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These Free Tools Will Make Anyone a Better Investor | The Motley Fool

In this episode of Industry Focus: Tech, we take a break from talking about specific companies to loop listeners in on our go-to free resources for information on companies. We give a rundown of our favorite primary and secondary resources for information and spend some time talking about the decision that leveled the playing field for the average investor.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool’s free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Aug. 20, 2021.

Dylan Lewis: It’s Friday, Aug. 20, and we’re talking about free investing tools. I’m your host, Dylan Lewis. I am joined by Fool.com’s favorite frenzied fall boy of fostering the free financial fund, Brian Feroldi. Brian, how are you doing?

Brian Feroldi: You took that one down?

Lewis: That was good. Did you hear me just like slowly pause just to make sure that I was getting it right?

Feroldi: Yes. I mean, judging you intensely every time you are going over my title, and yet again, you do your job. 

Lewis: Well, the f-alliteration there is because today is free. Today we’re talking about what free tools are out there for the average investor, Brian, but before we get too deep into this discussion, it’s a great topic, and it’s one that we are so excited to talk about because at core with the Fool, we’re all about access for everyone. We are all about democratizing access to information, access to the financial markets, all of these things. We know what an incredible wealth generator the stock market and investing can be. It’s easy to forget if you’ve only been an investor for the last 20 years like me. I’m only 30. It has not always been this way. We have not always had so many free tools available to us between the advent of the internet, and I feel like I’m like 80 years old saying that, and some very specific regulations that require companies to make all of the information available to everyone. We are kind of in the golden age for individual investors.

Feroldi: We really are. I mean, if you took the internet away from me, and said invest, I’d be like, I don’t know what to do. I really would have no way of getting the information that I need to make investing decisions. Yes, investors today are so extremely spoiled that we have instant access to high-quality data for free. Because to your point, if you rewind the clock to just even the mid-’90s, getting into any information was not only really hard and time-consuming to do; you probably had to pay for it.

Lewis: Yeah. And I think if you were looking for a major turning point in the relationships that individual investors had with publicly traded companies, it probably was 2000, in part because technology was catching up, and we had widespread internet, and people were able to access information. But also because that is where Reg FD was passed. This is a technical thing that I think does not get enough love. I’m going to borrow directly from a Fool.com page here: “Before the passage of Reg FD, individual investors were often the last to learn the details of new products, received warnings about earnings shortfalls, or be notified about management changes. Professional financial institutions enjoyed substantial information advantages, and were often the same entities delivering financial news to the rest of the marketplace. The investing arms of these institutions profited by using not yet public information to make stock purchases on sale decisions. In October 2000, the SEC ruled that selected disclosures violate the spirit of public markets, and implemented Regulation Fair Disclosure. Many influential players in the financial services industry strenuously objected and claimed that Reg FD increased volatility, stifled corporate disclosure, and eroded the relationship between public markets, and their financiers. But Reg FD passed and was hailed as a huge victory for individual investors. One factor that led to the rules passage was overwhelming support.” 

And awesomely enough, the Fool was a major player in that, rallying folks to send in responses to the SEC in support of Reg FD and the approximation was that two-thirds of letters that were sent there actually came by way of the Fool, either directly from employees or from people that the Fool had urged to send those letters along. This is the foundation, Brian, in a lot of ways that we are even having this conversation today on.

Feroldi: Isn’t that crazy? In 1999, which wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things, it was legal for companies to give insider information to some of their investors, but not to release it to the general public. Like, that blows my mind that that was even a thing, but that’s how Wall Street operated for more than a century.

Lewis: Yeah. And if there’s any persistent truth about financial markets, and incentives, people are going to hoard advantages wherever they can. It’s just because there’s profit-making opportunities there. Always looking to level the playing field, and this is really what has given us the widespread information that we now have access to. I think we can’t possibly talk about free investing tools, Brian, without starting with the SEC, and the EDGAR database.

Feroldi: This is probably the No. 1 resource that is out there. And I’m sure that there are a lot of people that are investing that are not using it, especially individual investors. The reason there is, if you click over to this, it looks, and feels like a government website. It’s like you’re filing a tax form. When you dig into the details of this, some of the filing names that you have to dig through, they are confusing. So we’re going to break down the most important ones in as easy a way that we can. So the No. 1 document that I go to when I’m trying to research a company is the most recent 10-K. That is the annual report for the company. And it is filled with all the information that you could possibly want about a company. Its business, its market opportunity, its competition, management discussions are in there, financial results, its balance sheet. And accompanying that is another document that is also the second document that I go to, which is the DEF 14A. DEF 14A. Another name for that is the proxy statement, but that is going to show you all the details about management compensation, and how much stock each insider owns. So those two documents right there, the 10-K and the DEF 14A, also called the proxy statement, are a great starting point.

