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So how is InvestEd going?

Discussion in 'Help & Feedback' started by Alan, 4th Jan, 2006.

  1. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    So how is InvestEd going?

    Since the Site has now been going for about 6 months, I was wondering whether a bit of honest feedback from members that is intended to help may be useful?

    As I said, let's be honest but also constructive in giving the sort of input that will help the Site to future growth.

    Ok.......a few points that come to mind:

    1. Firstly, I have no idea of the technical, behind-the-scenes effort required to start and setup a Site such as this, however I would assume it's been a lot of work and I congratulate all involved. It looks good and seems to work well. :)

    2. To the Moderators, thank you for your time and commitment. It is greatly appreciated.

    3. Personally, at this stage, I don't think the Site is getting anywhere near the number of Members/posts/contributions it needs to be charging hundreds of dollars a year membership when you look at the alternatives. Some days only a couple of posts are made. To be honest, it's 'quiet' to the extreme.

    4. I would assume that a large proportion of existing 'Members' have taken advantage of the NFS Offer and haven't yet needed to 'pay' for membership.
    As 'crunchtime' for many of these members will occur shortly it will be interesting to see how many decide to pay for membership and how many simply decide to become visiting, non-contributing Guests. This will also have a big impact on posts/contributions and hence resulting value of the Site.
    At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if many passed on paid membership.

    5. While I know there are others, I think the initial and constant posting effort of Jacquie, Nigel and Sim should be acknowledged. Getting a Site like this going needs some sort of critical mass of posts. People need to know it is likely there have even been posts made on that day to bother logging in. You guys have certainly done perhaps more than your fair share in this regard.

    6. One of the Member Benefits has been the access to Articles. These have been setout well and by and large the content has been excellent.
    One point of constructive feedback though would be that when you bother to put the day the article will be available, make sure it is available on that day. There were examples when you would go to access these articles days after the release date and they still hadn't become available.

    7. Following on from Point 6, I think it's important for a site like this to always be active, current and informative. With regards to future articles, previously we had some idea of what and when articles would be released. There doesn't seem to be anything there now?

    8. For whatever reasons, personal/business or other, I think Steve Navra's relative lack of regular input on the Site has been a major loss to the Site, especially in its first six months of operation. That's not a personal criticism of Steve as we all have to decide on what time we have available, but it is an observation. I think many would have expected Steve, NFS or NavraInvest to have had a more 'hand on' daily involvement however there initial sponsorship has been appreciated.

    9. I hope some announcements will be made soon on future developments for the Site. To be honest, if the Site still intends to be fee based, these will need to be pretty good as there are certainly some other very good Sites out there that are free and provide some excellent information. I'm not at all sure that InvestEd has yet made a clear distinction of how it is different to some of these other Sites?


    More feedback/comments?
     
  2. perky

    perky Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all of your points Alan.
    I too would like to see Steve here more often - if not then a rep (apart from Mark L who does his best but is fairly new to Navra) to answer some questions would be good.
    Most people here will have their 6 month membership finish mid February (like me) as we joined straight away mid August. I think at that time it may be a good idea to perhaps extend the free membership another 2 months to coincide with the March quarter distribution. I for one (for monetary reasons) will probably not be posting between mid Feb and that time until that distribution comes in....
    And one more thing - the work that Jacque, Sim, Nigel do on this site is outstanding and you guys should be given a big wrap for that :) - thank-you.
     
  3. Leandro

    Leandro Well-Known Member

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    I too agree with your points Alan.

    I actually waited a few months before i took up the 6 month NFS offer because i knew things would be slow at first. I had expected that the site would grow by this stage, however i was wrong. I have posted a few times with very little response, which is disappointing.

    I think that the InvestEd concept is great, however i too would require convincing before i paid a few hundred dollars to renew my membership when the times comes. :confused:
     
  4. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

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    Alan & Perky

    Thanks for your support, feedback and constructive criticism.

    I'm sure those members who have started a business from scratch will understand that much of the work you do is not "visible" to your clients or customers.

    When chatting with the other founders I've often described InvestEd in these early days as like an iceberg. About 80% of it is "under the surface" and not immediately apparent to the casual viewer.

    I won't bore you all with the details but there's been several hundred action items involved in bringing you this site, most of them far from trivial. Sim in particular has put in countless hours "tinkering under the bonnet" to get the site just right. But of course there's a lot more to do. And a lot more we want to do.

    We don't discuss the financial side of InvestEd because that's our business but it's fair to say it has been a labour of love so far. :D

    But to put the $275 in perspective...for a client to have an hour of my professional time is over $500. Likewise my fellow founders are all highly skilled in their fields and would cost similar amounts or more to tap into their skills and experience. I can assure you that we have all spent far more than a couple of hours producing the various articles. Similarly we've all spent time (certainly some more so than others) trying to give you the best answers we can in the various forums.

    Now I don't say all that to bignote ourselves, or provide excuses. I just want to give you some context on the background work that has gone into this project so far and make some points about "value" and the "perception of value".

    At the risk of philosphising for a moment, I think the easy and ready availability of information over the internet has to a large extent made us all expect "everything for nothing" and we want it right now!

    I certainly believe, and I hope our members feel, that we've given them some value so far. But I can assure you though that there is a whole lot more that we want to do with InvestEd.

    We're at the stage now where we've bedded down the "architecture" to make the site operational, delivered some initial content, had some valuable and insightful discussions on the forums and hopefully had a bit of fun along the way. :p

    Informed by your and other's feedback we're gathering our strength to really get things going in 2006. We had to crawl and take our baby steps before we can really get running.

    If I can ask your indulgence for a little while yet, I'm sure that you won't be disappointed!

    Cheers
    N.
     
  5. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of those who didn't qualify for a free intro period so I've paid for this membership. I'm not sure that I will renew it when the time comes because I feel out of place here. To me, at least, this forum feels like a NavraInvest/Steve fan site. Most of the dicussions seem to be centered around the Navra Fund and how much of a distribution it will be this quarter.

    While I can understand the NavraFund is something that brings many of the posters together, it certainly not what I would pay $275 a year for. I guess I have another 6 months before I decide and I certainly hope things have changed a bit by then.
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nigel.

    Wish you all the best. :)

    As I said, the post was meant to garner useful information that may help.
     
  7. Glebe

    Glebe Well-Known Member

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    I guess these topics do dominate conversation, but you're right it's what many of us have in common. I'd love some of the technical traders here to start some threads explaining what they look for and where they get their market data and what sort of returns they expect and usually get etc.

    On top of that, I'm suprised there hasn't been much talk in the way of Steve's "Optimised Investment Structure".

    All in all whilst it's true there's only a handful of regular posters here, I'm sure there are alot of lurkers and things like this usually snowball.
     
  8. Denis

    Denis Well-Known Member

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    Alan,
    Thanks for raising this thread.I think it is very timely.I agree with most of what you have said.

    To the founders of InvestEd ,thankyou and congratulations.It is a huge committment and no doubt is expensive in both human and capital cost to launch this product.At another time l would have been an investor in this company ;l am a true believer in the concept.

    As a previous respondent stated ,this is a Steve Navra fan club site.I agree.
    I am a member of that club and for good reason .Steve has done so much for a number of people over many years .He deserves the accolades.

    The problem with this perception is that it DAMAGES / WEAKENS the forum.
    There are other committed moderators who have much to offer as well and that is probably yet to be evidenced because of the bias and interest of a number of the original forum members.

    To evaluate how the forum is performing is not about mixing up annual fees of $275 Versus $500 per hour charge out rates.

    In my opinion Invested must

    1.Be the best investment education site on the internet

    2.Have at least 1000 members before charging fees.
    This will ensure that there is a depth of opinions and
    experiences that can consolidate people's learning.

    3.Take the focus of Navra Invest in the sense that
    Steve is not expected to report on a daily basis about
    the events of the day.As Chairman of NI he obviously has
    legal responsibilities to uphold.However,it is critical that
    either Steve or an NI representative answer questions
    immediately.An answer of "Not able to comment further
    at this stage",is understandable and will be acceptable
    to forum members.To not acknowledge threads and
    comments is disrespectful and offensive to members.
    There has been innuendo about moderators "lurking"
    on the forum ,but ignoring questions or not seeing the
    need to respond.This MUST STOP NOW or DEAL WITH
    THE PERCEPTION THAT IT IS HAPPENING.

