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Graphic: The Pumpkin Boom Rages On

Here’s a fun graphic to start the weekend from global trade data site Panjiva:


Pumpkin

Some thoughts from Panjiva to ponder over your next pumpkin-spiced latte:

The traditionally loved fall flavor appears to have grown in popularity to a point where it is a constant presence, even in items that probably shouldn’t be pumpkin spiced (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice Pringles)—from the classic morning pumpkin spiced latte, to a decadent pumpkin spice Oreo cookie, the retail market seems to be embracing pumpkin madness without reserve.

And according to Panjiva, authoritative information source on global trade, shipments of pumpkin items have been increasing over the last several years, climaxing this year at 4,338 shipments, the highest since Panjiva starting tracking the data in 2008.

In an analysis of the descriptions on bills of lading forms (i.e., trade slips from U.S. Customs) of shipments labeled ‘pumpkin,’ Panjiva found a steady increase in pumpkin shipments, supporting that pumpkin and pumpkin flavoring is more present in the U.S. than ever before.  The graph below shows the increase in pumpkin shipments from June to September over the last four years.

On a side note, I have no fewer than four pumpkins sitting on my front porch…and I may be having a pumpkin ale when I leave work this afternoon.

UPDATE: My post got a fun reply on Twitter:

Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is the chief investment officer of the investment firm Sizemore Capital Management. Click here to receive his FREE weekly e-letter covering top market insights, trends, and the best stocks and ETFs to profit from today’s best global value plays. 

 

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Social Media for Money Managers and Financial Bloggers

If you manage money professionally–or write about it–then using social media has become part of your day job.  Think about Carl Icahn tweeting about his decision to buy Apple (AAPL) or of Twitter tweeting to announce its own IPO.  Though it hasn’t completely replaced traditional public relations and advertising (and it never fully will, at least for larger companies), social media has created an earthy, authentic parallel publicity universe for making announcements and for new talent to be heard.

In 2008, blogs were not taken seriously as “news” sites.  Hardly anyone had heard of the Big Picture, The Reformed Broker or Zero Hedge.  But today, due in no small part to the success of these bloggers and their contemporaries, the line between blogger and mainstream financial journalist is too blurred to distinguish.  The edgy, anti-establishment voices have elbowed their way into the establishment by filling an information void that needed to be filled and by sheer force of personality.  And in doing so, they have changed the way we get our news.

Going hand in hand with this is Twitter. I have no idea what Twitter’s founders had in mind when they created the service; it’s evolved so much over the past few years, I doubt if they even remember themselves.  For lack of existing vocabulary (Twitter has since spawned a vocabulary all its own), they called it a “microblog.”  To me, it looked like a Facebook status update…but without the rest of Facebook.  But today, it’s grown to become everything from news aggregator to chat room.  In this line of work, the Twitter format is perfect for blasting out an article you wrote or one that you read and wanted to pass on.  It’s also a great forum for tossing around trading ideas (StockTwits is even better for this).

And like blogging, tweeting give you a way to shape the discussion.  It makes the the news interactive.

All of this brings me to Vestorly.  I’ve used Vestorly for years as a way of funneling casual social media contacts into actionable leads.  And as of now, the service is now available for free.  Here is the press release they put out earlier today:

New York, NY – September 24, 2013. Vestorly, a leading digital content marketing platform for financial professionals, announced today the availability of a free and comprehensive content marketing suite This no cost alternative for content marketing frees financial professionals from having to pay for content distribution services they are currently using for email newsletters, social media publishing services or digital content marketing hubs.

“The current technology behind digital content marketing is becoming commoditized,” said Justin Wisz, CEO of Vestorly. “The real challenge for digital marketing platforms is delivering actionable data that helps professionals convert new clients as opposed to simple content distribution.”

As the wealth management industry embraces digital marketing, there are industry-specific challenges, such as compliance and qualified lead generation, which are not included in most current content marketing platforms. Paid-for marketing tools may schedule, push and archive content across multiple digital channels, but typically lack the intelligence to identify, attract and convert new clients. As a result, Vestorly believes that these base-line services have become so commoditized that they ultimately will become free, just as many other online features have become.

“Vestorly’s mission is to power up the wealth management industry and its professionals with smart data that accelerates client acquisition” continued Wisz. “As part of that mission, we believe that the basic features of digital content marketing services should be free.”

The key functionality that separates Vestorly from other digital content marketing platforms is Vestorly’s ability to gather new prospective clients from the entire Web presence of a professional or firm. Vestorly captures the basic interaction between individuals and wealth management professionals. It then synthesizes user content views into better client service data and user content-sharing into new client referrals. Vestorly’s proprietary algorithms then facilitate the client acquisition process by collecting smart data on individual prospects.

For enterprises and firms that seek industry-specific ROI from marketing efforts, Vestorly offers an API (application programming interface) to enable the turnkey integration with current content marketing tools, compliance platforms, and CRMs. Through the Vestorly API, enterprises and firms can quickly enhance current digital marketing initiatives with data-powered lead generation and nurturing.

With the additional ability to archive and gain compliance pre-approval on all outgoing content, Vestorly can provide a comprehensive digital content marketing suite specifically built for financial professionals and their enterprises, or simply be added on as a powerful new feature. Vestorly offers these integrations at the enterprise-level on a license fee basis.

With Vestorly, financial professionals and firms are able to:

  • Schedule and automate email newsletters and Social Media posts
  • Capture or upload unlimited contacts from lists and social media profiles
  • Deploy lead capture technology for website, blog, email marketing and social media presence
  • Harness smart data reporting on individual leads to accelerate qualifying process and client acquisition.
  • Utilize compliance monitoring, pre-approval and archiving

“One of the most challenging aspects of the investment management business is getting your message across to would-be clients,” said Charles Sizemore of Sizemore Capital Management. “ Vestorly gives me a “compliance safe” venue to reach out to clients and prospects, but it is also much more than that. Vestorly leverages the power of social media and expands my reach by allowing clients and prospects to refer you to their friends and colleagues in a comfortable way that adds value to everyone involved.”

“Investment professionals have very specific requirements when it comes to client acquisition, and current marketing solutions may not be addressing that,” said Wisz. “Client acquisition is a science, not a gamble. With the data available now, professionals in wealth management can be more efficient in making smart decisions about how they communicate and grow.”

About Vestorly

Vestorly is a technology company dedicated to solving the client acquisition problem for professionals in wealth management, and the enterprises that support  them. Founded in 2012, Vestorly is the brainchild of marketers, data analysts, and  engineers from Fisher Investments, J.P. Morgan and Microsoft. Vestorly’s technology suite provides a comprehensive digital content marketing platform that is currently being used by professionals from over 300 wealth management firms. For more information, please logon to www.vestorly.com.

Media Inquiries

Timothy D. Welsh
Nexus Strategy, LLC
tim@nexus-strategy.com
415-847-4874

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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