It's a new year and therefore time to look forward to new projects and ventures arriving over the coming months. But with so much to choose from within the vast expanse of trader culture, we've done the hard work for you.
So if you only have time to take in one trading book, film, podcast, website and event over the coming year, these are the ones you can’t afford to miss...
When the Wolves Bite: Two Billionaires, One Company, and an Epic Wall Street Battle by Scott Wapner
One star trader liked the business so much he spent nearly $100 million on buying nearly a quarter of it. Another saw it as an illegal pyramid scheme.
CNBC journalist Wapner’s When the Wolves Bite, coming out in April, tells the story of the battle between activist investors Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn over US supplements and nutrition business Herbalife. Ackman shorted its stocks, Icahn went long, and a host of other investors also piled in on one side or the other, including George Soros.
It’s a fascinating trading saga that includes massive lawsuits and exchanges of insults on live TV, all against the backdrop of dramatic rises and falls in the business’s share price. The book should be a primer for any trader who’s every taken and maintained a position that, despite intense opposition, they’re convinced is right.
You can buy the book from Amazon here
All the Money in the World, directed by Ridley Scott
The name alone may be an attraction for some, but this film has plenty more to offer traders. All the Money in the World is a dramatisation of real events surrounding the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, grandson of US oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, by a Mafia gang.
Despite being one of the world’s richest-ever people, Getty senior initially refused to pay the ransom demanded. This led to a tense three-handed trade-off between him, the kidnappers, and his grandson’s mother, exacerbated by an Italian postal strike and the amputation of one of the captive’s ears.
To avoid more spoilers, we’ll just say the saga ended with some success but with inevitable tolls on the physical and mental health of those involved. A fantastic lesson in how and when to deploy your assets, and on keeping your head in a crisis.
All the Money in the World is out in cinemas now
The bitcoin boom (and possible bust) was one of the biggest trading trends of 2017. As such, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on cryptocurrencies over the coming year, even if you’re not planning to invest yourself at the moment. Podcasts are a great way to keep up with news and trends in this area and the explosion in bitcoin trading has spawned a huge number of options.
Crypto Radio is a good place to start. This brand new podcast has started with the basics, such as what bitcoin is and how to buy it, but promises to progress to tackling more complex topics, including cryptocurrency investment strategies, and to feature interviews with top cryptocurrency traders. The podcast is sponsored and hosted by blockchain investment platform CoSyndicate, so expect a few plugs for what it has to offer traders.
Give it a listen at cryptoradio.io
Robinhood for Web
Set to launch officially early in 2018, Robinhood for Web is a brand new equities information resource. It comes from the creators of the Robinhood app, who aimed to make a easy-to-use trading platform fit for the era of Amazon and Spotify – and around 3 million people are currently using the result.
Robinhood promises its new product will enable users to organise favourite stocks into playlist-like themed “collections”, see what other investors with similar interests are buying, and access swathes of aggregated data and personalised information feeds.
The bad news (for some) is that the service currently only covers US shares and is only available to US nationals and residents. But word on the street is that some of the money from a series of funding rounds – the most recent of which was a $110 million cash injection in April – will be used to open up Robinhood’s services to traders elsewhere.
Check them out at robinhood.com
FT Weekend Festival
The first FT Weekend Festival first took place in late summer 2017 in the grounds of Hampstead Heath’s Kenwood House, and looks set to reappear this year. Themed around the weekend edition of the Financial Times, last year’s event featured speakers including Undercover Economist Tim Harford, MoneyWeek editor Merryn Somerset Webb, and broadcaster and former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman.
Of most interest to traders are likely to be talks hosted by the recently very successfully revamped FT Money which in 2017 examined topics including small-cap stock-picking and investments to avoid. Meanwhile, seeing the big macroeconomic issues of the day discussed by senior FT journalists and their guests should also be well worth a look.
Rounding this off with some dipping into the books, food and drink, and luxury-related sessions on offer (this is the FT Weekend, after all) should add up to a very informative, but also enjoyable, event.
Get tickets and information at ftweekendfestival.com