Sunday, February 7, 2010

Your Opinion Please....

I would like to gauge your interest on the following matter.

I would like to monetize certain aspects of my blog content to justify the increasing amount of time and energy that I am putting into TheTechnicalTake blog. In essence, I would like to make money from my considerable research efforts. I have no interest in running a subscription newsletter, trading service or being a market guru, so don't expect me to go that route. My idea is a bit of a hybrid model.

Some bloggers make money from advertising revenue, and I do as well. I make enough to take my wife out to a nice dinner maybe twice a month -if I am lucky. Other bloggers have a little "click here" button on their blogs where you can support the blog for $10 a month or whatever amount on a recurring basis or just a one time fee. There is no difference or distinction between those who donate their money and those who don't. You still get the same content whether you give money to the blogger or not. So why donate? I guess if you are a good person and you really find value in the blogger's work, then maybe a tip is appropriate. After all, if their insight can put a few extra dollars in your pocket, maybe a tip isn't so bad.

I honestly believe that no market analyst or blogger can get it right all the time; that person does not exist. We all have our favorite bloggers that we like to read with our precious time, and I am grateful for your time. But I do not believe for a second that I have any special province over the markets. I hope you find value in my insight, in my content and in my disciplined approach. As we know, market insight can be a very fleeting thing. You can "call" a market top one time and miss the next bull run the next. Market insights and opinions are valuable, but in the age of the internet, we have so many and my voice is just one of the many.

So what do I have that is different from the other bloggers and that would be useful for the readers? In other words, if you are going to give me money for something that I would be doing for free anyway, what value added can I give you in return for your money? How do I differentiate the paying reader of my blog from the non-paying (free) reader?

Since you don't need to pay for another market opinion, I believe I could offer some of my proprietary research content that isn't widely available on the internet to those readers who support this blog with a recurring donation. In particular, I am considering making the Rydex asset data available on an exclusive basis for those readers who support this blog with a nominal, recurring donation.

This is how I think this would work:

* A nominal, yearly, "donation" is made to support this blog.

* In return for your donation, you become a subscriber to our exclusive Rydex service. You will receive daily, via email, prior to the market open, Rydex charts including the 1) Rydex Money Market; 2) Rydex bullish and leveraged v. bearish and leveraged; 3) Rydex bullish assets versus total assets; 4) Rydex Buying Power, which has not been shown on the blog and which assesses the buying power on the sidelines; 5) other proprietary indicators based upon other Rydex asset data like assets in the Dollar bull and bear funds and assets in the Rydex gold fund.

* Each indicator would come with comments on how to use, but I will not provide specific trading signals (i.e., buy here or sell here); this is not a trading service.

* I would consider limiting this data to a certain number of subscribers so as not to dilute its value.

* I would consider offering parts of my Rydex asset data base, which contains about 10 years of data, for those interested in backtesting and designing their own indicators. This would be an additional fee.

So please comment positively or negatively on this hybrid approach. The obvious negative is that this was content that was appearing on the blog for free and now it won't be available (if I go in this direction). I can understand why readers may feel upset. The flip side is that those readers who support the site you will get a value added in return. And as we have shown over the past year, the Rydex data does have value in making investing decisions.

Please understand, I have spent over 8 years collecting and analyzing the Rydex data. Before the internet was widely available, I use to spend 45 minutes a night taking the numbers down by hand as I listened over the phone. I did not come into this data base by happenstance. I believe there is unique value in this data base.

I think this might be a reasonable solution that will help support my research activities and time spent on the blog, and you will get something in return that is actionable and does not appear too frequently on the internet.

Let me know what you think. Thank you!

22 comments:

Bryan said...

Hmm... I think it's going to be hard to both assign a value to your content, and then to collect a portion of that from your readers. I agree that one-time donation buttons really don't produce much revenue. A subscription service is all I can think of that might work. The Google ads is the other I was going to suggest. Maybe you're not getting the right ads for your space?

Another thing I thought of - you could come up with a trading system or some kind of signal based on your Rydex data. If it creates a positive income, you'll have lots of people who will want the signals. The way to sell the signals is via Collective2.com or StrategyRunner.com.

