The Cast of Characters on Finance Twitter

Twitter is one of those Internet services that’s extremely useful if you know what you’re doing and who to follow, but seems odd and ridiculous to non-users that don’t have any experience on the social networking site.

For me, Twitter has turned into a one-stop-shop for news, instant reactions, interesting reading material, debates, the sharing of ideas, introductions to the thoughts of intelligent people and of course, like all social media, finding funny/stupid/time-wasting material. Like the smartphone, it’s one of those things that I never knew I needed until it became available.

Finance Twitter has an interesting cast of characters. The majority of Finance Twitter is thoughtful, intelligent and provides useful information or the occasional mood-lightener. Sometimes it feels like I have hundreds of economists, analysts, traders, authors and portfolio managers giving me their best stuff throughout the day.

But there are always people on Twitter that cause the occasional shake of the head. We’ve all been “that guy” at one point or another. I’m sure I have. See if you can recognize these people in your stream (or in the mirror):

The Preacher: They always make you feel bad about whatever position you currently hold in the market. There’s plenty of shaming of other investors going on in this user’s stream. They’re always ready with an, “I told you so” when something crazy happens. No investment stance is safe when the Preacher finds their pulpit.

The Trader: Rapid fire trades and set-ups at all times. If there’s a market, this person has an opinion and a trade idea. Don’t bother asking them about their batting average — they never lose. Of course, that’s because they take credit for the correct calls and remind you of them often. Somehow the failed trade Tweets get deleted, never to be heard from again.

The One-Trick Pony: This person focuses on one specific area of the markets and talks exclusively on this sector/strategy/business line. Nothing else matters.

The Wonk: Curious what the latest inflation rate is in Kazakhstan? How about the quarterly GDP print in the Czech Republic? This person will tell you all of this and more, with obscure data that you hardly knew existed.

The My-Way-Is-The-Only-Way-Investor: All other forms of investing are irresponsible. If you don’t invest exactly like this person, you’re an idiot. “Bow down and follow me to the promised land.”

The One Upper: You have a stat, joke, anecdote or general comment on the markets? This person always has one better. Don’t bother getting in a game of one-upsmanship with this person. You cannot win. “Oh yeah, well my uncle was Michael Jordan’s financial advisor.”

The Paper Trader: A constant barrage of, “If only you would have followed my advice into or out of this trade…” They never lose money because they never have any money invested based on their Twitter predictions. The perfect way to always sound smart without the emotional baggage of putting actual money to work.

The Ideologue: Blames the Fed, markets or the other political party for everything. There’s no problem big enough that their political views couldn’t fix immediately if only the other party would listen. All market views are determined by their political leanings. This person probably has something from their ideological views in their Twitter handle or user profile.

The Emo: This person’s mood and Tweets are directly affected by the market’s current direction. It’s a roller coaster from day-to-day. If you want to see someone freak out during a correction, this is the person to follow.

The Lindsay Lohan: That finance person you follow that gets a little crazy on the weekends after a few too many cocktails. Always an interesting read on a Saturday night or when catching up on a Sunday morning.

The Fighter: Wants to pick a fight about everything. The topic doesn’t matter. They’re willing to take the other side and play devil’s advocate on any subject just to prove how smart they are. Don’t bother with the back and forth with these people. It’s a waste of time.

The Tweet-Stormer: 1/Who. 2/Needs. 3/a. 4/Blog. 5/When. 6/You. 7/Have. 8/Twitter.

The Obscure Tweeter: No one ever really understands what this person is talking about, but their obscure rants and one-liners make everyone feel like they’re more intelligent just for following.

The Back-Handed Complimenter: “I love your work…having said that, I think this piece you just posted is complete and utter garbage.”

The Sub-Tweeter: One of my favorites. This person always has an ax to grind with someone. They very subtly get in their digs without naming names or making it too obvious. The real pros make it difficult to determine who exactly they’re angry with on any given day.

Did I miss any users from your Finance Twitter stream?

Additional Submissions from Readers:

  • The Brett Favre (always retiring from Twitter and then coming back)
  • The Color Commentator (has something to say about everything)
  • The CNBC Critic (always has a comment about CNBC guests)
  • The Five Tool Tweeter (does it all – funny, informative, smart)
  • The Cultural Critic (pop culture references and memes galore)
  • The Curator (your one stop shop for news & information)
  • The Hate Follow (someone you can’t stand but just can’t seem to un-follow)
  • The Hash-Tagger (#everything #deserves #a #good #hash-tag)
  • The Whiner (there’s always a black cloud lurking somewhere for this person)
  • The Motivational Quote Machine (#blessed with inspiration on a daily basis)
  • The Middle-of-the-Movie-Guy (always comes in half way through a conversation to ask what’s going on)


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