Twitter is a basic social media tool that I think is the most under-utilized technology that is available for free to the public. I am still very surprised that the vast majority of people do not use Twitter as one of their primary news sources. I want to go over some of the ways that Twitter helps me in my daily life as an MBA student and hopefully will persuade you to start using Twitter.
The best part about Twitter is that it is completely customizable to the individual. While your fifteen year old sister might use Twitter to follow her favorite clothing line and see what Kim Kardashian's opinion of cheesecake is, there are many people and groups that are out there that can benefit someone in the finance industry, anyone from a generalist who is learning about the industry to someone who concentrates on a very niche sector.
In most top MBA programs the majority of classes will have part of the grade dependent on participation, and although some professors and TAs still count the number of comments a particular student makes, the good ones have devised a system of making sure that quality trumps quantity. Now how does one consistently make quality comments in something like Fixed Income Mathematics for example?
In order to do this successfully you would have to read the FT or WSJ every morning and try to sift out some insight from a plethora of articles and try to put a spin or a deduction from the information to not sound like the guy in class who will basically paraphrase the article title. This is where Twitter comes in. A lot of finance professionals, everyone who is a regular on CNBC/FBN/BBN etc, and many others have active twitter profiles. The posts are 140 characters max length and have a personal opinion from the author, frequently accompanied by a link or additional data that you can read if you want to know the details. There have been many times that I have made unique comments that were a catalyst for further conversation that were a direct result of what I read on twitter prior to class. There have even been times where I would get something by reading Twitter messages during class that would be relevant to the current discussion.
So if you haven't started using Twitter yet, give it a try. Install the app on your phone, start following a few accounts and use it as your daily interest feed. If you are just starting, I want to share a couple of my favorite accounts that I think deliver the best value relative to the amount of tweets I receive in my feed from them.
- @convertbond is Larry McDonald, former bond trader, frequent CNBC contributor and author of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense. Larry combines his insight with macro trends and his ability to deliver impactful data in conversation starting tweets.
- @cnbcfuturesnow is a CNBC sponsored account that provides insight into the futures market. This account frequently provides links to videos that involve conversations about the commodities and energy markets filmed earlier that day.
- @darrenrovell is an ESPN analyst who provides the business wisdom to sports that can help you kill it in the watercooler sports talk conversations.
- And of course, possibly the best twitter account of all time is our very own @eddiebraverman who delivers comedic yet insightful information that takes some serious digging on the internet to get a hold of.
Let me know if any of the Twitter users on WSO have any accounts that they follow that are a must for a financial professional. (and of course be sure to follow WSO @wallstreetoasis and me at @yanosov).