Influencer Feature: How a Plumber’s Son Became a Financial Entrepreneur

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In the modern era, social media has opened up many new and exciting employment opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. From the science of making your own bread yeast to trading stocks for your personal gain, if you’re knowledgeable and committed, accessing an audience is just a few clicks away.

That’s a lesson Alex Morris took to heart. Morris currently operates his own website, The Science of Hittingand a Twitter account where he chats about the stocks of the day and more with 45.5k followers. He took the name of his website from the title of a book recommended by Warren Buffett. Written by baseball player Ted Williams, the book’s ethos was to wait for the right shot before taking your shot.

But Morris wasn’t always well on his way to becoming a financial whiz. In fact, he went to college thinking he was going to get his degree in civil engineering. After all, his father was a plumber – he tells TheStreet he thought his place would be next to his father, who runs the family trade.

While Morris was in college, he began to suspect that becoming a plumber was out of the question. He’s “always had a certain entrepreneurial bent,” and he jokes that the advanced physics courses helped him realize he was out of his wheelhouse.

It was around this time, with an unknown future in mind, that Morris began reading some of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) letters. In 2007, he and a few buddies were inspired to start a company similar to StubHub, but for college events. As the business grew, so did his interest in finance. It was about a year and a half to two years ago that he decided to change his field of study.

After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in finance, Morris was again unsure of his future. While he dreamed of working for a hedge fund or an investment firm, many of those he spoke to told him the same thing: he would need his CFA or MBA to get a good job in this field. At that time, he said, he felt like he was struggling to figure out how to get to the next level.

Morris got a job as a writer for a few financial sites like Seeking Alpha and Guru Focus while working toward his CFA and MBA. And after writing for about a decade, he found it really helped to develop his thoughts. He was also able to use his readership as a sounding board for his own ideas – something he found incredibly helpful.

About five years ago, he began posting some of his articles and stock outlooks on Twitter under a pseudonym. Here, he says, he found an interactive community. As April 2020 turned the world upside down and propelled many of us to online safety, Morris noticed that many writers were switching to paid newsletter content. After spending a year developing his website, online presence, and subscriber base, Morris was able to quit his job at an investment firm to finally become his own boss. Today he writes a substack newsletter called TSOH Investment Research Service and has hundreds of paying subscribers.

Social media is key to this business

Obviously, Morris is a big fan of using social media to get an overview of the financial landscape. His face lights up as he talks about developments in the financial industry over the years. When he started his journey, the job track was very narrow. You could become an analyst or run your own fund, but there weren’t many clear alternatives.

Thanks to resources like Twitter and Substack, it’s now easier for experts like Morris to forge their own path. New generations of traders can start in a traditional way and turn it into their own business – a prospect that Morris is clearly excited about. As the industry evolves, technology is a valuable asset for doers who look at the world of finance from a different angle.

Morris is also a big fan of this road less traveled. “You make friends with people,” he tells TheStreet with satisfaction. “In a way, they become your employees. If you are interested in a specific company, you can ask questions to people who specialize in that industry.”

Morris is keen to mention that he really enjoys answering questions. His content is great for all types of followers, from novice DIY investors to people who have been on Wall Street for a while. He jokingly says that Twitter allows him to enjoy the views of people who are “a lot smarter than me”.

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