Widdly is a free tool that allows you to download and analyse data for stocks, indices, macroeconomical data, currencies, funds, and other financial instruments. It is designed to allow the publication of financial analysis on the widdly.com website and sharing these with a community of users. The tool has a heavy focus on charting and provides numerous charting-related features and options. You can publish your own analyses and/or browse other people’s, with the basic objective of creating a forum-style conversation where members of the community rate the analysis and leave comments.
Widdly.com is aims to bring together a community of financial-analysis-minded users who can publish and share financial analyses. The idea is that users can rate the various published analyses within a 5-star rating system in order to validate the published content. These analyses consist of elaborately constructed charts which may or may not have a sentence-long caption underneath. You have to create a user account to download and the tool will automatically log in every time you use it.
What’s really cool about this program is the ability to instantly download historic data going back 3 years for any conceivable stock and/or financial instrument. You can choose from a multitude of different chart types and charting options; the array of charting possibilities is nothing short than dizzying. These include moving averages, time-series forecasting, trends charting, standard deviation and variance charting. volatility charting, volume/volume based charting, and many, many more. I should also mention the option to outline trends or identify significant event manually on the chart itself, much like you would with any drawing program. What I really like is the ability to overlay the charts for multiple stocks for comparison. Of course you can save any analysis or chart that you build and update it with more current data as you go along. You can also export downloaded data into CSV for analysis with another application such as MS Excel.
I’ve spent some time on the Widdly.com website looking at various charts and analyses. I will confess that, although I have some interest in investing and in keeping an eye on the market trends of a handful of companies, I could not help but feel intimidated by published charts (these, to my eye, look more like Jackson Pollock abstract paintings than anything else). Captions or explanations of charts were often missing or, when they did exist, seemed awfully short. In most cases they also were not in English.
Another question I had is whether there was a real added value in these charts beyond the outlined trends; although in theory the social rating system is supposed to provide an answer to this question, it did not seem that the number of people who did provide ratings was high enough to provide a satisfying answer. I also wonder about the make-up of this community and who these people were: to what extent were there experts, amateur investors, novices with little knowledge of financial markets, or even spammers who wanted to generate hype?. Of course I realize, in the end, that these questions are not particular to Widdly but apply to any virtual community, and that the assumption is that with the growth of a community the collective ’genius’ will add more overall value than any of the drawbacks inherent in it.
All in all this is a really powerful tool that will appeal to both the novice and professional. The only drawback, I would say, is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of documentation or extensive information/help either in the application itself or online. On the other hand the program is surprisingly intuitive, and manages to handle a complex subject in a very user friendly manner. Widdly provides a world of (financial) information on-demand and a host of powerful tools for charting and analysis – all for free.
Version tested: 2.05 beta
UPDATE: this program is no longer being developed and the program page is gone. We do not have a download link to offer for it.