As 2023 draws to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my journey over the last few years, not just as an investor, but also as a writer.
The most profitable way to monetise investment writing is to take money from companies themselves (or their Investor Relations firms). There are so many websites doing this, I don’t need to name them.
The problem with that is obvious. If you’re being paid by companies to write about them, then you have an incentive to be positive about them, so that they do so again in the future.
And even when you monetise your labour with subscriptions, there is sometimes conflict between that which maximises subscription revenue, and the quality of the content. Unfortunately, there are more subscriptions to be sold telling investors they are right to follow the latest fad, than to tell them not to.
My promise to myself
As a writer, my promise to myself is that I always aim for integrity, transparency and alignment.
To me, integrity for someone who writes means that I am free to write what I think. Unlike so much in life and business, you can truly control it, as long as you are willing to assert yourself.
I’m not aware of anyone who gives a proportional view of their ASX portfolio, as I do. It is impossible to avoid inadvertent subconscious bias completely, but transparency at least allows readers to have more information with which to make an assessment of that bias.
Many people write articles about companies – and issue explicit buy and sell recommendations – without explicit disclosure of their entire portfolios (including position sizes). I have seen this ambiguity imply higher conviction than was truly the case (for example, someone disclosing a position, but not mentioning that it was so small as to be meaningless for them).
Every reader should be informing their own activities from a variety of sources and their own knowledge and analysis – and each should be applying their own appropriate level of risk taking. Many readers are far better investors than me. So perfect alignment is not the goal.
Alignment means eating my own cooking, in order to ensure that I’m acutely aware of how it tastes.
Whether you started reading my writing when it was at ethical equities (back in 2013), or Motley Fool (2014 – 2018) or ethical equities again (2018 to 2020) or here at A Rich Life, thank you so much for reading my work.
Without people like you who care a whole awful lot about integrity, transparency and alignment, it would not have been possible for me make my way as a writer.
Wherever you find me, I’ll be tapping away at a keyboard because writing is a form of communication my heart truly sings for. There is so much I cannot control andx, like everyone, I will be wrong sometimes. But my promise to myself remains: I will always try hard to get it right when it comes to integrity, transparency, and alignment.
Thank you for reading and wishing you a wonderful 2024 ahead.