Lewis: They are, and while it does have the appearances of a government website, and it is, I think spartan, and maybe not as flashy as people might expect from private industry, one thing that I do think the SEC and the government does very well here is if you go to, like, sec.gov/edgar, and you are searching for a specific ticker, say you pull up Apple, AAPL. When you click into that, the selected filings that they highlight, two of them are right there that you just talked about, or maybe more. The 10-K is right there, the 10-Q, the quarterly reports right there, the proxies there. We also have an 8-K, and we have ownership disclosures. At least those are front and center for people. While it may not be the most user-friendly site, boy, are we lucky to have it.

Feroldi: We certainly are. And again, it’s amazing the amount of information that you can get just by digging through the SEC documents. Some other ones that our listeners might be more familiar with is, when a company files to come public, one of the documents that they need to file is called an S-1. That is essentially like the annual report, but prior to a company coming public. It’s all the information that we use to fill out our show notes on a company before they come public. When an S-1 comes public, sometimes a lot of information is missing, such as, what does the offering price? How much are they going to raise? So because of that, some information is not filled in, such as ownership, and what post-IPO balance sheet looks like. Sometimes after a company comes public, they have to file an S-1A, and that “A” at the end means here is the missing information that we didn’t have prior to the prospectus. So that is another form that you need to be on the lookout for.

Lewis: Yeah, and I think one thing that is nice is if you do not feel like using the SEC interface, you can kind of be lazy and search for any company that is newly public or that you’re trying to get your hands on the S-1, for example. In the case of a business that we’ve talked about somewhat recently on the show a couple of months ago, Olo, say you’re looking for the S-1. Olo’s S-1, drop that into Google because it’s a government website, and Google tends to prioritize government resources. It is the first result. It’s unavoidable, and so that’s going to take you right into the document and be able to have you scroll through there, and see everything you need, and trust me, everything you need and more is going to be in that document because there’s almost no one that reads the entirety of these things, Brian. It’s just too big.

Feroldi: They are huge. There are a few hundred pages along in some cases, and they are filled with legalese. Thankfully, once you’ve read through a couple of them, you know what parts you can skim over, and what parts you need to focus on.

Lewis: Yeah, that’s right. I think we wanted to start this conversation here with SEC and EDGAR, because this is really the primary source of information. This is what we’re getting straight from the company. And I think it’s helpful to start there in part because you’re making your own decision about anything you’re seeing. I know for me personally, Brian, I really like to have a fresh look at almost any company that I am going to be discussing. We’re going to get into a lot of other places that we turn for information — YouTube channels, Twitter handles, different sites that add great commentary in context. But I think it’s important for people to form their own opinion, especially as they’re learning to invest in a company. See what you pick up on, see what you notice, and then turn to those secondary sources and say, “OK, you know, I wonder what these other people are noticing and what they’re picking up when they look at this company as well.”

Feroldi: Yeah, I love that. When I hear about stocks from other Fools, especially ones that I respect, their opinion always sullies my opinion about the company. If I’m like, Emily doesn’t like this company, as I’m reading through it I’m like, I have a negative connotation to my mind. Yes, to your point, sometimes going into primary documents first and then talking to other investors is the way to go.

Lewis: Yeah. In addition to the information that comes from SEC and EDGAR, the company’s investor-relations pages. I think this is just another wonder of the Internet, where if you search any company and “investor relations,” you will be taken right to the page where they make all of this available. Generally, it’s going to be in a little bit of a prettier format than what you might get from SEC and EDGAR, and anything accompanying earnings in terms of presentations, conference calls, slide decks, and any shareholder letters — that’s all going to be there, and that’s all great stuff for people to spend time with.

Feroldi: There’s tons of information right on the company’s website, so after the SEC filings, or you can even get the SEC filings right on the company’s website. Companies’ investor-relations pages are a treasure trove of data. I know some investors that say they don’t like to look at presentations simply because they know it’s management’s spin on everything. I actually really like looking for them, especially in the beginning, because it gives you a fast overview of the key information about a company. I will never rely just on a presentation to make an investment decision, but as far as getting a quick view of what the company does, what’s the opportunity, what’s the management team, I think presentations are an excellent tool.

Lewis: I think that’s right. It’s a guided tour through a company to some extent, right, Brian? Like management showing you the things that they like for you to focus on in some of those presentations, and it’s always good to balance that against all the information that they have to provide on their business just so that you’re not losing any important narratives. But it’s good to know exactly where they’re prioritizing, what their focuses are, all that kind of stuff. One other reason that I think it can be really helpful to go over to an IR page is if leadership at a company is making an appearance somewhere, generally, it’ll wind up there. So if it’s outside of their regular earnings cadence, if they’re making a presentation at an industry conference or something like that, very often that’s going to wind up on the IR page, in part because of the Reg FD disclosure, I think. But that’s a great resource that can often be overlooked, too.

Feroldi: It certainly is, and one thing to note about that is depending on the companies, some of them only have one presentation uploaded at a time, and if they post the new one, they will delete an old one. So if you’re planning on tracking a company over time, that could be helpful when you view a presentation, to just right-click it and save it to your local docs so that it doesn’t disappear from the internet.

Lewis: Brian, so those are our primary resources. We’re going to turn over to what’s kind of a secondary filter for us, and so I would generally turn to all of these things as I’ve already had an opportunity to establish an opinion about a company and at least get some bullets down on what I think. It’s a toss-up here in terms of order and prioritization. There are a bunch of different directions you can go here, but I think we’re putting a lot of the classic social media stuff into this bucket. It’s Twitter and it’s YouTube.

Feroldi: Yeah, both of those are really fantastic resources. Yes, there’s plenty of noise on those platforms, but there are also some creators on there that share information with other investors freely and are just there to help and bounce ideas off you. So you do have to be choosy with who you follow, with what YouTube channels that you subscribe to, but I think that YouTube and Twitter are two excellent resources for investors.

Lewis: They are. And in addition to just commentary on companies, I think something that is so therapeutic about how I’ve curated my Twitter feed is when things are going crazy, and I go to my Twitter feed — like, say the market is sold off 3% or 4%, because of who I follow and the fact that they are, for the most part, long-term buy-and-hold investors, most of the stuff that I am met with there is focused on playing the long game. When I go and I’m getting news and a company had what looked like great earnings but because of market conditions sold off maybe double-digit percentages, I have a stream of people that are saying, it’s OK. And I think from a mindset perspective, that’s incredibly useful, Brian.

Feroldi: Having a community of people to go to when your portfolio is getting smashed is really important, so like you, I have handpicked everyone that I follow on Twitter, and almost all of them are long-term investors. So yes, like you said, when my portfolio is getting hit really bad, nothing makes me feel better than connecting with other like-minded investors.

Lewis: Yeah, and I will say, you are a great follow on Twitter, @BrianFeroldi, and a steady source of good keep calm-type stuff when things are going crazy. A lot of our other Fool contributors are awesome follows, and then there’s folks outside the Fool — I think Morgan Housel is an incredible follow. That’s not going to blow anyone’s mind who regularly tunes into stuff from the Fool. They know we love him. But I think there are also some great industry-specific analysts, Beth Kindig, @Beth_Kindig, incredible tech analyst, great follow if you’re looking for some in-depth insights. Anyone in particular that you want to give some shine to, Brian?

Feroldi: Just one person that comes to mind immediately is a guy named Jamin Ball. We’ve had them on Fool Live before. He is a software-as-a-service investor, and he maintains this incredible database of all the publicly traded software-as-a-service companies. He regularly sends out valuation, metrics, growth rates, ranks, about how expensive they are, price movements, etc. So he is a wonderful resource. But to your point, there are so many people on Twitter that are just like Jamin, and just like Morgan Housel. They are there to provide good, positive information. You just have to make sure you seek out and follow just those people and block with people that are, say, more focused on short-term things.

Lewis: Stay away from the double candlesticks. Just focus on the long-term buy-and-hold folks. I think when it comes to YouTube, what’s nice is, in addition to a lot of folks doing 10- or 15-minute overviews of companies, and Brian, you do that on your channel and it’s awesome. It’s a great source for CEO interviews and perspectives from company leadership. I know we have Glassdoor, InHerSite, and some of the more cultural elements as part of this, and that’s part of the checklist for how we look at businesses. I will say I will look at Glassdoor ratings, and then I honestly want to hear management talk and I want to hear them explain the vision and just see what their demeanor is like. That’s where I think YouTube is incredibly useful.

