Researcher’s Research

February 28, 2022
By Ryan Streilein, CFA
Man working on an engine. West Financial Services.

In her book Thinking in Bets, the former professional poker player, Annie Duke says “What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge.” When interviewing asset managers, process is a key pillar of focus for West Financial.

There are countless ways to manage money. Many institutions silo analysts to develop specialized knowledge in a specific sector or industry. Here at West Financial, we take a different approach to asset management. Our investment committee casts a wide net, comparing various ideas and themes with the goal of selecting the attractive risk-adjusted opportunities. Given our investment philosophy and style, we believe this structure suits our firm and pairs well with the goals of our clients. For more information about our process, please check out our Under the Hood webinars on our website.

For this article, I wanted to take the time to share one part of my research process. For anyone curious about financial research, or just oddly interested in what West Financial’s equity analyst reads…the rest of this article will light you up! For the other 95% of you, there is some high quality pre-nap material in here.

With information becoming a commodity, value comes from knowing where to look or developing a differentiated view. I have taken the time to compile some of my favorite, high signal-to-noise, resources. Among other resources, I utilize the list below to inspire creativity, improve my investment skill set, learn from industry experts, stay on top of trends, locate or visualize data, and read interesting analysis and opinions. Importantly, this list is not an all-encompassing research process as it excludes many other resources (SEC documents, earnings calls/presentations, industry conferences, financial application subscriptions and sell-side research, to name a few). Distilling the information overload and formulating an investment strategy is a whole other portion of the investment process. 

Feel free to share your own favorite columns, newsletters, media publications with us as well (doesn’t need to be investment related). We would love to hear from you!

*All the websites are either completely free or have a free option unless otherwise noted. The recommendations below are based on my own opinions and the firm has received no endorsement or commissions.*

News:

  • Morning Brew » - Engaging way to digest major news stories in the morning.
  • Abnormal Returns » – Link aggregator. Compiles the best of the finance and investment blogosphere. Great starting point to discovering writers & interesting content. 

Macroeconomics: 

Earnings Summary: 

Stock Specific Business Breakdowns, Investment Theses, & Market Commentary:

Technology:

Financial Services: 

  • Net Interest » (premium option $250/year) – Various financial sector themes.
  • Front Month » (premium option $250/year) - Exchanges and market structure.

Special Situations & Media:

Financial History:

Education & Valuation:

Politics & Markets:

Twitter » & Tweetdeck » (for lists & organization):

  • Tons of very smart people from all sorts of investing styles and backgrounds. The key is curating your own list to match your interests.
  • Good list of accounts to get started: The Bear Cave ».

Podcasts:

  • Invest Like the Best – Ideas, methods, and stories that will help you better invest your time and money. 
  • Business Breakdowns - Conversations with investors & operators doing deep business dives.
  • Master’s in Business from Bloomberg – Investor Interviews.

Brokerage Accounts to Access Sell-Side Investment Research:

  • BAML = Merrill Lynch
  • E*Trade = Morgan Stanley 
  • Schwab = Credit Suisse, Morningstar, CFRA, Argus
  • WFC = Wells Fargo
  • JPM = JPMorgan
  • BMO = BMO, CFRA, Morningstar

Meet Ryan Streilein, CFA »

Read the Financial Focus Newsletter February 2022 »


Important Disclosures

  • West Financial Services, Inc. (“WFS”) offers investment advisory services and is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC nor does it indicate that the firm has attained a particular level of skill or ability. You should carefully read and review all information provided by WFS, including Form ADV Part 1A, Part 2A brochure and all supplements, and Form CRS.
  • Certain information contained herein was derived from third party sources, as indicated, and has not been independently verified. While the information presented herein is believed to be reliable, no representation or warranty is made concerning the accuracy of any information presented. Where such sources include opinions and projections, such opinions and projections should be ascribed only to the applicable third party source and not to WFS.
  • This information is intended to be educational in nature, and not as a recommendation of any particular strategy, approach, product, security, or concept. These materials are not intended as any form of substitute for individualized investment advice.