Editor’s note we had no involvement in this post which was based on Sentieo algo bout would like to thank them or their computers regardless for ranking us at #17 most influential. You can follow us on twitter here. Also check out this other smallrt list by Sentieo – we would like to thank them for adding us (again we had no involvement) for their more human based approach which included us both among best finance news and aggregators on Finance Twitter.

As part of our curated Twitter feature in our Equity Data Terminal, we have mountains of data on the most influential finance Twitter accounts.  To our surprise, the most influential accounts aren’t professional content creators or major news organizations.  Nor are they famous money managers with billions in assets under management.

While many equity analysts currently do not use finance Twitter, the early adopters of finance Twitter likely stand on the vanguard of where news is headed.  Firstly, traditional news outlets like newspapers and TV shows must create filler content on a slow news day.  Social media is a more flexible channel for receiving news, expanding where there is news (e.g. Trump winning the election) and contracting when there isn’t.  Secondly, curation by peers lets the cream rise to the top.  Formerly obscure research such as AZ Value’s blog was distributed on finance Twitter well before Valeant issued an 8-k rebutting AZ Value (and before the dramatic fall in Valeant’s share price).  That type of niche content is unlikely to appear in more mainstream channels.

As we get ready for 2017 and spending at least the next four years with a Tweeter-in-Chief in the White House moving markets, we often find our client conversations turning towards the effective use of social media in professional investment management. Consider this your cheat sheet.

High Level Takeaways

  • FinTwit’s most influential accounts are dominated by equity analysts who put out insightful content in their spare time.
  • Second to equity analysts, there are the activist shorts that use Twitter to promote their campaigns.  Like it or not, their ability to move markets makes them relevant and difficult to ignore.
  • Following the activists shorts, there are niche news accounts (e.g. Activist Shorts, Marketfolly) that mainly aggregate content and curate news specifically for equity analysis.  These accounts are far more influential than the official accounts of major news outlets, suggesting that most of finance Twitter prefers the curation of peers and aggregators.

The big picture is that peer-curated news is poised to become a bigger headwind for traditional news.  Whereas many newspapers previously enjoyed local monopolies, they now face massive competition in a social media world.  This is a world where anybody can create, distribute, and promote their content.  There are no barriers to entry anymore.  News titans like CNBC and Bloomberg (with their teams of professional journalists) have fewer finTwit follows than a hedge fund manager from Australia who blogs on the side (@John_Hempton).  If social media’s popularity grows, the trend will likely continue to erode the returns on capital that traditional media companies have enjoyed.

Graph betweenness
By Claudio Rocchini (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Specific data points

As a technical refresher, Sentieo ranks influence by applying node principal component centrality on a curated list of top Finance twitter accounts and this helps to adjust for hyperactive or simply longer-tenured tweeters. As this can be rather inaccessible to the less mathematically inclined, we will proxy with number of mutual follows in the rest of this article.

We manually curated a list of 118 finTwit users and looked at the accounts that they were following.  Manual curation means that bots and fake accounts do not affect our popularity data.  In the data points below, “81 followers” means that 81 out of 118 users in our manually-curated list follow a particular account.

Finance Twitter’s 2 most popular accounts are John Hempton and Barbarian Capital.  Their popularity is slightly ahead of aggregation/curation-heavy accounts like Activist Shorts and Market Folly.  News titans like CNBC and Bloomberg trail in popularity.

Also note that many journalists are more followed on Twitter than the news organizations that they write/freelance for.  The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts.  This fits into the overall pattern of some individuals outpacing news titans in terms of popularity.

