Quartz: Wall Street’s watchdog is obscuring data that could protect investors

Quartz: Wall Street’s watchdog is obscuring data that could protect investors. “BrokerCheck is operated by an industry-run regulator. And the way it presents data has the power to distort markets and protect the profits of financial institutions. The only reason we know this is that, finally, its grip on the data is slipping. Starting a few years ago, a handful of pioneering academics were able extract the critical firm-related data from individual profiles. It’s thanks largely to these analyses, which offer vastly more complete data on firm behavior, that we’re starting to see how little investors are being told—and how much the ignorance costs them.”

Washington Post: How Big Investors Cash In on ‘Alternative Data’

Washington Post: How Big Investors Cash In on ‘Alternative Data’. “Corporate filings and government reports still guide how many investors view global economics and politics. But more of them are turning to non-traditional information — alternative data, in industry parlance — to supplement official statistics. Torrents of terabytes produced every day by web searches, tweets, credit-card purchases and satellites can be turned into insight on foot traffic at Chipotle, the macroeconomic performance of an African nation — even who’s arriving in Omaha to potentially pursue deals with Warren Buffett.”

The Atlantic: Stock Picks From Space

The Atlantic: Stock Picks From Space. “There is an old story about Sam Walton: In the early days of Walmart, its founder would monitor how stores were doing by counting the cars in the parking lot. After seeing the power of satellite imagery in his factory deal, Tom [Diamond] had a similar idea, but on a scale Walton could not have imagined. He asked his brother, ‘What if we could count the cars at every Walmart?'”

PR Newswire: First of Its Kind Web Tool Lets You Know if You’re Funding Gun Violence and War (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: First of Its Kind Web Tool Lets You Know if You’re Funding Gun Violence and War (PRESS RELEASE). “Weapon Free Funds, covering 3,000 of the most commonly-owned U.S. mutual funds from major asset managers like Vanguard, Fidelity and BlackRock, allows investors to find out if their mutual fund investments are being used to finance makers of military weapons and civilian firearms, and to find alternative, socially-responsible options that avoid the war economy. Investors can easily see how their investments support major military contractors, cluster munitions (banned in 100+ countries), nuclear weapons, gun manufacturers and gun retailers.”

Beyond BrokerCheck: SEC adds online adviser search tool (InvestmentNews)

InvestmentNews: Beyond BrokerCheck: SEC adds online adviser search tool. “The SEC has added an online search feature to its Investor.gov website that enables investors to check whether advisers have a judgment or order entered against them in an enforcement action. The tool — SEC Action Lookup for Individuals, or SALI — differs from the BrokerCheck site of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in that it contains information about unregistered as well as registered individuals.”

Emory University: Twitter reveals how future-thinking Americans are and how that affects their decisions

Emory University: Twitter reveals how future-thinking Americans are and how that affects their decisions. “Individuals who tend to think further into the future are more likely to invest money and to avoid risks, finds a new paper by psychologists at Emory University. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published the research, which tapped big data tools to conduct text analyses of nearly 40,000 Twitter users, and to run online experiments of behavior of people who provided their Twitter handles.”

Bloomberg Quint: Deciphering Google Searches Seen as Luxury Investors’ Must-Have

Bloomberg Quint: Deciphering Google Searches Seen as Luxury Investors’ Must-Have. “The new essential for luxury investors is a tool for looking beyond the latest line of Prada purses and Birkin bags. It’s Google searches. That’s according to Macquarie analysts who say that in a stock-picker’s world, an uptick in exploration via the world’s biggest advertising company is a good sign that a retailer is gaining strength.”