Equity research in the investing world is summarily defined as researching about equity and associated products like mutual funds, etc. to provide a buy/sell recom-mendation to an investor. Though the term indicates research related to equities only, in the real world the same has been extended to multiple other elements like com-modities, real estate, etc. Until the last century, most of the research was limited to the work being done by research agencies, which were usually hired by the corporates or by investment banks. In most cases, the transparency of research reports owing to the influence either the corporations or investment banks had on the reports pub-lished was always doubtful. These corporations, investment banks, investment agen-cies and research agencies hire highly-paid analysts and expensive research teams to carry out research and publish the same. These institutions in most of the cases pass on the hefty charges paid to these analysts and research teams to the end-customers. The charges could be passed on in the profit and loss account, through a balance sheet or by charging customers a subscription fee to get access to these reports.
A host of research-related websites emerged in the last decade that specialize in providing analyst reports at a nominal fee or free of charge. Some of these websites were linked to freelance analysts who would provide personalized recommendations for stock selections for nominal fees. Over time, multiple such websites emerged resulting in a huge quantity of information available for each and every investing subject. Processing this information and judging the credibility and authenticity of information started becoming a challenge for avid investors. Some of the start-ups have grabbed the opportunity and have created apps and applications that publish the reports only from vetted analysts associated with their platform. Other start-ups, though, continue being an aggregator for reports, have restricted their associa-tion with only certain qualified websites. These apps/applications are transforming the way people access and understand research reports regarding multiple different types of financial instruments.
These aggregators provide a host of charts and tools to analyze financial infor-mation of an equity or mutual fund. They have a database of a large number of companies and funds with multiple years of history. These platforms send data alerts and stream news about a stock/fund. A large number of these platforms pro-vide information that is useful for further analysis, but does not itself provide any advice to the investors. Thus, these platforms provide the necessary data and ana-lytics required by an analyst to provide recommendations. Consequently, besides being a useful tool for analysts, these platforms are also turning novices into experts in stock trading through graphical utilities like 200-day moving averages, etc.
There are multiple other FinTechs that are equipping advisors with the much-desired global analytics and research. These firms provide investment research and analytics services besides a host of other services. They are usually employed by corporates for valuation of their companies or the companies they are interested in acquiring. They help their customers in valuation of IP portfolios of an organization.
Alphametry is a company formed in 2014 that believes itself to be transforming the equity research world in a manner similar to what TripAdvisor has done to holidays. It has tools and utilities that help bundle all the research reports together, search for the right research and collaborate with teams globally. It also helps linking analysts with investors globally to make all the research available.