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From Our Founder: Refocusing on the Forward View

First of all, I'd like to apologize for the lack of newsletters in December and January. I was hospitalized for almost seven weeks at the end of 2015 and admittedly didn't delegate writing our newsletters to another Forward View team member. (That was a mistake that I won't repeat.) In the hospital, I did have plenty of time to think about exactly what opportunities Forward View should be chasing and, more importantly, what paths we should not pursue. With a small business, I've come to realize that what we don't do is often more meaningful than what work we complete. Let me explain and offer examples:

Forward View sells investment research and has developed a loyal global readership. We don't, however, offer "corporate access" services that involve selling opportunities to communicate/meet with company executives. That is a change from the typical research industry business model. I, however, don't believe in putting a price on our contact list or the wonderful relationships we've developed in finance and multiple other industries. Forward View also doesn't engage in trading or investment banking services that would generate conflicts of interest with our research publications. Again, that lack of services is a departure from Wall Street. We simply enjoy being different and prefer to focus on our core strengths. Forward View's research team thus has no trouble sleeping at night because we're free of the typical ethical dilemmas that give finance a bad name.

On the consulting side of Forward View, we'll remain dedicated to small businesses and nonprofits. We're not going to pursue large corporate clients. The small business market is both extensive and woefully underserved, especially here in Southwestern Virginia. I enjoy serving entrepreneurs who've been ignored by other firms because they're both driven to find a consulting partner and exceedingly interested in our proposed solutions. Again, though, Forward View is defined by our self-imposed restrictions and "limitations."

This year, I'm going to refocus on The Forward View. (That's our unique outlook on the future of finance and small business success.) To accomplish our goals, we'll be launching a new equity research product in the Spring. Wall Street will soon have to pay more for our reports, but we'll also be making more analyses available to smaller investment firms for free/low-cost through StockViews. Our internal processes are also being revamped in order to better serve new, and existing, consulting clients. I look forward to presenting more of these developments in future newsletters.

In closing, I'm excited about what Forward View can accomplish in 2016! I believe we have a fantastic team and without them, almost nothing would get done. The future looks bright as long as we do what we do best... and nothing more!