A side note -- on my own web site I am creating a Resources page and have your site as one of my trusted resources. Maybe that will bring in some viewers for you.

Thanks!
Bryan

Anonymous said...

Guy, you may need to show a system where someone can use it to trade for a living to charge much for it. (I think that's what most traders are looking for). Unfortunately, beating the market is very hard, and most systems out there involve lower volume stocks breaking out through resistance. These systems usually only work for the guy writing the newsletter because he front-runs everyone else. Maybe you want to license your indicators to sentimentrader.com or a site like that, as it kind of goes along the lines of what he's already doing.

Guy M. Lerner said...

Bryan

Thanks for the feedback....

1)I have done the subscription service before and I really did not like it

2) I have adds and I have a syndication deal with Lexus Nexus to provide market commentary to their intra nets

3) I have trading systems that are developed for the use of the Rydex data and this is how I know or why I feel this data is actionable and of value; I just don't want to get into providing trading signals that require some degree of threading the needle....

4) Thanks for adding my blog to your blog roll; what is the name of your blog?

Guy M. Lerner said...

Anon:

thanks for the feedback as well...

1) I am not thinking of charging much at all; no more than $$150 per year and maybe as little as $100 per year; a nominal fee for useful, one of kind information

2) a good article on the Rydex data can be found here: click on this

3) I would prefer not to go the trade signal route of buy here and sell here route as in reality it is very difficult for people to follow exactly what you do

4) remember, I am trying to create a value added

Denali92 said...

Hi!

I have just been pondering this questions from the trader side. I have been thinking that I would allocate $500 to paying for subscription services. The main factors I came up with to rate services were:

-uniqueness
-value for money
-ability to utilize the service
-the potential edge that will allow me to make more money.

I find your posts valuable and the Rydex material is helpful perspective, so you are certainly on to something. I would be tempted to pay for it, if you offered that perspective plus one or two other pieces of valuable perspective. Something between $75 and $150 will not break anyone's bank - it just comes down to all of the competing services out there.

I certainly find your blog useful, so I would miss it. I have missed Chris Carolan's posts on Pay attention, but as he wants something like $450 and is only posting once a day, I just can not yet justify spending that type of money - though he does provide more actionable trading recommendations.

Anyway, I guess if you provided the Rydex data with one or two other value added pieces of semi proprietary information, I would certainly consider paying $100 per year.

Hope that helps,

-D

Anonymous said...

Guy,

I have enjoyed reading your posts on Safe Haven for some time. I wouldn't mind paying a fee for access to your Rydex data, but you'll need to show how to use the information to be valuable. I know you don't want to provide a timing service, but perhaps you could provide tactical asset allocation or your insights into money management. The majority of folks are stuck with limited choices for their 401K accounts and it seems to me that managing these accounts with the Rydex information would be of great value.

Jim

AR said...

I do enjoy your site and the Rydex - your price point would have to be below 100 dollars though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guy. First of all thank you for your answer the other day by mail about divergency bars.

In my opinion, I will never pay a annual fee for read the rydex index, wich is what im interested most in your site.

I mean, I agree to pay small amount for every article, and If I see useful i will continue paying.

I believe more in micropaying than in one year fee.

What is micropay? well you have to research, but I will nver pay a dollar for an article. Every one have his own red line to pay for an article and that is offer and demand. probably pay 0,25 cents per article of rydex I will agree. but also im young and dont have too much money. Even 0.25 looks high, but i will pay when i can consider is interesting to know.

just my point of view.

Kevin said...

I would definitely pay a fee for daily access to your Rydex data. No question. $100 / year seems a little steep for just that (gut reaction), but admittedly, I would probably pony up. If you're trading seriously you're putting more than that at risk every day.

In the end, of course, you have to take your best guess at your price point. The replies from the commenters will not alone solve the problem for you. But you knew that.

Anonymous said...

IM the anonimous of two post before.

just want to explain something.

When I re-read my post looks like I give a low value to your work.

Is not. You work have a great value and I recognize it. But I can´t pay more, cause there is more things of value competing with your blog and my pocket is limited.

Is a nuance, but I wanted to say.

