If you’re looking to getting started investing or perhaps you’ve already traded your first few shares, you’ll need a good source of information from a variety of sources. Below are some of the better resources for investors all over the world.
All of the information below needs to come with a word of caution. Having so much information at your fingertips is great but you must be aware of just how much of it can be (and is) “noise”. It’s a good thing to keep learning, but when it comes to your investments it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world is doing. The only thing that matters is how your investments are doing.
- Econoday – Great for finding out about all of those “important” government reports and announcements. Has an option to see US or Global events.
- Your trading account or brokerage. – Many trading accounts also allow you, the trader, to access various streams of information, be it S&P reports, analyst ratings, or news about the companies you own. Some require payment but there is still a lot of free information out there (which can be a problem sometimes!)
- Equity Clock – A seasonality-focused website, good for understanding what sectors are in or out of favour with a focus on the Canadian markets.
- Stock Traders Almanac – A favourite and one of the original folks to begin tracking the seasonality of the markets. Yale Hirsch founded the Stock Traders Almanac way back in 1967 and its been published annually ever since then. Their free site has lots of useful information on it, especially as it pertains to the USA markets.
- The UK Stock Market Almanac – As the title suggests, this almanac focuses on the UK markets (the FTSE and its brother and sisters) while also touching on European markets. Annual Publication or see the website for some info.
- Alpha Mountain / Brooke Thackray – The Canadian “seasonality” guy who publishes an annual “Investment Guide” that tracks both Canadian and US markets. Offers some trading ideas in his annual publication (which you could probably find on your own) but the website is also useful.
Some are good, some are so-so, some can be skimmed if they’re given for free before you board an airplane. Investors typically need to do a lot of reading but it doesn’t always come in the form of the newspaper. Read these for some ideas but don’t be beholden to them. Oftentimes, once the news has hit the papers, the major part of the trade is done and over so just be aware of what role these papers play in your own information intake. The major newspapers include:
- Financial Times (based in London)
- The Wall Street Journal (based in New York)
- New York Times (based in New York)
- The Globe and Mail (based in Toronto)
- The Straits Times (based in Singapore)
- Financial Post (based in Toronto)
The great thing about magazines is that they often offer more in-depth coverage of financial matters than newspapers or TV broadcasts. However, print magazines are often out of date before you even receive them so it might be better to check their websites instead. The one problem you’ll have with these publications, however, is that these guys often don’t do as they say. In other words, you may read a very good article about what such and such firm or analyst recommends, but it doesn’t mean that they themselves are investing in it. Be careful and research your investment carefully before committing any money because it could save you a lot of agony down the road.
- The Economist
- Bloomberg Businessweek
- Investor’s Business Daily
- One other idea you might want to consider with magazines and newspapers is to find something COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO STOCKS AND INVESTING, such as a science magazine, nature, or what have you. By reading these other magazines you’ll start to develop an idea of what products are being developed and what sort of companies to look for. Then begins the massive search of the GOOD and PROFITABLE companies. When reading, it helps to jot down some ideas in a notebook or on your cell phone.
News Feed Websites
Oh do be careful with these because you’ll quickly get absorbed and lose track of your life. It’s very easy to keep reading just one more article but, really, how much do you need? But if you want to scan the headlines, the following sites will be helpful:
- Finviz – a news aggregator that tracks articles from a variety of other websites
- Kitco – aggregator for the metals and mining sector
- Market Watch
Twitter is the new news feed despite what some conservative social media folks will tell you. Donald Trump goes right to Twitter because there’s no interference from the US press. Find some accounts to follow (including the above mentioned news sites, etc.) and then let the news come to you instead of you chasing it.
If you want to trade successfully you’re going to need to looks at charts. Charts simply provide the best snapshot of price history. Although you can buy charting software, you can save yourself a few pennies in the beginning stages and use some of the free resources online:
- stockcharts.com – Offers current and historical charts, a chart school, some blogs and a range of books.
This is a strategy we focus on here at Stocks Talk and it’s proved useful. It pays to do your research about this strategy, however, because there can be a lot of moving parts. Moreover, there are a lot of options available both on the Canadian and US side of markets, not to mention global options!
- m-x.ca (Canadian options)
- cboe.com (US options)
- Marketwatch – Options Calendar
- The Options Industry Council
In addition to our own offering here at Stocks Talk, there is no better way to learn how to think than from those who have been doing it for years. Stock market newsletters can help give some idea for what to look for and even offer some background information that may not be readily available in the general news. Some newsletters are free and then offer separate paid services while others will cost a few hundred dollars or more for their information. Newsletters to check out include:
Probably the most commonly used medium for business information, there are numerous news outlets that provide everything from breaking news to in depth special Reports. Some outlets even have YouTube channels.
Podcasts & Webinars
Good for something to listen to when on the tractor or at the gym, or maybe just in front of your charting software, podcasts are timely and often offer different perspective with interviews from industrial professionals and people who do manage money for a living. Many of the major news outlets have podcasts, but the more insightful ones are the individual podcasts run by financial managers or analysts who have no allegiance to anybody but their clients. Some that we like include:
- The Options Insider
- The Disciplined Investor – One of the best podcasts out there offering insight not just into trading but the market as a whole and other aspects of investments.
- DH Unplugged – Same host as TDI (above) plus columnist John C. Dvorak, both of whome do a good job of being very sceptical about the news. Every show they play a “game” in which they pick some interesting stocks to follow.
- Wall Street Unplugged
- Commodities Countdown/The Canadian Technician – various webinars and presentations put out by stockcharts.com, most are free and very informative.
Sometimes you’ll need to look something up, be it a population, a geographic location, statistic or simply “What is X?”
- Stockcharts.com – Probably one of the best places to learn all about charting. You can subscribe for more features or just use their free charts to get an idea of what’s going on.
- ETF Encyclopedia
- Wikipedia – This should almost go without saying that you can use this site to find out lots of information about just about anything. A great place for background or historical research.