Latest HotCopper News
Sep 27, 2021
Sep 27, 2021 – 5.00pm Share When the Australian Securities and Investments Commission belatedly warned last week of serious punishments facing online “pump and dump” campaigners , Jag Sanger tweeted: “We’ve run stories on finfluencers, WhatsApp groups, the webinar promoters and now ASIC is waking up”. Sanger is the founder and boss of The Market Herald, the listed company that owns such assets as its eponymous Australian financial news website, Canadian small cap message board Stockhouse, and gruesome online forum HotCopper. It claims to be the “leading source of authoritative breaking stockmarket news for self-directed investors”. The Australian-based, ASX-listed stock forum is a hot bed of dark ops investor relations and pump-and-dump operations. Virgina Star “We write the stories that move Australian capital markets,” notes The Market Herald’s website. And it would hope so, given the $12.5 million worth of listed shares, options and debentures on its books as at the end of June this year. Advertisement The business model is rather simple. The Market Herald’s digital consulting arm, Advisir, acquires shares in The Market Herald’s advertising clients, both listed and pre-IPO firms. Since its establishment, Advisir has helped more than 400 listed clients benefit from the “creative, production and distribution capabilities of the broader Market Herald group”. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, it seems, and due to “significant additions of new client contracts and positive equity performance, the portfolio has increased significantly to $14,031,882”. Pre-float companies can expect from The Market Herald a range of advertising services, including the illuminatingly named Corporate Spotlight: “A dedicated space above a company’s HotCopper sub-forum to display company information, videos and publications”. It’s just one of the ways The Market Herald is “re-imagining and re-inventing the business of finance media. We do things differently.” So differently, its other ground-breaking services include “banner advertising” and “email communication services”, more colloquially known as spam. The Market Herald reckons its investments in penny stocks are “not actively managed” and are “typically held for an agreed term”, and Advisir clients that don’t issue shares to The Market Herald are treated “the same” as ones that do. Advertisement Not actively managed, but reports on the equity portfolio are delivered to senior management “on a regular basis” and The Market Herald board of directors “reviews and approves all equity investment decisions”. By the company’s figuring, a 1 per cent increase in the value of The Market Herald’s stock portfolio will boost the company’s income by $142,447. Given The Market Herald in 2019 issued Sanger with a $1.5 million loan to buy 11.5 million shares in the company, it would appear that the interests of Sanger, The Market Herald, and its clients are neatly aligned. Readers, on the other hand ... Perhaps it’s best to listen to Sanger’s tweeted response in August to a warning from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: “Keep that in mind. Anyone promoting online – always ask why.” We couldn’t have put it better. The country's most expert opinion and analysis. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.