Friday, March 28, 2008


At this time of year, people often need information on stock and other investment prices on a certain day for their tax returns. This is just a refresher on some sources that we don't use very often, but when you need them, you really need them.

Bigcharts and Yahoo! Finance. These free Internet sources have historical stock prices, but you won't find anything if the company has changed its name, merged with another company, or dissolved.
Daily Stock Price Record. This print reference source has daily stock prices going back to 1962 (New York Stock Exchange), 1967 (American Stock Exchange), and 1968 (NASDAQ). If you don't know the exchange it was traded on, you have to check all three. The NASDAQ book also has mutual funds in the front part, industrial stocks (what we call just "stocks") are in the back. The DSPR is located in the front of Nicholson by the park.
Capital Changes Reports. Sometimes patrons will ask for information on "stock splits". This resource lists these and any other history that effects a company's stock, such as mergers, name changes, and dissolution. It goes as far back as the beginning of the company's existence. This history can be helpful background information when you're having trouble finding a stock price. Capital Changes Reports is located on the Financials shelf in Nicholson. For fun, check out the extremely long entries on Enron and Worldcom.
Directory of Obsolete Securities. What if you are having a lot of trouble finding a stock price and you think the company might no longer exist? You can't prove a negative, right? Well, with this resource, sometimes you can. We recently had someone ask for a stock price for a company a month after the company has ceased to exist. You don't need this book often, but when you do, it's a lifesaver. It's kept in the Phone Room.
Investment Statistics Locator. What if you are asked for a more unusual type of financial statistic, such as bonds, silver, pork bellies futures, or foreign currency? Well, this handy book tells you where to to go for all these and more. Each entry has abbreviations that indicate where to look and if the information is daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. The abbreviations are explained in the front of the book. The Investment Statistics Locator is shelved in call number order in Nicholson.


PS. If stocks are worthless as securities, they still can be worth something to collectors if they are interesting or beautiful. This is called scripophily.

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