In 1998, a value investor specializing in buying the stocks of mutual banks at prices below their book values, desired to create a web site for bank investors.
A team was assembled, and the group became partners in the business
BankInvestor.com was launched and grew in popularity
The BankInvestor.com community specialized in banks, but other investment ideas were discussed as well, one of which was another type of lender organized under a new model called the "Business Development Company" (BDC)
The stocks of Allied (ALD) and American Capital Strategies (ACAS) developed high short interest and were at the forefront of conversations
We launched BDCinvestor.com in 2002
A member who was impressed by how we adapted the BankInvestor system to BDCinvestor suggested we apply the same technology to a new site with a more broad focus on value and income
This same member was a participant in a group of value and income investors who needed a "home" on the web
We launched ValueForum.com in 2003, with the initial member base consisting of individuals from this group, along with members of BankInvestor and BDCinvestor
BankInvestor.com became a closed community, with new members accepted by application only
The Coffee Shop companion site was launched for all "off-topic" discussions not focused on investments
BDCinvestor.com was merged into BDCs.ValueForum.com, one of several "Portals" into the VF Experience such as also REITs.ValueForum.com
The MY.ValueForum.com customized portal was launched in 2006. "My ValueForum" lets users customize their VF experience to the specific topics and people desired
In 2009, we launched Market News Video, a news organization whose mission is to produce and distribute quality online videos about the stock markets and publicly traded companies.
In 2010, we launched ETF Channel, a research website with a number of ground-breaking features that allow investors to dig deeper into ETFs than ever before.
In 2011, we launched Dividend Channel, a research website focused on dividend-paying stocks, featuring our proprietary DividendRank system which ranks the coverage universe of dividend stocks by a number of criteria, aiming to uncover interesting stock ideas for further research.
Additional niche Channel sites, including Energy Stock Channel, Metals Channel, and Canada Stock Channel were launched.
In early 2012, we launched Portfolio Channel, a subscription website providing users with a variety of model portfolios and investment newsletters administered by our expert partners.
In August of 2012, we acquired the assets of The Online Investor ("OLI"). TheOnlineInvestor.com, originally launched in 1997, has garnered much attention for its unique and comprehensive coverage of large caps, mergers and acquisitions, stock buybacks and stock splits. Over the years, the site, mentioned in Barron's, on CNBC, SmartMoney Interactive and CBS Marketwatch, has built a significant presence, with over 50,000 free newsletter subscribers, and dedicated site visitors.
In October of 2012, we launched Preferred Stock Channel, features pages profiling each preferred stock, as well as a screener to help investors find preferred stocks.
In May of 2013, we launched Stock Options Channel, focusing on the universe of optionable stocks, featuring our proprietary YieldBoost formula which ranks our coverage universe to identify the most interesting puts and calls.
The goal at ValueForum is to create an active online community with a broad focus on value and income, for value-oriented investors to participate in discussion of dividend/income instruments (including REITs, BDCs, preferred stocks, high-yield bonds, and closed-end funds), special value situations, and general investment topics.
ValueForum must be a safe and trusting community of investors where discussion is not stifled, people don't have to wonder whether they are talking to one person or various aliases, the environment is respectful, and nobody is attacked for expressing their point of view.
ValueForum will be supported by income from "passes" (we prefer to use these versus "subscriptions" where members are automatically charged), at an amount small enough to be easily affordable to serious investors while large enough to discourage those who would join only to spam. When a "pass" expires, the member may elect to purchase a new one.