Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where have all the cowboys stock analysts gone?

There are fewer employed stock analysts, their ranks having been decimated by layoffs as a result of subprime losses and mergers. This leads to less research available to individuals, since their brokers are less likely to now cover as many stocks. (Whether or not fewer analyst reports is a good or bad thing is something we can debate at another time.) What are some other options if your favorite coverage is no longer available? BusinessWeek has provided some options.

Research Edge is a boutique research firm that provides recommendations for $2700 a year, or $225 a month. From looking at the sample on their Web site, it appears they provide daily big picture market strategies and individual stock or ETF recommendations. Their CEO is a former managing director at The Carlyle Group, so he's a heavy hitter.

Footnoted.org has a premium section that contains more of the insights they pull from SEC filings. As they say - "For the past 5 years, Footnoted has been digging through SEC filings to bring the most interesting tidbits to our readers. But because we look at many more filings than we post on the site, we’ve decided to launch a separate product: FootnotedPro."

The most notable one of all is of course Morningstar. According to the article:

The Chicago firm started out providing reports on mutual funds, but since 2005 it has been steadily adding product categories. Currently, for an annual fee of $159, subscribers can read regularly updated reports from 200 analysts on 2,000 stocks and get access to fairly involved screening tools for finding stock or fund bargains.
The story mentions a couple more possibilities, so if you're in the market for equity research, check it out.