How-to: Use Evernote to manage financial research
Use Evernote to manage financial research
Every financial firm needs to organize and manage its research, but approaches to doing so are varied and imperfect. To address this, large financial firms spend millions of dollars to develop custom systems. Small and medium firms frequently rely on commercially available systems that are cumbersome and don't cater to the multi-platform reality of the modern workplace.
To address these gaps in financial research management, more than 350 investment management firms representing $10 trillion in assets under management have implemented Evernote Business. With its high degree of deployability and customization, it offers the flexibility that more expensive solutions do not.
Here's how to use Evernote Business as a hub for financial research management.
Structure your team's collection of research
In Evernote Business, your team can organize your research however makes the most sense for you. There is no wrong way to structure information, and every company does so differently.
That said, among the investment firms who manage their information with Evernote, there are some common methods of organization. These include:
- Monitoring portfolios - collected annual reports, filings, and earnings call records from portfolio companies
- Cataloging investment memos - shared summaries of potential investments
- Collecting equity news and research - saved articles and data
- Scribing of meeting minutes - recorded meeting notes for team reference
Teams typically base their organization around a shared business notebook for each one of these topics.
Use notebooks as information hubs
Let's assume you are starting a portfolio monitoring notebook. To begin, click on the notebooks section of the left-hand menu and click +New Notebook. Title the notebook "Portfolio Monitoring."
You now have a spot to collect all the portfolio details you want to track, including quarterly and annual reports, SEC and other filings, and earnings call records from the portfolio companies you're tracking.
To begin adding these records to Evernote, just drag and drop your existing PDFs and other files onto the notebook. This creates a new note that contains the original document. You can add multiple files to the same note, or give some context to your document by typing some annotations.
PDFs, the common format for financial reports, display right in the note. Excel spreadsheets, when opened from a note, capture all of the changes you make right in Evernote, so you don't have to add the file to the note again. This also ensures your team has the current version of a spreadsheet, report, or other document.
Collect news and research
Part of staying on top of investments is keeping abreast of current news, along with doing due diligence via research. The Evernote Web Clipper is an amazing research tool for content you find online, as it lets you capture web pages directly to Evernote. Once there, clipped content can quickly be organized and searched.
To add the Web Clipper, just go to https://evernote.com/webclipper/, where you'll be propted to install it for your browser.
Once added, click the elephant icon that represents the Web Clipper while on any webpage. From the menu that appears, choose to save the article you've found, specify the "Portfolio Monitoring" notebook, and then click Save.
When you switch back to Evernote, you'll see your clipped article directly in your "Porfolio Monitoring" notebook. The article is permanently stored in Evernote, where you can annotate it and share it with your team.
Tag for equity research
With so many stocks to potentially track, tags are an invaluable tool for anyone within the firm to quickly find information related to individual companies.
In the last example, an article that mentions Google was clipped to Evernote. When I view the note containing the article, click the at the top of the note that says "Click to add tags" and type in the ticker symbol for Google, GOOG.
Later on, when you want to quickly find all your notes related to Google, you can just click on or search for the GOOG tag. This brings up all the notes with the GOOG tag on it.
Doing this for all of the stocks you monitor makes it easy for you and any team member to quickly call up past research your company has done on any publicly traded company.
Share with your team for easy access
For this to be a team resource, you'll need to share the notebook with others. In the Notebooks view, right click "Portfolio Monitoring" and select Modify Sharing then Publish Notebook. From the sharing panel that appears, click Publish if you want to share it with the whole company
Notebooks that are shared to the company can be found in the Business Home section of the left-hand menu. This is your central access point to see what others in the company have shared and are working on. From this window, you and other colleagues can find the "Portfolio Monitoring" notebook within the Business Notebooks tab.
By combining the Web Clipper with tagging and shared notebooks, our customers in the financial industry have found Evernote Business to be a convenient way to manage their research. While the structure for how you deploy Evernote for your firm may vary, the most successful deployments center around just a few shared notebooks to keep things straightforward and easy to track.