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Investment survey with random owners we meet at SuperChargers

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by TSLAopt, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    #1 TSLAopt, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
    My idea I've thought about for a while is that if we can build and administer a good survey and reach random Model S owners then we can estimate of the pace of new TSLA long term investors (who happen to be owners) coming in to market to further drive up the TSLA price.

    The best way I can think of to try and get this survey to be based on random/avg Model S owners (not over-zealous ones who are on these forums) is to get the sample of survey respondents from owners found randomly stopped at SuperChargers.

    I'm still trying to come up with questions to gather useful data but these are the ones I've thought of so far:


    1)when did you first become interested in a Model S?

    2)when did you place your order? and when did you take delivery?

    2.5)Do you follow the stock much? Do you follow the stock market in general?
    whats your net worth?

    3)have you ever owned TSLA?
    3a)If so when and do you own it now? Or when did you sell it and why?
    3b)If not, have you considered buying shares or are you waiting for something to buy it?
    3c)if you own shares now then what's your planned investment horizon? And what would make you sell sooner?

    4)how many shares do you own/owned?
    4a)would you say owning the car influenced you to buy/hold shares?

    5)do you visit the online Tesla forums often?

    6)do you have friends or family who you influenced to buy shares?

    7)what's your VIN?

    8)did you reserve an X? If not, do you plan to?

    9)what's your occupation?






    Some of these questions may seem a bit invasive but it can be anonymous, no name necessary. We can perhaps offer to email them the results, or even give some incentive to comply with doing the survey as I think this data could be very valuable to know.
    With data from a survey like this we could extrapolate a lot of projections as to new high net worth retail investors buying TSLA each week/month/quarter based on the growing delivery numbers.

    if anyone has any suggestions as to further questions, incentives to offer, or how to get a better random sample of owners then please reply.
     
  2. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    TSLAopt, interesting idea, it might just be difficult to execute. I am very curious about the level of investment coming from car owners.

    I can see some difficulties in conducting such a survey, so we may never know.

    Imo US Tesla owners are far more likely to invest in TSLA than the Tesla owners from any other country. Foreign investors have more hurdles to overcome.

    There might be some owners/investors from Northern Europe, but I would expect that number to be negligible.

    I would be surprised if there were many owners/investors from non english speaking markets.


    Regarding moving share price, I would be surprised if individual investors/owners had much influence in moving sp. Funds are likely to have needle moving power.

    My hope is that Tesla gets included into S&P500 index.

    If TSLA gets included in S&P 500, that is likely to push sp as all funds that track S&P 500 will buy in TSLA.

    Here is a Nasdaq article, a bit dated, but still relevant. The article explains that Tesla market cap already exceeds the market cap of some of the S&P 500 Index bottom participants, such as State Street Corp.

    Most likely Tesla is not part of the index yet because it does not meet one or more of the conditions for inclusion: Companies should have 4 consecutive quarters of positive as reported earnings, where as reported earnings are defined as gaap net income excluding discontinued operations and extraordinary items.
    Public float of more than 50%.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    This is a big no-no.

    I understand the motivation but it would be very intrusive and impossible to be anonymous. You can't approach strangers at Superchargers and start asking them their net worth, occupation and investing intentions as well as their VIN. if that happened to me I'd call Tesla and the police on the spot.

    One of the most annoying things in life are unwanted marketing and research phone calls, doing the same thing to folks stopping at Superchargers is a sure way to get punched on the nose.
     
  4. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    TSLAopt; I would probably be fine with answering several of those questions and in my discussion with random people who approach me while I am charging I divulge some of the info on your proposed questionnaire. However, as you point out, some of the questions are too personal (IMO) and I would decline comment on dollar figures/exact share numbers owned/exact VIN. I would never answer any specific or even 'range' dollar amounts but I would share some info about shares/VIN if asked in 'ranges'.

    Shares: Do you own share amounts: under/over 100 (won't give you the scientific answer you want)
    VIN number Is your VIN in 0-10,000; 10k-20K; etc.
     
  5. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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    Overall I feel this would be detrimental to the brand. Worse than that people might actually feel threatened/intruded upon, when all they wanted to do was charge their vehicle. TSLAopt I think you are an amazing resource for this forum, but this one I feel is a swing and a miss.
     
  6. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    #6 TSLAopt, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
    I appreciate all of your feedback and value it, even the ones who disagree.

    I do think capturing this data would be extremely valuable still but perhaps the means of how to best collect it is what needs to be determined still.

    Maybe standing around at a Supercharger is not the way to go, although from the few very informal conversations I've had with fellow S owners at these Superchargers they have all been very volunteering of info as I have been as well...from my experience in the handful of these conversations I've had over the past 18 months at Superchargers, there's just a nice 'fellowship' between Model S owners. This 'fellowship' feel makes me think that perhaps it would be a good place to exchange information on our TSLA investment experiences, but I can see that perhaps a formal survey could be too overboard for some people. Maybe I'll just continue to keep an informal tally in my head.

