Where can I get financial data from for free?

As a personal investor, it can be tough to get free financial data on Australian listed companies. In the US in particular, on sites such as Reuters, Google Finance, Yahoo Finance plus many others, you can find loads of information regarding US stocks, including brief analyst forecast information, historical ratios and financial statements. For Australian stocks, it’s much harder, but as I discuss in this blog, you can get data from a variety of sources for free.

Morningstar

Morningstar Australia has some basic data, including historical balance sheet data for all ASX companies, as well as a simple stock screener, so you can screen for low PE stocks, growth stocks, etc. I’ve found this to be quite useful if I’m hunting for stocks to invest in, or to write about. You can sign up for free to get access to more information, and you can also pay a premium price for access to analyst company reports etc.

The Australian Financial Review 

The AFR has spreadsheets and csv files that you can download for free, without filling in any forms. Here you can find details of stocks as well as weekly summaries of stocks and indices. You can also sign up for full access to the website and receive the newspaper delivered each weekday, for about $70 per month.

SmartInvestor

A family member of the AFR above, Smart Investor also has some share tables, which can be useful.

The ASX

The ASX has some basic information and pages for each company listed on the Exchange, where you can find company announcements, price charts and basic company details.

If you want more data and happy to pay for it, you can contact an ASX data provider – The ASX has a list of information providers here:-

http://www.asx.com.au/resources/information_services/information_vendors_guide.pdf

Wotnews

Wotnews allows you to set up alerts and watch lists, so you receive an email once a company on your list releases a report to the ASX. You do need to set up a free account though. Wotnews also has some useful pages that allow you to sort ASX 200 winners and losers during the day, although the price data is delayed by 20 mins (and I did find a couple of stocks that were in the S&P/ASX 200 Index, but not in the list on Wotnews).

Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and Reuters

All three of the above sites allow you to type in a company code, and get details about the company. I sometimes use all three when researching the same company, as they all provide something the others don’t. Reuters has more comprehensive information, Yahoo has better price information (and price histories that you can save as a csv file), while Google Finance links to my Gmail account, and it’s convenient for me.
(Useful tip: company codes for Reuters and Yahoo – add “.AX” at the end of the three digit ASX code e.g. BHP’s code on Reuters or Yahoo is BHP.AX. For Google, you add “ASX:” before the three digit code, so BHP would be ASX:BHP.)

Company websites

Sometimes you just have to go to the source and download the reports. On some company websites, you can also find broker reports about that company — but a warning here, some of those brokers may have been paid to write a report on the company. If you don’t see a Sell rating in many of those broker reports, you’ll know why.

Online Brokers

Various online brokers such as CommSec, ETrade, Westpac Broking and Bell Direct also produce data, analysis and reports on many of the ASX’s top companies. If you already have an online trading account, it may be worthwhile having a look around the site to see what is offered. As an example, Bell Direct offer some research reports on many stocks, as well as some forecast information such as earnings and dividends. Some brokers also offer access to webIRESS, if you do a certain amount of trades per month, or if you are happy to pay for the service. webIRESS is an online version of the desktop software that IRESS Market Technology (ASX: IRE) sells to many brokers, fund managers and other finance companies. It’s fairly powerful, despite the web version being a fairly cut down version of the desktop software.

In Summary

If you want to get your data free, it will cost you in time and energy. However, I find that by doing the hunt myself, and in many cases creating spreadsheets from the data, plus company reports, gives me a more in-depth view than if I had just received or downloaded a file with all the information already prepared for me.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, or if you’d like to share how you get your data, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: