Saturday, 9 February 2013

Tools for financial education: Stockmarket Pearltrees

I've been experimenting with Pearltrees as a tool for financial education. If you've never used Pearltrees before, it's a cool technology for arranging information, sites and other media into organisational trees. I used it in my last post on Goldman Sachs to show how the company is arranged, and this week I've been experimenting with it as a tool to visually represent the FTSE 100 index. The FTSE 100 is an index of the 100 largest publicly-listed companies in the UK, constituting a major chunk of the UK economy. You can explore the Pearltree in the box below, but for greater functionality, go direct to it here.

FTSE 100 and Food Producers / Support Services / Mining in Mega-Indices / (suitpossum)

Click on the various pearls to explore the diagram. Clicking on an individual company launches a pop-up window with information. As you can see, it's a pretty simple and intuitive way to present an otherwise abstract list of companies, allowing you to hone in on the various industry sectors (note how dominant finance and mining companies are in the FTSE), and to get easy access to company wikipedia pages and websites.

Forthcoming attractions
I'm going to create more Pearltrees for other major global stockmarket indices. It takes a bit of time to create each one, so I've drawn up a list below of the indices that I want to target, and then as I create the Pearltrees I'll fill the links in.

1) The Dow Jones Industrial: Almost complete here
2) The Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong)
3) The CAC 40 (French)
4) The Dax (German)
5) Sensex 30 (Indian)
6) The IBEX 35 (Spanish)
7) The Nikkei 225 (Japanese)
8) The S&P / TSX 60 (Canadian)
9) Bolsa IPC (Mexican)
10) FTSE/JSE Top40 (South African)
11) CSI 300 (Chinese)
12) Bovespa (Brazilian)

On the other hand, it is possible that I will grow bored of creating Pearltrees out of the world's most powerful companies. Maybe I'll get an intern to do the rest, or a kindly team of volunteers. If you know of any other cool ways of visualising massive stock indices please let me know - Pearltrees has its limitations and I'm interested to find other tools. Hope you find this useful.

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