The only thing constant in this world is change. And for the U.S. brokerage world, that axiom holds particularly true especially now in the face of looming regulation regarding payment for research.
Research, whether from a broker dealer or other source like a boutique research provider, is the genesis of any trade or portfolio strategy. Research generates the idea behind a trade and can mean the difference between generating alpha or just beta – preferably the former. Research drives the trading bus, plain and simple.