Value Per Dollar
Survey of Fees At Market-Related Sites
We had planned to make some changes in our fee structure and we wanted to know what most sites charge for a subscription. To get some answers, we made an extensive survey of the fees charged by market-related Websites. We have now completed our survey and have also completed the changes in our fee structure. During the course of our research, we discovered that 80% of the fees charged for a single subscription service were in the range between $95/month and $195/month. We did not count news feeds in this study. Nearly all charged monthly fees that were automatically charged against a credit card account. Customers did not have to keep renewing their subscriptions, because subscriptions continued until they were cancelled. When they were cancelled, the subscription continued until the end of the paid-for period (for example, until the end of the paid-for month).
We have really tried hard to provide a lot for a little by controlling expenses. As a result of our efforts, we now charge about one-quarter of the fee charged by 80% of the other sites. For example, our $25 monthly fee is well below their $95 fee for a single subscription. Though we charge more for Valu-Pak (about the price of three of our individual subscriptions), it currently includes about 10 subscriptions. You would pay far rmore for a single subscription at most other sites.
How We Keep Our Costs (and Fees) Low
We do not have to pay for customized software or hire outside companies or mathematicians to create our algorithms or spreadsheet formulas for us. We create, test, and refine our own search algorithms and spreadsheet formulas. That is also why our algorithms are more nuanced than the algorithms used at other sites. While there are a few sites that provide scanners, their scanners are relatively weak. For example, consider the Bollinger Band setup configuration. There are a few sites that will list stocks that have penetrated an upper or lower Bollinger band. However, those penetrations are nearly meaningless unless there has been a previous band “squeeze,” because the “squeeze” is a consequence of low volatility. It is the period of low volatility before a band is penetrated that makes the event meaningful. Our algorithm generates a list of stocks that have penetrated a Bollinger band after a period in which the bands have squeezed together. Other sites cannot do that because the mathematics necessary are beyond the capabilities of their pre-packaged off-the-shelf algorithms. Having the ability to do all the mathematics in-house not only enables us to create unique algorithms, but it also dramatically reduces the costs of our enterprise.
The value per dollar we offer is attested to by the actions of our subscribers. For more than 7½ years, we charged either six months or a full year in advance (no monthly payment arrangements were available). During those 7½ years we offered a full refund (minus a small charge to offset a portion of the credit card and other expenses) for those who cancelled within the “trial” period. Only 9.06% of our subscribers took us up on the offer. 90.94% continued beyond the trial period, even though they had paid far more in advance than our present monthly fee. (See why continuing a subscription for 6 to 9 months is important)