbiased information on these markets is very difficult to get and is a potential way for SA to distinguish itself from the competition and attract and keep new readers which should lead to more revenue for SA. This is a win-win SA. Do yourself a favor and support Jon by allowing him to monetize his work product. There must be a way.
    15 Nov 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • Wexboy
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    I (& most SA readers) wouldn’t be caught dead investing outside the US! Who wants to end up stuck in some dodgy country where:

     

    - The national debt's increased over 50% in less than 4 years
    - The debt/GDP ratio's now over 100%, and steadily rising
    - They've run ever-increasing budget deficits for past 3 decades
    - The central bank's printing money at an unprecedented rate
    - The government used taxpayer funds to bail out financial oligarchs
    - Total unemployment's almost 15%
    - The population's aging & government can’t fund their entitlements
    - The stock market's demonstrated it can rapidly fall by 50%+

     

    What?! Oh, er, um...never mind...

     

    ;-)
    15 Nov 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • Peter Brock
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    I want to add my voice here. I support Jon's work for the simple reason that I need it badly. I track the Mongolian mining space on a daily basis and read every item I can find. Of all the commentators I follow, Jon Springer is easily the most valuable, both for his unique information and for his straight-forward approach.

     

    As a Canadian with numerous contacts at resource companies and resource technology companies, along with a broad network in the financial community, it's natural to look for opportunities in underexplored regions of the world.

     

    This is an active sector, so any and all coverage is welcome, especially when it is of the caliber that Jon provides.

     

    Peter Brock
    15 Nov 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1903) | Send Message
     
    Jon is a top of the line author whose work has been featured in Forbes. I think for an international reach SA can spare a penny a click for his work. A feet on the ground thorough author like Jon on mining in truly emerging markets (as opposed to established markets) would be an invaluable resource to SA and to their readers.

     

    Thanks for writing Jon and all your free knowledge, I hope SA comes to understand the value in your coverage.
    16 Nov 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Chiu
    , contributor
    Comments (678) | Send Message
     
    Some of the most lucrative investment opportunities are residing outside of U.S. and it would definitely benefit SA readers if there is a dedicated section for international investment opportunity.

     

    Perhaps, SA can consider an international expansion to partner with some international financial media and perhaps translate SA's articles into different languages. Thus, generating more revenue for SA and SA contributors and broaden SA's international reach.

     

    By all means, I love SA and it's always a great learning experiences to interact with SA contributors and readers.
    16 Nov 2012, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Jan Schalkwijk, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Jon, SA is a great platform and it would make total sense for them to expand their emerging market and frontier coverage well beyond the realm of ETFs. I support you in your efforts and wish you good luck.
    16 Nov 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Leo Liu
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Support Jon Springer for sure.

     

    As jon said, attracted by the high growth in Sri Kanka, some ETFs specialized in frontier market have a few holding there. But for the active investor who want more exposure in south eastern asia like Sri kanka, they do need Jon’s coming articles result of his recent trip.

     

    I am really interested about unit investment trust in Sri Lanka and want to learn more investment opportunity in this country from Jon, the well-recognized contributor in SA.
    
    16 Nov 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Joseph L. Shaefer
    , contributor
    Comments (1507) | Send Message
     
    All, I'm not certain where the disconnect lies here. I visited David Jackson in Israel earlier this year. SA has editors in more than one country. Many of us have written about developed world opportunities; I have written about companies in Norway, France, Brazil, New Zealand, Colombia, South Africa, et al. So clearly the SA focus is global, not solely US.

     

    One area that needs better coverage, of course, is where the puck will be, not where it is now. That means not just emerging but frontier markets. Having served as a defense attache in Myanmar and traveled extensively in many other nations considered frontier markets, I know the readership would be there, providing ample reprinting on other sites. I look forward to seeing articles from Jon and others on this under-reported-upon area.
    16 Nov 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Wexboy
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    I do agree that overall there are plenty of foreign stock articles on SA, so it's not like they're actively turning them down. But these articles are swamped by the me-too articles & ticker list articles (abt US stocks) they seem to just wave through. Clearly, there's no real encouragement given for, or interest in, foreign stock articles.

