How to Write the Perfect Investment Thesis
For investment managers, finding investment opportunities is only half the challenge. Often the harder part is raising funds. To do this they need to create the perfect investment thesis to set out a convincing argument as to why their investment strategy will generate a return on investment for their clients. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of crafting a perfect investment thesis and provide insights into how to write one.
What is an Investment Thesis?
An investment thesis outlines a fund manager’s investment strategy and rationale for investing in a particular market or niche. It’s a crucial document that investment managers use to provide investors with the information and data they need to decide whether or not to invest in a fund. It can be turned into a variety of marketing materials for the fund including white papers, one-pagers, and investment decks.
The investment thesis should be concise and articulate the investment logic and framework for why a particular market or niche presents an attractive investment. It should outline the investment strategy and how it aligns with the fund manager’s hypothesis. The thesis should also address potential risks and benefits to investors.
Successful investment theses typically include an analysis of market trends, an assessment of the competitive landscape, and an explanation of why the investment opportunity presents an attractive opportunity.
In 2013, Ron Baron, a fund manager, invested in Tesla. At the time the stock was trading at $25 per share. However, Baron believed that electric cars were the future, and he was convinced that Tesla would become the leader in the EV industry. Ten years later, Tesla’s stock is trading at over $200 per share, making it one of the most successful investments in recent years.
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing the Perfect Investment Thesis
Crafting the perfect investment thesis is not an easy task. It requires a great deal of research, analysis, and writing skills. Follow our step-by-step guide to write a perfect investment thesis.
Step 1: Define Your Investment Strategy
Determine your investment goals and objectives
To define your investment strategy, you need to first need to understand your investment goals and objectives. Are you looking to invest in high-growth companies or established companies that generate a stable return? What is your investment horizon? What is risk profile? How much capital do you need to raise?
Identify investment opportunities
Once you have defined your investment goals and objectives, you need to identify your target market and investment opportunities in that market.
Define your investment strategy
Having determined your goals, risk tolerance and capital requirements you need to create a high-level investment strategy. This is a set of principles that will help the fund achieve its investment goals and guide investment decisions. This can be refined as you conduct market research and receive feedback from investors and industry-peers.
Step 2: Conducting Market Research
An investment thesis that is not backed by data is just opinion. To write the perfect investment thesis you need to conduct market research. This includes analyzing market trends, identifying potential risks and benefits, and conducting competitive analysis.
How to analyze market trends using data
To analyze market trends, you need to collect and analyze data. Data can come from a variety of sources including industry reports, financial statements, and news articles to identify trends in the market. You can also use tools such as Google Trends to identify search trends for specific keywords. There are also opportunities to use official data to back up claims, for example census data to prove an investment thesis based on demographic trends.
A variety of alternative data sources are available. these include:
Web scraping: Scraping data from online sources including social media sites, e-commerce or news stories. This data can be analyzed using natural language processing techniques (categorization, sentiment analysis).
Open data: There is a growing trend of organizations making data freely available. Good examples include traffic patterns on metro networks such as TFL in London.
Sensors and satellites: A growing industry of data providers is providing access to alternative data sources. From satellite data showing agricultural production to IoT sensor devices.
Polls and Surveys: Surveys provide insights into the collective consciousness. From tangible economic behaviors such as buying and shopping habits, customers expectations, information on personal finances, to social and political views.
Identifying market opportunities and potential risks
Having analyzed market trends, you need to identify market opportunities and potential risks. Investors need to be aware of different types of investment risks, such as market risk, credit risk, and liquidity risk associated with your investment thesis. A thorough analysis of potential risks helps investors make informed decisions and ensure that the investment is aligned to their risk appetite. The analysis should cover both systematic and unsystematic risks, There are a variety of statistical methods than can be used to measure risk and volatility including standard deviation, Sharpe ratio, beta, value at risk (VaR), conditional value at risk (CVaR), and R-squared.
Conducting competitive analysis
You may also want to include a competitive analysis. This looks at the competition in your target market. Who are the main players in the industry, their strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantage.
Step 3: Developing Your Investment Hypothesis
The best investment theses include a well structured investment hypothesis. An investment hypothesis summarises why an investment opportunity exists in a given market. It should be based on your research and analysis and articulated in a clear and concise manner.
What is an investment hypothesis?