Feroldi: Yeah. There’s nothing like watching a CEO talk. When you see an interview, how do they answer questions? Are they focused on the short term? Are they focused on the long term? Are they good at communicating? That is one of the key skills that all CEOs need to have. YouTube, like you said, is an incredible resource for finding high-quality, in-depth interviews with CEOs. To your point, just by watching them talk and seeing how they communicate, your Spidey senses can tell you if this is someone you can trust or not.

Lewis: Yeah, and it’s nice, like very often you’ll have Bloomberg or CNBC hosting executives immediately after earnings or in the lead-up to earnings or right after a company has gone public, and you can just get a sense of what management’s priorities are, what they are excited about. If they dramatically underpriced an IPO, are they excited about that, or do they feel like they left money on the table? Getting some of those perspectives, it’s not going to drive your investing thesis, but it very often can give you a much better feel for who is running the show and really where their heads are at.

Feroldi: Another thing that you can use it as, if a company is overly available to the public, if they are regularly on CNBC or if they’re regularly out there promoting their stock, that should tell you something that maybe [laughs] they’re not focused enough on the business. They are focused too much on promoting themselves and the stock. That can also be an indicator for you.

Lewis: Yeah. I think related to YouTube, we have podcasts that are an incredible resource. I find that YouTube is a little bit easier for finding specifically who I want to talk to you in part, because it’s owned by Google, and when it comes to search, they’re pretty darn good. [laughs] Podcast search functionality is a little bit rougher, but there are a lot of really great programs out there that I think do a good job of breaking down a variety of things. Some of them specifically around building businesses, some of them on market commentary. But Brian, I’m curious, what do you regularly listen to? What’s in heavy rotation for you there?

Feroldi: I have over 40 podcasts related to business and investing that I regularly listen to. But some of my favorites are How I Built This. That is when an NPR host named Guy Raz interviews the founder of a company, and they have had tons of founders on there that are Fool favorites, and they will just walk through “What was it like for you in the very beginning of this company? How do you come up with the idea? What struggles did you overcome?” Always fascinating to hear those founder stories. Some other ones that I like is I listen to every single podcast that The Motley Fool produces, Rule Breakers Investing, Motley Fool Answers, MarketFoolery. I am one of the dozens. Essentially, I am one of the original dozens. There’s no doubt about that. I also like a lot of other podcasts. One of my favorites on personal finances is F5. I like a podcast called Acquired, which has some more details about the inner workings of businesses. Chit-Chat Money is a smaller podcast, and this deep dive into businesses and another podcast I like is called We Study Billionaires. There are dozens of really high-quality podcasts out there that are focused on business and investing.

Lewis: Yeah, and I’ll confess, I’ve used How I Built This as research for shows that we were doing, because I wanted the long-form understanding of the founders’ story. It doesn’t often get into the nuts and bolts of the company numbers or anything like that, but it does really help you understand where that company came from, and really similar to our CEO interview discussion with YouTube, what’s guiding that company, what the mission is, and what motivates leadership. This isn’t so much an ongoing benefit-type thing, but if you’re interested in that buildup, too, I will throw it out there: The first season of The Startup podcast is probably one of the best business shows I’ve ever listened to, in part because you generally don’t have widespread access to those early days of founding a business, and that’s precisely what that show is. Brian, I don’t know if you’ve listened to that?

Feroldi: Not only have I listened to that; I specifically switched from using the Apple podcast app to using Spotify as my primary way to listen to podcasts because I wanted to listen to Startup again.

Lewis: Yeah, it’s incredible. It’s from Gimlet Media, and it’s basically the back story of Alex Blumberg founding Gimlet Media, and going through the funding rounds like understanding how to raise capital, and it’s just a very unique perspective on the challenges that go into that space. And so I have found while it’s not really helpful for any one company in terms of better understanding like, how, say, like, Spotify works, super helpful in understanding the early challenges that entrepreneurs run into. And so I think for that reason, it should be almost required listening for anyone that’s interested in the space and wants to get a better grip on entrepreneurship.

All right, Brian, we’re mixing media here. We’ve done video, we’ve done social media, we’ve done podcasts. Let’s talk about legacy online media here, because there are tons of folks that are making stuff super digestible for people. And I’m just going to throw in a shameless plug here for Fool.com.