     

    The insistence on only referring to/publishing articles with a US ticker is the worst aspect for me, personally. There are foreign stock articles I could have published, but haven't - I feel distinctly uncomfortable with the idea that somebody might buy into a thinly traded OTC/ADR stock with a horrible spread on the back of my article, rather than buy into the local foreign stock listing.
    16 Nov 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • MA Capital Management
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
     
    I support your case. Good quality content should be valued over advertising revenues.
    16 Nov 2012, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Costello
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    Hi Jon, I support the case too. Your research into these emerging markets where quality information is hard to find (Mongolia, for example) is great. SA and its readership will surely benefit from your travels to countries such as Sri Lanka where retail investors are looking for new opportunities.
    Patrick
    17 Nov 2012, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • Emerging Market Skeptic
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    I had mentioned this in a sub-comment above but it seems like part of the equation is getting (or SA getting) major syndication sites Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance on board. The way they butcher the spellings (by shortening the names etc) of foreign stocks and often OTC issues is a problem and there is not exactly agreement on how foreign or OTC tickers should be spelled e.g. a dash or a dot and then the exchange abbreviation at the end or a PK or OB etc. And other than releases from Reuters, often there is little content on these sites about foreign stocks - meaning they probably aren't getting that much traffic right now... And it looks like Motley Fool now has a .UK and .AU site...
    17 Nov 2012, 03:10 AM Reply Like
  • Steven Dotsch
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
     
    And don't forget http://yhoo.it/TbnsXY were Seekingalpha can list articles concerning the many (international) companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, a publishing channel used by Fool.co.uk, Sky, Reuters, etc.
    19 Nov 2012, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • Steven Dotsch
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
     
    Don't forget Yahoo UK & Ireland website, link above
    19 Nov 2012, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2105) | Send Message
     
    Hi Jon,
    I enjoy your articles and blogs. Well written and chock full of useful info to help with Due Diligence on international investments. I like that you don't marry a position and maintain an honest dialog as circumstances change. Flexibility, honesty, a way with words and first hand on the ground experience would be a great loss to the readers at SA looking for honest assessments.
    17 Nov 2012, 03:24 AM Reply Like
  • sharfich
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    I support Jon's bid for Seeking Alpha to include international markets. Even living in Hong Kong and having visitied Mongolia twice, the model to support such detail frontier research needs to be reviewed.
    17 Nov 2012, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4773) | Send Message
     
    Jon, I support you and hope SA decided to as well.

     

    I am concerned about the new business model of "paying for different levels of subscription". I suspect that will be their downfall.
    17 Nov 2012, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Joseph Harned
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    Dear Seeking Alpha:
    You are moving in the wrong direction!
    You are setting up an uber-article system on individual stocks, poorly covered ones at that, when what we readers need is more of Jon Springer's frontiersmanship on emerging market economies with investment opportunities.
    When no one knew Mongolia was China's resource attic, Jon brought it to our attention. Those of us who could, went there to see if Jon was right. He was. We invested. Then Jon sent up a flare. His early warning of a narrative reversal in the development story due to resource nationalism and corruption saved some weak hands in the short term and caused stronger ones to double down for the better looking longer haul.
    Now Jon is offering to provide the same sort of expert analysis and contacts in places like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan or Nepal, Vietnam - in which I am particularly interested, as well as perhaps the Phillippines or Papua New Guinea. To do this he needs income. The SA premium rate of a penny a click seems a paltry sum for the timely knowledge offered. I would happily pay 100 times that!
    With the U.S. economy just beginning to show signs of life, Europe in for long term rehab, and the bond market depressed by years of stimulus, I need frontier market equity opportunities, and therefore proven frontier market intelligence, expertise and judgement on which I can rely. Jon Springer has it. Seeking Alpha should be bright enough to deliver it to all of us in need. Joseph Harned
    17 Nov 2012, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4773) | Send Message
     
    Joseph, very well written. You very eloquently stated my thoughts.
    18 Nov 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13454) | Send Message
     
    A pleasure to add a thumb click to this comment!
    21 Nov 2012, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • Ian Cassel
    , contributor
    Comments (198) | Send Message
     
    Jon, keep up the good work however you plan to monetize your expertise. May I suggest to never leave your financial success or distribution to one outlet (ie SA). You have a talent, I'm sure many other outlets would pay for it.
    18 Nov 2012, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (979) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Jackson and SA team...

