Agoracom Blog

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.


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:


  • 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.

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

Gold (48.4%)

Silver (21.5%)

Copper (10.8%)

Uranium (12.9%)

Diamonds (5.4%)

Molybdenum/Nickel (1%)

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

Small-Cap (86%)

Large-Cap (11.8%)

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

100% of Research – (26.9%)

90% of Research – (29%)

75% of Research – (23.6%)

50% of Research – (10.75%)

Less Than 50% of Research – (9.7%)

NOTE – This is one of the most striking statistics in the entire survey. Specifically, 79.5% of investors use the web to conduct 75% or more of their research into.

Even more striking is that fact that 56% of investors rely on the web entirely to find their next small-cap investment.

Based on these two figures, a CEO that fails to implement an online IR strategy is doing a great disservice to their company and shareholders.

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

Yes – 64.8%

No – 35.2%

* With the majority of retail investors wanting to participate in private placements directly, do you need to rely on an institution to raise financing? Or will a community of accredited investors now get the job done?

QUESTION #5 – Had You Heard Of AGORACOM Before This Conference?

Yes – 54.8%

No – 45.2%

* AGORACOM awareness has increased by 360% in just one year. During this period we have focused more than 95% of our marketing budget to search engines and other online marketing tools. Not only are we putting our money where our mouth is – we’re proving that online marketing works!

QUESTION #6 – Do You Use Discussion Forums For Information and/or Research?

Yes – 62.4%

No – 35.5%

* With more than 60% of investors using forums for information and research, CEO’s need to begin taking this medium seriously. This year’s number represents a 15% increase over 2007 and there is every reason to believe it will continue to climb year-over-year. Online investors are no different from other web users that flock to communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others.

As such, CEO’s need to start the process of hosting their own communities for the purposes of controlling their message and communicating with shareholders. The alternative is to have unscrupulous investors hijack your message through unmonitored online communities.

Question #7 – If You Have Used Stockhouse, Do You Like The New Beta Site?

Yes – 50.9%

No – 49.1%

* More than 50% of Stockhouse users do not like the new site.

Question #8 – If You Have Used Stockhouse, Are You Satisfied With The Quality Of Their Forums?

Yes – 39.5%

No – 60.5%

Question #9 – If You Have Used Stockhouse, Do You Click On Their Ads?

Never – 33.3%

Rarely – 29.0%

Sometimes – 21.5%

Often – 16.2%

NOTE – 62% of Stockhouse users rarely or never click on their ads.


The importance of the web in achieving your IR goals simply can’t be overstated.

Small-cap investors are overwhelmingly 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.

Unfortunately, most of this is still going on without the participation of small-cap public companies themselves. By my best estimates, more than 90% of small-cap companies have failed to implement an IR strategy beyond hosting a web site.

The good news is that we are still in the early stages of a dramatic paradigm shift. As such, 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.

George Tsiolis

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