There is a vast amount of students in America with top tier credentials and an interest in finance. Because of this, it is unrealistic to believe one could simply stumble upon greatness in the world of finance. An ahead-of-the-curve brain and a subscription to the Wall Street Journal just doesn’t cut it anymore.

These are facts that we probably knew yesterday, but were not willing to accept until today. Thus a spark has been lit under our toes.

As two top students at a target American university, we found unmerited solace in the fact that we were consistently outperforming our peers. However, our academic performance alone will never truly make us the best. Instead, our drive and competitive nature is what will make us stand out.

All of the world’s most successful individuals, in any discipline, have gotten there by devoting their lives to their craft. We have come to realize that this is the only way to achieve the level of success that we desire.

Because of this, we have decided to dedicate ourselves to the world of finance and make it a center point of both of our lives.

Our plan for this semester (October 19th- January 1st) is the following:

  1. Develop a broad understanding of the macroeconomy, digging deeper into specific ways that it impacts markets.
  2. Learn to create financial models and master efficiency in Excel to boost productivity and effectiveness.
  3. Research all of the major industries including healthcare, consumer retail, power/utilities, natural resources, TMT, gaming and lodging, and real estate.
  4. Understand banking product groups including M&A, leveraged finance, restructuring, and debt & equity capital markets.
  5. Explore stock theory, EMH, and other vital investing principles.
  6. Pick stocks, and creating a portfolio.

GOAL: By utilizing the knowledge and skills listed above, our end goal is to build a portfolio that outperforms the S&P 500 in the year 2018.

At this point, it might not be clear as to why we need a blog. Here are a few reasons why we think we do:

Accountability: It is one thing to hold ourselves accountable in private, but it’s a whole different animal when we have an audience reading our output. This blog post will ensure that we consistently produce our best work while strictly adhering to our deadlines, and will push us to continuously grow.

Improved Learning: We will be making a lot of assumptions regarding industry and company direction while picking stocks. Many casual or intermediate stock pickers often judge a pick based on its return, which in many cases could occur due to factors outside of the scope of the initial assumptions. We are more concerned with our process, and how we reach certain decisions. We will explicitly define all of our assumptions that lead to decisions. This will give us the ability to look back critically on our thought processes, and pinpoint the exact places where we went wrong (or right).

Helping Path: There is no class we can take. Instead, we are creating the path entirely ourselves. But we believe that there are many others out there just like us, who want to be successful in finance but do not know where to start, and we intend to document our journey and turn it into a guide for those that will come after us.

Also, we hope that this is going to be a ton of fun for us. We hope that you all become engaged in our journey. We also hope you will challenge our beliefs, and take part in discussing these topics with us as we go along.