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 two BDCs — Allied Capital (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 self-directed-investor-focused subscriptions.
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 thousands of free newsletter subscribers, and dedicated site visitors.
In October of 2012, we launched Preferred Stock Channel, featuring 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.
In 2014, we launched Holdings Channel, a research website focused on 13F filers, aimed at informing financial advisors and retail investors about which stocks the various 13F filers are holding, including holdings changes between periods (what stocks are being bought and sold), and new positions being added.
In 2015, we launched Contrarian Outlook, where our mission is to help investors learn about how to make the most of a contrarian investing viewpoint, with objective, independent, unbiased investing ideas, presented in premium subscription newsletters.
In 2016, we re-launched BDC Investor, with a new website aiming to provide news and information about those Business Development Companies (BDCs) that are traded publicly.
In 2017, we launched CEF Channel, a research website focusing on Closed End Funds (CEFs), an interesting category of funds which raise a fixed amount of capital and then the shares of the fund are traded just like your typical stock.
In 2019, we launched RediNews, a resource for fresh articles with top stock picks from leading financial writers.
In 2020, we launched Technical Analysis Channel, a research website focused on several popular technical indicators in simple presentation, with charts for each member of the S&P 500, to help investors and traders alike to better perform stock research.
Towards the end of 2020, we acquired the "CDx3 Notification Service" and PreferredStockInvesting.com websites.
In 2021, we improved and expanded the newly-acquired CDx3 service with new features. In addition to alerts about new preferred stock IPOs and new Exchange Traded Debt securities (complete with "CDx3 Compliance Score" information), subscribers can now also gain access to "Par Cross Alerts" for high-rated previously-issued preferreds and ETDs that cross below par value in after-market trading. A new weekly newsletter was launched, and subscribers can now download Preferred Stock Investing, Fifth Edition as an eBook.
In 2022, we launched Cryptocurrencies Channel, which tracks several popular technical analysis metrics for major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and also features a look at popular stocks with their current and historical share prices expressed in popular cryptocurrencies.
In 2023, we launched Income Calendar, a subscription portfolio system for tracking dividend declarations and payments, both to project out a portfolio's future payments over the upcoming twelve months (by month as well as by stock), and to follow dividend declarations and events in real-time via email alerts.
The goal at ValueForum ("VF") 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, MLPs, 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.