Let me say up front that I have no association with the service I am writing about. I will also get no income should you choose to subscribe or buy something from them.
The resource is an outstanding website which is always being improved, with new features being added all the time.
I recently spent a bit of time researching a company and stumbled onto some additional features that were really excellent. So much so that it alone would be worth you taking a serious look.
As a friend of mine in Italy after subscribing and using the service for a while said: “The subscription service is so good that I nearly called them and offered them more money.”
The web site is especially useful to investors outside the USA as they thoroughly cover European and UK based companies.
The stock screening function, which I will be describing below, is also really worthwhile.
The web site I have been going on about is the Financial Times (“FT”) of which I have been a subscriber since 2005.
I use it mainly for reading news and the searching the vast article archive. The Lex column and Alphaville blog are must read sections.
What is so worthwhile you may ask?
The really good features are hidden under the Markets Data Home heading.
Here is what you will find under the various sub-headings:
Here you can search for information on companies, exchange traded and managed funds. It may however be easier to find a company by using the Quotes search box at the top right as it shows results as you type.
You can also look up the biggest percentage daily movements of companies from Australia to the USA.
Under this heading you can see the movements of all the main equity indices worldwide.
By clicking on the Markets Macromap heading you can see an interactive map of the world where you can see indices performance and volume over one day or up to one year.
It also allows you to compare currencies, using different base currencies, with each other also from one day up to one year.
Here you can graph the various currencies against each other for periods from one week up to one year.
There is also a handy currency converter
Here you can find the prices of all commodities from oil to lumber.
You can also graphically compare commodity price development with each other but also with equity indices.
Bonds & Rates
Here you can get information on all government interest rates. Yield curves of the main world economies, benchmark interest rates from one month to 30 years.
It also gives you the spreads of government bonds all over the world compared to US and German government bond yields. This can be seen as a measurement of the country risk against to lowest government risk countries, the USA and Germany.
Overnight, official and market rates around the world are also given. Here you can quickly get an idea of where carry-trade transactions my be increasing the value of an emerging market currency.
This heading gives you access to the FT’s print archive of markets data tables in PDF format The information covers equities, currencies, commodities, capital markets and personal finance.
The focus is mainly on the UK but worldwide information is also available.
Market alerts allows you to receive email messages of emerging trends, price gains or losses and much more on companies you follow. All you need to do is fill in your email address, pick a company or portfolio and the indicator you would like to track.
The portfolio function allows you to set up a portfolio with different currencies as the base currency. It also tracks cash and dividend payments, a feature I have not seen at other online portfolio monitoring services.
It allows long and short positions and incorporates transaction fees.
Once you have set up a portfolio you can track:
- Charting – Portfolio against a benchmark
- My View – You can change the way and how much information on the portfolio is displayed
The charting function is really good with data going back up to 10 years. It would take too long to describe all the charting options so take a look at the screen-shot by clicking on the link below.
This is probably the most worthwhile function and is great for finding investment ideas to research further.
You can search by country or region and industry sector.
There are 40 screening criteria you can use. From market capitalisation to interest coverage.
I put a screen together with the following criteria:
- Price to earnings ratio 0 to 10.1
- Five year return on average assets > 28%
- Debt to Equity < 0.4
The screen came up with 55 companies ranging from a small South African IT company to a US timber royalty trust.
With a few minor hitches I was able to cut and paste the results into OpenOffice’s Calc spreadsheet program for further sorting.
Screens can also be saved for future use.
The FT has the following pre-defined screens:
- A Warren Buffet screen
- A Ben Graham value investing screen
- A ‘growth at a reasonable price’ screen
- A Martin Zweig screen
Looks like the site manager may be a value investor.
Please keep in mind that the output of a screen should only be a starting point for your analysis and that further research is definitely necessary.
IR is an abbreviation for Company Investor Relations Content.
Here you can find annual reports and other investor relations content such as videos and strategy documents for hundreds of companies worldwide.
Wishing you profitable investing