With oil and gas prices at current levels, the favourite blog of Report on Business readers says you’d have to be @#$%-ing nuts not to own energy stocks.
That’s iBankCoin for you. Profane, impudent and No. 1-ranked in the popularity contest that ran for the past week on ReportonBusiness.com. Last Tuesday, five ROB columnists and Howard Lindzon, a portfolio manager and founder of the Wallstrip.com website, each presented their five favourite blogs. Readers were then given the chance to vote online for their top choices among these blogs.
A total of 5,112 votes were cast and iBankCoin, formerly known as Fly on WallStreet, was the clear winner. The star here is George (The Fly) Hamilton, a professional money manager who provides a hilarious running commentary to his trading day. The overall tone: Irreverent, but on the money through the constant flow of stock picks and opinionated commentary.
Check out a posting made at the end of last week on the price of natural gas, or â€œnatty,â€ as The Fly calls it. Almost none of it can be quoted here for profanity reasons, but the gist is that the rise of commodity prices is inexorable and too powerful to bet against. The Fly also provided the natural gas stocks he’s holding, and the ones he’s watching. This blog names names.
Blogs, a shortening of the term Web log, first appeared about a decade ago and initially were a way for individuals to communicate with like-minded people on topics of interest. At least one of the blogs on our favourites list, Canadian Capitalist, still works along these lines. But some others suggest that blogs, financial ones at least, are starting to develop a more business-like profile.
IBankcoin was formed last November when The Fly brought some other bloggers into his fold to create an organization with 10 writers and 300 contributors to a forum he calls The Peanut Gallery. Another example of a blog that’s more of a business than a personal soapbox is DealBreaker, which readers ranked third. DealBreaker is part of a New York blog mini-conglomerate, Dead Horse Media, that also runs Fashionista.com (on fashion) and AboveTheLaw.com (for lawyers).
â€œWe take the irreverent, unorthodox angle to today’s business news stories,â€ said David Minkin, publisher of DealBreaker. â€œWe want to cover the angles that aren’t getting enough coverage. There are lots of idiosyncratic things that go on within the Wall Street culture.â€
The overwhelming popularity of DealBreaker, iBankCoin and readers’ second-ranked choice, Wall Street Fighter, attest to the appeal of the sharp-tongued approach to blogging. Wall Street Fighter collects wacky factoids from the financial world and serves them up with lots of nasty comments.
The anonymous person behind this site had a good old time the other day with what were described as the seven worst money-saving tips to be found on the Internet. Tip One: Stop buying alcohol. Wall Street Fighter’s annotation: â€œWell, how do they suggest we get it then? Steal it from somewhere?â€ Tip Two: Attend free local events you find in your local newspaper. Wall Street Fighter: â€œFirst off, a newspaper? What are we, stockbrokers from the 1930s? Get digital, baby.â€
And now to a couple of more, um, thoughtful blogs. Fourth-ranked by readers was Infectious Greed, by Paul Kedrosky, a venture capitalist and former equity analyst. Mr. Kedrosky’s background analyzing tech stocks can be seen in his smart commentary on companies in the sector, and he’s got some mildly contrarian things to say about soaring oil prices.
The fifth-ranked blog, Canadian Capitalist, represents the triumph of the informed amateur. Ram Balakrishnan, an Ottawa software developer, began his blog back in 2004 as a way of furthering his interest in managing his portfolio. â€œI just started yakking on financial topics,â€ he said. â€œI was surprised to see that I got some readers out of it, so I just kept going.â€
Mr. Balakrishnan’s blog comments are clear, concise and right in tune with what’s going on in your life. Recent postings have covered the housing market, stock market volatility and group registered education savings plans. Like any good blog, he keeps the comments coming regularly. â€œI post almost every workday because people don’t tend to read much on weekends. I’m guessing they’re reading blogs at work.â€
Here is the link: The Fly is all the buzz in the blogosphere
I’ll take the bold step of speaking for The Fly here by offering the sincere thanks of all iBC bloggers to Howard LindzonÂ for nominating The Fly, and by default, the godly site of iBankCoin.
However, it seems Howard has realized his folly, and has offered an apology to the Globe and Mail for this most egregious nomination.
In the spirit of The Fly, fuck you, Howard.