Category IR Fundamentals

Annual Initiatives

  • Public Company Cost Budget Template

    Use this template to assess what your annual cost is to be a public reporting company. This is a great tool for the BOD and management to ensure the company is getting a return on being public.

  • IR Budget Template

    This template will help you develop your comprehensive IR Budget.


  • What is the Actual Consensus Number?

    There is no universal standard for what Consensus is. The good news is that although there are about 1/2 dozen consensus sources, there are only 2 main players – Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S (fka First Call) and FactSet. And 85% of the time, they are equal to each other. However, from time to time there may be discrepancies. Use these tips to make sure you have consensus managed heading into your earnings release.


  • Press Release – Update Guidance Mid-Quarter

    Here is an example press release for changing guidance mid-quarter.  Short and Sweet.

  • Guidance Op Ed – Buffett and Dimon

    Here is an op ed piece which appeared in the 6/7/18 WSJ on guidance.  Interesting take.  We do not believe this fixes the problem as consensus estimates still exist, but it is a move in the right direction.

  • Harvard Business Review – Providing Earnings Guidance?

    Here is a nice article about earnings guidance from circa 2012. Read it not for the answer, but rather for some perspective. We still believe providing at least annual guidance is an important part of your IR approach. But, articles like this can help you formulate your plan of attack.

  • CFO Magazine – Letting Go of Guidance – November 2012 article

    This is an interesting article about guidance. Although we still feel providing guidance is the easiest way to control Street estimates, this article does offer perspective. Clearly, you cannot sacrifice the long-term for the short-term.

  • McKinsey 2006 Guidance Report

    In 2006, McKinsey & Co. issued a report on Guidance. They concluded that issuing guidance had no impact on liquidity or shareholder value creation. We agree…. to an extent.

  • Guidance Policy (included in press release)

    Here is an example of a Guidance Policy included in your press release. This can help remind the Street about what you do or do not do in regards to Guidance.

  • Long Term Targets Example

    Here is an example of what a company did on its IR website to highlight its long-term financial targets. Very slick and very clear.

  • Tips For Providing Guidance

    Guidance is not as tricky of a topic as it may seem. Either you give it or you don’t. There are pros and cons to both. Here are some things to consider as you determine if you will issue guidance.


  • What Happens if IPO Does Not Go As Planned – Ex Article

    Here is a good example of what happens when things don’t go well with an IPO.  Investors, usually small firms or individuals, will try to organize a class action based on info that was missed or should have been known.  Here is an example report/article which highlights one such example.

  • IPO Timing Considerations

    If you are contemplating an IPO, there are a number of things that need to get done. As much as we would like to have everything done systematically and in order, the reality of the IPO process is everything goes in waves. Here is our 12 month timeline which shows 4 buckets of tasks.

  • IPO Readiness Matrix

    Are you ready for your IPO. Here is a matrix of things to do to be ready to hit the ground running once your IPO is completed.

  • Pricing of IPO Press Release

    Here is a typical press release upon pricing of an IPO.

IR Awards

  • IR Magazine Awards

    Since 1996, the IR Magazine Awards have been the leading and most prestigious international awards honoring excellence and leadership in investor relations. If you need a quick snapshot of the best of the best, here is a listing of winners.

  • IR Magazine – Top 10 over Past 20 Years

    IR Magazine has been recognizing the IR profession with the most prestigious annual awards since 1996. In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the awards (March 2015), they ranked the Top 10 IR Programs over the past 20 years. Need to see who is doing it right? Check out these 10 companies.

Measure Effectiveness

  • Stock Positioning Checklist and Self-Evaluation

    Here is our proprietary Stock Positioning Checklist and Self-Evaluation. It has 29 items to give a score of 0-5.

  • IR Self-Assessment

    Here is a formal self-assessment you can do to evaluate your IR program. It uses 12 different topics in 3 categories. One way to corroborate your self-assessment is to use a third-party like a IR advisory firm to do an evaluation. Even better is if the IR advisory firm connects with your buy-side and sell-side using this form.

  • IR Scorecard

    This is a one-page Scorecard to measure key IR and stock stats on a rolling 8 to 12 quarter basis. This will provide the quantitative metrics about your IR performance.

