Blogs to watch (part 19): 10-K Diver

Blogs to watch (part 19): 10-K Diver
21 May 2021

My ongoing series about the world's most useful investment blogs has always taken a liberal approach to the format others choose to publish. Today, I am featuring someone who publishes his work in the form of Twitter threads!

These threads tend to be so long that the author of 10-K Diver always advises his readers to get a cup of coffee before starting to read them. What I do with my in-depth reports, this gentleman does for Twitter threads. They are really long!

10-K Diver already has over 100,000 followers on Twitter, and its author has become a bit of a legend. I don't even have a Twitter account, but you don't actually need one in order to read Twitter postings.

Here is why I recommend you check 10-K Diver out.

1. Core concepts explained for five-year olds

We know little about the author of 10-K Diver because to this day, he prefers to stay anonymous. What we do know is that he has gone through the Indian education system where he loved cracking complex subjects in areas such as math and physics.

Following his experience as a student, he concluded what he now calls the most important lesson of his life:

"If you want to learn a subject really well, there's no shortcut. You can't "skim through" stuff. You have to spend quality time and focused effort. You have to drill deep down to the fundamental concepts in that area and keep thinking about and exploring them until you feel confident in your understanding."

He also believes in the Feynman method, which basically says you should explain things as if you were speaking to a five-year old. The Feynman method is in the spirit of Albert Einstein's famous saying: "If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

10-K Diver breaks concepts into bite-sized portions and posts them on Twitter. There is usually one thread published every week, consisting of around 30 tweets on average.

You can see a few examples here:

How much money you need to retire

The Rule of 72

Standard Deviation, Mean Absolute Deviation, and Fat Tails

Crucially, 10-K Diver only picks subjects that make up so-called "core concepts" behind finance and investing. These are concepts that don't change with time, or only very slowly. Concepts such as cash flow or returns on invested capital don't ever change, and they provide the foundation for a good education about finance and investing.

In terms of his approach to investing itself, 10-K Diver likes Terry Smith's 3-step method:

Step 1: Find wonderful businesses.

Step 2: Buy them at reasonable prices, and

Step 3: Do nothing.

By now, you can probably see why I spotted a bit of a kindred spirit in him (even though I have no clue who he is).

2. Humour

As you can see from the examples above, some of the threads do drill into fairly complex subjects. All the better that 10-K Diver throws the odd bit of humour in there.

E.g., his thread about Lifestyle Creep was written "to answer *the* most important question in all of personal finance: should you get that daily latte or not?"

It's a question that I myself wonder about each time I spend a few weeks in a place like London or New York, where I always end up spending a fortune on coffee shops.

Finally, I know the answer!

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3. No commercial product (yet)

By breaking down difficult concepts that a lot of people are interested in, 10-K Diver provides a lot of value. He doesn't charge for it, though. There is no commercial product behind the website, at least not yet.

10-K Diver uses writing to put his own thoughts into order and to identify gaps in his own understanding. Everyone else simply gets taken along for the ride.

In the only interview I found with him, he alluded that one day, he will want to monetise his following somehow. Courses seem like an obvious route.

For now, though, it's entirely for free. (Thanks!)

4. Pushing the boundaries of content formats

I am a big believer that anyone who is capable of producing interesting content is being offered an incredible opportunity. The Internet is still young, and there remains a nearly infinite number of niches that no one is covering yet. It's a tremendous business opportunity for the 2020s.

As part of that, content creators should experiment not just with content, but also with different content formats. Would anyone have expected Twitter to become a popular channel for explaining complex subjects? I mean, you are limited to 280 characters after all!

10-K Diver didn't let conventions get in the way, and he popularised a concept that few would have expected to work. Even better, his chosen format has now become his signature feature. It's what you remember him for, and why I chose to write an article about him.

If you are a fellow blogger or content creator of some kind – as I know quite a few of my readers are – let this approach inspire and guide you. Just throw the rule book out the window. It's something I once wrote about on my personal website, too ("My top 10 rules for building a blog").

Give it a go

None of us should ever stop making an active effort to learn new stuff. With 10-K Diver's Twitter threads, you get to know important concepts in a playful, easy manner. What's your excuse not to use them?

You can find 10-K Diver on Twitter (obviously) as well as on his own website which lists all previous Twitter threads. Besides weekly threads, 10-K Diver also posts other content, but only quite selectively.

Before you check him out, though, get yourself a cup of coffee!

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