Writing Communities — Equity Research Reports and My Journal

Hi all!

I’m a senior here at Michigan, majoring in business and minoring in writing. One writing community that I am a part of (or that I will become a part of after graduation) is the equity research writing community. What does that mean? It means I’ll be looking at both quantitative and qualitative factors to analyze stocks, come up with valuations, and then ultimately write reports about them. The audience for these reports are investors at various financial institutions, so my writing style is expected formal and to be to the point. This past summer, as an intern, I got a taste for this writing style. At first, I wasn’t used to this financial writing style. I wondered how writing so straightforward would capture anyone’s attention and keep them reading throughout the report, and I struggled to find the balance of how much detail to include. I was struggling because didn’t fully understand the how the audience (the investors) used the reports. Some would be interested in the company as a whole, and they might read the whole report. Others would be only interested in one specific business unit or how the company was reacting to trends in the industry, and they might just read a paragraph or two from the report. To easily find what they’re interested in, investors rely on headings and concise writing. Although this no-frills, equity research style of writing does not feel completely natural to me, it became easier to write in way once I understood why it was needed.

Another writing community that I am a part of is the community people who journal. This is possibly my favorite writing community that I am a part of… Or maybe, I should say that it is my favorite type of writing (because I don’t really interact with the “community”). I write about my days, my travels, and things that are bothering me or one mind. I write lists of things that I have to do, want to do, or things that I dream of one day doing. In this setting, my writings are both records and motivators. I am the audience, though sometimes, very rarely, I’ll choose to share bits and pieces. One challenge that I face in writing in my journal is consistency. There’s always so much to do in a day, and I find it challenging to set aside a few minutes to write.

To close, here’s where I’ll introduce myself a little bit more–what might I be doing for pleasure ahead of journaling? Cooking, reading (if you have any good recommendations for fiction, let me know!), listening to a podcast, watching New Girl, Modern Family, or Fresh Off the Boat, playing chess, hanging out with friends, taking a workout class…

I’m looking forward to getting to know you all throughout the semester.


3 thoughts to “Writing Communities — Equity Research Reports and My Journal”

  1. Nice to meet you, Lia! The Equity research community that you talk about seems very dry indeed. It seems to me that your journaling will help to fulfill you in a writer as you embark upon your professional life. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Glad we were able to take the gateway course together and now the capstone! 🙂 I have to agree with Dan that the Equity research community does sound very dry, but it’s great that your recent internship gave you a taste of what to expect. Plus, this job sounds like another great opportunity for you to work a different writing muscle. Looking forward to working together more this semester!

  3. I found your observation that you made how “it became easier to write in way once I understood why it was needed” was really interesting. You make the point that it’s necessary to fully grasp the audience and what they’re looking for from the writing you’re doing in order to write successfully. This comment, as I am writing it, seems super obvious– like, of course you should know your audience and what they’re looking for. But, at the same time, I think it’s easy to slip back into how you would like to read something…anyway, I think that observation is great!

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