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Stock Research Moves Past PDFs as Customers Demand More for Their Money (reuters.com) 27

With investment firms cutting costs and portfolio managers combating a barrage of information, financial research shops around the globe are looking for new ways to keep their product relevant. From a report: A raft of startups have launched to support that effort, offering tools that can use Google search data to get an edge on retail sales, deploy drones to examine oil supplies or allow investors to rank analysts and bid on their reports, like a Netflix or eBay of research. Whether these innovations will lead to smarter investments, or be used widely enough to prop up research budgets, is yet to be seen. But the startups are forming alliances with banks, brokerages and investors by the dozen. People who use and sell the tools say the trend is changing how research is financed, distributed and consumed for the first time in decades. "We are coming up on a very different age for equity research," said Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research. Investors now see research as a product that must stand on its own rather than a freebie offered as part of a broader relationship with an investment bank, Sokolin said. Technology can improve the quality and distribution of research, he said. [...] Perhaps most importantly, investors say they are sick of their inboxes piling up with run-of-the-mill reports each day. At a time when people share snippets of information through WhatsApp and Slack and a tweet can move a stock in seconds, sharing loads of PDF files through email is not only passe, but makes it hard to know what is worth reading, industry sources said.
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Stock Research Moves Past PDFs as Customers Demand More for Their Money

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  • ... rather, the problem is with the volume of information that is contained within them. The format of the documents seems to be entirely irrelevant to core of the problem:

    ...investors say they are sick of their inboxes piling up with run-of-the-mill reports each day.

    • No, the grass is greener on the other side. If we could just get this data into XPS format, America would be great again...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Vanguard does it right with their rather "old-fashioned" website. I look at a list of funds, click one, and it gives me a webpage with important and easy to read info organized by a few tabs.

      My 401K provider though has one of those "slick" sites that takes ages to navigate and in the end when you click on a fund it gives you a huge PDF to read through, most of which is unnecessary when all I wanted to do is see what the expense ratio is.

      • Double thumbs up! I've implemented a half dozen retirement and investment systems and Vanguard is the only one I like. Effective and Efficient - far different than the senseless bling so many other sites have.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        Ever try the new Morningstar portfolio mish-mash. Ugh...the old format was at least informative when you drilled down into a stock. Now it is a pile of meaningless data and graphs and still manages to miss anything directly useful.

  • Investors now see research as a product that must stand on its own rather than a freebie offered as part of a broader relationship with an investment bank

    If true then that is rather problematic. The problem with information is that it's typically impossible for a vendor to know how much a particular piece of information is worth to their customer. Worse, the customer for the information only knows what it is worth AFTER they have consumed it so they have to trust the information vendor to be likely to provide useful and relevant information reliably before it is worth paying for. Selling information as a standalone product is a very challenging business.

    L

    • There is no way to price the information rationally.

      But this is the stock market. At the stock market, there can be a price for anything, even if it is impossible to define what the sold service actually is.

      • But this is the stock market. At the stock market, there can be a price for anything, even if it is impossible to define what the sold service actually is.

        No it is NOT the stock market. It is information relating to stocks but that is not the same thing. We're talking about purchasing stock analysis reports, not stocks themselves. Information has a value but it's not easy to pin down and the vendor cannot possibly know the value of a single stock report to a given client. Worse, the client buying the report won't know its value until after they have read it.

  • We're overdue for a recession. If Trump's first week in office is an example of what to expect for the next two months (as Alec Baldwin predicted on SNL when Pence will become president), the recession will happen sooner than later. While people bid up the stock market to 20K+, I'm putting my money into bonds.
    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      Replacing an aging narcissist who has the attention span of gnat with a Bible thumping anti-science blob of Republican platitudes is not much of step forward.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        Replacing an aging narcissist who has the attention span of gnat with a Bible thumping anti-science blob of Republican platitudes is not much of step forward.

        Pence knows how the government works. He's not going to sit around signing symbolic executive orders that have no basis in law. Trump is in for a rude awakening when he finds out that he's not a dictator.

        • Pence knows how the government works. He's not going to sit around signing symbolic executive orders that have no basis in law. Trump is in for a rude awakening when he finds out that he's not a dictator.

          If the republican congress remains behind Trump then he is for all practical purposes a dictator. The only thing protecting your civil liberties is the fact that the republicans don't have a 3/5 supermajority in the senate and the fact that the Supreme court hasn't gone full tilt conservative yet. That's a very thin line. I think Trump is going to do a lot of damage to a lot of people in this country in the next two years until the next congressional election.

          The fact that Pence knows how government work

  • Why is it that everytime ! see that 'word' my anal sphincter clenches?
  • There are some regulatory requirements that dictate the format and content along with explanatory notes, disclosures, notifications, etc. A lot of it is basically who said what, why, and when, so that both sides of the information transaction are totally clear on the context and responsibilities. Also, a PDF can be secured to various degrees, time stamped, certificated, etc.

Memory fault -- core...uh...um...core... Oh dammit, I forget!

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