Stocktoberfest 2015 was a trader and fintech entrepreneur's delight. Howard Lindzon's fourth annual fall celebration in sunny San Diego was a pleasant and insightful event to attend. The atmosphere was relaxed and intellectual, with the host and guest speakers being very social and approachable.
With the combination of equity trading and market analytics startups, like Robinhood and Datafox, to the macroeconomic trends and trade reports from Jack Schwager, Bill Gurtin and Savneet Singh, there was a little of everything for any enterprising market maker.
Jon Medved of OurCrowd discussed the differences between public markets vs private markets by contrasting IPO's in the 1980's vs those in the 2010's. It demonstrates the seismic shift we're seeing among US tech companies, as giants such as Facebook and Twitter are seeing more value being created in private markets in comparison to more established players like Microsoft, who gained footing in the 80's. See the below slide highlighting just how significant this shift has become.
A fireside chat with Vlad Tenev, co-founder of Robinhood, furthered the excitement around a free trading mobile app and showed how powerful the appetite to become traders is among the Millennial market as it may be "the fastest growing brokerage" since the first discount brokers. I have no doubt the free trading platform will be able to monetize from extending margin, swapping stock and custodying funds—and in an environment of higher interest rates to make money on the float. Aside from continued growth and API development, the firm is working on a web interface to go along with their app.
An interesting approach to private company comparables is being made available through DataFox, helping to alleviate the often difficult process of tying a private innovative company to an appropriate peer group. DataFox does this association by reviewing how companies position themselves through terminology on their websites and press. Using their two week free trial, DataFox says that WealthForge is comparable to Barclays Stockbrokers, Apollo Global Management, and GFI Mortgage Bankers...interesting.
Lastly, I thought the work that Even Financial is doing to aggregate origination for online lending platforms was a needed approach and helpful in growing the P2P market. With Orchard in fixed income and WealthForge in equities aggregating offering opportunities to institutional investors, the other side of the market needs additional attention to get more quality fitting offerings onto each investment platform.
Overall, the event was captivating, well-attended and with the setting, more than enough to keep any students and experts of equity intrigued. I am looking forward to attending next year and will be joined by more as the event continues to grow.
Disclaimer: WealthForge provides this information to our clients and other friends for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.