5 hacks to research a company with only 30 mins daily
I share my schedule as a 9-5 worker who invests
I've been lucky to be financially free before age 30.
And I did it by investing in stocks... While still working 9-5. The secret? Learning how to allocate my TIME to research the companies I invest in.
Quick back story: Recently I got over a dozen DMs on twitter from followers.
The #1 common question?
They wanted me to share my daily schedule with them. I found it funny. Turns out, they were interested in how I find time to invest and research my companies given I work in a 9-5 job.
I guess the better question to answer here would be:
"How do I allocate my time so that I can research companies?"
That's what I'll answer here.
But before that, in case you are curious... here's what my daily schedule looks like on a weekday and weekend:
7am wake up. meditation
8am commute to work (listen or read some investing stuff)
9-10am Lift weights
10am-7pm day job
7pm-10pm dinner, meet friends and family, commute home
10-11pm: shower, wind down, some light reading and research
As you can tell... I spend little time on research during the weekdays. This is because my 9-5 job takes up almost all my time. But weekends is where I focus more. Here's roughly how I spend my Sat and Sun:
Lift weights (1 hour morning)
Reading and company research (2 hours)
Writing my own thesis and notes (1-2 hours)
That's about 4 hours of deep work per day.
The rest of it I spend with family and friends. Relaxing and enjoying life. Now that we've got that out the way...
Here's 5 simple hacks I personally use to research companies, with only 30 mins per day:
1. Focus on primary information sources first.
Primary sources of information are:
- annual reports
- earnings transcripts
- CEO interviews
Why do I focus on this? Because I have limited time.
So I have to decide what to focus on and what to pass on. I focus on the primary information because it's more accurate. It helps me form my own judgments. This helps me get the info I need...without being overwhelmed by articles, analyst research reports etc.
I still read those... but only after I have consumed the primary info
2. Match task to time
This is my secret for researching companies despite a packed schedule.
If I'm eating dinner alone and I know I will take 30 minutes for this... I listen to a CEO interview that I know will take roughly that time.
If I'm commuting to work... I will read the earnings transcripts or a longer deep dive article by someone else covering the company.
I even listen to stuff when I'm washing the dishes!
That's how I continually "find" time to research a company.
3. Find Fintwit detectives
This is actually the biggest benefit of Fintwit...
I can get research on a company by other shareholders of the company who do the digging. For example: Peloton is a company I follow. So I follow someone like Bob Treemore on Twitter and add him to my list. Doing so allows me to get up to date facts on a company... Which I will not have the time to do so.
Caveat here is that:
I only do this step after I completed my primary research as mentioned above. I do this so it doesn't colour my judgment or influence me.
4. Use tools to do the job
I use pocket so I can read earnings transcripts on my phone in a readable way. And I can make highlights of stuff that stand out to me. So I can extract them later and make notes.
I use Otter.ai to transcribe CEO interviews that don't have transcripts. This allows me to read them when I'm on the commute to work. Since I read faster than I listen... This helps me learn about a company with these small pockets of time.
5. Take starter positions to get skin in the game
This doesn't really help you save time in any way. But I found this is a good kick in the butt. If I just set a goal to learn more by reading annual reports... I usually get lazy and procrastinate.
How do I overcome that?
I buy a small % of the company just to get skin in the game... So it changes my mentality. It can be as small as 0.5-1% of my total portfolio, or even less. Or even just buy 1 stock.
It makes me feel vested. I become more energized to research the company. I pay more attention. And I focus better. This changed the way I read and listen to the interviews and transcripts.
It has helped me research my stocks better in a short time.
I need your quick help!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing blog posts based around questions that I think would be useful to new investors. But honestly, sometimes I don’t know whether it’s even helpful.
And it can be pretty lonely.
So I want to make this more useful for you - By writing answers to real questions, challenges, and doubts you have around investing. If you’re reading this, please do take 1 minute to help me fill up this quick survey by clicking on this link here.
It only takes less than 1 minute to fill up. And I plan to start answering some of these questions in upcoming blog posts starting next week!