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78.3% Of Research Into New Small-Cap Investments Comes From The Web

Posted by AGORACOM at 3:55 AM on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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As some of you may have noticed, we love to take surveys because of the valuable data they provide.  Despite the fact we’re an online company, quite a number of our surveys are done offline (i.e. at conferences).  Why?  There’s no point in trying to figure out the impact of the web on small-cap investors if you’re only going to ask online people.

To this end, here is some incredibly valuable information that we discovered about small-cap investors over the last 12 months:

In 2008

  • The web accounted for 74.3% of all research into new small-cap investments, up from 67% in 2007
  • 73% of Investors Conduct the Majority of their Research (75%+) into New Stocks Online
  • 48% of Investors Conduct All of their Research (95%+) into New Stocks Online
  • 64% of Investors Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research, up 7% from 2007

In 2009

  • The web accounted for 78.3% of all research into new small-cap investments, up from 74.3% in 2008
  • 73% of Investors Conduct the Majority of their Research (75%+) into New Stocks Online, up from 73% in 2008
  • 55% of Investors Conduct All of their Research (95%+) into New Stocks Online, up from 48% in 2008
  • 54% of Investors Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research, down from 64% in 2008

Clearly, small-cap investors are overwhelmingly using the web to research new investments.  We didn’t get as far as asking why they rely on the web so heavily but one answer has to be the fact that major financial media don’t cover small-cap stocks extensively.  As such, small-cap investors are forced to resort to search engines, electronic shareholder forums and social networks to help them discover new small-cap stocks.

I hope you found this information to be helpful.  If you’re a small-cap CEO that isn’t conducting a significant online investor relations program, take this data to your board …. and then call me 🙂  Hey, couldn’t resist.  The data is just that good.

Regards,
George

AGORACOM Survey: The Impact Of H1N1 On Decisions To Attend Conferences

Posted by AGORACOM at 10:41 PM on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Image Courtesy Of Abductit.com

Image Courtesy Of Abductit.com

As we get closer to the inevitable fall upturn in H1N1 infections in North America, I believe it would be extremely valuable to begin gathering data on its potential effects on business.  Will people fly less, go out less, generate less commerce, download more iTunes, rent more NetFlix and shop more online? Or are they going to simply go on with their lives as usual?

I can and will generate a bunch of surveys to get to these answers – starting with the following big question?

Has The Threat Of H1N1 Impacted Your Decision To Attend Conferences This Fall Winter? Click Here To Take The AGORACOM Survey.

Regards,
George

SURVEY RESULTS: 59% Of AGORACOM Members Want ETF Forums

Posted by AGORACOM at 5:59 PM on Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

In a recent survey, we asked AGORACOM members if they would like us to launch ETF Forums.  227 members responded in about 24 hours (thank-you!) and here are the highlights:

  • 59.2% would like us to launch ETF Forums
  • 16.1% don’t know what an ETF is

The three most popular ETF’s were as follows (members could choose more than one)

  • 58.7% want a Gold Long ETF Forum
  • 45.3% want an Oil Long ETF Forum
  • 40.7% want a Gold Short ETF Forum

Interestingly, the least desired ETF Forum was anything Short US Indexes.  The responses came just before the hot month of March, so was this a sign investors did not think US Indexes could go any shorter?

In any event, some great information here.  Looks like you’ll see ETF Forums on AGORACOM Shortly!

Regards,
George

AGORACOM Surveys Online Research Habits of Investors at 2009 Toronto PDAC Conference

Posted by AGORACOM - Mitch at 11:16 AM on Thursday, March 26th, 2009

AGORACOM is pleased to announce the results of the Small Cap Resource Investor Survey from the Toronto PDAC Conference held on March 1-4, 2009.

The results of this survey could be invaluable to small-cap metals and mining companies across North America.  Given the global economic situation, as well as, the speed at which the Internet impacts investor relations, we continue to survey investors at conferences in order to better understand their online habits and preferences.

One trend that stands out, when comparing the results to the survey we did one year ago at the 2008 PDAC, is that online stock research, collaboration, and discussions continues to increase.

The results clearly point to an overwhelming need for a “pro-active” and “integrated” online IR strategy that goes well beyond your basic “text” website.

2009 Toronto PDAC Conference Survey Results

With approximately 100+ small cap resource investors surveyed at the 2009 Toronto PDAC Conference, we were able to extract some extremely valuable information that will be of great importance to all of us.

The information will have different implications for each one of you, depending on your primary metal/mineral, market capitalization and online strategy. As such, though I’ve provided some tertiary comments following each of the results below, the final analysis will be your own.

