Influencer Article: How a Plumber’s Son Became a Financial Entrepreneur
In the modern era, social media has enabled many new and exciting job opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. From the science of making your own bread yeast to trading stocks for personal gain, if you’re knowledgeable and engaging, access to an audience is just a few clicks away.
It’s a lesson that Alex Morris took to heart. Morris currently maintains his own website, The Science of Hitting, and a Twitter account where he chats with 45.5 thousand subscribers about the actions of the day and more. He took the name of his site from the title of a book recommended by Warren Buffett. Written by baseball player Ted Williams, the philosophy of the book was to wait for the right pitch before hitting the swing.
But Morris wasn’t always on the right path to becoming a financial expert. In fact, he went to college thinking he would get his degree in building and construction. After all, his father was a plumber – he tells TheStreet he thought his place was alongside his father plying the family trade.
While Morris was in college, he began to suspect that being a plumber was not in the cards. He had “always had a little penchant for entrepreneurship”, and he jokes that advanced physics lessons helped him realize he was out of his wheelhouse.
It was around this time, with eyes fixed on an unknown future, that Morris began reading some of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaways. (BRK.A) letters. In 2007, he and a few buddies were inspired to start a business similar to StubHub but for college events. As the company grew, his interest in finance also increased. It was about a year and a half to two years when he decided to change majors.
After earning a degree in finance from the University of Florida, Morris once again found himself uncertain about his future. While he dreamed of working for a hedge fund or an investment firm, many of his interviewers told him the same thing: he would need a CFA or an MBA to get a good job in the field. It was then, he said, that he felt he was struggling to figure out how to get to the next level.
Morris got a writing job for a few financial sites like Seeking Alpha and Guru Focus while working for his CFA and MBA. And after about a decade of writing, he found it to be really helpful in developing his thoughts. He could also use his reader base as a sounding board for his own ideas – something he found incredibly useful.
About five years ago, he started posting some of his writings and stock market insights on Twitter under a pseudonym. It was there, he says, that he found an interactive community. When April 2020 turned the world upside down and drove many of us to internet safety, Morris noticed that many writers were heading towards paid newsletter content. After a year of building his site, online presence and follower base, Morris was able to quit his job at an investment firm and eventually become his own boss. Today, he writes a Substack newsletter called TSOH Investment Research Service and has hundreds of paying subscribers.
Social media is essential for this business
Clearly, Morris is a big fan of using social media to learn about the financial landscape. His face lights up when he talks about the evolutions of the financial industry over the years. When he started his journey, the working track was very narrow. You could become an analyst or manage your own fund, but there weren’t many clear alternatives to that.
Now, thanks to resources like Twitter and Substack, it’s become easier for experts like Morris to chart their own course. New generations of traders can start on a traditional path and shape it into their own businesses – a prospect that is clearly exciting for Morris. As the industry evolves, technology is a valuable asset for go-getters looking at the world of finance from a different perspective.
Morris is also a big fan of this road less travelled. “You become friends with people,” he tells TheStreet with satisfaction. “They become your co-workers in a sense. If you’re interested in a certain business, you can ask people who specialize in that industry.”
Morris is eager to mention that he really enjoys answering questions. Its content is ideal for all kinds of followers, from newbie DIY investors to people who have been around Wall Street for a while. He jokes that Twitter allows him to appreciate the views of people “much smarter than me”.