While the financial world evolves through the use of AI and other technologies, there’s a basic, old-fashioned tool that is still essential to being a good investor: writing. It’s not an investment skill that is top of mind for most people, but writing helps investors to piece out their thoughts and weigh the value of their ideas. An article in CFA Institute’s Enterprising Investor details 5 reasons why investors should use writing in their investment process.
- Investors consume a massive amount of information every day, and it can be hard to have a full understanding of each news alert that comes their way. This is especially true for geopolitics, where moving past the headline grabbers requires delving much deeper. Writing about some of these news events will help investors recognize the gaps in their knowledge so they can do their due diligence to become fully informed.
- Investors can gain self-awareness through writing, which can act as a mirror by showing bias and blind spots. Once those biases are acknowledged, investors can create a solid investment plan that includes checks and balances in order to make the best decisions.
- Writing can serve as a way to filter out much of the attention-grabbing noise that fills much of the financial world, and can help investors find deeper insights beyond all that noise. This year, one such noisy headline was that stocks were doing just fine—but digging even a little bit deeper into that headline reveals that a mere 7 companies drove those gains and most average stocks had barely caused a blip.
- It can often be hard for investors to keep their eyes on their own paper—something that is vitally important in turbulent times in order for investors to stay on the course they’ve built for themselves. Writing helps investors stay focused. By contemplating new ideas through writing, investors can offer themselves their own second opinion and bolster their own ideas.
- In investing, as in life, mistakes are made as often as successes. Writing can help determine the real quality of investment decisions, allowing investors to learn where they went wrong or right. Through writing, investors can more clearly see the process rather than just the results, and identify opportunities to learn from.
For those investors unaccustomed to writing, the article offers this advice: “start small.” In addition, it’s important to take timing into account, and to pay close attention to whether emotions are coming into play. Lastly, investors should review their past writing every so often to see where they might need to course correct.