To this end, we’re happy to provide you with the following results:

AGORACOM Survey Highlights

  • 50% of investors were most Bullish on Gold compared to other minerals and metals.
  • 75% of investors prefer Small-Cap Resource Companies over Large-Cap.
  • 75% of investors conduct 75%+ of their stock research online.
  • 55% of investors conduct 90%+ of their stock research online.
  • 54% of investors use discussion forums for information and/or research.

QUESTION #1 – Which Metal/Mineral Are You Most Bullish On?

Gold (50%)

Silver (15%)

Uranium (12%)

Nickel (9%)

Copper (5%)

Diamonds (5%)

Chromite (1%)

Moly (1%)

March ’08 Results – 54% were bullish on Gold.

QUESTION #2 – Do You Prefer Small or Large-Cap Resource Companies?

Small (75%)

Large (18%)

March ’08 Results – 79 over 21

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AGORACOM Survey – Would You Like ETF Forums On AGORACOM? [$$]

Posted by AGORACOM at 3:03 PM on Thursday, February 26th, 2009

ETF’s keep rising in popularity with investors and so does AGORACOM for our great monitored discussion forums. As such, please take this simple 3 question survey to help make AGORACOM better.

Regards,
George

AGORACOM Surveys Over 850 Small-Cap Resource Investors

Posted by AGORACOM at 8:51 PM on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008


[NOTE – Though Some Data Is Specific To The Resources Industry, online research and usage data is applicable to all small-cap companies]

Throughout the first half of 2008, AGORACOM surveyed over 850 small-cap retail investors at each of the following 4 major resources conferences:

  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
  • Cambridge Conference Vancouver (January)
  • Cambridge Conference Vancouver (June)
  • Cambridge Conference Calgary

The purpose of the survey was to gain further insight into the online investing, research and community habits of small-cap and micro-cap investors. The surveys were conducted offline by design to avoid skewing of the results.

This survey represents a continuing series of surveys from each of these events since January of 2007. The results from each individual conference are posted on the AGORACOM blog within 30 days. In addition, the consolidated survey results are posted to our blog in early July. Both the individual and consolidated survey results can be found on the AGORACOM blog for you to review.

Given the speed at which the internet is moving and impacting investor relations, the results of these surveys are invaluable to CEO’s and investor relations departments of small-cap and micro-cap metals and mining companies across North America.

This is especially true for companies headed by older, less agile management teams that continue to overemphasize the value of traditional investor relations and under estimate the importance of online investor relations. Investors of such companies should also take note of these results and relay them to management.

AGORACOM has always understood the power and cost-efficiencies of search engine marketing, community building and multi-media communications. However, in order to go beyond theory and bias, we had to objectively prove it via empirical evidence.

SURVEY RESULTS

Upon reviewing the results and comparing them to 2007, we can unequivocally conclude that online research, collaboration and discussion are heavily utilized by small-cap investors and dramatically increasing. Frankly, the results were more dramatic than even we imagined and clearly point to the overwhelming need for an online IR strategy that goes beyond your website.

With approximately 850 investors surveyed, we were able to extract some extremely valuable information that will be of great importance to small-cap and micro-cap companies. The information will have different implications for each one of you, depending on your primary metal/mineral, market capitalization and online strategy. As such, though I’ve provided some tertiary comments following some of the results below, the final analysis will be your own. To this end, we’re happy to provide you with the following results:

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 81% of Investors Prefer Small-Cap Resource Companies over Large-Cap.
  • 48.4% of Investors were most Bullish on Gold compared to other minerals and metals.
  • 73% of Investors Conduct the Majority of their Research (75%+) into New Stocks Online. This is a dramatic 18.65% increase over 67% of respondents in 2007 and serves as proof positive that an online investor relations program is critical if you want to reach new investors.
  • 48% of Investors Conduct All of their Research (95%+) into New Stocks Online. No online IR program means you immediately miss out on 48% of all investors.
  • 60% of Investors Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research.

  • AGORACOM brand recognition amongst retail investors has risen by 360% over the same period last year. With 95% of our market budget allocated online, we are an actual case study about the power of online marketing to small-cap investors.

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AGORACOM Surveys Online Research Habits Of Investors At Vancouver Cambridge Conference 2008 (Summer)

Posted by AGORACOM at 6:12 PM on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

AGORACOM is pleased to once again provide the results of our small-cap retail investor survey from the Vancouver Cambridge Conference held on June 15-16, 2008.

The results of this survey are invaluable to small-cap metals and mining companies across North America.

