Neglected Investment Ideas

Peter Lazaroff’s series has interesting questions for some of the top investment bloggers. It is getting good attention. I am enjoying it, and I’m sure others are as well. The comments from the heavy-hitters on his list are all very interesting.

Except for one question.

He asks them “What in the world of finance is not getting enough attention?” This is a great question, but he is asking the wrong panel! The collection of top bloggers and the leading curator of financial information basically define the reading agenda. If they really believed that something was not getting enough attention, they would write about it. The answers they give do not really cite anything unique.

If you really want to consider what is neglected, you need to look a bit lower than the most recognized bloggers. Topics that these people write about – but which do not attract notice – are the real answer to this question.

I certainly do not pretend to have the only answer, but I do have a good one. In my regular Weighing the Week Ahead feature I sometimes award a “Silver Bullet” to someone who took up an unpopular cause and provided corrective information. Their articles are not popular and have no natural audience. The authors do great work without reward, so I try to recognize them. Some might disagree with my choices, but not my intent.

Each year I do a review of these outstanding posts. I always hope that my preview will get a lot of buzz — not for me, but for those I try to recognize. None of the most popular bloggers linked to these posts…..something that really surprised me. I guess that I am not the right one to bestow any awards. Tadas, or Josh, or Barry could do it better, and with much more impact.

In case you are interested, here are the posts for last year’s winners: Part one and Part two.

And if Peter had asked, my list of neglected topics would be quite different – emphasizing things that really did not get any attention!

You may also like


  • DaveBigos aka duffbeer January 19, 2017  

    What are we missing ? Every thing has two sides ,mountains,roller coasters ,how about an f18 doing a straight up verticle or good / bad .
    Sure trade what you see BUT …..
    What are we missing ??? oh much wiser then I what is it ? What lurks around the dark corner ?

  • Robert J. Martorana, CFA January 25, 2017  

    How can we find great research on neglected topics? I believe you need a full-time human editor to search, read, and vet material. (If you use an automated system of any kind then people would figure out how to game the system.)

    A human editor could look for:
    1) A credible author (qualified, without overt bias)
    2) Links to original data
    3) Transparency in the research process

    This would be quite time consuming.

    For what it’s worth, here’s an example of neglected research about corporate profit margins. Figure 14 and Figure 15 show that much of the progress in recent decades comes from lower SG&A and lower interest expense. Corporate margins are NOT rising due to higher gross margins (price gouging).


    • oldprof January 25, 2017  

      Rob — Great points. Some financial journalists make this part of their work, but they are not really rewarded for it.

      Thanks for the interesting link!