Learn an industry like the back of your hand. Be able to tell me the names of each and every CEO and CFO across the industry and what their Modus Operandi in terms of management and capital allocation are. Be able to contact many people in the supply chain to get a sense of what’s going on on the ground for distributors, buyers, etc. Know the customers and how companies are differentiating themselves from one another whether on price, service, quality, etc. Know the Wall Street analysts to get an understanding of the consensus view and be able to tell me why and how they are wrong. Even better, know other buy side analysts and understand their views and why THEY are also wrong. Like Li Lu has said, evaluate and know the business like you inherited it. I think by doing this, you will make yourself much more valuable and marketable for the years to come.

Dec 14, 2011

Learn an industry like the back of your hand. Be able to tell me the names of each and every CEO and CFO across the industry and what their Modus Operandi in terms of management and capital allocation are. Be able to contact many people in the supply chain to get a sense of what’s going on on the ground for distributors, buyers, etc. Know the customers and how companies are differentiating themselves from one another whether on price, service, quality, etc. Know the Wall Street analysts to get an understanding of the consensus view and be able to tell me why and how they are wrong. Even better, know other buy side analysts and understand their views and why THEY are also wrong. Like Li Lu has said, evaluate and know the business like you inherited it. I think by doing this, you will make yourself much more valuable and marketable for the years to come.
—Advice for analysts wrt specialization