Surveys

Investors Value News Analytics As "Game-Changer" - Refinitiv Study

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 1 February 2021

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Among some of the more eye-catching findings is that at least a third of the investors polled don't get much value from webinars. More than half, meanwhile, said news analytics can make a big difference to how they invest.

A study of more than 1,000 investors around the world finds that 54 per cent of them say that news analytics will dramatically change how they choose to deploy capital, underscoring how data offerings can create an edge.

Some 39 per cent of investors don’t think they are equipped with the data and content they need to help them make investment decisions, the report, based on research commissioned by Refinitiv, said.

The report said that there is "strong interest" in alternative data to explore favoured sector opportunities.  It also said that "the most innovative firms will introduce these non-traditional data sources, which give investors the edge by offering valuable additional context to help them make their investment choices."

“In the face of unprecedented change and uncertainty, the importance of trusted and accurate data has never been greater. Our research shows that investors across the board, whether self-directed or advisory clients, have a growing need for a more comprehensive data offering that spans traditional analysis and non-traditional alternative data,” Joe Mrak, global head of wealth management, Refinitiv, said.

“The industry will need to continue advancing in critical areas such as ESG to empower investors to make decisions with confidence.”

The 17-page report, Redefining Investor Data Needs, is based on research commissioned by Refinitiv that surveyed 1,030 self-directed and advised mass affluent investors in September 2020, located in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

In its concluding remarks, the report said: “The wealth management industry should address the feedback of a large minority of investors who have realised that they require a range of content delivery channels. In some instances, clients want to quickly digest insights, such as podcasts, videos and webinars, but not everyone can. Crucially, content should include powerful data and data-driven insights that will help investors inform their investments choices.”

Sectors
The survey found that two-thirds (66 per cent) are focused on pharmaceuticals and healthcare due to the development of new COVID-19 therapies and vaccines; not far behind is technology (64 per cent), as remote working and virtual events seem set to stay, and travel and hospitality remain “unloved” and are struggling to bounce back from government-imposed travel restrictions and lockdowns.

Inevitably, environmental, social and governance-driven investment ideas make an appearance. Some 34 per cent of investors globally are more interested in ESG investing than they were six to 12 months ago.

Millennial investors' enthusiasm for ESG rises to 61 per cent. Refinitiv noted that worries about firms “greenwashing” their business to lure in ESG investors remains a hurdle. 

Some 41 per cent of investors who are more interested in ESG say that well governed companies perform better, the study said.

In this age of lockdowns and the use of web-driven communication channels, one notable finding is that 33 per cent of those surveyed don’t find webinars useful. 

“Given the number of perceived virtual gatherings for the foreseeable future, providers should question whether the content, user experience, expert commentary or data underpinning their webinars are falling short – or all of the above,” the report said. 

“There is interest in better access to a range of multimedia content, including webinars, videos and podcasts, rather than predominantly written insights in different formats. To meet this demand, wealth management providers will need to integrate high-quality data into multimedia content that can inform a broad mix of delivery channels,” it said. 

“But access to data and content is only one part of the story. There is a worrying perception that many of the resources offered are not that helpful nor do investors rely on them to make portfolio decisions. Providers should therefore question why, for example, more than a third of those who are invited to webinars do not find them insightful – and what would improve their ratings going forward,” it added. 

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