Also I think, people can choose between an annual fee will be cheaper than buy single articles. So both types of customers will be happy.

Jason said...

Guy,
As you know, I love your work, in fact, I link to you every month for my monthly commentary on the market as you know. I think it is so critical that I wait till you post your stuff before I post my monthly. I like it because it is much more comprehensive than the AAII sentiment indicator.

Personally, I am really watch how this week plays out as a real test for the Rydex data.

In my case, I'd pay easily $100 annually because I know how much of one's time it takes to maintain a blog and pour yourself into for a sustained period of time. --- I'd still like permission to use it on my blog though!

As with so many of your posts, I often see what you are posting and I actually disagree (ok, not that many) seeing another perspective makes me pause and reconsider my approach and analysis. A great example is the recent post on Brazil (EWZ). For a quick trade I indentified support at $62 and bought. I know your thesis is that longer term they are going down, so the value I see is that your work often makes me slow down, check my analysis, and make sure I've identified my time frame, entry, stops, and exits.

I'm curious to see what your business plan looks like!

Goatmug

Dave Narby said...

I use a C2 system and know that there are likely thousands of others who do.

Many system users like to use several, especially ones that trade differently to spread risk.

The Holygrailism group discusses trading system, and will let you plug it there
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/holygrailsm/

MattH said...

Guy,
I have only recently been lucky enough to find your site but am thoroughly enjoying your analysis and commentary. I find your techniques of great interest and would consider subscribing to your site.
I do have an idea for you:
(1) Depending on how many regular viewers of your site you may have, you could look at a low annual subscription fee to access your blog of say $10, and present all of your work as you currently do. The idea being high volume at a low cost > restricted subscription numbers at higher cost. I certainly know that $10 wouldn't hurt anyone's pocket for the chance to read your thoughts.
(2) A second method to generate revenue would be via a "indicator shop" on your site where you could sell access to some of your proprietary indicators, databases etc. I find some of your techniques to be very original and thus valuable and would certainly look at purchasing access rights to them.

Hope these ideas help your thinking with your business plan. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

When one "sells" information the relationship becomes, by definition, a "contract" between two parties. There are expectations on both sides of the agreement. I feel, frankly, you are reluctant about offering specific advice on financial matters where one party may lose money, as you very well should be. If you do not word the advice properly and with the appropiate indemnifications, you may fall in to legal traps and liability. But it can be done, with the proper legal direction.

You'd rather take the safer route and get paid a little for providing esoteric background research information. This is "reasonable" but I doubt your long term profitibility or viability or survivability.

When people buy something they want definitive and specific information. If there's one thing our society needs less of, that information and more charts and ambiguity.

You need to decide whether or not you want to take this blog to the next level and get paid for your advice as it relates to market timing. I believe this is the path you should take. If you are so sure of its validity then what's the hesitation?

Get with a lawyer, set up a reasonable fee, and take the plunge. You strike me as a guy who loves to look but rarely buys. You have worked hard so now put it all together and start a market timing/investment blog. Yes this is risky but heck I've made money off your advice and so will others.

If not, slave and burn the lamp oil and suffer in silence but realize it's your choice. Selling ambiguious information isn't for me, but if you decide to pony in and put some skin on the table my checkbook is ready.

Anonymous said...

I like your site but would not pay to read it. I could reverse engineer your data myself. You have good points and analysis, but not for money. It's tough to get donations, but tougher to run a pay service. As a daytrader for a prop hedge fund moving 50 mil a day, I like your perspective, but have a shorter time window than most. Still, it helps to understand momentum and sentiment.

Guy M. Lerner said...

Thanks for the feedback so far...I will respond to everyone in due order but the anonymous post directly above is thought provoking.

You said: "I feel, frankly, you are reluctant about offering specific advice on financial matters where one party may lose money, as you very well should be."

My response: I am reluctant to give people signals to buy here and sell here particularly with shorter term strategies. This is very difficult to do and I liken it to threading a needle. Furthermore, everyone has a different tolerance for losses and different time frames that they work on. I am finding it best to describe certain market environments and let people make their own choices.

You said: "You'd rather take the safer route and get paid a little for providing esoteric background research information."

