Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Investor’s Dilemma: Drowning out the Research Noise

Calling all institutional investors - raise your hand if you agree with this statement:

“The volume of research I receive is impossible to review, and all it does is clutter my inbox.”

Yet another prospective client made this very statement today. It feels good to know we’re the solution, not the problem.

The tides have turned for investment research, and independent research providers, by and large, have not been quick to adapt to the new needs of their clients. Clayton Christensen (author of "The Innovator’s Dilemma"), who brought us the notion of ‘
disruptive technology’ – would say that the investment research industry is missing a tremendous opportunity.

Consider this:

Not long ago, research reports used to stack up on our desks, and we’d have to sort through them page by page. Now, the new dilemma in research is that instead of research overrunning our desk space, it’s cluttering our inboxes.

Where does it end?

Some companies, such as
themarkets.com think they’ve done clients a grand favor – they aggregate all of the research the client has purchased, and they allow them to filter it and make it searchable, so the volume of research is more manageable.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but wouldn’t it make more sense to just pay for the research you want – as opposed to paying for research you may or may not want and contracting another party to filter what you’ve paid for?

And then, taking it one step further, simply make that research available in one place, rather than having 75 emails in your inbox every morning that you’ll never be able to sort through?

Not to preach, but we think StreetBrains’ research solution would make Mr. Christensen proud.

Today’s Lesson: Unclutter clients’ inboxes. Provide to them what they pay for, in a format they prefer.

[Off soapbox.]