Library | FAQ

Library - Where to Find Financial Information


As a new investor it is important to get investment advice, but there is no substitute for being well informed and doing your own homework, so that you can evaluate any advice you get from professionals.

Investment information is available to everyone, but remember that information often costs money and you should expect to pay for more detailed, up-to-date information and analysis. However, as the internet continues to grow in popularity this information is getting cheaper and many companies that used to charge for information are now offering detailed data at low or no cost. If you are not connected, don't despair!

There are also many more traditional places to gain useful information on investing and shares.

Online Share Information

A good way for the private investor to gain access to up-to-date share prices and information is over the internet.

  • Digital Look - Visit for up-to-date market information including the latest news, streaming prices, heat maps, top performing shares and much, much more.
  • ProShare Investment Clubs- This website you are currently on offers up-to-date share price information, a library of financial articles and a company search tool which allows you to get a detailed picture of company financials.

Your newspaper

The best place to start to gain an insight into the investment world is your daily newspaper. All national dailies, and some of the larger regionals, have at least a few pages devoted to personal finance each week, and the broadsheets and quality tabloids quote share prices daily, along with business news. Weekend and Sunday papers often give share ‘tips'.

The Financial Times (FT) is dedicated to investment and business. Published from Monday to Saturday, it is the definitive source of financial information and essential reading for the serious investor. Its London Share Service pages give daily share information on over 3,000 shares. See over-leaf for details on how to read the financial pages and track a share price.

Personal Finance magazines
There are a number of investment related magazines available on either a weekly or monthly basis, from newsagents and by subscription.


  • Investors Chronicle - (Subscriptions - 01444 445520), published weekly on a Friday, is viewed as the private investors' bible. It includes company news and profiles, tips on shares and strategy and useful statistics.
  • Shares – (Subscriptions – 01622 778700), published weekly on a Thursday. This new weekly takes an accessible approach to stock market investment, investigating the companies behind famous brands, giving share tips and regular investment club coverage


  • Bloomberg Money – (Subscriptions 01795 414936) Contents range from general personal finance to dedicated articles on Stock market investment, including a regular sector overview, company case study and ‘Ones to Watch' share tips.
  • The Investor - (Subscriptions - 020 7338 1751) published monthly, it is full of market news, expert views and practical advice on managing your investments.
  • What Investment - (Subscriptions - 020 7827 5451), published monthly, is a well respected innovative magazine, with a stock market section and regular features on investment and unit trusts
  • Money Observer – (Subscriptions – 020 8289 7960) Regular features include company overviews, a comprehensive guide to company shares, and personal finance. There is also coverage of unit trusts and investment trusts.

TV Text

  • Ceefax - Via BBC1 starting from page 220. Features include 2,000 share prices updated three times a day on a 20 minutes delayed basis. FTSE 100 index share prices are updated constantly 15 minutes delayed. The Money section carries personal finance news and is available from page 232 on BBC2.
  • Teletext - Via Channel 4, with headlines on page 500. Features include 400 share prices updated every 20 minutes, 3,000 share prices updated 4 times daily and FTSE share prices updated every twenty minutes - all prices are 20 minutes delayed. Live UK equity share prices are available on the Dow UK index, which is updated every 5 minutes. Family finance carries personal finance information and news and starts on page 540.

Investment Newsletters

Investment newsletters (often called tip sheets) are too numerous to list here, but you will have no trouble finding advertisements for them in the financial press. Some of these are better than others and since no tip is infallible be sure to use them only as a guide and to do your own research.

Reference Publications

The Estimate Directory contains profits forecasts for around 1,400 companies from over 40 brokers (0131 473 7070). Company REFS (0120 7278 7769) contains a page of data on all UK quoted equities. The Stock Exchange Yearbook, published by Macmillan is available from business book shops and contains history and financial information on all securities listed on the London Stock Exchange.

It is worth trying your local library as some reference publications can be quite expensive.

TV & Radio

  • Business Breakfast (6am BBC1 Mon-Fri) and its sister programme Working Lunch (12.30pm BBC2 Mon-Fri) are good for general updates on UK business news, international market reports and news stories.
  • The Money Programme (Sundays 8pm BBC2 - times may vary) is a useful general business programme.

Radio programmes include Money Box (Sat 12 noon and Mon 3 pm on Radio 4), a general personal finance programme and MoneyCheck (1.45pm Mon-Fri on Radio 5 Live).

Telephone Information Lines

Some national newspapers provide real time share prices by telephone and you should see the press for details. FT Cityline is available by calling 020 7873 4378. Teleshare Information Services provides real time prices on all London Stock Exchange listed companies plus latest financial bulletins from IRN and portfolio facilities. Contact the Teleshare HelpDesk on 0870 600 4200 (national rate) for details and a user guide. Calls cost 60p per minute at all times.

Company Reports

You can apply to any company for a copy of its annual report and accounts.

How to follow a share price

Here is an example of a listing taken from the FT's London Share Service pages:








52 week

Mkt Cap £m

Yld Gr's



+ or -












London Clubs








MacDonald Hotels








Man Utd








Mandarin Orient $








1-Name - the first column lists the company name or its abbreviation.

2-Market price - the second column shows the average (or mid-price) of the best buying and selling prices (in pence) at the 4.30 p.m. close of the market on the previous trading day.

3-Price change (plus or minus) - the third column gives the change in the closing price compared with the end of the previous trading day.

4/5-Price movements - the fourth and fifth columns show the highest and lowest prices recorded during the past 12 months.

6-Market capitalisation - the sixth column is an indication of the stock market valuation of the company in
millions of pounds sterling. It is calculated by multiplying the share price by the number of shares in issue.

7-Gross dividend yield - the seventh column shows the percentage return on the share before income tax is deducted. It is calculated by dividing the gross dividend by the current share price and multiplying the result by 100.

8-Price/earnings ratio - the market price of the share divided by the company's earnings per share in its most recent report. – – –