From Brexit to Trump there are many factors to contemplate when it comes to judging the value of market commodities. One of the best ways to properly gauge how to advance your positioning is simple. Ask your rival. While the notion to share information with someone you want to move past seems trivial, but it is increasingly common for competitors to share. These are the top ten things you need to learn from your competitors to get ahead in the markets.
10) Google Alerts
Google (GOOG) is best known as a search engine giant with a large pool of data that is usually associated with advertising can provide a major advantage in knowledge gathering with Google Alerts. When you set a Google Alert for a specific keyword, Google will alert you when news happens based on that specific topic. Utilizing Google Alerts can give you a heads up on when new markets may open or give you more specific information on what someone else is doing.
9) Social Media
Even as a commodities trader, social media plays a pivotal role in how you consume information. Most business professionals will have public Twitter profile for example which can allow you to see who they are following and who follows them. Following certain people on Twitter can bring breaking news to your attention before the rest of the market reacts. Following industry professionals on LinkedIn can give you market insight that can prove useful down the road.
Polling is most often associated with politics and marketing as a way to gauge how an audience reacts to a certain topic. Usually politicians use poll data to gauge how people respond to their stances and react accordingly (unless you are Donald Trump). Businesses will use polls or surveys to see how customers react to their new products and how they can improve on them.
You can use polling to see where the market is going and how other commodity traders are going to react. Websites such as FiveThirtyEight break down how people react to polls and which polls are accurate and which polls are not to be believed. The British market tanked after being assured through their private polling that Britain would remain in the EU. When their polls were disproven they panicked and sent the market and the pound in a tailspin which thankfully has recovered.
7) Professional News
In this business everyone reads from the same news outlets. Even though everyone reads the same information, the differentiator is how you interpret and act upon that data. Often time’s people act in a herd like mentality to certain events even when there is no crisis simply because they misinterpreted the data. In 2008 the vast majority of investors misread the housing market as stable and listened to voices such as Alan Greenspan who claimed all was good while foreclosures and defaults were through the roof. While everyone might read the same headlines, it is about what is inside those headlines that changes how you react.
Some investors are overly confident and do not keep up with how the markets are moving and miss out on key opportunities. Others are the extreme opposite and read every article that comes across, but miss the important details sandwiched between the headlines. The key to success lies with in finding the right balance of media consumption to properly read everything that comes across. Utilize RSS readers such as Feedly to aggregate all of your information in one place, and then act on that information with a product such as CMC Markets who specialize in efficiency of data.
5) Analyzing the Data
Having data in front of you is very important, but what really matters is how you analyze. Considering you and your competition have the same data in front of you, see what moves he makes and how those moves impact their bottom line.
4) Creating Content
I get it. Not everyone is a content creator. It takes a lot to create content such as professional quality YouTube videos or write insightful blog posts, but becoming a content creator can allow you to share your thoughts and see how your competitors react. If they like your content you can take that as an endorsement of your technique. If they do not respond you can take that as them writing down everything you say.
Competition does not always mean you have to be a bitter rival. Whether it is in the octagon or on the trading floor, many famous competitors have been friends behind the spotlight. Complimenting your rivals can lead to useful leads you can use to your advantage.
Often times the markets can be quite depressing. This year alone we saw the pound go to an all-time low and general uneasiness from the market. What makes a competitor different from a regular trader is the will to succeed. Having a positive outlook on life led Steve Jobs to a wildly successful career simply because he refused to quit.
This is the closest you can get with your potential competitors. There is a saying that, “Two eyes are better than one.” Meaning is that you can do better to consolidate your talent under one house and expand rather than try to fight battles. War does not always lead to expansion, but often time’s marriage does.