Eight mostly wonderful years of digging…

August 18, 2011

Eight years ago today, I wrote the very first post on footnoted. Since then, there’s been over 2,200 more based on our careful reading of thousands and thousands of SEC filings. As we’ve footnoted before, each year, over 600,000 filings are made to the SEC. And while we don’t claim to read all of those — we largely ignore about 1/3 of those, actually, the filings related to insider trading — we do try to at least skim a good number of those other 400,000.

When I started footnoted eight years ago, the idea was simple: to start a daily conversation that built upon some of the concepts that I covered in my book, Financial Fineprint. Because I came from a daily journalism background, where new things constantly percolated to the top, the idea of putting something out there like a book and not being able to update it regularly when things changed, seemed a bit odd. Luckily, this coincided with the release of tools like Blogger, and later, WordPress and Twitter, that were designed to let people with interesting ideas, but no coding experience, get those ideas out there.

When I started the site eight years ago, I had no idea that I’d still be at it eight years later. Or, that eventually, a company like Morningstar (MORN) would find what I was doing interesting enough to invest money in the site and give me the opportunity to continue growing it. Last month, for example, we launched a footnoted portfolio within Morningstar to more fully test out some of our ideas that we’ve picked up from eight years of reading filings.

With the addition of Theo Francis and Sonya Hubbard, not to mention some talented interns, including our current intern, Andy Cheng, we’ve been able to read a lot more filings. And while some of our more actionable content — like our list of our Top 10 M&A picks — is behind the wall at footnotedPro, we remain committed to providing ordinary investors with a daily dose of the crazy things we routinely find buried in the fine print.

Of course, none of this would be possible without you — our readers. Whether you’re a footnoted regular or relatively new to the site, we’re glad to have you here and hope that you continue to find our content interesting. As always, any ideas for improvements (not to mention any tips on filings to read) are always welcome. You can send them to me directly here.

Image source: City the NZ Cupcake Queen via Flickr

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