Given the speed at which the internet is moving and impacting investor relations, one of the most important things we continue to accomplish at the conference is surveying investors in order to better understand their online habits and preferences.

In comparing these results to 2007, we can unequivocally conclude that online research, collaboration and discussion have increased dramatically. Frankly, the results were more dramatic than even we imagined and clearly point to the overwhelming need for an online IR strategy that goes beyond your website.

AGORACOM Surveys Over 1,000 Investors In 2008

In addition to both Vancouver Cambridge Conferences, AGORACOM also surveys investors across the country at different events including PDAC in Toronto and the Calgary Cambridge Conference.

Response to the surveys has been overwhelmingly positive from executives that have found the information to be incredibly helpful.

We post the results from each individual conference within 30 days on the AGORACOM blog. In addition, we post the consolidated survey results every summer. Both the individual and consolidated survey results can be found on the AGORACOM blog for you to review.

AGORACOM SURVEY RESULTS – 2008 VANCOUVER CAMBRIDGE CONFERENCE

With approximately 100 investors surveyed at the Vancouver Cambridge Conference (June conference), we were able to extract some extremely valuable information that will be of great importance to all of us. The information will have different implications for each one of you, depending on your primary metal/mineral, market capitalization and online strategy. As such, though I’ve provided some tertiary comments following each of the results below, the final analysis will be your own. To this end, we’re happy to provide you with the following results:

Highlights

  • 86% of Investors Surveyed Prefer Small-Cap Resource Companies over Large-Cap.
  • 79.5% of Investors Surveyed Do the Majority of their Research (75%+) into New Stocks Online. This is a dramatic 18.65% increase over 67% of respondents in 2007 and serves as proof positive that an online investor relations program is critical if you want to reach new investors.
  • 55.9% of Investors Surveyed Do All of their Research (95%+) into New Stocks Online. No online IR program means you immediately miss out on 56% of all investors.
  • 62.4% of Investors Surveyed Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research. This represents a 14.8% increase over 54.4% of respondents in 2007 and further supports our contention that you need to take control of your message online, or risk having it taken from you by potentially unscrupulous investors.

  • Almost Half the Investors Surveyed (48%) were Bullish on Gold compared to other minerals and metals.
  • AGORACOM brand recognition amongst retail investors has risen by 360% over the same period last year. With 95% of our market budget allocated online, we are an actual case study about the power of online marketing to small-cap investors.

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AGORACOM SURVEY: Relevancy Of Small-Cap Investor Conferences

Posted by AGORACOM at 11:01 AM on Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Good morning to you all. Last week, I posted my thoughts on the relevancy of small-cap investor conferences and asked for your thoughts on the matter via our simple, 4-question survey.

I’m happy to report that nearly 200 people took the time to participate in the survey (thank-you) and the detailed responses and results can now be viewed here:

For those of you that simply want the highlights, the results were as follows:

  • 60% do not find conferences valuable and get everything they need from the web.
  • Of those 60%, 24% responded they would not take time away from work or family as a reason.
  • Of the 40% that do attend, 70% listed “meeting with company principals” as the #1 reason.
  • Only 11.5% of you believe that small-cap conferences will vanish but 52% believe there will be fewer (but better) conferences.

Interesting stuff. In summary, it looks like the web takes care of all investor information needs but still can not replace personal interaction. I wonder if increased use of video (conference calls, presentations, etc.) would further erode the raison d’etre of small-cap conferences.

I’m also not surprised to see that 52% of investors believe there will be fewer but better conferences in the future.  Like the increased number of bad small-cap listings, we have also seen the rise of too many bad “conferences” that are nothing more than a money grab.

I’m certain (and glad) the slower economy is going to force them out of the business, while quality conferences like those put on by Cambridge Conferences and DealFlow Media will survive and thrive by providing a valuable collaborative experience for investors, pubco’s and industry participants.

Thanks again to everyone that participated in the survey. Much appreciated and I hope you found the results to be equally valuable.

Regards,
George

AGORACOM Surveys Over 650 Retail Investors At PDAC 2008

Posted by AGORACOM at 11:14 PM on Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Good evening to you all. As most of you know, AGORACOM was once again a proud sponsor of the PDAC International Convention. This is the world’s biggest mining and exploration conference, with over 18,000 delegates from all over the world.

In addition to the PDAC’s greatest hospitality suite event ever (see: Invitation + Video + Photos) , we also found time to conduct great business. One thing we did was once again survey attendees over the entire 4 days in order to better understand their online research habits and favourite metals/minerals. (View 2007 Survey Results Here).

