Adam Kobeissi, BBA ’20: Transforming a Hobby into an Industry-Leading Commentary on Capital Markets
Investing became a hobby of mine at the age of 12. I was fascinated by the intricacies of finance and I appreciated the fact that every day in the market is different. After a few years of independent investing, I decided to launch The Kobeissi Letter as a hobby newsletter sharing my outlook on stocks, commodities, bonds, and options.
Eight years later, I’ve transformed my hobby into a reputable financial publication. Today, The Kobeissi Letter’s analysis generates over 60 million views per month. We have amassed a large following on Twitter and Instagram, which is home to a finance community with millions of daily active users. The publication is widely followed in finance, and I am a frequently featured commentator on various shows and news outlets including Fox Business, MarketWatch, Business Insider and Round Table Discussions with Mark Cuban, Bill Ackman and others.
From a hobby to a successful business
With my mother’s capital contribution of $300, in 2015 as a senior in high school, I set up a website and began publishing. That website came to be called The Kobeissi Letter, which at the time was a small project I expected little of. The free report was published every Sunday afternoon, and I simply wanted to share my passion for investing with others. As the one- and two-year anniversaries of The Kobeissi Letter passed, my audience was growing rapidly; many of my market insights were proving to be profitable, and various media outlets began showcasing my work.
In June of 2017, also the month of my acceptance to the Ross School of Business, I made the decision to transform The Kobeissi Letter into a business. In doing so, I began charging a monthly subscription fee to access newsletters, but also published a free Chart of the Week to continue growing The Kobeissi Letter’s audience, which ranged from beginners to long-time investors, hedge funds, and banks.
As I embarked on my journey at Michigan Ross, I learned the fundamental theorems of finance and accounting which further evolved the analysis methodology that I had developed. At this point, I found my competitive advantage. My commentary became notable for its unique approach of combining both fundamental and technical analysis, especially as markets grew increasingly automated. My market insights and annually published performance reports proved, year after year, that I was able to outperform market benchmarks.
‘No two days in the market are the same’
In the fall of 2019, The Kobeissi Letter had amassed an audience that was generating close to one million views per month. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic began forcing global lockdowns and markets grew increasingly volatile, my following expanded rapidly. Although many market commentators struggled to adapt to unprecedented market conditions, my unique hybrid analysis methodology, which I had developed over the previous five years, stood out. In a sense, my analytical model succeeded because it was developed to capitalize on the principle that no two days in the market are the same.
In May of 2020, I graduated from Michigan Ross and began a career in investment banking in New York City, stepping away from The Kobeissi Letter and letting the team that I had built take over operations. I worked in investment banking for two years, eager to learn how institutions approach markets and business. In 2022, when I returned to The Kobeissi Letter, the publication’s analysis delivered a net return of 85.9%.
The future of The Kobeissi Letter and giving back
The beauty of building a business is that the future is unknown and every day is different, which is exactly why I began investing as a 12-year-old. Looking ahead, I aim to grow The Kobeissi Letter into a thought platform for many analysts in the finance space as opposed to strictly showcasing my market insights. However, the core goals of The Kobeissi Letter will always remain what they were when I first started the publication: Sharing my passion in investing with others and helping educate investors around the globe as they journey through markets.
Furthermore, I also enjoy giving back to the University of Michigan community through mentorship of students who aspire to take a path similar to mine. Most recently, I spoke about market trends and investing at the Michigan Investment Group, an investment club that I was involved in as a student. I also mentor students in Michigan Ross’ Arab Business Society who are seeking a career in finance.
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