  • Herb Greenberg (@herbgreenberg) – #2353 followers
  • CNBC (@CNBC) – #29822 followers
  • Matt Levine (@matt_levine) – #8932 followers
  • Bloomberg View (@BV) – #17916 followers

The data

For the full data set on 34,941 users, use one of these spreadsheets:

Here’s our list of the top 250 most popular finance Twitter handles:

  1. John_Hempton
  2. BarbarianCap
  3. muddywatersre
  4. AlderLaneeggs
  5. BrattleStCap
  6. CitronResearch
  7. modestproposal1
  8. ActivistShorts
  9. KerrisdaleCap
  10. Carl_C_Icahn
  11. marketfolly
  12. LongShortTrader
  13. sprucepointcap
  14. EventDrivenMgr
  15. BluegrassCap
  16. DonutShorts
  17. valuewalk
  18. UnionSquareGrp
  19. GothamResearch
  20. Valuetrap13
  21. PlanMaestro
  22. SIRF_Report
  23. herbgreenberg
  24. footnoted
  25. FatTailCapital
  26. NoonSixCap
  27. ReformedBroker
  28. FundyLongShort
  29. ShortSightedCap
  30. JacobWolinsky
  31. SkeleCap
  32. WallStCynic
  33. zerohedge
  34. EquityNYC
  35. Sparticuszorro
  36. pmarca
  37. BergenCapital
  38. Mega_Man_2
  39. DavidSchawel
  40. PainCapital
  41. WarrenBuffett
  42. PresciencePoint
  43. marginalidea
  44. GrantsPub
  45. Hedge_FundGirl
  46. SmallCapLS
  47. firstadopter
  48. Jesse_Livermore
  49. DumbLuckCapital
  50. MicroFundy
  51. nosunkcosts
  52. EdBorgato
  53. HFM17Mile
  54. ActAccordingly
  55. AlexRubalcava
  56. manualofideas
  57. AZ_Value
  58. activiststocks
  59. StaleyRdCap
  60. WSJ
  61. fundiescapital
  62. xuexishenghuo
  63. FCFYield
  64. maxvision33
  65. PhilipEtienne
  66. Keubiko
  67. bespokeinvest
  68. HedgeyeENERGY
  69. cablecarcapital
  70. TMTanalyst
  71. davidein
  72. adoxen
  73. DennyCrane550
  74. QTRResearch
  75. GhostOfFritz
  76. LadyFOHF
  77. mjmauboussin
  78. CopperfieldRscr
  79. MugatuCapital
  80. GlaucusResearch
  81. HedgeyeHWP
  82. plainview_
  83. HardcoreValue
  84. ValueDude
  85. TigreCapital
  86. UnderwaterCap
  87. elonmusk
  88. Find_Me_Value
  89. matt_levine
  90. business
  91. SpinoffMonitor
  92. mark_dow
  93. valuetakes
  94. ukarlewitz
  95. glennchanWordpr
  96. hedgefundinvest
  97. covenantlite
  98. probesreporter
  99. RetailRobWilson
  100. Nonrelatedsense
  101. GeoInvesting
  102. MarioGabelli
  103. CDMCapital
  104. BaseHitInvestor
  105. oddvestor
  106. jake_f
  107. dasan
  108. VolSlinger
  109. abnormalreturns
  110. schaudenfraud
  111. MaglanCapital
  112. AnonAnalytics
  113. SumZero
  114. JeffCNYC
  115. jay_21_
  116. Liberty8988
  117. mariocibelli
  118. jschembs
  119. andrewrsorkin
  120. VincePagano
  121. investorsbeware
  122. vitaliyk
  123. Convertbond
  124. TheStalwart
  125. AswathDamodaran
  126. CyrusBlack3
  127. GWInvestors
  128. PerfectlyHedged
  129. harfangcap
  130. JFinDallas
  131. jasonzweigwsj
  132. TheCreditBubble
  133. ArbCowboy
  134. Dichotomycap
  135. ApexHurley
  136. htsfhickey
  137. MarkYusko
  138. cheapbeta
  139. AureliusValue
  140. GSElevator
  141. carney
  142. SamAntar
  143. DeadCosWalking
  144. ShitFund
  145. StockJockey
  146. groditi
  147. CrookedCapital
  148. special_sits
  149. catamounnt_cap
  150. thrivecap
  151. SSCapital13
  152. RussianBear
  153. chensj
  154. FamilyOfficeGur
  155. NeckarValue
  156. JSiegel88
  157. hmeisler
  158. Mr_Curious_dd
  159. StrangestTribeX
  160. TheSkeptic21
  161. NKondratiev
  162. davidfaber
  163. retardedbearcap
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