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A market maven is a person who keeps up with markets and is viewed as a trusted source of information. Mavens may have access to information that others are not aware of, and they have an intimate knowledge of multiple market sectors. They may know where the best prices are, when prices are likely to move, and how markets will behave, based on their knowledge and experience. Such individuals do not just work in financial markets; someone who knows how to get the best prices on consumer goods is also an example of a maven.
These market experts have access to numerous sources of information and collate them in highly efficient ways. Market mavens can track public information like stock tickers, annual reports, and events in the media. They may also develop a rich network of interpersonal connections that they can exploit for information. Small details from individuals may not seem impressive on their own, but when added together, they can may create a very different picture. The market maven knows how to accumulate and use market intelligence.
For someone like a coupon clipper, this could involve closely reading coupon sections of newspapers, sale announcements, and similar materials. Consumer market mavens may watch out for company announcements and events in the news that could impact prices. They also rely on their experiences with price patterns, knowing when prices are likely to drop. Some maintain an almost encyclopedic knowledge which allows them to compare prices in stores, knowing when a store’s price is better than competitors.
As a market maven develops a network and the experience to use it, this person’s opinion can become valued. In turn, mavens may shape markets because they act as opinion leaders. People who consult them for advice may trust their recommendations and can pass them on to others. Consequently, a market maven’s recommendations could cause a shift in investor and consumer attitudes. Residents of a town might flock to a gas station with low prices, for example, or investors could snap up stock a maven predicts will rise.
Becoming a market maven can involve a mixture of skills. Interpersonal skills are critical, as mavens need a network of information sources and must be able to cultivate friendships and connections. Math can be useful as well for price comparisons and tracking purposes. An excellent memory and organizational talents are helpful for mavens who need to process and analyze information effectively and quickly.