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Take a look at any list of Twitter handles ranked by the number of followers and it looks like a pop music fan club aggregator: @katyperry – 70 million followers; @justinbieber – 64 million; @taylorswift13 – 58 million; @ladygaga – 47 million. There are some non-musicians who rank highly as well (notably, @barackobama – 60 million). But despite Western culture’s tendency to cluster around celebrities, Twitter truly has as many kinds of members as you can possibly imagine, each of whom has their own unique content and voice. The way Twitter works (a maximum of 140 characters to “hook” a reader & embedded links) also makes it a very efficient news source, so much so that it’s become an integral piece of our investment research process.

We thought it might interest some readers to see a sample of how we use Twitter to stay informed about companies and economic trends. The list below is a sample – not in any particular order – of key content providers we use daily, as well as some examples of their tweets.

1. @AswathDamodaran: Damodaran is a professor of finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business and one of the leading authorities on valuing companies. His tweets often link back to his blog, where he writes about factors affecting valuation. There are many ways of thinking about valuation, and trends tend to change over time. Aswath Damodaran stays at the front of that tide.

 

2. @IBDinvestors: Investor’s Business Daily is widely read among equity investors. The subjects of their tweets include breaking news and longer narratives on operating companies, and are particularly useful for illustrating investment theses.

 

3. @stlouisfed: The regional Federal Reserve banks are among the most active sources for practical macroeconomic research. The St. Louis Fed stands out for their frequent use of social media and for their oddly-named but very useful “FRED” database, which includes thousands of economic data series. Their graphs are pretty cool, too, if you happen to be into that sort of thing.

 

4. @pmarca – Marc Andreessen is perhaps still most famous as creator of Netscape Navigator, which he sold to AOL for $4.2B in 1999. Sixteen years later, neither Netscape nor AOL are at the forefront of anyone’s mind, unless you’re daydreaming about the the dot com bubble. But Andreessen himself remains relevant through his work as general partner at venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz. Sometimes his own content is what makes his tweets worthwhile, but often he’s best when pulling out useful content others have generated.

 

5. @valuewalk – In years past, people doing thoughtful investment research were generally compensated by way of trading commissions (at brokerage firms) or through subscription fees (at newsletters). As advertising dollars have migrated to online outlets, free research content has become available widely. Much of it is junk, but not all. Valuewalk aggregates financial news, but is particularly helpful because of its interviews with thoughtful investors. Sometimes these interviews touch on specific investment ideas, and sometimes they reinforce important principles and perspectives.

 

You can also find us on Twitter @pelotonwealth. Our team tweets from their personal accounts about the market and investments as well as their personal interests. Matt Bradley tweets from @mattkbradley and Steve Carr tweets from @spcarr.

 

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