As an analyst, one of the important jobs I have is to constantly monitor the landscape for research, data sources, and analytical tools. As I have learned over the years, things constantly change and it is critical to incorporate regular reviews of emerging technologies and data sources in order to stay on top of the game.
One of the interesting patterns I have observed over the last couple of years is the rise and fall of Twitter. I have always had an awkward relationship with Twitter, mainly because it is still an ad-based business model which means tweets are mainly about engagement and quality content takes a back seat.
That said, for some period of time I found Twitter to be a good way to keep a finger on the pulse of the market and to capture useful insights from a number of informative contributors. This was also happening as more conventional outlets like newspapers continued losing relevance.
Since Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, however, I have notice a material degradation in the usefulness of the platform. For one, a number of quality contributors have either withdrawn from the platform or have been banished.
The policy of charging for blue checks made a farce out of authentication and turned ti into “pay to play”. Inconsistent policies and unexplained bans added a creepy edginess and capriciousness to the place. More recently, Twitter started blocking links to Substack.
This raises another issue – competition. I have been publishing Observations on Substack since 2020 now. Over the last few months I have seen a broad swath of people I follow on Twitter migrate over as well. Very recently, Substack introduced its Notes function to emulate Twitter-like engagement on the Substack platform.
It's very early days but this could get really interesting. I have always felt one of Areté’s strengths is useful content. One of the greatest weaknesses has been lack of marketing reach. If there is a trend in social media towards higher engagement by way of high quality content, this would be extremely helpful.
In the meantime, ChatGPT also made huge waves this quarter. While I am still in very early stages evaluating it, I see lots of promise in helping people like me who have plenty of strategic vision but no team of analysts to do the legwork. Insofar as ChatGPT can function as a team of talented junior analysts and back office support, Areté can get a whole lot more productive!
I will continue doing what I do – sharing my thoughts about markets and portfolio strategy with clients and other interested parties through the “Observations” newsletter. Look through the archives and it is easy to trace how my thinking has evolved from the start of the pandemic through to today. I also put out The Areté Quarterly to provide a more detailed analysis of the investment strategy.
Also, please don’t forget, if you ever have questions or clarifications, let me know at email@example.com and we’ll get things straightened out.
Thanks for your support!
David Robertson, CFA
CEO and founder, Areté Asset Management