Ever since Microsoft (MSFT) added the ability to import external data using a web query to Excel, I have been interested in importing financial data into my spreadsheets. I am always looking for ways to leverage my technical skills to improve my investment research. When I recently came across a discussion on some Yahoo! Groups regarding an Excel add-in plugin being developed to add free financial data from websites directly into Excel formulas, I was very interested.
I discovered the free Stock Market Functions Add-In developed by Randy Harmelink and I downloaded it right away. I was amazed at how powerful and useful this plugin was right away. This add-in can retrieve over 4,000 data elements from various financial websites. These sites include MSN, Yahoo, BarCharts, Business Week, Zacks, Reuters, Google, and a few others. The excellent documentation with the Stock Market Functions add-in lists all the numerical codes needed to access an individual stock financial or technical data element. More details regarding this Excel add-in are available at the smf_addin page. Randy Harmelink is interested in gaining more feedback regarding the Excel Stock Market Functions Add-In so be sure to post any feature requests or bug reports to the smf_addin email list.
I plan on using the Stock Market Functions Add-In to build a spreadsheet that automatically calculates a rough intrinsic value of stocks that I’m researching. I hope to use the add-in to retrieve information from cash flow statements to build a simple discounted cash flows (DCF) model and then estimate whether or not there is a margin of safety associated with the current stock price. I’ll share my spreadsheet here when it gets further developed.
If you are interested in using Excel as a stock market tool, you might also be interested in all the work being done at the XLTraders Yahoo Group. The XLTraders list was the original home of the Stock Market Functions Add-In before it recently spun-off into the newly formed smf-addin group. The description of the XLTraders group states, “The purpose of this list is to exchange ideas and techniques for using Excel in trading. This includes VB/VBA code as well.” While much of the discussion on this list focuses on tools for active traders, much of the information is also useful for value investors.
If you use Excel for your investing research, I’m curious as to what other web resources, tools, or spreadsheet templates you use. Please share them below.