  • IR Excellence

    This is perhaps the coolest resource within the IR Barn. It is a comprehensive look at what separates World Class IR from the Bare Minimum/Required. Use this one-pager to assess where you can enhance your current offering. Play offense. Always.

  • Perception Study White Paper

    Use this white paper on Perception Studies to help you conduct your own Perception Study or to manage an independent consultant to compile.

  • Ways to Benchmark your IR

    Here are some ways to measure the effectiveness of your IR efforts.


  • What Does An Investor Want?

    Your “customer” is the investor. It is essential to know what they are looking for. Here are the 6 items investors are looking for. They are listed in order of most important to least important, but each one can be beneficial.

  • Building Shareholder Value

    Every management team talks about building shareholder value. There are many ways to do this. Here are the most common ways in order of premium the Street places. A periodic reminder to the rest of the management team or the Street can be helpful.

  • Sports Analogy

    Although Wall Street and business are not as straight-forward as the world of sports, there are some similarities. Both the best companies and best sports teams experience losses/mistakes/negative trends. However, unlike sports where records of losses are readily available, companies must choose how to discuss when things are not going as planned. We recommend balance. No one believes everything is going well all the time. This one-pager reminds us that even the most valuable sports teams don’t win all the time.

  • IR Partners (Internal)

    Here is detailed look as to how an IRO can leverage expertise within the company to deliver IR excellence.

  • IR Division of Responsibility

    IRO’s are essential to having an offense-driven IR program. Take a look here to see how best in class companies divide and conquer IR and financial initiatives. This team when working together can drive a premium valuation in your stock and allow the CEO and CFO to maximize their effectiveness.

  • Information Share Overview

    Here is a nice overview of Minimum – Good – Best In Class methods for sharing information to the investment community. This includes Reporting, Marketing, Quiet Period and Guidance.

  • IR Excellence

    This is perhaps the coolest resource within the IR Barn. It is a comprehensive look at what separates World Class IR from the Bare Minimum/Required. Use this one-pager to assess where you can enhance your current offering. Play offense. Always.

  • IR Landscape

    Here is a one-page snapshot of the 4 worlds that IR serves, including The Story, Buy-Side World, Sell-Side Community and Financial/Media/Other. This will help provide you with an overview of the IR Landscape.

  • Wall Street Landscape

    Here is a one-pager that shows the overall Wall Street Landscape. By knowing how all of the players work together, you can better understand and manage the process.

  • Transparency – Google Example WSJ

    Transparency is of significant importance to your credibility. Here is a Sept 2015 article in the WSJ about a small tweak by Google which made a significant difference in perception from the investment community.

  • IR Checklist

    Use this comprehensive checklist to ensure your IR arsenal is as stacked as it can be.


  • Pre-Release Policy

    One of the most grey areas of IR, is if you should pre-release. But, it does not have to be that way. We recommend you align the CEO, CFO and Board on a defined policy for pre-releasing earnings. Here are some thoughts in that regard.

  • Quiet Period Policy

    There are 3 different levels of Quiet Period. Here is a short white paper which lays them out and provides our recommendation.

  • Disclosure Practices and Policies – Ex

    This is a nice summary of disclosure practices and policies which can be used on your IR website.

  • How Much Time Should the C-Suite Spend on IR?

    There is a strong balance between having a C-Suite out there too much (and investors wondering who is running the company) and being out there too little (and investors not being able to get answers or comfort). Here are some thoughts on how to optimize the C-Suite in terms of investor interaction.

Specialized IR

  • Retail Investor IR

    The level of retail investor penetration has seen an uptick recently.  Here are some pointers on how to manage your retail investor base.

  • SPAC website

    SPAC’s (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have become very popular in 2020 since there is an easier and less costly way to market for companies.  There is a website that tracks SPAC activity called  A good resource for you.

  • Fixed Income Investor Presentation – Example

    Here is a great example of a fixed income investor presentation.

  • OTC QB Visibility Program

    OTC QB is the interim level in between OTC Pink and OTC OX. Here are some new initiatives in place to help trading liquidity and visibility for these companies on OTC QB.

  • Fixed Income Presentation Example

    Here is a nice example of a fixed income presentation.

  • OTC Markets Annual Review – 2016

    Here is an overview of OTC Markets, released in April 2017.

