Thursday, 9 August 2012

IRESS Market Data - A Great Premium Product

In a previous post I was complaining about the fact that IRESS no longer supported international quotes and suggested that you may want to use some other market data service if you invested heavily in overseas markets.  It struck me that I hadn't outlined why it was such a great paid product in the first place so here is a brief summary of IRESS.

Note that (as I cover below), IRESS is once again supporting international quotes so my previous complaint is no longer valid.

A quick overview of what you can use IRESS for

IRESS is a full trading interface in the same way that Bloomberg is. This is quite an expensive subscription however. For individual investors you are probably most interested in the data streaming functionality available through IRESS. Below are some of the features I use most often
  1. News and company reports
    • IRESS constantly streams news and company releases for all Australian companies. This means that you do not need to go to the ASX website or company website to get their reports. You can download pdf's straight from IRESS
  2. Shares quotes with no delays
    • ALL free data services have a delay in the share price and you never know exactly what you are going to pay. IRESS you can see every bid and ask in the market so you can see EXACTLY what price you want to enter your trade at
  3. Option pricing functionality
    • The easiest way to work out what an option should be priced at is to use IRESS's option pricing formula. You can vary all inputs easily to work out what the black scholes price of an option should be
  4. Charting functionality
    • I confess I put NO faith in techincal analysis so don't make full use of the charting functionality but it is always interesting to see comparative performances
These are just the functions I use most commonly. There are so many others that it can do as well. One of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of financial data available but if you have a look at the BusinessWeek link I have posted about before you can use this free product (which uses the same data as the premium CapIQ service) to fill this gap.

IRESS International Quotes are back online!

As mentioned above my previous post noted that IRESS was no longer supporting price quotes from some international markets and suggested that if you were using IRESS and had need of international quotes you may consider moving to a free service (such as Google Finance) or some other provider.  I am happy to report that they once again seem to be quoting these stocks.

A premium product really shouldn't have glitches like that...
I am always more forgiving with free products because when you use a free product you are always taking the risk that it will not have the same level of reliability or accuracy that an international product does.  This is the primary reason that I was quite harsh on IRESS while being relatively accomodating for Google Finance (which had much bigger inherent flaws)

...However I still think they are the best premium product out there for Australian investors

IRESS is not a cheap service however they have traditionally they have been amazingly reliable (they never had the crashes that plagued older versions of Factset) and their interface was much more modern and user friendly than other premium providers (such as CapIQ and Bloomberg).  I confess I lost a little faith with this recent slip up but I still think it is the best product out there for Australians looking for a premium data service.

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