It is worth exploring the free resources available before paying for research
Thursday 06 Feb 2020 Author: Ian Conway

In the past, if you wanted to find a list of companies quoted on the stock market – say you fancied investing in a pub firm or a widget-maker – you probably had to pay a research firm for the information. Today, there are plenty of free resources which can do the same job without you having to fork out your hard-earned cash.

For a straightforward list of stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange, go to its website and click on the link to ‘Statistics’. From there, you can choose between ‘FTSE’ or ‘Companies and Securities’.

If you choose the first option and click on the ‘FTSE’ tab and then the ‘FTSE UK Index Series’ link, it takes you to the home page for the FTSE Russell indices where there is information on the FTSE 100, 250 and All-Share indices.

If you scroll down the page there are three columns offering factsheets for each index, the list of constituents along with their index weightings, and other index resources.

Clicking on the FTSE 100 in the ‘Constituents’ column brings up a downloadable file with the full list of FTSE 100 stocks in alphabetical order with their index weighting at the end of the last quarter. The file is usually updated mid-quarter so we will have to wait until mid-February for December’s constituents and weightings to be published.

If you choose the second option and select the ‘Companies and Securities’ tab it brings up a list of options with Company List at the top. Clicking on the link brings up a downloadable Excel spreadsheet listing every single company quoted on the UK market in alphabetical order, together with the date the company was originally listed and its sector classification.

There are over 2,000 stocks in the spreadsheet and it can take a bit of effort to rank the companies by sector, by market (AIM or Main Market) or by market value. The spreadsheet is updated monthly which is fairly standard for most index providers.

If Excel has you running for cover, then Sharepad might appeal. This is a user-friendly albeit a paid-for research service. Although it uses a similar format to Excel, navigating the system using the buttons along the top makes life much easier and you can add or delete columns of data with ease.

It also has full financial data on every company along with growth forecasts, dividend forecasts and valuation metrics.

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