Charles Payne has had a passion for stocks since he was a teenager. “I became interested in the market at age 14 and taught myself how to read the Wall Street Journal,” he says. By age 17, he made his first investment in a mutual fund and a year later, purchased his first stock. Now Payne helps others decide how to invest their money.
In 1991, with $9,000 in start-up capital, Payne launched Wall Street Strategies, a New York-based independent investment research firm. Wall Street Strategies provides technical analysis of the stock market, historic chart patterns, industry trends and growth rates to over 5,000 subscribers at more than 250 brokerage firms in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada. Information is sent to subscribers via e-mail, a faxed monthly newsletter, two hot line numbers (212-330-8246; 212-330- 8314) and daily reports and audio recordings. Monthly rates for the service range from $190$1,000. No SEC regulation was required for Payne to launch Wall Street Strategies since he publishes his opinions on various stocks and does not manage his clients’ money.
Wall Street Strategies pinpoints attractive investment opportunities for both professional and individual investors. “Our services are perfect for people who have at least $50,000 to invest,” says Payne.
Before starting his own business, Payne served in the Air Force from 1980-85. After leaving the service, he worked in the analytical assets management department of E. F. Hutton. But wanting to break out on his own, Payne rented a one-bedroom apartment in Harlem, made some cold calls to secure clients and launched Wall Street Strategies, which now has 19 employees and $2 million in revenues.
He says his biggest obstacle is attracting a larger clientele. “Right now, about 90% of our clients are brokers. But we want about 90% to be individual investors because that’s a much larger market,” says Payne.
To attract more investors, he anticipates launching a Web site. He is also increasing exposure through the media by appearing on WEVD-AM radio in New York and on CNNfn and CNBC TV stations, among others. Individual investor Joe Iannone saw Payne on one program and contacted Wall Street Strategies. “I’m glad I did because out of 40 stock suggestions, 28 or more will be winners,” says Iannone.
Payne says he plans to expand services to include money management. He wants to advise investors about when to sell stocks–a service few research firms offer. “There are so many more services we can offer,” says Payne. “We have the data down, we just need to find ways to fund expansion.”
Wall Street Strategies, 50 Broad St., Suite 837, New York, NY 10004; 212-514-9500