Feroldi: I’ve been reading from Fool.com for more than 15 years, and I have learned so much from reading it, even if you’re not a paid subscriber. Fool.com has tons of articles about stocks that you’ve never heard of. They do analysis. They also do plenty of articles on 10% Movers. There is also a wonderful underutilized tool on The Motley Fool called Motley Fool CAPS, which is where anyone can go and publicly pick stocks saying if they’re going to beat the market or lose to the market. That’s a great place to go to see what investors are worth listening to and following those that put up the best track record. More recently, you can actually now go to Fool.com to not only get stock information and data, but you can get earnings transcripts, so Fool.com, a great resource.

Lewis: I think earnings transcripts are absolutely huge. That is something that I think was one of the later dominoes falling for people having access. There are some providers out there that are doing it for a long time, but that generally has been something that has been behind the paywall of relatively expensive financial products for a long time. I’m thrilled that we make that available. I like that we have our 10% Movers series. It’s so helpful for me when I see something in my portfolio that has moved 15% positive or negative, to quickly be able to find that piece and say, OK, this is why, I’m going to do more homework later, but at least know like the quick snippet for what’s going on here.

Brian, I think related to earnings stuff, one tool that I think is relatively new, and I’m relatively floored by, is Quartr. This is also playing into the earnings call game. It’s a tool that I use. I know it’s a tool that you use as well. It’s a new app and it’s basically like Spotify, but for earnings calls.

Feroldi: Sure, I think that’s fair. It’s spelled Q-U-A-T-R, and there’s sometimes an SE at the end.

Lewis: Q-U-A-R-T-R.

Feroldi: There you go. Q-U-A-R-T-R. Quartr, and it is an app that you can use to go on to favorite companies and then the earnings calls, the recordings from those calls, come to you. What’s really useful about Quartr is that you can skip through the call, you can skip over the standard language, legalese, at the beginning, you can skip right to Q&A, and you can also fast-forward, rewind 2X and go backwards and forwards. So oftentimes I’m listening to a call and I’m like, what did they just say? I didn’t hear it or something was going on. It’s really nice to, say, you go back 10 seconds and listen to that part again. It’s a great tool.

Lewis: It is. They also have any supplemental materials like PDFs or anything like that are just right there within the play interface so you can click on them and follow along, which is super helpful. If you don’t want to go find it on the company IR page and you want to listen to the call, you don’t have to hunt for it. It’s going to be there for you. I like that you can jump to the Q&A. They have an event sync for calendars, which is pretty cool. If you want to throw something on your calendar, you’re able to. Super neat tool. I know it’s available on iOS. I think it’s available on Android now as well. That’s something I’m pretty excited about, because it is nice to be able to step away from the computer and listen and stuff, and I’ve found myself using that a decent amount in the last couple of months.

Feroldi: I love going on walks and I love going on runs, and it’s really helpful if I have an earnings call that I want to listen to, to just put on 2X speed, download it, and run away. 

Lewis: Run away, Brian, run away. Fueled by the sweet nothings of management teams. [laughs] It’s the motivation for your run. I think outside of that stuff, Brian, we can get more into folks that do some of the work for you. This is like another bucket of tools that we regularly make use of. No shortage of these in the finance industry, and they are pretty awesome tools that are available for free.

Feroldi: Yeah. One of my favorites that I use regularly is a free screening tool called Finviz, F-I-N-V-I-Z. I think that stands for “financial visualizations.” This is by far the best free screening tool that I’ve ever come across. You can go on there and they have a database of thousands of companies, and you can sort them by industry, by sector, by market cap, by earnings date, by year-to-date performance, by long-term performance, etc. So when we’re doing shows and we are looking for ideas on, say, tech stocks that are down year to date, the No. 1 place I go to find that information is Finviz.

Lewis: Yeah, and I know screening can be a slippery slope. If you’re using screening as your main filtering for making investment decisions, I would say maybe revisit the way that you’re finding stock ideas. But it’s super helpful as a way to at least put some names on your radar that maybe you wouldn’t have noticed, and it’s a really easy way to make sense of the market, understand what’s moving, all that kind of stuff.

I think WhaleWisdom is another huge, huge tool for aggregating stuff. This really gets into, Brian, what big investors are doing, the folks who are managing money for institutions.

