London-based investment research crowdsourcing platform, StockViews, announced that it has added independent research and consulting firm, Forward View, as the first member of its StockView Affilate Network.
Forward View Announcement
Forward View, a Virginia-based business consulting and investment research firm, became the first of four members of StockViews’ affiliate network.
Forward View focuses its research on the mining, energy, manufacturing, consumer goods, and internet sectors. Clients have historically been able to purchase their research on a per report basis from the firm’s website. However, now with the new relationship, clients can obtain Forward View’s research through the StockViews platform.
Thomas Beevers, CEO of StockViews, stated, “We’re excited to welcome Forward View as a partner on the StockViews Affiliate Network. We have been highly impressed with the quality of their research and depth of analysis. Forward View represents a new breed of equity research firm—independent, analytical and 100% focused on generating great ideas. We look forward to working closely with the team at Forward View to disrupt the established sell-side research industry.”
StockView’s Business Model
Launched on April 1, 2014, StockViews is an online crowd-sourced provider of investment research for retail and professional investors. The heart of the platform is the research and ratings from over 1,000 independent contributors (300 who are active “analysts”), the real-time performance of all members’ research ratings, and peer reviews of all analysts’ actual research.
Members can access stock ratings provided by other members, read research reports written by analysts on the platform, or follow, rate and read research contributed by top ranked analysts. The platform is built to promote a meritocracy where members earn their way to one of three levels including analyst, Senior Analyst or Vice President, and where “star analysts” are easy to identify.
While StockViews doesn’t currently charge members to access its platform (though this is quite likely in the future), the firm does allow users to submit specific research projects to the platform’s universe of contributors in order to find the analysts with the most relevant experience to produce the research, effectively creating an online marketplace for custom research projects.
Eventually, once StockViews achieves critical mass, the firm plans to compensate analysts for their contributed research based on their performance.
StockViews is another one of the growing number of crowd-sourced research communities that has sprung up in recent years like Seeking Alpha, Alphametry, Estimize, and the buy-side SumZero platform.
One of the primary reasons for the proliferation of these platforms is the belief that the “wisdom of the crowds” enables investors to obtain high quality research without the historic conflicts of interest and other biases that have been inherent in the sell-side research model. These online communities can also help retail investors, small family offices, and other investors with limited resources obtain access to high quality research that they would not otherwise be able to afford.
In addition, we suspect that pending regulatory developments in Europe might force many research producers to cut staffing and coverage – a development that could reduce research availability to small investors. Platforms like StockViews and the other crowd sourced research communities mentioned above could very well fill in the void.