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Roger

I think you hit the nail on the head. Research, as a product, has the ability to get better and better by simply admitting that the old model was broken and will inevitably be replaced by: (1) industry experts with unique perspectives, relationships and experience that have laser-focus on a particular set of companies, an industry or a niche; (2) financial intelligence firms with the technology platforms to aggregate, filter, display and analyze millions of data points, in real time, to harvest value from the long tail of the internet; and (3) truly value-added macro thinkers have had and will continue to have value in any and every investment environment. The prospects for research are awesome - and well-endowed buy side participants have the propensity and willingness to pay for it - but you'd better bring value to the table. Research-for-commissions quid pro quo just won't cut it any more. The hard dollar/soft dollar issue for the firms controlling the largest pool of research spend simply doesn't matter. The product does. Thanks for adding valuable perspective to my original post. I loved the Reingold book as well. As a long time Wall Streeter I laughed, cringed and covered my eyes while reading it. Too painful (yet too true) for words.

Wood

Den,

It's been the best of both worlds. Total costs are (or can be) reduced dramatically while the quality of the research increases. It's the pick and choose model to perfection.

In the past, you had to direct business to the big sell-side shops on a holistic level, just ot get "coverage." Now, it's much easier to pay for the analysts you value directly without fear of reprisal that you're going to be shut out of the party.

Personally I think the blogosphere is going to be a major factor in the next wave of independent research. The barriers to publication that are in place for us obviously also benefit people who are trying to publish investment research. I look forward to the evolution.

Call it the long tail of research if you will... :)

Dennis Howlett

Is this brave new world driving the cost of analysis down or up Jason? Are you getting an improved qquality of assessment from those that advise your firms?

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