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Do your homework. The techniques to stay informed and understand whats going on in the markets

Long ago in the business of investing I learned that it is all about the Homework. The winner will be the ones who does the most homework and who finishes it first ahead of the competitors. If you just do the homework but arrive at the results with everybody else, by now the market will have discounted it and you will not make any profits. Who is able to process the largest amount of information in an intelligent and fast way and come to the right conclusions.

When I started in the business about thirty years ago, there was already a lot of information available to the Financial Advisor/Investor, there were as many newspapers as today and many newsletters plus all the Street research. Now, with the proliferation of the Internet, Social Media and Email the amount have gone exponential. Plus, the noise of Fake News. We had it in the old days too, but now it is so well made, and not different than before sometimes with State sponsors, that it is more difficult to discern the true from the false.

The important task in order to succeed is to develop a method to process news and research in a consistent manner. To be able to separate the noise from the real news and analysis, so to come to the right conclusions. Also, to keep the process continuous and consistent; sometimes you will not spot what you are looking for right there but will happen by connecting the dots from different sources later on.

The routine and time of the day to do it is also very important, you have to try to sit down to study at the same time every week, so you will know how much time you need to process the information on a regular basis and when to be ready to move on.

My current business at Winston.Capital is purely advisory to Wealth Managers, Family Offices and some Individuals. I do not manage money, just advice how to manage it. Bearing that in mind, I will tell you about my routine and where you should focus on.

I start my day at 5:30 am, my first attack in on the Daily Editor by Dow Jones, it is a collection of charts that gives a good idea quickly on the main topics around the world. I select a few charts than later we will email to my clients. Then onto Bloomberg Daybreak, The New York Times, Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. I also use the app Flipboard that you can customize to your particular taste, so it will select news around the world that suit your needs/tastes. The app Zero Hedge which is only finance oriented also produces good leads and deep-thinking articles.

During the day I would clip some research reports from different Houses and some magazines into Evernote. I read them in the morning as well.

I consistently take notes on anything that I find relevant. At 8:00 I stop get dressed and start preparing our studio. At 9:00 we do a live conference call in Spanish with our clients and also transmit it live in a private YouTube channel. After the call is done we put an executive summary, the charts and the video on an email and we send it to our clients. At 9:45 am we do it all again but this time in English.

For the weekends, we do a Video with reflections about what happened in the markets that week and what to prepare for the incoming week. To prepare for that, on top of my daily consumption of research we add Barron’s and the weekend editions of the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.

This is just my guidelines and routine, but after many decades in the industry I believe that the key to success is not only to be well informed but also to be able to arrive at the right conclusions to advice your clients properly.

You should be able to develop one that suits your needs, time availability and capacity to stay concentrated for a while. Once you have it stick to it! And then once or twice a year, sit down and look back at what has worked and what has not. Try to understand the reasons for the wins and the losses and with that adjust your process accordingly.

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