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What do you think of Investor Update?
This article appeared in the November 2012 ASX Investor Update email newsletter. To subscribe to this newsletter please register with the MyASX section or visit the About MyASX page for past editions and more details.
Latest survey shows wide range of views and ideas.
By Tony Hunter, Head of Education Services
With more than 180,000 subscribers, ASX Investor Update is one of Australia's largest investment newsletters, and an important part of ASX's efforts to help retail investors through independent, balanced educational information. The newsletter is part of the ASX Education unit, which oversees ASX online courses, ASX Sharemarket games, and ASX Investment talks.
More than 3000 subscribers completed the ASX reader survey; almost 400 of these were defined as lapsed readers. We surveyed current and lapsed readers, so we could compare their views. We surveyed to better understand how you use the newsletter, what you value most, why some people stop reading, and ways to improve the publication to meet reader needs now and in the future. More stories on asset allocation, superannuation, stock tips and smaller companies were some key suggestions in the latest reader survey. A more timely newsletter that is faster and easier to read, and covers a wider range of investment strategies, were other recommendations.
Each month, the ASX Investor Update editorial committee considers a range of content ideas from within ASX and through the newsletter's network of contributors. Often, 20 to 30 story ideas will be whittled down to a dozen or so we think will best help readers that month. We then source writers for stories and the newsletter goes through three rounds of editing before publication.
Surveying readers helps us gauge whether we choose the right stories and present them in a useful format that appeals to beginners, active investors or experienced traders. Your content suggestions also help select the right authors to research interesting topics. No newsletter of this size can ever please all readers, but the latest reader feedback is pleasing.
The survey had a high proportion of quantitative responses where readers rated aspects of the newsletter, and scope for readers to provide qualitative responses through their comments. We have compiled and sifted through thousands of reader comments and thanks to those who took the time to provide such useful feedback.
Congratulations to survey winners, Mette Creaser, Heather Goldstein and Stephen Weston. They each received a $100 Coles voucher for completing the survey.
Here is a short summary of the survey's findings:
1. Why the newsletter is read
Education and guidance are the overwhelming reasons to subscribe to ASX Investor Update. A high proportion of respondents said they subscribed to "learn more about the sharemarket". Others said "investment ideas on shares, market or product trends" was the main reason. The newsletter's prime purpose is general education, although we recognise many readers seek investment ideas from it.
2. Who reads the newsletter?
The survey suggests about half our readers have more than $100,000 invested. They tend to prefer larger companies, seek capital growth and dividend yield, hold shares for more than a year, and use an online or discount stockbroker. A high proportion of readers use both fundamental analysis (for example, reading annual reports and other company information) and technical analysis (studying share price charts) to make investment decisions. A third of respondents have a self-managed super fund. The majority of readers are aged 46 or above, and about 30 per cent are women.
3. How the newsletter is read
About 87 per cent of respondents (current readers) had opened and read the newsletter in the past three months. This broadly matches our analysis of monthly traffic figures, which suggest ASX Investor Update enjoys a higher "open" rate than the industry average for finance e-newsletters. More than a third of survey respondents said they spent at least 15 minutes reading each issue, and often save stories for future reading. Typically, readers scan the newsletter for appealing information.
4. What readers do next?
A high proportion of readers search the ASX website for more information after reading an ASX Investor Update story. This was a pleasing finding, because a key goal of the newsletter is to highlight other ASX education resources for readers who want to drill deeper for extra information. A surprising finding was that about a quarter of readers print stories they like; we will review the newsletter format to ensure it accommodates easy printing, and consider providing a PDF format for those who prefer a hard copy. A small proportion of readers take an ASX online course after reading a story.
5. Best-liked content
Three types of content appeal most to readers: market news; ideas about shares to buy and sell; and education topics. Not surprisingly, in terms of ASX products, stories on shares attracted most interest. There was also good reader interest in stories on interest rates securities, exchange-traded funds, and listed investment companies. Stories covering tax, superannuation and asset allocation were popular.
6. How you rate the newsletter
About 90 per cent of respondents said they were "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with ASX Investor Update. Less than 1 per cent said they were "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied". Although a pleasing result, it is tempered by the high proportion of current readers who completed the survey and thus are more likely to value its content. Only a small proportion of readers thought there were too many stories, or they were too technical. About 90 per cent said there was a good balance of writers and views.
7. Areas for improvement
The majority of respondents agreed there "were not enough stock tips in the newsletter". About a third said the newsletter "sometimes seems out of date" when published. There was a strong preference for stories over videos. Reader interest in smaller ASX-listed companies, asset allocation strategies, and tax and superannuation advice was also prominent in the survey.
8. Why readers stop reading
The overwhelming reason is a lack of time. Readers also said they had too much other information to read, and the ASX Investor Update email sometimes gets buried in their inbox. About one in 10 lapsed readers said the newsletter lacked relevance for them, and some said they lost interest in the market because of its poor performance and thus stopped reading about it. Other lapsed readers said they forgot they had subscribed. Understanding these and other views of lapsed readers has already prompted several ideas to incorporate in the next newsletter revision, to make it easier and faster for readers to use, and raise awareness of its publication.
I hope you found this short summary of reader views useful. The ASX Education team wanted to share some key findings and thank you for your time in completing a lengthy survey. We appreciate and respect your confidential views and will do our best to incorporate as many of them as possible into the next newsletter update, to keep improving it.
As always, we welcome your feedback each month and encourage comments and suggestions.
The views, opinions or recommendations of the author in this article are solely those of the author and do not in any way reflect the views, opinions, recommendations, of ASX Limited ABN 98 008 624 691 and its related bodies corporate ("ASX"). ASX makes no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the content. The content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian financial services licensee before making investment decisions. To the extent permitted by law, ASX excludes all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way including by way of negligence.
© Copyright 2013 ASX Limited ABN 98 008 624 691. All rights reserved 2013.
© 2013 ASX Limited ABN 98 008 624 691