     

    Please add me to the chorus of Seeking Alpha expanding it's basis for international coverage.

     

    I have used several financial sites/blogs...and with a little due diligence, one can find very creditable, knowledgeable and pioneer writers such as Jon on SA.
    Too much focus on other sites are the big common stocks.
    SA has, and can continue to open under the radar stock coverage.
    Disruptive technologies and domestic companies have their value, but more of this disruptive investment opportunities will be in the form of international companies...and it's already started.

     

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Joe Phillion
    18 Nov 2012, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • dulleyefarmer
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    Jon's Mongolian blog became a place to exchange ideas that were not being heard or censored in other English language media.As a regular combatant I admire Jon for his engagement with Mongolia and his ability to respond when it would be so much easier to delete and ignore.I appreciate the chance to exchange ideas with people that I would never meet under normal circumstances. SA should reward Jon properly for his work and value finding someone who is prepared to travel and look instead of click.
    18 Nov 2012, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Adventures in Capitalism
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Jon,

     

    Your information is priceless (as in worth more than a penny). I live in Mongolia, yet you seem to find out stuff before I do...

     

    I hope SA pays you to cover more countries in a similar way.

     

    Please continue the work.

     

    Harris
    18 Nov 2012, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • IsaiahU
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    I live and work in Mongolia (as do many others who read Jon's blog) and it is well-known as one of the best sources of english-language information in the country.

     

    If SA has any interest in maintaining a connection to some of the most lucrative and interesting economies in the world (hint: not the USA), they should support writers who are moving beyond the perfunctory analysis of listed companies or ETFs that are marginally involved in these markets. The name of the game in emerging market is "boots on the ground" and Jon has developed the connections and understanding of local markets (and has committed to presenting fair and unbiased information to his readers) to actually provide insight. If equity opportunities at 20-30% ROE or CD's at 10%+ are something SA readers are interested in learning about then we should push SA to support writers like Jon.
    19 Nov 2012, 04:17 AM Reply Like
  • Steven Dotsch
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
     
    I am very glad you raised this Jon!

     

    Having had a recent encounter with the editorial board at Seekingalpha I, a Dutchman living and working in London currently solely reporting at Seekingalpha on FTSE350 London listed companies (with a secondary listing in the USA), with regards to my article about 2012 third quarter dividend pay-outs of FTSE350 companies, many of which having a secondary listing in the USA, they still refused to recognize it as a 'Premium Article', due to 'lack of US content' and "what would the benefit be for a US investor to have access to such an article".

     

    After an email exchange, I just gave up; instead I published it at http://bit.ly/yO4kya

     

    Let me (and if the editors are reading this) know whether such an article should have passed.

     

    Many thanks

     

    Steven
    19 Nov 2012, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • Clemens Scholl
    , contributor
    Comments (627) | Send Message
     
    SA editors should apply the Jacobi principle (which has been popularised in investor circles by Charlie Munger) to "invert, always invert".

     

    "what would the benefit be for a US investor to have access to such an article"

     

    Invert !
    1. What would the loss be for an US investor to not have access to this article ?
    2. What would the benefit be for non-US readers ? (AFAIK there is no check for citizenship before being able to read articles) or what would generally be the benefit for ANY kind of investor regardless or where he may have his/her residence?
    3. and the ultimate inversion: what is the benefit for non-US readers about having a similar article about the S&P or DJIA ?

     

    I'm pretty sure most of the professionals SA touts as reading their website are "global players", i.e. their focus is much wider than the narrow US market.
    Back when there still was the "international investing" part of this website, this was nearly the only part I used to read.

     

    Steven, keep up the good work, I am certainly reading your articles whenever I can and I can only encourage SA to change its policies regarding non-US public companies (my experience was the same as yours - it is extremely annoying to put a lot of work into your writing only to have it refused publication on such an absurd idea that the investment horizon stops at the US border, which is why I mostly stopped doing it).

