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How Do I Retrieve Data from the Web?
To work through this module you should first click on Web Data Module and then select Run this program from its current location.
This will automatically launch the FTS Historical Equity Data Module. This module will let you retrieve historical data directly from the web into an Excel Spreadsheet for use with the Portfolio Analysis modules. Alternatively, you can get the data into an Excel Spreadsheet from other data sources that you have access to.
Tip: Historical data sources may have missing and or incorrect observations. The advantage of first bringing data into an Excel Spreadsheet is that this provides a very flexible tool for first cleaning up your data (if required) before jumping into the analysis.
After you launch the Web Data Module you will see these same instructions in the right frame. These instructions will step you through the use of the data module. These steps will let you automatically download historical price data in the form required by this Portfolio Analysis module.
Alternatively, you can create your own spreadsheet in the appropriate form from whatever historical database you have access to. The appropriate format is as follows:
Step 1: Price or Return Data Format
The historical data needs to be in an Excel spreadsheet in a block of cells. For example, in row 1, column 1 you input the data as follows (1,1 is used for example purposes only you can place the block anywhere in the spreadsheet):
In the above you can see that the first row contains security names. The security names are in row 1 columns 2, 3,4,5,..... In the current example these securities are the Webs listed on Amex (EWA is Australia, EWO is Austria etc.,). The name is column 2 is Riskfree. This column contains interest rate data which is optional.
Column 1 is optional but is useful for control reasons because it contains the data. You can see that the current example is using weekly price data and the Riskfree rate is scaled to be weekly in decimal form.
Note: Always keep your time scale constant across securities (e.g., daily, weekly, or monthly). This makes it easier to interpret output because returns will be scaled relative to 1 time unit where your data defines this unit of time.
Note: Data must be sorted oldest to latest. If your data source uses the opposite convention then use the spreadsheet sort function (carrying along all columns) to sort column 1 into ascending order.
Column 2 contains interest rate information. This column does not need to be present. In addition, if present it can be in any column.
Columns 3, 4, .... contain the price data. You can use either price or return data the choice is yours.
Step 2: Linking to the Portfolio Analysis Module
Open your Excel Spreadsheet and then click on the button to the left titled: Find Excel Worksheets
This will locate all worksheets that you currently have opened. So be careful to use the drop down menu immediately below the Find Excel Worksheets button to select the appropriate sheet.
If you do not specify the correct data sheet no data will befound.
Step 3: Telling the Portfolio Analysis Module about your Spreadsheet Layout
You must now specify the following information using the textboxes to the left and drop down if necessary.
First, using the drop down change the default Price Data to Return Data only if you are working with returns.
Second, specify the row number that you have security names in. In our example above this was row 1.
Third, specify the data block information. That is, the first and last row and first and last columns that contain the historical data.
Fourth, if you have index and or interest rate data then check the appropriate check boxes otherwise leave blank.
Finally, click on Initialize to bring the data in.
If you have correctly linked you will see the security names listed. Otherwise select the appropriate worksheet name from the Worksheets Found drop down menu and re-click on Initialize.
Step 4: Selecting what Securities to Work With
Your spreeadsheet may contain additional securities that you are not interested in analyzing at the present time. The module now lets you specify what subset to work with.
First, if you want to select all just double click above the first security name. You will see Yes appear above each security name.
Second, if you want a subset it is usually quicker to select all and then turn of the Yes by clicking above the security names that you do not want. You will see that this toggles between blank and Yes.
Alternatively, you can select individual securities by just clicking above them to toggle on the Yes.
Final Note: If you are using interest rate data and or you want to specify an index for computing betas relative to in a Single Index Model analysis then you must indicate what these two securities are.
To do this click on the appropriate security name and then press R for risk free rate or I for Index.
Now you are ready to use the module for building and analyzing different portfolio strategies. Click on the Back button or Restart to return to the page that provides this instruction (see steps 2 and 3 when you return to this page).
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