What Is a Market Maven?

Market maven is a slang term used to describe an investor who is "in-the-know", meaning that he or she is well-versed on the current state of the market and privy to information that the general public may not have access to. The term market maven usually refers to an individual who is a market participant with a great deal of knowledge and connections, thus having a trusted opinion on market events or the likelihood of success of a particular investment or speculation. Historical success in the market is typically part of being recognized as a market maven, but a flawless investment record is not required. Famous market mavens include investors like Warren Buffett, John Bogle, and George Soros.

Key Takeaways

  • Market mavens are knowledgeable of the current state of the market.
  • A market maven is generally associated with historical success in investing.
  • Outside of the investing world, there are also market mavens.

How a Market Maven Works

Market mavens abound for all manner of things. Buffett, Bogle, and Soros are the market mavens when it comes to questions of investment, the global economy, and even particular financial instruments, but there are more specialized market mavens in every sector of the economy from oil and gas to biotech. These market mavens establish a track record for seemingly prescient investments or, in the case of analysts, accurate market calls and become a favorite source for the financial media in their particular field of expertise. 

The Making of a Market Maven

Market mavens are able to make these investments and calls with confidence because they are thorough in their research and may have access to informal or underappreciated channels of information that inform their decisions. That is not to take away from the intelligence and dedication required to be a market maven. Anyone that establishes a winning track record that spans years and decades has clearly put in a lot of work on top of their natural intelligence. Some market mavens, like Buffett, make these calls and investments using the same information that is available to everyone in the public. Buffett is just better at sorting out important information using a combination of intelligence and experience.

Consumer Market Mavens

The term market maven is also used to describe consumers who have detailed insights about consumer products, places to shop and upcoming product information. As with the investing world, there are consumer market mavens who focus on niches, such as nail products or wearable technology. These consumer market mavens follow the same path of financial market mavens in becoming a trusted source of advice and a featured face for the media to use in stories about their product niche.

Consumer market mavens combine the traits of an influencer with those of an early adopter, staying on top of or even setting trends and evangelizing those trends to others. They tend to be between 25 and 44 years old, make more than $75,000 a year, and own a tablet or smartphone. Addicted to their devices, consumer market mavens often “second screen,” or use multiple devices at once. They use online reviews to make purchasing decisions and place a higher value on brand than on price, as compared to the average Millennial.