My response: Providing content (without specific trading signals) really isn't meant to be a safe route; it really was meant to provide a value add for those readers willing to support the blog for a nominal fee. The Rydex data has proved useful (not esoteric) and I tend to get a lot of interest in it. I am not interested in developing strategies for traders; I am interested in generating returns for my investors.

You said: "When people buy something they want definitive and specific information. If there's one thing our society needs less of, that information and more charts and ambiguity."

My response: You are right and that is why I said my opinion is just that my opinion. You shouldn't have to pay me for my opinion. But maybe the Rydex data is more tangible and might be useful to someone, so this is why I suggested giving something that I have which is different than just my opinion.

You said: "You need to decide whether or not you want to take this blog to the next level and get paid for your advice as it relates to market timing. I believe this is the path you should take. If you are so sure of its validity then what's the hesitation?"

My response: I would rather develop a track record. I don't want to be in the newsletter or guru business providing "juice" to day traders; in the long run, I will make more money managing it. I am pretty confident in what I do and how I function in the markets.

You stated: "You strike me as a guy who loves to look but rarely buys. You have worked hard so now put it all together and start a market timing/investment blog. Yes this is risky but heck I've made money off your advice and so will others."

My response: I am just diligent in my work and thoughtful for my readers; I really focus a lot on risk; I try to be measured in my comments, and recognize that any success I might have is partly due to both luck and skill. I do more than "look"; I have investors; and I have a strategy/ mandate that I follow. Glad you made some money with my ideas!!!

You said: "If not, slave and burn the lamp oil and suffer in silence but realize it's your choice. Selling ambiguious information isn't for me, but if you decide to pony in and put some skin on the table my checkbook is ready."

My response: Always good to have skin in the game; unfortunately, I don't do that much short term trading.

You bring up some good points and I appreciate taking the time

GreenAB said...

Guy,

first let me say that i really do appreciate your work and fully understand your intention to make money from it.

but: selling selling sentiment data is the same as selling any other product online.

it comes down to price and value of your competitors.

and has hard as that may sound - if i had to choose a monthly/yearly pay service it would be s........trader as they publish 90 indicators including rydex data for 250/year.

so you would have to either deliver way more than rydex data or go down very low with pricing.

micropaying for select articles seems to be a good idea too.

D-man said...

Hi Guy

Hi Guy

Regarding Rydex data, does your database contain more than what's available for download in xls format? Sorry for being ignorant here...

"remember, I am trying to create a value added"; of course, you mention Rydex data; I understand the charts you put on top of the data, but can you give more details here?

Guy, you might also consider 2 types of charts: short term and swings (or middle-term); there are people who are interested in swings and not day trading; I think this is a good idea (so I'm not interested in getting the daily Rydex data, but rather weekly or something like that).

"I am not interested in developing strategies for traders; I am interested in generating returns for my investors."

That's definitely very important; people pay you something, but your added value needs to help them make even more for their account.

You know we appreciate your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hello Guy
I have never found the give it away for free then charge them for it later internet model palatable seems way too much like bate and switch. If you are making a living from the markets ( which I do ) why do you need to collect monies from people who read the part of your research that you share here.
You can always just post once a week if a daily blog is too much for you and taking away from your market returns.
I wish you well with what ever you decide to do.

Bryan said...

Oh, sorry... I didn't see your request. I don't have a blog (yet) - what I have is a new web site that a buddy and I have set up to sell some custom indicators for the NinjaTrader platform. They are pretty technical in nature and I think go right along with your technical focus on the markets. The site is www.protradingtools.com and I put a link to you on my Resources page. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Guy -

I read your blog all the time; its one of the first I look at in my list. I, too, use the Rydex information but a bit more selectively than you. I'm not sure that expanding my acquisition of data is worth the donation. This however, doesn't change the fact that I find your observations insightful. Witch ever path you decide, I'll continue to log-in daily.

best regards

Anonymous said...

Hello Guy,

I have been reading your blog for about 9 months and I find it to be very interesting. I would definitely be interested in paying a small fee ($100 or $150 per year) to have access to the services you described.

Thank you,

Jason H