It can be difficult to find accurate historical data for stocks. Many sources only provide information up until a certain point in time, and others are simply not reliable. In this guide, we will discuss the best ways to get historical data for stocks so that you can make informed investment decisions. We will also talk about the different types of historical data available and how to use them to your advantage. So whether you are a novice or an experienced investor, read on for tips on how to get the most out of your historical stock data!
Identify the type of stock data you are looking for
The first step in getting historical data for stocks is identifying the type of data you are looking for. There are different types of historical data available, including price movement data, financials, key metrics, dividend data, analyst estimates, and more. Depending on your investment goals, one or more of these sources may be appropriate for your needs.
Use a stock API
One of the best ways to get data at scale for machine learning models or big data investment strategies is to use a stock API. An API (Application Programming Interface) is software that allows you to access real-time and historical data on stocks. Using an API, you can easily access different stock data programmatically depending on your needs and how the API provider works.
Different API providers include different datasets, which you should review to assess whether or not they meet your particular needs. One key aspect to be mindful of is the exchange coverage of the API since some only offer coverage for US securities while others offer global coverage. Lastly, pricing is a major factor to consider. Some APIs charge per data request, while others offer a flat monthly or annual fee.
Some of the most popular APIs used for historical stock data include Financial Modeling Prep, Iexcloud Alpha Vantage, and Finnhub.io. Our personal recommendation is Financial Modeling Prep because it offers a huge dataset, is well-documented, and is one of the most affordable options. You can check out our API review here for more details.
If you are an individual investor on a budget, an API is likely not the best option for you since they tend to be quite pricey, ranging from $14 to $1,000 per month. But don't worry; some of the options below may better suit your needs and budget.
Use a web platform or website
The second way to get historical data for stocks is to use a web platform or website. There are many websites and platforms out there that offer historical stock data, such as Yahoo Finance Plus, Finbox, Stockrover, and so on. These websites usually have an easy-to-use interface where you can search for the historical stock data of your choice. They may also have charts, historical data tables, and other visualizations to make it easier for you to analyze the historical data.
Moreover, they also offer the ability to export data and screen for stocks based on different criteria.
Web platforms tend to be more affordable than APIs, with prices ranging from $8 to $99 per month; however, they are not the most affordable option if you are looking purely for historical stock data.
Our personal recommendation is to sign up for StockRover because it offers one of the best screeners with more than 1,000 metrics and tons of other valuable historical and real-time stock data.
This option is generally a great one; however, it lacks the ability to get historical stock data on your spreadsheet to track your stocks and perform your custom analysis at scale. If this is a challenge, check out the option below.
Use a spreadsheet plugin.
The third option you have to get historical stock data is to use a spreadsheet plugin. Spreadsheet plugins are small programs or add-ons that can be integrated with your favorite spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. These plugins allow you to pull historical stock data right into your spreadsheet with just a few clicks.
With a spreadsheet plugin, you can quickly and easily track historical data for the stocks you are interested in. You can also use the historical stock data to create custom charts, screeners, or models like DCFs, which you can analyze further.
Spreadsheet plugins tend to be more affordable than APIs and web platforms, with prices ranging from $5 to $29 per month. Our personal recommendation is the Wisesheets plugin because it is the most affordable (60$ per year), easy to use, and contains global coverage and an extensive dataset.
With Wisesheets, you can get historical financials, price, key metrics, growth metrics, dividend data, and more all in one click, as shown above, or using custom spreadsheet functions.
Using the =WISE() and WISEPRICE() functions, you can build our custom stock analysis models like this:
Most importantly, once you change the ticker, the data will update for the new company. This eliminates the need to copy-paste data for every company you analyze. Thus allowing you to 10x your stock analysis and boost your investment returns.
We hope by now you have a better understanding of the best ways to get historical data for stocks. In short, there are three main options: APIs, web platforms, and spreadsheet plugins. Depending on your budget, needs, and skillset, you can choose the best option for you.
Now that you know how to get historical stock data, it's time to start analyzing historical data and making informed decisions! Good luck!