Years in the making, the breadth and depth of the site is extraordinary,
with glossaries, data, articles, advice, interactive programs and
links available for investors of all levels of experience, for investment
professionals, for the media - indeed, for everyone.
Fiscal Agents, with a storefront Savings and Investment-planning
office on Lakeshore Road - the research division is located right
out back - has been a titan of the financial-information business
for 24 years. The new web package supplants the former Fiscal Agents
web site, which has served, according to Fiscal Agents co-founder
David Newman, as a "silent salesman" for the business.
That silence has been replaced by an orchestral fanfare.
"We didn't want to grow, we wanted to arrive," explains Newman,
the architect of the site and its project manager. He holds the
title of Director of Information Services for Fiscal Agents.
"It certainly exposes the depth of facilities that we have to
offer to the investor," says Newman. "In most cases a firm only
has a few methods to display its wares, a couple of catalogues and
a brochure -there's always stuff you can't get in.
"But when you have a web site, everything can be put in. In the
sense that we have always tried to be an educator, it has given
us a great opportunity to provide over and beyond the normal corporate
literature that talks about financial products. We have been able
to explain them and use the interactiveness of the electronic medium."
One of the most impressive aspects of the site is that fiscalagents.com,
while groundbreaking in its magnitude, is simply an extension of
the existing day-to day-operations of the company. Take a look at
the home page of fiscalagents.com - it directs the visitor to rates
tables, downloadable brochures, newsletter articles, the Knowledge
Bank, lifestyle features (one new report carries the headline "Free-for-all
-the Internet goes bust"), a massive RRSP section, mortgage information
... the site literally goes on and on, for close to 3,000 pages.
There is also a fun component, reflecting Newman's whimsical side,
with cartoons, interactive programs and quotes of the day.
The medium may be new, but the services promoted have been available
to Fiscal Agents customer for years.
According to Newman, Fiscal Agents has always been about three
operating principles: service, content and access. The web site
is the logical extension of existing services.