One of my favorite new toys is an online app designed to help you monitor and analyze the world’s market data in real-time from one simple dashboard. It’s called Koyfin, and it’s fantastic.
I find it entirely mystifying that a large percentage of us still monitor market data using archaic GUIs that are relics of the Reagan administration. Seriously. Why do so many platforms still have Atari graphics and antiquated interfaces? War Games came out in 1983, thirty-six years ago, but the tech seems barely improved. Wall Street – where have you been? I’m looking at you, Bloomberg Terminal. And especially you Interactive Brokers TWS.
“Did . . . Did I just start a currency war with Russia on that Bloomberg terminal?”
World markets shower us in a deluge of equity data, commodities, bonds, currencies, and every other conceivable economic raindrop or derivative thereof. Market participants must sift through, collate, display, analyze, and eventually act upon this data, a labor-intensive and often maddening task, made harder by brokerage platforms that are often limited in the information they offer or generally terrible at presenting information even when they have it.
And when they do offer the data you want, get ready to pay for it, because apparently it makes complete sense to charge me for the data I need to make the trades you need to make commissions.
If my keyboard needs stickers, or if a part of my trading involves memorizing short cuts, or if my fat finger is a legitimate liability, well . . . we’re clearly in New York and not Palo Alto. Even TD Ameritrade, the best of the bunch, with its “award-winning” Thinkorswim platform, is a clunky, informationally-limited, desktop-restricted and not-particularly-user-friendly eyesore. Go ahead: ask me why ToS clips off the last pricing digit in my watch list on the left. I won’t have an answer for you. Neither will they. Maybe we need to blow into the cartridge.
And if you are a Mac user, get ready to live in a Parallel(s) universe for most other financial software products.
If I sound like a tech-spoiled millennial, then I have two comments for you. 1. I’m not a millennial. 2. Tech is redefining minimum acceptable standards in every industry. Finance is no exception.
That brings me back to Koyfin. No, Koyfin is not a broker, but it offers everything a broker should: a professional-grade data platform that is user-friendly, aesthetically beautiful, web-based, globally comprehensive, data-rich, and real-time.
The best part is that Koyfin data is free! (I still don’t know how Koyfin generates revenue, let alone profit. There is not even a single ad.)
Koyfin presents itself as “an analytics platform providing users with market insights through tools focused on dashboards, graphs and other data visualizations.” The data is organized into four categories: Markets, Equities, Fixed Income, and Macro. The categories feature subcategories of relevant data pertaining to each. You can drill down into the fundamentals of a particular stock, compare sector ETFs, or unpack an individual ETF for the weight and performance of its constituent parts.
The site offers a worldwide economic calendar (with published results!), economic data from around the globe (I see you, Indonesia), and streaming news.
Perhaps most impressive are the data visualizations. Native to the platform are normalized return graphs, performance matrices, relative and comparative return graphs, and more; the site dashboards can be personalized for individual layouts.
By presenting pre-loaded and organized data sets, Koyfin has made it possible to channel surf the markets from a single interface. The Koyfin equivalent of landing on a cooking show about French bouillabaisse is getting hooked on monitoring changes in yield on the Bulgarian 10-year bond; i.e. information you probably won’t act upon, but meaningful, addictive, and subconsciously useful. And without Koyfin, you would have never looked for the information in the first place.
And that is the real benefit of Koyfin. Data is presented intelligently and comprehensively to maximize value for the user.
I know nothing about Koyfin’s roadmap, but tapping into the APIs of a broker and trading straight from the platform seems entirely conceivable.
If I have any criticism at all, it is that Koyfin is built almost entirely for fundamental analysis. While there are some very basic technical (charting) tools, no serious market technician could use Koyfin for charting. I would selfishly love to see Koyfin build a technical analysis suite that rivals its fundamental tools.
In the meantime, I will rely upon Koyfin to monitor daily market activity. I recommend you do too. Koyfin is the future.