Advantages Best source of financial information
Disadvantages Have to pay for access to some data and services
After semi-retiring from a proper well-paid consulting job, last year, I have spent a lot of my time trading shares, bonds and obscure derivatives for a living (good timing!) so accurate detailed financial information is essential. There are many competing web-sites that provide financial information, but ft.com is one of the best and certainly one to which I refer on a daily basis. The FT newspaper has been one of the best, if not the best, source of financial data and news for many decades, giving good global and local news coverage. The FT web-site is an on-line version of the newspaper, giving access to most of the articles from the daily and weekend newspapers for free, although some articles and services are only available to subscribers.The layout of the web-site is pretty similar to the newspaper (and it's even pink, just like the newspaper) with the various sections clearly marked across the top-banner: Front Page; UK; World; Companies; Markets; Lex; Comment; Business Life and Weekend. Each page has headlines of articles in reverse order of publication, with links through to the full story. Most of these links are available to non-subscribers, but some may come up with a request for you to register for a free trial of the full subscription services.
The main news articles are concise and apparently accurate (well I believe most of them anyway) but some people may find them a bit dry or boring, when compared to the more sensational style of some other newspapers. They are not completely lacking humour, but certainly give the impression that they are business-like. The main news items cover all aspects of world new, not just business, but obviously more emphasis is given to the business related news, even on the front page. Progressing onto the Companies and Markets sections gives a very good in-depth analysis of company results and the movements of the various markets around the world.Selecting each tab at the top of the Front Page gives an overview of the news for that section, but also breaks the news down to sub-sections. e.g. selecting Companies gives the main headlines for company news, but there are also sub-sections allowing the news to be filtered for individual types of business: Energy; Industrials; Transport etc. This is a very easy web-site to navigate.
The Markets and Markets Data sections are the most useful for me, giving me a good overview of what is happening to my various investments. There is even a Stock Screener allowing you to type in criteria you require from a share (e.g. price to earnings ratio) which will output potential shares you may be interested in. There is a good portfolio tool into which you can enter details of all of you investments and have them updated in almost real-time (20 minutes delay) Most of the articles provide information, company results, market data etc. and some provide comments or tips about possible movements in prices or even trading ideas, fund recommendations etc.FT web-site is a very useful site with some of the best coverage available anywhere on the internet of financial news and good concise coverage of other news and sport. It could easily replace the newspaper (although I still buy the newspaper at the weekend because it gets me a way from this computer)
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