An investment hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a specific investment opportunity. It’s a statement that describes the investment opportunity and how it aligns with the investment manager’s investment goals and objectives.
Formulating an investment hypothesis based on your research and analysis
To develop a strong investment hypothesis, you need to review the data and information collected during your market research. Using this you need to identify key trends, opportunities, and risks and determine an investment strategy that allows you to achieve investment goals and objectives. This is the time to revisit and critique your initial investment strategy.
H4: Articulating the investment thesis in a clear and concise manner
Once you have developed your investment hypothesis, you need to articulate it in a clear and concise manner. This includes a clear investment logic and analytical framework for why a particular market or niche presents an attractive investment. You should also outline the investment strategy and how it aligns with your hypothesis.
Step 4: Writing the Investment Thesis
Having created the perfect investment thesis you need to structure the thesis and include key elements to make it persuasive.
The structure and format of a successful investment thesis
A successful investment thesis typically follows a structure that includes an executive summary, market analysis, investment hypothesis, investment strategy, and potential risks and benefits. The thesis should also include data and visual aids, such as graphs and charts.
Key elements to include in your investment thesis
To make your investment thesis persuasive, you need to include key elements such as a clear articulation of the investment opportunity, a detailed explanation of the investment hypothesis, an overview of the investment strategy, and describe the risks and benefits for potential investors.
Writing with clarity and brevity
To make your investment thesis easy to read and understand, you need to write with clarity and brevity. Use simple language and avoid jargon. Keep the thesis concise and to the point.
What type of resources and marketing materials do you need to create
Having defined your investment thesis you know need to create a variety of marketing materials in order to present to potential investors. These will vary depending on the type of investors and the regulatory framework you operate under. Some common investor marketing materials include:
An investor deck is a summary of your investment thesis. It should include a summary of your investment hypothesis, market opportunity with data, investment strategy, expected outcomes, risks, and benefits to investors. The investor deck should be concise and easy to understand. Avoid lengthy text and present the opportunity using relevant data points. Employing a professional designer will maximize the impact of your investment thesis.
The structure of an investment deck forces you to focus only on the key points, consequently a clear analytical framework or investment logic is essential.
A white paper is a more detailed description of your investment thesis. It should include an in-depth analysis of the market trends, competitive landscape, and investment opportunity. The white paper should also include an overview of your investment strategy and potential risks and benefits.
An investment one-pager is a brief summary of your investment hypothesis, market opportunity, and risks and benefits. It should be a one-page document that investors can quickly review to understand your investment opportunity.
Step 5: Refining and Perfecting Your Investment Thesis
The final step in writing a perfect investment thesis is to refine and perfect it. You need to continuously refine and improve your thesis to ensure it’s persuasive and effective.
Revising and editing your investment thesis
Once you have written your investment thesis, you need to revise and edit it. Review the thesis for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Ensure that the thesis is clear, concise, and persuasive. Nothing will damage your credibility more than easily fixed errors or incorrect data.
Seek feedback from peers and industry experts
You should seek feedback from peers and industry experts to ensure that your investment thesis is persuasive and effective. Aim to get feedback from colleagues, mentors, or industry experts all of whom can offer a unique outside perspective.
Continuously refining and improving your investment thesis
Investment managers should continuously refine and improve their investment thesis. They should review the thesis periodically and update it as needed to reflect changes in the market or investment strategy.
Crafting a perfect investment thesis is a crucial task for investment and fund managers. The investment thesis is a document that outlines the investment strategy and rationale for investing in a particular market or niche. A good investment thesis provides investors with a clear understanding of the investment opportunity, the risks and benefits, and the potential return on investment.
To write a perfect investment thesis, investment managers need to define their investment strategy, conduct market research, develop an investment hypothesis, craft the thesis, and refine and perfect it. They should also create marketing materials such as an investor deck, white paper, and investment one-pager to summarize their investment opportunity. Investment managers should continuously refine and improve their investment thesis to ensure it’s persuasive and effective.
How Interpretive Economics can help you write the perfect investment thesis
At Interpretive Economics, we help investment managers, asset managers, venture capital, family offices and other investment professionals create a variety of investment marketing materials including investment white papers, investor decks and investment one-pagers. We are experts at economic analysis, sourcing and analyzing data and crafting investment hypotheses. Get in touch to see how we can help you create the perfect investment thesis.