    Another option I was thinking about as a possible means to collect this type of data:
    I remember 12-18 months ago reading about accounts on here of S owners being invited by other car companies to participate in focus groups about what makes the S so great (and they would get paid for those focus groups). I don't see why focus groups couldn't be created to invite Model S owners to discuss some of the questions I noted above. The only problem is that the very high net worth S owners may not care to join since they probably value an hour of their time more than a the hundred or couple hundred tidally offered by focus groups, also a sample size large enough might get expensive. I think those car companies conducting the focus groups must have gotten S owners contact info from the DMV but I'm not sure.

    I'm not a statistician but if anyone here is I would be curious to know what an acceptable sample size for a study like this might be, 15? 50? 100?
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    TSLAopt - I am one of the least anonymous of the active forum members - very few others provide their name and location so openly - yet I can tell you straight up and down that there isn't any way at all that I would divulge such items as how many shares of TSLA I have, what my net worth is, or even what my investment strategy has been toward such shares. Nor can I envisage the sample population you might be able to find amenable to your idea be anywhere near representative of Tesla owners' investment plans. However, all the best of luck in your efforts!
     
  8. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. Finding all of the data I mention to start the post would be most optimal, but perhaps if some people are too private to divulge all of it then even just a small amount of the data would still be valuable.

    For example, just a 'yes' or 'no' answer to random Model S owners: do you own TSLA stock?

    That very simple data alone from a set of random Model S owners would be very valuable I think, but it would need to be from avg Tesla owners, not overzealous fanboys like most of us are on these forums (including me).

    I could imagine the findings to this question to reveal anywhere between 10% and 50% of Tesla owners own the stock.
    Perhaps doing such a simple one question survey like that every 3 or 6 months could be a nice leading indicator for the stock trend as well.

    The avg amount of shares owned by Model S owners who own the stock would make this data much more valuable, but if that can't be determined then the above would still be of interest.
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Shares owned, how about options? Also worth noting that I've had shares then sold completely, then bought again, then sold again etc. I'm holding right now but how do you want to measure my average? Over what time period? It's a tough one.
     
  10. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    Good question...to start simple the question would just be 'do you own shares right now?'

    then, the next level would be if there is a way to find out avg amount of shares that someone who answered "yes" to above. Perhaps the tactic AIMc mentioned could be used to gather avg number of shares and the 2nd question could just be as simple as "do you own 0-200 shares, 200-1000, 1000-10,000, or over 10k shares (I have a feeling there are some very high net worth people out there that might be on the very high end).


    i would ignore options to start unless the person volunteers that info on their own, but for the options data to have much value we'd probably need to know what options they are to figure out the Delta and get the share equivalent of their option position. Also options are often for shorter term traders and this study would be a focus on the accumulation of long term investors as more and more people take delivery of of a Tesla and experience it's amazingness (one could argue part of Apple's meteoric rise was iPod and iPhone and iPad owners buying stock over time).
     
  11. RABaby

    RABaby Member

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    If your goal is an understanding of who owns TSLA and how it is they came to own shares, wouldn't a more targeted set of questions be useful?
    I don't think it would be overly intrusive to ask something like:

    When did you take delivery of your car?
    Do you own any TSLA?
    Did you own shares before you had the car?
    If yes, have you purchased more shares since owning the car?

    A positive response will probably open the door to more conversation, but only so long as it isn't part of a formal questionnaire. Lots of people are forthcoming when having a comfortable one on one discussion but would not be as open to being part of a formal study that intrudes into their personal finances.

    The benefit of the four questions above is that it offers a good idea of whether people who buy the car are likely to be buying shares in the future and if so, we would know that as more cars are sold, there will be more activity in the stock. But does that really tell you anything new? It is pretty obvious that by the time Gen 3 is being sold, there will be more awareness of the stock, and that can only mean more activity. Yes, the wealthy are the buyers of the Model S, and likely are the majority of those who hold the stock in great numbers, but over time, TSLA will be traded just as the other auto stocks, or more likely, as tech stocks such Google and Apple, or even like energy stocks. Maybe it will be in a class all its own.

    So basically I'm not sure the data collection will yield much useful information that will benefit the current traders of TSLA. It is still a buy and hold and expect good things investment. Or, if one has held since early 2013 and gained big, it might be time to sell and feast off the gains until someone carries off the carcass and feasts on what remains of the gains. You know the stock will go up, but you also know it will not go up in a straight line. What can possibly be gained aside from satisfying curiosity - which itself is often the primary reason we ask questions.
     
  12. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    You've still got to define what you mean by average. e.g. You want my average over the last 3 years or over the last 6 months? Since I bought my Roadster or since I purchased Model S? I've owned Model S for 2 years now, how do you compare my average to someone who's owned it for 2 weeks?

