Following the model of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, Wikinvest is building a database of user-generated investment information on popular stocks. A senior at Yale writes about the energy industry, for example, while a former stockbroker covers technology and a mother in Arizona tracks children’s retail chains.
Wikinvest, which recently licensed some content to the Web sites of USA Today and Forbes, seeks to be an alternative to Web portals that are little more than “a data dump” of income statements and government filings, said Parker Conrad, a co-founder.
Users annotate stock charts with notes explaining peaks and valleys, edit company profiles and opine about whether to buy or sell. The site is creating a wire service with articles from finance blogs and building a cheat sheet to guide readers through financial filings by defining terms and comparing a company’s performance to competitors’.
One risk of the Wikinvest model is the manipulation of stock information. Wikinvest insures against that by requiring posters to cite sources, removing those who don’t, and ranking frequent, accurate contributors more highly. It also only covers trades associated with corporations valued at $100 million or more.
Wikinvest looks promising. For now, it’s a good supplemental resource, but I can only imagine it getting bigger as its legitimacy grows.