From 38,000 Feet, Here are 3 Ways to Research your Stocks

By: Roy MacNaughton

This is a story worth reading about. It might save you a lot of time and money. It's about an innovative site that just went live the last weeks of 2007. It was conceived then born out of necessity and objective, third party market research. Ian Campbell, the individual investor who created it was sick and tired of doing financial research the slow and tiresome way.

Campbell liked to manage his own stock portfolio. But there was a pain associated with this. It was a pain that needed to be alieviated; a vexing problem that needed a relevant solution. It was too laborious to do the analyses, pouring over piles of charts, other web sites, trying to make sense of all the inputs for so many different companies. Moreover, in many cases, the information he wanted and needed wasn't there. He reasoned that there must be thousands of investment advisers and other investors - just like him - who craved such a solution to this onerous problem. During the last 12 months, he has brought to the market a website focused on Small Cap Canadian Mining and Oil & Gas stocks. Examine and investigate this man's credentials; you'll find that for more than 35 years, Campbell has been viewed as a leading Canadian expert in the rendering of independent business valuation opinions.

In fact, he's famous for writing the definitive Canadian books on it. In fact, Campbell has recently been honored by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators. They have named an annual research grant after him.

I asked Campbell why he conceived this particular website. He said that his own frustration with the data overload on the Internet, coupled with the untold hours it took him to manage his own portfolio, led him to realize there had to be a quicker, better way to do this.

As a long-time marketer myself, I was particularly pleased to see that Campbell did not fall into the trap of building a service based only on his needs. Campbell knew that he could show others how to save time and money with this new way of researching just as if they were a company acquirer. To further test his concept in depth, he had to conduct market research. Campbell had a seasoned market researcher work with him to craft and distribute a detailed questionnaire targeted at thousands of individuals in the U.S. and Canada. Each had at least $100K in the market and was interested in individually managing or having an investment adviser handle his or her portfolio.

The actual 'services' in the site concept were a direct result of this research. But for me, where the rubber hits the road, it's about how the website provides member access to an interesting, yet very efficient way of looking at one's stocks. I try to put myself into this picture and imagine what it is like looking down on a particular investment from three different altitudes.

First, there is the Macro-economic overview, as if you were a plane way up at 38,000 feet of altitude, looking down at the very big picture. Then there is the ongoing specific industry overview (viewed within the context of the macro-economic overview above). Finally, there are companies listed within the specific industries presented on the site. This is comprised of research conducted with or on that specific company.

From my marketer's viewpoint, this site allows one to look at the major questions one must ask: (1) where is this company now? (2) Where do they say they want to be? By when? Thirdly, how are they going to get there? What are their plans to get there? Being able to look down from a 38,000 foot vantage point forces the stock researcher to become aware of and take into consideration all the other inputs that affect the competitive environment in which this company has to compete.

From the mid-altitude point, the researcher is assisted by taking into consideration all the pertinent specific industry inputs, allowing them to decide for themselves whether or not this particular company has the ability and resources to move upwards...or not. The researhing investor, or his adviser, is then free to make his own decisions whether to sell, buy...or not...or not.

?Copyright, Roy MacNaughton, 2008

Trading
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Trading
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles