How we use your data
When you sign up we collect information from you in a few stages. Firstly, we collect your email address and a chosen password. We need these to establish your identity and a verified means of communicating with you.
At this stage we also collect your consent for a few, separate, items:
- Firstly, you must agree to our terms and conditions. This is required. It establishes the contract between us that governs the service we provide you.
- You must consent to us contacting you for site communications. This can be things like setting up and managing your account, or letting you know about important changes to the site or to our terms. Without this consent we can’t finish setting up your account.
- You can also agree to receive email alerts whenever we publish a new rating (normally a few times a day). This is entirely optional.
- You can also consent to receive less frequent newsletters by email from us, roughly monthly, that contain updates about the investment world, our own analyses and other newsworthy items. Again, this is entirely optional.
At this point we’ll confirm your email address and you’ll be able to access the site. As we provide financial advice we are required by our Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority to store some essential information about who you are and whether you’re qualified to receive our advice. You will be prompted to enter this information every time you log in until it has been provided, at which point more features will open up for you. We collect your:
- Telephone number
- Country of Residence
- Investor type
Once you have signed up you may want to take up a paid subscription. In order to do this we will need to take some payment information from you. We don’t process the payments ourselves – this service is provided for us by another third party service provider, Braintree. Braintree is an established payment processor and is owned by PayPal. We don’t store any information about the payment other than that you made it, when you made it, how much it was for and what service it was for. Any card/bank details are held securely by Braintree. In Braintree we can see your name, the details of your transactions with us and some information about your payment method (card type, issuing bank, expiration date, an incomplete card number) but we can’t see your full card number or your CVV code.
As you use the site certain browsing information is automatically logged. Our web server software logs every page requested. If you came to the page by clicking on a link then the page that link was on (the ‘referring’ URL) is stored. These server logs are a common, almost universal, feature of using the web and they allow us to investigate certain performance or security issues, as well as telling how popular different parts of our site are and how people are finding us. It also gives us a record of who we have shown each rating to, which is important for regulatory purposes.
As you use the site there are a few features you might take advantage of that require us to store further information: My Watchlist, My Ratings, My Portfolio, and the interactive ‘Agree/Disagree’ feature on each rating.
- When you add a rating to your Watchlist we make a record of that fact – no further information, just that you have asked to add that rating to your Watchlist. This needs to be recorded so that the next time you log in the rating continues to appear in your Watchlist.
- In much the same vein, when you give us information about an investment to store in your Portfolio we only store exactly the information given with no further additions. ‘My Portfolio’ is intended as a helpful feature for you but we make no commercial use of this data. Without verification we cannot tell whether the investments you enter into your Portfolio are genuine or hypothetical and therefore the data has to be assumed to be hypothetical. From time to time we will review the data to see how the service is being used and what might be done to improve it.
- There is a feature on each Rating where you can agree or disagree with our analysis in each of the Management, Product and Investment sections. When you use this feature we log agree/disagree for that section of that rating in a database against a code identifying you. If you disagree then a comment is required, which also gets stored in a separate part of the database.
We use Google Analytics to monitor the performance of our website. This gives us statistics around how many people visit, how long they stay, what pages they view, how they found us, etc. Individual-level browsing data, similar to that provided by our server and internal logs, is available but in an anonymised form that we cannot link to an individual.
- If you prefer not to have your usage of the site tracked, Google provides a browser addon you can use to block this activity, which you can download here.