     

    Even yahoo! finance (where SA syndicates their articles) has no troubles to show international stock prices, and the syndication would probably work fine -
    example Vodafone
    US-Listing (VOD) : http://yhoo.it/U877lU
    UK Listing (VOD.L) : http://yhoo.it/UQ2Asi
    ... and this works for A LOT of markets already.
    19 Nov 2012, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Steven Dotsch
    , contributor
    Comments (106) | Send Message
     
    Cheers, Clemens, likewise!
    19 Nov 2012, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • George Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (1479) | Send Message
     
    Dr Scholl steps into the batter's box....here comes the pitch... a fast ball right over the middle of the plate....Scholl swings and connects...it's going, it's going. it's gone.....another home run for Dr Schroll
    20 Nov 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • John A Shulli
    , contributor
    Comments (613) | Send Message
     
    Investors need information from markets around the world to get a true sense of the economic realities on a world wide basis.

     

    Since many large American companies do business around the global,it's prudent to have "on the ground" knowledge of current economic trends in various regions of the world.
    19 Nov 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • scio6 Angelo
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Jon,
    I value your research work very much. I am mainly interested in Mongolia and I read your articles with passion appreciating your approach full with information that goes beyond the pure financial subject.
    Frankly I don't see why SA should not pay you for the precious source of info you represent from these remote and hard to access (in terms of info sources) markets.
    Thanks very much again,
    Angelo
    19 Nov 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you all, for your comments to-date, both positive and negative. Honestly, this blog, the comments, and other private e-mails sent in response to my requests have been invigorating and brought me a lot of good cheer.

     

    Good cheer doesn't pay the bills, but it makes me believe that one day the work I do will be valued in a way that it does pay the bills.

     

    Despite SA Editor George Moriarty's comment above, indications from other members of the SA editorial staff so far are that no changes to SA's editorial policies are in the offing. (George, if you have sent questions, I haven't received them, please resend them.)

     

    (for those interested, George is a very good editor and has done great work to develop coverage of small to micro-cap stocks)

     

    For those on this blog that are contributors (e.g. have written articles for SA), you may also want to comment on Clemens Scholl's thread about international investing in the contributor's center http://bit.ly/WrHi4h
    20 Nov 2012, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • George Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (1479) | Send Message
     
    That is an interesting thread as well for contributors. Nice link Jon
    20 Nov 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • cpelkie
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    I found your articles on Mongolia to be interesting, pertinent, very well presented, and of great value to me. I am investing for my personal accounts only, and do not have a background in finance. I find that your presentations of the facts about companies, the environment they are operating in, and risk factors, to be important information that I would not otherwise be able to discover on my own.

     

    In terms of ETFs, I prefer to invest in individual issues. One of the problems I have with ETFs, especially country-specific funds, is that I do not know enough about the issues that are included in an ETF to determine if an ETF is of value to me. Also, getting background information on the country itself, in terms of factors that affect investability, is not easy to come by. However, after reading your reports, I would be more inclined to consider investing in a country-specific ETF (for example, Mongolia), as I would feel that I was better informed about the issues that are in the ETF. So in a sense, I would consider that your articles are of great value in that you bring to light many factors that should be considered before making an investment in an ETF.

     

    I read in your blog posting that you are considering travel to several other countries. I like to read articles like yours, you are kind of like a "National Geographic" for business. I very much appreciate the "boots on the ground" type of article, and also appreciate that you include photographs.

     

    I find that virtually all of the U.S., Canadian and European issues that I learn about and consider for investment are already very well covered on SA. However, the issues in the rest of the world do not receive much coverage, certainly not in the way of presenting background information as you do.

     

    In short, I added you to my "follow" list because you are covering topics that I am interested in. Your articles are also very well written, thorough, and balanced.

     

    I sincerely hope to see more of your work on SA, and would encourage SA to realize the tremendous value that your work brings to some portion of the SA audience.

     

    Craig Pelkie
    Valley Center, CA
    20 Nov 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Chris Lau
    , contributor
    Comments (1672) | Send Message
     
    SA is ad-sponsored by various ETF companies. Why don't they work out a way to integrate the coverage of foreign investment opportunities with ETF-listings? That way, ETFs grow in sales, SA gets ad revenue, and writers to write.

