In this blog post I will cover two of the really useful features of Stock Rover that you are probably not using: Comments and Notes.
Comments and Notes are actually two separate facilities, each designed to allow you to add your thoughts and observations to the investment process. So what is the difference? The quick answer is that Comments are quicker and lighter than Notes, and can be displayed as a column in the table, whereas Notes are more comprehensive, maintain a date and time stamped history and are fully searchable.
Note: Comments and Notes are available with the Premium and the Premium Plus Stock Rover subscription plans.
So why might we need these features? The primary benefit is to keep us organized and prevent us from losing critical thoughts and ideas while we are doing investment research.
Another key benefit of annotating our investment research is to maintain a historical record of our decisions and the reasons behind them. We can then map that against what actually happened. This gives us a powerful tool to learn, critique and improve our investment skills.
For example, when I do investment research I find that there are all sorts of thoughts popping into my head:
- Why is this company increasing debt?
- Are buybacks being used to hide excessive options awards to the management team?
- Is this company gaining market share?
- How much of this company’s growth is organic vs. via acquisition?
- Is the difference in GAAP vs. non GAAP results an isolated occurrence or standard fare?
Often the thoughts are fleeting, or they constitute a future to do list of things to check out. Before Stock Rover I used to just scribble stuff on a pad of paper like a mad scientist and then deal with the mess later, one by one.
However Stock Rover has changed all that for me. The Comments and Notes facility makes it easy to incorporate my own thoughts, future actions and general ruminations directly into the product in a very organized fashion.
So let’s dive in and look at the nuts and bolts of both Comments and Notes.
As Comments is the lighter and simpler of the two facilities, let’s take a look at it first.
Comments are maintained on a ticker by ticker basis so you can have separate comments for each ticker you wish to add your thoughts to. Comments are treated as a regular column in the Stock Rover Table and thus can be added  to any Table View in Stock Rover. The screenshot below shows an example of the Table with the Comments column in a View.
Note that if your comments are wider than the column, hovering over the column with your mouse will show a tooltip that displays the entire comment, as shown in the screenshot below for Travelers Companies (TRV). So you can safely create comments that are much wider than the display column.
Entering comments is done by simply typing text directly into the Comments column in the table as shown below.
Then the table displays the comments you have entered. You can also enter comments by right-clicking on a ticker and selecting Comment, and typing into the Comments box as shown below.
Once a comment is entered, you can update or delete it anytime by either clicking on the comment in the table and typing, or by right-clicking on the ticker, selecting Comment and typing. That’s all there is. Simple and fast.
Note that by default Stock Rover does not include the Comments column in any of your Views, so to include it, you would need to select the View(s) in which you want the Comments column to appear and via the Table Add Column button, type “comments” into the search box, and then add it.
Notes are similar to Comments, but are a big step up in functionality. Notes are displayed in a separate pop-up window, providing more space for your writing. Notes are also date and time stamped. And with Notes you can also search for specific text within a ticker or across all tickers. Let’s take a look at the details.
To access the Notes facility, right-click on any row or symbol and select Notes as shown below.
Once you select Notes, the Notes window pops up. Here is an example of the Notes window for United Health (UNH).
Notice the Notes window has several controls for display and search.
Within a ticker, Notes can be listed in newest first or oldest first order. You can also select a different ticker via the Ticker dropdown from the prepopulated list of tickers that have notes, or you can type a ticker directly into the ticker box.
You can search for matching text within the notes. A really powerful feature of Notes is the ability to both display and search across all tickers you have notes for. You do this by selecting the Show All Tickers button as shown below.
Now the display switches to all of the tickers you have notes for, sorted in ticker order. If you perform a search, it will search across all tickers. The screenshot below shows an example of this, showing all notes across all tickers containing the word “estimate”.
Another thing you can do with Notes is display notes that were written within a specific date range. Here you see all the notes that I have entered in October.
As you can see, Notes is a more powerful facility than Comments, yet still easy to use. The only thing to note about Notes (pun intended) is Notes do not show up as a column in the Table as Comments do because of their ability to maintain separate individual notes for each ticker in time stamped historical order.
Comments and Notes are a super easy way to put your own imprint on all the data that Stock Rover provides. The facilities help you organize your research process, ensures you won’t forget critical items and allows you to see how your thoughts and opinions evolve over time. And last but not least, you can see how your thoughts and opinions correspond to what actually happened.
In short, using Comments and Notes will make you a more organized, thorough and confident investor.