    In my opinion,there is much support for the founders of this forum and members will tolerate a fair amount - and so we should ;most of us are not
    paying for the service.However,this is not Somersoft or another such forum
    so before we talk about fee charging ,members expectations are going to be
    higher and must be met at some level.

    Currently,other forums have much greater depth and have have a number of active and excellent discussions taking place.Our forum appears to be on holidays.

    Due to past personality conflicts on other forums, l have no doubt there are some around that would wish for this forum to fail.It is critical that this does not happen.The rewards will be great in the long term for both the owners of this forum and us members ,but l think it is important to be delivering over and above expectations for a good while yet ,before looking to charge fees.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this

    Regards

    Denis
     
  9. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is no doubt about it, congratulations are due for the efforts put in so far. So thanks moderators and contributors, I've learn't some things and expanded my knowledge from the information on this site, and had a laugh and for me that's what it's all about.

    With regard to the Steve fan club thing. I know it has been mentioned that this is not a NavraInvest website however, as Steve is a moderator and obviously has an interest in InvestEd (I don't care for the details thats his business) I was expecting to use this as a medium to tap into his brain a bit more.

    Now I realise it's early days and Steve has been busy with all sorts of stuff as we all are, however I think he has dug himself a hole by not clearly informing the forum when he will contribute and when he can not. I'm sure a lot of people are continually checking the forum to see if Steve is contributing again. If he or someone on his behalf could as a coutesy just say look Steve will not be contributing until the end of March or whenever people could stop looking wasting time looking to see if he is contributing again.

    Having said all that, while Steve is one of the anchors or hopefully will be, there is plenty of knowledge from the other moderators and contributors to make this a successful site by themselves. You know who you are whether you have a financial interest or not, thanks.

    The Navra stuff seems mainly to be kept to the section on Navra funds so I don't think the criticism of this forum being too much biased toward that area is valid. I have a long term view on the funds so don't care too much about daily variances in fund prices and possible distributions. I still read that section and find it interesting though. Can there be too much discussed? Time to get through it all is the only problem.

    As to the renewal of membership I will wait before making a decision and see what unfolds between now and then. I do tend to regard it as investment in the future journey and have no qualms about paying for that. A bit premature yet? Maybe!
     
  10. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

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    Thanks to all for the honest feedback and support as well. We can only improve and seek to better this site by listening to our members and making this site a truly educational and interesting place for investors to visit.
    Denis, I concur with no.1 on your list of suggestions- that is definitely our long term goal for InvestEd :)

    I would like to reiterate what Nigel has stated about the upcoming new year (geez it's 2006 already!!!) as we do have other things planned for the site, which will add and enhance what is already here. I, for one, remain very excited about our future and know that, though we are still in the infancy stages, this site will take time to mature into what we have envisioned.

    Thanks to all those members who've contributed to the discussions so far, especially in the Real Estate section- you may notice I have a slight bias towards hanging around in this particular part of the site :D
     
  11. Tropo

    Tropo Well-Known Member

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    Below is my 20 cents.

    - Do not expect that only moderators and few “ permanent “ contributors will make this forum more informative and interesting.
    So far InvestEd has only 228 members ( not many ) and only few of them ( approx. 10% ) make regular posts on the forum.
    It’s very hard to be creative if the other 90% is not willing to contribute to this forum.
    Is it possible that this 90% has no questions/problems related to investing, they are shy or lazy, or they think that they have nothing to say…?
    If this is the case I think that forum should be open to anybody who wish to post here.
    Open forum will create a lot of controversial opinions, but this may be very creative as well.

