Everything you ever wanted to know about the Topdown Charts Substack service...
Answers to common questions; free access to some recent reports, reasons why people subscribe/unsubscribe, different services, track record, philosophy...
You’re probably familiar with our famous Chart Of The Week emails, but did you know about our paid service? You could be missing out on deeper insights to keep you informed on the macro outlook, alert you to risk management blind-spots, and help in getting onto emerging opportunities…
So to that end I have collated a list of resources to help explain exactly what we do, with specific examples, feedback from subscribers, and answers to some of the questions you might have as you potentially consider a subscription yourself.
But either way I appreciate your ongoing support and interest.
About The Service
The following articles provide the finer details about the service, but at a high level you get the “Weekly Insights report” and “Monthly Asset Allocation Review” along with access to report archives and comments. The fees are $30 monthly, or $295 if paying annually. The reports are emailed to you, but are also available online.
What is the Weekly Insights report? — This post gives some background on the service including main details and key benefits.
How does the Substack Service differ from the Institutional Service? — This post compares and contrasts the Substack Service (our newer entry-level version) from our original main service (which is aimed institutional investors and caters to those with a much larger budget and more complex requirements). To be clear, our original and primary purpose is serving fund managers and institutional investors.
Quarterly Strategy Pack — Explains about the VIP version of the Substack service “Add Quarterly“ ($850/year). Along with the same weekly/monthly reports, this service also includes the quarterly slide-deck and attendance to webinars and live Q&A. The quarterly strategy pack presents all of our core +interesting ideas along with the macro/market risk outlook and specific asset allocation recommendations. Good for those who want a little bit more.
If you want to go ahead and upgrade to a paying member, just click through ↓↓
How we do Things
So all that detail about the stuff of the service might be intriguing to you… but I’m sure you might be wondering “who are these guys and are they even any good?”
Part of the answer to that comes down to the way we do things and how we actually look at the world of macro and markets, but also of use would be some notes around track record, which you can read about below:
Research Process and Philosophy — I believe some level of philosophical alignment is important in buying research: you have to believe the way the researcher looks at the world makes sense. You might not always agree, but at least if you understand the process and approach then you can get behind the outputs… when it counts (e.g. at market turning points, when it can be uncomfortable and difficult to change views or accept recommendations).
Track Record — This article presents a look at some present/past ideas, thoughts on skin in the game and the research business, and links to my End of Year ‘Report Cards’ (which cover my best/worst ideas of each year from 2017-2021).
Who? — The main person behind Topdown Charts is me, Callum Thomas. I started the company back in 2016 after previously working in global economics and asset allocation strategy at a large multi-asset fund manager. I took this experience working closely with portfolio managers across multiple different strategies/funds to provide a fresh approach to investment research — grounded in buy-side perspective and deeply rooted in pragmatism. Taking a chart-based approach and bringing in multiple different data points, I present sensible, easy to understand, and useful insights to help manage risk and maximize returns.
Client Feedback (what do people think about it??)
I recently surveyed subscribers of our Substack service both past and present to gain a better understanding of how they rate the service (spoiler: mostly = very good!), why they signed up — why some of them ended up unsubscribing, and some general feedback and testimonials. I think this should be quite useful if you are on the fence about subscribing but are keen to hear what others think.
Why people Subscribe and What They Think of the Service — This post looks at the most common reasons people subscribed, how they rate the service, and some general feedback and testimonials. It also digs deeper into the “why“ in terms of both clients’ goals and our goals.
Reasons Why people Unsubscribe — Because let’s face it, I think you’d agree that it would look a little bit suspicious if I only showed you the good feedback!! This post looks at why people ended up unsubscribing and my response to those reasons (context and actions).
Examples of the Reports included in the Paid Service
>> The part you probably wanted to skip to!
Sometimes the easiest way to explain a service like this is to simply show you exactly what you’ll get as a paid subscriber. The links below lead to actual reports that were sent to clients, these reports have been unlocked for your review.
“Weekly Insights Report”: this is the main publication, it presents some of the key findings from our institutional research service, including a selection of charts, macro insights, investment ideas, emerging themes, and market commentary.
“Monthly Asset Allocation Review”: this report goes out early in the month and gives you a clear snapshot of our thinking on asset allocation. The monthly report is aimed at an active asset allocator audience, but should be useful to most investors in terms of providing a big picture perspective on the macro/market outlook.
Hopefully by now you have a good feel for what’s on offer, but of course ultimately the best way to see if it suits is to try it out for yourself. The most economical way to do that is to go for an annual subscription, but you can try it on a month-to-month basis in the first instance and then switch your subscription to annual later.
Again, I appreciate your interest. But I do understand that this service is not for everyone… so if it’s not for you, maybe you can forward this on to a friend who might be interested? (as a prompt, subscribers are typically fund managers, investment advisers, professional investors: those with a need to top-down inputs and asset allocation insights).
Other than that, get in touch or comment if you have any questions.
Head of Research & Founder at Topdown Charts
Maybe you are not ready to take a subscription yourself, or even if you are going to sign up, I would like to point out that there is also an option to gift a subscription to a friend/colleague/client/family member using the button below: