Okay, the long awaited research site is now officially in Beta.
Anyone who wants to look at the public side of the site, feel free to point and click and see what needs shoring up. (Username is "beta" and Password is "tester" all lower case).
You guys have had some terrific insights; I would appreciate your feedback here (use the comments). Note that while it seems to work fine in Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 6, there are big issues with IE7 (which is also in Beta).
The roll out of this will be in phases: The initial subscription will include a regular commentary, special trading updates, and the occasional single issue focus paper (Fixed income, Golds, Iraq War, etc.).
The next phase will include some of the way cool but tweaky tech (still under development): A stock screener with some very unique analytical features, including built in technical and fundamental scoring. Also, I have been working on some very interesting Charting features — all java based, (and outsourced to Indian programmers). There’s lots of other really cool stuff I am jazzed about in development.
Go to Ritholtz.com/site
To access what will be the public part of the site, you need Username "beta" and Password "tester" — all lower case . . .
There is no content.
I don’t think there’s any content intended at present. You’re being marketed at.
That makes your comment all the more important: without samples (e.g. old versions of current reports) it’s difficult to demonstrate the value of the service.
How much will this be ?
I really have found your insight of value…. Will this be something common folk (like me) can afford ?
$395.00 or 39.95/mo
a little pricey ! but I am sure it would be worth it….
I really like the focus of the research.; monetary, fiscal and financial market trends. Get these in your favor and everything becomes much easier. Global Macro analysis is a very good thing in my opinion and am glad to see that you should have that.
I also think the pricing if very competitive for a site that is not specifically a stock picking and stock research service but more of an interactive newsletter and research service.
I also realize how it can be a real hassle for a RIA and hedge fund to publish comments and research.
A few parts of the site don’t seem consistent. The (long ass) terms of service mentions ‘signal subscribers’ but that doesn’t appear as a subscription option. Or, is it part of the full membership (which notes only the market letter).
One place indicates the trial is for a month (assuming 2 market letters?), but the subscription page doesn’t mention it.
The copy mentions actionable items – is this the semi-monthly marketletter, or does this refer to another layer of service?
An example market letter would be helpful. What’s the value added over reading this site for free? Is it a .pdf? email? podcast? all of the above?
The 4 character username and password is really weak. Come on. You’ll have hackers trying dictionary attacks within hours. Increase to a minimum of 6 or 8. Also do not allow more than a few unsuccessful login attempts from the same IP address in aperiod of time.
No minimum size or guidance on managed accounts? Or, if I have to ask I’m probably not in the right league?
Any message board or something interactive that you’ll be participating in? Or is the interaction with charts only?
Finally, your terms of service suggests I can only print off excerpts. Suppose I want to print the marketletter in its entirity and read it over coffee away from the computer? And you give the recording industry a hard time for not being user friendly.
(Amazing long, redundant and all encomasing terms of service and disclaimer. I know you need it, but man did the laywers ever go to town there.)
Finally, the conflict of interest police regarding employees seemed a little vague or weak, maybe just given the overkill of the rest of it. I realize you can’t deal with positions of employees you don’t know about, but are there required discosures and active monitoring of employees positions and trading – or “don’t ask, don’t tell”? You seem to run a tight ship, so it’s probably not the latter, but to the extent there are some weak spots, that’s one.
I know I already said finally, but…. given the apparent lack of interest in consulting, why is that one of the navigation options across the top? How about subscribe or login? What are most of the people on the site going to be doing there – looking for consulting you’re going to turn away, or buying a subscription?
Hope this sound constructively critical. I’ve enjoyed the site and hope to give something back. Plus I’m curious about the service and want to know more what I’ll get for my $$.
This is the public site — what anyone (not just subscribers) has access to.
The content is mostly static, there are no real charts, sector discussions, stock picks, analysis, quant studies, screeners, etc.
The public version is, as NDK observed, a marketing tool.
The heavy serious content will be subscriber only; The fees will allow me to build out a variety of research tools I couldn’t afford to give away.
There are a few very cool subscriber only things in the pipeline: in addition to the ongoing tech buld out (wioch will be slow coming) there will be seminars, conference calls, Q&A. I’d like to build into a variety of elements into the printy and interactive versions.
It will also allow me to discuss things — specific buy & sell recs, shorts, notable scams, etc. — that I cannot mention w/o giving the lawyers coronaries — in a public forum.
I’m curious what people think
I hate the terms of services — overlawyering at its worst . . .
The seminars, conference calls and Q & A are especially appealing.
Your posted description sounds more appealing than the webpage itself, particularly the interactive services. Remember that you’re not marketing a standard product to standard people. Don’t be afraid to make it a little more detailed. I’m less interested in your technology than your brain. You’ve demonstrated an excellent ability to explain the underpinnings of your theories using IMG SRC and A HREF.
Your past suggestions for existing clients is your second most powerful marketing tool. Your blog is, by far, your first. Keep it up.
I signed up for the $0.02 version. What a bargain! lol..
It won’t keep me logged in though, but I imagine that is part of the work in progress situation?
Wacky suggestion: if lawyers are the problem why not have a semi-public “tinfoil hat conclave” where everything posted is explicitly for entertainment purposes only?
I used Windows XP SP2 IE6.0.02 sp2 and almost everything worked perfectly including edits. The software caught mismatched passwords when creating an account it caught invalid account numbers, all the typical editting tasks worked. Two notable exceptions. I decided to read the Terms and Conditions when signing up, and the page where I was signing up timed out, so I couldn’t get back to signing up. I had to start over from logging in to start.
The other irritating issue is a policy issue. My wife used to sell stuff on Ebay and had a PayPal account. She wasn’t home tonight when I was testing. When I typed in my credit card orrectly, your system determined that there was a PayPal account tied to the credit card, and wouldn’t take the credit card, but instead insisted that i sign into the PayPal account. My wife was at a lecture with her sister, and her cell phone was off. Easy you say, use another credit card. I have cut back to one credit and one debit card. My policy is to use the credit card to pay for internet purchases, and the debit card for local purchases.
So, the clash is your policy versus mine. You had my credit card and decided not to take it, even though it was valid, and insisted on the PayPal account which I didn’t know. You had my money in hand and turned it down. I’m sure that you can compute the expected value of the number of transactions where you make an error taking the credit card. I’m sure there’s a Baysian equation somewhere that describes it perfectly. Anyway, that’s my initial finding.
About time you stopped giving it away for free. At $400 this will be a bargain.
Don’t lose the macro. I put much time into reading Mankiw, DeLong (w/o rants), Setser and New Economist. Would like your views more often.
Your interviews and the paper on sentiment are extremely valuable. I have most of the indicators on stockcharts.com but some interpretation from you would be good too. BTW, the shakiness of A/D related stats from NYSE due to the big number of ETF’s and other fund related issues surprised me (this from your interview with the market top/bottom guy). Could you provide us with clean data and charts for A/D, High/Low ratio, % above 50 and 200 MA, Bullish %?
The high tech stuff will be interesting but your no bullshit approach not to mention your recent prescience is what sells you. I have listened to and read so much guff from financial advisors over past years and was about to write the whole thing off as complete scam. But there are a few like you and your friends who are still worth listening to, are not in the pockets of the Wall St money machines and don’t care who they piss off. Don’t change!
Best personal regards,
The graphics and color are staid, conservative BORING. It’s not YOU at all. The front page graphic has all the appeal of wet toast. There’s nothing inherently clever or exciting about the site or its layout. It just IS. It is extremely grey flannel suit.
Now I’m not saying that you need to Jim Cramer it, but it needs SOME semblance of life. Hate to be critical because I love your work. But this is my work and I think whoever designed your site forgot 1) you and 2)who you are marketing to, and 3) why.
the link at Resources -> Research -> Private Research -> Technical Analysis from A to Z does not work. They seem to have removed the page.
I wasn’t able to reach the site using either Safari or Firefox. With both browsers, I received messages similar to:
The page isn’t redirecting properly
Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.
Safari can’t open the page.
Too many redirects occurred trying to open “http://www.ritholtz.com/401.shtml”. This might occur if you open a page that is redirected to open another page which then is redirected to open the original page.
I look forward to being able to reach your site.
Are you going to be offering a “Free Trial”? I’d be hesitant to spend that much money (its alot for me) without a few weeks of a trial to check it out first.
Nice site, congrats on your beta. A few design notes.
The grey/black/blue color scheme could work but I think you need a photo that reinforces the blue better. A little massaging in photoshop could tease more blue out of the current photo.
The active link orange seems a little out of place, a blue or lavender would be more in the palette you’ve established for yourself.
The uniformity of the type in the left and top links is to monotonous. If they were different styles it would be more visually interesting and convey a sense of hierarchy. Since you are already doing a lot of all-caps type, why not have the top links be small, all-caps in a grey?
Type in the upper left cell (Ritholtz, Research…) is to crowded. I’d try taking the stuff below the line (Awareness..) and stringing it out in the vast black expanse to the right.
Regarding the Ritholtz, Awarness & Analytics, it might be stronger is the type was centered. I might try making the Awareness line either a lighter weight or all caps as Ritholtz.
A darker gray in the background outside the content area would make the page content pop more.
Can I use the subscribe feature or are you not taking payments yet?
A few comments:
1.) The font and spacing show up very poorly in IE6 – I know it’s a trial site but it’s worth having your designer do something more with it. The spacing required a lot of scrolling, which could tend to be a subtle disincentive to people who aren’t already familiar with your writing.
2.) The intro language around consulting is catchy but a bit insulting, and reads with a vaguely 1999 dot-com era tone. That said, the stuff about not taking an assignment unless you’re sure you can have an impact is great and ultimately much more important.
3.) I think your pricing is spot on.
4.) Are you going to offer a community forum/discussion area? The comments of your readers here are excellent, and could add to the subscription site as well.
5.) The banners at the bottom with your own advertising are completely antithetical to your brand, and are extraneous given site structure. Presumably people who have gone there already know they’re at your site, and can tell from the navigation bars where to go to get more, so why bombard people with more pitches? That sort of visual call-out approach is much better suited to calling people’s attention to whatever is new or highlighted that week on the site.
6.) Completely agreed on the value of the Q&A – excellent idea.
7.) Also agreed on the minimums for managed accounts – why are they not included? I think it would support your sale better to put the following information in front of the password wall to generate interest:
TYPES OF ACCOUNTS (balanced, FI, EQ)
BLURB ON APPROACH FOR EACH
And then put the nuts and bolts of further information on process, track record, fees, etc. behind the password wall.
Just some thoughts – looking forward to the full site.
I like it on first view, just two things:
The adjective-based tagline on the top left is redundant. “Awareness. Insight. Guidance. Market Intelligence.” You said all that already with “Research & Analytics.” Obviously it’s all that stuff or you wouldn’t be selling it, right? Your much appreciated anti-bullshit sensibilities would be better advertised by as little use of superfluous language as possible imho.
Also, the banner ads on the bottom of the home page look like they were designed by a color blind person with web templates circa 1997.
Re unique content, I’d love to see some good work done with decision trees and expected values. Decision trees can be extremely helpful for getting a handle on scenario developments, and expected value ranges–“the probability of gold moving sharply is X, but if it breaks Y threshold convincingly, it could easily move Z,” or “If stock ABC makes its numbers it could rise 1%, but if it misses, it could drop 7%” can present useful context.
Two other things, I hope you aren’t splitting apart the main product and the “what we are” watching feature, which seems a bit of a tease… and I wouldn’t get too bogged down in the mechanics of snazzy charts as most everyone semi-serious about markets already has good chart access these days.
Last but not least, it might be cool to have a forum kind of like this one… http://www.tradingblox.com/forum/ …for subscribers to swap notes and views on the markets. It’s hard to find good discussion forums out there, in my opinion, because most of them are too big and too filled with yutzes. Paying $39.95 a month and being an FOB (fan of Barry) might be a nice filtering device for a high quality discussion forum, with the ability to get more topical and in-depth than the comment section on bigpicture allows.
Typo: Meant to reference the “what we are watching” feature, not “what we are.”
Point being that selling “what we are watching” separately would seem a bit like charging more to put headlights on the car.
p.s. I just noticed the “at no additional cost” line. So, ah, umm, nevermind.
Nice design (and I have some experience there), but you scroll down on the main page and get to……a block of HIDEOUS banner ads. WOW. And they all link to pages linked on the Main page elsewhere (hence unneccasry). Are these tests to see which gets clicked more? They need better design either way.
Do I need to open a Paypal account as well? I don’t have one of those, and that seems like a headache.
left menu items open in same window. graphic links at the bottom open in new window/tab. should be consistent.
Barry Ritholtz page: come on, give us a glamour shot!
Strategy page: layout in Firefox 22.214.171.124 funky – bullet, then line break, then text.
This bullet layout problem crops up alot
Charts page: different font than rest of site
Barry, on the page: Home > Resources > Research > Private Research the link to Yardeni Economic Research goes to the old Pru site. This has been inactive for quite a while, as EY grabbed for the subscription $$$$ earlier than you.
great stuff — I forwarded all these comments to the tech guys — keep it coming
And yes, I hate those banner ads also! Thank for saying so
404 error on top menu bar, managed accounts, on signup.php (sign up for subscription page)
Your site looks good in Opera. :-)
Barry – Links appear to be broken when you click on the image of the marketletter samples rather than the links beneath them.
where is the line of sweaters?
rihtholtz analytics merges with eddie bauer to form..
ritholtz research and sweaters!
So far, everything works, except when I try to get an article from the Apprenticed Investor that is in Real Money, which seems to require a subscription. I do like the emphasis from larger font sizes. All transfer mechanisms seem to work fine. All editting seems to work fine. I couldn’t really force anything to fail with ‘bad’ data like letters in phone numbers. My biggest issue so far haqs already been mentioned by me and others in being forced to use PayPal. I’ll continue trying. It might be`easier if you put out another piece like this when you add another section or you have something in particular you want tested.
I’ll play anyway.
Is the site functional? I signed up for the $39 special, but still can not access anything (not authorized message). I think the site needs to explain exactly what is being offered with the different subscriptions. For example, with the $39 do you get the “What we are watching” section or just the newsletter. And what exactly is being offered for 1 and 2 cents.