Given that this is a meta-site, is this the right place to ask questions about asking questions on Stack Exchange?


I am currently looking for input on a topic related to trading / swaps of a specific financial derivatives. It seems to me that money.stackexchange.com is the right place for this. However, the scope of the questions is likely to lead to some answers including recommendations for specific service providers.

I am not necessarily looking for specific recommendations however. Rather more, I am looking for "possibilities" (e.g., a list of places (brokers) that allow me to trade said financial derivatives), or, what type of broker would possibly let me trade these Derivates. In other words, I want to narrow my search and tap into the knowledge of the people on this network for this purpose.

Can I ask such a question on Stack Exchange? In other words, if it doesn't fit the scope of Stack Exchange to ask for recommendations, does it fit the scope of Stack Exchange to ask for "lists of possibilities", or general advice/scope reduction, without any specific judgement (which may be interpreted as a recommendation)?

In a nutshell, I am looking for input, but the scope of the question leads me to think it may be received negatively, even though the question is, in my view, an absolutely valid question.

Can I post such a question on Stack Exchange, and in this case specifically, on money.stackexchange.com, or is this (Stack Exchange in general) not the place?


It has been suggested that this is a possible duplicate of this question. While I agree that it is similiar, I don't necessarily think it is the same. I don't want to start a vote. Nor would I necessarily be asking for "brainstorming" (although personally, I wouldn't mind it - however, this is probably not within the scope of Stack Exchange?). I am looking for "What type of service provider lets me do financial transaction xyz".

I am not necessarily looking for specific recommendations. (Which I would love of course, but this, also, is not within the scope of SE from my personal experience.)

  • You can ask for site-recommendation's here, yes. You might probably want to edit your questions title to be more specific then. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 23 '18 at 16:37
  • Hi, πάντα ῥεῖ, thanks. I am wondering more in the direction of whether my question is wanted on any specific site, assuming I already know which site that would be. – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 16:39
  • You can check the help center at any specific site to see what's considered on-/off-topic. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 23 '18 at 16:41
  • Thanks again, πάντα ῥεῖ :) money.stackexchange.com states in its help Center that, among others, the following type of question is off-topic: "Requests for specific service provider recommendations; e.g. asking where to get a loan, what broker to use, etc.". I am wondering about what kind of broker I can trade financial derivatives based on Container Freight Indices, e.g. SCFI, CCFI, etc. Stackexchange is not the right place for me to ask for advice so I can narrow my search? – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 16:45
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    Possible duplicate of Can I use this site as a brainstorming/voting site? – gnat May 23 '18 at 16:46

I must say that you have a pretty narrow question, so it could fly on Money Stack Exchange, but it still might suffer from all of the drawbacks of shopping list questions:

  1. They are open-ended; there is never one perfect answer to them.

  2. They outdate incredibly quickly. This was what turned me against shopping list questions: if you look around on Stack Overflow, you will find plenty of 2010 "what's the best xyz" questions whose answers are hideously outdated now.

  3. They tend to attract a lot of spam and/or link only answers

1. and 2. occur whenever there's a new broker offering the service you're looking for, or an existing one stops offering it. The Stack Exchange community is now better equipped to handle 3., but it's still better to deny spammers the opportunity.

You could try getting a second opinion on Money Stack Exchange's own Meta. You'll need 5 reputation for that, so maybe you could invest some time in the site (1 upvoted post or 2 suggested edits do the trick)? Their chat would be another option to ask this, but this particular site doesn't seem to have an active chat community.

  • Thanks Glorfindel, upvoted, but do not have enough reputation on meta for you to see it yet I believe. From my experience, questions like the one I am asking about sometimes get negative votes, and I want to avoid that. I may go the way you suggested, but time constraints may lead me to turn to other sources of information, which I personally always find disappointing, because Stack Exchange does have people who would be able to provide the type of information I am looking for. – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 16:59
  • I could, for example, phrase the question as such: "What keywords do I need to find a list of possible service providers for trading Containerized Freight Index Derivatives on Google and in Financial Literature?"... Is that within the scope of SE? – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 17:03
  • You're asking for keywords, isn't that a list question as well? – Glorfindel May 23 '18 at 17:11
  • I suppose it is in one way or another... this leads to a couple of questions, in my mind... 1) Does SE not want "shopping list questions" if and only if the scope pertains to commercial recommendations (I.e., the "shopping" part)? Or does SE also not want "non-shopping" list questions?;) Anyway, for the time being I will probably follow your recommendation about trying to ask on the money SE chat or it's meta, respectively. Thanks !:) – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 22:57
  • Additional thoughts of mine: Maybe it's not in the scope of SE, but getting this kind of information (lists) on a quality-focused exchange would definitely provide added value for me, as long as it doesn't mess with the rest of the SE product (to which I cannot say either way whether it does or not, but this kind of resource would be useful to me personally) – ChrisC May 23 '18 at 23:09

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