    I get your idea to build useful data, but I still don't see how to get there without asking intrusive questions.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    This was exactly my reaction when I started reading this thread. It's no one's business regarding my net worth, etc. Especially if I'm standing next to an expensive car. It would make me feel extremely uncomfortable.

    No.
     
  14. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    Good question but I mean avg amount of shares that all Tesla Model S owners have at any given date the sample was taken.
    for example, if there was a focus group today of 5 Model S owners and results were this:
    1)yes owns shares now and 500 shares
    2)no shares right now
    3)no shares right now (*did in the past though)
    4)no shares right now
    5)yes owns shares now and 2100 shares

    then the conclusion could be drawn(if the sample size was much larger obviously and random or close to random):
    -40% of owners own shares
    -Avg shares per owner that owns shares its 1250 shares
    -Avg shares per Tesla owner is 500


    then we could do this periodically to see how this number might change over time as we move past early adopters.
    If it doesn't change too much then we could start trying to make inferences on this data such as:
    If Tesla sells 10,000 cars this quarter then it could be deduced estimated that there are 5 million more shares that are being bought by new Tesla owners that quarter
    (we might want to have a question in the above focus group example that asks if the person bought their shares for the first time before or after they bought the car to weed out existing TSLA stock investors who happened to buy the car later after they've been investing in the stock already, like most of us on here reading this investment thread)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Point taken and drilled home once again, thanks. FYI, you might be surprised how many people/organizations know your net worth already (not anonymously as they know your name and address too)
     
  15. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

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    In a very very very toned down survey, I think it's a good idea. Questions about net worth or even number of shares owned are way too invasive, and would probably result in no answers at all.
    +1 @RABaby. A few generic questions could get a decent response.
    I like the overall idea a LOT because I think there really is something here. Almost everyone who owns a Tesla owns some stock(s). Almost everyone who owns a Tesla feels it's the best car, or even product, they've ever bought. That has to translate into a larger class of people buying the stock, and thus affecting the share price.
    I generally do not invest in stocks. (The only difference between Wall Street and Las Vegas is the paperwork, and Vegas is better regulated.) But I bought TSLA a few days after taking delivery of a Model S. I don't think that is an uncommon sentiment.
     
  16. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    You are a perfect example of what this query would be trying to capture. Probably would be best to speak to a survey company and describe this and see how they think it would best be done. Unless anyone has any idea for survey companies I may try to do some of my own research on survey companies who specialize in stock/financial related surveys and car related surveys.
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Although I agree with the "this is a bad idea" sentiment, if you were to pursue this, perhaps putting printed surveys in envelopes under the wipers, with a reply envelope? This approach guarantees anonymity and avoids the risk of annoying people who don't want to talk to you.
     
  18. Topspin

    Topspin Member

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    Tesla trades millions of shares a day
    the number of owners is way to small too affect the market by them getting more into the stock
     
  19. jhm

    jhm Active Member

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    #19 jhm, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
    Well, I am a statistician and have a few points.

    1, Surveying at SC stations would not be a random sample. It would be a highly biased sample of convenience. It would be over represented by drivers that use these station with high frequency. Moreover there would be huge geographical biases if you when to just a few stations. Even if you randomly sampled stations, you would need to know how to weight them and how to deal with the fact that the network is not evenly built out.

    2, You would face substantial response bias, made all the worse by sensitive questions that will frequently go unanswered.

    3, Sample size depends on the level of precision required, the variability of the underlying metrics, the efficiency of the sampling design, and to some extent how large the population is. For example, in a fairly standard opinion poll with a very efficient random sample design, a yes/no question with a 3% margin of error will require about 1200 responses. But since your design is clustered by station and is otherwise a sample of convenience with potentially lots of non response, it would be a very inefficient design. Moreover, it would likely be intractible, meaning very difficult to come up with credible model of sampling errors so as to back into sample size calculation. So basically, when one only has a sample of convenience, the sample size too is just a matter of convenience, and standard errors are not warranted.

    Basically, if you just wanted to meet some Tesla owners and interview them on a qualitative basis, you would probably do just as well. You may even get deeper, richer information through conversation than through a survey. Good luck.
     
  20. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    thanks, this is helpful to know that you are a statician as well...after thinking about it I also think surveying at Superchargers is probably not the right means to get this data. The two best options I can think of now are:

    a)focus groups that invite random Model S owners by looking at DMV registration records perhaps.
    or
    b)hand this task over to a professional surveying company

    Unless you or anyone has any better idea then my next step would be to research these options further (e.g. Costs, etc). If option (a) can you confirm how accurate the stat might be if 50 owners participated? (Assuming all 50 are willing to answer 'yes' or 'no' to whether they own TSLA shares)

    As as for gathering data through informal conversation with other S owners...I have been doing that the past year and in about half of these conversations does the owner admit to ever investing in the stock...but I haven't kept track of if they own it still at the time we spoke or if they sold it somewhere on the way up.
     

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