Blogs to watch (part 26): QTR’s Fringe Finance

Blogs to watch (part 26): QTR’s Fringe Finance
25 March 2022

Today's featured blog is one that you will either absolutely love or absolutely hate.

You might love it because it has a similar approach as – ideas outside of the mainstream, critical of the narratives spun in the corporate media, and regularly dipping its toes into our era's hyper-polarised politics.

You might hate it for the very same reasons.

In any case, it's a blog that I personally love to follow and which I would like you to at least be aware of.

Enter Christopher Irons – "Quoth the Raven"

If you want to learn about someone's unlikely success in the world of personal investing and writing an investment blog, Christopher Irons is a model case to look at.

As he put it himself: "In 2011, I served beers in a bar in Philadelphia, and I never envisioned myself speaking at a financial conference."

The Financial Times once described him as "a working class Philadelphian, a Liverpool FC fan, and a blogging finance guy".

Despite his unusual background – or maybe because of it – Irons has amassed a large audience. His Twitter account is approaching 200,000 followers, his Substack newsletter has in the tens of thousands of subscribers, and his work regularly gets featured by the heavily visited ZeroHedge website.

What makes him so successful and worth following? Here are a couple of quick reasons.

1. Authenticity

Irons doesn't hold back, and he is brutally honest with his readers.

This includes speaking openly about his investment mistakes. Like all of us, Irons regularly gets it wrong. He doesn't put any marketing spin on his failures and says it as it is.

He also has some strongly held convictions and makes it clear what they are. Disagree with him as much as you like, you'll be sure what his thoughts are about stocks, central bank policies, and other issues that affect our investments.

2. Lateral thinking

My biggest pet hate about the world of finance and investing is the lack of original thinking and almost everyone writing about the same stuff, interviewing the same people, and sticking to established narratives. This is also caused by today's play-it-safe culture.

Irons doesn't give a f*** and he works hard to come up with ideas that you wouldn't easily find elsewhere. In my view, QTR's Fringe Finance does a pretty darn good job!

Irons loves to explore and experiment, and taps into his readers for feedback and calling out his BS. Using this feedback loop, he refines his thinking and latches onto what he feels are worthwhile investment themes and stock picks.

E.g., check out "100 'Fringe' Predictions For 2022" (this article would normally be behind a paywall, but it's available for free on ZeroHedge hence the link to this website). As both the name of the product and the title of the article say, this is all about the FRINGE rather than the mainstream. Irons loves to push the envelope.

3. Lots of stock tips

Alongside views on juicy subjects such as presidential politics, vaccinations, and the behaviour of the corporate media, QTR's Fringe Finance covers a LOT of stock ideas, including shorter-term trading opportunities.

Check out this three-part series "22 Stocks I'm Watching For 2022" (behind a paywall). As a subscriber, you have the option to ignore the general commentary and focus on concrete investment ideas.

4. Interviews

Irons regularly invites guests to quiz them about timely subjects, such as:

"Two Shippers I Own & Why Some Shipping Stocks Could Return 2x To 10x: J Mintzmyer"

"Biden's Oil Polices Are 'Bat-Shit Crazy', Creating 'Turmoil' In Markets: USF Geology Professor Dr. Marc Defant"

"'They Will Fuck It Up': Chris DeMuth On The Fed's 'Soft Landing' Plans, Commodities, Ukraine, Chinese ADRs And More"

By now, you can probably see why I like reading QTR's Fringe Finance.

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5. Combination of Old & New Economy, Value & Growth

Not quite unlike myself, Irons doesn't limit his work to specific categories. He writes about gold stocks just as much as he writes about Robinhood (ISIN US7707001027).

I appreciate an author who has a broad perspective and delivers ideas from across the entire spectrum.

6. Podcast

QTR's Fringe Finance is primarily a written product, and there is lots to read indeed.

However, if you prefer to listen to content, there is also a QTR podcast for you. It has already racked up 271 episodes.

7. Fair price

Given that is the absolute bargain of all investment blogs (or so they say), I appreciate when others don't overdo it with their own pricing.

At USD 16.99 per month or USD 140 per year, QTR's Fringe Finance is attractively priced compared to most similar websites.

I never, ever mind this particular payment being taken off my credit card every month. (And I just realised that I need to switch to paying yearly as soon as I finish this article.)

8. Blogging - this is how it's done!

Irons also demonstrates something else that I know will be useful to a dozen (or two) of my readers who are considering to start their own blog or have already done so.

Irons used the Internet to start (and grow) a readership that now pays him a rather comfortable living. As a (presumably) one-man band, he'll have tiny overhead and generate a nice surplus every month, which he can put into his investment piggybank.

Not bad for someone who served beers in a bar eleven years ago.

Then again, it also shows the value of tenacity and hard work. Like yours truly, Irons seems to be getting up super early. And much as he may now look like an overnight success, he has worked on it for over a decade. Hats off to that!

"Quoth the Raven" is a line taken from a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, and "quoth" is an outdated version of "said".

I love hearing what the raven said and recommend that my readers check him out. You can follow his musings on Twitter, check out his regular free articles on ZeroHedge (type in "QTR's Fringe Finance" as a search term), or give his stock tips a twirl by investing an initial USD 16.99 for a one-month membership.

Blog series: Blogs to watch

There's more to "Blogs to watch" than this Weekly Dispatch. Check out my other articles of this 30-part blog series.

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As to non-mainstream stock picks…

… here's another idea for you.

As you will have noticed from current world developments, we are facing an age of disorder. The coming years are likely to see large-scale conflicts – politically, economically, and maybe even militarily.

What are some of the non-obvious winners of this trend?

Here is one company to put on your radar…

A non-obvious crisis beneficiary

As to non-mainstream stock picks…

… here's another idea for you.

As you will have noticed from current world developments, we are facing an age of disorder. The coming years are likely to see large-scale conflicts – politically, economically, and maybe even militarily.

What are some of the non-obvious winners of this trend?

Here is one company to put on your radar…

A non-obvious crisis beneficiary

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