The multi-millionaire hedge fund trader behind a BBC reality TV trading contest has dismissed blogging and social media content as "irrelevant" in making investment decisions.
This is despite financial information giants such as Thomson Reuters investing heavily in developing trading terminals that embrace Web 2.0 technologies for customers who value blog content.
City whizz-kid Lex Van Dam has put up $1m (£682,000) for each of eight novice traders to learn how to make money on the financial markets. Million Dollar Traders starts tonight at 9pm on BBC2 and runs for three weeks.
The group, selected from the public, had just two weeks training and then spent two months trying to make money during the global economic meltdown in the summer of last year. The contestants were 'fired' if they lost too much.
The fledgling traders used up-to-the-minute financial information feeds from Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, but Van Dam believes that the right content is readily available elsewhere.
"You can watch the financial channels, or Yahoo Finance, or you can read the paper. You can find a lot of the information anywhere," he said. "On a day-to-day basis, it's total information overload."
Van Dam feels that blogging and other social media applications add nothing to the information he needs. "I would say it is irrelevant. It's all full of rumour and misinformation. It's a waste of time," he said.
Thomson Reuters, the world's largest provider of financial news and information, begs to differ. Devin Wenig, chief executive of Thomson Reuters Markets Division, said that bloggers have "different rules and perspectives and can do things that we do not. Many professionals feel that both sources are relevant."
Wenig has acknowledged Reuters terminals as appearing "archaic" to the new generation of web literate financial professionals. "We are working on redefining the way financial information is presented and used," he told Hedge magazine.
"We want [our clients] to think differently about the implications of technology, media and the internet on professional content."
Van Dam is sure that financial information can be presented in an improved way, but believes that he has what he requires. "I sort of have it. I need to distill it from different sources, and I don't think there's a general rule. It depends on your own trading style," he said.
Dutch-born Van Dam was trained in New York at Goldman Sachs. He has run a very large fund at GLG Partners, one of Europe's biggest hedge funds, and is currently managing his own Hampstead Capital fund in London.
While he does believe in the quality of information, Van Dam insists that it is unwise to blindly trust news headlines, analysts or company managers. "You must do your own research," he said.
Wenig, however, remains adamant that Thomson Reuters' future role is in providing context and organisation of market information. "The only thing hedge fund managers want is for us to make them smarter and wealthier," he said.
"They want the ability to move between fragmented sources of information in a consistent and coherent manner."
The bottom line for Van Dam with the Million Dollar Traders programme is not to encourage trading at all. "Actually a lot of people who are trading shouldn't be trading. This is not a PR exercise for the industry."
A smartphone maker fiddling its benchmarking scores? That's unusual, isn't it?
'We are making good progress on 10nm,' claims Intel
Engineer calculates that Chengdu's plan to replace streetlights with artificial moonlight would cost $100bn
Research could also apply to other 'space weather' events involving hot, fast-moving plasma