    - I tend to agree that fee of $ 275 at this stage may cause more damage than good – unless some new concept will be introduced with full member participation.
    - I do not have a problem with “ NavraInvest/Steve’s fun club “. What is wrong with that ?.
    - Somersoft forum has a lot of “ Jan’s fun club “ members. Again…What is wrong with that ?.
    - I agree with Glebe who is saying that there should be more information about trading on this forum. Talking most of the time about property is like driving one way street. After all Steve’s concept is based on investing in property, trading/investing in Stock Market and cash bonds.
    - No matter what new concept may be introduced to this forum – do not forget that with 90% inactive members this forum may struggle.
    :cool:
     
  12. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts...

    I paid $275 for memebership to what I believed was an independant educational investment site. I certainly hope I didn't pay to join a fan site of a particular financial advisor and of the managed fund he has launched.
    Somersoft is Jan's site. It's named after her, she pays for the upkeep. Of course there are going to be Jan fans there. Oh, and it's free.

    I don't believe the intention of InvestEd was that it's to represent Steve's or NavraInvest's site or products. If it is, I'd like to hear it directly from Sim.
     
  13. Tropo

    Tropo Well-Known Member

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    Gonzo,
    So ....What is your problem because you lost me completely. :confused:
     
  14. Gonzo

    Gonzo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I have a problem Tropo, but thanks for asking.
     
  15. Tropo

    Tropo Well-Known Member

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    Keep $miling than ... :D
     
  16. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Thankyou all for your comments and feedback. Now is a very good time to sit back and take stock of the last 4 and a half months on InvestEd.

    I won't respond directly to most of the individual posts here - but I do appreciate the time everyone has taken to make such well thought out and obviously caring comments. It heartens me to see that even though there are some problems being identified - they are being presented in a helpful way. This indicates clearly that you do care about the site and are just as keen as us to see it succeed.

    There are two main issues I see at the moment.

    The most obvious is the lack of Steve's presence. I think all of the directors (including Steve himself) would agree that his lack of input has been a real problem. There have been numerous reasons for this - none of which are really important to the discussion here, other than to say, I think for the last 6 months, Steve bit off far more than he could "chew", and has been "chewing like mad" ever since. He's had a lot of demands on his time, and unfortunately for us, we seemed to miss out all too often.

    For those who are shareholders in NavraInvest, or who own units in the funds, I think you will appreciate the hard work Steve has been putting in. With the continued performance of the fund this last quarter and the imminent launch of the US fund, things are going extremely well for NavraInvest. Now we need to take back our share of Steve's time!

    I know Steve really wants this site to succeed - so it's not through lack of desire, it's simply a factor of not enough hours in the day to do everything that Steve needs to do. Right now, he will be away on holidays for a little while, and when he is back, I'm going to sit down with him and work out how we can capture more of his time and make effective use of it. As managing director of InvestEd, if that means me sitting down with Steve myself to "extract" stuff from him - I'm prepared to do so. In fact, I was planning something along those lines anyway (sitting down with Steve regularly) for some new features we're thinking of adding to the site.

    This is obviously an important thing we need to address - and I know Steve is just as keen as the rest of us to get back to full involvement. I expect that to be the case well and truely by the end of this month.

    The second issue is that of content - and in particular, Alan's comments about the problems here are all fair. As content "editor" and administrator of the content management process, I take personal responsibility for those problems. I dropped the ball over the last month or so (especially in December) in relation to managing the content production.

    Most of you probably aren't aware of how we manage our content - we actually put in place a rigorous process of approval / analysis / feedback / resubmission / editing, and finally staging, ready for publication. What I've learned over the last couple of months is that, while this is a very sound process and has generated what I consider to be very good content - in reality, it simply takes too long.

    It might be different if I was full time editor of InvestEd content, but I'm not - I'm also Webmaster, Moderator, and I still have a day job. So, your questions have been very timely - it has made me step back and think - why has the process not worked the way I wanted ? I think the answer is simply - because it is too complicated. This doesn't surprise me - for those people who know me well, you will probably realise that I'm often guilty of overengineering a solution :eek: Time for me to simplify it.

    Anyway - we do have more content in the pipeline that is waiting for me to do my thing with it and get it published - and I will do so as soon as I can (within the next couple of days). I've also been chatting to some of the other directors to investigate how we can simplify the whole process and make it easier for us to get good content out more quickly. We have some ideas that we need to investigate (requires some more work from me to implement), but I think it will be worth the effort for everyone.

    One comment before I finish. I hear a lot of people saying they are waiting to be convinced before they will sign up again. I have a request: please spend some time thinking about exactly what is it that would indeed convince you.

    We started this site with an idea about what people wanted. Now we've had just over 4 months and more than 200 people have signed on because they thought our initial idea was worth investigating. Now to take it to the next step and make the site a real success, we need to give people what they want! One problem though - we can't read minds. So please, be thoughtful, and be vocal. Let us know what you want this site to be. Are there any features or services you would like us to offer ? Or would just great discussion and interesting and educational articles be enough for you (assuming we did them right) ?

    I have a lot of ideas for things that I could build - but I've already learned that just building things, doesn't actually make them useful to our members (how many links are there in the links directory ? how many people have contributed to the Pedia ?). So tell me what you want - and I'll focus my time on that.

    It's very early days, I'm very happy with what we've achieved in the first four months, and remember that most forum driven sites (eg Somersoft) take literally years to get up to to volumes of contributions that they see now. Feedback like this is valuable and will help us deliver something that everyone benefits from. Thankyou.
     
  17. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for your question Gonzo.

    You are correct in that InvestEd was not set up to solely represent Steve's or NavraInvest's site or products. However, given our current userbase is largely sourced from existing Navra Financial Services clients (many of whom are also NavraInvest clients), then there is a natural inclination to discuss these topics here - especially since people from NFS and NavraInvest do frequent the site.

    I'm not going to stop people from talking about what they want to talk about (provided it doesn't break our terms and conditions) - if they want to talk about NI / NFS, that's no problem for me.

    It's just up to the rest of us to talk about other topics of interest.

    Over 80% of the posts on the forum have NOT been about NavraInvest, so there's plenty of other stuff to discuss too.

    Did you have some topics in mind that you'd like us to talk about ? We're always looking for ideas.
     
  18. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

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    Sim,

    If I was looking for a response that made me feel like you understood where some of us were coming from, I think I just heard it! Thank you. :)

    In raising this topic, I was well aware that it may be a 'bit close to the bone' for some and sometimes even constructive criticism isn't viewed that way. :eek:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with a number of points you covered.

    The 'over-engineering' one I can certainly relate too. How many times do you see a sledgehammer used to crack a walnut? :D

    Can I make another suggestion? A quick brainstorming session of things people may want on the Site or indeed ideas for the Site.

    The rules are fairly simple, everyone that has already posted(and especially those that haven't! :p ) tosses in three ideas/wishes. They can be as wacky and 'out there' as you like, in fact, make sure at least one is! :p No boundaries! If you want to see if Warren Buffett could be a Moderator....ask!

    Don't think too long........first few ideas that come to mind......and remember, if you've read this.......too late! You have to post! :p

    Ok........

    1. How about we see if can get some guest interviewees once a month? If not in the chatroom, they agree for the Forum to send them a list of questions that they'll provide a written response too. Say Peter Spann, Margaret Lomas, Alan Hull etc. What's in it for them? How about the Forum agrees to throw up some sort of advertisement on the Forum for them during the month they are the guest interviewee? Who knows, the odd one may get interested and drop in every now and again?
    Forum Members can submit questions once they know who the interviewee is, and the Moderators could select a nominal number of representative questions to be sent.
    This could really open things up. Could be a Shares related one month, Finance related another, Property another etc.

    2. Instigate a regular poll(at least 3 monthly) of a number of questions, preferably with sliding scales(1-10) so that you can quantitatively stay in touch with the 'grass roots' of how members feel things are going..........at least in these early growing stages. Make it anonymous for best feedback.

    3. See if you can get Warren Buffett as a Moderator!! :D :D




    :)
     
  19. HHH

    HHH Active Member

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    It has been mentioned before, but a series of articles or posts on trading would be very nice. I have always been a property focused and would like to learn more and more about shares and trading, hopefully one day even having a go a trading myself.

    Tips and articles that can take someone from the very beginning would be great.
     
  20. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Apart from articles - are there any other features people would like to see ?

    (We'll certainly take note of the article suggestions though - that's always useful)