Investment managers are always looking for an information edge in the stocks and companies they follow. Dana is not alone in this regard. But when it comes to garnering unique insights, we believe the world has never been more awash with opportunity. The reason: Technology, data and information are more readily available.
At Dana, we’ve always utilized what we believe is a distinct blend of quantitative screening and qualitative analysis to isolate investment opportunities. But here’s a look inside at some – but not all – of the new ways we are gathering information.
For starters, a well-curated social media feed can put the latest information from the right experts at your disposal. For example, some of our portfolio managers and health care analysts follow a select list of biopharma experts on Twitter for their insights on newly launched or developing therapies. Following a corporate executive on other social media can also provide a differentiated look at the character of the people leading a company.
Social media isn’t the only new tool to gather information. Sites like Glassdoor offer a candid look at corporate culture for a particular business. A few bad ratings or comments on Glassdoor can often just be noise, but if a company is experiencing a string of recent negative reviews, that could be a warning sign.
Meanwhile, an online product or service review, or even a tutorial, can offer perspective on how a new software application or other product is being used and adopted by the businesses or customers it is supposed to serve.
Do any of these new avenues provide a substitute to traditional stock methods? Absolutely not. Thorough examination of financial statements, conversations with management teams, and an analysis of competitors in the industry are all still valuable pieces of the stock research puzzle. But our view is, the more additional resources, the better. We will continue to look for new ways of researching companies as new avenues of information push forth.