Whalewisdom Preps API 13F Access, Subscription Fees

Tennessee-based Whalewisdom, an aggregator of quarterly 13F holdings filings, which traders can use to see which investment managers are buying or selling large positions in specific stocks or options, has rolled out API access to its database to support automated queries, and is considering charging a professional subscription fee to support the service.

Whalewisdom founder Daniel Collins says the API—which he rolled out at the end of June—will appeal to smaller investment firms without the resources to collect and maintain the data themselves, rather than large investment houses with the resources to build their own collection tools for the data, which Whalewisdom collects every hour from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar database.

“I was getting a lot of requests to be able to pull filings from multiple filers at once… in an automated fashion. I was probably getting a couple of requests per month for specific data, which I would put into spreadsheets for clients. So I originally created the API so I could do that… but with a little technical knowledge, clients can now pull as much data as they want from the site in a format that is useful,” using a web service that they can write to in multiple programming languages and receive query results in various formats, Collins says, adding that the process of building the API took around two months.

“Before, if someone wanted to get information from the system, they had to manually go to each filer’s page, whereas they can automate that with the API to use as an input to trading algorithms or trend analysis, and can then group various funds together and back-test their performance over years,” Collins adds.

However, to use the API, traders will need to subscribe to the portal as a paid service. Currently, access to the previous eight quarters’ worth of data is free for those manually querying the site, though Whalewisdom has collected historical filings dating back to 2001, for which it currently charges a one-off fee. While users will still be able to manually access current 13F data for free, Whalewisdom plans to introduce quarterly fees—equivalent to between $10 and $20 per month—for access to the full dataset, API access and the ability to export data to spreadsheets.

Collins says he has completed the coding to support a subscription service—which will initially collect fees using Amazon Payments—and is now testing the function and writing supporting documentation, before rolling out the subscription option in the next month or so.

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