October 3, 2017

How to Long or Short Bitcoin

In a nutshell, bitcoin is either something as monumental as the introduction of the internet or as futile as the tech bubble of the late 90s. Bitcoin has been in the news for quite some time now, and over time, one begins to wonder if this is a bet you should be in on. Yet, perhaps your ignorance of this new asset may hinder you from taking that first long/short position—everyone has got to start somewhere. This article has one sole purpose, and that is to increase your confidence in opening a bitcoin position by going over the procedures and implications of opening a long or short position on bitcoin.

September 28, 2017

Investment Red Flags – Close < 2

Sharing a lot of characteristics with the “Ultra Low Market Cap” red flag, looking for companies with a close of less than 2 gives you a number of companies whose market cap ranges from Micro to Small. These companies tend to have extremely poor fundamentals and also have a high probability of causing negative returns in your portfolio.

For this flag, we collect all companies who have a close of less than two at the time of screening. Now, a lot of marketers sell you the idea that you can make your fortune on these low priced stocks and in some cases that are true.…

August 20, 2017

Driving Disruption

Disruption in any industry is exciting, but it’s especially exciting in the field of autonomous driving. Autonomous driving or “self-driving cars” seems like something out of a movie, yet it is very close to becoming a reality in our everyday lives. From small start-ups like Drive.ai, a start-up company that looks to fix the uncertainties of autonomous driving through deep learning, to Fortune 500 companies like General Motors, everyone is racing in this highly competitive field to see who will be the first to take a large chunk of the market share. Automakers such as Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Volvo and many more are all working around the clock to be the first to capture what will soon be a multi-billion-dollar industry of autonomous vehicles.…

August 15, 2017

Learning about Green Flags and their score

Green Flags

Now that we’ve gone over red flags, it’s time to look at the other side of the equation and learn about green flags.

In our previous article, we discussed that red flags don’t necessarily mean that an investment is going to lose money. Green Flags are the polar opposite from a red flag, but it still doesn’t guarantee anything. A company could have every green flag raised and still lose money over the time you hold it. However, green flags do indicate that a company is less likely to be a dud and increase your chances of long term success.…

August 10, 2017

Guys, you’re being too selective with your screener

It isn’t uncommon for one of our users to call us up and ask for help. To be honest, there have even been times when I will help a client at their site to get them up and running. In the past two years of working in this industry, I have noticed one major theme among every person(myself included) when it comes to screening for potential investments – we are all far too selective.

What do I mean by that?

Well, when we go in to start building a screen we all have the idea of the “perfect” company. This shrunken world view is just our individual preferences, but it can minimize our potential to make good investments.…

August 5, 2017

Can’t Compare Split Adjusted Prices

If you have been using the Equities Lab system in recent weeks, you may have seen a new error that hadn’t appeared before.

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Stock Server Error:Server Error:Cannot compare split ajusted quantities to constants: greater(Close, 444)

Don’t worry! This error message doesn’t mean that the system is down; it simply tells you that there is a split adjusted value in a place it shouldn’t be.

Have you ever input the following line into a screener?

If you have, you’ll need to change that to the following –

What’s the difference?

  • Close
    • This is the split-adjusted value. When a company undergoes a stock split the value of stock changes, typically by half, and the number of available shares doubles.
July 12, 2017

Industry Rotation – Something you might stay away from

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently that are very focused on the idea, that by purchasing the industry or sector that performed best over the past year you are giving you the best chance at making returns. I’m a little skeptical, but just as hopeful to see whether or not this is a potential new avenue to take in my portfolio.

Here is the base screen for what we want to do. This screener takes each sector and finds the total average change of close over the past year – making sure they have a market cap of at least $1 billion.…

July 8, 2017

Stocks That Have Always Gone Down

   When investing, for every fairy tale stock like an Amazon(AMZN) or Nvidia(NVDA), there’s an equally disastrous stock like MoSys(MOSY) or Gevo (GEVO). To avoid getting into stocks like these, it’s important to look at their failures and analyze them to avoid getting into the next potential train wreck of a stock.  Let’s screen for some stocks that have always gone down.




   For this screener we used the equation [always ((change of close over 252 days) < 0 ) within 752 days)] To simplify that equation, it basically means “screen for stocks that have consistently declined every year for 3 years. Only 7 results were shown, so let’s take a look at a couple of these companies’ history and see where it all went wrong for them.…

July 4, 2017

How Effective are Red Flags in Investing

Just how telling are red flags?

The term “red flags” is synonymous with “bad things are going to happen,” and, for investors, they are a sign that you should likely stay away from that investment. However, all this talk of red flags being able to predict that a company is going to do poorly makes you wonder, does it work?

To start, let’s take the red flag score from the “Synopsis with Red Flags” tear sheet which contains 13 different comprehensive red flags. I apologize for the size of the following photo.

Without getting into too much detail, in the event you can’t read the photo clearly, the score looks for the following thirteen items –

  • Bad Accruals
  • Current Accrued Expenses are increasing faster than expenses
  • Two bad days in a row with a 4.5% drop in share price each day
  • Close has decreased over the past 20 days
  • The company has a low Cash Flow score
  • The company has a low Piotroski F-Score
  • Outperformance while EPS 1Y is decreasing
  • Average market cap is in the top ten companies
  • RawClose is less than $2/share.
May 22, 2017

Simulating a Short Strategy

Shorting in Equities Lab

Before, if you wanted to test out a short strategy, you’d have to run your screen and hope that it loses money. That’s now changed thanks to our new “position_weights” feature where you are able to finally simulate a short strategy more closely and identify if your strategy really does make money.

The first thing you need is a strategy. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to quickly throw together a short strategy. Now, this strategy is a total hack, so I wouldn’t use it, but I wanted to include it in order to give you the full story as we continue throughout this article.…