When you analyse stocks for a living, standing out from your peers can be hard.
First of all, there are a lot of analysts these days – far more than when I started. And if that wasn’t enough, those fellow analysts are (mostly) very intelligent.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any magic bullets to being seen as one of the best analysts in your team, firm or sector. But learning forensic analysis skills – and just as important, the mindset behind them – is the next best thing.
These skills won’t land you a dream job offer overnight, although they will certainly improve your chances at an analyst interview. And if you use them to add real value in your research (let alone to find a big winner or help your fund dodge a bullet), you are almost certain to get a big opportunity at some stage.
I know this because it’s exactly what happened to me.
Many years ago, I had just started a new role covering conglomerates and transport. A few days in, a salesman from my firm flew in from New York and asked if I had any short ideas for a big hedge fund client (it was Julian Robertson’s fund, Tiger).
I didn’t even know what a hedge fund was back then, but I knew that Eurotunnel was the most expensive stock in my universe. I also knew it would go bust in the very near future without a new injection of equity.
The salesman immediately called James Lyall at Tiger Management on speakerphone.
Over the course of 15 minutes, I ran him through the numbers. That was enough to get them interested, and we ended up selling 3% of the company short for Tiger.
Tiger made around 90% on the trade, on a 3 figure ($100ms) bet size. After the tech crash a few years later, James set up on his own.
Without that break, a few similar ones and a huge dose of luck, I doubt I would have become a partner and head of research at two billion-dollar hedge funds. And it all started by sharing solid nuggets of forensic analysis.
But that’s enough about me.
What’s the best way for you to learn these skills, now?
These trainings are designed for aspiring and actual professional analysts as well as serious private investors.
P.S. If you are working as an analyst, there is a very good chance your employer will pay for you to take it. Please email email@example.com and I’ll send you a template for making your case.