One of the most challenging things when engaging with the world of investments and finance is to learn how to deal with the overwhelming amount of information that’s out there.
Knowing what to read can save you a lot of time and provide you with the right insights to get closer to a more robust analysis of various investment opportunities.
Below I share 10 of the best / most useful blogs and newsletters that I’ve curated over the past 5 years to help you with the process of sifting through information.
The painting above is my mother’s and it is available here.
10. Absolute Return Partner’s Newsletter
Founded by industry veteran Niels C. Jensen, Absolute Return Partners (or ARP) “provides bespoke, thematic and innovative investment solutions for institutional investors and family offices”. Niels produces a monthly update via the ARP newsletter, which is well-known among thematic and macro investors.
There are two reasons why I recommend you read the ARP newsletter.
First, you can follow the rationale of a very experienced investor, with three decades in the market. The updates are detailed with plenty of data and sources which you can explore further. Being focused on thematic analysis means that the newsletter will provide you with extra colour around the state of the economy and financial markets. In investing, context matters, a lot.
The second reason is that you get the chance of reading insights from analysts and researchers that are usually costly for retail investors and available mostly to institutions or high net worth individuals. An example includes the research produced by MacroStrategy.
Although there is an option to pay for premium content, the monthly updates are free. Read the latest and subscribe to the newsletter here.
9. JP Morgan’s Blog
The asset management arm of JP Morgan runs a blog on which you can find in-depth analysis of complex market- and economy-related developments. Like the APR newsletter, the JP Morgan blog tends to be focused more on the macro aspects of trading and investing, but it does offer commentary on portfolio allocation as well.
One of the most useful pieces I’ve read from the JP Morgan’s blog was the mapping of the offshore dollar economy, found here. That was back in 2018. Since then, the website has changed and it now also offers guides on different asset classes, such as this one on alternative investments.
These guides aren’t necessarily useful for making actual investment decisions (because the information is already outdate as the markets move fast). However, they are helpful in order to understand where the assets you are looking at fit in the broader financial system.
You can access the blog here.
8. CrossBorder Capital’s Updates
This is an investment advisory and alternative data provider founded by Michael Howell in 1996. Howell is the former Salomon Bros. Research Director. He developed a bespoke methodology of accounting for national and international capital flows.
It is important to understand where capital is going because that flow influences asset prices. Keeping an eye on capital flows helps investors understand the state of liquidity conditions, globally or regionally. CrossBorder Capital does regular updates which are extremely useful for investors with a “top-down” approach.
Liquidity is a complex concept, which I don’t intend to fully explain here. However, here are two resources to help you understand it – a paper by the Bank of International Settlements and a book by Michael Howell. You can watch the latest CrossBorder Capital update on their YouTube channel here.
7. Liberty Street and Bank Underground
These are well-known blogs of two of the most important central banks in the world – the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.
Both provide regular and detailed analysis and data on market structures, economic activity, financial markets’ behaviour and the banking system, among other things. Their articles are excellent for investors interested in macrofinance, which is the study of how macroeconomic events impact asset prices.
As one might expect, both central banks’ blogs provide extensive materials on various banking- and monetary policy-related research questions. I personally read quite a bit from the Bank of England’s analysis of how money is created for my essay “Money: The Real Economy and the Financial Economy”.
6. Nordea’s Updates
One of the best updates I’ve been reading over the past 18 months or so has been from Nordea, written by Andreas Steno Larsen and his team.
These notes are “top-down” orientated and touch on all asset classes, although there is a primary focus on FX. They are packed with data (charts and tables) and the arguments are easy to follow, unlike a lot of the research targeted towards sophisticated investors that’s full of jargon.
I particularly use these updates to get an additional view on central bank developments and FX market movements, as well as for understanding a bit better other trading ideas that I might have thought about.
5. The Investor Podcast
This is one of the oldest investment resources that I’ve been using. The podcast offers a range of topics to choose from, including Bitcoin, Real Estate and, my personal favourite, “We Study Billionaires” – all about habits of successful entrepreneurs.
The podcasts are so light-hearted that you can listen to them while doing other things. I used to play an episode of “We Study Billionaires” while cleaning my room or ironing my shirts. That said, make sure you have a pen and some paper at hand to take notes of whatever you find interesting.
A good tip for when listening to podcasts like these is to write down as many sources as you can – book, papers, other podcasts and so on. This is how you can build your own library of resources that can come handy when you need to research.
You can find the podcasts here.
4. Incrementum’s Newsletter
Incrementum AG is a is an independent investment and asset management company based in Liechtenstein. Incrementum produces a number of high quality, well-known research reports every year, including the famous “In Gold We Trust” and the newer “Crypto Report”. Among these publication are also Stefan M. Kremeth’s weekly updates, which are one of the best you’ll read. This is so for a few reasons.
Firstly, they are always timely and packed with good information, key data points and smart analysis. Having access to relevant information is one of the most difficult things in financial markets. These updates have always been relevant to whatever current situation I found myself in.
Secondly, the updates are written with what investors have in mind: what worries them, what are they thinking about. This sets these updates apart from other more general research publications, especially from very large financial institutions which are not bespoke.
This brings us to the third point: the weekly updates are interactive. You have an opportunity to provide your views about the analysis or topic in question. I highly recommend you subscribe to them, and you cand do that here for Stefan’s weekly, or for any other Incrementum publications.
3. OSAM Research
This is the research and blogging department of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management. On their website, you can find papers, articles and webinars on a huge range of topics from asset valuation and different financial products to thematic analysis and general market commentary.
OSAM produces one of the most comprehensive and innovative updates, titled “reading list” that I found over the years. It is a compilation of some of the best stuff they’ve read that month and is not limited to just written content but includes podcasts and videos as well. It is a rich library of informative and entertaining resources for investors.
You can subscribe to the OSAM Research’s “reading list” here.
2. Investors’ Amnesia
This is a publication dedicated to financial history. No investor can be successful without a serious grounding of history. Investor Amnesia’s Sunday Reads delivers to your inbox an in-depth analysis of different episodes from the annals of finance’s tumultuous, repetitive and exciting past.
Topics that I’ve read about from Investors’ Amnesia include: “Lockdown, Innovation and Businesses”, “Value Investing: A History” and “Bubbles, Manias and Frauds”. I think there is a paid option for more content, but the free version provides you with a wealth of information already.
You can subscribe here.
Before moving to the number one on this list, a few honourable mentions to other great research resources for investors: Real Vision, KKR’s Global Perspective, The Felder Report, Artemis’s insights and The Institute of International Monetary Research.
1. Aswath Damodaran’s blog and YouTube channel
NYU Professor of Finance Aswath Damodaran is well-known for his detailed work on company valuations. If you want to learn about how to value a business, from zero, go to his YouTube channel and watch his lectures in order. Click here.
Meanwhile, his website, Musings on Markets, is an incredible library of valuation analysis and commentary on stock movements. You can access the website here.
Finally, Damodaran’s own website includes Excel spreadsheets with various information needed to perform your own fundamental analysis.
I hope this list will be useful and entertaining to you and that it will serve you well in researching the prospects of your current as well as future investments. Thank you for reading.