Publicly-Traded Paternity
December 29, 2005 6:14 AM   Subscribe

How do I investigate/trackback brands/products/companies to determine if they are (subsidiaries of) publicly traded companies?

My wife and I have come up with a list of companies that we use on a daily basis, or believe in their corporate vision, etc so that we want to look into investing in them. But how does one track down the publicly traded firms, determine if they are subsidiaries of publicly traded companies, are traded on an international exchange (I am in the US), or are private companies. We have a list of about 100 companies/products/brands right now and it will be growing so going to their individual websites and digging seems conterproductive. I would ideally want to find a free website/database where I could type in the product/brand and trackback to the parent company, but the only sites i've found thus far are fee-based (s&p, d&b).
posted by iurodivii to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Best answer: Who Owns What does a good job with media companies.
Knowmore is a cleverly-disguised wiki with lots of information.
If you're willing to pay, Corporate Affiliations probably has the best data since it's from Lexis Nexis.
Hoovers has some good free data.
Lexis Nexis also offers free brand name lookups.
posted by revgeorge at 6:41 AM on December 29, 2005

I should add that the person I stole all those links from says the last one (Redbook) is the best.
posted by revgeorge at 6:55 AM on December 29, 2005

I would also suggest checking out the CorpKnowPedia.
posted by magnetbox at 6:59 AM on December 29, 2005

Response by poster: Hoovers and Redbook are the kind of sites I'm looking for, thanks revgeorge!
posted by iurodivii at 7:17 AM on December 29, 2005

The primary sources for this sort of thing are SEC filings.
posted by raaka at 9:03 AM on December 29, 2005

Perhaps a meta-answer, so I apologize, but I'd suggest you reconsider your basis here. Picking companies to purchase stock in based on approving of their corporate policies is probably a poor investment technique.

If you're talking about investing your money directly with them, or possibly an IPO purchase, there's some clear link between your dollar and their ability to do business. Trading in a stock already on the market is a little more nebulous - who you are really doing business with is all the other people who have purchased that stock in the past or may want to purchase it from you in the future. By trading in that stock you are participating more in the enrichment of those individuals or agencies than anyone else.

You would probably be better off using something similar to the Fool's Dogs of the DOW strategy but add the excising of companies from the list if they offend your sensibility.

You're going to make a larger difference in a company's success by being a consumer of their product/service and an advocate for them than you are as an owner of a share.
So you're probably doing more good by being successful while adding integrity to your investments than you are by buying on company vision first and profitability second.
posted by phearlez at 10:59 AM on December 29, 2005

Response by poster: phearlez your answer intrigues me enough that i must respond. I myself have expounded the idea that trading stocks only affects the current buyer/seller; but in this case I am most interested in following companies whose ideologies/forward thinking products are something that I believe (or even hope) will add to the quality of life to such an extent that their stock will reflect this. So my response to you is that I am investigating these stocks not because I believe that owning them will affect the company but that I know these companies I am referencing will affect their equity shares in the coming years. This question's topic is being used to track back to the parent/holding companies which i am then putting thru a decently rigorous financial statement-based inquiry to settle on actual investment-potential companies so that profit and sound business management is the final say on these investments. This question does not encompass my investment technique but is a single step in my process. I have looked at your link and find it a gamble on historical premise [I hold to the idea that investments for periods shorter than, say, 1 year minimum, are most certainly speculative] and it seems only slightly correlated to actual profitability -- as dividends are something voted on and not directly required by any measure of profitability. I do appreciate your meta-answer as it certainly touches on a salient point.
posted by iurodivii at 9:20 PM on December 30, 2005

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