A few months ago, when the Associated Press twitter account was hacked and a false message about a fire at the White House appeared, the market quickly tanked only to get right back once it was rebuffed. That is certainly one (illegal) way to use Twitter for financial gain. This week, we saw a much more legitimate way to use Twitter. Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn), one of the most powerful investors in the world announced he had a big stake in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with over $1.5B in stock. The stock shot up instantly.
Some investors bought right away to profit from the quick jump. Many others though believe in Icahn’s ability to see value and even though they are likely paying more than he did for AAPL stock, the potential gain remains significant. Icahn said he believes the stock is worth well over $600 which as you know, I’m also a big believer in. I really do think guys like Icahn. Bill Ackman, Warren Buffett should all be taking a more public role on Twitter and abroad. It’s good for their name, brands but also their portfolios. Obviously, they need to be careful about trying to manipulate stocks for short term gains but in the case of Apple for example, it seems very legitimate for him to express his opinion which will help in many different ways.
I’m active on Twitter (@intelligentspec) but certainly don’t have anywhere near Icahn’s reach but hopefully if I make enough good calls, that influence will grow over time. Enough to move a stock? Likely not. But if it’s enough to generate some feedback, comments and discussions, then it is more than worth my time.
Of course, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. When Bill Ackman went public with his Herbalife () short, he ended up generating a lot of attention and a short term drop but later on, some big players ended up taking the other side making his life more difficult.