Social media is moving markets. Here’s how to stay informed via finance Twitter.

Finance Twitter (or FinTwit) refers to the community of Twitter users that talk about stocks.  The wonderful thing about finance Twitter is that it curates unique investment insights that would be difficult to find elsewhere.  It’s a great way to find out about original research from the blogosphere, such as John Hempton’s work on the functionality (or lack thereof) of Flotek’s iPad app.  Hempton’s blog post immediately caused $FTK stock to fall by more than a fifth, highlighting the growing ability of bloggers and activists to move markets.  If you want to stay on top of all market-moving information, you should start thinking about Twitter.

FinTwit is also a great source of news, analysis, and stock ideas.  Many Twitter accounts like @ActivistShorts and @ValueWalk will post news geared specifically towards equity analysts with a narrower focus than mainstream financial news outlets like CNBC.  Portfolio managers, analysts and serious individual investors will post news updates and analysis on companies they follow.  Many analysts will post elevator pitches of their stock ideas, looking for feedback and criticism.  And it shouldn’t be surprising that many activist short sellers use Twitter to disseminate their campaigns, some of which spice up your stock quotes.

Here’s our guide on how to get started with Finance Twitter.  We’ve categorized the most popular FinTwit accounts to help you follow whatever it is that interests you the most.

Sign up for a free account

Go to Twitter.com and sign up.  You do not need to put in your real name or email address, though you do need an email address to verify your account.

If you want to reduce the volume of email that Twitter sends you, go to twitter.com/settings/notifications and click on the Turn off button.  (It’s under your profile icon –> settings –> email notifications in the leftmost column –> Turn off button)

Or, simply use a throw-away email account and email your Twitter password to yourself.

Who to follow on Twitter

We’ve categorized some of the most popular Twitter accounts below.  Note that some accounts may appear in more than one category.

Financial news

Writeup and content aggregators

There are many great blogs that will present their research on a company.  Some Twitter accounts will curate that material, remove the chaff, and link to the most interesting content.

Short selling-related

Energy

Retail

Think you or someone else should be added to one of these lists? Shoot us an email! we plan on keeping this updated.

Even more lists

If that’s not enough for you, check out fintwit.co.  That website has a list of many handles and links to curated lists of users by Barbarian Cap, Brattle St. Cap, Groditi, Market Folly, and more.  Note that you can Subscribe to a list on Twitter, so you don’t actually need to follow every single member on a list manually.  Or, you can simply go to the list and manually read the Tweets without subscribing to that list or following any users.

So what are you waiting for?

Twitter gives a very different take on the news because you can easily follow and unfollow users to customize your Twitter feed.  Having peers curate content for you (via tweets and retweets linking to content) is a great way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of what you read.  Twitter users are not beholden to publication cycles, so there is no filler content on a slow news day.  Dip your toe into the pool already!  See if finance Twitter suits your tastes.

And of course, we’re on Twitter too!  Please feel free to follow us (@Sentieo) to see what we’re up to.

Lastly… if you know somebody who might find finance Twitter useful, let them know and forward them this guide!

Our follow up post to this one will be our ranking of the top finance twitter handles out there so stay tuned…