Post of the Day
December 3, 1999

Board Name:
CMGI

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Subject:  Curious about something...
Author:  squark

I started reading TMF boards with some regularity about a year ago. It soon became evident that these boards, selectively used, were the best source of investing information anywhere. Perhaps this is old news to some of you, but to me it was bit of a revelation. A thriving community of experts (and some not-so-experts), using different means towards the same goal, collecting data, debating prons and cons, testing models, arguing, learning not from books but from each other, all real time in the real world. Much like my other world, the world of science: the best way to learn is to ask your friends.

"So I'm curious about whether the discussions on this or some other boards actually influence stock movements."

The virtues of TMF boards must be known to some fund managers as well. If I was managing a growth fund and wanted to get some ideas about promising internuts and such, I would consult...well, you get the idea.

So I'm curious about whether the discussions on this or some other boards actually influence stock movements. I'm not talking about the mindless "DUMP DELL, BUY CPQ" babble, or wild spikes in penny stocks. I'm referring to things like IFK's persistence and persuasiveness, BruceBrown's gentle yet compelling logic, trenchrat's cryptic utterances, things of that nature. Did some of these musings have a real impact on some stocks? Is there clear evidence that they did? What kind of evidence? How exactly do you measure these things?

"...lesser authorities than those referred to above move the markets all the time."

The reason why this could be happening is, I think, that on short time scales (few years or less) the stock market is a chaotic system: highly nonlinear, very sensitive to small perturbations. So it is entirely possible that, on occasion, "serious money" was persuaded by the arguments/observations/analyses presented here, and that's what got the ball rolling. It would be nice to know for sure. And if it was true, I'd like to understand the mechanism at some level -- that could lead to interesting applications! It's easier to build a radio if you understand Maxwell's equations.

I'd like to hear about instances when this sort of thing might have happened. It's hard to prove such things, of course, but the fact is that lesser authorities than those referred to above move the markets all the time. Some of them are called analysts, a word which can be spelled in interesting ways...

hem

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