Seeking Alpha data is not entirely reliable

I will never forget an incident that happened in my first month of work at Dominion Securities (now RBC DS) in Jan 1981. I was a newbie on a three-month training pre-licensing program.
One day the licensed broker I was working with had gone to lunch and a big client of his called in to scream that we, the broker, had not executed his sell order at a certain price that had been substantially exceeded according to the prior day’s hi-lo as reported in the Globe & Mail.


As the client demanded an immediate answer, and the broker was unavailable, I took it upon myself to locate the floor trader (back then the Toronto Exchange had human traders on an exchange floor).


After I tracked down the “culprit” who missed the trade that made our client so angry, I was shocked at the rudeness of this man, a fellow employee. Yes, he was busy, but he screamed at me something to the effect that the client should go trade with the newspaper instead of our firm because he was the Exchange manager of the book for that stock and he knew the true hi-lo (expletives deleted).


With my ear ringing, I put the phone down and realized that I had learned an important lesson, which is that market data that is delivered to the public is not always perfect. I learned there is “us”, in the industry and “them”, the public. I had to decide right at that moment which side I was on.


I might have quit that day but I realized that we were “the” industry, that we were closely regulated and well managed by honest people, and that the media could make mistakes we could not afford to. So I phoned the client and made a difficult call. That day was part of what I call the ‘rights of passage’ — the moment we all have to decide the path we’ll take in life.


I say this because a popular publisher, Seeking Alpha, has a mistaken report on the trading of a large percentage holding of mine. They reported today, and yesterday, and perhaps for days before that, that New Pacific dropped about -16% in price today. Yesterday they reported an even bigger loss. But New Pacific was up today, not down in the extreme.


The point is that we trade with an exchange. We have to believe the reported prices or we have to quit trading. I was not trading with Seeking Alpha.

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