Worth the Hype? The Relevance of Paid-For Analyst Research for the Buy-and-Hold Investor

Worth the Hype? The Relevance of Paid-For Analyst Research for the Buy-and-Hold Investor

Bruce K. Billings 

Florida State University – Department of Accounting

William L. Buslepp 

Texas Tech University – Area of Accounting

George Ryan Huston 

University of South Florida – School of Accountancy; Florida State University – Department of Accounting
September 4, 2013
Accounting Review, Forthcoming

The SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies recommends paid-for research to fill the void created by declining sell-side coverage. Potential conflicts of interest inherent in paid-for research challenge this recommendation. We evaluate whether paid-for research provides value to investors or merely reflects hype. Analyses of one- and two-year ahead paid-for earnings forecasts fail to identify significant bias. Using a portfolio approach, favorable (unfavorable) paid-for recommendations yield positive (negative) stock returns at release, with upward (downward) drift over the following year. Regressing future stock returns on recommendations and valuation estimates using paid-for analysts’ forecasts yields similar results. Further, results fail to indicate significant differences in paid-for and matched sell-side research. Overall, our evidence suggests that paid-for research provides relevant information for the buy-and-hold investor that is comparable to that of matched sell-side research, providing empirical support for the SEC Advisory Committee recommendation.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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