Financial journalists are not particularly well served for free sources on the net.
Providers of financial information have long been attuned to its market value, which given the premium on insider information in the industry, should come as no great surprise.
As Thatcher would have it – there’s no such thing as a free lunch in this field. Indeed, here you will find no shortage of subscription sources, covering every fiscal nook and cranny, such as:
High-value market research – Datamonitor,
Company financials – Companies House,
Company structures – Who owns Whom.
But there are a few free sources out there which can help you get a handle on the latest financial issues.
For example, if you want to compare financial products, head over to the Financial Services Authority site, where Money Made Clear will give you the low down on everything from mortgages to investment bonds.
Earlier this month, National Savings & Investments unveiled their new site, You And Your Money, which is a good place to go for all sorts of financial advice, including interactive tools to help you work through health, pensions, bereavement and budgeting matters.
Actually, perhaps ‘search engine’ is a bit of a misnomer – its more like a metasearch engine for content provided by professional associations in this field from around the world, including no less than five UK bodies;
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants,
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants,
Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy,
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and;
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
While it would be churlish to look a gift horse in the mouth (especially in this, most scrooge-like of industries), I can’t help but feel the Advanced Search could do with an overhaul.
You can only search one of the several collections available at one time (come on folks there are FIVE British sources here), and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on your language skills) many non-UK sources are published in English – so you can’t effectively filter for national content by language.
Nonetheless, its worth persevering with if for no other reason, than searching five sites from one sources is more time-efficient than searching each source individually.
And time is, after all, money.
UPDATE: forgot to mention – there are, of course, plenty of financial sources out there whose news is freely available via your choice of news aggregator, such as Businessweek, The Economist, FT, Moneyfacts, Money Magazine, and Moneywise, not to mention the financial sections of most broadsheets.