Chad Brand of the Peridot Capitalist ordered a reviewme from Stock Trading 101, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this review as Chad is quite the trader and blogger!
First thing is first, who is Chad Brand? Chad is an active manager of personal and family investment since 1992. He is a Washington University Grad and has both his NASD Series 7 alongside the Series 65 licenses. He has been featured in a slew of trade publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg Newswires, Business Week, and Forbes.
He is the founder of Peridot Capital Management LLC, which you can read more about at www.peridotcapital.com. His blog has been up and running since 2004, and it contains a wide array of information and quality reading material for traders of all experience levels.
Tying Personal Opinion With Big Topics
What I really like about the Peridot Capitalist is Chad's writing style, which has a strong focus on discussing the latest Wall Street news, alongside tying fundamental analysis with his own personal picks. Chad writes almost always one post a day, except for Saturday and Sunday which he takes off. Let's take the latest 5 posts for example:
- Eddie Lampert Buys Citigroup Stake Over Last 12 Months
- Was Senator Edwards Being Hypocritical by Working at a Hedge Fund?
- Amgen Dependence on Aranesp Off-Label Use Greatly Exaggerated
- Google Stock Looks Cheap, Believe It or Not
- Financial Web Site Review - OEXoptions.com
As you can see just by the post titles these are pretty fresh topics floating around Wall Street. I personally enjoyed reading his insight into the Amgen drug, then following it up with his opinion on why he thinks Google (GOOG) stock is cheap. In fact when it comes to Google's stock, Chad's history of finding the value has earned him some well deserved respect within the investment community. Chad first began buying Google at $180 per share!
A Well Constructed Design
I love assessing blog designs and finding new ways to configure my own blog to better optimize it for advertisers and the reader. Chad has done a fantastic job of setting up this blog for both, and it can be seen right from the moment you hit the blog homepage.
Chad's blog has a dual sidebar with left and right sides, content in the middle. Everything is laid out extremely well on the eyes, and the flow is great for any reader. The menu bar has six tabs right smack in the middle (though left aligned) and are to the point relevant to his content: Home, Subscribe, Advertise, About, Contact, Author. Chad has an impressive 577 subscribers, is Seeking Alpha Certified, and has a 3 month Alexa ranking of 278,386.
Advertising wise on the left sidebar he has three tower blocks of Amazon ads displaying books, above those are text ads which he sells out, the middle just below the site links are two what seems to be affiliate offers, and exceptionally placed in my opinion are the adsense ads within the posts. Two ideas for Chad to increase advertising revenue would be to replace the first amazon ads tower with an adsense ads tower of the same type. That way he can bank of adsense revenue from his sidebar alongside within his main content. Another place to possibly put adsense would be where his two affiliate offers are at the top of the page underneath the main links. Testing out the water is the best way to go with this though, because if those affiliates are converting nicely where they are at, well then there is no point in moving them!
Right sidebar wise, having the Subscribe button first alongside an email subscription link is simply fantastic! He also is advertising the RSS feed after each post, and with that it is no surprise he is pushing 600. The rest of the right sidebar is very clean and relevant displaying recent posts and archives.
Some suggestions (and there aren't too many) to enhance the blog would be:
- Look into switching to WordPress from blogger as the host - You wouldn't know it unless you really looked closely, but this is a blogger hosted blog. By switching to WordPress Chad will have access to greater expandability. One major plugin is the "related posts" plugin which is great for getting readers to dig deeper into the site. Another big advantage of WordPress are the comments. You can promote community involvement with the top commentators plugin and can gather reader email addresses while doing it!
- Remove some of the Amazon ads - The three tower blocks on the left take away from the professionalism the blog already presents. I personally had horrible conversions with Amazon and stopped using it on my blog, but that was just me. Perhaps removing one and replacing another with an adsense tower would flow it better while making some more money.
- Look into Kontera and TLA - A potential added money maker for Chad would be kontera in text advertising. Usually you have to have 500,000 page impressions or more to be opened to these guys, but thanks to John Chow anyone can have access now. And, though Chad already sells text links directly, it may not hurt to look into Text-Link-Ads as another source of bringing in revenue.
Overall this is by far the cleanest blog design I have seen when doing a review! To top it off, Chad's professionalism with his work give off a great vibe, and I can see myself subscribing to the feed real soon!
I will leave you with the diagram below which is of Chad's return versus the S & P 500's over the last few years. It is very apparent to see Chad is good at what he does, and I am sure me makes his clients happy each and every year! So check out Chad's blog, the Peridot Capitalist, and see for yourself the gem within.