Information helps you make decisions everyday. Which road will get you home the fastest? What store offers the best price for the product you’re looking for? Countless other decisions happen all the time. Investing involves many decisions as well. Since investing revolves around your money, it’s important to have the best information so you can make the best decision. I have gathered some sources that are highly credible and reliable. I will give a summary of each source and what kinds of financial information you can find. The better quality your information and the more of it you have, the better choices you will make. Happy investing!
Every public company in the U.S. must adhere to strict rules and guidelines regarding the reporting of financial information. This has given a certain quality to the reliability of public companies on U.S. stock exchanges. In essence, companies registered on US stock exchanges do not skew their financial information.
So where can you find these financial reports directly from the companies?
Enter the investor relations page. Each company posts their reports on their investor relations page. This page is open for anyone to view and you do not have to have ownership of the company to view these reports. Simply search for the company followed by “investor relations”. From there you should be able to navigate and view each quarter of a company’s financials. All this information comes directly from the company so there is no second hand interpretation to consider here. This is as raw as the information gets.
The E.D.G.A.R. database, run by the SEC automatically collects all filings companies must file with the SEC. In essence, it goes beyond the quarterly and annual filings. What this means is that any unusual filings a company makes, EDGAR will catch. Such as an 8-K filing. This filing signifies significant developments that have occurred within a company. Companies likely will not post this on their investor relations page but since it is filed with the SEC, EDGAR will have it! Lastly, the credibility and reliability of this information is as good as it gets. All information found here comes directly from the companies themselves and is sent to the SEC which ensures the validity of the information.
FINRA’s Morningstar is a great place to gather market related information about a stock. Morningstar has a company’s bond data, current market options data, regular equity information and much more. All for free! All of the information is available for use by anyone.
FINRA is a regulatory agency that helps regulate financial markets. FINRA is not a government organization. However, FINRA is authorized by the government and is a nonprofit organization. FINRA makes regulating rules, they are strongly adhered to and are more strict than the SEC’s. FINRA stands for Financial INdustry Regulatory Authority. Once again, the information that is found here is extremely credible and reliable. Although it is technically a step down from info from the SEC it is still highly trustworthy when it comes to financial information.
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