  • Comparison of 3 Levels of OTC – 2017

    Here is a comparison of the benefits, costs and requirements for the 3 levels of OTC.

  • Fixed Income Investors – IR Website

    Here is an example of a nice call out for information if you have fixed income components of your IR program. Simple and easy.

  • IR for Pre-Revenue Stocks

    Somewhere in between rare and common lies stocks for pre-revenue companies. Here are some initial thoughts on how to best position IR for these companies.

  • Press Release – Example – Uplisting Pink to OTCQB

    Here is an example press release by a company who uplisted from OTC Pink to OTC QB.

  • OTC Levels – 2016

    Here is a good comparison of the 3 levels of OTC. Includes qualification, fees, etc.

  • Equity vs. Debt IR

    There are some minor nuances you will want to consider if you have public debt securities as opposed to public equity securities. The best practice is to be as active on the public debt IR as you are/would be for your public equity IR.

The Shorts

  • Naked Short Selling

    If you have a high short interest in your stock, there is a chance you have naked short selling taking place. Here is some background on what that means.

  • Listing of Short Shops

    Here is a listing of short shops. Note: this is a listing of independent research firms who feature short thesis reports. It does not include hedge funds which are short-biased.

  • SAC Capital Advisors Overview – Stephen Cohen

    Here is an overview of SAC Capital Advisors (1992-2016).

  • Short Shops Overview

    Short Shops can drive you crazy. They love to sling mud and create controversy. The good news is that if they are wrong, you should be in a position to quickly defend against whatever their thesis is. Since short shops thrive on market fear, a solid company will quickly diffuse this situation. Here are some key tips to dealing with short shops.

Trade Activity

  • Dark Pools

    Find out more information about a growing trend to facilitate block trades – Dark Pools.

  • Santa Claus Rally

    Here is the definition of an end-of-year phenomenon called the “Santa Claus Rally”.

Working with the Buy-Side

  • Value Investor Checklist

    Here is a Value Investor Checklist for you to use.  It gives you a good idea on how to tell your story to hit key elements of your investment thesis.  These are good criteria to evaluate any investment.

  • Hedge Fund Hotels

    From time to time you may hear the term Hedge Fund Hotel. Here is some background on what a Hedge Fund Hotel is.

  • Sovereign Wealth Funds

    Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) have grown steadily over the past 20 years. Here is some background on SWF’s.

  • Ameriprise Org Chart

    Here is the org chart for Ameriprise so you can see which shops connected to Ameriprise you meet with or are shareholders. You should assume these firms/divisions/subsidiaries all talk to one another and share ideas.

  • Letting Investors Vent

    It is inevitable. Your company will do something that disappoints the Street. Most of the time it involves stock pressure from a negative surprise – missed guidance, new lawsuit, delayed products, impairments, etc. Here are some tips to deal with investors who need/want to vent.

  • Hints in Managing the Buy Side

    Here are some hints on working with and managing the buy-side. These can be helpful reminders and give you an edge when working with the folks who are buying and selling your stock.

  • Investment Firm Portfolio Summary – Example

    Many investment firm shops provide monthly, quarterly and/or annual portfolio summaries to the families and individuals who have funded their various funds. Ultimately, this is their scorecard on portfolio performance. Here is an example of how an investment institution talks to its shareholders/investors.

  • Buy Side Types and Styles

    There are many different types and styles of buy siders. Use this resource to see the landscape and some examples.

Working with the Sell-Side

  • Reaching out to Sell-Side as Part of Earnings Prep

    Here are our thoughts on reaching out to the sell-side as part of your earnings release prep.

  • Zacks Investment Research

    From time to time you may see reference to Zacks research. Zacks is a paid-for equity research provider based in Chicago, IL. Here is a summary overview of their firm.

  • Hints to Managing the Sell-Side

    There are some easy things you can do to manage your sell-side community. Here are 17 tips and suggestions to help you in this endeavor.

  • How to Deal with a Wide Sell-Side Estimate Range

    From time to time, you will have estimate outliers. This could be at the high-end, as well as the low-end. Here are some tips and ideas on how to work with your sell-side community to help the estimates fall into a reasonable range.

  • Sell-Side Universe

    Here is a comprehensive chart of the sell-side universe. Use this to target your next sell-sider to cover your company.