Feroldi: Yeah, WhaleWisdom, it’s W-H-A-L-E-W-I-S-D-O-M dot-com. If you are a fan of tracking big investors, if you find a hedge fund manager or a mutual fund manager, and you’re just like, “I like this person’s investing style and I want to own them,” you can go on WhaleWisdom, type in that person’s fund name, and it will show you all the stocks that they hold, how those numbers have changed over time, and you can actually set up automatic alerts to get new SEC filings sent to you for when that investor posts. For example, Chuck Akre, I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that correctly, he is one of my favorite investors to follow. I really like his style, so every 90 days, whenever his portfolio is released to the public, I get an email that shows all his holdings. One thing I like about him is they don’t change that much because he is a long-term investor, but there are several investors that I have that for. Oftentimes, if a big investor that I respect is all of a sudden taking a huge position in a company, that can be an indication that maybe I should do some research on it.

Lewis: I think that’s a great way to put stocks on your radar. You never want to be making investing decisions based solely on what other people are doing. I think WhaleWisdom is able to do what it does, again, thanks to the regulators. We have 13-F filings. It’s the quarterly report that’s required to be filed by all institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in AUM. Shout out to the regulators and shout out to information transparency for making that happen.

Brian, as we wrap here, any other major tools that you want to highlight?

Feroldi: There are several data aggregators out there that have been really useful. The most well-known of one is Yahoo! Finance. There are some limitations to that, but that’s a site that I regularly use. Some other high-quality data aggregators that have popped up are Tikr, T-I-K-R; Koifin, K-O-I-F-I-N; Stockrow, S-T-O-C-K-R-O-W; and Macrotrends, M-A-C-R-O-T-R-E-N-D-S. Another I want to give a quick shout out to is called IPOScoop. That’s I-C-O-S-C-O-O-P. That’s a great place to go to get information on upcoming IPOs, as well as past information on the last 100 IPOs. So that can be a quick place to go through and scan for ideas.

Lewis: I realize that in the last 20-plus minutes, we’ve thrown a lot at people. I imagine in addition to furiously taking notes, people have probably wondered, OK, how do you make sense of all of this and what does this look like for you in terms of whether it’s making investment decisions and you structure your research process, or just within the cadence of staying up to date on your portfolio in any given week or month? Brian, I’m curious how all of these pieces together for you.

Feroldi: Well, I think most listeners know that both you and I like to go through a systematic process with any investment that we have. I’ve developed a checklist for myself that I use to go through and make sure that I’m checking every single thing that matters to me about an investment. So I do think it’s important for investors to come up with a process and then use these resources to fill in that process. So these are tools that can help you come up with ideas, get information, but it’s up to you to weigh that information and choose what you’re going to invest in from there. It’s so important to come up with our research process and then consistently stick to it.

Lewis: Yeah. And we talked about all of these things that are so rich in information. But I think without structure, it’s a lot of noise. There’s no signal if you’re not creating the systems to identify that signal and really make sure that you know what to be paying attention to. I will put in a shameless plug, Brian, for you on Twitter, @BrianFeroldi. You have your investing checklist available right there for people that want to access it.

I think you’re 100% right, though. I started out looking at all the information, and as I started to understand what actually mattered, built the process, and now the process drives how I look at the information. So you have to wage your way into it and it changes over time. There are things that I pay much, much more attention to now that I didn’t and I’m constantly looking for new sources of information, looking for new ways to present things. We didn’t have some of these earnings call audio offerings, for example, a little while ago. So you always want to be stepping your game up. But what’s nice is even if you just start and end with the primary sources, you’re getting a huge chunk of the story.

Feroldi: Yeah, for sure. Again, we’re so spoiled that we have access to all this information, but it is on us to take this information, filter it down to the things that we actually care about, and then pay attention to that. To your point, I used to do all this research, and I would try and keep it in my head. Finally, I said, maybe I should write this down so I don’t have to think about it all. So yeah, create a spreadsheet for yourself and come up with the factors, track them consistently. It will help you so much.

Lewis: Yeah, and I feel lucky that we do the show every week, and I have years’ worth of notes in a Google Drive folder. That’s just every single week, what we’ve talked about, and I’ve been able to go back over time and say, OK, this is what I thought about Apple in 2016. It looks like that came true. That’s great. This is what I thought about Roku right after they came public. Dylan, you were wrong. You were totally wrong about that, you underestimated their platform. And just being able to keep score for yourself and understand how your processes changed. Super useful. I think it’s just a great way to continue to learn.

Feroldi: You got it.

Lewis: Brian, we’re spoiled for resources and I’m spoiled because I get to talk to you every week. It’s been a pleasure, as always. Thanks so much for joining me on today’s show.

Feroldi: Thanks for having me, Dylan. Enjoy your vacation.

Lewis: Thanks.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.



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