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Hacks #14-24

People may think that love makes the world go around, but in the financial world, it’s data. Regardless of the different types of investments, analysis methods, and stages of building a portfolio, you need data to evaluate the investments you make.

In simpler times, the individual investor was stuck with hardcopy financial reports, a calculator, and tedious pencil pushing. Now, the Web has opened new avenues for data. Data subscriptions for comprehensive financial measures aren’t free, but offer valuable interpretations that make the data more useful. Whether you receive a CD or download files from the Web, data subscription services typically update data on a regular schedule, such as weekly or quarterly.

Free online data is prevalent as well, although it’s often in very raw form. Some financial information is practically a commodity on the Web. You can’t swing a subpoenaed CEO without hitting a web site that offers financial news [Hack #21] and price quotes [Hack #16] . The stock pages on comprehensive financial web sites, such as MSN Money and Reuters Investor, offer company overviews, SEC filings, historical price files, competing companies, industry news, and industry averages for financial measures. These sites deliver mutual fund data as well.


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