[Cross-posted on the Gridstone Blog].
Ft.com has a nice widget that is very recent by my reckoning. If you hover over the name of a public company in any article on ft.com, a nice “chartlet” pops up. If you click on the company it takes you to the company in the Company Research part of their website.
I thought the pop-up was quite cool. It performs well, looks nice. It could even have been useful to readers. If I have one problem with it, it is the choice of the chart – a daily price chart.
Cut to Yahoo Finance. The default chart on the landing page of any company here too is the daily price chart. Google Finance is different, but not by much – their default chart is a three day price chart.
I don’t know about you, but I am never interested in a daily price chart. My interest in companies
– Is not always from an investor’s standpoint. Most of the time, I am interested in a company for other reasons – as a customer, as a partner, as a competitor or just out of plain curiosity.
– When I am interested in a company as a personal investment, I never look at the day’s price chart. That’s just noise. As an individual investor, the last thing I have the time (or the skill) for is to time the purchase or sale of a stock. That’s what day traders do.
I may be wrong about this, but my guess is that a majority of the users of finance websites and especially ft.com, are not day traders. They are not interested in the daily fluctuations of the stock. I don’t think that they can even process a daily price chart. Who can remember the price of a stock on a daily basis? Maybe you can. I have been known to draw a blank when unexpectedly asked for my mobile number!
So the question naturally arises as to what does Gridstone Research do with price charts? Actually, we don’t offer them (yet). Our focus is squarely on fundamental information at the moment and that’s keeping us quite busy. In time, we’ll have price charts too. In the meanwhile, this is what the chart on our company landing page looks like.