     

    For example: (VRX) or (BCE) are predominantly Canadian listings, but they exist on the US-exchange. The Y!Finance equivalent is VRX-T or VRX.TO and is very popular in Canada. Tagging an ETF- equivalent for Canada's market that holds these stocks and getting sponsorship that way would be a win-win situation.
    20 Nov 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • Love_ Money
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
     
    Jon has been a great contributor to SA. SA should publish his work that many us read and use it for investing.
    20 Nov 2012, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • Harfang
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
     
    Jon has been offering great coverage and I support his efforts to get paid here. It is far more useful and important research then all the chattering nonsense on maybe big name companies. Wall street research also misses this void.
    21 Nov 2012, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • daklo13
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Jon,

     

    Thank you for the research and work you have put into all of your articles on Mongolia. Your knowledge and perspective on Mongolia are truly invaluable, and have presented me with an in-depth view of the country that I could not have gotten anywhere else. I am actually looking to conduct academic research there, and I know that I wouldn't have been able to develop my project without the deep dive into Mongolia's economic and political arena that you have provided. While your stated goal may be to provide information for retail investors, the fact is that your articles are so exhaustive that they have become a necessity for anybody simply looking to learn about one of these countries. It would be a major loss for SA if they a) made you change your approach to covering these frontier markets or b) didn't pay you and you weren't able to continue writing your articles.

     

    You've certainly found a follower in me, and I can assure you that like the rest of your followers, I will continue to track your work no matter where you post it. You provide a service that in my mind is absolutely worth paying for, so if you are forced to move to a different platform so that you can get compensated for your work, please let us know so that we can find your work.
    21 Nov 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • minorman
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    I fully agree that SA has way too narrow focus on the US equities markets. The world is big - and I'd argue that many of the best and most interesting investments are to be found elsewhere.

     

    The SA editors also have a clear tendency to dismiss submitted articles ("We think this would make a very good instablog...") if the main theme is not about US stocks.

     

    Keep up the good work, Jon.
    (If you want your readers to be able to "tip" you for good content just add a bitcoin address. I'd tip good articles.)
    23 Nov 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • crozz
    , contributor
    Comments (298) | Send Message
     
    I am 100% with you. Obviously we can be happy that something like SA exists at all.

     

    However being from Europe the US arrogance to take a blind eye on all international investment opportunities that do not involve ADRs or some strange ETF has pissed me off from the beginning.
    26 Nov 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor George Moriarty
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Thank you all for the comments here. Jon and I have had a conversation and we are working together to address this situation.
    26 Nov 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks very much to George and everyone who commented on this blog. Here is my interview with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to start off the series of articles on Sri Lanka: http://bit.ly/VgJkPl
    3 Dec 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • George Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (1479) | Send Message
     
    SA George,

     

    I hope your address will not preclude others from offering international analysis.
    27 Nov 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Jerman
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    I would love to see more international coverage.
    28 Nov 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    I support Jon in this project.
    2 Dec 2012, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • SA Editor George Moriarty
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Hello all,

     

    Thanks for the continuous commentary and input here. I wanted to let you know I touched based with Jon, and as you've all likely seen, he has written two articles on his area of expertise. I highly recommend you check them out.

     

    Two points of clarification. His articles do qualify for our premium submission, and have. There was a miscommunication that created confusion on both sides. Second, his recent articles show how we need international articles to be done. We remain focused on US securities, and will. However, one can, as Jon has, write about portfolio strategies that provide international exposure through domestic securities. This can be complemented with thoughts on how to access these markets directly, just like fundamental analysis can be complemented with technicals.

     

    I hope this helps clarify for everyone, and I look forward to continuing to work with Jon and share his ideas with SA readers.
    5 Dec 2012, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (7989) | Send Message
     
    George, Thanks for clearing things up and commenting here on those issues.
    5 Dec 2012, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4773) | Send Message
     
    thanks George, his type work is important, help him get more coverage....and btw..your premium service is going to hurt your traffic. It is way too expensive and not worth it.
    5 Dec 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Here are the links to the two articles:

     

    http://bit.ly/VgJkPl
    http://bit.ly/11TMbmN

     

    Thanks to George for helping smooth the communication highway between authors of international articles and editors.

