Why Would You Build a Startup?
Some do it for the fame and fortune. Some do it to get away from the corporate world. Some do it because they don't know what else to do with their life.
But when Brett Golden, the president and co-founder of The Chart Lab, set out to create something new, Chart Lab Pro, he did it because the competition failed to provide what he and other traders wanted most.
"The basic gist of this product was [that] online brokerage firms just didn't provide investors with the tools and analysis that [we] wanted," Golden told Benzinga this week. "There's a fundamental reason why: they don't want to necessarily be a fiduciary and provide guidance -- where you should be getting into stocks and out of stocks."
Unfortunately, Golden found that most people are not professional technicians. "They get overwhelmed and their eyes start glaze over when they try to put all of the indicators into the charts," he said. "Second of all, you have no edge looking at the same indicators that everybody else does. So unless you have a strong algorithm that's been tested for a while, not just kind of back-testing stuff, it's very hard to have an edge using technical analysis, 'cause everybody is looking at the same level. So we wanted to make it very visually appealing and easy."
Golden said that the Chart Lab Pro platform, which aims to provide straightforward technical analysis and a clear picture of the global markets, was built for the guy "who wants to do more of a swing trade or wants to get on the platform and say, 'Should I own IBM (NYSE: IBM) here? Should I own Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) there?'"
"And if you really do apply more of the trends -- when I say trend, it could be a week, it could be a month or two -- and you see how the stock went from a 5 to a 4 to a 3 to a 1 [ranking], at each level we have videos that we send out to people where it shows and educates them about how to use these signals and platforms," said Golden. "So if you type in a couple of stocks that are massively over sold and have gone from a 5 to a 1, we recommend taking quarter positions, long or short, at each rating change. That's kind of the focal point of the core of the platform."
Golden came to the startup world with several years of experience in his field. "I've been in financial services for 15 years," he told Benzinga. "I started at a family asset management firm. I started an online brokerage spinoff of the company. When the company was sold, I went to go work for the founder of the company, called Barra. They were sold to Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) several years ago for about a billion dollars. The really were the gold standard for institutional analytics."
After the economic downturn, Golden said that it was obviously difficult to raise money for hedge funds. "So I started to go back to kind of what my first love was, and that's applying financial services to the Internet," said Golden. "I tried to get another company off the ground, and I built a lot of the technology that I'm gonna end up using for this new site.
"A good friend of mine who worked for Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) and introduced me to my current partner now, who is Greg Troccoli. Greg was the chief technical strategist at Prudential (NYSE: PRU) in the futures division. I teamed up with Greg and we started this newsletter, TheChartLab, and I really didn't expect it to turn out to be a full-time job. Everyone was really happy with it. But it was not extremely scalable and was not what I wanted to do full-time."
That's when Golden turned to another one of his partners, Louis Lukac. "He's been running a systematic hedge fund for 15 years," said Golden. "He was actually the head of futures research at Prudential."
"We took a lot of the algorithms that Louis has been using that have been battle-tested with a $100 million portfolio for the last decade," Golden continued. "We used a lot of the analytics for looking at the broad S&P 500 stocks. People don't even realize what they're getting for $9.95 a month. The analytics are probably the best out there that you can get, regarding the price point or not. And there are some additional analytics that we're putting out there just based on the broad markets that we're gonna launch at the end of this week."
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