In this article I share some of the common reasons why clients choose Topdown Charts as their research partner. As pressure increases on investment managers to perform, preserve capital, and keep investors informed, the value of capable, responsive, and innovative independent research providers only grows. These reasons help shed light on why their help can be so valuable.
1. They like the charts (of course!); they like the often innovative and always insightful charts and indicators we produce. They also like how we use multiple charts and indicators to "tell the story" and build a complete picture on the investment idea, macro theme, or emerging risk. Of course being very busy people our clients like how the reports focus on the charts and thus make for fast reading with clear and concise conclusions.
2. They like the buyside perspective; the founder of Topdown Charts, Callum Thomas, comes from the buyside, where he honed his skills as part of a team managing billions in multi-asset funds, and working closely with other portfolio managers across asset classes. This means the research is colored by a need to understand in order to make money (or avoid the avoidable risks)... rather than a need to just produce research!
3. They like that it's a small boutique because it's not just another big no-face/no-soul bank or broker, it's someone they can relate to, and the service is more *personalized* and you're not just another faceless client but an important partner and supporter.
4. They like the multi-asset coverage - particularly because it covers the major levers in active asset allocation (i.e. global equities, global bonds, FX/hedging), but does *not* neglect some of the often neglected asset classes like REITs, MLPs, credit, regional/country equities, TIPS, etc.
5. They like the approach/process because it is not constrained by the dogma of a single philosophy like "fundamentals" or "technicals", but rather strives to bring in multiple drivers of insight to build a more complete and higher conviction picture of each asset class through the cycle.
Read more about our Research Process & Philosophy
6. They like the access/help - we know the challenges of the job of a portfolio manager, it's not just about managing money, it's also about communicating your ideas (our charts help with this), and our clients appreciate our (often last minute!) help with putting presentations together. But they also like how we welcome topic suggestions and requests for customized work and insights.
7. They like the innovative indicators and fresh ideas, and that's actually one of the things we pride ourselves on. Our charts are often copied by others and our ideas are often stolen but we don't care because that's just one of the things we do - lead the narrative, lead on innovation, and come up with indicators and ways of looking at things that no one else has yet.
8. They like the ease of read, because again it's about letting the charts do most of the talking. We find it works better if you "trade on what you see, not what you *want* to see". By being data driven, and chart focused the reports are succinct, punchy, and to the point. If you like sitting down and reading a 50-page report then our service is not for you.
9. The like the mix of time-frames, timeliness, and timelessness ...what a mouthful! They like how the material is often incredibly timely (either talking about something before it's relevant and/or just as it's becoming relevant), but sometimes also timeless (e.g. research on asset allocation issues, expected returns, and longer term themes), and of course the multiple time frames. We explicitly cover the medium-to-long term outlook across asset classes, as well as the short-term tactical allocation views on a regular basis (specifically addressed in the Monthly Chartbook and allocation guide).
10. They like my story. I left my corporate job to start my own firm. Backed myself, put in a lot of hard work, brought hard-earned talent to the table and importantly delivered on a commitment to going above and beyond for my clients. You can read my whole story here: "Out of the blue - my first 2 years in business"
But most of all what my clients like is that I deliver on what I say I will, and my goal of making the portfolio manager's job easier, that is by delivering:
-Investment ideas (how to add value in active asset allocation)
-Risk management input (the all important mission of capital preservation)
-Meaningful macro insights (economic insights with that critical "so what?")
-Charts to use (help with communicating their views with their key stakeholders)
So as our client numbers grow (across regions, type, and size -- our clients include one of the world's largest fund managers, large regional fund managers and asset owners, as well as emerging managers and start-up funds), and as we continue engagement, the list of reasons why they like our work becomes even more apparent.
I hope this has given you an insight into why our clients choose us, and why it might be worth considering becoming a client. As alluded to, each of our clients is a valued member of the 'team', and for now we continue to welcome on board new clients. We will do a soft close at some point, but as we're still in the early growth stage, capacity/saturation is not yet an issue as it is for others.
To learn more, or to ask about any of the above, just get in touch.
11. (bonus reason) - they like what I do on social media - a lot of my clients have discovered me through the blog and social media. This has been great for them to help them find me and obviously it helps me with keeping the lights on! But I also find engagement in social media helps me in unexpected ways e.g. the reactions my posts get (or don't get!) can tell me a lot about the mood of investors and traders. It's both a great way for me to help inform folk, build my business, and feel the pulse of the market.
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