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Investing and Personal Finance: Investing & Personal Finance


MCPL's Financial Research Databases

Access to these services requires a library card from Montgomery County Public Libraries and a PIN.  If you have access problems, please see our Troubleshooting page or call Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001.

Read about the differences between public vs. private companies.

Public vs. Private Company Information

Public companies issue shares of stock that are traded openly on one or more exchange, such as the NASDAQ or NYSE. They must file various forms and documents about their financial performance and governance structure with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Private companies are not traded on any stock exchange, and they generally do not have to file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, finding reliable information on private companies can be quite challenging.

Consider these tips for finding and using information on private companies:

  • Look for directory listings, company profiles, and news articles using the databases and websites on this guide.
  • Try to find local news coverage in the areas where the company's headquarters or other facilities are located.  
  • Financials for private companies are often reported as "estimates" and may not be current.
  • Many private companies have websites with useful information.

Books on Financial Literacy