With more than 650 investors surveyed, we were once again able to extract some very valuable information. The results will have different implications for each of you depending on your core commodity and whether or not you have an online IR strategy.

As expected, I’ve added my own commentary following each of the questions but welcome your feedback via posting your comments at the end of the post.

Without further adieu, here are the results:

QUESTION #1 – Which Metal/Mineral Are You Most Bullish On?

  • Gold (54%)
  • Silver (12.5%)
  • Nickel (8.8%)
  • Uranium (7.7%)
  • Diamonds (6.6%)
  • Copper (5.8%)
  • Molybdenum (4.6%)

QUESTION #2 – Do You Prefer Small or Large-Cap Resource Companies?

  • Small-Cap (79%)
  • Large-Cap (21%)

Big change here. Last year, it was ~ 88 / 12. Either investors are looking up the ladder, or more large-cap people are coming by the AGORACOM booth to find small-cap investments.

QUESTION #3 – What Percentage Of Your Research Into New Stocks Is Done Online?

  • 100% of Research – (17.6%)
  • 90% of Research – (23.4%)
  • 75% of Research – (21.7%)
  • 50% of Research – (19.6%)
  • < 50% of Research – (17%)

After a little further tabulation, we can conclude that the web accounts for 69% of all research into all new investments. Still think online investor relations and marketing isn’t important? If you want to take a look at more supporting data that I’ve reported on, please review the following headlines.

QUESTION #4 – Would You Like To Participate In Private Placements Of TSX-V Resource Companies?

  • Yes – 56.5%
  • No – 43.5%

Retail investors obviously have an appetite for participating in private placements. AGORACOM is now taking this a step further by building a database via our very own private placement opportunities initiative. If you would like access to our database for a future financing, please let us know.

QUESTION #5 – Do You Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research?

  • Yes – 54.4%
  • No – 45.6%

Two comments here:

First, small-cap CEO’s and IRO’s need to pay close attention to this number. Though most of you ignore them by saying “I don’t read forums”, the fact of the matter is that 55% of your current and prospective investors use them for information and research. Thus, either you take control of your message, or somebody else will.

Second – and more importantly – 80% of investors that don’t currently use discussion forums would use them if quality control measures were implemented. As such, the true percentage of investors that participate or want to use discussion forums is actually closer to 90%.

Conclusion – If 90% of your current or prospective investors want a community that they can use for information, collaboration and research – give it to them! Just look at how it has helped Noront Resources communicate with their investor base.

Question #6 – If You Have Used Stockhouse, Do You Click On Their Ads?

  • Never – 53.8%
  • Rarely – 26.1%
  • Sometimes – 16.7%
  • Often – 3.4%

Assume we are extremely conflicted here, so I won’t provide any commentary on these figures. If you are a Stockhouse advertiser, you probably want to pay close attention to them.

CONCLUSION

The importance of the web in achieving your IR goals simply can’t be overstated. If you think a website alone is sufficient, you are wrong and need to read this report in order to avoid wasting more valuable time.

Investors are using the web to research and discuss their current or prospective investments. They are dissecting your fundamentals, collaborating about your future, watching videos, sharing photos and making decisions about whether to buy, sell or hold your stock.

You have an incredible, cost-efficient opportunity to be a part of that process and significantly impact the future of your company for years to come. Feed your audience with the best information possible, ask them questions, listen to their feedback and create a connection with an ever increasing number of investors that will pay you perpetual dividends.

If you are not a significant part of that ecosystem, you are doing your company a great disservice and will inevitably be left behind the unstoppable growth and habits of online investors.

Regards,
George

AGORACOM SURVEY: 83% Of AGORACOM Visitors Trade Via Online Broker

Posted by AGORACOM at 3:24 AM on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

As you can tell from many of posts, I’m a data fanatic. Given the fact we (AGORACOM) conduct 95% of our activities online, it only makes sense to take advantage of our digital nature and track everything.

To this end, we ran a simple 3-question survey on our site last week and had 622 people respond in less than 24 hours. Thanks to all that responded. You can view the full survey here but here are some of the highlights:

  • 46.9% have been investing in stocks for more than 10 years;
  • 83.4% trade through an online trading account (1.3% don’t trade stocks)
  • 53% have a portfolio valued at > $100,000 (do you hear that 1.3%?)

622 people in less than 24 hours. Now I’m hooked. Look for more surveys in the future.

p.s. For our members heavily invested in the resource space, we are currently running an onsite survey at the PDAC. I’ll post the results sometime next week.

Regards,
George