Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A Wiki for Investors - Wikinvest

A not-exactly-new but potentially valuable tool for investors is the Wikinvest, a wiki website modelled on the well-known Wikipedia. Wikinvest describes its ambition in its FAQ as wanting to create the "world’s best source of investment information and investment tools", more specifically "an investment website that explains the deeper story behind a company, giving investors the context they need to understand what they are betting on when they purchase a particular stock or invest in a specific sector". In other words it is a factual complement to blogs and discussion forums and like other wikis, its method is to have everyone help compile information. The sum of many hands can do far far more than any of us individually and unlike industry sources, bias should not be an issue though accuracy is not guaranteed.

The difference in orientation between the regular Wikipedia, which likely also has entries on just about any investing topic is evident in the entry on Goldman Sachs - here at Wikipedia, here at Wikinvest. The former has history and background on the company, while the latter has financial results, info on competitors, influences on its financial results, which is much more useful when contemplating investing. There is also a whole area devoted to investing Concepts, like commodities, transportation and user-defined things like Rising Worldwide Demand for Energy.

Right now, Wikinvest content is almost totally US oriented but it just needs to get going with Canadian, British or other countries input as people see fit. On a personal level, one can think of it as an online repository for your stock research. The added feature is that by sharing with everyone else you may entice others to add useful information.

Bloggers can participate too by registering and adding a widget to their own blog which will automatically add links after a post to related posts on the same subject by other bloggers. This soon-to-be-launched Wikinvest Wire blogwire sounds pretty useful and I have signed up.

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