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Missing the good old good olds

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 21:43

Lots of changes taking place at the Business Times these days. Especially for long-time readers, one of the most significant changes comes in the stock pages of our print product. Business Times will no longer carry the previous-day's closing prices in its print pages for every security traded on the Singapore Exchange.

Not surprisingly, the paper has received a fair amount of feedback about that change. There's a lot of sympathy for readers who said they had no other easy way of obtaining closing prices.

In fact, those tables with rows upon rows of prices in extremely fine print should have been replaced long ago, and were only retained as long as they have been because of such readers. The unfortunate truth is that the markets have progressed such that day-old prices no longer offer the same utility as they did a decade ago. Live prices, which we offer on BTInvest (http://www.btinvest.com.sg/markets/stock_prices), are where the game is at now. What we have tried to do in our redesign was to replace a large quantity of old data with more specific but arguably more insightful data. One example is a new table for stocks with "unusual" activity (I will talk about this a little more in a later post).

For those readers who struggle to find live prices, the loss is hopefully not too great. We have not completely ditched price reporting. We still carry trade details for the top actives and gainers and losers. And because we zoomed in on the most important data, we can now offer charts and bigger font sizes. Maybe our print pages no longer carry the price of an illiquid penny stock, but maybe if you have difficulty accessing live prices today, it might actually be worth thinking about sticking with the blue chips – reduce your volatility, increase your investment horizon. And we do carry prices in print for the index stocks.

Change means we sometimes have to let go of old things. In this case, we hope it's a change for the better.