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I am finance grad student, and working to create a financial statement database. My objective is to download an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows for every publicly traded company that has filed with the SEC in the past 3-years.

Could this be done with a FTP connection to the SEC's directory, and would I be able to find what I am looking for there in the XBRL's? http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/ftpusers.htm

Any insight, or alternative suggestions are welcomed. Thank you in advance!

P.S. I have considered using a bot and crawling a site that offers financial summaries, but am uncertain how viable this would be if they block my IP. Has anybody else tried this? Are some places more apt to block an IP than others?

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Assuming you are at a decent university, you are better off seeing if you can get this data from Bloomberg or from a university subscription to Compustat.

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    $\begingroup$ There is a HIT limit in BBG. He will not be able to rip all of that data off BBG. $\endgroup$ – Ted Taylor of Life Dec 6 '14 at 14:55

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