I’ve learned a lot this year. I started this blog a few days before I got married in April with the purpose of getting my thoughts on the market written down and sharing them with whoever had an interest. One of the difficulties I had last year was the constant flood of information and opinions that knocked me around like a buoy in the ocean. I thought if I was able to write what I thought it would help define my thinking and make me a better analyst and trader.
2012 brought a lot of changes for me; I got married, got settled in with a new firm, started competing in BBQ competitions, and learned a heck of a lot about the markets along the way. In late 2011 I moved back to Indiana and I’ve truly enjoyed working alongside Adam Harter, who I’ve picked up a lot from over the last year about fundamental research and bond analysis. I have many of you to thank for the progress I’ve made as not only a market participant but a writer.
My wife, Abby, is obsessed with Twitter. I always saw her checking her stream on her phone but never gained an interest to be more involved on the 140 character social media site. But with starting the blog I thought it’d be a good idea to get more involved. Twitter has now changed everything for me. It’s where I get the lion’s share of news updates and gives me the chance to connect with other traders and asset managers I would never have the opportunity to otherwise. Barry Ritholtz once said that his favorite aspect of Twitter is the fact that he can surround himself with some of the smartest investors in the world and keep up-to-date on their opinions.
While I’ve grown in my understanding of technical analysis and the markets in general, there have been some bloggers/traders that have had a great influence on me. J.C. Parets stands out the most. J.C. is an excellent writer, posting something thought-provoking almost daily at his Allstarcharts.com blog. His views are unique and have challenged me to look at things through a different scope than I normally would. Chris Kimble at Kimble Charting Solutions has the ability to say so much in so few words. He can post a chart spanning 20 years and bring your focus in to the important levels of a security or market. Chris strips down technical analysis to its core, looking at long-term trend lines and important junctures in sectors to commodities to indexes to bonds. More recently I’ve been talking with Jason at ChartLearning.com, who seems to have a similar approach to evaluating the markets that I do. I’m always interesting in seeing how he views the latest price action and indicators. I also have a lot of appreciation for Barry Ritholtz. His is one of the first sites I began reading back when I left college and started in the investment industry. He collects, writes, and publishes some of the best content on the web. There are many others, but the post would be far too long to name everyone.
I also want to thank the entire StockTwits community and blogging network. There are so many original thinkers and excellent traders that are active on StockTwits it’s almost overwhelming. Phil, Howard, and the rest of the StockTwits team have done an excellent job at constantly improving and tweaking the site, never settling for the status quo.
Finally I want to thank Josh and Phil. While always striving to be a better blogger I reached out to Phil Pearlman and Josh Brown to get their insight and feedback on how I could improve. I thought I’d get back a one line response from each of them that they were too busy to talk…nothing could be further from the truth. Phil quickly setup a time for us to Skype and he gave me the brutal truth of what I needed to change, advising me to drop the Trend Spectator name and to make some improvements to the site. Josh is one of the top financial bloggers out there, producing more content and better quality content than just about anyone, all while doing segments for CNBC, writing for other sites and working full-time as an advisor in NYC. With that kind of schedule he still was kind enough to talk to me about focusing on what I wanted to get out of my blog and the key things I should be doing to accomplish them. It was a pleasure having the chance to meet both Phil and Josh at the Big Picture conference a few months ago, I’ll always be grateful for the help they’ve given me.
I’ve really enjoyed writing this year; I’m far from being the most profound author or the most eloquent. But this blog and the relationships I’ve made in 2012 have had a large impact on the improvement I’ve been able to make. I never plan to stop learning, adapting, or trying new things. I’m happy I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and find other great bloggers who keep challenging me to be better.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope 2013 brings wonderful things for each of you.
Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer. Connect with Andrew on Google+.