The Finance Blogger Work Ethic

Imagine yourself working in a factory seven days a week.

Now imagine that you work in this factory for the sheer love of the work itself, remaining almost uncompensated most of the time and in some cases even anonymous.

Now, imagine further that 90 percent of the product you churn out each day will be unused and forgotten within 24 hours as your customers come back for only what you can produce now, today, tomorrow.

If you can imagine this, then you just might have an inkling as to what it takes to be a financial blogger – to be one of the best financial bloggers.

The work for the sake of the work, for the sake of the knowledge that comes from doing the work and sharing it.  The consistency necessary to make your blog more important than most of what comes from the mainstream media and traditional publications.

There are many great bloggers in the world of finance and markets, but not all of them will appear here in my encomium.  Today we spotlight the workhorses of the econoblogosphere.  They are few and far between and their blogs are very special because of their toil, tenacity and rigor.  I discuss three of them below.

Abnormal Returns:  The two biggest-selling new hip hop artists of the last decade, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne, both came to international platinum status via being discovered on underground mixtapes.  In many ways, Tadas Viskanta of Abnormal Returns is like the DJ Clue of Wall Street blogging.  Just like an unknown rapper can find himself on a Clue mixtape sandwiched between tracks by Jay-Z and Eminem, so too can a fresh new finance blogger see his work in the spotlight on AR, mentioned amongst the insights coming from the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.  If you’re blogging the market and you want to know if you’ve written something worthwhile that day, you get your answer around lunchtime when the AR linkfest hits the web.  Only the best posts and articles appear each day, carefully curated, along with some original writing that never fails to illuminate.  The new real-time linking that Tadas does makes the site even more essential – it’s my browser’s start page.

The Pragmatic Capitalist:  Does anyone read more research than The Pragmatic Capitalist?  I doubt it.  Talk about a site that gives us color on every twist and turn of the market!  On any given day, I calculate that Prag Cap will have at least five very timely updates for us to be aware of.  He cites the very best reports coming from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, the musings of various hedge fund managers and the forecasts of top market strategists.  And he does it non-stop, day in, day out.  The pace and consistency is mind-blowing.  When someone asks me what they should read each day to keep up with what the pros are saying about the markets, I invariably recommend The Pragmatic Capitalist.

Market Folly:  To my knowledge, there is not a single person who is more well-versed in the investments made by hedge funds than the man behind Market Folly.  From posting daily updates about which hedge fund is accumulating what stock to compiling the quarterly 13D and 13F filings that must take him days, Jay’s work at Market Folly has truly made him a blogger hero.  Want to know which stocks are being bought and sold by George Soros, John Paulson, Bruce Berkowitz, Phil Falcone, Dan Loeb, David Einhorn or Warren Buffett?  Sure, you can find all that yourself…or you can do what I do -check out Market Folly and search his exhaustive archives for every tidbit imaginable.  And by the way, the four times a year when the quarterly SEC filings of hedge fund holdings come out, Market Folly becomes a Shangri-La for stock-pickers.

It’s not easy to keep up with all of the essential news and insights about today’s markets.  These three workhorse blogs are a great place to start.

Thanks guys, I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned from your daily efforts.  And I doubt I’m alone in that.

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