     

    Regarding premium articles (as George mentioned my articles were published as premium aritcles): premium just means I get paid at Seeking Alpha's traditional going rate. It is the new Pro articles LT is referring to that pay at a higher rate but have an embargo period during which only those who pay for the Pro service have access them (1 or 3 days depending on the type of article).

     

    Lastly, I greatly appreciate all your support. To be perfectly frank, the article where I interviewed the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is not getting enough page views to justify publishing articles like it at this time. Two points on this:

     

    1) Please forward the link to the article (http://bit.ly/VgJkPl) to any friends, family, or strangers, you think might be interested by such work. Perhaps along with my other article about why one should consider investing in such markets published today. To get more articles like this, it needs to get page views.

     

    2) Given time, I think the audience for work on Sri Lanka and other future markets I will cover will build as audience for the work I've done on Mongolia has built up over time. This process takes time to develop. However, George who has graciously assisted us, and myself, need a little help getting a running start to validate Seeking Alpha's effort to publish this and other articles like it.

     

    Thanks to all of you again for your comments, thoughts, and support.
    5 Dec 2012, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2192) | Send Message
     
    I imagine these North American contacts interested in Sri Lanka will be curious about your articles, Jon, if they knew about them.
    http://bit.ly/RqPiMn
    http://bit.ly/YCe98E
    http://bit.ly/VFCULF
    5 Dec 2012, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • Yiannis Mostrous
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Jon-
    I think that Frontier markets will attract more attention, than they currently do, going forward. It seems to me that your kind of work should be encouraged.
    Notice that often one encounters publishing problems in this forum when, for instance, a stock from Hong Kong is mentioned/recommended.
    It seems to me though that this will gradually change as more readers start realizing the importance of a globally balanced portfolio.

     

    cheers!
    5 Dec 2012, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thank you Yiannis.

     

    For those who don't know, Yiannis, along with Seeking Alpha contributor Elliott Gue, have a book about investing in these markets in Asia titled The Silk Road to Riches: How You Can Profit by Investing in Asia's Newfound Prosperity http://amzn.to/VnmCos
    5 Dec 2012, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Pat O'Connell
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Dear Jon:

     

    I find your blog very useful. It provides me with information on Mongolia that I don't see anywhere else. I know that it is widely read, including in the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar. I hope that you will be able to continue the blog and to be compensated for your insights.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Pat O'Connell
    13 Dec 2012, 02:48 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » FYI

     

    1) If you're interested in other authors writing about frontier markets, I have made a list of other authors that write about this area which I will revise regularly with reader input: tinyurl.com/cgola2e

     

    (the rest below is repetitive for those who "follow" me who I have sent e-mails to)

     

    2) I recently became aware of a great service Seeking Alpha supplies but does not advertise. Readers can get an e-mail once per day that lists all newly published articles of all the authors they follow in a single e-mail. If you are interested in getting these updates, here is how you do it.

     

    - a - Go to your profile page on Seeking Alpha

     

    - b - Click on "edit profile" anywhere in your profile

     

    - c - On the left side of the screen, click on "email alerts"

     

    - d - Scroll all the way down, and check the box for "author alerts"

     

    - e - Then you'll be notified by Seeking Alpha once per day of new articles by all authors you follow (in a single e-mail)

     

    If you have trouble with this, e-mail support@seekingalpha.com.

     

    3) I have created a directory to find all my articles and blogs by your area of interest. I don’t think it is necessary yet, but I wanted to get out ahead of a potential problem, and make sure it is always easy for you to find work by me you want to go back to for your reference. The directory is here: tinyurl.com/bzgr5e2

     

    4) My most recent articles include:

     

    - An interview with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as I initiate coverage of this country I recently visited: tinyurl.com/csw2fu6

     

    - Why Target Frontier & Emerging Markets? tinyurl.com/b2n6sj4

     

    - What The Yield? An article questioning low yields in emerging markets debt. tinyurl.com/bcg3c7
    16 Dec 2012, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New Sri Lanka article by me: http://bit.ly/UV3nDH

     

    Interview with the World Bank's IFC arm coming next week...

     

    Thanks for your support folks.

