- Insider is taking you behind the scenes of our best stories with our Inside Story series.
- This week we speak with senior investing reporter Vicky Huang.
- Huang talks about covering markets, a day on the beat, and crypto investing for newbies.
What’s it like being an investing reporter at Insider? And how did you get interested in covering investing?
The investing beat at Insider is unique in that it’s broad and all-encompassing, which means I could cover everything from the impact of inflation and quantitative easing on financial markets to the meteoric rise of meme stocks and the extraordinary price swings of cryptocurrencies. Because the markets are always evolving, no day is truly the same.
The adrenaline rush and excitement that comes with covering markets and investing was what first drew me to the beat five years ago. I started my market coverage by following the biggest Chinese tech stocks, such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. Later I got to talk to a broad array of fund managers daily as part of my job covering the asset and wealth-management industries for two financial trade publications.
As I learned more about the impact of investment decisions on not just the global economy but also our everyday lives, I became fascinated and started to seek out investing courses, books, and podcasts outside work. Along the way I think I have become a big investing nerd.
What are the biggest events you’re following?
The past year has been a wild ride. I have followed some of the biggest events in the markets, such as the rise of superstar stock-picker Cathie Wood, the resurgence of cryptocurrencies, and the meme-stock frenzy.
I’m keeping a close eye on the impact of inflation on markets, the latest focus of retail traders who have become a dominating force in the stock market, and of course the ever-evolving crypto space.
Walk me through a day on your beat.
A typical day starts with me reviewing charts and the day’s economic data, and then going through my in-box, where I pick the most relevant research and newsletters to read to get a sense of the key topics that investors are focused on.
After that I draft a pitch either based on interviews or an in-depth research note that I’d like to unpack for my editors to review. As I start to write my story of the day, I usually have Bloomberg TV or CNBC playing on another screen, just to make sure I catch big developments in the markets and incorporate relevant tidbits into my story.
Throughout the day I usually have a few interviews or casual catch-up calls with sources scheduled. It’s a lot of reading and writing, which happen to be two of my favorite things to do.
What’s the most challenging part of covering wealth and finance?
The most challenging but also fun part for me has been to keep my finger on the pulse of the markets. Because I have never managed or invested money for others, I worry sometimes that I’m not on top of what’s really going on beneath the surface in the markets, but that can be solved by deep reporting and sourcing.
What excites you the most about your job?
I’m most excited about the opportunity to not only learn more about the markets every single day but also learn by talking with some of the smartest people on Wall Street and beyond. To me, that has been the best and fastest way to learn and truly understand some of the most complicated concepts in finance and investing.
You cover crypto pretty closely. Do you think average people should be investing in that market?
I think crypto, especially the major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, is not going away despite the speculative frenzy. As an emerging and fast-developing market, it is super fascinating and exciting to cover, but it is also wildly volatile.
For the average investor, my rule of thumb for the crypto market is to never invest money that you absolutely cannot afford to lose.
Read some of Vicky’s biggest stories:
- Forget bitcoin – the future of money is a cryptocurrency you’ve never heard of
- Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham called the dot-com bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. He told us how 4 indicators have lined up for what could be ‘the biggest loss of perceived value from assets that we have ever seen.’
- ‘If lumber crashes, stocks might be next’: An award-winning portfolio manager who’s tracked lumber prices for years breaks down why futures hitting a record high of $1,600 is an ominous sign – and shares what investors can do ahead of the eventual crash
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao breaks down how he built the world’s largest crypto exchange in 180 days – and shares why he’s keeping most of his assets in Bitcoin and Binance Coin
- Bitcoin is a headache to store, and that’s created an investment opportunity that could theoretically pay determined traders big risk-free returns by December
- Investing legend Joel Greenblatt averaged 50% annual returns over 10 years. He told us his strategy for individual investors to find ‘creative’ opportunities in an increasingly crowded and ever-changing market.