     

    To those of you I have not been in contact with recently, all the best to you and your families in the new year, Jon
    18 Jan 2013, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • RbarPNW
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Jon,
    I'm not sure what constitutes "international" in this case, but in the case of IVN or YAK/MNGGF couldn't an article be classified as Canadian because they are Canadian entities that have operations in Mongolia? You are too capable and creative to stay pigeonholed.
    I support an SA business model that would allow you to be paid for your informative insights from frontier markets. As a realist about changing editorial policy, I offer a Robert Heinlein quote, “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”
    20 Jan 2013, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • RbarPNW
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    I was late; you did teach the pig to sing. Congratulations.
    20 Jan 2013, 12:47 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » SA Editor In Chief Eli Hoffman wrote in the comments of an article I published yesterday: "Not often does one see astonishing returns coupled with socially-responsible investment policies. Yet Ralph makes a strong case that socially-responsible, sustainable investing in frontier markets is not only ethical but also the smartest fiscal approach. This is really inspiring. Thanks Jon for the superb interview."

     

    Yet, this article has the lowest page views in its first 24 hours after publication of any article I have ever published. Anyone with thoughts on how to modify the page view performance, or what's wrong with it (title, subject, approach, publication time, author, etc), please let me know. I have to figure out how to fix the page view performance.

     

    Article: The World Bank's IFC Investment Arm In Emerging And Frontier Markets: What We Can Learn http://bit.ly/SHGIhv
    25 Jan 2013, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (995) | Send Message
     
    sucks. great article. i gave it the social media treatment for what its worth. wish i could offer some advice, but it's an unfortunate reality in my experience that people's interests don't often align with valuable work.
    25 Jan 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks Mathieu. After 24 hours, its at 1/10th of SA's average page views per article. Trying to understand this to do things differently and make future interviews I'm planning with other investment pros viable.
    25 Jan 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2105) | Send Message
     
    JS,
    I agree with MM. However, you might try some marketing tricks with the titles. Some spice, hype or even out there questions in the title to draw the "Looky Lou's". ( eg. E & F markets, good for AAPL?) Any hot stock of the moment backed with a one liner in the article (eg. Brazil is a great place for Foxconn to manufacture APPL products. There are abundant low cost labor, real estate....)
    25 Jan 2013, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2105) | Send Message
     
    JS,
    I understand you are into serious coverage that keeps your integrity intact. But there must be some major corporation working to take advantage of the situation in all the different parts of the world that could be tied into the articles. This would draw lookers based on the potential of growth and infrastructure. Just a thought.
    25 Jan 2013, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks for the posted ideas SD. They're making me think. Not sure if anything will come from it... but that would be my fault (if I don't get something from them). You got me thinking differently and that's a good start.

     

    I've had some major volatility in my page view numbers from one article to the next in the past few months. All ideas on figuring out how to avoid articles performing badly by page views are helpful.
    25 Jan 2013, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • Emerging Market Skeptic
    , contributor
    Comments (86) | Send Message
     
    Titles and keywords in the first paragraph etc can only go so far if readers just aren't interested in the topic or the article does not get into the Google or Yahoo! Finance feeds. My articles on Malaysia and Indonesia are at less than half the level of Vietnam and the Philippines and yet Malaysia and Indonesia are the more interesting of SE Asia markets (They are also Muslim countries while SA is for American investors). So go figure...
    28 Jan 2013, 05:24 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4156) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » This article - http://onforb.es/18GUzbu - about Sri Lanka was also in the print edition of Forbes Asia and now has over 60,000 page views. It also led to me getting contracted as a contributor at Forbes Asia's website.

     

    It's a new year, and I give thanks to that interview for a new start after a 2013 riddled with health and personal issues. I apologize profusely for largely disappearing since early February 2013, but can assure you it was not fun and I'd have rather been punching out more articles, blogs and comments on SA.

     

    You can now find and follow me on the Forbes Asia website here: http://onforb.es/18GUwwn

     

    I will also be writing periodically on Seeking Alpha as well.

     

    The above published interview was done in October 2012, then went to press on my birthday in November 2013 a little more than a year later.

     

    Wishing you all a bit of magic in the new year,
    Jon
    2 Jan, 10:04 PM Reply Like
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